Who We Are
Welcome to St. James' in Skaneateles, NY!
St. James’ is a vibrant, open, joyful, fun-loving community of faith. We are intentional about growing in relationship with God and one another, about caring for the earth God created, and about serving the needs of the world God loves. Whether you are passing through the area, in town for a while, or looking for a spiritual home, we are delighted to welcome you.
May God Bless You,
St. James’ Senior Pastor
St. James’ Episcopal Church is located on East Genesee Street in downtown Skaneateles. The church building is blessed to be right on the water capturing the amazing views of Skaneateles Lake. 2016 was the bicentennial year of the congregation, though the present building is “younger” and has recently undergone significant construction including a new roof and renovations to the nave and chapel. St. James’ offers four unique services each week, providing a diverse range of worship options from quiet contemplative to formal to high-energy praise services. Eucharist or Communion is celebrated at all Sunday worship services. Wednesday is Evening Prayer found in the Book of Common Prayer. Each Sunday service is intentionally family-friendly as all ages are welcome at any service. Be sure to check out the kid corner in the rear of the church full of toys, activity baskets, and space to spread out during worship. The Nave is also handicap accessible however should you need additional assistance, please feel free to ask a greeter or call ahead to the Parish Office.
Beliefs & Values
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1. We believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He became man, was crucified and died. On the third day He was raised from the dead and ascended into heaven.
2. We accept the Incarnation, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ as being fundamental to our understanding of our Triune God and one another.
3. We accept that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the inspired word of God and we seek to engage them in our daily lives.
4. We believe that the Church must continually explore methods of conveying the Gospel in a culturally relevant and sensitive manner, while adhering to the eternal truth of the Gospel.
1. We embrace a willingness to try old things in new ways in order to reach people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
2. We appreciate that faith is a journey, that people are in different places in that journey, and that we must understand, respect, and love each other in the midst of these differences.
3. We welcome differences of opinion and varied perspectives on issues and expect that such differences will be addressed with respect, love, honesty, directness, and acceptance of each person.
4. We believe we are called to be peacemakers, practicing love and forgiveness in every relationship and activity.
5. We are committed to personal integrity as we strive for excellence in all that we do.
6. We are passionate about the wellbeing, education, safety, and nurture of children and youth. We welcome the participation of children, youth and families of all types, in all areas of our common life.
7. We seek to engage people in small groups of ministry, learning, caring, growing, fellowship, and service.
8. We believe that every ministry, activity, and action taken by the Church and its members must answer the question, “Does this help us to ignite passion for Jesus Christ to change lives, and to welcome all to seek, to share, to serve, and to celebrate God’s love and forgiveness?
Our Building's History
Anglicans worshipped here in 1794, in the earliest days of the Skaneateles community. Beginning in 1805, a two-room building on the site of our present church served as a place for Sunday worship, as well as the Village post office, a store, and a day school.
St. James’ Episcopal Church was first organized in 1816. Our first dedicated church building went up in 1827, built of wood, white with green shutters; its square tower held a clock and a bell. The building was enlarged in 1847, but taken down in 1873 to make way for our present stone building, dedicated in 1874.
A History of the Organs at St. James'
In 1927, the Roosevelt organ was sold to Emmanuel Church in East Syracuse where it is still is existence, and the present Ernest M. Skinner organ (Opus 644) was installed, with the console in the southwest corner of the sanctuary. In 1959, the organ console was moved to its present location. The facade work was given by the McMaster family as a memorial to Andrew McMaster, a longtime member and former warden of the parish.