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Life With Grace | May 3

Church parishioners gather in front of Grace Episcopal Church smiling
Join us for a unitive worship service this weekend, won't you?

Dear Friends,

On this Sunday before the Ascension (celebrated May 9, 2024) we are put in mind of Jesus' great concern for how his disciples will respond to his departure and for the time ahead when he is no longer physically present to encourage, comfort, correct, and guide them

One of his final encouragements to us is to tell us we are his friends.  As a friend he has shared everything he is, everything he has.  And for the sake of friendship he lays down his life, and picks it up again.

The church prospers when it learns and lives the art of friendship. Often we get distracted by many things.  And there are many important things for the church to do.  But friendship is the heart and soul of the church, the gift that we have to offer the world.  Amigos de Christos, we are friends of the Lord.  

There is no more important craft than making friends.  

This Sunday we want to take some time to thank God for the gift of friendship with Christ and with one another and to honor the friendship we share with the reverend Samson Mamour who has spent the first two years of his ordained ministry with us. Samson has shared himself with us and we have shared our lives with him.  And we thank and praise God who keeps sending forth the spirit and bearing the fruit of true friendship in our lives.

With Gratitude,

Tuck Bowerfind (he/him)

Rector | Grace Episcopal Church

Worship Services | Sixth Sunday of Easter | Sunday, May 5

Unitive Service | 9:30 a.m.

In-Person and Youtube

6th Easter at 930
Download PDF • 285KB

A Farewell for Samson

Samson Mamour, our Assistant Rector, will finish his two-year tenure at Grace Church at the end of May. To celebrate his ministry with us, there will be a unitive service at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 5 followed by a reception. There will be time to honor him with gifts and cards.  If you would like to give him a cash gift, please write out a check to him. We invite you to participate as you wish and to attend if possible. Cards and notes of appreciation are welcomed and encouraged. There will be a basket to collect them on the day of his party, but if you won’t be able to attend and wish to write something, please send to Melissa Cox at 107 Lee Avenue in Lexington. Please include Samson on the back of the envelope. Please join us as we celebrate Samson’s time with us and wish him Godspeed.

Stamp Out Hunger

Stamp Out Hunger, the nation's largest food drive, is back on May 11th! Postal workers from ten post offices throughout Rockbridge County will collect donated canned and dry food items from city and county residents and deliver them to RARA, as well as food pantries in Buena Vista and Glasgow. Stamp Out Hunger is sponsored by members of the National Association of Letter Carriers, the National Rural Letter Carriers' Association, and the U.S. Postal Service. The last year's drive brought in almost 4,000 pounds of non-perishable food to Rockbridge County.

RARA needs your help on May 11th between 12-5pm to process thousands of pounds of Stamp Out Hunger donations. Shifts are two and a half hours long and are a great opportunity for community groups, coworkers, teams, and families to volunteer together!

If you cannot volunteer, please consider participating by leaving your donations by your mailbox on the morning of Saturday, May 11th. We greatly appreciate any and all donations. Please see our list of our most needed items (no glass please):

  • Marinades, sauces, & spices

  • Health & hygiene items

  • Canned meat

  • Soup

  • Canned fruit

  • Diced tomatoes

  • Dried fruit or nuts

  • Cereal

  • Baby food & diapers

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

In-Person & Zoom

Paws to Connect

Join us next week for Paws to Connect!

Men's Prayer Breakfast

Join us every Tuesday morning at 7 a.m. for Men's Prayer Breakfast! Come get some delicious breakfast and wake up with us.

Upcoming Labyrinth Events

May Labyrinth Walk: will be held on World Labyrinth Day

Saturday, May 4, 2024,12:30 - 1:30 p.m. at Boxerwood.  

We will walk a temporary labyrinth to be constructed of natural materials from the gardens on The Boxerwood Meadow. On this day, participants will be walking labyrinths all over the world at 1pm local time, holding the intention of peace and planetary healing.  I will be at Boxerwood Gardens leading a community walk on the Boxerwood Meadow.

We hope that someone will be walking the Grace Labyrinth at that time to celebrate this day.

If you don't plan to join us at Boxerwood, then perhaps one or more of you would walk the Grace Labyrinth at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 4 to connect energetically with labyrinths and walkers all over the world.

Friday, May 3:  The day prior to the World Labyrinth Day event, we will gather volunteers, and students from EarthSong Community School, to build the labyrinth by placing clipping from the gardens on the marked path lines of the labyrinth.  

These events are free and open to the public.  Please register on the Boxerwood website.

