Time to Ignite!

I always get excited when Ignite rolls around!  I think it’s two-fold.  The process of crafting the song list gets me energized.  Then I sit back and envision our church body coming together for the sole purpose of lifting God high through song and I can’t help but think how right this is.

Have you ever heard the traditional Methodist liturgy for the Celebration of Communion?  There’s a section called the Great Thanksgiving and it reads like this:

The Lord be with you. (Leader)
And also with you. (People)

Lift up your hearts. (Leader)
We lift them up to the Lord. (People)

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. (Leader)
     It is right to give our thanks and praise. (People)

It is right to give our thanks and praise! Let those words hover over your heart for just a moment. It is right to give our thanks and praise. For all He has done in saving us from our sin. For all He has done in freeing us from the bondage life dishes us. For all He has done to display His love for us. For these reasons and many others, He is good and worthy of our worship.

If you’ve never attended Ignite, I encourage you to join us this time. If you’re just now exploring what it means to open yourself in worship to the Lord, come let Him show you how powerful and peaceful it can be when we humbly position ourselves before Him. Don’t let anything keep you from this time with God.  We even have free childcare!  So, let’s lift up the name of the Lord, church.  Because it surely is right to give our thanks and praise.

~ Melissa ~


Ignite Worship

Join us Sunday, September 11th @ 6PM in the Saint James UMC Worship Center and experience His presence! Childcare needs: jen@sjlife.com

Not Just the Youth

245 Student Ministries,

I just wanted to thank you for several things…

  1. Having so many activities for the kids this summer. You kept them busy, surrounded by good role models, and in the Word. I can tell such a difference in the prayer life of my kids because of the time they have spent with prayer warriors this summer.
  2. Being patient with me as I learn to release the care of my little’s to others that love them and want to help guide them.
  3. Being patient with all three of my kids as they learn how to be with the group, and as they learn how to be siblings in the group. Thank you for telling them they belong and they are welcomed and loved. 
  4. For not only being a great leaders, but having the insight to have a great staff and spirit-filled interns.
  5. Thank you for being approachable, fun, loving, but firm.

The youth group hasn’t just changed our kids… several years ago we were just attending on Sunday mornings. We had fallen out of serving and were considering moving to a church closer to our home; but Hannah started the youth group, and after two Sunday’s she told us she had found where she belonged. She said it felt like home, and she felt so close to the Lord when she was with the youth. That was all we needed, and at that point we prayed about our place to serve and how we were going to dig deeper. We decided it was time to lead another small group, after having taken a year’s break, and we have seen tremendous growth in the members of our small group. I say this so the student ministry knows what they do not only reaches kids, but has an impact on parents, and in turn has an impact on the church as a whole. I could go on and on…

Please know that 245 Student Ministries has our support. When and where we can help you, we will. Your ministry is important to us. I know the lessons learned will have an internal impact on our family. 

With gratitude and thanks, and big hugs, for just being so fantastic!

~ Ashley ~


245 Student Ministries, Saint James UMC, kids, studentsFollow 245 Student Ministries on Facebook and Instagram.
Stay up to date by joining our student newsletter, or visit our website for more information on upcoming events.

 

 

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Help with Raisers

Robbie Amunds is starting his senior year, at Huntingdon College, and looking forward to a future in Youth Ministry! While interning, this summer, with 245Student Ministries, he met Jordie Deal–long time member and youth intern–who just happened to be looking for fundraising ideas. Jordie will be joining the WorldRace this October, and found Robbie’s beard and popularity a perfect opportunity to fundraise. The youth group was then commissioned:

monkey tail beardquestion mark beardRaise $100 – to have Robbie’s beard trimmed
Raise $200 – to have Robbie’s beard monkey tailed
Raise $300 – to have Robbie’s beard question marked
Raise $400 – to have Robbie’s beard half removed
Raise $500 – to ensure Robbie keeps the style 1 week

The fundraiser lasted one month and the youth raised $1,372! That means Robbie had his beard half removed! The youth group, then, so kindly waited to shave Robbie at the Back To School Bash, last Sunday, so he would have to sport his stylish look during his first week back at Huntingdon! We pray for Robbie’s future in Youth Ministry! May he not be deterred! We also praise with Jordie on another great fundraiser! If you’d like to find our more about, or help raise money for Jordie’s upcoming WorldRace, you can visit her blog here.

As for Robbie, we feel like this photo might be circulating for years tRobbie half beardo come…

 

Locks of Love

I knew it was time to cut my two daughters’ hair. Livia, 6, hadn’t had her’s cut in over a year, and Molly, 3, had never had her’s cut before. Both girls have thick hair, and Molly has the sweetest little baby curls on the ends. When we started talking about haircuts, I brought up the idea of donating their ponytails to people who need wigsblog1; there wasn’t a second of hesitation, both girls loved the idea!

