Weekly e-Epistle
St. James' Mill Creek
Wilmington, Delaware
November 22nd 2020

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We would be pleased if you joined us in person or online from the comfort of your home for church services via Facebook Live at 9:30am.

Here is a PDF of this Sunday's bulletin for you to enjoy.
A note from our Interim Rector

As the holidays approach my thoughts immediately turn to family and tradition. I look forward to the familiar gatherings that soothe my soul and give me the assurance that all is well in my world. The thought of Thanksgiving with children, grandchildren and siblings around the table, turkey with all the trimmings, and afternoon football, gladdens my heart. Christmas in my family is the time to gather with the extended family as well. Last year we had over thirty for dinner! As the now patriarch of that wonderful clan, I look around with a smile and think to myself; well done good and faithful servant. How swiftly the years go by!

Despite the dangerous situation we find ourselves in this year with the virus, the temptation is strong – very strong – to disregard the risk, and continue our comforting traditions. We haven’t seen some of our loved ones in many months, maybe even since last year. I convince myself that those I want to gather with are smart and keeping themselves safe so there really is little risk, so why not. I have an amazing ability to rationalize and therefore justify exactly what I so desperately want to do. We can get tested before we gather, we can all wear masks and keep our distance, we can avoid hugging, wash our hands frequently etc. Sound familiar, or is it just me?

Hear me and know how much this hurts to say: It is NOT worth the risk! We cannot do as we’ve always done and hope for the best. The risk is simply too great! I can’t fathom the pain of knowing that a loved one inadvertently brought the virus to our gathering with fatal consequences. So stay home and stay safe, gather virtually and lament to need to do so, do everything necessary this year so we can all be present next year!
May God bless you, Kim   

Safety reminders

With the dramatic increase in cases of the virus we all need to stay vigilant in our efforts to stay healthy and to keep everyone around us healthy, so remember:

  • Wear an approved mask whenever you are in public
  • When you attend our church services follow our guidelines to the letter
  • If you feel sick or have been exposed to someone who tested positive stay home!
  • If, after attending worship, you find that you have been exposed or test positive, you MUST let us know immediately
  • If you enter our parish hall for any reason you must sanitized your touch points
  • We have completely segregated the portion of our parish hall used by the pre-school therefore the first floor bathrooms are not to be used by us
  • Please remember that any gathering in our parish hall requires prior permission

Hello my name is Bruce Vrana. I’m currently Jr. Warden on the Vestry, handling tech on Sundays, usually an usher, and I realized yesterday that I would have normally been one of the dishwashers last Saturday at our pandemic-postponed turkey dinner.

Stewardship is a very important and very personal subject. So it’s a little uncomfortable for me, and I suspect for Val and Steve, to talk about it. I hope that one or more of the different perspectives that you hear today will help you think through your commitment to St. James’. The fact of the matter is that we need your commitment to our church.

In my mind, the reason we are able to gather here today, whether physically present in this beautiful facility with its long history, watching live on Facebook (thanks to a generous grant from the Barnabas fund of the Diocese), or even time-shifting and watching later, we can worship together due to the generosity of generations of Christians who have preceded us. Without their commitment of time, talent and treasure, and their faith in God, we would not be here worshipping together. And wouldn’t that be a shame? I feel blessed, and we probably all do, to be entrusted, along with all of you, for a time with this special place, with this community. What an incredible opportunity we all have. So I give as generously as I can of my time and yes, money, so that the church can fulfill its mission in the community now and into the future. It’s not always easy, but “God loves a cheerful giver.” I want future generations to feel equally blessed to be able to worship at St. James’ as it approaches its 350th or 400th anniversary. I want those future generations to be thankful for what we did in our time to promote God’s message.

God has given to us so abundantly. We have all been given talents, like in the Gospel today. We should feel blessed to return to the Lord a portion of what he has given us, so that St. James’ can continue to promote the good news to us and the community. Sacrificing part of our income – and it is a sacrifice – helps us remember the needs of others.

People sometimes say “give till it hurts”. I say “give till it feels good”.

Let me close with a prayer that I have on a bookmark that really resonates with me. It is a translation of a prayer of St. Teresa of Avila. Born in Spain in 1515, she entered a convent at age 18 and later founded her own convent.

Christ has no body now, but yours. No hands but yours. No feet but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion must look out on the world.
Yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good.
Yours are the hands with which He is to bless us now.
From Bruce Vrana

St. James Stewardship Discussion
November 15, 2020

Mary, Ian and I came to St. James in the Autumn of 1999 having relocated from Bucks County, PA. The reason for the move was I had accepted a job to become the head of the Analytical Sciences Division at the Hercules Research Center. Mary and I had become Episcopalians when we were married in 1993. She had been raised Roman Catholic and I had been raised in the United Church of Christ. Due to my job changes we were now looking for our third church.

