Letter to the Parish in Response to the Orlando Tragedy


June 13, 2016

Dear St. James Family,

Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Boston,Charleston, San Bernardino, Orlando, unfortunately this is not a complete list of the violence done by us to us in this country, let alone around the world.  As we watch the events unfold in Orlando and we try to make sense of a person choosing to kill others because they are in some way different, we are left numb.  We are made up of so many beautiful differences, each of us unique unto ourselves and at the same time, sharing a common bond as members of the wonderful human race.  But unfortunately at times those differences cause rage, that bond is severed, and we are left with violence.  Where does it end?  Where do we find answers? How do we work towards, strive for the Kingdom of God?

I said to someone yesterday as the details of what happened were emerging in Orlando, that as we recall the list above and the many victims of these atrocities, as we think of all the violence and rage and hatred perpetrated over the last number of years, we need to be mindful that there is good in this world.  There is good in the human race, in each of us. We know this because we are made in the image of God.  What God makes is always good, unfortunately at times we use what God has made, we use ourselves to distort that image.  Many of us are familiar with Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, a man who lived through one of the worse atrocities in human history. A question he is often asked, usually by children is, how can you have faith in God after what you went through?  He answers, “There are all the reasons in the world for me to give up on God. I have the same reasons to give up on man, and on culture and on education. And yet … I don’t give up on humanity, I don’t give up on culture, I don’t give up . . .”

In all the violence we see happening around us we cannot give up.  There are many right now in Orlando and around the world, something  I noticed vividly while in Sandy Hook in 2012, working to help and support those enduring this tragedy first hand, and in turn helping all of us make it through another dark time in our nation.  Out of tragedy we always can find, we always can see the goodness of humanity, which shows us the goodness of God present with us in these tragedies.  The Kingdom of God is light in our world.  Sometimes that light seems faint, but it continuously burns, it continuously burns within each of us because it is part of us and it is through us that that light can burn brighter and stronger within this world, shedding the bright beam of hope, hope in God’s wonderful creation, humanity.

Let us mourn the victims of Sunday’s tragedy, let us shed our tears, let our hearts break, but let us quell our anger, our thoughts of revenge and let us not give up, let us continue the mission of bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to this world, a world in such desperate need of it.  Let us remember that the Kingdom of God is present within us and spreads through us.  Let us remember that we are good, God is good, God who never gave up on us and sent Jesus Christ to us.  Let us not give up and continue working for that day where God wipes away every tear from our eyes.  The only way violence and hatred can be conquered is by the goodness of God, a goodness found within each of us.

Please know all of you and those you love are in my prayers this day and everyday.

Yours in Christ,


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

Women on the Journey (Women’s Group)


The Women’s Group at St. James “Women on the Journey” meets the third Saturday of the month in the Parish Hall at St. James (120 Main Street, Amesbury).

Next Meeting Date:  June 18:  10:00-10:30 coffee; 10:30 – 12:30 program.

Our Guest Speaker in June is Julia Steer and we will be talking about “Deepening Our Faith in Our Every Day Lives.”

All women of faith are invited to attend.

The Collect for Women on the Journey

God, our creator and constant companion,

Who is our guide and mentor, pouring into our hearts Love, Trust and Compassion.

Guide us through centering thoughts and calmness of heart.

So that we may bring forth, Love, Compassion and Inspiration through our words and actions.   

In Jesus name we pray. Amen.



Relay for Life – 2016


It’s that time again! The Amesbury Relay for Life is being held at Landry Stadium on June 18, 2016 at 4pm. Please come out and support this important cause. Your can go the Relay For Life Amesbury website listed above and sign up for Bishop Tom’s Team or make a donation.  If donating, please be sure to click on to donate via Bishop Tom’s Team. Thank you for your support!

Here is the Link to the main Relay for Life website: Relay for Life – 2016   Be sure to register or donate through the Bishop Tom’s Team.

Chip Dawe – Team Captain

Parish Announcements


Welcome to the St. James Parish Announcement.  Please click on the week’s Parish Announcement you would like to view.  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:

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!

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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