St. James United Church has grown from the beginnings of English settlement in what was once the township of Innisfil. A little crossroads Methodist Chapel in the days when the settlement here was called Victoria served the needs of English pioneers. Despite hardship and a succession of fires, this little community continued to rise from the ashes to worship God and discern Godís will. Today, St. James is a red brick testimony to the tenacity of our pioneer ancestors. The present building was raised in 1907, and has continued to grow and change to reflect the growth and changes of its history. We are still a little crossroads church in the community now known as Stroud, in the heart of the Town of Innisfil, but we are not small.
However, we acknowledge the Ojibwa, Wendat and Pottawatomi peoples, upon whose land we settled, and for whom this land was and is sacred. We acknowledge with regret that we have not always exercised fair stewardship of this sacred trust, or of our relationships with the first peoples who lived in this area. And we are walking a pathway of hope for healing and reconciliation with them.
We gather in seekers and seasoned United Church folk from South Barrie to Alcona, and from the shores of Lake Simcoe almost all the way to the Fifth Sideroad. Historically a farming community, our church community is comprised of a mixture of people whose backgrounds embrace a broad range of occupations. We have a small but vibrant Sunday School program, where the children are given a lot of attention. According to church growth strategists, we are considered a "family" church, and we try to live this reality. However, we have some of the depth and enthusiasm of bigger churches, and try to make the best use possible of our resources to offer diverse ministries.
The faith expressed among the members is diverse as well, but mostly we tend to line up with progressive Christian theology. Faith and reason coexist at St. James.
We are very connected to the identity of our denomination as a justice-seeking, justice-making community. We raise money for causes, and we raise consciousnesses for transformation and social action. We think globally, and are learning how to act locally.
Our various ministries are carried out by a great team, who are named below:
SHINING WATERS REGION 10:
Reps: Linda Winson, Mary McGrath
CONGREGATIONAL LIFE TEAM:
Board Reps: Karen Given, Jean Hillock, Karen Kelly, Shirley King, Hilary Mallett, Donna Wice, Linda Winson
Children & Youth - Shirley King, Clasina Brands
MISSION & OUTREACH:
Hilary Mallett, Ina Madill, Donna Wice, Karen Given
Lay Visitation/Phoning - Kay Boer, Barbara Johnston, Donna Wice, Roberta Noble, Joyce Wales
Coffee Time - Shirley Parker
Friendship Letters - Jean McGinley
Greeters - Karen Given
Lay Readers - Hilary Mallett
Elevator - Merv Wice, Roy King, Bob Stainton
WEBSITE & SOCIAL MEDIA:
Heather Thompson, Karen Drake, Linda Winson
Karen Kelly, Jean Hillock, Pat Edmonds, Shirley Parker, Karen Given, Hilary Mallett
U.C.W. (United Church Women):
Co-Presidents Ė Joyce Feren & Lorraine Stapleton
POLICY & PLANNING TEAM:
Board Reps: Shirley King, Joyce Feren
Accessibility - Ross Parker, Linda Winson Funeral - Donna Wice, Shirley King
VISIONING & SPECIAL EVENTS:
Linda Winson, Donna Wice, Shirley King, Joyce Feren, Ross Parker
Board Reps: Donna Wice, Merv Wice, Ross Parker, Heather Walker
Kay Boer, Heather Thompson
Chairperson - Roy King, Vice-Chair/Treasurer - Merv Wice, Manager - John Juffermans, Assistant Mgr. - Ross Parker,
Secretary - Joe Winson, Trustee Rep - Donna Wice
Treasurer - Karen Kelly, Co-Treasurer - Harry Visser
Counters - Ted Gemmell, Joyce Feren, Harry Visser
M & P (MINISTRY & PERSONNEL):
Heather Walker, Pat Edmonds
Donna Wice, Harry Visser, Ross Parker
Doreen Parker, Murray Spence, Donna Wice (Liaison)