Events & Programs

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 >

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Blessing of the Animals
October 4, 2020 at 11 a.m. in Lido Park

The Blessing of the Animals is an exciting annual family event that is held each year on the first Sunday in October. This year we will have it after our 10 a.m. service, across the street from our church in Lido Park. Last year we had around 90 pets being blessed! You can see photos of one of our previous year’s wonderful events over at our Facebook page here!

Inner Sanctuary 
A spirituality class on Tuesday mornings on Zoom, that invites you to ‘just be’ in the presence of God. Our new series, ‘The Spiritual Journey Towards Wholeness,’ begins July 21st.

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 latest eight-week series, “The Spiritual Journey Towards Wholeness,” begins July 21st, and continues until Sept. 8th, 2020, on Tuesday mornings from 10:30 a.m. until 12 noon, on Zoom. 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

Newport Jazz Vespers will resume at a future date

Jazz Vespers is a synthesis of the Episcopal liturgy with the improvisational give-and-take of contemporary jazz. This profoundly spiritual blend of sound encompasses the range 
of emotions that define the human experience. The jazz ensemble will be led by the 
Rev. Norm Freeman, Jr., a Juilliard-trained percussionist who has performed 
with Barbra Streisand, Jessye Norman, and Kathleen Battle, 
among many others.

Owing to the concern about the spread of COVID-19, Fr. Norm and his musicians have opted to cancel the Jazz Vespers originally scheduled for earlier this spring. They hope to hold another Jazz Vespers service sometime after we reopen.

Parenting Classes 
Dr. Alison Englar-Carlson, of the Pegasus School, was with us in the Lab, providing helpful information for parents.

We have put together a series of parenting classes with Dr. Alison Englar-Carlson, an educational psychologist from the Pegasus School here in Newport Beach. The classes met each Sunday in the Lab at 9 a.m. before the service, on March 1st and 8th. The class that was scheduled for March 29th will be rescheduled for a future date—we will post it when it is known.

Our topics are as follows, by Sunday:

  • March 1st: Allowing Your Child to Fail (video will be forthcoming)

  • March 8th: Boundary Setting and Effective Communication (video will be forthcoming)

  • TBD: Successful Parenting in the Digital Age


Feel free to invite your friends who are parents to this free resource! Childcare will be provided.











St. James in the News


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 article


Around Town: Local events will bless the pets (Orange Coast Daily Pilot, Sept. 28, 2017)

Click here to read article


Newport Beach Church Members Test Their DNA as Part of Race Project (Orange County Register, June, 12, 2017)

Click here to read article

Newport woman is off to France to help refugee children (Orange Coast Daily Pilot, Feb. 25, 2017)

Click here to read article

Girls Who Code classes continue virtually at St. James 
Educational programming courses will resume virtually in August.

Our Technology Team has brought Girls Who Code to St. James! Barbara Stachelski is teaching the girls. Originally we started in the Lab on our church campus, but since the shelter-in-place orders, we have been now conducting the classes via Zoom on Sundays. They have just finished their spring quarter, and will resume in August with the addition of a high-school age classes for grades 9–12. Boys are also welcome to join the classes, too. 

Please contact Barbara Stachelski if you are interested in having your children attend the course 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.

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.

© 2020 St. James Episcopal Church, Newport Beach, CA

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