The St. James family splits the work of nurturing the Spirit through better understanding of God’s Word and living lives that share the love of Jesus Christ into three Ministries – Caretakers, Discipleship, and Growth. This structure affords ample opportunity for members and helpers to grow in their faith journeys.
The Caretakers Ministry is responsible for issues relating to the finances of the church, the property, and stewardship. In the recent past, the Caretakers Ministry has overseen the improvement of the church financial reporting system, the replacement of the siding of the church, the installation of a new roof, and the repair of the church parking lot. Caretakers have recently worked with three separate Boy Scout Eagle projects to update the Church Sign, add a Meditation Labyrinth to the church grounds, and improve the Meditation Labyrinth with the addition of stonework and benches. The Caretakers Ministry also ran a successful Capital Campaign and was instrumental in the refinance of the church property mortgage.
The Caretakers Ministry is responsible for the ongoing maintenance of the church’s 10-acre property. It recruits four mowing teams to keep the grounds looking good for the benefit of the community in which we live. Caretakers also organize occasional work days for the maintenance of landscaping, playground, and the many trees and shrubs that give the grounds their beauty.
The Discipleship Ministry is responsible for the oversight of the numerous Worship, Fellowship and Educational activities that happen at St. James. The Discipleship Ministry coordinates elements of Worship like Sunday morning ushers, Communion set-up and clean-up, media support, children’s musical support, nursery supervision during the church hour, special services, Advent readings, decorations, and Easter flowers.
Christian Education activities are also the responsibility of the Discipleship Ministry. Members, with the help of task coordinators and other volunteers, coordinate and lead Youth Club, C2F-Challenge To Follow, both youth and adult Sunday school classes, Vacation Bible School, and the distribution of 3rd Grade Bibles.
Discipleship Ministry volunteers are also proud to coordinate Fellowship activities such as: Ash Wednesday Meal and Service, the Maundy Thursday Service, Advent Decorating and Dinner, a children’s Easter Egg Hunt, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day Receptions, Recognition of Graduates, Fellowship Dinners, and the Coffee Hour.
During the summer we hold a few outdoor services followed by a picnic Fellowship event. Throughout the year we hold a number of Fellowship events at local restaurants such as The Center Street Grill, Yardz, and our most recent at Peppino’s Italian Restaurant. The success of the Discipleship Ministry is achieved through God’s Hands, often taking the form of our wonderful Task Coordinators and the St. James family’s active involvement.
The Growth Ministry is responsible for mission activities, outreach, membership, and evangelism. From its inception, St. James has been a congregation with a focus and fondness for mission work. Over the years, the church has engaged in extensive hands-on mission, often connected to disaster response. These include Hurricane Andrew in Florida, Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and Mississippi, and Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey.
St. James provides ongoing support for two local missions:
Bridge of Hope Harrisburg
New Hope Ministries
Bridge of Hope provides mentoring and support to assist women and their families in their move from homelessness to independence. The congregation supports one family in this journey. St. James has also been active in supplying board members and guidance to Bridge of Hope Harrisburg.
New Hope Ministries provides assistance for immediate needs in the Cumberland County area, along with counseling towards more permanent solutions to food insecurity and homelessness. The Interim Pastor seeks the good counsel of New Hope when those in need come directly to St. James.
“Mission Sunday” has also been a mission initiative for the past few years. St. James typically holds two Mission Sundays a year, one in the Spring and one in the Fall. On Mission Sunday there is a short worship service and then worship continues through a day of service which engages all members of the congregation, including children and youth. As many as seven agencies may be helped on a given Mission Sunday. Activities include preparing food, sorting clothes, baking pies, light carpentry, making pillow cases, making cards, and assisting agencies with mass mailings.