Food for thought from Samson:
Why do we celebrate?
Celebration is part of human nature and part of the DNA of every living being created by God. Every person has specific days or events to celebrate honoring particular memories, regardless of the individual's convictions regarding the days, what they are, and the reasons for celebrating them.
Celebration comes in different colors. For example, we have two observances on our nation's calendar this week.
This Sunday, June 18th, we celebrate Father's Day and acknowledge their efforts, tenderness and kindness, guidance and advice, and moral support in adulthood.
The other day to remember is Juneteenth, an annual commemoration of the end of Slavery. It is a day we ought to celebrate fully. Celebration is a big deal because what we celebrate shows what we value. This day reminds me of Jesus' The Parable of the Prodigal Son. The story reveals that the father throws the party for his son's return. It celebrates the wholeness of the family and the restoration of the relationship with the family body. God wants to see us live in harmony with one another. God celebrates when the connection is restored—not the division between people, but the relationship between us. Come, let's celebrate Juneteenth.
Food for thought from Martha:
Who is our Neighbor?
I ask that question with appreciation for the ways Grace-filled folk reach to others. From Paws to Connect to the Bike and Build to ACTS to so many others, these ministries manifest what sincere listeners Grace’s people are. I recently read an analysis of how Jesus lived in community: the analysis was framed in terms of “Who started the conversation?” In nine cases, Jesus initiated; in 25, the other party started the discourse; in some other instances, a third party triggered conversation. The analysis went on to note that few of the conversations were in religious settings. Jesus met people where they were and established common ground.
As your staff minister of music (we are all ministers of music and so much more), I see us, in musical involvements, both meeting people where they are and inviting them to Grace’s amazing courtyard. Many of you at Boxerwood last week heard the huge shout-out Grace got from the stage—recognizing Grace’s support of Boxerwood’s Music in the Garden, recognizing our efforts at Community Sings, and our sharing of real estate and music in our Monday Music Series.
Jesus established common ground with others—the work of building Beloved Community. I loved hearing conversations at Music on the Courtyard where local people shared their enthusiasm for biking and music and also learned about ministries Grace supports, such as Habitat for Humanity. How wonderful it was to look around and see young bikers and people of all ages singing along to well known songs. People making time to join in getting to know one another. Being neighbors.
We will have more Monday Music on the Courtyard this summer. All start at 6:30. Bring your own food and drink and lawn chairs or blankets. Invite friends to one of the best locations in Lexington: Monday, July 10 “Datz Us Ramblers”; Monday, July 31 “Caravan of Fools”; Monday, August 7 “Betty and the Hot Flashes.” Come, enjoy the music, make new friends, and keep the old.
Our June and August Community Sings return to Grace from recent Sings at Randolph Street UMC. 5pm Sunday, June 25 on Grace’s Courtyard, (rain place: Undercroft). August Community Sing will be at Grace, 5pm Aug. 20, a singalong of “Godspell”!!
Yours in Christ,
Worship Services | Proper 6 | Sunday, June 18
Holy Eucharist | 8 a.m.
In-Person & Zoom
Christianity and Culture | 9:15 a.m.
Parish Hall & Zoom | Introduction to Spiritual Formation
Holy Eucharist | 10:30 a.m.
In-Person & YouTube
We're Worshiping at Jordan’s Point Park on Sunday, June 25!
This year, instead of Lake Robertson, we are gathering at Jordan’s Point for a 10:30 service of Holy Eucharist under the pavilion followed by a picnic. The change of location is to provide easier access to parishioners who would like to join in the service and picnic, but are unable to travel to Lake Robertson. The church will provide fried chicken, dessert and water. Please bring a lawn chair, blanket and your favorite salad or side dish to share! (The 8 am service will remain at Grace, there will be no Christianity and Culture.)
Morning Prayer | Monday–Friday 8:30 a.m.
In-Person & Zoom
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 email@example.com 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
Lex Rock BV
Come help Grace Episcopal Church build Beloved Community at our local Juneteenth celebration Saturday, June 17th from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Richardson Park! At Grace's table we'll be handing out coloring/info sheets about Black Faith Leaders and sharing some stories from our own Episcopal tradition! Other vendors will offer food, live music, facepainting, glitter tattoos and info of all sorts to highlight the beauty of our diverse community! Come join the fun--and lend a hand if you can! Contact Susan Mead for more info: 540-267-5678.
Hymn Sing at the Mayflower
Join us at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 22 as we visit local assisted living homes. Our first outing is to the Mayflower, 409 S. Main Street. Plan on about 25 minutes. All voices welcome! Contact Martha for details.
Music in the Garden at Boxerwood
June 23, Fatty Lumpkin and the Love | Hogs Rock (upcoming dates 7/14, 7/28, 8/11, 8/25 & 9/8) Join us and let there be songs to fill the air!
Upcoming Music Events
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.
Bellfry Strength for the Journey Retreat
July 7–9 will be our summer retreat time at the Bellfry in Lexington, Virginia. Registration is now open! Please remember, space is limited and we do fill up quickly. Registering early will secure a space for those who wish to attend. Would you prayerfully ask the Lord who among those you know, who might be in need of such a refreshing weekend and then invite them? Perhaps there is someone you would like for me to contact. Simply provide their contact information and I will reach out. Of course you are always welcome to return if you need a refresh and connect deeper with God. God has been faithful to this ministry over the years and He continues to provide comfort and reassurance of His presence and He continues to meet so many where they are on their life journey. Supporting each other during difficult times is important. Visit our website here.
Please pray for the wider Church and intercessions requested by our Congregants: The Presiding Bishop Michael Curry who is undergoing medical treatment. The Diocese of Southwestern Virginia, and our Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Mark Bourlakas. 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 & Betty Gale Anderson (friends of the Lewis’), Carolyn Glenn (friend of Judy Schram), Jack Hershbell, Helen & George Kostel, Laura Stearns, Carl & Rachel Pattison, Diana Kenney, Tom Strickland, Worth & Katie Burnes (friends of the Smiths), Amelia Dull, Barb Ostrander (cousin of John Milford), Stephen DeMaria, Farris Hotchkiss, Annie Campbell, Polly Lawrence, Betty Cadden, Jeff Mason, Joe Irby, Kent Wilson, Mo Littlefield, Ginny Dunaway Ferguson, Isabella & Anne (family of Carl Pattison), Mike Robblee and Rosemary Phillips (siblings of Paul Robblee), Glen Szarzynski, Cal Odom, 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 June Birthdays
6/16 Judy Schram
6/17 John Thomas Loughhead
6/18 Alden Mastin, Matthew Fogo
6/20 Susan Lawrence, David Grizzle
6/24 Sandy Harcus
6/29 Lu Dooley, Michael Finnell
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.
Let’s Rock! With Rockbridge Recovery Concert & Cruise-in
June 24, 2023, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. | Glen Maury Park, Buena Visa, VA | Cruise-in 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., music starts at noon. Music by: Section X, Hateful Bones, Late Night Stumblers, Full Circle Revival, and more!
Food, Raffles, Vendors, Kid Zone. Admission: 1 can food item or 1 pet food item per person. Your help supports recovering addicts, the homeless, survivors of domestic abuse and many more. No alcohol allowed.
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.