Dear Friends,

There is no denying that it is difficult to feel detached from what is present. With various conflicts around the world, violence on college campuses, and social unrest, there is no shortage of things going on that increase our feelings of anxiety and even depression.
Advent’s call to draw closer to God and spend time in “the thought of Christ as he came once” seems much too hopeful for this present age.

Newman’s poetry however, reminds us that Advent is really about our willingness to watch for our Lord’s return. In his words “to detach from the present, to live in what is unseen.” Those words – “live in what is unseen” – have always haunted my soul and reminded me that despite my own anxiety there are things that God is doing in our world that cannot always be seen or even understood.

“To live in the thought of Christ as he came once” is to remember that we have been saved from a life of sin by the willingness God had to come among us as a baby over two thousand years ago. By focusing on Jesus’ eventual return in Advent, we call to mind our duty to witness God's great love for the world by living incarnate lives. This is the same point that St. John makes in his Gospel when he says, “But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God”.

May you enjoy the blessings of this Advent season, as we wait, as we watch, and as we live for the things that are unseen and yet to be fully known.
In Christ,
The Reverend Dr. John McCard
Tuesday, December 6
Tuesday Men's Bible Study - 7:30 am, Valentine Hall
A weekly hour of fellowship, discussion of the bible and good food.
Contact: Patrick Strickler,
     Stephen Spraker,

Young Adults - 5:45 pm, location varies
We'll gather for a combination of fellowship, prayer, and Bible or book study.
For more information and/or to get on the GroupMe, contact the Rev. Blake Singer.
Contact: the Rev. Blake Singer,

Wednesday, December 7
Living Faith Bible Study - 10 am via Zoom
This opportunity for fellowship, study and discussions that help to make
our Christian faith a “living faith” and apply the witness of the Scripture
to our everyday lives. Please contact Betsy for the Zoom link.
 Contact: Betsy Trow,

Wednesday Noon Eucharist
in the Chapel

Friday, December 9
Young Family Social, 4-6pm, Valentine Hall
If you have ANY children living at home, this social is for you!
There'll be gingerbread nativity making, a Christmas movie to watch and snacks.

Organ Recital - St. James's, 7pm
Organist Scott Dettra playing organ works by Cesar Franck
presented by the Richmond AGO

Saturday, December 10
Organ Recital - St. James's, 2pm
Organist Scott Dettra playing organ works by Cesar Franck
presented by the Richmond AGO

This week's eChimes features
  • Advent Lessons & Carols
  • Peter Paul Giving Tree, a St. James's tradition
  • 2022 Christmas Mother is a St. James'ser
  • RSVP to the McCard's Christmas Open House
  • Advent & Christmas Schedule
  • Sign-up for the Christmas Pageant
  • The Service of Hope
  • December Music Calendar
  • Two Fabulous Organ Recitals
  • Dec. 11 Adult Forum - St. James's History Project
  • Young Family Social
  • Children's Center Crosses
  • Two Amazing Winter Events
  • Some Thoughts about Parking
  • Prayers of the People
  • Virginia Diocese information
Advent Lessons and Carols
This Sunday, December 4 at 5pm

In the season of Advent we sing, “O come, o come Emmanuel” and we await joyfully, if not impatiently, to hear the story of the birth of the Messiah. And yet, even more eagerly, we, as God’s children, await the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. In candlelight and quietness, let us reflect upon God’s loving pursuit of us.
Help Decorate
the Peter Paul's Giving Tree
A Wonderful St. James's Tradition

A table will be set up in Valentine Hall between services on this Sunday, Dec. 4 and next Sunday, Dec. 11 where you can donate either in cash, by check, or online.

Once you make the donation, you will have the opportunity to write your name (or someone else’s name whom you’re giving in honor of) on an ornament and put it on the Giving Tree.

