St. James' "Living" Mission

St. James' "Living" Mission

article and photo courtesy of St. James', Yuba City

St. James of Jerusalem Episcopal Church of Yuba City is literally “living” their mission to “Feed My Sheep.” Through our 14,000 sq. ft., year-round garden, we, with God’s help, produced 8272 lbs. of fresh vegetables between April and October of this year. This is twice as much as we produced last summer and exemplifies that even a small group of dedicated individuals can make a difference.

St. James' is on the Total Ministry path, and our garden seems to mirror our journey in that each of us has different gifts to give to the garden, and the garden flourishes because of the abundance of those combined gifts.

Tended by our small congregation of 25, all of our garden bounty of fresh produce is distributed to local food pantries such as the Christian Assistance Network, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, St. John’s Episcopal Church in Marysville, and Marysville Men’s Shelter.

We have reached out beyond our own walls and even across the river to community churches and schools. River Valley High School Agricultural students started several hundred seedlings in their hot house for us to plant. The St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church youth group has come to weed and help get the garden ready for the winter planting. St. John’s Episcopal Church lunch program regularly comes by to harvest veggies to use for their lunches. The River Bottoms Ministry started providing instruction on cooking fresh vegetables over an open fire, as many of the homeless community only have an open fire for cooking.

It is by faith that this labor of love thrives. We have been blessed with a parishioner who is a farmer and provides a tractor and his expertise. Our Senior and Junior Wardens, along with our Postulant, helped design the watering system. We also received a grant, written by our Senior Warden, from Episcopal Community Services to upgrade our irrigation system, greatly aiding in more effective watering of our crops.

Our plans include expanding our garden by adding an orchard to provide fresh fruit for the homeless and needy in our community. We have begun to prepare for this by clearing out the area planned for planting.

Each member of our congregation contributes in some way to the success of the garden. It is an outward manifestation of our love and commitment to our Mission, our faith and our community. Through God’s blessing of our garden we are able to make a difference - though we are small in number, we are mighty in our faith.

For more information about St. James', visit

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