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2017 : A Year of Celebrating Life!

birthdaycandlesHappy Birthday to All of Us!

The year 2017 brings with it a Grand Celebration!  Can you guess?  The sign on the street says “St. James’ Episcopal Church, established 1867.”  This means our beloved church is turning 150!  While I haven’t done the research, I believe St. James’ is either the second or third oldest congregation in the Diocese of California.  Turning 150 is a big deal, a huge milestone.

So, a celebratory year it will be!  To mark the birthday of our common life and to mark the birthdays of our individual lives, we will lift up those celebrating another year in a slightly different way.  During Sunday announcements, those who come up to celebrate their birthday will be given a birthday candle (unlit, of course).  This candle can be brought to the Parish Hall after service to be placed in a birthday cupcake and lit while those gathered sing a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday!  Everyone has a birthday and everyone should be celebrated.  Let’s us rejoice in each other in this fun and musical way.

To mark the Sesquicentennial Anniversary of our Church, we will have a magnificent celebration on the Feast of All Saints’, LC-old-aNovember 5.  Our combined service will include a visit from our bishop, Marc Andrus, and invitation to all past clergy, music, food, festivities and hopefully baptisms and confirmations.  We are just beginning the planning for this great event – if you have ideas, please feel free to email them to me or Vivienne Paratore, or speak with either of us directly.

The year 2016 has been a challenging one, and what the year 2017 will bring is unknown.  However, we do know that we have life, and life we will celebrate.  We have so much to be thankful for.  We belong to a faithful community of disciples, we have the opportunity to continually deepen our relationship with Jesus Christ, we get to experience the love of neighbor and friends, we are empowered to share the love of God with others, and we are blessed to be part of a tradition and history that spans the ages.  In fact, we were here before Fremont was here!

Let us begin this new calendar year with joy and confidence in the movement of God in our lives.

Happy New Year, and Happy Birthday!