In this Sunday's Gospel lesson, Mark 1:29-39, Jesus moves from the synagogue across the street where his work of healing continues, first with Simon's mother-in-law and then with all the people brought to him...
Two things strike me about this story that I hope might be interesting for you to think about - one is that he continues the work he did in the public space of the synagogue - delivering a man from demon possession - in the more personal residential setting across the street - healing Simon Peter's mother-in-law in her home. Does Jesus go with you, too? Do you want him to? How does God work in your personal space, your everyday life outside of Sunday worship? How would you like God to be present in your life?
The second thing that strikes me is that both of these stories, the very first actions of Jesus in Mark's gospel- are focused on healing. They make it clear that God can heal and that God wants to heal and God doesn't require any particular effort from us. Do you think those three things are true for us? Can God heal everyone if God wants to?
I can't answer that question. But I can tell you I have seen evidence of a kind healing that is different from curing. I have seen many people with a special quality of compassion, love, and even joy and praise of God even while they are in bodily suffering - homeless, sick, poor, dying. Not all, but many. I have also seen it in caregivers. Not all, but many. What I have seen I think of as an authentic healing of the soul in the midst of bodily suffering and grief. I certainly don't think of this kind of healing as a replacement for bodily healing. But I think it is in some ways more important. I have seen people in fullness of bodily health who don't have the same quality and strength of compassion and joy.
Have you seen that, too? If you know what I am talking about do you think that can be learned? Can it be nurtured? Could Grace Episcopal play a role in getting people to God in a way that helps them grow in that kind of compassion and joy?
Tuck Bowerfind (he/him)
Rector | Grace Episcopal Church
Worship Services | Fifth Sunday After the Epiphany | Sunday, February 4
Holy Eucharist | 8 a.m.
In-Person & Zoom
Christianity and Culture | 9:15 a.m.
In Person | Parish Hall
Open meeting for members to hear Neal Roseberry, our architect from FGMA, present the proposed plan for Parish House. Since the initial meeting last February, Neal, his firm, the Strategic Planning Committee, and Tuck have been working on this proposal. We hope folks will attend this very important and informational meeting. This session will be "Zoomed" and recorded for those who can't attend the meeting. FGM Architects Neal Roseberry will present final schematic plans, proposed budget and phasing for a full renovation of the Parish House. Last May, Neal Roseberry presented a Building Use Plan incorporating our priorities for the Parish House including modern accessible toilets on each floor, new energy efficient mechanical and window systems, fully accessible entrance, modern dedicated space for children, offices and programming. Over the last 8 months FGM Architects have worked with Grace to develop these final schematic plans, proposed budget and phasing for a full renovation of the Parish House. In the weeks following this presentation there will be opportunity to give your feedback through focus group meetings. If you have questions please contact Laurent Boetsch.
Upcoming Christianity and Culture
February 11th: “Music in Interfaith Conversation,” will feature discussion between Fr. Tuck and visiting composer and interfaith leader, Gerald Cohen. Cohen holds a BA in music from Yale University and a DMA in composition from Columbia University. He is cantor at Shaarei Tikvah, Scarsdale, N.Y., and is on the faculties of the Jewish Theological Seminary and Hebrew Union College in New York, N.Y. Cohen’s interfaith stance is central to his thought and work in a time of worldwide crisis and trauma. Cohen will participate in the 10:30 a.m. service; lead a session at 5 p.m. at Grace on Niggunim (Jewish mystical song); deliver a public lecture at W&L; and be the featured composer of the Chamber Music Society of Lexington’s concert Monday, Feb. 12 at Grace Episcopal.
Feb. 18th & 25th: & May 12th
On February 18 Cecile West-Settle and Heidi Schweizer will offer the first of three sessions on the Camino de Santiago or as it is known in English the Way of St. James. Since the 8th century pilgrims have crossed from France into Spain, descending the Pyrenees, then turning west and traveling 500 miles to reach Santiago de Compostela, the site of St. James’ alleged tomb.
