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Life With Grace | April 19

A group of men eating breakfast around tables in the Parish Hall of a church
Join us for worship this weekend and Men's Prayer Breakfast every Tuesday!

Dear Friends,

The Fourth Sunday of Easter coincides with Earth Day this year.  The Fourth Sunday of Easter is sometimes referred to as Good Shepherd Sunday because the gospel each year is drawn from the tenth chapter of John in which Jesus speaks of himself as the Good Shepherd, a pointed critique of other religious and political leaders of Israel who oppose Jesus as the one sent by the Father to redeem the world. 

The Creation Justice Ministry of the National Council of Churches,,  has chosen the theme Plastic Jesus to draw our attention to the myriad ways our comsumption of through away plastics single threaten and harm people, animals and ecosystems around the creation. 

I encourage you to read Plastic Jesus - Real Faith in a Synthetic World.  As you do you may notice various reactions in yourself.  You may be angry about having to consider your use of plastic as a sin.  You may feel despair over the scope of the problem. You may feel self righteous about your efforts to purify your life of single use plastics and critical of those who haven't adopted your reforms.  You may be surprised to learn about the impact of plastics on our lives, economy, and environment in the relatively short time plastics have been in use.  

Take a breath and remember the voice of the Good Shepherd who knows you and who loves you and who is leading you into abundant life.  Review the personal and community actions on pages 15-16. Centered on the reality of Jesus as your shepherd, consider what He might be calling you and us to do or change or be as stewards of creation and members of His flock. Share your thoughts with others in the knowledge and hope that with God's help we can play a role in the healing of the world.

With Gratitude,

Tuck Bowerfind (he/him/his)

Rector | Grace Episcopal Church

Plastic Jesus_web-2 (1)
Download PDF • 913KB

Invitation to a Spiritual Hike

Dear All,

As the sun sets over the distant peaks and casts its golden glow upon the ancient trails of Rockbridge County, we warmly invite you to join us on a soul-nourishing journey through the county's beautiful hiking trails. Come and connect with the divine through transformative moments and quiet reflections.

Date: 04/24/2024 Time: 5:00 pm Location: Chessie Trail

Purpose: Our intention is simple: to take a break from the chaos of our daily lives, tune in to the gentle whispers of the wind, and find comfort in the rhythm of our footsteps. Together, we will immerse ourselves in the sanctity of nature, share stories, and seek inner peace.

Comfortable hiking attire

A water bottle (for both physical and spiritual thirst)

An open heart.

Worship Services | Fourth Sunday of Easter | Sunday, April 21

Holy Eucharist | 8 a.m.

In-Person & Zoom

4Easter at 8
Download PDF • 256KB

Christianity and Culture This Week| 9:15 a.m.

In Person | Parish Hall

April 21st:  Harvey Markowitz:  Passover   

Harvey will talk about Passover, the holiday, and will also discuss the question of the God “hardening” the Pharoah’s heart about not letting the Jewish people return to their promised land. Harvey will discuss the moral implications of God setting up the situation that led to the Passover.

Upcoming Session

April 28th: James Keane: Beyond a Binary God – Transgenderism and the Bible

Summary: A discussion on transgenderism from the perspective of tradition, scripture, and reason.

Holy Eucharist | 10:30 a.m.

In-Person and Youtube

4th Easter at 1030
Download PDF • 285KB

Please join us after each service on April 28th for a Parish photo on the front steps of Grace with Nolan Zunk.

Stamp Out Hunger

Stamp Out Hunger, the nation's largest food drive, is back on May 11th!Postal workers from ten post offices throughout Rockbridge County will collect donated canned and dry food items from city and county residents and deliver them to RARA, as well as food pantries in Buena Vista and Glasgow. Stamp Out Hunger is sponsored by members of the National Association of Letter Carriers, the National Rural Letter Carriers' Association, and the U.S. Postal Service. The last year's drive brought in almost 4,000 pounds of non-perishable food to Rockbridge County.

RARA needs your help on May 11th between 12-5pm to process thousands of pounds of Stamp Out Hunger donations. Shifts are two and a half hours long and are a great opportunity for community groups, coworkers, teams, and families to volunteer together!

If you cannot volunteer, please consider participating by leaving your donations by your mailbox on the morning of Saturday, May 11th. We greatly appreciate any and all donations. Please see our list of our most needed items (no glass please):

  • Marinades, sauces, & spices

  • Health & hygiene items

  • Canned meat

  • Soup

  • Canned fruit

  • Diced tomatoes

  • Dried fruit or nuts

  • Cereal

  • Baby food & diapers

Morning Prayer | Monday–Friday 8:30 a.m.

