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Life With Grace | December 15

A group of 15 smiling church goers stands on the alter
Thanks to everyone who joined us for Confirmation Sunday!

Dear Friends,

With one week until Christmas Eve we may be feeling like we cannot be ready in time. Our gospel lesson this Sunday reminds us Christmas doesn't depend on us or our readiness.

Christmas is the gift of Christ among us and asks only three things of us - recognize that we are not Christ, bear witness to Christ among us,  and be humble.

If you feel like you will never be ready in time, take a breath, acknowledge that the joy of Christmas is not about you, it is about paying attention to what God has done and what God is doing now through the Spirit. Bear witness to the way you see God working all around you. And humbly ask for and accept the Spirit's help to rejoice, give thanks, and sing. And I guarantee you, Christmas will come again to you right on time.

With Gratitude,

Tuck Bowerfind (he/him/his)

Rector | Grace Episcopal Church

Worship Services | Third Sunday of Advent | Sunday, December 17

Holy Eucharist | 8 a.m.

In-Person & Zoom

advent 3 8am
Download PDF • 279KB

Christianity and Culture | 9:15 a.m.

In-Person | Parish Hall

This Sunday we will have our third intergenerational session. Each family, young and old, will be making their own Nativity set to take home for the holidays. Grandchildren will love these,  so grandparents are invited to come and make them.  Part of our time together will have us using our adorable Nativity sets for a mini-Christmas pageant.

Upcoming Christianity and Culture

There will be no session on December 24th as there will be only one service that morning

On December 31st, Joanne Robblee will be focusing on the "Symbols of the Season." She will share the history and the meaning of the beautiful Chrismon symbols on the tree in the Sanctuary; what the different kinds of halos signify; and what is the religious meaning behind the Twelve Days of Christmas.

Holy Eucharist | 10:30 a.m.

In-Person and Youtube

advent 3 at 1030
Download PDF • 1.08MB

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

Pop Up Christmas Eve Pageant

All children/grandchildren (both of the parish and visiting) are welcome to participate in this year's Pop Up Christmas Pageant.  We are looking for  children that would like to participate in bringing forth the creche figures on Christmas Eve at the 5pm service and/or dress as an angel, shepherd or animal.


Please contact Drusie MIlford (540-461-1427 or or LIz Moss (540-223-1048 or if you have a child or grandchild who is interested so that we can plan and have a head count.


Multiple costumes are available in the middle classroom on the top floor of the parish hall.  Participating children will need to be at the church by 4:40. on Christmas Eve to prepare.  Children will rejoinn their families at the conclusion of the Gospel reading/Pageant. Please join us for the pageant!

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 110 households totaling $493,538.

Thanks to our contributing households thus far:


Lori Apgar

John & Cecilia Arpin

Doug Ayer

Anne Blanken

Laurent & Elizabeth Boetsch

Peter Bowerfind

Tucker & Delea Bowerfind

Jane Brooke

Alexandra Brown

Madison & Katharine Brown

Martha Ann Burford

Catharine Burns

Bettie Cadden

Betsy & Buddy Carter

David & Marjorie Connolly

Virginia Cooke

R. David & Melissa Cox

Ed & Marlys Craun

Jay & Joan Crawford

Roger Crockett

Dennis & Susan Cross

Susan Denson

Lynn & Carol Dent

Barton & Gail Dick

John & Gail Dickerson

Punky Dod

Ed & Lu Dooley

Don & Claudia Ellis

Carole Elmore

Jim & Kitty Farrar

Dot Fogo

Matthew Fogo & Kevin Manning

Tim & Catharine Gaylard

Keith & Pat Gibson

Mary Stuart Gilliam

Rene' Glidden

Rose Gordon

Tom & Carol Gosse

Julianne Grimes

Peter & Julie Grover

Margaret Haberman

Kristy Hamilton

David & Anne Hansen

Sandy & Catherine Harcus

Elizabeth Harralson

Diana Harris

Winifred Hart

Helen Head

Jack & Anne Hershbell

Drew & Megan Hess

Harold & Kathryn Hill

Kay Horner

Judy Hotchkiss

Pierson & Ellen Hotchkiss

David & Chris Howison

Benjamin & Laurie Huger

Hank & Sharon Humphreys

James & Darlene Keane

Suzanne Keen

Deborah & Bill Klein

Helen Kostel

Bill & Kathy Kozak

Sharon & Frederick Kurtz

Greg & Janet Lemmer

Buster & Signe Lewis

Mo & Julia Littlefield

Bill & Barbara Luton

William & Michelle Mackie

Samson Mamour

M.J. Mayerchak

Donnie & Heather McBrayer

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.

Lanford Mission Emergency Fund Christmas Appeal

In the words of Teresa of Avila, we are “the hands, feet, eyes, and body of Christ in our world.” As we approach Christmas and reflect on those words, the Christian Outreach Committee asks you to consider a Christmas donation to the Lanford Mission Emergency Fund.

Begun in this parish in 1984, the LMEF primarily assists residents of Rockbridge County who request emergency financial help with rent, utilities, and temporary emergency housing. The majority of requests come to Grace through RARA (Rockbridge Area Relief Association) which does the vetting to verify need.  Grace continues to partner with RARA, Lexington Presbyterian, and St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church to share in payments.  Through November 30, the LMEF extended a helping hand to 158 of our neighbors in the amount of $16,205.

Partial funding for the LMEF comes from Grace’s Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving loose plate offerings.  A donation to the LMEF can be made through your Christmas offering in the form of a check made out to Grace Episcopal Church with “Lanford MEF” noted on the memo line as well as on Grace Episcopal Church’s website.

The Christian Outreach Committee sincerely thanks everyone who contributed to the LMEF through their Thanksgiving offerings. Your continued, generous support to this long-time Grace Episcopal ministry is greatly appreciated!

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.

Paws to Connect

Thanks for a lovely semester at Paws to Connect! We hope our students travel home safely and enjoy a restful time with family and friends. We'll see you in the New Year!

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 p.m. 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.

Poinsettias for Christmas

In celebration of the nativity of our Lord, we make our church festive with poinsettias and greenery. To purchase a poinsettia ($12.00), make your check payable to Grace Episcopal Church, memo “Flower Fund,” and drop it in the offering plate or mail it to the Parish Office. To list a memorial or thanksgiving in the Christmas bulletins, call the Parish Office or email by Monday, December 18.

Main Street Lexington Church Open House

December 15, 4–6:00 p.m

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.

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!

Upcoming Outreach Opportunities

Rockbridge Connect and Nourish (CAN) -formerly the Portable Community Table

From RATS (Rockbridge Areas Transportation Services): “We are working to build community by bringing together diverse people to share free, professionally catered dinners, by linking people to other community resources, and by providing free transportation to meals.”

Starting in 2024 the schedule will be 3 dinners a month at 6 locations. Each location will have an assigned month and week.

Join fellow community members at dinner: Rockbridge Connect and Nourish (CAN) - 2024 Community Dinner schedule Volunteer to serve at a dinner: Rockbridge CAN Community Dinner sign-up

Community Health and Wellbeing Survey

Please take 10-15 minutes to complete the 2023 survey. Conducted every three years, survey responses are used to identify health priorities in our community. Agencies use these priorities in making programming and funding decisions, many of which have already had a significant positive impact in our area. Carilion Health Assessment Survey 2023

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.

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 Christ, Roanoke and their rector, the Rev. Alexander MacPhail. 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, Wier Harman (friend of Martha Burford). Pray for the people of Israel, Gaza, Sudan, Haiti, Ukraine, and pray for cessation of violence, reconciliation, and peace.

In Thanksgiving for December Birthdays

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.


MLK Community Worship Service

Sunday, January 14, 2024 @ 4:00pm in the First Baptist Church


The MLK March/ Parade will be held on Monday, January 15, 2024 @ 10:30 AM beginning @ the Randolph Street United Methodist Church located 118 South Randolph Street in Lexington.

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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