If you can’t make it on Dec. 4th or Dec. 11th, you can give directly to Peter Paul for the gift cards by mailing a check to:
Peter Paul Development Center
Attn: Anne Hurt
1708 North 22nd Street
Richmond, VA 23223

Or by using the above QR Code.
If you have any questions, contact Blake at
The 2022 Christmas Mother is
our very own Terrell Luck Harrigan. 

Since 1935, The Richmond Christmas Mother Fund has raised money for those in need at the holidays. This year, the money will provide food and gifts for children and families through partnerships with The Salvation Army, the Community Foundation, Feed More and nearly 40 other organizations that address the needs of families in the greater Richmond area.

Each year, a Richmond area woman is given the honor (and responsibility) of being the Christmas Mother. This year the woman leading the charge is St. James's own Terrell Luck Harrigan.

Following in the footsteps of her mother, True Farr Luck, who served as Christmas Mother in 2006, and other St. James’s Doers who’ve also been Christmas Mothers, Terrell’s focus this year is on the mental health needs of children.  

As she said in the November 13th Richmond Times-Dispatch article that announced her appointment, “Children’s mental health has always been a big concern for me,” she said, “but COVID really ripped the Band-Aid off, and I think it’s at a crisis level now. I wanted to figure out what I could do to help our community become more aware.”

You can read more about Terrell in the Richmond Times Dispatch's Christmas Mother article.

You can make a donation to The Richmond Christmas Mother Fund by going here.
Contributions may be sent by mail to Richmond Christmas Mother Fund, P.O. Box 25864, Richmond, VA 23260. Checks should be made payable to Richmond Christmas Mother Fund.

And like us, congratulate Terrell the next time you see her. 
John & Cynthia McCard's Christmas Open House
RSVP by this Wednesday, December 7

This is always a warm and lovely way to kick off the Christmas season, and one of the highlights of the holidays. As Santa might say, the more the merrier.

When: Sunday, Dec, 11 from 5--8 pm.
Where: The McCards, 1104 West Ave.
RSVP here by December 7th, so we know how much food to prepare. 
St. James's Christmas Pageant
One of the great traditions here
at St. James’s.

The Christmas Pageant is fast approaching on December 18th! Do you have a child or youth that would like to participate? We're particularly in need of narrators, an innkeeper and stable hands.

All children should sign up using  this form by December 16. Interested youth should contact Katie Ricard at

This is one of the great traditions here at St. James’s. We encourage everyone to be a part of it.
Christmas Poinsettias

It’s time to order your poinsettias!
The Flower Guild welcomes memorial gifts of poinsettias during the Christmas season.

They will be delivered to home-bound parishioners after Christmas.

The deadline is this coming Friday, December 9. You may email your memorials to Veni Davidkova, Parish Administrator at or call 804- 355-1779, ext. 315.

* Amount per poinsettia: $25
* How to pay: by check -- payable to St. James’s Episcopal Church
(be sure to mark memo -- Poinsettia)
* Include a note with your name and the name of honoree(s)
* Mail to St. James’s Episcopal Church, 1205 W. Franklin St., Richmond, VA 23220.
The Service of Hope.
Because grief knows no season
While Advent and Christmas are times of joy, they can be a challenging time too, especially if you’re dealing with the loss of a loved one or loneliness or grief of any sort. Solemn, candle-lit, prayerful, and moving, our Service of Hope is a time to slow down, feel supported and loved, and reconnect with our God and others feeling grief. 

Part of this service includes the reading of the names of those being remembered, whether they have passed away or need to be remembered for another reason.
If you have a name or names you wish to submit, please send them to Mary Brown at by December 14th. 
Our Service of Hope will be Monday, December 19th at 7 pm in the Sanctuary. It will not be live-streamed.
Upcoming Music Events
Organ Recitals
December 9 and December 10

We are having two organ recitals in December -- Friday, December 9 at 7 pm and Saturday, December 10 at 2 pm.

Here are five reasons why you don’t want to miss these recitals:
1. The two programs will include all the major organ works by the French composer César Franck, considered to be among the greatest composers of music for organ.

