With All Saints Day behind us our liturgy turns full attention to the return of Christ. We probably have all kinds of questions about this amazing component of our faith. Christ will come again.…
Of course Christ is always with us through the power of the Spirit and we are knit together both into the one body of Christ and the communion of all the saints. Nevertheless, Christ will come again.
Jews, Muslims and Christians share the expectation that the Messiah will come to Jerusalem and initiate the general resurrection. Muslims and Christians believe the Messiah is Jesus. Jews don't identify the Messiah with Jesus, but they believe the Messiah will come to Jerusalem and initiate the resurrection. Christians alone speak of the resurrection as something that began in Jesus and that we participate in with him now through the Spirit.
In Sunday's parable of the ten bridesmaids, Matthew 25:1-13, Jesus encourages us to let the hope for his return shape the way we live our lives.
How does the hope for his return influence your life? Does it inspire you to work for justice and peace among all people? I hope so.
We know what the resurrection and the life of the world to come looks like. It looks like Jesus, the love of God made human. It looks like the saints. It looks like human beings fully alive to and in the love of God. It looks like Sylvia and Aurelia who were baptized into the resurrection last Sunday. What shall we do to fulfill our promise to help them grow into the full stature of Christ?
Keep oil in your lamp. Persistently work and look for the resurrection and the life of the world to come. Love God. Love like God. Help one another grow into the full stature of the risen Christ. Strive for justice and peace. And we will surely begin to see what we are looking for. Soon and very soon, we are going to see the King. Alleluia, alleluia, we're going to see the King.
Tuck Bowerfind (he/him/his)
Rector | Grace Episcopal Church
Worship Services | Proper 27 | Sunday, November 12
Holy Eucharist | 8 a.m.
In-Person & Zoom
Christianity and Culture | 9:15 a.m.
Parish Hall & Zoom | HOPE
Upcoming Christianity and Culture Topics
November 12th and November 19th: Anne Hansen will be speaking about HOPE. The world is full of alarm and sorrow. What is the nature of Christian hope? And how are Christians called to live this hope in a troubled world?
Holy Eucharist | 10:30 a.m.
In-Person and Youtube
Bible Study, 4 p.m. – The ladies’ discussion group will meet in the Welles Room (Library). Please join us!
Taize Eucharist | 5 p.m.
Morning Prayer | Monday–Friday 8:30 a.m.
In-Person & Zoom
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.
Paws to Connect
Join us this Tuesday and Wednesday for Paws to Connect! We will be on the courtyard in front of Grace from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.!
Journey to Bethlehem
As a special holiday activity again this year, we are hoping to have our families at Grace participate in a shared spiritual journey. Beginning on the first day of Advent, December 3rd, a family can invite Mary and Joseph to spend the night at their house. The two will come with a special prayer for the family to say to bless the home that offered hospitality. You can keep a copy of the prayer to read during Advent. We would love it if you would take a picture of your family with Mary and Joseph and
send it to Martha Burford, who will post your pictures on Facebook. After Mary and Joseph have spent the night, you will need to make arrangements to pass them on to the next family on the list included in their box. Hopefully, by Christmas Eve, Mary and Joseph will have visited all the families on the list. The last family (Dec. 23rd) are asked to bring Mary and Joseph to the 5:00 pm Christmas Eve service where Baby Jesus will be waiting for them.
Sounder Community Circle
On Monday, November 13 at 7:30 p.m., the "Sounder Community Circle" will commence in the parish hall of Grace Episcopal Church at 121 W. Washington Street in Lexington. This will be the first in an ongoing series based on the award-winning book "Sounder" written by Collierstown native, William Howard Armstrong. The November session will focus on introducing the story and its local connections to participants. According to organizer Susan Virginia Mead, "Folks who come don't have to have read the book, they just need to be curious about how the story of Sounder was born right here in Rockbridge County!"
"The Sounder Community Circle" arose from a very successful event last April, where a diverse audience of more than 100 people heard the author's son, Kip Armstrong, talk about how Charlie Jones, a black educator in Rockbridge County, inspired his father to write "Sounder," and its sequel "Sour Land," Mead explained. "People kept asking me when the next 'Sounder Circle' event would take place. Now I can say 'every second Monday of the month at 7:30 p.m.’”
When asked about why the name of the series expanded to include "community," Mead reflected: "A co-organizer who loves puns said that our ultimate goal is to build a 'Sounder Community!' And indeed, it is! The idea is to learn lessons offered by local literature and history so together we in the Rockbridge area can create a more promising future for all."
Mead says the first session will end with brainstorming about topics that participants want to explore from Armstrong's books. "After the introduction on November 13, we are planning a very special program for December 11, which will feature images from the town of Lexington found in 'Sounder,'" Mead enthused. "Beyond that, community members will help shape the direction of our discussion topics, because 'Sounder' belongs to us all!"
Every Sounder Community Circle event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Susan Virginia Mead.
Boys Home of Virginia Wish List
Please help us support the Boys Home of Virginia by supplying any of items on their wishlist.
Lanford Mission Emergency Fund
The Mission Emergency Fund was begun at Grace in 1984 to assist residents of Rockbridge County who seekemergency financial support to meet rent, utility, food, medical, or temporary housing expenses. In late 2014 the name of the fund was changed to the Lanford Mission Emergency Fund (LMEF) to recognize Sarah Lanford’s long-time service to this ministry.
