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Life With Grace | December 1

Join us for First Sunday Lunch and our Annual Meeting this weekend!

Dear Friends,

This Sunday Advent begins with the words of Jesus to his disciples - And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake. In chapter 14 Jesus repeats this word to his disciples in the garden of Gethsemane - Keep awake...

In the Jewish culture that shaped the first disciples, keeping awake meant paying attention to the commandments, including the observance of the Sabbath.

Many competing voices constantly call for our attention. Amidst them try to pay attention to the voice of the Good Shepherd, the one who keeps watch over us, who neither slumbers nor sleeps. You know how to do that. Spend a moment each day reading Day by Day or the lessons for the Daily Office. Say the Lord's Prayer. Look for people following Jesus in lives of compassion, striving for justice and peace, serving their neighbors in love. And keep awake to the words you speak and the things you do so that your steps more nearly follow the lead of the Lord.

With Gratitude,

Tuck Bowerfind (he/him/his)

Rector | Grace Episcopal Church

Worship Services | First Sunday of Advent | Sunday, December 3

Holy Eucharist | 8 a.m.

In-Person & Zoom

Advent 1 8am
Download PDF • 279KB

Annual Meeting | 9:00 a.m.

In-Person | Parish Hall

Holy Eucharist | 10:30 a.m.

In-Person and Youtube

Advent 1 at 1030
Download PDF • 1.05MB

First Sunday Lunch | Following the 10:30 a.m. Service

Menu: Chicken & Wild Rice Casserole, Chicken Divan, Curry Rice, Corn Pudding, Green beans, Sweet Potatoes, Butter Rolls, Spoon Bread, Sheet Cake. Join us!

Bible Study | 4 p.m.

The ladies’ discussion group will meet in the Welles Room (Library). Please join us!

Light in the Darkness Service: For anyone experiencing loss, emptiness, stress, fear, hurt, or seeking healing | Grace Episcopal Church, December 10, 5 p.m.
Light in the Darkness Service

Grace Church is offering a special service on Sunday December 10th at 5:00 p.m.. The holiday season is not always a happy time for everyone. Many are going through emotional turmoil, difficult life transitions, maybe experiencing the pain of loss, and are in need of healing. This service is offered to help people who are dealing with these difficult issues. This service is open to all in our community. If you know of someone who might want to attend, please share this message with them, or better, invite them to come to the service with you.

If you are unable to join in person, join via Zoom at the link below.

Service of Lessons and Carols | 5 p.m. Sunday December 17
St. Nicholas Day Appeal 2023

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,

Our 2023 St. Nicholas Day Appeal is now underway, and I invite and encourage our parishes to engage the promotional materials included below to promote this appeal in your bulletins and digital communications during the seasons of Advent and Epiphany. The conflict in Israel is on all of our hearts and minds as many innocent people on both sides are being injured and killed everyday. The some 7,000 Anglican Christians who make up The Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem are praying and working for peace while assisting those in need of healing and hope. Archbishop Hosam has asked that we, Anglicans, support the various medical ministries of the diocese during this very difficult time. Therefore, your Executive Board and I have designated our St Nicholas Appeal to aid The Princess Basma Centre located on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Through its Child Rehabilitation Centre, this mission of the Diocese of Jerusalem is able to provide treatment and rehabilitation for children with disabilities from Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, for the age group 0-15. You can learn more about the Center here

Please consider faithfully how you might support this effort, either by donating online at or by mailing a check payable to the Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia with “St. Nicholas Day Appeal” marked in the memo to PO Box 2279, Roanoke, VA 24009.


The Rt. Rev. Mark Allen Bourlakas

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

In-Person & Zoom

Rooted in Abundance

Thank you to everyone who has returned a pledge for the Rooted in Abundance pledge campaign to fund the 2024 operating budget of Grace Episcopal Church. Every pledge helps us with our planning for the year to come. We will list the names of those who have made a pledge every week, as well as the total pledged to date. Our goal is between 115-120 pledges totaling $480,000-520,000. To date we have received pledges from 97 households totaling $436,844.00.

