Welcome

Welcome to St. James Presbyterian Church (the “Kirk”)!!cid_ii_1450991a4680368d

We are a community of faith that meets in a beautiful heritage building located in the downtown area of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

If it is your first time to St. James – or you are returning to St. James after a time away – please know that we are happy to have you and we hope that you find our website engaging and our community welcoming.

Of course, if you are able to join us please know that our worship is “relaxed” traditional in style, dress code comfortable, and “family-like” in our welcome.

For those of you who have children we have nursery coverage for children from birth to age three and a Children’s Worship class for children age 4 to 11.

All are welcome. We hope to see you!

COVID-19 LETTER

Dear Kirk Community,

As you know we are living through an unprecedented period in history and we are facing a lot of questions, anxieties and unknowns.  As we grapple with not only how daily life is changing, but also how the world around us is evolving, we want you to know both myself and Session met via videoconferencing to discern a way forward for us. As we met, we had in mind, above all else, both people’s safety and their spiritual and pastoral needs, which we are trying to keep as balanced as possible. Here are of some of the things that are going to be happening in the next little while.

As of right now the church will be closed from Sunday, March 22nd to Sunday, March 29th.  We will be reassessing things at that point to see how the situation has developed.  All rental groups have put their lessons and practices on hold for the time being.  At this time the highest traffic areas of the church have been cleaned.  We did talk about the possibility of having the church sanctuary open for a couple hours a day if people wanted to come in and sit in the quiet.  However, there was real concern about how to keep surfaces clean, and the possibility of putting visitors at risk. Also, we don’t want to send mixed messages about whether it is safe for people to be out and about or not. Dr. Heather Morrison, the Chief Public Health Officer, has been clear about encouraging people to stay in their homes as much as possible. Therefore, we will not be offering an open Sanctuary at this time.  We will be providing updates regarding services by Facebook, email, on our website and through our phone message.  We had been in the process of preparing our Easter mailout with everything we were going to be doing at the Kirk, and that letter will now be adapted and take on a slightly different form.

With all that being said, even if we cannot worship in our physical space at this time, we are still the church in the world!  We will be posting videos in the next couple weeks with different Lenten practices, little church history bits, and sacred music, among other things.  While our thick stone walls prevent us from getting reliable internet in the sanctuary, making live-streaming impossible, we will be posting a video on Sunday morning—please feel free to tune in for a sermon/meditation and other worship elements.  You will be able to view the videos on our facebook page and also our website https://kirkstjames.ca/.  Please keep checking back as we organize getting things on-line.  If you are currently not on our e-mail list and would like to be included please e-mail the office at kirkstjames@pei.aibn.com and ask to be added to our e-mail list.  If you currently do not follow our facebook page but would like to here is the link https://www.facebook.com/StJamesPresbyterianChurch/.  If you do not have access to or use a computer please phone the office and we will add you to our weekly mail out.  We want to make sure everyone has access to us in some way.

One other part of being the church in the world is showing how we care for others.  Please support each other at this stressful and potentially isolating time by phoning others, dropping a card in the mail or, even sending an e-mail to a friend. Also, if you have prayer requests, please feel free to send them along as well. For those worried about trying to get groceries or prescriptions and are concerned about being in a public space, we have volunteers who have who are happy to go out and do those things for you.  Please call the church office at 902-892-2839 or, 902-894-5382 (Rev. Amanda home)  and leave a message or, send an email to revamanda@pei.aibn.com. If you are feeling anxious or need someone to talk to please phone Rev. Amanda who is happy to chat and share a prayer over the phone (both numbers listed above).  We are also aware that this is an especially difficult time for those we support through Mission and Outreach, like the clients of the Upper Room. We are exploring ways to continue to help them in these difficult times. They have not been forgotten. While these are indeed challenging times it does not diminish our ability to love and care for others.  We will strive to continue to be there for all members of our Kirk family and our community.

In terms of office hours over the next two weeks the office is closed.  Both Amanda and Amy will be in to check e-mails phone messages, and the mail.  Amanda will also be recording our on-line elements in the church.  If you need anything at all do not hesitate to contact Rev. Amanda at her home number, her e-mail, the church e-mail or by phone which are all listed in this letter.  We are checking everything daily and we do not want to anyone to feel alone or anxious.

If you would like to support the Kirk at this time, we would ask first that you hold our community and the wider world in your prayers.  We know this is impacting people in countless ways.  Secondly, if you would like to make a donation you can drop it in the mailbox at the Fitzroy entrance, pop it in the mail, or e-transfer at kirkstjames@pei.aibn.com. Session has committed to support all of our Kirk employees as usual during this difficult time, so we still have expenses to meet. Your ongoing support to our operations, offered in this way instead of through the offering plate, is greatly appreciated.

The last thing I wanted to say is this—you are so loved, and you are surrounded by a community who loves you.  While this is a challenging time, filled with unknowns, we are not doing this alone. Well, I guess technically we are with social distancing!  But honestly, I love and care about each and everyone of you and we will try to keep making the best decisions we can for us as a community and in the wider world.  We remain Christ’s hands and feet, and will do all that we can to live out our faith under the constraints that are necessary to keep us all safe.

I will close this with some words I have read over a few times in the last couple days:  Isaiah 43:1 “Don’t fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine.”  You are known, named and called and nothing we face in this world changes that.

                   With much love and wishing you God’s deepest peace,

                                          Rev. Amanda