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 (this year on Oct. 6th), 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 monthly calendar of events >

<!-- 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');


Rabbi Peter Levi returns to discuss how to combat anti-Semitism
November 17, 2019
at 9 a.m. in the Lab

Rabbi Peter Levi, of the Orange County chapter of the Anti-Defamation League, will  be with us again to continue the discussion about how to combat and counter anti-Semitism (as well as other forms of hate) on Sunday,  Nov. 17th at 9 a.m. in the Lab.

Rabbi Peter Levi is a veteran Jewish community professional. After 18 years as a congregational rabbi, he now is the Regional Director for the Anti-Defamation League’s Orange County/Long Beach office where he fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all by responding to hate incidents, building relationships with elected officials, the interfaith community, law enforcement, other cultural and civil rights organizations, and educating the community [anti-bias and anti-bullying programs for K–12 schools and college campuses]. Rabbi Peter currently serves as president of the Orange County Board of Rabbis, is a member of the Orange County Sheriff’s Interfaith Advisory Council, and was named one of Orange County’s 100 most influential people in 2018 by the Orange County Register.

Christmas Concert:
Handel’s “Messiah”
December 8, 2019 at 5 p.m.

Continuing our annual holiday tradition, join the Laguna Beach Chorale and St. James Choir, under the direction of Daniel F. Resch, for a rousing rendition of that Christmas-season classic, George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah,” on Sunday, Dec. 8th at 5 p.m. at St. James. A suggested donation is $25 per person; you may purchase your donation tickets via Eventbrite here. Childcare will be provided, and a light reception will follow. 

Inner Sanctuary 
A spirituality class on Wednesday mornings, 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 weeks of the Inner Sanctuary experience, we will explore together the inner journey of spiritual transformation through a variety of perspectives and practices. The class is off during the month of November, but will resume in December or January. The Rev. Susan Purnell invites you to come—sit—just be.

Homelessness and its impact on our community
Wednesday evenings during Lent this year we heard inspiring speakers tell of their experiences with homeless people and the ways in which homelessness can be solved. Videos of some of the talks are available (see below). 

Through our five Wednesday evening programs in March and April of this year, this journey took us through the whys of homelessness, what is being done by those working directly with the homeless, and the exploration of ways in which we can directly and personally serve the homeless. We also read the book, The Hundred Story Home, by Kathy Izard (pictured above, and who was with us on March 20th), and watched the four movies recommended by our Community Engagement Team (Motel Kids of Orange County, With Honors, The Soloist, and The Florida Project).

MARCH 13th: BEMJAMIN ORESKES, L.A. Times reporter on the homeless beat. See the video of his talk here

MARCH 20th: KATHY IZARD (pictured above), author of The Hundred Story Home, her account of building housing for Charlotte, N.C.’s homeless. 

MARCH 27th: DAN YOUNG, Housing First and Camino Enterprises president. Dan Young is a former mayor of Santa Ana, and he came to St. James to share his vision for how developers can help provide sustainable housing for the homeless, and how developers, cities, and the county can work together to find solutions. See the video of his talk here.

APRIL 3rd: CHEF BRUNO SERATO, of the Anaheim White House restaurant and Caterina’s Club, on feeding hungry kids and helping the “motel families” of Orange County. See the video of his talk here.

APRIL 10th: DIANE ESTIL, teacher, Skyview School, and DILAN OEZKAN, former student at Skyview.

Click here for a brochure
of our Lenten series >

IDATA: Innovative astronomy and coding class for high-school students featured in the Daily Pilot

IDATA makes astronomy accessible to the blind and visually impaired. Our IDATA class was featured in an article in the Daily Pilot newspaper. A reporter and photographer from the paper came out to the last class of the school year to interview the students, and Barbara Stachelski, the instructor. We are hoping to continue IDATA this fall with the next step in their curriculum. (There is a fee of $25 for course materials.)

Click here for the 2018–2019 course brochure >

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.

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

© 2019 St. James Episcopal Church, Newport Beach, CA

  • Facebook - White Circle
  • Twitter - White Circle
  • SJEC Instagram feed
  • SJEC YouTube channel

Let's Get Social