In this season after the Epiphany we turn our attention to Jesus who invites/commands, Follow me. (Mark 1:17) Following Jesus is deeply relational. Once a disciple makes the personal decision to follow, we find ourselves following in a community. The community of disciples follows through practices of listening and watching and living in accordance with Jesus who lives among and through us...
As members of Grace Episcopal Church we are part of the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia, which is itself part of the Episcopal Church USA, a branch of the worldwide Body of Christ. Part of our discipline is listening and dialoguing with other disciples in ways that ensure we are not simply following other disciples.
In the Episcopal Church we test and clarify the views of other disciples through debate, through making and amending resolutions and constitutions, and through elections, always in the context of prayer and the celebration of Eucharist, which give voice to Jesus. Next weekend lay and clergy delegates of our Diocese will gather in convention in Roanoke, in prayer and Eucharist, to elect and debate and allocate resources for our shared mission of following Jesus. Please join in prayer that the work of the Convention will help us all follow Jesus more nearly. And you may also join in the celebration of the Convention Eucharist online.
Sunday, February 21 you will receive an invitation via email from Grace to take a 25 minute Spiritual Life Inventory. This is another, practical way you can follow and help others follow Jesus. Each completed Inventory provide a unique perspective on the way Jesus is leading, your perspective.
This Inventory is a completely confidential. Multiple people in your household may take the inventory using the same device and it won't change the validity of the results as long as each person answers for themselves. It will require 25 minutes of your time, but it will immeasurably improve our insight and understanding into how Grace Church can be more effective in helping other disciples find true joy in following Jesus. And by paying attention to your own experience through this Inventory, your own relationship with God will be stimulated and strengthened. So please, complete the Inventory as soon as you can find the 25 minutes.
Following Jesus has always been absolutely personal and fully communal at the same time. Because God is Love. And love is always profoundly personal and communal. challenging and rewarding - worth all the time and effort you are willing to give.
Tuck Bowerfind (he/him)
Rector | Grace Episcopal Church
Worship Services | Third Sunday After the Epiphany | Sunday, January 21
Holy Eucharist | 8 a.m.
In-Person & Zoom
Christianity and Culture | 9:15 a.m.
In Person | Parish Hall
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.
Upcoming Christianity and Culture
On Sunday, January 21 you will receive a message from Grace inviting you to complete the RenewalWorks Spiritual Life Inventory. The SLI is designed to stir interest in your own spiritual life and help Grace learn how to better help you in your spiritual journey. Please complete this anonymous, online Spiritual Life Inventory which will be available for three weeks, takes about 30 minutes, and is geared toward members over the age of 16. If you have questions please contact Anne Hansen.
January 28th; Unitive Service - no Christianity and Culture.
February 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 | 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
Dementia Friendly Church Information Session
5:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 31, Parish Hall
Joyce Nussbaum, Director of Senior Services Harrisonburg-Rockingham County will share the 5 key messages about welcoming and including people with dementia including the warning signs, how to better communicate with and support persons living with dementia and their families, and discussion about ways to turn that understanding into practical action. This information session is interactive and is for anyone of any age who wants to participate in creating a more dementia friendly community.
Dementia Friends is a global movement developed by the Alzheimer's Society in the United Kingdom and now underway in the United States and Leading Age in Virginia is actively promoting this initiative. Valley Program for Aging Services (VPAS) is working toward a Dementia Friendly Valley and these sessions are part of that initiative. https://leadingagevirginia.org/mpage/DFVA_Home If you have questions please contact Chris Young.
FGM Architect Schematic Design Presentation
9:15 a.m. Sunday, February 4 Neal Roseberry, Parish Hall
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 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.
On Sunday February 11, 7:30 p.m. Cohen will give a Public Lecture in Wilson Hall “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.
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.
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!
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 St. Paul’s, Bear Mountain. 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, 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. Pray for the people of Israel, Gaza, Sudan, Haiti, Ukraine, and pray for cessation of violence, and for reconciliation, and peace.
In Thanksgiving for January Birthdays
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!