Sporting Something New

Upward Soccer at Saint James United Methodist Church is a refreshing sports outlet for young children in Montgomery!

American culture places such an emphasis on sports and on the value of athletic success that many of us have lost sight of the truly important things our children need and should experience while they are so young and innocent. Over the last few years our three boys, all of whom are under 9 years of age, played other sports. We experienced life with three 90 minute practices a week for one child, and two 90 minute practices a week for the other two. We found ourselves exhausted and relatively unfulfilled as we chased after this idea of what we thought our children should be doing.

A couple of years ago our oldest two boys played their first season of Upward Soccer at Saint James UMC. We were thrilled to find that we had a single, one hour practice each week and a one hour game each Saturday. We found that our boys were able to play a sport, to learn new skills, and to get great exercise without forfeiting so much of the rest of our lives. But the most important thing we found was a Christ centered activity that nourished both the soul and body of our children. The devotions during practice and at halftime during the games provide relaxed opportunities for the Christian fellowship that our world today so desperately needs. I am now in my second season coaching Upward Soccer and we find ourselves, both parents and children, reaping the benefits of this wonderful program.

~ Steve & Bridget ~

upward soccer

Join us for an Upward Soccer Celebration this Sunday, October 30th from 4:30-5:00! Don’t forget about Fall Festival activities from 5:00-6:30! Find out more at

fall festival

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Knowing God

I wish I could have recorded the comments from our small group last week. We had some time so we had the girls share their experiences from the Middle School Fall Retreat. The comments were so much more than ‘it was a great time’. These 6th graders were sharing how the youth group is changing their lives! I am regularly blown away by their honesty and ability to articulate their beliefs.

I shared that I was never a part of a youth group and how fortunate they are to be able to experience the Lord as they do in youth group and small groups. Brooke also shared a similar upbringing and Katie Jo talked about how her youth group friends don’t go to school with her everyday, but they are her best friends and the ones who really ‘have her back.’ This is just a small paraphrasing of what followed from the girls:

  1. Before the youth group I wasn’t even really sure I believed in God. I mean I did because I was told to, but since joining the youth group I know God and know He is changing my life.
  1. Because of the youth group and small group I understand that I have been chosen to be on display for Jesus and I don’t have to change myself for people. God has already chosen me and I only have to change for God.
  1. I never really liked church because it was always just ‘adult church’ and I couldn’t even understand it. Now I sit with my friends and we are learning together.
  1. I know because of the youth group that I am going to act like a Christian even when no one is looking. (This child was not at church to hear Lester’s sermon about integrity!)

The youth group is truly making an impact in these children’s lives!

~ Rachel ~


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

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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:

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

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: 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



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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 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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