Saint James Church Lake Delaware is a small but mighty community of Christians responding to the Gospel imperative in the fullness of the Anglican/Episcopal tradition.

Worship
For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to bring to light the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of [Jesus] Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6

We at Saint James Church Lake Delaware recognize that God has held nothing of his generosity, goodness and glory back in the creation of the world. Even while broken, ours is a world of extraordinary beauty, rich in form and full of wonder, and it gives visible expression to the invisible grandeur of God. Christian worship, then, must not be truncated, casual and bare. Our commitment to historically accurate, beautiful, Spirit-filled and uplifting worship, of which the celebration of the Sunday Eucharist is central, is a commitment to offer to God some of the glory that is his due and to remain true to the full import of the Christian revelation, that of the Incarnation of God and so the invitation into communion with him in our bodies. This commitment has made Saint James the most liturgically significant church in our area. You will find that our services engage the full human person – bodily senses, emotions, intellect and spirit – through the use of sounds, smells, color, beautiful music, physical movements, bread and wine, the hearing of scripture, thought-provoking sermons, and moments of silent prayerfulness. Though we realize that the richness of our ceremonial is sometimes challenging to enter, especially when coming from non-liturgical church traditions, the services at Saint James bear you into a living stream of practice which dates back to the earliest Church. Rather than being a mere reenactment of the Last Supper as some kind of dead memorial to a past event, the actions, order and spirit of the Eucharistic liturgy are the living image of the eternal in time, making Christ and the promises fulfilled in him present in the here and now. We think that you will come to agree with us that, once inhabited, little else will satisfy the basic human need to offer authentic worship and praise and to be united with God. All are welcome to attend our services, and all baptized Christians are welcome to receive communion here.

Saint James also offers a full range of Christian sacraments, rites of initiation and formational programs including Baptism, Confirmation, Reconciliation (Confession), Marriage, Anointing, burials & requiems, visitation, spiritual direction, adult and youth education, spiritual formation, overnight and day-long retreats, and strong preaching.

History

To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter. 2 Thessalonians 2:14-15

Comprising as it does the gathered faithful in Eucharistic worship, the Church is a household not made by hands. Our buildings and grounds, however, certainly help to facilitate an attitude of veneration and connect us to the ancient legacy of Christian expression, art and practice. Often described by visitors as “peaceful” and “awe-inspiring”, our buildings were designed by the celebrated Ralph Adams Cram and are a local treasure. Our main altar is adorned by a carving of the Lamb of God by the Italian artist Pelegrini, and is flanked by a breath-taking polychrome wood carving representing the Incarnation and the Epiphany. Below it, in gold lettering, is carved the text from the Nicene Creed “He was Incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary and was made man.”

Our side chapel, richly decorated with blue and gold banding, bears a 13th century Florentine painting of the Enthronement of Mary rendered on wood covered in plaster. High above the nave a niche in the wall houses a 15th century German statue of Saint James the Great, our main patronal saint. Saint James was one of the three favored disciples of Jesus, along with Peter and John, and was present at his Transfiguration on Mount Tabor. James was the first of the Apostles to be martyred as described in Acts 12:2. A statue of our other patron, the brilliant and saintly Queen Margaret of Scotland (d. 1093), is featured above the main altar.

Community

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as you teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16

Saint James Church is an intimate community of faithful Christians who come from all walks and stations of life. Some of us have lived in Delaware County our whole lives, while others have moved here from elsewhere, while still others visit as time allows. We serve as a connection between part-time and full time residents, and are committed to living and working together in Christian love despite the natural differences we might have. We are encouraged by new leadership and a revitalized commitment to reach out into our community to share the burdens that beset us, to help find common solutions to the challenges of our place and time, and in general to bear witness to the astounding gift of God’s love in Jesus Christ which has and continues to touch our hearts and transform our lives.

Governance

So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,  in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord;  in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22

The Episcopal Church is the American branch of the Anglican Communion, a worldwide association of churches which look to the Archbishop of Canterbury as a spiritual figurehead. Anglicanism is heir to the English Reformation, initiated under King Henry VIII in the early 16th century but not coming into its own until the Elizabethan Settlement over 20 years later. Anglicanism rejects the supremacy of one bishop (i.e. the Bishop of Rome, the Pope) over the worldwide church, understanding that the historical church always governed itself through synods and councils. It has managed, though not without controversy, to steer clear of the more radical tenets of the wider Protestant Reformation, seeking rather to remain true to the fullness of the historic catholic faith but without the abuses of the Medieval Roman church. As such it pursues a via media, or middle way, between Roman Catholicism and other Protestant bodies. Saint James Church is heir to the Oxford Movement of the nineteenth century, an effort within Anglicanism which aimed to further restore a fully catholic (meaning “complete” or “full”) understanding of the church according to its ancient principles.

The Episcopal Church is governed by the oversight and direction of a Presiding Bishop who chairs the national synod of Bishops, each in turn overseeing his own diocese. The Episcopal Diocese of Albany is our local diocese. We maintain the historic ordained orders of Bishop, Priest (Presbyter) and Deacon, and each parish is run by the twofold leadership of a priest and a parish council or vestry. Anglicanism is present on every continent, and is especially strong in North America, Africa, Australia, and Southeast Asia. We hold to one canon of scripture in two testaments, three creeds (Nicene, Apostle’s, Creed of St. Athanasius), and the pronouncements of the seven truly Ecumenical Councils of the early Church. When one becomes a member of an Anglican church one enters a worldwide communion of churches, each with their own personalities and local cultural flavors while yet sharing deep roots piercing far into the Christian past.

We invite you to contact us if you would like to tour our buildings, to explore spiritual questions or struggles you might have, to inquire about the use of our lovely Parish Hall for your event or program, to request a visit, or simply to say “hello”. Please know that you are welcome at Saint James Church Lake Delaware.