Livia and Molly both had been learning about kindness in ‘The Zone’ at Saint James. The workers work shone through as the girls made this decision to donate their hair. Molly says daily that the teachers at Saint James are her best friends; and my husband and I have witnessed Livia’s faith grow in the past year, thanks to the time she has spent with the children’s ministry! She has become a prayer warrior, and we hear each teachers influence every time she prays aloud.

This morning, at the post office, the girls and I prayed over the envelope of hair that was about to be shipped off to Michigan. We prayed that whoever received a wig, made out of their hair, would feel loved and beautiful. Livia and Molly truly love the Lord, and love every minute they get to spend with the children’s ministry team at Saint James. We are so grateful for all the lessons our girls are learning!

~ Maggie ~


Date Night, Parent's Night Out, Saint James UMC, children, Montgomery,

Find out more about Saint James children ministry at sjlife.com

Take advantage of Parent’s Night Out this Saturday: Drop off the youngsters, on August 27th from 5-8pm, and get your date on! $10. Register: jen@sjlife.com or in the Children’s Wing.

 


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Living Water

As women of Saint James, we are blessed with opportunities to come before the Lord to be refreshed and renewed. Upcoming opportunities are The Vine and the Renew bible study. As women we tend to give our time, and energies, to others on a regular basis. We are moms, daughters, sisters, wives, teachers, nurses, accountants, coaches, friends, etc. The list goes on and on. Picture yourself a full pitcher of water as a week starts. With every issue and person you deal with, more and more water is poured out. Eventually the pitcher is empty. It’s then that you are exhausted, sad, angry, or overwhelmed. You may even say you are too busy or tired to attend these upcoming women’s events, when it needs to be the exact opposite; these opportunities are times for you to come and be refilled–to overflowing–so you can fulfill the purpose and plans the Lord has already prepared for you in advance. Not taking advantage of attending The Vine and the Renew bible study, is like not turning on your faucet at home when you need water. Or turning down a glass of water, in the middle of the desert, when you are dying of thirst. That place in you that just never feels right, or at peace, is the place that can only be filled with the Holy Spirit. The Lord is waiting for us to come before him at his feet and be refilled with peace and joy. Carve out time in your schedules to come and spend time in praise and worship, with the Lord, and hear from him through the Godly women that teach and share. We are truly blessed to have women teachers and mentors, in our midst at Saint James, who are in an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit and pour out his words and truth for us.
The Lord tells us in John 4:14:

But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

Ladies, come experience the Living Water. Do not miss out on what the Lord has waiting for you.

 

~ Kristi ~


Renew Bible Study, Fight the Good Fight Montgomery Alabama The Vine women's bible study montgomery al open community wide montgomery alabama Life Groups Fall Women bible montgomery alabama

Join us! Find out more at sjlife.com

 

 

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Visit the Prisoners

Saint James ministers, at Tutwiler Prison for Women, every 2nd Wednesday from 6:30-8:30 pm in the prison’s Annex chapel.

Upon arrival, we check in with the guards, and are escorted to the chapel (which is a small trailer). The inmates are familiar with how we conduct the service; we like them to feel comfortable, so they help arrange chairs in a circle, like a small group setting. Our average number of attendees has been 6-10 women. We greet them as they arrive and play praise and worship cd’s. These ladies are wonderful, and praise and worship with everything they have, and the presence of the Lord fills the room.

After praise and worship, we gather to pray, then share scriptures and testimonies with them, and welcome their participation. We allow the Holy Spirit to guide the discussion. Many of the ladies who come to the service have already given their lives to the Lord, they just need encouragement to go a little further. We believe the Lord accomplishes that during this time, and we are filled with great joy from the wonderful testimonies they have shared with us.

The Lord has tremendously blessed me for being a part of this ministry. At times, it has not been easy; sometimes I had to go alone, and allow God to stretch my faith, realizing that He was with me. At times fear, anxiety, uncertainty, and doubt tried to overtake me and keep me from going. But when I push those feelings to the side, and put my trust in the Lord, His blessings always rain down. I remember one night, everything that could go wrong, did. In spite of this I went alone and the presence of the Lord was so strong that I was set free. The Lord sent revival to me, and set me free in a prison! I will never forget that night. That night, the Lord etched this ministry on my heart.

I would like to encourage others to become a part of this ministry. Many have a word from the Lord and testimonies that can make a significant impact on others! And it’s clear from scripture, that this is a ministry the Lord wants us to participate in.

It doesn’t take much to join the ministry; training is held twice a year in March and September, at Tutwiler. The training includes a background check, and fingerprinting. Once cleared, the individual is eligible to enter the premises to minister. To find out more contact Ann Pemberton at annpemberton@charter.net or 334-277-3374.

