Christian pastoral care is that activity within the ministry of the church which is centrally concerned with promoting the well-being of individuals and of communities. The ultimate aim of pastoral care is that of ministry as a whole, that is, to increase love between people and between people and God. Its specific functions are healing, sustaining, reconciling, guiding and nurturing. (The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Modern Christian Thought, eISBN: 9780631198963, Print publication date: 2005, Edited by: Alister E. McGrath.)
Administration of the Sacraments
As you move through life, the church is here for services and sacraments that acknowledge and celebrate these transitions.
Baptisms are usually scheduled at the nine or eleven o'clock Sunday services, so that the parish may come to know and affirm their support to the candidate and family. Contact the church office or clergy regarding your decision to be, or have your child, baptized.
Holy Eucharist is celebrated at all Sunday services and at noon on Wednesdays. If you, or someone you know, is in need of a Eucharistic visit because of infirmity, please contact the church office. The priests at St. James make daily pastoral visits to area hospitals as they are informed of need (i.e., the hospitals will not release names of patients or church affiliation, and should not be depended upon to make a requested call). Please contact the office promptly to advise of a pending hospitalization, or as soon as you or a parishioner has been admitted to a hospital: 225-387-5141.
Eucharistic Visitors are lay members of the parish who have been trained and licensed to carry the Sunday sacrament to those who are unable to attend at church. These visitors will come immediately following the service, bringing the shared Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ to members of our community who are homebound. Please contact the church office if you or a family member needs to receive this care.
Confirmation classes are offered for young people at least yearly, and for adults as the need and scheduled Bishop's visits, arise. For young people, please contact The Rev. Alina Williams for information on the confirmation series; adults should speak with the rector about getting on the next class schedule.
Reconciliation offers resolution and healing for one who is unusually burdened. The pronouncement of God's forgiveness in the presence of a priest can be an important step in the process of healing. Please contact one of the clergy to discuss your desire to participate in this sacrament.
Weddings are appropriately celebrated in the church. Your date should be reserved as soon as possible; contact the rector to discuss your plans. The St. James Wedding Guild assists the couple in preparing for the wedding, attending the rehearsal and coordinating the ceremony. The expectations and guides for your wedding can be found in the St. James Wedding Customary.
Unction, or the Ministration to the Sick is the administration of prayers and anointing with oil as means of asking God's grace upon one suffering in body, mind or spirit. The Wednesday noon service of Holy Eucharist includes the Ministration to the Sick. In case of illness or injury, the church office or clergy should be notified. Please contact the office promptly to advise of a pending hospitalization, or as soon as you or a parishioner has been admitted to a hospital: 225-387-5141.
Ordination is the setting apart those with different ministries within the Church. All the baptized are called to minister to God's people, but three orders of ordained ministry are recognized in the Episcopal Church: deacons, priests, and bishops. If you are discerning a call to the ordained ministry, please contact the rector to begin discussion.
Please contact the office, or complete a Prayer Request card in the pew and place in the offering plate to place a name on the prayer request. (Please have the permission of others before placing their names on the list.) The list is prayed daily, the current list by name at the Sunday services, and the long-term request list is published in the Sunday leaflets for parishioners' personal prayer disciplines. Unless requested otherwise, your request should be updated if the need continues for more than 30 days.
Altar Flower Delivery Guild
Parishioner volunteers, on Mondays, deliver the flowers from the altar to shut-ins, those ill or injured, or others in need of an uplifting remembrance from their parish family. If you would be interested in being part of this ministry, please contact Kelly Williams at the church office.
Nursing Home Ministry
St. James clergy and parishioners lead and assist in regular services at four area nursing homes: Ollie Steele Burden Manor, the St. Clare Manor, the Williamsburg community, and at St. James Place. The Eucharist is celebrated with the residents so they can worship in their communities on a regular basis. If you would like to be part of one of these teams of worship helpers, please contact Kelly Williams at the church office.
St. Martha's Guild
Mary Sentell chairs this group of volunteers who will assist in planning and hosting of a period of funeral visitation in the Parish Hall parlor, relieving the bereaved of this additional chore. A rotating monthly contact will begin setting the wheels in motion; let Sylvia Rabalais in the church office know there will be a visitation held at St. James.