Thanks to our contributing households thus far:

Lori Apgar

John & Cecilia Arpin

Doug Ayer

Anne Blanken

Laurent & Elizabeth Boetsch

Tucker & Delea Bowerfind

Peter Bowerfind

Jane Brooke

Alexandra Brown

Martha Ann Burford

Bettie Cadden

Betsy & Buddy Carter

David & Marjorie Connolly

Virginia Cooke

R. David & Melissa Cox

Ed & Marlys Craun

Dennis & Susan Cross

Susan Denson

Lynn & Carol Dent

Barton & Gail Dick

John & Gail Dickerson

Ed & Lu Dooley

Don & Claudia Ellis

Carole Elmore

Jim & Kitty Farrar

Matthew Fogo & Kevin Manning

Tim & Catharine Gaylard

Keith & Pat Gibson

Mary Stuart Gilliam

Robert & Rene' Glidden

Rose Gordon

Tom & Carol Gosse

Julianne Grimes

Margaret Haberman

Kristy Hamilton

David & Anne Hansen

Sandy & Catherine Harcus

Elizabeth Harralson

Diana Harris

Helen Head

Jack & Anne Hershbell

Drew & Megan Hess

Harold & Kathryn Hill

Kay Horner

Judy Hotchkiss

Pierson & Ellen Hotchkiss

David & Chris Howison

Benjamin & Laurie Huger

James & Darlene Keane

Suzanne Keen

Deborah & Bill Klein

Helen Kostel

Sharon & Frederick Kurtz

Greg & Janet Lemmer

Buster & Signe Lewis

Bill & Barbara Luton

William & Michelle Mackie

Samson Mamour

M.J. Mayerchak

Pat & Lisa McGuire

Uncas McThenia

Susan Mead

John & Drusie Milford

Rob & Susan Minor

Helen Moore

Liz Moss

Grigg & Cindy Mullen

Ann & Jerry Nay

Elaine Nelson

Mark Nelson

Elizabeth & Bill Oliver

David & Jeanne Passmore

George & Eleanor Penn

Michael Perry

Shay Peters

Henry Porter

Tim & Mary Price

Steve & Peggy Riethmiller

Joanne & Paul Robblee

Woody & Lori Sadler

Bill Sayre & Melissa Gladwell-Sayre

Heidi Schweizer

Frank Settle, Jr. & Cecile West-Settle

Marjorie Sherrill

Sue & Steve Shultis

Ham & AP Smith

Jimbo & Ruth Smith

Sarah Stockton

Paul Strickland

Lisa Tracy

David Wade

Kitty Wainwright

Nancy Walker

Harry & Marnie Wheeler

Kent & Mary Wilson

Michael & Beverly Wirtz

Christina Young

If you are new to pledging and would like guidance here are three basic guidelines -

1. Pledge something. You are a valuable member of the body of Christ. Most of your contribution to Christ's work is through the works of love you do for others every day in your work and personal life. You also share in the responsibility for maintaining and operating our facilities and ministries. Some members give $1/week, some give $400/week. Some give nothing. Whatever you commit and fulfill will be gratefully received and faithfully used for God's mission through Grace. Whether you give something or not, you are a beloved member of the parish and the body of Christ.

2. Consider pledging proportionally. As your income or net worth change, continue to give proportionally. For example - you can base your giving on a proportion of your gross annual income. Or if you have a positive net worth, you might consider basing your giving on a proportion of your net worth.

3. Consider tithing your income or net worth. Traditionally, tithing is ten percent of gross household income. Muslims have a different standard that you might consider. They give 2.4% of their gross positive net worth. If they have zero or negative net worth they are not expected to give anything except time and talent.

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.

Chrismon Tree at Grace

This year we are excited about having a Chrismon Tree at Grace. Chrismons are basically symbols of Christ, or 'Christ's monogram.' There are forty different ornaments that will each be put into a Chrismon Kit baggie, with the foam ornament shape already cut out and a variety of different gold and white trimming materials provided. We hope members of our Grace family will sign up to decorate an ornament or two. All you will need is a work surface, some clear glue (no glue gun). scissors, and a desire to create a beautiful Chrismon ornament.

Directions will be provided, but feel free to add your own decorations (only white and gold). Folks can pick up their Chrismon kits before and after the Annual Meeting and during the First Sunday Lunch this Sunday.

If you have any questions, please contact Joanne Robblee (

Paws to Connect

As exams approach, join us this Tuesday and Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on our courtyard! Come see your favorite pups!

