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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 >

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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, starting Jan. 4th, 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

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We’re reading ‘The Universal Christ’ by Richard Rohr; next discussion Jan. 9th at 9 a.m. in the Lab 

Rev. Cindy is recommending Richard Rohr’s The Universal Christ book to us. 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

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Girls Who Code classes continue 

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

Girls Who Code returns to St. James! Our fall/winter semester, taught by our Technology Team, continues 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 Joshua Vecchione, who transitioned from female to male in 1977

On Sunday, June 13, 2021, 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. 

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St. James in the News

Faithful pets celebrated in annual Blessing of the Animals at area churches (Daily Pilot, Oct. 6, 2021): The Daily Pilot highlights the Blessing of the Animals services at various churches in coastal Orange County, including ours at St. James, where a pig and a “unicorn” were blessed, among others. 


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.

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.

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‘Collective trauma’ was the theme of our Lenten Summit last 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 2020 affected our congregation; you can read that article here.