While Grace doesn't have a lot of families with young children or teenagers, we do love the ones who come to us. I won't list them here because I don't have their permission, but trust me, they are with us, we love them and they seem to love being with us as we seek God's presence and help and guidance and abundant joy.
It has been a while since Grace had a thriving Sunday school, but that doesn't mean we couldn't have one again. It means we can, with a little prayer and a lot of teamwork.
This summer Marjorie Connolly led a small team in offering Graceful Play for a few children each Sunday. A week ago a Martha Burford led a team of about eight parishioners in offering a wonderful arts camp. Check out the story in this week's Gazette.
Last Sunday I met with youth and adults from Grace, Trinity UMC, and Lexington Presbyterian for a youth group that will move around to each of those churches one Sunday a month. September 10 at Grace.
As we move forward it would be wonderful if we could sustain these efforts and begin to rebuild a thriving cohort of families who find joy and support in the fellowship of Grace for raising children of compassion, who thirst for justice, who value trust, hope, and love, and who have practiced skills for living in charity with their neighbors.
For this work to prosper we will need to work together. All of you know how to be welcoming, kind and supportive to children, youth and their parents. Most of you have shared experiences with them. That's a start. Get to know these families a bit if you don't already. Secondly, we will need a few adults who are willing to teach and pray and play with children and spend time with youth. All adults who work with children and youth must be trained and background checked. And it would help if they weren't all in choir! Because choir meets at the same time. So think and pray on this. Is this something we want to work on? Pray for children, youth and college students as they begin a new year. Pray for teachers, professors, and parents, too.
Pray before you come to church on Sunday for the spirit to welcome and connect with new and younger members. Pray for God to raise up some older youth, college students and adults who have a heart for teaching children about God, and about the great love God has for the world, made known and present and powerful in the life witness and mission of Christ's body the church. And think about what role God might be calling you to play. And let me know what you are discerning.
Tuck Bowerfind (he/him/his)
Rector, Grace Episcopal Church
AV Team: Call for Volunteers
Please consider joining the team and help with streaming on Sunday morning. Zoom help is needed at 8:00am and YouTube streaming at 10:30am. Training is available! Email Lisa for more info.
Worship Services | Proper 15 | Sunday, August 20
Holy Eucharist | 8 a.m.
In-Person & Zoom
Christianity and Culture | 9:15 a.m.
Parish Hall & Zoom | Jonathan Daniels
Holy Eucharist | 10:30 a.m.
In-Person & YouTube
Morning Prayer | Monday–Friday 8:30 a.m.
In-Person & Zoom
School Start Up
K-12 school started August 15. This Saturday, August 19 is matriculation day for Rats at VMI. The Law school is ramping up, classes begin August 21. As do classes at SVU. August 27 is Rat Sunday along with our annual celebration of Marc Nikkel. W&L undergrads will be coming after Labor Day. Get Downtown is September 5, religious life fair is September 6. Paws to Connect will be back!
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. We are willing to pay a stipend. Please contact Tuck@gracelexva.org to find out more.
Adopt a Rat
The Adopt a Rat program is our opportunity to provide the Rats at VMI a little relief from the stress of the Rat Line. The combination of the community at Grace and the ability to go home with a family for some peace and a home cooked meal makes the trials of barracks a little more bearable. Typically adopting a Rat involves meeting them at church and taking them home after the service. During the time in your home, the Rats are likely to spend a lot of time sleeping, calling home, eating, and sleeping some more. As the year progresses you will get to know the Rats and in a lot of cases, develop a relationship with them that will continue beyond their time at VMI. Below are some guidelines from VMI on cadet conduct and family responsibilities. We’ll provide additional information during the year on weekends the Rats won’t be joining us, when their exams start, and anything else that might affect your Sunday with them.
1. A host family is considered a family of at least two people who are bona fide members of your church or religious organization.
2. There are restrictions for NCAA athletes and what they can receive from their host family. Please contact Lenny Brown, Deputy Athletics Director, at 540-464-7035 or firstname.lastname@example.org more information.
3. While the practice of adopting Rats is operated entirely by local congregations, without any control by VMI, we want to remind you of our ongoing attention to safety and student conduct. Unfortunately, there have been incidents of cadet misconduct while at the homes of host families that could easily have been prevented. Please recognize that local churches and their families are responsible for relationships regarding these students and their conduct while visiting.
4. Host families are encouraged to welcome two Rats as opposed to just one so they can be mutually supporting. Host families should ensure appropriate supervision during visitations, to include any contact with minor children in the home. Should a family host two Rats, regardless of their gender, you should caution the family to be mindful that Rats are not allowed to date during their entire first year (defined as a romantic interest that goes beyond friendship).
5. Cadets are expected to follow all laws while off Post, including being 21 to consume alcohol.
If you would like to be a host family, please give Lisa a call in the parish office 540-463-4981
Upcoming Music Events
Upcoming Christianity and Culture
On August 27, Fr. James will lead Christianity and Culture. It will honor Marc Nikkel and the people of Sudan and will reflect on the work of the American Friends of the Episcopal Church in Sudan. Below is a link to Fr. James’ diary/reflections he emailed to colleagues and friends during his trip. They are insightful and will give you a daily update on his trip.
