From the Rector – Seeing the Face of God in Each Other

Next month St. James’ will host the Diocesan antiracism workshop Seeing the Face of God in Each Other.  This is one of the required workshops that all clergy, lay employees, and lay leaders in the Diocese of Maryland must take.  This is part of a larger effort the Vestry and I have been undertaking to bring St. James’ into compliance on all required workshops, which also includes Safeguarding God’s Children and God’s People, and Domestic Violence Prevention and Response.

This workshop is open to anyone in the parish, and I encourage you to attend if you are able.  The Seeing the Face of God in Each Other workshop is an interactive and experiential workshop created by the Episcopal Church.  It is not a lecture. The curriculum includes power, privilege, race, racism, class, internalized racial oppression, and next steps. A meaningful experience is a program priority. That’s best achieved with a minimum of 12 participants and a maximum of 30.  Workshops are offered throughout the year by a team of more than 10 trained facilitators.

I will be attending along with our Vestry and staff.  The workshop will be both Saturday, November 11 from 9 am to 5 pm and Sunday, November 12 from 2 pm to 6 pm.  Deadline for registration is one week in advance for facilitators to prepare.  If you would like to attend, please visit our website for registration information.

Yours in God’s peace,


Sunday School
Classes in Lower Level every Sunday
Preschool through high school
9:30 – 10:15 a.m.

It was a joy to welcome our Sunday School students and families in September.  Classes are held for all children preschool through high school.  Volunteer helpers are always appreciated.  This year we welcome and appreciate the help of Sarah Brown.  At the current time, we are in need of additional volunteers for our preschool Bible Story time as well as the 3rd-5th grade class.  Can you help with this meaningful (and fun!) ministry for our children?  Please contact:  Yvette Allen  –  Betsy Davis or Joan Fader

 At our recent “4th Sunday Fun” group activity, all grades played a getting-to-know-you game.  The craft activity included The Lord’s Prayer printed on a wall hanging with fall decorations.  We look forward to future monthly group activities, where the older students assist the younger ones.  They all work so well together.

You are invited to enjoy the children’s opening session each Sunday at 9:30 a.m. in the Great Hall when they sing and say The Lord’s Prayer before heading to their classes.  You may also wish to join in on the “4th Sunday Fun” group activity each month.

  • Bible Stories for Preschoolers:  Yvette Allen
  • Kindergarten-2nd Grades:  Betsy Davis, Jessica Bahorich
  • 3rd – 5th Grades:  Karen Phillips
  • 6th – 12th Grades: Joan Fader
  • Group Activities: Nancy Nanavaty
  • Children’s Music:  Jon Fader

Activity Clipboards for Elementary and Middle School Kids
In addition to weekly coloring sheets from Illustrated Children’s Ministry, check out the separate table now set up with Sunday morning activities, including 3 new loaded clipboards with activity sheets and pens and pencils stored inside.  These are designed for elementary and middle school age kids to take to their seat with them during worship.  We’re starting with 3, but if they’re a hit we’ll add more!

Something New with Spiritual Parenting
We’re taking a new approach to gathering together for spiritual formation as parents this year.  Instead of monthly gatherings focusing on different topics, we will be having a book group that meets roughly 3-4 times throughout the year.  Our first book will be I Wonder: Engaging a Child’s Curiosity about the Bible by Elizabeth Caldwell.  If you are interested in reading this book over the next 4-6 weeks and then meeting up with others to reflect and share insights and wisdom please email Kristin+ (rector@stjamesmtairy) by October 15th.  Once we know who’s on board we’ll pick a date and time to meet up – whether that’s over coffee or tea at Starbucks, at a local restaurant for a weekend lunch, or dessert some evening.

Click the book cover to order your copy through Amazon Smile.

Sunday Bible Study
Our Sunday morning Bible study continues, and this Sunday we’re studying Isaiah 5:1-7.  This passage is the Hebrew Scriptures reading for Track 2 of the Revised Common Lectionary.  Since we follow Track 1 of the RCL, it will be a fun opportunity to reflect on a reading we won’t hear on Sunday, and to see where it intersects with the other readings and our lives.

