This Sunday we hear the kingdom of heaven compared to a man who sows good seed, but while he is sleeping, an enemy sows weeds among the wheat. So that when the plants came up and bore grain, the weeds appeared as well...
The man's servants ask if he wants them to pull out the weeds. No, he tells them, Let both the weeds and the wheat grow together and at the harvest I will tell the reapers to separate them.
Like the parable of the sower, this parable stimulates our thinking about what the wheat and the weed, the good seed and the bad seed, look like in our lives. It also stimulates our thinking about the character of God. Why, we often wonder, does God allow the causes of stumbling to persist and even thrive in the world around us?
Elizabeth Cady Stanton helped organize the first Women's Rights Convention at Seneca Falls, NY July 19–20, 1848. She worked persistently through the rest of her life until her death in 1902 to abolish slavery and establish the property rights of women, women's suffrage, and gender equality. She said, "The bible and the church have been the greatest stumbling block in the way of women's emancipation." And no doubt she was right. The word of God has been used as often to justify oppression as to inspire liberation. Why does God allow weedy interpretations of his word?
In his letter to the Romans Paul writes, all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. Romans 8:14 But then, in 8:16 Paul changes his vocabulary. Instead of sons, he uses a gender neutral term, tekna, children. Perhaps the Spirit itself led him to this change from sons to children. Perhaps it was his own experience. Like Jesus, Paul knew women who were powerful agents of the Spirit. At any rate, we know that the children of God are not merely sons. God's children are not gender defined or limited. All who are led by the Spirit are children of God.
The Spirit moved powerfully in Cady Stanton who understood to the depths of her soul that despite the persistent claims of the world and the church, all people are created equal, regardless of gender or race. All her life she courageously labored to draw attention to the weeds of sexism and racism that had invade and oppress the church from within.
This knowledge, that we are children of God, still comes to us through the good seed of the Gospel. Through the Word made flesh, and through the word of the Scripture. When we cry Abba, Father, by the power of the Spirit, the Word takes flesh in us. We should labor to help one another hear and hold fast to the word in a way that is true to the Spirit. You are God's beloved child, born of the Spirit of God. And so is your neighbor.
Tuck Bowerfind (he/him)
Rector | Grace Episcopal Church
AV Team: Call for Volunteers
Please consider joining the team and help with streaming on Sunday morning. Zoom help is needed at 8:00am and YouTube streaming at 10:30am. Training is available! Email Lisa for more info.
Worship Services | Proper 11 | Sunday, July 23
Holy Eucharist | 8 a.m.
In-Person & Zoom
Christianity and Culture | 9:15 a.m.
Parish Hall & Zoom | Justice/Compassion Tradition
Holy Eucharist | 10:30 a.m.
In-Person & YouTube
Morning Prayer | Monday–Friday 8:30 a.m.
In-Person & Zoom
Upcoming Music Events
Camp Grace: “Make Us Instruments of Peace.”
Guess what! We’re doing that “summer camp thing” at Grace, August 7-11!! Based on a prayer attributed to St. Francis, the 2-5 p.m. camp is open to rising Kindergartners through rising 6th graders. An extra “Excited to Write!” component for rising 7th-rising 8th graders will finish the day 5:00-7 p.m. and include light dinner...
What is it? It’s mission with kids! Each day will include art activities, music activities, listening activities, and time learning about things such as the Labyrinth. The planning team includes Martha Burford, Marjorie and David Connolly, Carol Dent, Melanie Griffis, Jules Grimes, Anne Sauder, Heidi Schweizer, and Emma Vasquez. We will ask families for a donation of 50.00 per child for the week. Limited scholarships will be available. Rationale: Outreach to families. Enriching our community/communities. That last week before school starts, this year, August 7-11, is a week many camps have shut down, and is a week families seek activities for children before school starts. Our goal is to help families in that limbo week and also to help kids get excited about the beginning of the school year. This camp, and another one called “The Winter Star” during winter break, culminating in a performance on Epiphany, will focus on outreach to families with children. (More on “Winter Star” later.) Since you’re itching to be part of this: We would LOVE more help in this effort that springs from the named desire in Grace’s corporate life: to invite, welcome, and connect to families and children. We will need your help getting the word out. Martha, personally, would love help from someone good at spread sheets as we set up the daily schedule. Extra adult bodies in the rooms, help with snacks, help with drop off and pickup: there are lots of ways you can be involved for small amounts of time in this effort to welcome children. To jump into this joy, just run to your email and send firstname.lastname@example.org a note, or call her at 804-514-8839. *Important note: 9/10 or more of the planning team will have completed online abuse prevention training in Praesidium Academy. While completion of the diocesan advised course won't be required for all volunteers, we encourage folks to consider taking it, especially as we gear up for focus on welcoming children.
