top of page

Life With Grace | March 15

A group of parishioners gather around a few dogs, smiling on steps in front of a church
Paws to Connect is back and better than ever!

Dear Friends,

As we draw near to the end of Lent the gospel lesson turns our attention toward the glorification of God through the crucifixion, resurrection and ascension of Jesus.

John's gospel makes it clear that Jesus is not an instrument of God's salvation, Jesus is the revelation of God - we see God most clearly in the self-offering servanthood that includes Jesus laying down of his life and picking it up again.

The lifting up of Jesus on the cross, from the grave, to the throne is for the sake of drawing all people into the life of divine love which is characterized by self-offering servanthood. The way of abundant life is the way of servant love.

We know this is true.  We see it revealed in the lives of the saints, in the life of the those who we most admire and respect.

God help us love what you command and desire what you promise, to love one another, to lay down our lives for one another for the sake of our share in your abundant life, the life of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.


With Gratitude,

Tuck Bowerfind (he/him)

Rector | Grace Episcopal Church

Worship Services | Fifth Sunday in Lent | Sunday, March 17

Holy Eucharist | 8 a.m.

In-Person & Zoom

Fifth Sunday Lent at 8
Download PDF • 271KB

Christianity and Culture | 9:15 a.m.

In Person | Parish Hall

March 17th: Lifting Feminist Voices in Liturgy, Lectionary, and Life

Dr. Susan Virginia Mead will lead an exploration of resources she has found to bring a broader perspective to spiritual study and worship.  She will share poetry from Amanda Gorman, showcase examples from the Feminist Bible and Inclusive Language Lectionaries, and highlight inspirations such as The Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray. Susan says "Our time together will encourage us to listen for voices we may not have heard before, to work together to ensure that every voice is lifted, and to channel the voice of the divine for greater good beyond ourselves."

March 24th:  There will be Coffee Hour but No C & C - Join the Community Palm Sunday Parade at Hopkins Green at 9:30.

March 31st:  Easter - There will be Coffee Hour and Flowering of the Cross out front.

Holy Eucharist | 10:30 a.m.

In-Person and Youtube

Fifth Sunday Lent at 1030
Download PDF • 369KB

Women’s Bible Study | 4 p.m.

Welles Room | A study of the Gospel of Luke.

Guided Labyrinth Walk | 5 p.m.

Part Three of Essential Oils of the Bible and the Labyrinth concludes the series on  exploration of the history of essential oils, and how today we can use them for  contemplation and meditation with the labyrinth.  Finger style labyrinths will be provided for those who prefer a seated experience.  Amenie Schweizer, M.Ed., a certified clinical aromatherapist with The Institute for Spiritual Healing and Aromatherapy will present.

Call for Ministry

Calling all Readers, Chalice Ministers, Acolytes, Ushers and AV techs - we are looking for your help with these ministries. If you have a talent that you would love to share or one that you would like to learn, please contact Lisa.

Morning Prayer | Monday–Friday 8:30 a.m.

In-Person & Zoom

Festival Lamb Dinner - Sat., March 30 - Parish Hall

Come feast on leg of Lamb immediately following the Easter Vigil service! We will provide lamb, couscous, asparagus, bread, coffee & tea. Please help round out the menu by bringing a green salad, Waldorf salad, side dish, or dessert and wine to share.

Wednesday Nights in Lent

Lent Supper Wednesday, March 20, 6 pm. Anne Sauder will serve supper, followed by a reflection from a Virginia Theological Seminary student, Saleem Kasabreh, who is from Palestine. Zoom option available.

Easter Flowers

Lilies, Hydrangeas, and Tulips, will be used to decorate the Nave & Chancel for Easter. If you would like to purchase a Memorial plant for $10, please make your check payable to Grace Episcopal with Flower Guild on the memo line, or donate online and pick Flower Guild in the dropdown box on the Give page. To list a memorial in the bulletin, email Lisa by Monday, March 25. Weekly altar flower dedications will resume after Easter.

Paws to Connect
A group of parishioners gather around a few dogs, smiling on steps in front of a church

We had a lovely time at Paws to Connect last week! Join us again this week for more of your favorite four legged friends!

