Lower School Chapel

Pentecost Lower School Chapel

Each Wednesday Pastor Joe+ presents a chapel service for the Lower School (K-5) of the Academy. During our quarantine time, his dog, Abbo has become a regular participant in the service. You can find this week’s service on our Facebook page: Lower School Chapel

The Fourth Sunday of Easter

May 3,2020 The Rev. Joe Cochran

The Gospel: John 10:1-10

Jesus said, “Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

Saint James Online Worship Continues

Statement from the Rev. Joseph M. Cochran, Rector:

On Friday May 15 at 5 pm, the State-wide stay at home order issued by Governor Hogan will be lifted, allowing localities to move toward re-opening as local conditions warrant.  Baltimore County continues in a stay-at-home posture, with businesses and houses of worship remaining closed.  The Bishop has made it clear that any steps toward in-person worship in a parish of the Diocese of Maryland must be pre-approved by the Diocese and that our denomination will proceed at its own pace.  Therefore, we at St. James continue to look to our governmental authorities and our Bishop for direction.  The Vestry has formed a committee to develop plans for parishioners at St. James to return to in-person worship and other gatherings.  Our return to in-person gatherings will be achieved in phases, and over a long period of time.  So, for the time being, we continue to worship online.  Please continue to participate in our online daily worship and Sunday worship offerings.  We will keep you posted on developments.

Our Church Continues Unabated – Third Letter from the Rector

Dear friends,

It is hard to believe that it’s been only a week since I wrote to you announcing that corporate worship gatherings were suspended through March 29 at St. James’ Church and throughout the Diocese of Maryland.  It feels like it was a month ago, not one week.  So much has happened in one week’s time.  Suddenly we are being called to be the Church in a dramatically different world.

Today (Thursday, March 19th) our Bishop announced that through May 16 we will not hold public worship gatherings in the Diocese of Maryland.  We are at a critical juncture with coronavirus, and it is important for us to not gather in large groups for the next 2 months.  While we cannot gather for corporate worship in our church building, this means we will continue to be the Church in different ways.

Our current circumstance begs the question: what does it mean to be a church?  When we can’t use our church building for corporate worship, can we still be a church?  When our ability to gather together for worship is taken from us, can we still be a church?  When we are unable to receive the Eucharistic sacrament, can we still be a church?

What is the essence of a church?  The essence of a church is what happens when 2 or 3 are gathered together in the name of Christ, whether that gathering is in the same room or through a computer screen or over the phone.  Jesus comes among us when we gather in his name.  That’s when church happens, and in that ‘happening’ we are touched, transformed, loved, lifted up, strengthened, made one – we are the Church.

The Church has continued, unabated, through wars, and plagues, and storms of all kinds, and and will continue, even through coronavirus.  OUR church – St. James’ Church – continues.  Right now, St. James’ Church continues withCompline online; beginning next week, daily Noonday Prayer online; adult forum online; Sunday worship online; calls from the Rector; parishioners checking in on one another; prayers offered for ourselves and others; prayers offered for the world and our leaders; hymns that we sing out loud and in our hearts; prayers of thanksgiving and joy to our God. Yes indeed, the Church continues, St. James’ Church continues and will do so through coronavirus and beyond, praise be to God.

Information for Sunday worship services at St. James’ through Lent, Holy Week services, and Easter will be forthcoming.  For this coming Sunday, March 22, rather than gathering online as the St. James’ community, we will join our Episcopal sisters and brothers of the Diocese of Maryland for worship online at 11 am.  Here is the link:     Worship Together

Friends, continue to worship in the beauty of holiness, continue caring for one another, continue calling one another, continue to say your prayers – in short, continue to be the Church.  Our community and the world need us the Church, especially now in this challenging and difficult time.

In Christ,



Newsletter Sign Up

Join our mailing list today and receive our latest news and articles delivered straight to your inbox!