Election Day Prayers and Message from our Bishops


Election Day Prayers

The Episcopal Bishops in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have called all of our parishes to “a vigil period of intense prayer” as we elect our next President and representatives (please see announcement on the back of the announcements).  In answering this call, St. James will hold a service of  Morning Prayer at the Church at 8AM and Evening Prayer at 7PM with hymns on November 8th.  There are also many other opportunities to attend services from 11/6-11/8 at our sister parishes.  Times and services can be found on the Massachusetts Diocese webpage www.diomass.org.  Please pray for all the candidates, our people and our nation as we approach Election Day and come to the polls on November 8th to vote as our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has called us all to do.

A Message from our Bishops

As our nation approaches its Election Day on Nov. 8, we have a deep yearning for the Holy Spirit to be present in our national life.  Individually, we express this yearning in a variety of ways according to personal conscience.  Collectively, we are called to express this yearning through prayer.

We must pray that God be at work in our electoral process.  We must pray for a peaceful transition, no matter the outcome of our elections.  We must pray that the demonization of one another’s opponents which has characterized this election not be further stoked by its outcome.  We must pray that all those elected on that day be moved, strengthened and guided by the Spirit, to lead us through fractious and dangerous times.  We must pray in gratitude for those who, with sacrifice of self and noble intent, step up to lead our common life.

We the Episcopal bishops in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts call for a vigil period of intense prayer from noon on All Saints Sunday, Nov. 6 through noon on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8. The particulars of such prayer in our congregations will vary according to local parish traditions and planning.  For some it may be as simple as concluding the Sunday prayers with an extended Litany for the Nation, or holding a special form of Morning Prayer on Nov. 8.  Others may wish to hold extended vigils, with prayer in shifts offering continuous intercession.

Almighty God, to whom we must account for all our powers and privileges:  Guide the people of this land in the election of officials and representatives, that, by faithful administration and wise laws, the rights of all may be protected and our nation be enabled to fulfill your purposes; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. [Book of Common Prayer, p. 822]

The Rt. Rev. Alan M. Gates, Bishop, Diocese of Massachusetts
The Rt. Rev. Gayle E. Harris, Bishop Suffragan, Diocese of Massachusetts
The Rt. Rev. Douglas J. Fisher, Bishop, Diocese of Western Massachusetts



Celebrating our Ministries



lay-ministriesOn Sunday, October 23rd following the 10am service, everyone is invited to the Parish Hall for our Ministry Fair.  Tables will be set up highlighting the wonderful ministries at St. James.   This will be an opportunity for everyone to learn, receive information and find out how to become a part of any of these wonderful ministries.


St. James Church Fair November 5th 9-3


This year’s Village of Church Fairs will be held on Saturday, November 5th from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.  There are five churches participating all within a pleasant walking distance.

Be sure to join us at St. James, 120 Main Street!  We have lots of wonderful raffle items, bake goods, jewelry, craft items, local photography and artistry, plenty of great items on our Trinkets & Treasures table and fresh baked cookies and  lunch is available all day.

We look forward to seeing you.

Christian Education Enrollment


Although the initial registration for Christian Education was held in September, it is never too late to register your child for our program.  If you are able, please click on the link to the Registration Form, complete it and bring it with you on the day your child will be first attending our program.  The Christian Education Program begins every Sunday at 9:45a.m.  Please come by 9:30 if it is your first time attending our program.  We look forward to seeing you.


Our Godly Play Christian Education program will begin on Sunday, September 18th at 9:45a.m.  Please complete the Registration Form and bring it with you on the 18th. Registration forms will also be available at the church on the 18th.  Click on the link below to access the Registration form:

Christian Education Enrollment Form 2016-2017

The goal of Christian Education is to provide our children with a Christian Foundation upon which to build their lives.  Each scheduled Sunday, your K thru 5th grade child will learn about the Christian Faith and participate in fun and educational activities.

Children go directly to their classrooms, younger ones escorted by parents.  Children K – 5 will join the congregation for Eucharist, then return to classrooms for feast and prayers.  Students are dismissed immediately following the end of service. There are no classes scheduled during major holidays and MA school vacations. All of our educators are certified in the Episcopal Church’s Safe Church training and Godly Play Core training.

Child Care

Child care is provided by a professionally trained staff to care for infants, toddlers and preschoolers from 9:45 a.m. until immediately following the end of service. Creative toys, Bible stories and snack are provided.  Parents are welcome to sign their children in and pick up a pager to take with them into worship services. The pager allows our caregivers the opportunity to summon parents, if necessary.

Kindergarten thru 2nd Grade

Godly Play, a Montessori-related approach to learning, uses Bible stories, parables, and liturgical lessons to nourish each child’s individual spiritual development.  The program consists of story-telling, wondering, and response time. Story-tellers use hand crafted props to illustrate the sacred stories and children may use them in their story response time.  You can learn more about Godly Play by accessing their website at http://www.godlyplay.org

Grades 3rd thru 5th

This class also uses the Godly Play core curriculum adding enhancements to meet the needs of older children who have developed a base of knowledge through the program, and can use more advanced reasoning skills and Christian language.