We had attended several other episcopal churches in the area before we visited St. James. We arrived for the 10:15 service being preached by Rev Mark Harris. Ten minutes into the service Mark stopped and said sorry I started the wrong service, let’s begin again. He and the whole congregation cracked up. Mary and I looked at each other and said we had found our church. St James with its’ friendly, caring and giving congregation has been our church ever since!

Usually when I address the Parish, I am wearing my Parish Treasurers hat and more often than not I am sharing bad news.  Today I would like to spend a few minutes on another topic and talk about Stewardship. In preparing these remarks, I learned the Episcopal Church defines stewardship as, “ What I do with all that I have after I say, I believe. Using the gifts God has given us to do the work God is calling us.”

Stewardship is lived out in:
·       Living and telling the good news
·       Sharing God in seeking justice and peace
·       Wisely employing God-given human resources, abilities and relationships
·       Sharing the material resources we hold and giving them in service, justice and compassion
·       Providing for future generations, sharing in the life, worship and responsible stewardship of Saint James and its mission.
Stewardship is the management of what God has given us. We usually think of Stewardship as the three T’s (Talent, Treasure and Time).
I know I speak for not only myself, when I say the time and talent part of Stewardship has been the easy part. The financial part of Stewardship has not. Matthew 6:21 says, “For where your treasure is, there also will be your heart.”
There are many reasons to pledge including;
·       It is an important part of our faith journey
·       It is a promise to our faith community
·       It is active witness
·       It helps the Vestry develop a more accurate plan for the church year
·       A strong financial infrastructure is the vessel that allows the ministries and spiritual activities at Saint James to thrive.
We all must decide what portion of our annual income we give to God each year though our church. In addition to maintaining and expanding the mission and ministry of the church where we worship and are cared for, a portion of this giving also goes to fund the mission and ministry of the diocese.

As we worship this Sunday, Saint James is searching for a new Rector in the middle of the COVID pandemic. It is certainly the most stressful period I have experienced as a parishioner. So I ask that you please give prayerful consideration to your pledge this year as Saint James enters a critical time in its +300 year journey.


To our fellow Parishioners,

We are grateful for those of you who have already taken the time to fill out your Congregational Assessment Tool and help us determine what St James will need as we move forward as a worship community. For those of you who have NOT filled out the survey, please do so ASAP. The deadline of November 23 is less than a week away! We want your thoughts to be represented. Please contact the office if you did not receive a link to the survey in your email OR a copy by mail.

OR here is the link and information again for your convenience….

IMPORTANT: It is vital that you READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS prior to starting the Survey
Your CAT link is ready her e https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SJMECWDE

An update on the responses to date: 20 responses in week one and 11 in week two – WE CAN DO BETTER THAN THIS! Please don’t wait until the last minute. If you know of a St James member who has NOT completed their survey, please encourage them to do so.
Additionally we want to thank the Vestry and Father Kim for their support of the committee and its work. We are delighted that the Vestry has agreed to hire a full-time Rector for St James. It is an exciting time to be a Parishioner. Remember - Your input is critical.
We look forward to “hearing” from you.

Carolyn Joynt                    Jenny Vrana
(302) 438-3224                  (302) 239-1255

A Prayer for the Last Sunday after Pentecost, Christ the King

Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Find more Morning Psalm and prayers please visit

A note from your Wardens about attending church in person
  • Your safety is our top priority.
  • No one should feel obligated to attend church in person. If you are not comfortable being around others, it is okay to stay at home.
  • On-line services will continue to be available through Facebook Live.

For those who do wish to attend church, please click on the button below to read more of the guidelines and safety protocols for the Return to In-Person Services. We look forward to seeing you. 
Join us for ZOOM Coffee Hour

You are invited to a virtual coffee hour following worship at St. James’ Mill Creek, beginning approximately 15 minutes after service concludes. So after service is over, grab a beverage or snack and connect to your church family. All are welcome.

For those who have not used Zoom previously, this page has a video and instructions on how to join a Zoom meeting from various devices (PC, Mac, iOS device, Android, regular telephone with a toll call, etc.): https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-How-Do-I-Join-A-Meeting- . You do not need to sign up for a Zoom account to attend.

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Message from Christiana Hospital

If you have a loved one in the hospital at the moment Christiana Hospital is asking for you to refrain from personal visits. Only phone calls or cards are permitted. There is more information on their website.
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St. James' Mill Creek
2106 St. James Church Road
Wilmington, DE 19808