Community Palm Sunday and Easter Sunrise Service

The Rockbridge Area Minister’s Alliance invites you to the Annual Community Palm Sunday March

Palm Sunday, March 24, 2024 9:15 a.m. Beginning @ Hopkins Green Park. Join us as we gather for Prayer, Scripture Reading, and Music as we start our Holy Week Celebration. As we march through Downtown Lexington Prayers will be offered for the Community and the Downtown Churches. Complimentary Palms will be Distributed to everyone. --The Reverend McKinley A. Williams, Chair

The Rockbridge Area Minister’s Alliance invites you to the Annual Community Easter Sunrise Service on Easter Sunday, March 31, 2024 7:00 a.m.. It will be held at the Trinity United Methodist Church 147 South Main Street, Lexington, VA 24450 Guest Preacher: Pastor Drew Ditzel of Lexington Presbyterian Church. A Complimentary Community Breakfast will be served immediately following the Easter Worship Service --The Reverend Anita Mays Lucord , Host Pastor


Middle School (current 6th - 8th Grade) June 16-22

High School (current 8th - 12th Grade) June 23-29

8th graders can choose which week to attend

Cost: $200.00

If you need scholarship assistance or have multiple children attending contact Canon Jenni Faires. Questions? Our diocesan youth summer mission trips are back by popular demand for the fourth year in a row! Registration is open for a week of service, fun, and fellowship. Join us for this unforgettable time of service for our Appalachian neighbors as we also forge a strong bond as a team in the process.

Click on the buttons below to register now!

Also be sure to check out the 2023 summer mission trip recap video below to see the impact of our mission at Grace House!

Lodging: Our host will be Grace House on the Mountain located at 5100 Pewter Drive, St. Paul, VA 24283.

Transportation: We will offer a carpool from Evans House in Roanoke. More details will be released closer to the mission trips.

Adult Sponsors: If an individual or parish would like to send a volunteer for the week, please sign up here.

Winter College Retreat Recap

Rev. Samson and Michael McLaughlin are happy to announce that Canterbury Club’s Winter Retreat was a great success. On the Fourth Sunday of Lent, five students from Southern Virginia University, Washington & Lee University, and the Virginia Military Institute retreated to the Belfry for an afternoon of reflection and sharing stories. Rev. Anne Grizzle, who welcomed us into her marvelous home, led the group in creating Life Maps, sharing them, and identifying spiritual and emotional growth periods. Listening Prayer followed, in which we asked each other, “What can we be prayerful for you about?” and then listened to God’s Word. We have heard many messages throughout the day and carried them with us. We cannot thank Rev. Grizzle enough for her hospitality and leadership. She opened us to the Light of Christ in new and unexpected ways. But most of all, we would like to thank the students who came. We immensely enjoyed building a community with all of them and hope to find ways to sustain it in the future.

Habitat Faith Build

Just a reminder that Pat McGuire is looking for a few more volunteers to participate in the Faith Build. If you are interested, or have questions, please contact Pat.

Backyard Compost Challenge with Boxerwood

Our Big Question: How much food waste could we keep out of the landfill if more of us used backyard composters instead? To answer that question we are enrolling 80 local households in a 10-week “citizen science” project, March 9 – May 18, 2024.

Each selected household will weigh and share data about its total food diversion weekly. Boxerwood will post this data anonymously on its project webpage. We will use this information to better understand the impact of diverting food waste with backyard composting. Your new compost kit (and our weekly tips) will also give you a way to start protecting the Earth right here at home.

Backyard Compost Challenge Flyer 2024
Download PDF • 691KB

Dinner Groups

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.

Call for Bell Ringers!

On April 28, 4pm we will have a concert celebrating the life and ministry of Dr. Robert Glidden. Evensong will follow. Some of the music for the event is composed by friends of Bob and René's. Amongst those pieces is a composition for choir, organ, and handbells. We will hold extra rehearsals for the handbell parts - Four 45 minute rehearsals will suffice. If you are interested in playing for this event, please email Martha.

John Curtis's Graduation

The STEPS Team was happy to celebrate with John Curtis his graduation  after successful completion of the year-long program on March 12, 2024.  Guests included Pastor Drew Ditzel and staff members of Lexington Presbyterian Church who expressed appreciation, affection and admiration for John who is employed as their Sexton.  Also in attendance to congratulate John were Steve Wilcott, pastor of the Yeshua House of Prayer in Raphine and his wife Dawn. John expressed that he has found  new families in our community and plans to continue living and working here where he feels at home. STEPS is a mission that provides support and guidance for those leaving incarceration and returning back to their communities.

