52 Churches 52 Weeks

Worship Exploration Journey

Week 12 – St. James the Apostle Episcopal Church – Episcopal

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I have passed by St. James in Tempe on my way to a great sushi restaurant many times. I didn’t know it was an Episcopal Church until I did a google search yesterday. The signs say simply, St. James. In the land of look-a-like homes and buildings this church has always attracted my eye for its southwest, mission style architecture.

The Episcopal service is very similar to the Catholic Mass. Their brochure informs me that St. James is ‘both “catholic” and reformed, the church in the middle!’ I attended the 8:30 service and heard a great analogy about being spiritually distracted with our daily comings and goings like a driver distracted by texting. The Vicar/Deacon reminds us to focus on Godly things, not worldly things and tells the story of a dying woman looking back over her life wishing she had placed more importance on the people in her life over having a spotless home.

I love it when my home is clean. And it usually is. I have a sense of accomplishment and peace that all is in order and I can move forward with my life. Isn’t that sad? The idea that you can’t go out in the world until the sinks are clean and the dust bunnies are gone! I love to walk in the door at the end of the day and find the house in good shape – but at what expense? With teenagers, a toddler, 2 dogs, fish, plants, lawn, oil changes, work, and a Husband it’s getting harder to maintain this sense of happiness related to cleanliness. I actually gave up on a clean home about 10 days ago when I took my house off the market for the 2nd time. I think that maybe God wants us to stay put, stop being distracted and devote our hearts and focus to him instead of our dust bunnies.

I wondered what the difference is between the Catholic and Episcopal faiths and in a google search learned that Catholics have the Pope and Episcopalians have a connection to the Anglican Church of England. The Episcopal Church has women priests and is sometimes referred to as “Catholic Light”. The Episcopal Church is primarily found in the United States and was created right after the American Revolution as a way to avoid swearing allegiance to the British Monarch.

We can probably all see religions morphing, expanding and evolving all around us on a daily basis.

The journey continues – enjoy the photos.

To learn more about St. James visit www.stjames.azdiocese.org


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