Welcome to St. James!
112 East Main Street, Titusville, PA 16354
Phone: 814-827-3590 Email: email@example.com
Office Hours: 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM - Monday - Friday
Whether you have been exploring your faith for a lifetime or are just beginning to search, you are welcome here. Bring your hopes and fears, worries and joys, talents and shortcomings. We welcome all of it! Your perspective and your questions are unique. Together we will deepen our ties to God and one another.
At our core, we believe that serving courageously and living faithfully go hand in hand. Every day we step out of our comfort zone and step up to participate in God’s work in the world. On Sundays, we gather not only to hear God’s word broken open for today’s time but also to feast on the sacrament that empowers our lives.
We invite you see first hand what all of this means and how you might get connected!
NOVEMBER 12, 2020
Earlier this week, we heard encouraging news about a COVID-19 vaccine that could begin to be available early next year in limited quantities. I give thanks for this source of hope, especially as the virus is now spreading at an unprecedented rate across our region.
Although we hope that 2021 will bring some relief, public health experts and epidemiologists warn that between now and then, cold weather and ill-advised holiday gatherings make it likely that this current surge of infection will not peak until January. For those reasons, I am once again suspending in-person worship, meetings and other gatherings in our church buildings effective immediately. We will reevaluate the situation in December, although I believe that we should prepare to worship, meet, and gather online through the end of 2020. The only exceptions to this suspension are lifesaving feeding and sobriety ministries, which should be conducted according to the guidelines in the diocesan reopening plan.
I reached this decision after consultation with the Standing Committees and other diocesan leaders yesterday, and this morning, I met with the clergy of the diocese to discuss this situation with them and review the data and public health advice that led me to this conclusion.
It pains me deeply to take this step, knowing that it may keep us from observing Advent and celebrating Christmas in person. This is certainly not the way I had hoped to begin the new liturgical year. But, as precious as in-person worship is to us, the lives of people in our congregations and communities are infinitely more so.
While in-person worship is suspended, I will resume hosting live online worship via Zoom each Sunday at 10 a.m. This Sunday, November 15, I will preach and preside, and we will enjoy music from the Cathedral of St. Paul in Erie. You can join this service using this Zoom link and the password lakeerie.
I encourage you to continue gathering online for Bible study, check-ins and the many creative types of gatherings that people across our partnership have developed during this long pandemic. And I urge you, too, to be generous to those who are in need, especially essential workers and their families who may need our support and assistance.
I will be in touch again in December as we continue evaluating the changing public health situation across our region. In the meantime, you will be in my prayers as you help our church navigate these difficult times.
While in-person church services are suspended due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the Episcopal Dioceses of Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania will absorb the payment processing fees so that your entire gift will go to the congregation of your choosing for local mission. Thank you for your generosity!
The Rev. Martha Ishman will retire on December 31 as canon for transitions after 13 years on the bishop’s staff, but not before being honored at the Dioceses of Northwestern Pennsylvania and Western New York’s recent convention.
To mark her tenure, Bishop Sean Rowe named Ishman the diocesan partnership’s honorary canon pastor during an online presentation.
“Our diocese was the recipient, though not always a gracious recipient, of your considerable gifts,” Rowe said. “As for me, I have listened to and, dare I say, relied upon your counsel and wisdom. More than once you have reminded me in the darkest of times that, ‘Satan always oversteps his bounds, and Jesus always prevails.’
“Your manifold spiritual gifts and your willingness to access them for the building up of the body of Christ is nothing short of remarkable. I mean it when I say that I could not have done it without you.”
Ishman, who began her service in the diocese at St. Clement’s, Greenfield, served as Rowe’s canon to the ordinary from 2007 to 2016. She will continue as vicar of St. James, Titusville.
A 1998 graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary, Ishman says she has always been passionate about small churches.
“Even in seminary, while everyone chased after the shiny bright objects of new techniques and big churches, I sought opportunities to discover how church could best be church in the context in which they found themselves,” she says. It remains true today.
“Small churches are embedded in their communities and in many ways are too resilient to fail. But with well-formed clergy leadership, these congregations can be a powerful voice for change. We have seen, and continue to see, that when clergy cast a vision for the kingdom of God, we get closer to it.”
Working as the diocese’s transitions minister gave her the opportunity to bring other priests with a passion for small churches to the region. “Bringing folks to the diocese that share this same passion for the people of God in this place has long been a vital way to shape and transform the diocese as a whole,” she says.
“I have learned from my colleagues in other parts of the country what works and what doesn’t. Here in Northwestern Pennsylvania, we have been bold enough to try many different configurations of ministry and continue to do so. Some of it works and some of it doesn’t. However, it has been my experience that when a congregation honestly engages this self-reflective process, the rewards have outlasted the difficulties.”
Daily Bible Verse
Virtual Diocesan Convention
Upcoming Pre-Convention Workshops: October 13, 20 and 27
Upcoming pre-convention workshops will take place via Zoom on October 13, 20 and 27 from 5 to 6:30 p.m:
October 13: Asset Based Community Development and the Episcopal Asset Map, with the Rev. Twila Smith of St. Simon's, Buffalo and Tamara Plummer of Episcopal Relief & Development
This workshop will look at a framework for exploring and launching local outreach initiatives, collaborating for greater good through Asset Based Community Development, and how to make connections and share community resources through the Episcopal Asset Map.
October 20: Communications as Connection with the Rev. Kathleen Moore of the Erie Episcopal Partnership and Canticle Communications
Come learn communications practices and tools that can help connect people in their congregations and connect congregations with their neighborhoods.
October 27: Panel discussion on Local Mission Partnerships led by the Rev. Colleen O’Connor of the Genesee Deanery and the Rev. Canon Ruth Woodliff-Stanley of the bishop's staff
Building partnerships between faith communities provides congregations the opportunity to do more: more ministry, more programming, more community involvement. But how does a faith community build meaningful partnerships? This panel discussion will give examples of a variety of partnerships with participants will share their stories and discuss the opportunities and challenges of forming partnerships.
Participants will include: Sara Nesbitt, St. Mark’s, Erie; Ed Palatella, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Erie; the Rev. Twila Smith, St. Simon’s, Buffalo; the Rev. Kim Rossi, St. Stephen’s and Bethany Lutheran Church, Olean; Jim Isaac, St. Mark’s, LeRoy; and Amy Swanson, St. Paul’s, Stafford.
Interview with Luke Ruot on the Stream
Important Episcopal Links
St. James Pipe Organ Restoration Video Program