In the first session we will examine the nature of pilgrimage and focus on the scripture,
ecclesiastical tradition, and folklore contributing to the multiple identities associated with the St. James of the Camino. In the second, we will discuss how to prepare for walking the Way (itinerary the necessary equipment, etc.). In the third session several “pilgrims” of our community will share their personal experiences of walking The Way of St. James.
Holy Eucharist | 10:30 a.m.
In-Person and Youtube
Girl Scout Cookies
Troup 442 will be in front of Grace Church this Sunday selling cookies from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Please come support this annual fundraising effort for the Girl Scouts!
Women’s Bible Study | 4 p.m.
Welles Room | A study of the Gospel of Luke.
First Sunday Evening Prayer | 5 p.m.
Morning Prayer | Monday–Friday 8:30 a.m.
In-Person & Zoom
RenewalWorks Spiritual Life Inventory
The survey will be live through February 18. As of January 25, 71 people had completed the inventory. It would be amazing if we could get to 120!
Upcoming Music Events
Composer, Cantor, and Interfaith leader Gerald Cohen will be Washington and Lee ’62 Scholar in Residence and guest musician and music leader at Grace Episcopal Church February 10–12.
On Saturday, February 10, Cohen will rehearse at Grace with The Chamber Music Society of Lexington in preparation for the concert “Beloved of my being: The music of composer Gerald Cohen.” The program is of Cohen’s instrumental and choral compositions.
On Sunday, February 11, Cohen will engage with the Rev. Tuck Bowerfind in conversation for Christianity and Culture. Cohen will be guest cantor and pianist at the 10:30 a.m. liturgy, and the choir will sing his composition “Adonai.”
On Sunday, February 11 at 5 p.m. Cohen will lead a Niggunim Song session at Grace. Niggunim are mystical songs, often with repetitive sounds such as “Lai-lai-lai,” “Bim-bom-bim.” This will be a lively, educational, and participatory community singing event.
Monday February 12, 7 p.m. The Chamber Music Society of Lexington presents at Grace: “Beloved of my being: The music of composer Gerald Cohen”. A program of compositions, instrumental and choral, all by Cohen.
On Tuesday February 13, 4 p.m. Cohen will give a Public Lecture at Hillel “Music as witness: A composer commemorates the Holocaust,” discussing and playing music from three compositions that he has written related to the Holocaust. Cohen will also reflect on his own personal connection to the Holocaust, through his parents—both refugees from Europe— and his close relationships with many survivors.
In addition, Cohen will participate in two W&L classes, one in Modern Judaism with and one in Music composition.
These collaborations between W&L, Hillel, The Chamber Music Society of Lexington, Grace Episcopal Church, and Origin Choral Group are exciting!
Safe Church, Safe Communities Training
It is a requirement that anyone who makes home visits must complete the Safe Church, Safe Communities training. A reminder that training will be provided on-site on Sunday, February 11th following the 10:30 a.m. service. This training requirement is for Vestry members, parishioners who make home visits in support of ACTS requests and for Eucharistic Ministers who take communion to those unable to attend church. ACTS team members who send cards, make telephone calls or drop off meals are not required to complete the training but are encouraged to do so if possible.
Please confirm your plans to join us on February 11th. The training takes about two and one-half hours. A light snack will be provided.
Confirmation and Reception
If you would like to try to understand the Episcopal Church better and consider Confirmation or Reception when the Bishop comes later this year, please meet with Tuck and Samson from noon to 1 p.m. on Sundays of Lent - February 18, 25, March 3, 10, 17, and 24. We will provide a light lunch and try to answer your questions about the Episcopal Church, the scriptures, the creeds, the sacraments, and the historic episcopate. Attendance at all six meetings is aspirational but not required.
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper
Mark your Calendar - 5:30–7 p.m. on February 13th: Pancakes, Sausage, Cheese Grits, and Fried Apples all prepared and served by the Men's Breakfast Fellowship with a Valentine's Eve Theme.
