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Life With Grace | March 8

A group of choir members walk down the center aisle of a church singing
Join us for worship this weekend, won't you?

Dear Saint of Grace,

I want to draw your attention to the “Collect of the Day,” the prayer the priest reads right before the first reading. Often, we don't pay much attention to this prayer.

A collect is a prayer that gathers people's prayers together, summarizes them, contextualizes them according to the season or theme of the day, and offers them to God. In this prayer, we recall God's character or action in the world and then make our requests known to Him. At the end of the prayer, we typically close by saying through Jesus Christ, Your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. Amen!  

For example, the Collect for this Sunday reads as follows: “Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen!”

As you listen carefully to this Collect (prayer), it beautifully emphasizes that Jesus is the bread of life that sustains our life. Bread has been a fundamental sustenance for centuries, and it held a significant role in ancient times, especially in the Old Testament, where it was considered the primary food that supported life. The inviting scent of freshly baked bread entices us to sit, relish every bite, and enjoy its flavor. Bread draws us together in fellowship. Our Father Abraham shared bread with his three visitors for hospitality [Genesis 18].

Today, our churches serve cookies and cakes (bread) during our fellowship hours. Jesus recognized the importance of bread as a universal language. When teaching His disciples to pray, Jesus included bread in His prayer in this sentence: "Give us this day our daily bread." This request is twofold - it's not just about our basic needs but also our need for Jesus, often called the Bread of Life.

“Bread” is more than just a food. The bread represents the body of Christ that was broken for us when he was nailed to the cross. At the Last Supper commemorating Passover, Jesus gave thanks, broke bread, shared it, and said, “This is my body, which is given for you.” “Do this in remembrance of me.” Bread (Communion) unites us with Christ. As the Apostle Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 10:17, when we partake in the cup of blessing and bread, we are symbolically sharing in the blood and body of Christ. Jesus desires us to be united with other believers and Him, which can be achieved through fellowship and sharing in Bread “communion.”

Next time during Sunday service, I encourage you to take a moment to hear and listen to the Collect of the Day truly. These prayers help us prepare for what we learn from the upcoming readings. We say this prayer with excitement, waiting to hear what Christ's Word will bring us, which will fulfill what we just prayed for. Jesus invites us to share generously, just as he shared bread with thousands. The disciples also set an example by sharing communion and working in unity (Acts 2:42).


Thank You, and have a blessed Sunday.

Rev. Samson Mamour

Assistant Rector | Grace Episcopal Church

Worship Services | Fourth Sunday in Lent | Sunday, March 10

Holy Eucharist | 8 a.m.

In-Person & Zoom

Fourth Sunday Lent at 8
Download PDF • 272KB

Christianity and Culture | 9:15 a.m.

In Person | Parish Hall

March 10 - "Why was Jesus silent when He was interrogated during his Passion?"

The words of Jesus draw us to the Christian faith, but He chooses to be almost completely silent when interrogated by the high priests, Pilate and Herod. We will explore how ordinary medieval Christians---laborers, parish priests, and tradesmen--understood His silence as a spiritual resource through the short biblical plays they scripted and acted. 

Edwin D. Craun

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

Fourth Sunday Lent at 1030
Download PDF • 310KB

First Sunday Lunch

Parish Hall | Immediately after the 10:30 a.m. Service

Women’s Bible Study | 4 p.m.

Welles Room | A study of the Gospel of Luke.

Taizé Eucharist| 5 p.m.
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

Gadsden Trust Update 

The Mission and Outreach Committee of the Gadsden Trust will convene on March 12, 2024, at 4:00 pm in the Parish Hall for its first meeting of 2024.  The Committee will review first quarter grant requests that were submitted by the March 1, 2024 deadline and make awards.

Completed applications can be sent to The Gadsden Committee. Second quarter grant requests can be sent to the committee and must be received by June 1, 2024. Gadsden Committee meetings are open to the parish.

Paws to Connect

Join us for Paws to Connect this week, won't you?

About 135 Johnson Scholarship finalists were on W&L’s campus last week. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions told us last year that numerous candidates mentioned Paws to Connect as a positive they noted during their visit. This provided an excellent opportunity to share our joy and love with current and prospective students. Last week a student walked by and said that she couldn’t stop due to class, but she wanted us to know that just seeing the dogs and their owners being present brought her joy that made a difference.

Help W&L Students

In a recent meeting with W&L the need for donations of formal or business attire for both male and female students was identified. Such donations enable students to participate in social gatherings and are also used by students when attending job interviews. If you have softly worn formal or business attire that you are willing to donate please get in touch with James Keane. Donations are needed in all sizes for suits, dresses, trousers, shirts, shoes, coats as well as ties and the extras that are part of a tuxedo outfit.

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

Confirmation and Reception

If you would like to try to understand the Episcopal Church better and consider Confirmation or Reception when the Bishop comes later this year, please meet with Tuck and Samson from noon to 1 p.m. on Sundays of Lent: February 18, 25, March 3, 10, 17, and 24.   We will provide a light lunch and try to answer your questions about the Episcopal Church, the scriptures, the creeds, the sacraments, and the historic episcopate.  Attendance at all six meetings is aspirational but not required.

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.

Wednesday Nights in Lent

Anne Sauder will serve supper at 6 p.m. on the five Wednesday nights of Lent - February 21, 28, March 6, 13, 20. Starting about 6:30 p.m. we will exercise our rights as citizens of the Kingdom and Caucus for our favorite candidates for the Golden Halo. Please register for Lent Madness and vote daily during Lent.

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.

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.

Renewal Works

Thank you to the 109 of us who submitted a Spiritual Life Inventory some weeks ago! The results are in, and our effort has provided ample information as we seek to find ways to grow together in love of God, each other, and our neighbors. A team of Grace parishioners, in consultation with Renewal Works, is working with our results to determine how to meet our parish’s clear desire for greater spiritual growth. We’ll present our findings to the vestry next month. Stay tuned!

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 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

Pray 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 Trinity, Lynchburg and their Rector, The Rev. Gail Goldsmith. 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), 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

3/8    James Brown, Emma Brooke, Jonathan Webster, Carole Elmore

3/9    Anne F Grizzle, Susan Mead

3/10  Mary Price

3/11  Daniel Mastin

3/14  Cindy Mullen

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.


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