SJEC 2018 Logo (with tagline) FINAL_brig

Events & News

St. James  sponsors or participates in many annual and several one-of-a-kind special events during the year, including our always popular Blessing of the Animals, our Mardi Gras feast, and other seasonal celebrations. We offer spiritual travel experiences and quarterly book readings and discussions are offered to enhance worship development and personal growth. For more information about what we can offer you, please send us an email at

Click here to see our calendar of events >

Walk-in flu shot clinic to be held on Sept. 29th in the Great Hall  

St. James and Hoag’s Faith Community Nursing will be hosting a walk-in flu-shot clinic on Wednesday, Sept. 29th in the Great Hall here at St. James, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. If you don’t already have access to flu shots from your medical provider and would like to get one in advance of this year’s flu season, this is the time to do so!

Faith Community Nursing logo (for website).png
Universal Christ—book cover—website.jpg
Blessing of the Animals returns on Oct. 3rd
Bring your pet to our 10 a.m. service on that date!

In honor of St. Francis of Assisi, we will again be holding a “Blessing of the Animals” at the 10 a.m. service on Sunday, Oct. 3rd. Bring your pets to church, where they will
receive a special blessing. If you can’t bring your pet along, bring a photo of them or a
stuffed animal, instead. There will be a balloon artist, face-painting, and treats,
as well! 

We’re reading ‘The Universal Christ’ by Richard Rohr this fall  

Rev. Cindy is recommending Richard Rohr’s The Universal Christbook to us this fall. She writes, “I found The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope for, and Believe quite comforting, engaging, and challenging all at the same time, but most of all, full of hope. I commend this book to you if you want a more in-depth understanding of who Christ was and what it means for you to walk in his footsteps today.”

We have copies of the book available for purchase at our ushers’ table, or you may purchase a physical book or download a Kindle version from Amazon at

Chartres Cathedral for Inner Sanctuary.p
Inner Sanctuary 

A spirituality class on Tuesday mornings—now meeting back at church— that invites you to ‘just be’ in the presence of God. 

There are those special places where we find ourselves drawn. They call out to our soul, saying, “Come—sit—just be.” When we do, invariably we are profoundly blessed. During these next weeks of the Inner Sanctuary experience, we will explore together the inner journey of spiritual transformation through a variety of perspectives and practices.  The Rev. Susan Purnell invites you to come—sit—just be.

Our series continues on Tuesday mornings from 10:30 a.m. until 12 noon in the upstairs library at church. If you would like more information, please contact Rev. Susan

‘Let the same mind that was in Christ Jesus, be in you.’ 

—Philip 2:5

Craig Delagardelle brings Jenny to be bl
St. James in the News


Inclusivity a watchword at Newport Beach church during Pride Month and beyond (Daily Pilot, June 23, 2021): The Daily Pilot covers Pride Month at St. James, noting how inclusivity is one of our core values, and highlights Rev. Cindy’s “Altarside Chat” with Joshua Vecchione, who transitioned from female to male back in 1977. Click here to read the article.

St. James Episcopal Church celebrates Pride Month in June (Daily Pilot, June 5, 2021): The Daily Pilot shows photographs of our church lit up in Pride colors during the month of June. Click here to read the article.

Churches Join Forces to Help Struggling Employees in the Shadow of Disneyland (The Living Church, April 16, 2021): St. James’ sister church, St. Michael’s in Anaheim, has been hard-hit by the COVID-19 crisis; many of its parishioners are essential workers. Rev. Cindy hopes that  “this is a long-lasting relationship [between the two churches] where we share each other’s successes and burdens as we move toward the common goal of bringing in the kingdom of God.” Click here to read the article.

Trauma in times of COVID-19 tackled in Newport Beach church’s Zoom series (Daily Pilot, Feb. 24, 2021)The Daily Pilot recently ran an article on our collective trauma summit this year, and how this past year has affected our congregation; click here to read the article.

Animals count their blessings at Newport Beach church (Daily Pilot, Oct. 7, 2019): The Daily Pilot reports on our annual Blessing of the Animals service (there‘s a slideshow of photos, too). Click here to read the article.