If you did not sign up for a dining group or are new to Grace Church and would like to be a part of a dinning group, (lunch, dine in or dine out) do let Ruth know and we’ll find you a group. Give Ruth a call at 910-409-9325 or send Ruth Smith an email. This is a fun way to get to know other Grace members. If you are in a group that eats in homes, you will be responsible for one meal, planning the date, creating the main course, and assigning other items to those in your group. If you dine out, you are responsible for setting the date and planing where to eat making reservations for the group.
Christ Episcopal Church Community Lunches
This is to inform you that Christ Episcopal Church in Buena Vista serves community soup lunches on the first and third Saturday of each month from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. All you have to do is come and eat. You don't have to do the dishes or pay anything. We encourage you to consider supporting our sister church. Your presence can make a big difference. Please show your support by joining them on one of these Saturdays. It will mean much to our church and theirs as we reflect Christ's love.
Christ Church is located at 2246 Walnut Ave, Buena Vista.
Campus Kitchen Souperbowl
Sunday February 4th
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Evans Dining Hall on W&Ls campus
Tickets: $10 for students and children, $15 for adults
Prepurchase tickets here: https://colonnadeconnections.wlu.edu/donate/campus-kitchen
Sample soups from 15 different restaurants and community organizations, enjoy music by W&L a capella groups and student bands, and mingle with your neighbors all while supporting a good cause! Thanks to our event sponsors, all proceeds from the Souperbowl will go directly to supporting the Campus Kitchen Backpack Program which aims to address food insecurity amongst children in our area.
Wednesday Nights in Lent
Anne Sauder will serve supper at 6 p.m. on the five Wednesday nights of Lent - February 21, 28, March 6, 13, 20. Starting about 6:30 p.m. we will exercise our rights as citizens of the Kingdom and Caucus for our favorite candidates for the Golden Halo. Please register for Lent Madness and vote daily during Lent.
Update on the Trex Challenge
Grace Episcopal Church is enrolled in the Trex Challenge to collect 1,000 lbs. of plastic film for recycling over a one-year period. If we meet this goal, we will receive a free Trex bench.
The Creation Care Committee, with the help of the Lexington Garden Club, is pleased to announce that we have collected a total of 199 lbs. of plastic film over the past 3 months toward our goal. This is the equivalent @ 10,000 plastic bags that did not end up in our roads, fields, waters, or landfill. Thank you so much for your efforts in this challenge.
While this is very commendable, we will need to average 267 lbs. each quarter over the next 3 quarters to reach the 1,000 lb. target. This means we need to increase our collections by 34% to meet the goal. Please keep up your collection efforts, and for those yet to participate, we need your help.
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.
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!
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 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 Presiding Bishop Curry who is recovering from Jan. 18 surgery. The Diocese of Southwestern Virginia, and our Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Mark Bourlakas. Pray for the people of Trinity, Buchanan. Pray for Brendon, Michael Murphy, Timmy, Rick Alexander, Bradley Fairchild and Karen Junkin, John & Gloria June Perry, Glen Jones, Patricia Brown Boyer, Dolly Shumate, Carolyn Glenn, 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, Lynn Butler, Sharon Humphreys, Eloise Adams, Nancy Mastin, Elizabeth Klein (daughter of Deb & Bill Klein), Patrick Keeley, Cullen Bahr (friend of Drusie Milford), Mary Etta Randolph, Steve Robbins, Amaree Cluff, and those we name aloud or in our hearts. Pray for those who have died. Pray for the people of Israel, Gaza, Sudan, Haiti, Ukraine, and pray for the cessation of violence, and for reconciliation and peace.
In Thanksgiving for February Birthdays
2/2 Clarinda Carrington
2/9 Benjamin Huger
2/10 Glenn Szarzynski
2/12 Rowan Moles
2/19 Rose Hein
2/21 Steve Riethmiller
2/23 Beverly Tucker, Graham Hess
2/24 Holt Merchant
2/25 Jeanne Passmore
2/27 Joseph Henson
2/28 Caitie Carrington, Erin Carrington
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.