Education for Ministry
Education for Ministry (EfM) continues to attract parishioners who want to engage in focused discussion about the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, church history or to explore theological philosophy. If you are interested in joining the class this September or who want more information about the program contact James Keane.
The Mission and Outreach Committee of the Gadsden Trust
We will convene on September 12 at 4:00 p.m. in the Parish Hall for its our third quarter meeting. The Committee will review third quarter grant requests that were submitted by the September 1, 2023, deadline and make awards. Third quarter grant requests can be sent to Gail Dickerson and must be received by September 1, 2023. The Gadsden Trust grant request application can be found here.
Blood Drive at Grace
Grace Episcopal is having a Blood Drive on Monday, August 28, 2023 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Jonathan Daniels Community Room. Please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit RedCrossBlood.org and enter: GECL to schedule an appointment. Streamline your donation experience and save up to 15 minutes by visiting RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass to complete your pre-donation reading and health history questions on the day of your appointment. Donate Blood. Help Save Lives.
Please pray for the wider Church and intercessions requested by our Congregants: The Diocese of Southwestern Virginia, and our Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Mark Bourlakas. Pray for the people of Trinity, Arrington and their rector, the Rev. Donna Steckline. Pray for Brendon (friend of the Brooke family), Michael Murphy, John Thomas, Timmy, Rick Alexander, Bradley Fairchild and Karen Junkin (friends of the Gibsons), Gloria June Perry (mother of Michael Perry), Glen Jones (friend of the Riethmillers), Patricia Brown Boyer (sister of Madison Brown), Dolly Shumate (friend of the Lewis’), Carolyn Glenn (friend of Judy Schram), Jack Hershbell, Laura Stearns, Tom Strickland, Worth & Katie Burnes (friends of the Smiths), Amelia Dull, Barb Ostrander (cousin of John Milford), Stephen deMaria, Annie Campbell, Polly Lawrence, Betty Cadden, Jeff Mason, Joe Irby, Kent Wilson, Ginny Dunaway Ferguson, Mike Robblee and Rosemary Phillips (siblings of Paul Robblee), Joan Wade (sister-in-law of David Wade), Maria Scott. Don Ellis, Diana Kenney, Patrick Bowes (brother-in-law of Linda deMaria), Ann Nay, Paula Cooper, Lucy Moise, Penny & Ned Henneman, Steve Riethmiller, Heidi Schweizer, David Wade, Barbara Bova (friend of the Dickersons), Daniel Diener, and those we name aloud or in our hearts. Pray for those who have died. Pray for the people of Hawaii, Sudan, Haiti, Ukraine.
In Thanksgiving for August and September Birthdays
8/18 Luke Camp
8/20 Marjorie Connolly
8/27 Mary Webster
8/28 David Howison
8/30 Barton Dick
8/31 Pat Gibson
9/1 Trudie Kirkland, Mark Gallagher
9/2 Harrison Branner
9/3 Buster Lewis, Ella Sayre, Estella Crocker
9/4 Gail Dick
9/5 Ned Henneman
9/7 Susan Cross
9/8 Delea Bowerfind
9/9 Marlys Craun
9/10 Frederick Kurtz
9/11 Ham Smith, MaryEtta Randolph
9/16 Tucker Bowerfind
9/18 Judy Hotchkiss, Carolyn Kuper
9/19 Julia Littlefield, Peter Dyckman Fyfe, Nanalou Sauder, Frank Settle
9/20 Keith Gibson, Spencer Tucker
9/21 Chris Howison, Barbara Luton
9/22 Ann Nay, Elizabeth Oliver
9/24 Graham Centorino
9/25 Darlene Keane
9/26 Heidi Schweizer
9/28 Winifred Hart, Tim Harrison
9/30 Mo Littlefield. Lynda Bassett-deMaria
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.
Rockbridge NAACP Freedom Fun’d Raiser
“Community United: Spotlight on Glasgow” | 2 – 5pm Saturday, August 19, 2023 | James R. Thompson Sr. Community Center | Glasgow, VA | Donate now at www.rockbridgenaacp.com
Chill on the Hill
Habitat for Humanity Fund Raiser | Great Valley Farm Brewery and Winery | Sunday, October 1, 2023 12 – 3 pm | Food provided by: Lex Vegas Bistro and Old Lex Mercantile
Meal Ticket $20.00 | Music by Datz Us Ramblers
Hosting Ukrainian Families
A humanitarian outreach effort organized by citizens of Lexington, Buena Visa, and Rockbridge County, we aim to pave the way for sponsoring temporary re-settlement of families who qualify for entry according to the laws of the United States.
The mission of Hosting Ukrainian Families is based upon love, compassion, and humanitarian concerns for families seeking to live in peace. Accordingly, a call is issued to each person joining in this effort to set aside all political, culturally divisive viewpoints, and all differences which may hinder or defeat these goals. To donate, click the link below.