Holy Weekend: Celebrating the Passion of Jesus

Seven Last Words - Adoration (March 2016)

The St. James family had a full weekend of worship and and events honoring the last stages of Jesus Christ’s life, his crucifixion and his glorious resurrection.

On Good Friday, March 25, the church hosted a Seven Last Words service with meditations on the final sayings of Jesus from ordained ministers living and/or serving in Elkhart. The congregation was blessed to hear the powerful preaching of Rev. Jermaine Sanders (Ol Rugged Fellowship, Elkhart, Ind.); Rev. Janet Cook (River of Life Community Church, Elkhart, Ind.); Allan Rudy-Froese (Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Ind.); Rev. Johnathan Brown (Church Without Walls, Elkhart, Ind.); Rev. Eileen Thomas (Gomez Temple AME Church, Fort Wayne, Ind.); and Rev. Karen Cross (St. James AME Church) and St. James AME Church pastor Rev. Charlie Cross. The service was coordinated by St. James members Vanessa Scott and Deiter Owens.

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Supporting our neighbors in Flint, Michigan

Pastor Charlie Cross with water donations

In February, the St. James AME Church joined together with the Elkhart Interdenominational Ministers Alliance to collect bottled water for our neighbors in Flint, Michigan, who are facing massive shortages due to a lead contamination crisis.

The IMA received donations at St. James, including contributions from Elkhart Community Schools, local stores and individuals and families in the community who wanted to show their tangible support. Financial contributions were also made to purchase water as well.

For more information on the week-long drive, check out the article in the Elkhart Truth and watch a video about the effort, produce by Dan Morris.


St. James Welcomes Rev. Charlie and Rev. Karen Cross

At the close of the bishop’s planning meeting for the fourth district of the African Methodist Episcopal Church on October 22–24, St. James AME Church received a new pastor, Rev. Charles Cross and his partner in ministry. Rev. Karen Cross.

Rev. Charlie and Rev. Karen officially joined our church family shortly thereafter on Sunday, October 24 and have been faithfully making the trip from their current home in Carbondale, Ill. to join us in worship on Sundays. On Sunday, November 8th, we warmly welcomed them with a meal in the fellowship hall, coordinated by the stewards. Members and friends of St. James each brought dishes to share and ate together with our new leaders.

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Youth Harvest Festival | Saturday, November 14, 2015

Group of Friends Smiling. (Wikimedia Commons/hepingting)

The Youth Harvest Festival returns on Saturday, November 14, 2015. Come on down for indoor games, music from DJ Rushmor and other entertainment. Stay for the free food courtesy of Donald Brown and Ponytail. And close out the day with an item from our clothing giveaway.

Grilling will occur in the St. James AME Church parking lot while other activities will take place in the multipurpose hall. The event is free and open to the public, and all our neighbors are welcome!

Download the flier to share with others. Call (574) 294-4950 if you have any questions.

Theatrical Minions Youth Improv Show | June 28, 2015

stage curtain

Theatrical Minions Improv ShowThe Theatrical Minions, a new youth improv comedy group at St. James, will make their debut on Sunday, June 28, 2015. The group consists of several young people ranging in age from 4-16 and is directed by our very own Audrianna Goodman. The show begins at 5 pm.

The Theatrical Minions have been working diligently on improv games to create laughs for the whole family. We welcome people from across the community to come and see them in action. We are requesting a $5 donation from adults, which will go toward the church’s youth ministry team, and a non-perishable canned good for the St. James food pantry from all attendees 17 and under.

Download the flier to share with others. Call (574) 294-4950 for advance tickets. Tickets will also be available at the door.

Hope for Incarceration Worship Service | May 31

"Freedom." (Shoomz/Flickr CC)

The St. James AME Church family invites you to Hope for Incarceration, a special worship service focused on supporting those affected by the prison system, this Sunday, May 31 at 11 a.m.

This service is especially for those who have been behind bars or experienced the loss of having a loved one behind bars. God wants to bring hope and healing to families hurt by incarceration, and we invite you to join us in worship!

Collection for Traveler’s Inn

St. James supports Traveler’s Inn, a local ministry dedicated to providing transitional housing for men who are coming out of prison. On this Sunday, we will collect new and gently used household items for the men to use in their residences. The task of getting back on one’s feet and re-starting one’s life on the outside can be overwhelming without the help of others. You can make the load a little lighter by bringing one or more of the following items to worship:

  • Sheet sets for twin size beds
  • Towels and other bathroom items
  • Small appliances such as microwaves, blenders and coffeemakers
  • Other kitchen items such as pots and pans, silverware and dishes

(Image: “Freedom.” Credit: Shoomz/Flickr)

Fifth Annual Big Hat Brunch in Review

Big Hat Brunch 2015

Big Hat Brunch 2015 flierThe Big Hat Brunch turned five on Saturday, May 16, 2015, as the St. James AME Church Daughters of Hannah group hosted another fabulous event. This year, the theme was Listen…Sense God’s Presence and His Love; For Such a Time as This, based on Proverbs 22:17 and Romans 8:38-39.

Throughout the brunch, worship was led by Providence African Methodist Episcopal Church, Indianapolis, Ind., under the leadership of Tannika Patton. Jalliyah Johnson, also known as the Princess of Flags, danced with a spirit of joy and excellence to Tasha Comb’s song, “Confidence.” Jalliyah is a member of Greater Wayside Temple Church of God in Christ, Elkhart, Ind.

The highlight of the event was guest preacher Rev. Deborah A. Lightfoot-Oates. Rev. Oates has been the pastor of Providence AME Church for the last six years. In addition, she has held pastoral leadership for congregations in Seymour and Terre Haute, Ind. Preaching on the theme of the event, she challenged those in attendance to acknowledge the ways they are spiritually, emotionally and physically stuck, and to claim their progress and deliverance in Christ. Continue reading

Passion Week Prayer Walk | April 4

PassionWeekPrayerWalkJoin St. James AME Church, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary and People’s History of Elkhart as we walk, sing and pray as we journey with Jesus to the cross on a 2-mile walk in downtown and south central Elkhart.

We will stop along the way to recognize Jesus in the “least of these” (Matt. 25:40), to lament violence and injustice in our community, and to hear from people who, like Simon of Cyrene, are helping Christ bear the load of the cross.