Matthew 25 – “Then I, the King, shall say to those at my right, ‘Come, blessed of my Father, into the Kingdom prepared for you from the founding of the world. For I was hungry and you fed me; I was thirsty and you gave me water…  sick and in prison, and you visited me.’ “Then these righteous ones will reply…  When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you?’ “And I, the King, will tell them… ‘When you refused to help the least of these my brothers, you were refusing help to me.’ “And they shall go away into eternal punishment; but the righteous into everlasting life.”
~ Darlene ~

 

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His Love Finds a Way

Each time I go to Honduras, I never know what is in store for me. Things always seem to go–let’s say–not according to plans, but in a good way. This year it came to me sitting on a school bus, on a side street, staring at a tall wall. At the top of this wall was broken glass and pointed nails in the mortar. On top of that was razor wire, two rolls thick! The Honduran people do all this just to keep their family and possessions safe. What a way to live! And out of this razor wire, through the crack of the wall, was growing a beautiful flower; it had even started spilling over into the street. God’s love is just like this flower; it doesn’t matter how tall a fence, or how thick the wire–His love finds a way to get though. I know that’s what He’s doing for the people of Honduras.

~ Jeff ~


A group of members just returned from Honduras, where they worked with Forgotten Children’s Ministry. While they were there, they helped fix plumbing issues, fed the hungry, handed out Bandana dresses from our Sewing Seeds ministry, and formed relationships with people who need the love of Christ. It’s always in the places that seem unlikely–like the murder capital of the world–that God’s love overflows; a light in the darkness! Thank you to our members who layed down their lives for another, stared fear in the face, and took God to the least of these.

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The Reach of CaveQuest

This year’s VBS theme was “CaveQuest, Following Jesus the Light of the World.” As we were planning, prepping crafts, and making decorations, there was an excitement about this year. Something felt different about each step. Sunday afternoon, once all the stations were prepped and the decorations were set in place, we stopped and we prayed. Each area was covered in prayers asking the Holy Spirit to fall down and fill our time with these precious kids.

CaveQuestAs Monday morning came, it was a rush of excitement as 32 crew leaders filled the worship center and 325 children poured into the seats. Worship began and we were off! The flurry of VBS had begun.

I had the pleasure of teaching the preschoolers bible time. It’s always fun to bring a bible story to life for the little ones.

Day Two was when I knew there was something different about this year. As we talked about our hearts and what it represented. I held up a paper heart. The kids yelled out that hearts represent love, our feeling, and parts of who we are. I then crumpled the heart and threw it on the ground.  After a few gasps, the room full of 50 preschoolers was silent. I looked into little shocked faces. Faces that knew what it felt like to have their hearts hurt.

Crumpled HeartWe talked about different ways our heart gets hurt. We even talked about times that we might have done some damage to other people’s hearts. I then picked up the paper heart and told them that Jesus wanted to fix their hearts, that he could feel their tears and heal their wounds. That we would talk more about what Jesus did for us tomorrow.

On Day Three, we set the stage with a cross covered in lights. We talked about Jesus being the light of the world. Each child brought a tea light to the base of the cross that represented the love that he had for them. We went through the crucifixion story turning off lights at each step.

The crucifixion story was unraveled for them. When the tomb was empty and the grave was overcome, the lights were all turned back on. Children were asked if they were ready to follow Jesus.

Thirteen 3-5 year olds came forward. As we prayed with them, crew leaders and youth helpers teared up over the commitment these children were making.

Before that day, I had never been a part of a child that young making Jesus the Lord of their life. I would have never been able to fathom the depth of seriousness and the degree of understanding that the little ones had.

Thirteen little hearts were healed. Thirteen little mouths professed they knew they were sinners and wanted to change. Thirteen little lives will be forever different.

VBS is not just something to do over the summer break. It’s not just another camp or activity for kids to get out of the house. It’s a time for us to present the love of Jesus to our kids. For them to come and be discipled on how to follow Jesus.

This is just the story from my station at VBS. There are so many other great stories from each of the stations and crew leaders from the week.

CaveQuest CaveQuestThank you so much for the hands that made this possible. For hands who transformed the yards of paper into caves and rocks. For the hands that cut bananas and poured lemonade. For the hands who braved the heat to make games fun and meaningful. For the hands that prepped crafts and stirred up “cave snot.”

CaveQuestFor the hands of the crew leaders who loved the kids, learned their names and helped lead them to Jesus. For the hands of the youth volunteers who gave piggyback rides and made each child feel special.


The harvest was worth the labor! 

  • We had 325 children at VBS this year!
  • 100 adult volunteers & 75 youth volunteers!
  • 50 children made a first time commitment to Jesus!
  • The children raised $4,500 for Morgan Hayden’s Root Ministries in Honduras!

 ~ Stephanie ~

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