What to expect at St James
What if I’m new to Church?
We realise you may have been invited by a friend, or may be exploring Christianity, or may just be curious. Part of our reason for gathering is to welcome and include visitors who are new to church, and new to Christianity. We aim to be as clear and user-friendly as possible.
What time should I arrive?
Our 3 Sunday gatherings (usually called ‘services’) are at 9am, 10.30am, and 7pm. Most people arrive within a few minutes of the start time to find a seat and get settled.
What will Church be like?
Each of our three Sunday services has its own ‘flavour’, but they have much in common. Each runs for around 65-75 minutes and includes singing, a time of prayer, a reading from the Bible and a 25 minute Bible talk (usually called a sermon) explaining its relevance for our lives today. There is a time to chat over food and drink after the service.
How should I dress?
Whatever clothes you’re comfortable in. Most of our regulars don’t really ‘dress up’ for church.
Are Children Welcome?
Of course. Children are welcome at all our services. Our Sunday 9am & 10.30am services have crèche and fantastic kids’ programs up to year 9. Children spend the first 10 minutes or so in church with everyone else before moving to their programs, though they can stay in church throughout if they prefer. There is also a variety of children’s activities during the week. All of our activities for children are run by trained and approved leaders.
Accesibility at St James.
St James is wheelchair accessible through the lawn-side door, and we have wheelchair accessible toilet facilities.
But what if I’m not a Christian / Anglican / baptised / churchgoer?
St James includes regulars and visitors from all sorts of Christian and non-Christian backgrounds. We explain what is happening during our church services. There is no assumed knowledge.
Who is Jesus?
The astounding claim at the heart of Christianity has to do with who Jesus is. Jesus was truly human, having experienced a normal birth, childhood and development. He grew up in a typical first century Jewish family. He felt weary, hungry and thirsty. He experienced pain and suffering. He felt a full range of emotions – joy, sorrow, love, compassion and anger. He lived a life of perfect faithfulness to God. The gospels describe Jesus being tempted to reject God’s ways, but resisting. During his life on earth, crowds flocked to hear him teach about God, right living and forgiveness.
Christians believe Jesus was truly God. The records of his life draw on eyewitnesses who observed his power. He displayed power over disease, nature and even death. He was able to cast out demons, exerting authority over powers of evil. Jesus claimed equality with God by declaring repentant people’s sins forgiven. This staggering claim got him into trouble with religious authorities, eventually leading to his execution.
The resurrection of Jesus is what singles him out from other religious leaders, and any other person. This is central to Christianity. God raised Jesus from the dead, validating his claims about himself, and establishing him has the one who truly reveals God, has power to forgive sins, and is lord and judge of every person.
Christians love and obey Jesus as the one who has died in their place for the guilt of their sins, who will grant them resurrection, and who has all authority.
To find out more, why not visit us on Sunday, or join one of our courses?
Find our more about Christianity
Our Sunday morning service times are 9am and 10:30am. These services include a crèche, Sunday School, and Junior High Program (year 7-9). They are followed my morning tea outside on the grounds. Our 7pm service is made up primarily of Youth, University Students and Young Workers, and it is followed by supper.
St James has numerous adult ‘Growth Groups’ of around 6-12 people, mostly meeting in people’s homes. We have daytime or evening groups on most days of the week. Group members read and discuss the Bible together, pray for each other, and for care and support one another. Contact the church office for more information.
Christians are committed to living lives of service, not just helping at church. Nevertheless, most St James people are involved in serving at church, whether through informal care, hospitality and friendship, or through the many rostered tasks needed to make church happen, or through leadership in our programmes.
Tell us you’re coming.
We understand that visiting somewhere or joining something new can be a bit nerve-racking. So let us know you are coming and we will meet you and help you find your feet. We are also happy to answer any further questions you may have.