Each July we celebrate St. James on the Sunday closest to July 25th, his saint’s day. In 2017 we also celebrate 150 years of the beginning of St. James Episcopal Church in Centerville/Fremont. The actual date is September 28, 1867, the date when Bishop Kip consecrated the church. James was one of the sons of Zebedee, one of Jesus’ twelve Apostles, brother of John. He is the same James who, tradition says, preached in Iberia (Spain), and is buried at Santiago de Compostela, the destination goal of those pilgrims walking the Camino de Santiago, translated as the “Way of St. James.” His martyrdom is recorded in Acts 12:1-2. A fiery preacher, James may have really upset Herod Agrippa who had him executed by the sword.
As 2017 Episcopalians we are probably not the fiery preachers akin to St. James. Though no less passionate, our way is perhaps quieter, more subtle. Maybe we are more akin to the author of the Letter of James. Not to mire myself in the controversy between Faith through Grace and Works justifying Faith, but I see the community of St. James’ often doing good works, either as individuals or as a community. And those works are evident in our looking after each other, our community, or others in the wider community.
As Jesus teaches us and calls us to do, Love Your Neighbor –
- Give rest to the weary
- Console the bereaved
- Pray for each other
- Learn from the teachings of the Apostles
- Be there for others
Remember what we are celebrating. For 150 years people have worshiped here following the Way of Saint James, loving God, loving our neighbors, and doing good works. May we continue to do so in our future.
~ Bruce Roberts, Jr. Warden