Newport class makes astronomy accessible to visually impaired (Daily Pilot, May 17, 2019): St. James’ iDATA class, which has taught astronomy to both visually impaired and non-visually impaired students, is profiled in this article. These days, astronomy is more about data and programming, and less about peering into telescopes, making it accessible for visually impaired students. Click here to read the article.


Most Influential 2017: Meet the 100 top influencers in Orange County 

Rev. Canon Cindy Voorhees #4 of 101

(Orange County Register, Dec. 22, 2017

To see Rev. Cindy, scroll through images to #4.

Click here to read the article.

<!-- Global site tag (gtag.js) - Google Analytics -->
<script async src=""></script>
  window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || [];
  function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);}
  gtag('js', new Date());

  gtag('config', 'UA-116562860-1');


Girls Who Code website banner.jpg

See Rev. Cindy’s “Altarside Chat” with Joshua Vecchione, who transitioned from female to male in 1977

Girls Who Code classes continue this fall 

Classes meet on Sundays at 11:30 in the Lab.

Girls Who Code returns to St. James! Our fall semester, taught by our Technology Team, begins on Sept. 19th in the Tween Room upstairs. We have two classes that both meet at 11:30 a.m. on Sundays (grades 3–5 and grades 6–12).  if you are interested in having your daughters (or sons) attend the course, please contact Barbara Stachelski at


Who Are Girls Who Code?

They are an international nonprofit seeking to inspire, educate, and equip girls with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities. Girls Who Code has served over 185,000 students across the U.S. and Canada since launching in 2012. Their alumni major in Computer Science and related fields at a rate 15 times higher than the national average. Half of the girls they have served are from historically underrepresented groups.

For more information, check out the Girls Who Code flyer here

See Rev. Cindy’s “Altarside Chat” with Dr. Richard Matthew from UCI about Earth Day and what we can do to be good stewards of creation  

On Sunday, April 18th, Rev. Cindy had an “Altarside Chat” during the service, where she interviewed Dr. Richard Matthews from UCI and the Blum Center, about his work and research in environmental studies and how we can all be good stewards of creation. You can view the interview in the YouTube link, above.

Richard A. Matthew (B.A., McGill; Ph.D., Princeton) is Associate Dean for Research and International Programs; Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy; and Director of the Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation ( at UC Irvine. He is also a Senior Fellow at IISD in Geneva, a member of the United Nations Expert Group on Environment, Conflict and Peacebuilding, and the Vice-President of the Environmental Peacebuilding Association ( He is PI of an NSF EAGER project, and Co-PI of the FloodRISE and SedRise projects ( He has served on several UN peacebuilding missions, including two that he led to Sierra Leone. His research focuses on understanding and addressing human security and conservation challenges at the intersection of severe environmental stress, extreme poverty and violent conflict. He has done extensive fieldwork in conflict and disaster zones worldwide. He has given four TEDx talks (including this one, from TEDx South Coast) and been a featured storyteller on “The Moth” twice. He has over 180 publications.

On Sunday, June 13th, Rev. Cindy had an “Altarside Chat” during the service, where she interviewed Joshua Vecchione. You can view the discussion in the YouTube link, above.

Joshua Vecchione transitioned from female to male in 1977—a major decision on its own, but occurring at a time when gender reassignment was rarely talked about. Even if it was, society’s unaccepting, hateful side reared its head. Part of Josh’s story was covered through the news media and became a catalyst to changing minds, though it has been a gradual process. Though his life’s motto is “Be humble and kind,” life was not always kind to him—yet he rose above it and persevered. 

‘Collective trauma’ was the theme of our Lenten Summit this year

Rev. Cindy and four experts in the field of understanding collective trauma explored how COVID-19 is affecting all of us, and how its after-effects will be felt in years to come. 

You can watch the various sessions of our Lenten Summit on YouTube at our Lenten Summit page here.

The Daily Pilot ran an article on our collective trauma summit, and how this past year has affected our congregation; you can read that article here.

Global Travels 
Throughout the year

Our dynamic and convivial congregation loves to take our faith and thirst for learning across the country and around the globe. As a group, we performed DNA tests and then traveled to Washington D.C. to visit the African American Museum. Coming up next, we will be traveling to Spain to walk the historic Camino de Santiago as a spiritual family—an adventure of a lifetime.