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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 >

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

Join Rev. Cindy and four experts in the field of understanding collective trauma as we 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 recently ran an article on our upcoming collective trauma summit, and how this past year has affected our congregation; you can read that article here.

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Girls Who Code classes continue in-person and virtually at St. James 
Educational programming courses concluded in May, and will resume in the fall.

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 conducting the classes via Zoom on Sundays. Our spring semester concluded in May, and was a combination of Zoom and in-person participants since the COVID tiers have eased. Starting last fall, we saw the addition of a high-school age class 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.

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Inner Sanctuary 
A spirituality class on Tuesday mornings on Zoom, 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, 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

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Book to read: ‘The Prophets,’ by Robert Jones, Jr. 

We tend to think about the gay community and its progress in the last 60 years, but how do we think about it in terms of centuries ago? Or what it must have been like to be an LGBTQ person as an African slave in the newly formed United States? Of course there were gay slaves. The Prophets is a beautifully written piece of literature. It is an eye-opening, captivating, challenging novel that is worth the read. Playing off biblical names, The Prophets is sure to encourage discussion, thoughtful reflection and deep prayer about our past, present and future. We have copies available at the ushers’ table, or you can get it at your local bookstore, or on Amazon in hardcover, large-print paperback, or Kindle formats.

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.

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St. James in the News


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 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.

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