NEW MEMBER INFORMATION
WELCOME TO ST. JAMES AND THANK YOU FOR CONSIDERING THE CATHEDRAL FOR YOUR SPIRITUAL HOME.
The search for a spiritual home can be a daunting endeavor. The St. James Cathedral Family is deeply committed to supporting your journey for a spiritual community, whether it is here at St. James or somewhere else.
We want to invite you to learn more about St. James, worship with us, connect with upcoming opportunities to experience the people and ethos of our Cathedral family; and ultimately, we hope you will grow and serve with us.
LEARN MORE ABOUT ST. JAMES
It is impossible to cover everything about St. James on a single page; however, we encourage you to peruse our website. Be sure to read the Acting Dean's Welcome to the site and the brief introduction to the Episcopal Church.
IS ST. JAMES A WELCOMING COMMUNITY OF FAITH?
Absolutely! The cathedral congregation of St. James is an inclusive, welcoming, diverse, and family-centered Christian community. We are deeply committed to respecting the dignity of every human being, including our sisters and brothers in the LGBTQ community. Children are also always welcomed in our services.
DO I NEED TO BE AN EPISCOPALIAN TO ATTEND?
No. All of our services are open to all--no exceptions. You can belong to St. James before you believe!
WHERE IS ST. JAMES AND IS THERE PARKING?
We are located on the northwest corner of Cedar and Dakota in Fresno. There is plenty of parking in our lot. On your first visit, you might want to arrive about 15-20 minutes before the service. Please let one of the ushers or clergy know you are visitor/new member.
WHAT TIME ARE THE SERVICES AND HOW SHOULD I DRESS?
On Sundays, we offer a contemplative Eucharist service at 8:00AM in the Chapel and a Family Eucharist with music at 10:00AM in the Cathedral. Our worship spaces are climate controlled. Come as you are! Attire on any given Sunday varies from shorts and t-shirt to business casual to "Sunday Best." Kids should definitely be dressed comfortably.
ARE EPISCOPAL CHURCHES CHRISTIAN?
Absolutely! The Episcopal Church is a Christian denomination. We often say we are the "Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement." The roots of the Episcopal Church begin in the Ancient Roman Catholic Church. During the English Reformation in England, the Anglican Church grew out of its Roman roots. During the American Revolutionary, the Episcopal Church emerged from colonists who wanted to practice their faith in the Anglican tradition but remain loyal to newly forming United States.
WHAT DOES A SUNDAY SERVICE LOOK LIKE?
Our Sundays services last about 50 minutes at 8:00AM and about 70 minutes at 10:00AM. Many people comment, "Wow, the service is very much like a Roman Catholic service!" Yes, that is an accurate statement given our history.
The first half of the service focuses on the "Liturgy of the Word." We will offer opening prayers, scripture from the Old and New Testament will be read, a sermon (about 10-20 minutes) will be preached, and the congregation will participate in the Prayers of the People. We then pass the "Peace"--meaning we greet one another. Announcements and special blessings are offered after the peace.
The second half of the service focuses on the "Liturgy of the Table." We celebrate Holy Eucharist (sometimes called Communion, Mass, or the Lord's Supper). During the distribution of Communion, wherever you are in your spiritual journey you are welcomed at God's Table and you can either receive communion or a blessing. Detailed instructions are in the service program. At the conclusion of the Eucharist, we conclude with a prayer, a blessing, and a dismissal.
IS THERE A WAY TO FOLLOW THE SERVICE?
Of course! The entire order of the service is contained in our weekly service program. We also offer large-print and digital programs. The service program allows you to easily navigate the service. If you have any questions or concerns during the service, please do not hesitate to speak to an usher or your fellow congregants.
HOW DOES ONE "JOIN" ST. JAMES?
Becoming a member of St. James is a fairly simple process.
Baptism: Ideally, adult members should be baptized Christians. If you were baptized in another Christian church with water, in the name of the Trinity, you have been received into the family of Christ (not into a particular denomination) and that act does need not be repeated. If you are not baptized, please contact our Dean to learn more about the process leading to baptism.
Active Participation: Our hope is that our members are active in the life of the Cathedral. At the most fundamental level, we hope our members attend services on a regular basis. If time allows, we would love to see our members participate in opportunities; fellowship, education programs, service ministries, and Cathedral events. Also, vital to the continued growth and success of St. James, we need all of our members to offer their time and talents to the ministries of the Cathedral.
Member Profile: We ask that all of our members maintain an active "member profile." The profile contains vital information that allows our Cathedral Family, especially our clergy to be connected to you. We want to know who you are and how we can support your spiritual journey.
Transferring from another Episcopal Church: If you currently are a member of another Episcopal Church (or recently have been a member), out of courtesy for that church community, we kindly request that you ask the congregation for a "letter of membership transfer." The letter allows the other congregation to know you are transferring your membership to St. James.
Schedule a time to meet with a clergy person: Not a requirement, but the clergy of St. James would love to meet you and hear more about your journey--past, present, and future. The clergy are always open to meeting new people, especially for a cup of coffee, a cold beer, or a bite to eat. If you don't hear from us, we invite you to use the contact form to a schedule a time.
Consider a Pledge to St. James: A pledge is a sustaining financial commitment to support the mission and ministries of the Cathedral. Pledging is not a requirement of membership. However, we do hope that all of our members strive to make a commitment to support St. James through their time, talent, and resources. If you have questions or concerns, please not hesitate to speak to any of the clergy.