In-Person & Zoom

Paws to Connect

No Paws to Connect this week, but join us on April 30th and May 1st for our first Paws to Connect of Spring Term!

Men's Prayer Breakfast

Join us every Tuesday morning at 7 a.m. for Men's Prayer Breakfast! Come get some delicious breakfast and wake up with us.

A Farewell for Samson

Samson Mamour, our Assistant Rector, will finish his two-year tenure at Grace Church at the end of May. To celebrate his ministry with us, there will be a unitive service at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 5 followed by a reception. There will be time to honor him with gifts and cards.  If you would like to give him a cash gift, please write out a check to him. We invite you to participate as you wish and to attend if possible. Cards and notes of appreciation are welcomed and encouraged. There will be a basket to collect them on the day of his party, but if you won’t be able to attend and wish to write something, please send to Melissa Cox at 107 Lee Avenue in Lexington. Please include Samson on the back of the envelope. Please join us as we celebrate Samson’s time with us and wish him Godspeed.

Upcoming Labyrinth Events

April Labyrinth Walk: will take place in the form of a workshop on Saturday, April 20th, 10am - 3pm at The Bellfry.  Lunch will be provided.  We will walk the Bellfry Labyrinth on the meadow.  Donations will kickstart a fund to build a labyrinth at Boys Home of Virginia. 


The Bellfry, April 20, 2024 10am-3pm

140 Bells Ridge Trail, Lexington, Virginia

Lunch Provided, A suggested donation of $20 will help fund a Labyrinth at Boys Home of Virginia

This is a Veriditas Qualifying Workshop. RSVP: Heidi 540.460.1891

May Labyrinth Walk: will be held on World Labyrinth Day

Saturday, May 04, 2024,12:30PM - 1:30 PM at Boxerwood.  

We will walk a temporary labyrinth to be constructed of natural materials from the gardens on The Boxerwood Meadow.   

Friday, May 03:  The day prior to the World Labyrinth Day event, we will gather volunteers, and students from EarthSong Community School, to build the labyrinth by placing clipping from the gardens on the marked path lines of the labyrinth.  

These events are free and open to the public.  Please register on the Boxerwood website.

World Labyrinth Day Workshop: There is also a labyrinth workshop available on the morning of May 04.  It will be led by a colleague of mine, Mary Ann Wamhoff, who is an Advance Labyrinth Facilitator from Crozet.  The fee for her workshop is $75 and those interested can sign up on the Boxerwood website.  Here's the flyer for World Labyrinth Day:  Those interested may register through the Boxerwood website:  

Boxerwood website:

Dr. Robert Glidden Services

On April 28 we will celebrate the life and ministry of Dr. Robert Glidden with a concert at 4 p.m. followed by Evensong at 5 p.m.. The concert will feature many local and out of town musicians, works by Haydn, Mozart, Copland, Puccini, as well as living composers who are friends of Bob and René’s. String quartet, choral works, and organ works will be part of the riches!

CATE Group

The Children Aspiring To Education or CATE group of our Grace Church is thankful for the great response to the April 7th 9:15 a.m. presentation on the two schools, Saint Marc's in Haiti and Kelly Academy of Hope in South Sudan.  So we want to share with all readers of Life with Grace the information in the 2-page handout below.  We are so thankful that we were able to see and speak with the school directors last Sunday via Zoom.  Let's continue the long standing connection to our brothers and sisters in these two not-so distant places  as we renew our efforts to support Saint Marc's and initiate support for the new Kelly Academy which aims to offer South Sudanese youth the opportunity to learn in their homeland.

south Sudan
Download PDF • 466KB

Backyard Compost Challenge with Boxerwood

Our Big Question: How much food waste could we keep out of the landfill if more of us used backyard composters instead? To answer that question we are enrolling 80 local households in a 10-week “citizen science” project, March 9 – May 18, 2024.

Each selected household will weigh and share data about its total food diversion weekly. Boxerwood will post this data anonymously on its project webpage. We will use this information to better understand the impact of diverting food waste with backyard composting. Your new compost kit (and our weekly tips) will also give you a way to start protecting the Earth right here at home.

Backyard Compost Challenge Flyer 2024
Download PDF • 691KB

Update on the Trex Challenge

We have reached the 6 month point of the Trex Challenge and I am very pleased to confirm that we have collected 523 lbs. of plastic film toward our goal of 1,000 lbs. by October 1.  We are halfway there.  Thank you for your tremendous contributions to this effort.  Please keep up your collection of plastic film so we will meet our goal in October.

