What are services like?
At our 8am service, we will follow the Book of Common Prayer service of Holy Eucharist, Rite I or II, according to the page numbers in the service bulletin. There is no choir in this service; simply the spoken liturgy and a sermon.
The order of the 9:30 service is fully printed out in the bulletin, making it a touch easier to follow. You will need to consult with the 1982 Hymnal (the blue books in the pews) for hymn lyrics and music, which will be led by our choirs during the school year.
There are kneelers in each pew, and the bulletin, Book of Common Prayer, and officiants should alert you about when to stand, sit, or kneel. That said, you are always welcome to do whatever is most comfortable for you, either physically or spiritually. Ours is a community that mostly stands for prayers, but if kneeling is your tradition, you are welcome to do so.
During the offering a plate will be passed for money collection. Pass it on to the person next to you or to the usher at the end of the row.
For the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist, we come forward to the altar rail to receive Communion. An acolyte will let you know when it is your turn to come forward. Most kneel at the rail, but many stand as well. To receive Communion, cup your hands to receive the Bread. To receive the Wine, you may either sip from the chalice, or dip your bread into the cup. If you choose not to receive Communion (or prefer for your children not to), please cross your hands over your chest to indicate that you would prefer a Blessing. ALL are welcome to the Lord’s Table.
What is the community like?
We love children at St. James’s! At the 9:30 service, all children ages 4 and up gather at the back of the Church to process behind their own cross with the altar party. They proceed to our Parish Hall, where they have their own age-appropriate Liturgy of the Word (readings and teaching time). During the Passing of the Peace, they come back into church to participate in Holy Eucharist with their families. If you would prefer to keep your children with you on your first visit, however, you are welcome to do so. Religious-themed coloring materials and crayons are available at both entrances. Children’s Christian Education (aka Sunday School) is provided after the 9:30 service on most Sundays.
In addition, there is nursery care available in the basement of the parish house for children, birth to 3 years old. The caregivers will take your cell phone numbers in case you are needed. You are, however, welcome to keep your babies and toddlers in church with you as well.
After our 9:30 service during the program year, we usually gather in the Dining Room (downstairs) for a quick cup of coffee and bite to eat, before heading out to our Adult and Children’s Education programs. Adult offerings range from book and bible studies, to prayer groups, to theology and ethics discussion groups. They are listed in the service bulletin and on a placard in the Cloister Entrance to the parish. Some Sundays we offer a church-wide service project or single forum speaker instead.
Some adults prefer to socialize over coffee during the Sunday School hour; this is always a good option as well for relaxing and getting to know folks. During the summer, we have Lemonade on the Lawn after our 9am service, in front of the church.
What if I'm not a Christian?
All are welcome to join as we gather on Sunday mornings to go deeper into our questions about God and faith in our lives.
The Rev’d Robert C. Hooper III (“Bob” – please) and his wife Priscilla have been married since 1988 and have three children and two very large Labrador retrievers. Bob received a B.S. in business/marketing from New England College in 1987 and a M.Div. from Virginia Theological Seminary in 1995. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1996 after seven years in the brokerage and banking industry in New York. He has served parishes in both Northern Virginia and suburban Boston before coming to St. James’s in 2002 to serve as rector.