Did you know?

The book of Isaiah is a composite of two (or maybe three) different bodies of prophetic literature.  The first section, chapters 1-39, is attributed to the historical prophet Isaiah, who was active in Jerusalem in the eighth century bce.  The introduction to the book places him in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which would have been roughly between 740 and 701 bce.  The kingdoms of Israel in the north and Judah in the south have been divided for some centuries, and the tensions between them increase.  Further to the north, the Assyrian Empire is rising, and eventually invades Israel and occupies it in 732 bce.  The prophet declares judgement on Judah and Jerusalem, pronouncing their leaders to be corrupt and arrogant, and calls on the people to return to their covenant with God.

[from “Entering the Story” in Reading Between the Lines for this Sunday]



Hi friends! It’s Richard, your music director! Stay tuned here to learn interesting tidbits about the music we sing on Sundays, the history of church music and church musicians, and more about how music works!

You probably know the song “Do-Re-Mi” by Rogers and Hammerstein, made famous by Julie Andrews in the 1965 classic, The Sound of Music.

The song provides an easy mnemonic device to remember each of the seven different syllables of the solfege system, which gives our major scale a syllable for each different note. The solfege system has become a foundation of vocal training in ensembles across the globe and across centuries. But why do we use this specific combination of sounds?

Believe it or not, it’s origin is a hymn: “Ut queant laxis,” also known as the “Hymn to St. John.”

Ut queant laxis resonare fibris
Mira gestorum famuli tuorum,
Solve polluti labii reatum,
Sancte Iohannes.
So that your servants may,
With loosened voices,
Resound the wonders of your deeds,
Clean the guilt from our stained lips,
O, St. John.

The text was written by Paulus Diaconus (also known as Paul the Deacon) in the 8th century, and we still don’t know who composed the melody. In the 11th century, Guido d’Arezzo (known as the father of musical notation), noticed that each of the phrases began on a successively higher pitch, giving us a six-note scale as follows:

Ut – Re – Mi – Fa – Sol – La

But wait a minute, I thought our scale had seven notes!

Well, it does, or at least it does today. The seventh note of the major scale wasn’t often used in Gregorian chants, as it could produce a very dissonant, unpleasant interval, but as music progressed, we learned that the note could be really important. (Listen to the opening of Camille Saint-Saens’ “Danse Macabre!”)

Giovanni Battista Doni of the 16th century was another theorist who was determined to make his mark. He selected “si” as the syllable for the seventh note, using the abbreviation for St. John, or “Sancte Ioannes” (there’s no letter “J” in Latin, so “I” was often used instead).

Mr. Doni also made the change from “ut” to “do,” as he claimed it made more sense that all of the syllables use open vowel sounds; of course, it also didn’t hurt that those were the first two letters of his surname!

Finally, in the 19th century, an English music teacher named Sarah Ann Glover lobbied to change “si” to “ti,” so each syllable would start with a different letter. The idea became quite popular in England and the US:

Do – Re – Mi – Fa – Sol – La – Ti – (Do)

So, as Maria sings in that oh-so-famous song, “When you know the notes to sing, you can sing most anything!”
Do re mi



at the Mount Airy Carnival Grounds

Care Packages for College Students
Thank you so much for all your generous donations!  We will be assembling the care packages on October 12; so please bring any additional items to the church as soon as possible.

Blessing of the Animals — Feast of St. Francis
October 8, 2:00 pm in the Memorial Garden.  In celebration of the Feast of St. Francis, we invite you to bring your pet to be blessed, to remember those pets who have died, and to celebrate the gift God has given us in all his creatures, especially those who are our companions.  For the safety and comfort of all attending, animals should be leashed or contained in a safe carrier.

Contact Bryant Dulany at 410.596.4227 or to schedule an appointment.

Prayer Rotation
Please join the Daughters of the King in praying for each parishioner in rotation during 2017 by taking this notice home and by posting it where it will remind you to pray on a daily basis for the needs and blessings of:

Brittany and David Bullock
Kellen, Daxton
Rebecca Carbis
Travis and Frances Smith

A member of the Daughters of the King will be contacting  you this week for special prayer requests.