World Labyrinth Day Workshop: There is also a labyrinth workshop available on the morning of May 04.  It will be led by a colleague of mine, Mary Ann Wamhoff, who is an Advance Labyrinth Facilitator from Crozet.  The fee for her workshop is $75 and those interested can sign up on the Boxerwood website.  Here's the flyer for World Labyrinth Day:  Those interested may register through the Boxerwood website:  

Boxerwood website:

CATE Group

The Children Aspiring To Education or CATE group of our Grace Church is thankful for the great response to the April 7th 9:15 a.m. presentation on the two schools, Saint Marc's in Haiti and Kelly Academy of Hope in South Sudan.  So we want to share with all readers of Life with Grace the information in the 2-page handout below.  We are so thankful that we were able to see and speak with the school directors last Sunday via Zoom.  Let's continue the long standing connection to our brothers and sisters in these two not-so distant places  as we renew our efforts to support Saint Marc's and initiate support for the new Kelly Academy which aims to offer South Sudanese youth the opportunity to learn in their homeland.

south Sudan
Download PDF • 466KB

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

Update on the Trex Challenge

Through the incredible efforts of Cindy and Grigg Mullen and others, we have now collected 748 lbs. of plastic film, that's 225 lbs. in the month of April alone.  Thank you for your tremendous contributions to this effort.  With your continued work, we should easily meet our goal of 1,000 lbs. in October.

Rockbridge Co. Cleanup

With Mother's Day and graduations coming up, May 11th is not a good day for organizing a cleanup in Rockbridge Co.  Maybe we can schedule a date in the fall.

Monteverdi Concert at Washington and Lee on May 7

The Washington and Lee Department of Music will present a concert, entitled "Nymphs and Shepherds," featuring music by the early baroque master composer Claudio Monteverdi and his contemporaries on Tuesday, May 7 at 7 p.m. in Wilson Concert Hall.

Washington and Lee music faculty members, WIlliam McCorkle (harpsichord) and Scott Williamson (tenor) will be joined by Sarah Gabrielle Lynch '24 (soprano), Michael McLaughlin '23 (baritone), and Kailesh Amilcar '26 (bass).  

Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643), considered one of the giants in the history of European music, flourished as the leading musician of Venice in the first half of the seventeenth century.  His music exemplifies the evolution of vocal (and instrumental) music into a new style, which has come to be called 'baroque.' 

The featured work on the program will be the ensemble's performance of the famous 'Lamento della Ninfa' ('Lament of the Nymph'), from Monteverdi's eighth book of madrigals (1638). Setting a poem by the poet Ottavio Rinuccini, Monteverdi sets the lament of an abandoned woman for solo soprano, with a trio of male voices provided commentary in the manner of a 'Greek' chorus.  Tenor Williamson will offer 'Vi ricorda, o boschi ombrosi' ('I remember you, dark forest'), an aria from the celebrated early opera 'Orfeo' (1607).  Soprano Lynch will present the dazzling solo song, 'Quel sguardo sdegnosetto' ('That Haughty Little Glance') from the song collection  'Scherzi Musicali' (1632).  As a complement to the vocal works, McCorkle will present harpsichord composition by Monteverdi's Venetian contemporaries, Giovanni Picchi and Giovanni Battista Grillo.

Said McCorkle, "This will be a short 'sorbet' of a concert to celebrate the season of spring, the music of the great Monteverdi, and the musical talents of four remarkable singers."

The public is cordially invited to attend the concert.

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!

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

Please pray for the wider Church and intercessions requested by our Congregants: Prayers for continued healing for Presiding Bishop Curry. Pray for the candidates for Presiding Bishop: The Rt. Rev. J. Scott Barker, The Rt. Rev. Daniel G. P. Gutiérrez, The Rt. Rev. Sean Rowe, The Rt. Rev. Robert Wright. Pray for Diocese of Southwestern Virginia, and our Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Mark Bourlakas. Pray for the people of St. Paul’s, Lynchburg and their Rector, The Rev. Todd Vie. Pray for Brendon, Michael Murphy, Timmy, Rick Alexander, Bradley Fairchild and Karen Junkin, John & Gloria June Perry, Glen Jones, Patricia Brown Boyer, 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, 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), Brian Powers, Jane Drewry (sister-in-law of Ruth Smith), Barb Ostrander (cousin of John Milford), Carolyn Williams, Jennifer Humphrey, Linda Lanford, Elizabeth Jones (Martha’s mom), and those we name aloud or in our hearts. Pray for the graduates of colleges, universities and high schools, especially George Bowerfind, Joe Condie, Colleen Curto, Lucy Eagleson, Jackson Hotchkiss, Rowan Moles, and Annie Thomas. (Please let us know of students we should add.) Pray for those who have died, especially Nancy Walker.

In Thanksgiving for May Birthdays

5/6    Peter Bowerfind

5/8    Kate Holston      

5/12   Anne Hershbell    

5/15   Jenny Mastin      

5/16   Ren Price, Elaine Price      

5/17   John Dickerson, Cynthia Robertson 

5/20   Joan Crawford     

5/22   Garrett Frascati  

5/26   Raeanna Simcoe    

5/30   Lyle McClung      

5/31   Anne Tyler McCabe, Ellie Mastin  


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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