"I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness!" through this powerful statement, John the Baptist set himself apart from Jesus and the religious establishment leaders. Prophet John began his ministry in the area of the Jordan River, preparing the people for Jesus's teaching and ministry...
John knew he had no money or military training background to fight the war he was going to fight, and none of these things could help him win over what he was calling people to do. He knew, undoubtedly, that he possessed something remarkable - his voice. His voice is a priceless asset that no money can buy, or ever no one can take away from him. John's voice profoundly impacted the community and laid a solid foundation for the coming of the Messiah.
On January 15th, 2024, we will come together as a nation to celebrate the birthday of one of the most influential and inspiring figures in American history - Martin Luther King Jr. This day serves as a powerful reminder of Dr. King’s tireless efforts toward creating a world where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their race, gender or background. Like John the Baptist, Martin L. King Jr. courageously utilized his voice to shed light on the problems afflicting the nation and the globe. His message of hope and equality stirred a generation to take action and make a difference.
Sadly, the world continues to witness an unprecedented loss of human life due to tragic events. The tragedies, including climate change and ongoing conflicts in countries like Ukraine, Gaza, Sudan, Yemen, Congo, and many others, are affecting people globally. It's important to remember that our fight for civil rights, peace, and unity should continue as long as injustice exists. This requires consistent effort and dedication from all of us, and it's not just a one-day event.
Dr. King's unwavering dedication to defending human dignity and his firm belief in the equal worth of all human beings can serve as a beacon of hope for generations. As we remember his inspiring legacy, let us also recognize the work that still needs to be done to achieve his dream and our dream of a just and equitable society. Let us take heart from the timeless words of Dr. King, who reminds us that “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Worship Services | Second Sunday After the Epiphany | Sunday, January 14
Holy Eucharist | 8 a.m.
In-Person & Zoom
Christianity and Culture | 9:15 a.m.
In Person | Parish Hall
Tuck will be providing an overview of Renewal Works, a research based church-wide program that focuses on spiritual growth.
Upcoming Christianity and Culture
January 21st: Tim Gaylard will present on the well known oratorio, The Messiah, by George Frideric Handel. Tim will share information about the story of this amazing piece of music, its religious and musical significance, and its famous composer.
January 28th; Unitive Service - no Christianity and Culture.
Feb 4th: This is a general meeting during which the Strategic Planning team, Tuck, and the architect will provide a critical update on the Parish House Building Project.
Holy Eucharist | 10:30 a.m.
In-Person and Youtube
Women’s Bible Study | January 21 | 4 p.m.
We will begin a study of the Gospel of Luke.
Upcoming Evening Services
Morning Prayer | Monday–Friday 8:30 a.m.
In-Person & Zoom
MLK Community Worship Service and Parade
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.
Renewal Works: Spiritual Strategic Planning
Why do we come to church? For most of us, it’s because we want to grow spiritually, increasing in love for God and our neighbor. As Grace plans strategically for our buildings and ministries, we want also to focus on our spiritual growth.
To guide us in this process, Grace has signed on to a program called Renewal Works. Renewal Works will lead us, alongside a cohort of other Episcopal churches, through an inventory of our current beliefs and practices, toward a goal of helping us to develop opportunities for spiritual flourishing and a vibrant congregational life. For a decade, Renewal Works has been helping congregations develop spiritually, with over 350 Episcopal churches participating so far. The research that has gone into the program includes data from thousands of churches of all denominations.
What’s my part? Simple! Your part is to participate in a Spiritual Life Inventory that will be distributed to all parishioners at the end of January. The Inventory is anonymous and will go directly to the Renewal Works office. It will provide a snapshot of where we are now, so that a team of our own parishioners, over a series of four guided workshops, can develop a plan for our parish around growing in love of God and our neighbor. Stay tuned!
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 surgery. The Diocese of Southwestern Virginia, and our Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Mark Bourlakas. Pray for the people of Emmanuel, Bristol and their Interim Rector, The Rev. Tom Day. 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, Bill Rodman (Lori Sadler’s family), Cullen Bahr (friend of Drusie Milford), Mary Etta Randolph, and those we name aloud or in our hearts. Pray for those who have died, The Rev. David Lassalle, Dorothy Rodman, Marty Young. Pray for the people of Israel, Gaza, Sudan, Haiti, Ukraine, and pray for cessation of violence, reconciliation, and peace.
In Thanksgiving for January Birthdays
1/12 Carol Muir
1/14 Liz Moss
1/16 Gabrielle Frascati
1/18 Laurie Huger
1/19 Elizabeth Boetsch
1/20 Paul Strickland
1/21 Sarah Edgar
1/23 Virginia Cooke
1/26 Maille Carrington
1/27 Sean Carrington , Joseph Moles
1/29 Jane Brooke
1/30 Melissa Gladwell-Sayre, Cary Edgar
1/31 Tom Gosse
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.
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!