logoSt James on the Lake
Episcopal Church

OUR CHURCH 

St. James on the Lake Episcopal Church is a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion, the 3rd largest Christian body in the world. We are a parish bonded by God’s love, with a passion for the gospel of Jesus and a heart for all people. We’re passionate about sharing the love of Christ received with all who walk through our doors and those outside our doors, who may be hurting, lonely, forgotten or searching. Our enthusiasm for serving God is seen in our many ministries that touch lives throughout our community and the prison system with God’s love.

Our faith is sustained and inspired by the assurance that as sinners saved by grace, we’re both participants and heirs of God’s Kingdom, called by God to proclaim and share his love! Ever mindful of God’s presence and help at all times and places, we’re energized and empowered by the Holy Spirit’s movement, flowing from our deep fervor for worship, prayer, Christian formation and a deep and abiding love of being with and for one another. 

St. James is a faithful, orthodox Episcopal parish that welcomes and serves everyone in Jesus’ name. We strive to live out our faith through gifts and talents with which God has graced us. We invite you to come see what God is doing among us, and be a part of it! Sunday worship is 9 AM, followed by refreshments and Christian formation opportunities in the parish hall.

 

WE ARE A CHURCH THAT PRAYS

 

WEEKLY SCHEDULE

Sunday Services           Holy Communion 9:00 a.m.,

followed by Snacks, Fellowship and Bible Study

                             (Healing Prayers at altar from 8:30-8:45 a.m.)

Daughters of the King           4:30 PM 2nd Sunday

Praise & Worship Service     6 PM 2nd Sunday

Women’s Bible Study            6:30 PM 2nd & 4th Monday

Men’s Reunion Group           7 AM Tuesday

Women’s Reunion Group     9:30 AM 2nd & 4th Tuesday

Prayers & Meditations           4 PM Tuesday

Vestry Meetings                    6 PM 2nd Tuesday

Noon Healing Eucharist        Noon Wednesday (Starts September 2017)

Evening Prayer & Meal         6 PM 4th Wednesday

Men’s Bible Study                 6 PM Thursday

Hungry Bunch Dinners         6 PM Friday (except 3rd Friday)

Movie Night                           6 PM Friday (3rd Friday)

               

 

Fr. Melton will begin teaching an Inquirer’s Series on Sunday, September 17 at 6 PM. These classes provide an overview of the history, teachings and spirituality of the Episcopal Church, as well as attempt to answer all the questions presented by the Inquirers themselves.  Participants will learn what it is that Episcopalians believe and be prepared to make an informed choice as to whether they desire to be confirmed in the church.  It also provides an opportunity for those just want to refresh their knowledge  about the Church’s Faith traditions and sacramental worship and/or desire to renew one’s Baptismal vows.

LITURGY

Episcopalians come from the Church of England, which was founded in the 1530s during the reign of Henry VIII, but our Anglican roots go back much farther to the ancient Celtic Church in Britain that was fully formed by at least the 2nd century. While the English Reformation is different from the Continental Reformation of most protestants, it can be more accurately defined as Reformed Catholicism. Episcopalians have bishops, priests and deacons in the apostolic succession which can be traced back to the time of the earliest Church. We also observe a liturgical Church calendar and celebrate the 7 traditional sacraments.

The first Bible printed in the vernacular of the people was the Wycliffe Bible in 1382, translated into Middle English through the efforts of John Wycliffe. Later in 1611, the Church of England produced the King James Bible which was translated into a more modern version of English. The KJV has been the bible of choice for over 400 years for many Christians around the world due to the sacred beauty of the language of that era.

Between 1549 the Church of England produced the first worship services in the language of the people with the magnificent Book of Common Prayer, recognized across many denominations as a rich liturgical resource. Archbishop Thomas Cranmer is credited with this great book. Our prayer tradition and celebrations are based on those taught by Jesus, as recorded in the Bible, and draw or many of the traditions of the early Church.

Each church in the Anglican Communion has its own adaptation of the Book of Common Prayer. The first Prayer Book for the American Episcopal Church was approved in 1789. The 1979 revision of the Prayer Book is currently being used. The Book of Common Prayer is essential to the character of the Episcopal Church because its use holds together congregations with very different styles of worship and emphasis within the broader traditions of Christian belief and practice.

Our services are meant to worship God. The main worship service is called the Holy Eucharist, meaning the Great Thanksgiving, which is  divided into two distinct parts. The first part of the service, the Liturgy of the Word, is very similar to the format of the Jewish synagogue worship and includes prayers, scriptural readings, sermon, creeds, prayers and confession. The second part of the service, the Liturgy of the Altar,  is the time when we celebrate Holy Communion, or the Lord's Supper. The passing of the peace of the Lord connects the two parts. All baptized persons who believe that Jesus is present in the consecrated bread and wine are invited and encouraged to receive Communion in the Episcopal Church. If you do not wish to receive Holy Communion, please come to the altar, cross your arms across your chest, and the Celebrant will give you a blessing.


