Random Thoughts from Pastor::October 2016

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

"Catechesis at St. James" is the new catch phrase that I have been using and I hope you begin to learn and use as well. Last month in one of my “Random Thoughts” I pointed out that Catechesis is the life-long hearing/learning of the Word of God and prayer which begins when a child receives the Sacrament of Holy Baptism and reaches fulfillment at death. This means that every time we study the Bible, we are involved in Catechesis.

Here are my random thoughts for October:

Random Thought #1 - Darla’s Retirement is Approaching

The Elders are seeking volunteers to fulfill basic responsibilities in the office – including answering the phone, creating the weekly bulletin, and producing the monthly Scroll newsletter. For the bulletin and newsletter, being able to “get around” a computer will be helpful, but not necessary if someone is willing to learn. The Elders are not looking for one volunteer to “do it all.” Rather, following the axiom “Many hands make light work,” the hope is that many individuals from the congregation will step forward to do a little. If willing to serve, please contact Dave Lapierre at 574-753-2912 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">


Random Thought #2 - Divine Service Setting Four

In our Sunday morning worship, the choir has been singing parts of Divine Service Setting Four. This is a hymnic setting where most of the portions of the liturgy which are sung are done so as a hymn setting instead of a chant. By looking at the worship service outline printed on the extended portion of the bulletin, you can see the page number of Divine Service Setting Four where the part the choir is singing is found.  You can follow along and when you feel comfortable, you can also join in singing this part of the liturgy. This introduction to Divine Service Setting Four will continue through the end of November.  The hope is that by the first Sunday in December, we will use Divine Service Setting Four in its entirety.


Random Thought #3 - Leadership Summit

The Leadership Summit held last month was a great beginning to annual planning sessions for the congregation.  There was some great discussion and ideas generated.  Here are a few of the ideas that had broad support from those attending the summit.

  1. Carnival - This would be a carnival for the community. It would provide an opportunity to invite members from the community, perhaps specifically focusing on the St. James neighborhood, into our building. We would be able to share with the community through various games and activities the joy we have in knowing that our sins are forgiven for the sake of Jesus.  Knowing this, how can we not celebrate!
  2. Community Connection Outreach Team - This would be a group of people that regularly research community events to determine if St. James might also use that event to reach people with the Gospel or invite them to worship with us.
  3. Crisis Team - A crisis team would be made up of members of St. James who are willing to go into disaster areas to help with clean-up and repair.  This type of team would go to places like Kokomo following the tornado, Baton Rouge, Louisiana and the area affected by flooding; the scene of house fires — all for the purpose of helping with clean-up and repair. Individuals with specific skill sets would be helpful, but in most of these cases, able-bodied people willing to work is always appreciated.  While helping in these areas, the Crisis Team would be displaying acts of mercy for the victims and sharing the love of Jesus in their lives.
  4. Appreciation Cards - These cards, the size of a business card would be developed with a message of appreciation for service provided and it would also have a Gospel message and an invitation to worship at St. James.  These cards could be left on the top of a tip at a restaurant, given to the person who bags your groceries at Martins or Marsh, handed (with a tip) to the person who scrubs your vehicle before it enters the car wash, the plumber who fixes your sink.
  5. A couple of suggestions that I especially found interesting is 1) the making of pillow case dresses that could be sent to third world countries such as Haiti.  While making these simple dresses, those involved in the process could engage in a Bible Study and prayer for those who would eventually wear the dresses. 2) Get acquainted coffee which would pair new (or newer) members with veteran members of St. James. This would provide an opportunity to meet and get to know members you might not otherwise have anything in common with, except membership at St. James.  Veteran members could also be assigned as mentors or sponsors for those who are in the process of joining St. James.

Finally, one participant in the Summit reminded everyone how important it is for all members of St. James to be a little more vocal about our faith and what we believe. If, in causal conversations, you mention that you are a member of St. James, you might be presented with an opportunity to share what we believe about Jesus as our Savior.

What will happen to these ideas that were generated at the Leadership Summit?  Only you know.

Blessings in Christ,