Camp Grace Planning Team
Upcoming "Music in the Garden" Concerts at Boxerwood
The Mission and Outreach Committee of the Gadsden Trust
Third quarter grant requests can be sent to Gail Dickerson, Chair, and must be received by September 1, 2023. The Gadsden Trust grant request application can be found here. The third quarter meeting of The Mission and Outreach Committee of the Gadsden Trust is scheduled for September 12, 2023, at 4 p.m. in the Parish Hall.
Please pray for the wider Church and intercessions requested by our Congregants: The Diocese of Southwestern Virginia, and our Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Mark Bourlakas. Pray today for the Non-Canonically Resident Clergy serving in the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia. Pray for Brendon (friend of the Brooke family), Michael Murphy, John Thomas, Timmy, Rick Alexander, Bradley Fairchild and Karen Junkin (friends of the Gibsons), Gloria June Perry (mother of Michael Perry), Glen Jones (friend of the Riethmillers), Patricia Brown Boyer (sister of Madison Brown), Dolly Shumate (friend of the Lewis’), Carolyn Glenn (friend of Judy Schram), Jack Hershbell, Helen Kostel, Laura Stearns, Carl & Rachel Pattison, Tom Strickland, Worth & Katie Burnes (friends of the Smiths), Amelia Dull, Barb Ostrander (cousin of John Milford), Stephen DeMaria, Annie Campbell, Polly Lawrence, Betty Cadden, Jeff Mason, Joe Irby, Kent Wilson, Ginny Dunaway Ferguson, Mike Robblee and Rosemary Phillips (siblings of Paul Robblee), Joan Wade (sister-in-law of David Wade), Maria Scott, Don Ellis, Diana Kenney, Patrick Bowes (brother-in-law of Linda deMaria), Ann Nay, Paula Cooper, Lucy Moise, Frank Settle, and those we name aloud or in our hearts. Pray for those who have died. Pray for the people of Sudan, Haiti, Ukraine.
In Thanksgiving for July and August Birthdays
7/21 Catharine Gaylard
7/23 Miss D Penick
7/28 Paul Robblee, Susan Minor
7/29 John Brooke
7/31 Margaret Haberman
8/1 Alexandra Brown, David Cox, Henry Porter
8/3 Joshua Henson
8/5 Rissie Murphy
8/6 Michele Hentz
8/8 Greg Lemmer, Carol Dent
8/11 Mimi Knight
8/14 Gerry Locher, Nick Murphy, Kathy Kozak
8/17 Kent Wilson
8/18 Luke Camp
8/20 Marjorie Connolly
8/27 Mary Webster
8/28 David Howison
8/30 Barton Dick
8/31 Pat Gibson
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.
Rockbridge NAACP Freedom Fun’d Raiser
“Community United: Spotlight on Glasgow” | 2 – 5pm Saturday, August 19, 2023 | James R. Thompson Sr. Community Center | Glasgow, VA | Donate now at www.rockbridgenaacp.com
Hosting Ukrainian Families
A humanitarian outreach effort organized by citizens of Lexington, Buena Visa, and Rockbridge County, we aim to pave the way for sponsoring temporary re-settlement of families who qualify for entry according to the laws of the United States.
The mission of Hosting Ukrainian Families is based upon love, compassion, and humanitarian concerns for families seeking to live in peace. Accordingly, a call is issued to each person joining in this effort to set aside all political, culturally divisive viewpoints, and all differences which may hinder or defeat these goals. To donate, click the link below.