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Saint James' Episcopal Church of Texarkana has begun the process of searching for a new, full-time Rector of the Parish.
Who we are
We are a vibrant, strong, and active parish which follows the Anglo-Catholic tradition of God's one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church, both in our liturgy and our theology.
As a parish, we are very active in our community outside our walls. In the finest traditions of the classical English Vicar, our Rector also serves as the unofficial de facto rector of the greater Texarkana community, and is frequently called upon to attend and bless community events. Additionally, we are the founding parish of two substantial mission activities in the Texarkana community:
- The Randy Sams Outreach Shelter (www.randysams.org), named after deceased parishioner Randy Sams, who died in 1993 in a car accident following an all-night high prom event. Randy had a giving heart, and the shelter was established by the parish and Randy's parents as a memorial to his love for his community.
The Shelter is a major component of our mission work as a parish, and is a regional homeless shelter. More than 800 unique individuals a year pass through the doors of the Shelter each year, and in 2019, more than 500 were placed into housing through the Shelter's various programs.
The Rector of our parish has served on the Board of Directors of the Shelter, serves as its chaplain, and works closely with its executive director to coordinate efforts between the parish and the shelter. Our Rector and supporting clergy are also called upon to minister to the sick and the dying who pass through the Shelter's doors.
Members of Parish, particularly the Men of Saint James', routinely serve meals at the shelter, and assist with physical plant projects.
- St. James Day School (www.stjamesdayschool.org) is a private Episcopal day school that was founded by the Parish in 1948. It currently educates and nurtures children from age 3 through Grade 8 in a classical, parochial setting. The Rector of Saint James' also serves as Chaplain to the School, conducting weekly all-school "Big Chapel" (morning prayer with hymns) on Tuesdays, as well as teaching religious education classes weekly to middle school students, and providing guidance to teachers for their daily classroom devotional sessions.
Pursuant to its bylaws, a majority of the Board of Trustees of the School must be active, practicing Episcopalians, and the Rector and Wardens of the Parish have permanent seats on the Board of Trustees. Our Rectors in recent memory have been deeply involved in the school as both an outreach ministry of the Parish, and in providing pastoral care not only to the students and faculty of the school, but also occasionally to the parents as well.
How we worship AND MINISTER
As a parish family, we are accustomed to celebrating our heritage by:
- Being the traditional worship option for people in the Texarkana area. While there are many other churches in Texarkana who have adopted more contemporary styles of worship, Saint James' prides itself on providing a place for those seeking a more traditional, reverent, liturgical approach to worship.
- Including in our Masses the regular use of incense, sanctus bells, a chanted and sung liturgy with some liturgical settings in Latin. Many parishioners are accustomed to using manual acts of devotion, such as genuflecting and crossing themselves.
- Teaching and practicing a classical interpretation of scripture and the Sacraments, as revealed in Holy Scripture and the historic teaching of the catholic Church through the ages;
- Having a seminary-trained Rector in the Anglo-Catholic tradition of theology and liturgical practice;
- Celebrating the principal Mass each Sunday as a sung choral high Mass, using Rite II of the Book of Common Prayer, and being able to chant the propers of the Mass;
- Offering an "early" spoken Mass without hymns using Rite I from the Book of Common Prayer;
- Having a priest with a strong singing voice;
- Having a strong traditional music program, with a full choir in vestments, accompanied by a pipe organ;
- Having an active Rector who equips us for our ministries, and who has a passion for ministering to the sick, the homeless, and the needy through our work at the Randy Sams Outreach Shelter, as well as to the children, staff, and families of St. James Day School;
- Being guided by a Rector who is a good communicator, teacher, and pastor, and who relates well with parishioners and other people from diverse social and economic backgrounds and varied life experiences;
- Supporting a Rector who is involved in our community, and who favorably represents the Parish within it;
- Listening to a preacher whose sermons are informative, intellectually stimulating, challenging, reasonably concise and direct, and theologically sound;
- Having clergy who understand the significance of the fine details during worship, and who acknowledge the beauty of holiness and the holiness of beauty;
- Serving with a priest who is a skilled pastor leader and a very capable administrator, and who willingly cooperates and collaborates with the Saint James' staff and other parish lay ministers as a team. Such collaboration and cooperation is intended to continue building upon our past successes and strengths, while encouraging us to further grow in spreading God'the Father's message, and reaching out in love to our community and the world.
Our search process
In faith, we acknowledge that God already knows which of his priests will be the XXIII Rector of Saint James' parish, and it will be our place to seek to discern His will in this matter.
At a minimum, we believe that a successful applicant must possess the following basic qualifications to be considered a viable candidate:
- be a fully ordained, seminary-trained Priest (with preference given to those who graduated from a seminary focused on and grounded in the Anglo-Catholic tradition of the Church) ;
- be canonically resident in (or be eligible to be made canonically resident in) the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States of America;
- be of good moral character, having not been convicted of any felony or other crime of moral turpitude;
- be willing to comply with the canons and customs of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas, and the customs of the Parish;
If you believe that God may be calling you as our next Rector in order to assist us in celebrating and growing our Anglo-Catholic heritage, ministry and presence in Texas, and you meet the above-mentioned criteria, please submit the following materials to us by email at the address below:
- a cover letter introducing yourself;
- a curriculum vitae covering both your educational and practical work experiences;
- a seminary transcript;
- a list of links to any online audio/video recordings of your sermons, Masses or other teachings;
- any reference letters and published works you may wish for us to consider.
Email address for submissions:
Recognizing the sensitivity of these types of matters and seeking to avoid any disruption to your current ministry, our Search Committee will use its very best efforts to keep all submissions in the strictest of confidence, unless you authorize us in writing to disclose your interest in the position publicly.
We may, of course, contact any personal references you provide unless instructed otherwise, and we will consult, as required, with the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas and his duly appointed designees about your interest and suitability for the position.
Thank you for your interest!