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HISTORY

St. James on the Lake was formed in the spring of 1971 under the leadership of Fr. Fred Thompson, who served the congregation for nearly 14 years.  The first services were held in the home of the Tuggle’s and later moved to the Langeloh’s where weekly services were held until 1975 when a small house was acquired and renovated.
In March of 1985, Fr. G. C. McElyea, who like Fr. Thompson, had retired from Our Merciful Savior in Kaufman, took over the leadership of the small congregation.  Fr. McElyea served until the spring of 1996 when Fr. Robert Ahlenius became the Priest in Charge.

In 1999 the congregation purchased land on CR 4022 near the entrance of the Cedar Creek Country Club and plans began for the construction of a new worship space.  The ground breaking service was held on June 17th of that year.  Prior to this time, and for the previous 28 years, the average Sunday attendance had never exceeded 20 people.  The average age of the congregation at that time was over 65 years of age.

Just over a dozen members committed to build a new building that would consist of worship space, an office and a parish hall with a kitchen.  The people pledged to support this effort and stepped out in faith believing that God was directing them to build and grow.  After an interim period when the congregation met at the local library, the first service in their new building was held on November 7, 1999 with 36 people in attendance.  The original nave would seat 50 people and adequate paved parking was made available.  The Episcopal Diocese of Dallas loaned the church $75,000 and the new church was dedicated on March 12, 2000 by Bishop Bruce McPherson.  Average Sunday attendance in 2000 was 34.

Fr. Jerry Morriss was the priest in 2003 when our original note was paid off, and a new building program was under way.  The size of the nave and the parish hall were doubled as seating was increased to 100.  Our average Sunday attendance at that time had grown to 45, but we felt strongly that we were still led to build and grow.  Our second building project was paid for and we purchased the land adjacent to our current property. It too is paid for. 

For the past several years the congregation has continued to grow.  We began looking at our future needs as we continue to follow God’s guidance to build and grow. In early 2010  we felt the time was right to move forward.  The Building Committee developed a plan, presented it to the Vestry, and the Vestry recommended that we begin our third building program in the very near future. 

New Construction

We had the official ground breaking on May 23, 2010, and began construction on a new sanctuary which is located on the property to the west of the current building. The construction was completed in late October 2010 and we held our first service in the new sanctuary on October 31, 2010. Remodeling of the old facility began in March of 2011 and was completed in early April of 2011.  The remodeling included a larger Parish hall, new kitchen, a nursery and  a childrens room, library, class rooms and an office. The current nave easily holds 150 people an our average Sunday attendance is 72.

 

 

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RECTOR

Fr. Randy Melton became Rector on July 1, 2017. Fr. Randy was a nursing home administrator prior to attending seminary at the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest in Austin. He brings 34 years of ordained experience to the parish. A 4th generation Texan born in Dallas, he served a number of parishes in the Dallas Diocese before leaving to serve in two other dioceses. He has served as rector in several parishes, as well as a school chaplain and a 4 year stint on the Bishop’s staff as Missioner for Mission & Program. He and his wife, Karen, have been married for almost 40 years and have three married sons, two grandchildren (and another due in October) and a beloved senior dog. Karen is a creative artist, loves to quilt, is gifted in many areas of church life and a practicing occupational therapist.

Fr. Randy enjoys writing poetry, reading spy novels, messing around with genealogy, and he plans to soon begin his newest undeveloped creative pursuit of taking up drawing and painting. He has some long term goals of possibly writing a couple of books on various topics including the Melton Menagerie Poetry Collection, pastoral and theological reflections, and a humorous fictional tale of a priest’s life in a small, rural church (names will be changed to protect the innocent). Fr. Randy has been known to do an Elvis impersonation from time to time. He finds it enjoyable to not take himself too seriously, and values humor and laughter very much. He is planning to take a group on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land next year! Holler at him if you’re interested!

 

Bishop Stanton & Fr Morriss

 

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THE VESTRY

 The Vestry is the legal governing and decision-making group in the church.  There are currently six elected vestry members at St. James; the congregation elects vestry members during the annual meeting in January each year.  Each year members are elected for a three-year rotating term.

The Rector chooses the Senior Warden from the Vestry.  He or she is the Rector’s close advisor and functions as the parish leader in the absence of the Rector. The Vestry elects a Junior Warden from its membership whose responsibility is maintaining the buildings and grounds.

The Vestry’s main responsibility is the fiduciary trust and policy making of the parish. They are also responsible for extending a call to a new rector, and then partnering with that priest as a leadership team for the spiritual well-being of the parish. The vestry approves the budget, makes policy decisions and makes funds available for the church’s ministry expenses. Each vestry member has an area of responsibility as liaison between various church ministries and the Vestry.  

The Rector is the ex-officio chairperson of the vestry and all other ministries and guilds of the parish. The spiritual responsibility belongs primarily to the Rector and the business responsibility primarily to the vestry, although there is some overlap in those areas, which are not mutually exclusive of one another.

 

2011 Vestry

Retiring with the Annual Meeting 2018
Tina Wage
Terry Dahlman

Paul Lasiter

Bill Shehee

Retiring with the Annual Meeting 2019
DeLois Bomberger
Phil McGlothlin Senior Warden

Marian Flowers, Secretary

Patsy Miller, Treasurer

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