Who We Are
St. James' is a small congregation with a big history. Founded by movers and shakers of the early US, its members included the founder of Columbia Medical School and New York Hospital. We have counted among our leaders two governors and one US president along with a host of colorful characters (such as Alexander Hamilton's second at his fateful duel). St. James' is the first parish to play host to the King and Queen of England, as well as the Queen of the Netherlands. Our most famous parishioners were Franklin D. Roosevelt, who served as senior warden, and Eleanor Roosevelt.
History is only one part of our life, however. From the very beginning, St. James' has been socially conscious. The first rector started a school for slaves and free blacks, believing education was their ticket to a better and more equal life. This progressed to building the town's oldest surviving school building which then became the town's first library.
Today, that spirit continues with a nursery school that brings the best socialization skills to the broadest range of children. We build on that with a reading program that works in concert with the public school district to help children fall in love with learning before they lose heart. We also have a new community garden focusing on providing fresh produce for the local food pantry and overnight shelter.
Our worship is classic, broad church Episcopal prayer book liturgy. It is familiar and punctuated by the warmth of its members. Yet, our interest is not merely to be a "feel good" society. We are here to be transformed and believe that the Gospel of Jesus Christ will do just that for each of us in our own way.