The congregation of St. James Anglican Church recently held a joyful 75th Anniversary service attended by over 230 people, followed by a celebration at the Pacific Club.
“Today is a chance for us to reflect on our life together at St. James and God’s goodness, to look over the years as the family of St. James and reflect on how God has shaped us as lovers of Jesus Christ,” said Jim Dale, St. James parishioner, as part of his welcome. The celebration included singing, lunch, video collage, recollections, appreciation for the past, prayers for the future, and a special 75th birthday cake.
Dale has been part of St. James congregation since he was a child.
“When I would visit my grandmother on Lido Isle as a kid, she’d take me to St. James,” he said. “They say the church is the people and even when the church location changed, the congregation was still the same church I loved as a child.”
Founded in 1941 as a seaside chapel on Via Lido in Newport, St. James Anglican is now a Christian congregation with a growing ministry to the larger Newport Mesa community.
“St. James was originally established to provide a place of worship for Episcopalians who lived or visited the area around Lido Isle,” said Rev. Richard Crocker, Rector of St. James. “Over the last 75 years we have lived out that vision and more. In addition to excellent worship, a big part of our life as a family of faith is reaching out to serve our community.”
“St. James Church has consistently upheld the authority of the Bible and the unique significance of Jesus Christ,” he continued. “Disagreement over these vital points brought withdrawal from the Episcopal Church and a 2013 move from the campus.”
The members of St. James Anglican Church now worship at their facility on Airway in Costa Mesa and feel they are able to serve a wider community, including reaching out to the poor and homeless.
St. James started four important missions throughout its history: St. Wilfrid’s in Huntington Beach, St. John the Divine in Costa Mesa, St. Michael and All Angels in CdM, and St. James Day School, which was the inspiration for what is now Harbor Day School.
“There is a whole new season ahead for us,” said Rev. Cathie Young, Associate Rector of St. James. “It’s time to turn our faces to what God wants to do now and in the next generation.”
Phil Ashey, president of the American Anglican Council and son of one of the early rectors of St. James, sent congratulations and encouragement via video.
“Prayer has been a key to your missions and ministries, and is one of the threads that links your last 75 years to the next 75,” he said. “Pray with anticipation, pray with thanksgiving, pray that God will show you the way forward, and for His vision of what He wants St. James to be in this community at this time.”
“We have our declared purpose as a church to proclaim Jesus, to grow disciples and to engage the world,” Pastor Crocker said near the close of the event. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Whatever the future holds, I know our DNA will continue to be faithful to Jesus, be transformed by the truth of His word, and be alive to the Spirit of God at work within each one of us. There is a place in that future for everyone here, and there is a place for the people who are not yet here.”
For further information, see stjamesnb.org.
Cindy can be reached at [email protected].