Journey to Bethlehem

As a special holiday activity again this year, we are hoping to have our families at Grace participate in a shared spiritual journey. Beginning on the first day of Advent, December 3rd, a family can invite Mary and Joseph to spend the night at their house. The two will come with a special prayer for the family to say to bless the home that offered hospitality. You can keep a copy of the prayer to read during Advent. We would love it if you would take a picture of your family with Mary and Joseph and

send it to Martha Burford, who will post your pictures on Facebook. After Mary and Joseph have spent the night, you will need to make arrangements to pass them on to the next family on the list included in their box. Hopefully, by Christmas Eve, Mary and Joseph will have visited all the families on the list. The last family (Dec. 23rd) are asked to bring Mary and Joseph to the 5:00 pm Christmas Eve service where Baby Jesus will be waiting for them.

Do you have a special nativity set that you would share with the Church for a few weeks? We will display Nativity sets in the windows of the Nave during the seasons of Advent and Christmas. Please bring your set to the Nave and place in a window by Friday, December 1.

Main Street Lexington Church Open House

December 15, 4–6:00 p.m. If you would like to volunteer to greet visitors to our church please contact Lisa..

Advent Meditations

This Advent season, you're invited to Advent Meditations, a three-week online series offered these Monday nights in Advent from 7:30 - 8:00 p.m. Join us for this half-hour each week to slow down and take time for silence and contemplation as we experience this special season.

Sounder Community Circle

"The Sounder Community Circle" arose from a very successful event last April, where a diverse audience of more than 100 people heard the author's son, Kip Armstrong, talk about how Charlie Jones, a black educator in Rockbridge County, inspired his father to write "Sounder," and its sequel "Sour Land," Mead explained. "People kept asking me when the next 'Sounder Circle' event would take place. Now I can say 'every second Monday of the month at 7:30 p.m.’”

When asked about why the name of the series expanded to include "community," Mead reflected: "A co-organizer who loves puns said that our ultimate goal is to build a 'Sounder Community!' And indeed, it is! The idea is to learn lessons offered by local literature and history so together we in the Rockbridge area can create a more promising future for all."

Mead says the first session will end with brainstorming about topics that participants want to explore from Armstrong's books. "After the introduction on November 13, we are planning a very special program for December 11, which will feature images from the town of Lexington found in 'Sounder,'" Mead enthused. "Beyond that, community members will help shape the direction of our discussion topics, because 'Sounder' belongs to us all!"

Every Sounder Community Circle event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Susan Virginia Mead.

Boys Home of Virginia Wish List

Please help us support the Boys Home of Virginia by supplying any of items on their wishlist.

Mission and Outreach Committee of the Gadsden Trust

The mission of the Gadsden Committee “is to disburse funds (from the Gadsden Trust) to enable the spread of the Christian Gospel and to alleviate human suffering.” The Gadsden Committee’s fourth Quarter 2023 meeting will be held December 12, 2023, at 4 pm in the Parish Hall. Committee members (Gail Dickerson, Carol Gosse, William McCorkle, Cindy Mullen, Paul Robblee, Ruth Smith, and Woody Sadler) will review fourth quarter grant requests and distribute available funds in the following areas: local needs and concerns-community and Grace; seminarians and continuing education of Diocesan clergy and ministers of our parish; third world needs; and Diocesan projects or programs.

Fourth quarter grant requests can be sent to Gail Dickerson, Chair, and must be received by December 1, 2023. The Gadsden Trust grant request application can be found here.

A Plea for Haiti

Our neighbors in Haiti are struggling through a period of political violence and chaos. With the government disabled, many Haitians rely on church schools to educate their children. Grace, as part of the Virginia Haiti Collaborative, supports one such school in Haiti, St. Marc’s in Cerca-la-Source. Every month the Collaborative sends $5000 to Haiti to pay the salaries of the 30-some teachers at St. Marc’s who teach the 350 students in grades K-12. That $5000/month pays the full salaries of 30 adults and provides education for 350 students. The Collaborative is the school’s only source of funding.

This season, we are also raising money so that the students can have computers at school. They will need some degree of computer literacy to take their graduation exams and to serve them as they seek jobs after graduation. If you can help provide schooling for these children, please put Virginia Haiti Collaborative on the memo line and send your check to Trinity Episcopal Church, 214 W. Beverley St, Staunton, VA 24401. Trinity provides bookkeeping for the collaborative. For more information, please contact Anne Hansen or Tuck.

Angel Tree is Coming!

Angel Tree is virtual this year! Grace Episcopal Church has chosen to sponsor 50 children. Will you help connect children with their incarcerated parents and show them the love of Christ? It starts with a simple Christmas gift.

