Advent Events

The Meaning of Advent

The word “Advent” comes from the Latin adventus, which means “coming” or “arrival.” As a season of the church year, Advent is the four weeks before Christmas that prepares us to celebrate the Nativity, the birth of Christ, on December 25th. Christmas is a big mystery. We do not understand how exactly God comes to be among us in human form. Taking time to prepare to celebrate Christmas allows us to enter more fully into the mystery. It is said, if we don’t take time to get ready for Christmas, we could “walk right by this mystery” without ever really experiencing it. And so, we spend the four weeks before Christmas anticipating and preparing for the coming of Christ. Advent has a double spiritual meaning. While anticipating the arrival of the birth of Jesus, we are also anticipating the arrival of the second coming, when Jesus will return to us. Churches using the Revised Common Lectionary will find both themes present in the Sunday  lessons during the season of Advent.

Advent Series: Embodying Faith

Led by Kristen Leigh Mitchell, M.Div. 

We live in a cultural context where mind & body, sacred & secular, and heaven & earth are perceived as being separate from one another. Old cultural messages we inherited from Western Europe – particularly during the Enlightenment – continue to confuse our ability to experience the inherent connection between our spiritual and our material lives. Advent is a season that invites us to make room for the incarnate Christ, who entered through birth into the messy, complicated world of human life and death, and preached the good news that the Kingdom of God was already in our midst. In this class, we will explore some of the most common inward and outward barriers to experiencing and embracing the fully embodied faith of Jesus within our current cultural context.

Adult Formation Holy Land Pilgrimage

Presentation by Chris Baker

Sunday, December 3 at 12:30pm-Parkside & Sunday, December 10 at 12:30pm Parish Hall

Presentation from the Holy Land Pilgrims.  First presentation will be focused on the artwork created by St. James’ own Chris Baker inspired by the trip. Chris Baker has created an art exhibit in the Parkside room featuring breathtaking drawings and paintings of the sites of the Holy Land.

Dec. 10-Come listen to the St. James’ Pilgrims who spent 2 weeks this past April in the Holy Land.  See the amazing images and feel the spiritual inspiration that took hold of each of them. 

Music & Meditation

With Organist Justin Oei

Sunday, December 17 at 2pm

In the build-up to Christmas, sometimes the busy-ness of our lives obscures our experience of the wonder and mystery of the Incarnation. Join us in the main church at 4pm on December 17th for an hour of contemplative music and readings as we enter the final week before the wonderful celebration of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. This program will feature both traditional and new interpretations of familiar carols and hymns as well as readings and prayers to focus our hearts and minds providing space for stillness in a time and culture that so often passes us by. Free and open to the public, donations gratefully received to support future musical offerings at St. James’.