Who we are
Our Mission and Identity
“The mission of St. James’ Episcopal Church,
a central city church,
is to welcome all people into the presence of Christ,
and to serve in His name.”
The people of St. James’ know our mission statement.
The people of St. James’ pray our mission statement.
The people of St. James’, with God’s help, live our mission statement.
St. James’ Episcopal Church, in the heart of downtown Milwaukee, has been helping to serve the needs of its community for 160 years. We see our mission as three-fold:
To welcome – Our ushers are called “ministers of hospitality.” All who come to the door are embraced as having particular gifts to share with the community. Our congregation includes families of many different configurations, and friends of many different races, political persuasions, sexual orientations, and economic realities, including those who have nowhere to sleep except our doorstep. Every individual and household brings experiences that enrich our common life. At St. James’, diversity is not a cliché, and society’s outcasts are not just tolerated, not just accepted, but cherished."I come to St. James' because of the value put on social justice. We act authentically."
To be Christ’s presence – St. James’ is, first and foremost, a church. St. James’ historic building is a place of prayer and solace, a place of beauty and music, a place of careful yet joyful liturgy with a “broad-church” perspective. The people of St. James’ are comfortable in our Episcopal heritage, serving the Church at both the national and diocesan levels. Liturgically, while we are grounded in the Book of Common Prayer and honor the traditions of the past, so rich and valuable for many, we also strive to practice hospitality in our worship through flexibility and openness to new expressions of song and prayer, which are rich and valuable to so many others.
To serve in His name – We are the hands, feet, eyes and heart of Jesus in our central city neighborhood. We are committed to our downtown location and the special challenges it affords. We practice a very hands-on brand of service, getting to know the individuals who benefit from our distributions of clothing and sundries, and from the meal program which utilizes our facility six days a week. We are active politically, advocating for the people we serve. One parishioner summarized our ethos of service by saying, “I appreciate the change that St. James’ has made in me. My heart and my eyes have gotten bigger. I am better at recognizing the needs of others.”
"I come to St. James because of the value we put on social justice. We act authentically."