Fellow parishioners have already sponsored more than ten children.

  1. Before December 13, go to our Grace Angel Tree site and select the child/children you would like to sponsor.

  2. A Wal-Mart gift card in the amount of $30.00 will be sent to each individual child.

  3. You may choose one child or multiple children.

  4. You will also be given the option to sponsor the caregiver and have a gift card sent to them. This is not required.

  5. You may pay by credit and ACH.

  6. Note: In addition to showing the love of Jesus, your gift is tax deductible this year! You will receive a donation receipt upon virtual checkout.

  7. Questions? Contact Melissa Cox at 540-319-1986 (text or call)

Thank you for sharing in this important and loving ministry.

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

Prayer for the election of the next Presiding Bishop: Almighty God, source of all wisdom and understanding: Look graciously on your church, and so guide the hearts and minds of those who will choose our next presiding bishop, that we may receive a faithful pastor who will care for all of your people, equip us for our ministries, and proclaim your word to us and to the world, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Please pray for the wider Church and intercessions requested by our Congregants: Pray for the continued healing of The Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. The Diocese of Southwestern Virginia, and our Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Mark Bourlakas. Pray for the people of St. Mark’s, Fincastle and their rector, the Rev. Willis Logan. Pray for Brendon, Michael Murphy, Timmy, Rick Alexander, Bradley Fairchild and Karen Junkin, Gloria June Perry, Glen Jones, Patricia Brown Boyer, Dolly Shumate, Carolyn Glenn, Jack Hershbell, Laura Stearns, Worth & Katie Burnes & Family, Amelia Dull, Barb Ostrander, Stephen deMaria, Polly Lawrence, Betty Cadden, Jeff Mason, Joe Irby, Kent Wilson, Rosemary Phillips, Don Ellis, Diana Kenney, Patrick Bowes, Ann Nay, Paula Cooper, Penny & Ned Henneman, Steve Riethmiller, Barbara Bova, Daniel Diener, Shelby, Anne Stenhouse, Clay Sadler, Lynn Butler, Sharon Humphreys, Eloise Adams, Nancy Mastin, Elizabeth Klein (daughter of Deb & Bill Klein), Linda Lanford and Erik Figueroa (family of Tim & Mary Price), Patrick Keeley, Matthew (SVU student), Bob Glidden, Dorothy & Bill Rodman (Lori Sadler’s family), Cullen Bahr (friend of Drusie Milford), and those we name aloud or in our hearts. Pray for those who have died, especially Lucy Moise. Pray for the people of Israel, Gaza, Sudan, Haiti, Ukraine, and pray for cessation of violence, reconciliation, and peace.

In Thanksgiving for November and December Birthdays

11/26 Michael McCabe

11/27 Jack Hershbell, Anne Blanken, Avery Hess

11/29 Robert Glidden

11/30 Harry Warner

12/2 Kristy Hamilton

12/3 Meg Mason

12/6 Anna Crockett, Joanne Robblee

12/9 John Knapp

12/10 Sis Warner, Lynn Dent

12/12 M.J. Mayerchak

12/13 Anne Lamont

12/16 James R. Keane, Kay Glore

12/18 Robert Hull

12/19 Roger Crockett, Merce Brooke

12/23 Carol Gosse, Julianne Grimes, Betsy Carter

12/25 Harrison Edgar

12/27 Joy Harris

12/30 Maggie Lawrence, Willow Moles, Buddy Carter

12/31 Grace Frascati


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.


Christmas Basket packing

Saturday, December 9, 2023 at the Virginia Horse Center’s Anderson Coliseum. 8 a.m. to noon. No sign ups—just show up! First time packing with R,CB? Welcome! Tips: Dress in layers (with one being a Christmas sweater, perhaps) and wear comfy shoes. If you are interested in helping delivering, please contact Tammy Reid at

Be a Santa to a Senior 2023

It's time to kick off the 2023 Be a Santa to a Senior program! Please share with your friends, family, and co-workers. All of the older adults on this list are economically-challenged, disabled, or socially isolated. Help make the holidays brighter by adopting a wish list.

Donations for Lisa's House – Project Horizon

Items we currently need: · High efficiency laundry detergent · Toilet paper, paper towels · Lysol disinfectant spray · Dish soap · Coffee · $10 gas cards At this time, we are only able to accept items on this list. Thank you for thinking of us!

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