Rockbridge Ukrainian Relief Effort Public Presentations

On Saturday March 16 and March 23, at 1:30 pm in the Westfel room of Murray Hall of Lexington Presbyterian Church, the Rockbridge Ukrainian Relief Effort will offer a presentation on local efforts to provide humanitarian aid to carefully vetted small charities which are primarily operated by volunteers in Ukraine.

Charities supported include an orphanage; a mini-hub delivering humanitarian aid (food, water, and other essential items for survival) from the international aid hub to within 1km of the front lines. Others include the Brave Foundation which rebuilds homes, schools, and hospitals and a burn clinic offering free medical care.

Come to hear the story of a Washington and Lee University student, whose family survived the atrocities in Bucha, Ukraine, as well as presentations of several of these charities. See the wonderful work they do with the victims of the Russian Federation – and learn how you could save someone’s life. Every dollar raised in Rockbridge County reaches these Ukrainian charities as the Rockbridge Ukrainian Relief Effort and its financial partner, the Slavic Christian Church, charge no administrative fees.

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!

Effinger Community Announcement

The churches of the Effinger Community will be hosting a Rise Against Hunger Meal Packing event again this year. The event will be held on Saturday, April 13th at the Effinger Fire Station located on Collierstown Road. The set-up time is 8 a.m. with the actual packing event scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.. We should be finished at approximately 11 a.m. and will be having a hot-dog buffet for all those working the event afterwards.

50-60 people are needed and the cost to host is $4500.00 of which we have already collected already over $1200.00. 

Our goal this year is to pack 10,000 meals to help feed the hungry.

Anyone wishing to donate or wishing to volunteer can sign up here.

It’s a great way to spend a couple of hours, it’s a lot of fun, and, most importantly, it is needed to help those who may not know where their next meal is coming from. 

Haiti and South Sudan

Let’s Connect with Children Aspiring to Education in Haiti and South Sudan!

Imagine two schools thriving in spite of the chaos of the political violence, administrative neglect, and corruption around them!   These schools exist and offer access to education to children who wouldn’t be able to go to school otherwise, given the lack of government support where they live.  These two schools exist because some folks like you and me in this part of the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia reach out to them. The 10-year old Haitian school, St. Marc’s, has been featured several times recently in this newsletter.  The brand new South Sudanese school, Kelly Academy of Hope, is part of the display in the Parish Hall.  But there is more to know.  Our Assistant Rector, Rev. Samson who is originally from South Sudan, is going to give us a “live connection” by Zoom to these two schools on Sunday, April 7 at 9:15 AM.  You will be able to meet and talk with staff and students from the two schools.  These adults and children will amaze you as they share what they are doing in their schools!

Mark your calendar for April 7 at 9:15 a.m. in the Parish Hall:  Live Connection and Tasty Treats from Haiti and South Sudan.

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 List

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: Prayers for continued healing for Presiding Bishop Curry. The Diocese of Southwestern Virginia, and our Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Mark Bourlakas. Pray today for the Lay Employees and Volunteers of the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia. Pray for Brendon, Michael Murphy, Timmy, Rick Alexander, Bradley Fairchild and Karen Junkin, John & Gloria June Perry, Glen Jones, Patricia Brown Boyer, 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, Cullen Bahr (friend of Drusie Milford), Mary Etta Randolph, Amaree Cluff, Jeff Patnaude, Blake, Liz & Cameron (friends of Chris Young), Carl & Rachel Pattison, Wayne Fitzgerald (husband of Anna-Lisa Nay Fitzgerald), Kay (sister of Janet Lemmer), Brian Powers, 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 March Birthdays

3/15  John Milford

3/16  Shay Peters, Catherine Harcus

3/17  Ed Craun, Bill Sayre, Pat McGuire

3/18  Elizabeth Knapp

3/19  Wade Branner, Cecile West-Settle

3/23  Polly Lawrence, Laura Stearns

3/24  Rose Gordon

3/26  AP Smith

3/27  Kathryn Hill

3/31  Will Edgar


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.


146 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page