In recent months you may have heard someone mention the phrase “Sunday JAM.” Let me explain. Janie and I returned to Jackson in June of last year as church planters and immediately set to work establishing relationships with as many folks in our community as possible. The Lord has crossed our paths with so many new people that it has been difficult to keep up. On October 15, 2021, we held a retreat with the Vailes and Denker families who committed to our planting efforts early on. We all agreed that we needed a weekly gathering to which we could invite friends old and new. Thus was born Sunday JAM.
Named after the initials of our temporary name, Jackson Anglican Mission, JAM was initiated to incubate a community. Our prayer was that it would solidify into a community that would be devoted to the apostle’s teaching, the fellowship, the breaking of bread, and the prayers (Acts 2:42). Our first gathering was held at the home of Kevin and Liz Vailes on October 24 with nine families (29 people total). Some families had expressed interest in our church planting efforts, others had not. We simply wanted to get together for a meal and fellowship. Regardless of whether these 9 families would join a new church, they have given our efforts a beginning.
Sunday JAM continued to grow through December, and we capped the year off with a Lessons and Carols service with 45 in attendance! We were seeing consistency and sensed that it was time to share our vision for a new Anglican church in Jackson. On January 16, after a meal and praying Compline, Janie and I shared our desire for a church plant to be a “place for the wanderers to dwell.” There are many in our city who are spiritually homeless and seeking community in a COVID-weary world. We wanted to invite our growing community to join us in this endeavor.
Our missional map as church planters began with an initial discernment phase. We were charged to gather fifteen committed families equaling 40 individuals. While our largest gathering to date included 53 in attendance, we have 59 consistent attendees, equaling fifteen households! Of these, only six households were established members of All Saints. Our gatherings have grown to include praying Compline together, a short teaching and discussion time, and even a brief children’s lesson.
As we near the end of this first discernment phase, we are asking All Saints to lift JAM up in prayer. Please pray that this fellowship will develop into a rich community with a heart for those wandering and searching for the family of God. We have a long way to go, but we are convinced that worship services are the result of the Body of Christ loving God and neighbor rather than the other way around. If you or someone you know would like to join us for Sunday JAM, please let us know by contacting me.