2. Scott Dettra, former organist at Washington National Cathedral, is a brilliant organist and an expert interpreter of the music of Franck.

3. You will hear CB Fisk Opus 112 in all its glory! St. James’s is blessed to have one of the finest pipe organs in the country.

4. Franck played an organ built by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. Our CB Fisk organ was modeled on organs by Cavaillé-Coll, so we will hear a very authentic rendition of this remarkable music.

5. This a perfect opportunity to invite your friends to St. James’s. Our beautiful church, filled with profoundly beautiful music and friendly music-lovers, will bring them back.
More News
Dec 11th Adult Forum
St. James Racial History Project:
The Power of Our History
The Becoming Beloved Community History Team, made up of long-time parishioners Andy Bennett and Mary Lou Lee, and chaired by parishioner, Alice Tousignant, will review St. James History from 1835 to 1900, summaries of which were originally presented in 2021. Reports can be found here under the headline "See what we've uncovered about St. James's.
Anne Hayes of St. Paul’s, who will be interviewed by Jane Dowrick, a member of the History Team, will summarize findings she researched and wrote about of St. James’s history from 1900 to 1960. 

Anne has been a member of St. Paul's for 11 years and currently serves on the vestry. In 2016, the church embarked on its History and Reconciliation Initiative (HRI) which included researching and writing about the 175-year-old church's racial history -- a project which took about 4 years to complete. 

Anne, a former lawyer, helped with the research that Dr. Christopher Graham used in the book he wrote titled Faith, Race, and the Lost Cause: Confessions of a Southern Church, which will be published soon by the University of Virginia Press. 
Young Family Social
Saturday, December 10

The next Young Family Social will be at St. James’s, in Valentine Hall. Children and youth can make gingerbread nativities and enjoy a Christmas movie. St. James’s will provide snacks, water, and lemonade. Please feel free to bring a favorite beverage to enjoy! 

If you have ANY children living at home, these socials are for you!
St James's Children's Center
2022 Christmas Cross

The SJCC cross is a wonderful St. James's Christmas tradition and created with love.

This year's cross features a clear acrylic cross atop a fluted edge bisque disc. Violet and Gold ribbons bring the piece together. St. James's clergy were donning The Children Center crosses last Sunday, which is a great way to enjoy your Christmas cross. Or you can hang it on your tree.

This year's crosses are available for a donation of $30 each. Many of the Children Center children struggle with food stability, so the meals they receive at the Children's Center are important. This donation will cover the cost of one week's breakfast, lunch and daily snacks for one of our children.
You can order by scanning the QR code

or visit the SJCC website:
If you order 10 or more, delivery is free.

Thank you and may your holidays be full of joy, laughter and love.
Don’t miss out on two amazing Winter events! 

It's time to register for two beloved youth events: the MLK Service Lock-In and Snowfest! 

Youth in grades 9-12 may attend the MLK Service Lock-In on January 15-16 at St. James’s. The lock-in is a great opportunity to earn community service hours, while also engaging in reflection on Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy and helping one’s community. To register, click here

Youth in grades 6-12 may attend Snowfest on February 3-5 at Shrine Mont. At Snowfest, we ski, snowboard, or tube, while also engaging in fellowship, fun, and some formation! For more information and to register, click here

Don’t miss out on either of these two amazing events!
Some Thoughts on Parking.

As we enter a particularly busy time of the year, we want to be clear about parking at St. James's. The surface lot (the one next to Michaux House that we share with Beth Ahabah) is designed for people with mobility issues.

If you don't have mobility issues, we prefer that you park in the garage across the street. Thank you for your cooperation in this area. 

Here are the names of those we're remembering in our prayers this week.

We do our best to keep this list current, but if you want your name added or removed, please email Mary Brown or call her at 804-355-1779, ext. 313.
For Diocese of Virginia news and information, visit:

You can always find the eChimes at