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Life With Grace | March 22

Updated: Mar 24

A donkey stands in a field under a purple sky


As a child in southern Sudan, our bedtime stories always featured animals like lions, hyenas, rabbits, turtles, you name it. It's pretty amazing how the Bible talks about various animals, like lions, snakes, and donkeys...

It's one thing to hear about animals in bedtime stories, but the Bible takes it to another level. The Holy Scripture features a rich and vivid array of references to diverse creatures, thereby bearing witness to the Divine's boundless creativity.

Most people think the Bible is all about people, but guess what? It's not just that! There are also a bunch of stories about animals. From the majestic lion to the tiny sparrow, each animal in the Bible has a unique meaning that can provide valuable insights about ourselves and our relationship with God.

This Palm Sunday, the Gospel reading mentions a donkey, which Jesus sent two followers to bring to him. I don't know about you, but we frequently do injustice to these creatures and regard them as stubborn, dumb, and slow-moving. Regardless of our opinions, these animals possess considerable strength and wisdom. Although the donkey may not be the fastest, it can teach us about the spiritual values of strength, humility, and service. Perhaps this was why our Lord chose this super slow-moving animal.

Donkeys are always hardworking and dependable creatures with an unyielding spirit. Their persistence makes them a symbol of humility, determination, and reliability. One notable characteristic of this creature is its loyalty to its owner. Donkey's loyalty is just incredible! It made me realize how important it is to stay faithful and devoted to the people we care about if we want to build long-lasting relationships. We create strong bonds that can weather storms when we show our commitment and remain true to our loved ones.

Let's remember that we can learn something from everyone, regardless of whether they walk on two legs or four. Life is like a short adventure that we go through with its ups and downs. Every day that we live, we learn important lessons that we can use to make our journey more fun and meaningful. It's all about finding purpose in life and enjoying the ride, no matter the challenges. Learn from a DONKEY!

With Gratitude,

Rev. Samson Mamour

Assistant Rector | Grace Episcopal Church

Worship Services | Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday | Sunday, March 24

Passion According to Mark
Download PDF • 341KB
Holy Eucharist | 8 a.m.

In-Person & Zoom

Palm Sunday at 8 With Rubrics
Download PDF • 255KB

No Christianity and Culture This Week| 9:15 a.m.

In Person | Parish Hall

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

Palm Sunday 1030 with rubrics
Download PDF • 765KB

Women’s Bible Study | 4 p.m.

Welles Room | A study of the Gospel of Luke.

Renewal Works

Renewal Works is a program we have engaged in to find ways to make spiritual growth a priority for our parish. Thank you to the 109 of us who submitted a Spiritual Life Inventory some weeks ago! Our results show that many of us, despite long church attendance, still consider ourselves to be in the early stages of spiritual growth.  And that we want to grow in our love of God and all that He has made. Our workshop team has been meeting faithfully, and we plan to present our findings to the parish during Christianity and Culture on April 14. 

Holy Week Music

Wednesday March 27 | 12 p.m. at Lexington Presbyterian; William McCorkle, organist. Music for Holy Week.

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.

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

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

Lanford Mission Emergency Fund

Easter Appeal | The Lanford Mission Emergency Fund (MEF) was begun in this parish 40 years ago to assist residents of Rockbridge County who request emergency financial help in meeting rent, utility, medical, or temporary housing expenses. The MEF primarily receives its funding from Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas offerings as well as a small number of pledges that are designated “Mission Emergency Fund”. Requests for assistance are usually made because of sudden illness, loss of health insurance, unexpected job loss, or other unanticipated crisis situations.  RARA (Rockbridge Area Relief Association) does the vetting to verify need, and then contacts Grace Episcopal along with Lexington Presbyterian and St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic churches to share costs with RARA.

As we approach Easter, we ask you to consider a donation to the Lanford Mission Emergency Fund. If you would like to make a gift in the form of a check, the check can be made out to Grace Episcopal Church with “Lanford MEF” noted on the memo line. A donation to the Lanford MEF can also be made on Grace’s Website at The Christian Outreach Committee sincerely thanks you for your faithful and generous support of this long-time Grace Episcopal outreach ministry! 


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.

March Fundraiser for Project Horizon

Friends--here is a simple way to help Project Horizon and eat well--for the carnivore, herbivore, omnivore, or even the vegan and gluten-free! 

Every day in March you can round up to the next dollar at Jersey Mike'sto contribute, and/or just donate $1, $3 or $5 at the cashier (for $5 you get a coupon for a free regular sub with a purchase of another--which comes to 1/2 price!!).

On March 27, 100% of Jersey Mike's proceeds go to the non-profit they have chosen--in the Lexington store, that is Project Horizon! Our local Jersey Mike's has set a goal of raising $10,000 to help stop domestic and sexual violence in our community--won't you help them by droping by?

Remember, any day in March you can make a difference by donating when you order, but especially on Wednesday, March 27--your participation will make a huge difference! And since we don't have a Lenten supper that night, let's all go to Jersey Mike's and support Project Horizon!

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.

Dr. Robert Glidden Services

On April 28 we will celebrate the life and ministry of Dr. Robert Glidden with a concert at 4 p.m. followed by Evensong at 5 p.m.. The concert will feature many local and out of town musicians, works by Haydn, Mozart, Copland, Puccini, as well as living composers who are friends of Bob and René’s. String quartet, choral works, and organ works will be part of the riches!

Rockbridge Ukrainian Relief Effort Public Presentations

On Saturday, 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 for the people of St. James, Roanoke.

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, Mary Jane Hubbard, Sally Capets, and those we name aloud or in our hearts.

Pray for those who have died, Karen Cox (sister-in-law of David Cox). 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

3/23  Polly Lawrence, Laura Stearns

3/24  Rose Gordon

3/26  AP Smith

3/27  Kathryn Hill

3/31  Will Edgar


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