Sunday Worship Opportunities

Students entering 5th grade are a welcome addition to Sunday morning worship as readers, torch bearers, and acolytes.  Additional opportunities are the Altar Guild and Audio & Visual support mentor program.  Training is provided for all students who are interested.

Youth Group

For activities, our teens excel! From ‘Dinner & a Movie’ to traveling to the Barbara C. Harris Camp for a retreat or working to clean up the banks of the Merrimack River, this is the ‘go to’ group for the pulse of the parish! Environmentally aware, believers in God’s love and mercy for all, always ready to move with the needs of others and to help feed the hungry.

Grade 9 and up Rite of Confirmation

Now is the time to prepare for Confirmation in the Episcopal Church. This class prepares student through Episcopalian formation as they engage in their own faith journey using the text: My Faith, My Life – A Teen’s Guide to the Episcopal Church by Jennifer Gamber.  You can access the Leader Guide by clicking on this link:  myfaithmylife


Reflections from Fr. John



Reflections from Fr. John

Dear Parish Family,

It has been a very busy couple of months here at St. James.  Holy Week was full of different services and events as we walked the way of the cross with Our Lord.  Along with our traditional services and events, the week included some new offerings this year such as a youth interactive Stations of the Cross and a supper with Easter Egg Dyeing prior to our Maundy Thursday service.  We celebrated a wonderful Easter Vigil with the Lower Merrimack Collaborative of which I continue to hear only good things. The vestry had its retreat where we were able to look at, list and begin to figure out how to meet some of our long-term goals for our Church including, welcoming new members through our doors and becoming more present within the Amesbury community.

The new Women’s group, Women on the Journey, has begun and is off to a great start.  Our Youth have been very busy with outings and community service projects both in and outside the Church, such as renovating our Chapel and planning for Relay for Life.  We as a parish were blessed to host this year’s Diocesan Youth Council’s (DYC) Senior Send-Off and have the whole DYC participate at our 10am service on May 1st.  The new Young Adults Group has had its first couple of gatherings too sharing in fun and fellowship

We have also had two cleanup weekends and were able to make our Church shine as well as tackle some big projects like scraping and re-staining the back porch all in preparation for Pentecost and Bishop Harris’ joyous Visitation among us.  Together we celebrated the coming of the Holy Ghost, Confirmation, Reception and Reaffirmation and the Bishop blessed many wonderful additions to our parish, including a new Altar in our Chapel.  It was a busy and exciting spring with our doors open to many wonderful events.

Summer comes at just the right time, a time to rest and recharge as we move from the business of spring in both our religious and secular lives to hopefully a relaxing July and August.  Please remember, our Church is always open during the summer and we will celebrate Holy Eucharist every Sunday at 8am and 10am with lemonade on the front steps after the 10am Liturgy.  I hope to see many of you each Sunday as the summer progresses.

We have already begun planning for an exciting fall.   We are looking forward to another great year where our doors are open inviting our community to find God in our midst through spiritual renewal and refreshment, engaging programs, education and events for all ages, in a place where Jesus Christ is worshipped and celebrated and where all are always welcome.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. John Signature - Use this signature

For a printable copy click on the link below:

Reflections from Fr. John June, 2016

Weekly Parish Announcements


Each week we publish Parish Announcements for upcoming events happening at St. James and within the community.  To view our annoucements, please click on the link, as appropriate.  This will open a PDF file which you will be able to print and/or save onto your computer if you wish.

Parish Announcements 2016

Week of:

October 23, 2016

October 16, 2016

October 9, 2016

October 2, 2016

September 25, 2016

September 18, 2016

September 11, 2016

September 4, 2016

August 28, 2016

August 21, 2016

August 14, 2016

July 24, 2016

July 17, 2016

July 10, 2016

July 3, 2016

June 26, 2016

June 19, 2016

June 12, 2016

June 5, 2016

May 29, 2016

May 22, 2016

May 15, 2016

May 8, 2016

May 1, 2016

April 24, 2016

April 17, 2016

April 10, 2016

April 3, 2016

March 20, 2016 Easter Day – no Parish Announcements

March 13, 2016

March 6, 2016

February 28, 2016

February 21, 2016

February 14, 2016

February 7, 2016

January 31, 2016

January 24, 2016

January 17, 2016

January 10, 2016

January 3, 2016





St. James Newsletters



st. james church - summer

We hope you enjoy reading our Happenings Newsletter and see the events and updates of some of which we are involved.  Please come to one of our services or events to check us out.  We invite and welcome everyone to our parish!

If you would like to receive our monthly newsletter directly to your e-mail account each month, click on the link “Sign me up!” below to sign up!


Please click on the link below to view the newsletter of your choice in PDF format.


2016 Happenings

June-July Happenings, 2016

May 2016 Happenings

April 2016 – No newletter

March 2016 Happenings

February 2016 Happenings

January 2016 Happenings

2015 Happenings

December 2015 Happenings