Please note that the plastic film collected is not only plastic bags but includes other plastic films that stretch; bread bags, bubble wrap, drycleaning bags, plastic shipping envelopes, Ziploc food storage bags, shrink wrap, salt bags, wood pellet bags, produce bags, etc... everything just must be clean before going into recycling. There is a blue collection bin for plastic film under the bridge between the Church and Parish Hall for your deposit of plastic films. Thanks again for your participation in this challenge.

Rockbridge Co. Cleanup

We are also trying to reschedule a date for our own cleanup of a road in Rockbridge Co.  Unfortunately the dates for the community cleanup in March conflicted with other commitments.  We are shooting for a Saturday in May and will see what works best in everyone's schedule. 

Earth Day - April 22

Although we have nothing planned, I encourage you to look into other ways to celebrate Earth Day.  There are activities locally in Staunton on April 20th, and a Boxerwood tree planting on April 27th.  Happy Earth Day! 

Prayers for Peace in the Holy Land

A Note from Tuck:

I am writing to ask for your prayers for a de-escalation of violence between Israeli and Palestinian people and for return to the challenging work of building a sustainable and lasting peace.

I have reached out to the current student director of Hillel House, the Chaplain at VMI, and the director of Student Services at W&L to express our support of Israeli, Palestinian, Jewish and Muslim students.

I encourage you to reach out to your Israeli, Palestinian, Jewish and Muslim friends in recognition that this crisis creates the conditions for increased anti-semitic and anti-muslim behavior, as well the strong likelihood that they or someone close to them has been impacted by this crisis.

Finally, please read the following statement by the Episcopal Church and the accompanying statement by Churches for Middle East Peace.

Pray for peace.

Boys Home of Virginia Wish List

Please help us support the Boys Home of Virginia by supplying any of items on their wishlist. There is a basket on the stair landing to the Parish Office for the Boys Home donations. Please drop off at church. Thank you!

Wanted: Sunday School Teachers

Grace is looking for youth, college students and adults willing to help provide Sunday School for a few children each Sunday from about 9:15 to 10:15 a.m. We are willing to pay a stipend. Please contact Tuck to find out more.

Prayer List

Please pray for the wider Church and intercessions requested by our Congregants: Prayers for continued healing for Presiding Bishop Curry. Pray for the candidates for Presiding Bishop: The Rt. Rev. J. Scott Barker, The Rt. Rev. Daniel G. P. Gutiérrez, The Rt. Rev. Sean Rowe, The Rt. Rev. Robert Wright. The Diocese of Southwestern Virginia, and our Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Mark Bourlakas.  Pray for the people of Emmanuel, Staunton and their Rector, The Rev. Jonathan Bauer. Pray for Brendon, Michael Murphy, Timmy, Rick Alexander, Bradley Fairchild and Karen Junkin, John & Gloria June Perry, Glen Jones, Patricia Brown Boyer, Jack Hershbell, Laura Stearns, Worth & Katie Burnes & Family, Amelia Dull, Stephen deMaria, Polly Lawrence, Betty Cadden, Jeff Mason, Joe Irby, Kent Wilson, Don Ellis, Diana Kenney, Patrick Bowes, Ann Nay, Paula Cooper, Penny & Ned Henneman, Barbara Bova, Daniel Diener, Shelby, Clay Sadler, Sharon Humphreys, Eloise Adams, Nancy Mastin, Elizabeth Klein, Cullen Bahr (friend of Drusie Milford), Mary Etta Randolph, Amaree Cluff, Jeff Patnaude, Blake, Liz & Cameron (friends of Chris Young), Carl & Rachel Pattison, Wayne Fitzgerald (husband of Anna-Lisa Nay Fitzgerald), Brian Powers, Jane Drewry (sister-in-law of Ruth Smith), Barb Ostrander (cousin of John Milford), Nancy Walker, Carolyn Williams, Jennifer Humphrey, and those we name aloud or in our hearts. Pray for the graduates of colleges, universities and high schools, especially Colleen Curto, Lucy Eagleson, Annie Thomas,  Jackson Hotchkiss, Joe Condie and Rowan Moles. (Please let us know of students we should add.) Pray for those who have died.

In Thanksgiving for April Birthdays

4/19  Lisa J McGuire, Beverly Wirtz

4/20  Erika Brooke

4/22  Buddy Atkins

4/25  Genelle Gertz

4/26  Chuck Smith

4/27  Nancy Walker

4/28  Sharon Humphreys, Abby Moles, Madison Brown

4/29  David Hansen


We're so glad you're here! If you or someone you know is new to Grace and would like more information about Parish life, follow the link below.


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