The emergencies that prompt requests for assistance include sudden illness, unexpected job loss, loss of health insurance, or other crisis situations. In the majority of cases, RARA (Rockbridge Area Relief Association) does the vetting to verify need and eligibility and then contacts Grace Episcopal along with Lexington Presbyterian and St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic churches to share with RARA in the financial support.
Through early November 2023, Grace has received 153 requests for assistance, and the MEF has expended $11,969.13 to meet those requests. The funding for this ministry comes from Grace’s Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas loose plate offerings, individual gifts, a small COC grant, and a quarterly draw from the Lanford Endowment Fund.
As we approach Thanksgiving and reflect on all of the blessings and gifts in our lives, we ask you to consider adonation to the Lanford Mission Emergency Fund to assist those who are less fortunate. A donation to the LMEF can be made through your Thanksgiving offering in the form of a check made out to Grace Episcopal Church with “Lanford MEF” noted on the memo line as well as on our website.
The Christian Outreach Committee sincerely thanks you for your continued support of this long-time Grace Episcopal ministry!
Mission and Outreach Committee of the Gadsden Trust
The mission of the Gadsden Committee “is to disburse funds (from the Gadsden Trust) to enable the spread of the Christian Gospel and to alleviate human suffering.” The Gadsden Committee’s fourth Quarter 2023 meeting will be held December 12, 2023, at 4 pm in the Parish Hall. Committee members (Gail Dickerson, Carol Gosse, William McCorkle, Cindy Mullen, Paul Robblee, Ruth Smith, and Woody Sadler) will review fourth quarter grant requests and distribute available funds in the following areas: local needs and concerns-community and Grace; seminarians and continuing education of Diocesan clergy and ministers of our parish; third world needs; and Diocesan projects or programs.
Fourth quarter grant requests can be sent to Gail Dickerson, Chair, and must be received by December 1, 2023. The Gadsden Trust grant request application can be found here.
A Plea for Haiti
Our neighbors in Haiti are struggling through a period of political violence and chaos. With the government disabled, many Haitians rely on church schools to educate their children. Grace, as part of the Virginia Haiti Collaborative, supports one such school in Haiti, St. Marc’s in Cerca-la-Source. Every month the Collaborative sends $5000 to Haiti to pay the salaries of the 30-some teachers at St. Marc’s who teach the 350 students in grades K-12. That $5000/month pays the full salaries of 30 adults and provides education for 350 students. The Collaborative is the school’s only source of funding.
This season, we are also raising money so that the students can have computers at school. They will need some degree of computer literacy to take their graduation exams and to serve them as they seek jobs after graduation. If you can help provide schooling for these children, please put Virginia Haiti Collaborative on the memo line and send your check to Trinity Episcopal Church, 214 W. Beverley St, Staunton, VA 24401. Trinity provides bookkeeping for the collaborative. For more information, please contact Anne Hansen or Tuck.
Grace Dining Groups Update
The dining groups have been formed and information sent out. However, it is never too late to still join a group. We have weekday luncheon, Sunday brunch and weekday dinner groups. Some dine in homes and some prefer to dine out. If you are still interested, please email Drusie or Ruth.
Light in the Darkness Service
Recognizing that Advent and Christmastime can be a particular challenge to those suffering from grief, loss, anxiety or loneliness, this beautiful service of choral music, candlelight, and prayer is offered to make space for those seeking God's healing as we look forward to His coming to restore all things. Join us on December 10th at 5 p.m.
Angel Tree is Coming!
Since 2007 the parish Outreach Committee has partnered with Prison Fellowship Angel Tree Christmas ministry. Angel Tree seeks to restore those affected by crime and incarceration by introducing prisoners, victims, and their families to a new hope available through Jesus Christ. This year our church will receive the names of 50 children to serve in this important ministry. Children being served virtually reside in areas where there is not sufficient local support and we need your help.
Beginning in mid-November you will be provided with a unique code for Grace Episcopal Church, enabling you to access the virtual Angel Tree site. Each tag corresponds to one child and the sponsorship amount for each is $30. Thank you for joining with Angel Tree to be the hands and feet of Jesus as they seek to restore relationships between children and their incarcerated parents.
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 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: Pray for the continued healing of The Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. The Diocese of Southwestern Virginia, and our Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Mark Bourlakas. Pray for the people of St. John’s, Bedford and their rector, the Rev. Wilson Brown. Pray for Brendon, Michael Murphy, Timmy, Rick Alexander, Bradley Fairchild and Karen Junkin, Gloria June Perry, Glen Jones, Patricia Brown Boyer, Dolly Shumate, Carolyn Glenn, Jack Hershbell, Laura Stearns, Worth & Katie Burnes & Family, Amelia Dull, Barb Ostrander, Stephen deMaria, Annie Campbell, Polly Lawrence, Betty Cadden, Jeff Mason, Joe Irby, Kent Wilson, Rosemary Phillips, Joan Wade, Don Ellis, Diana Kenney, Patrick Bowes, Ann Nay, Paula Cooper, Lucy Moise, Penny & Ned Henneman, Steve Riethmiller, David Wade, Barbara Bova, Daniel Diener, Shelby, Anne Stenhouse, Clay Sadler, Lynn Butler, Sharon Humphreys, Eloise Adams, Nancy Mastin, Judy (Carole Elmore’s sister), Elizabeth Klein (daughter of Deb & Bill Klein), Linda Lanford and Erik Figueroa (family of Tim & Mary Price), Marc Silvia (brother of Lisa McGuire), 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 cessation of violence, reconciliation, and peace.
In Thanksgiving for November Birthdays
11/10 Richard Jones
11/11 Brooks McCabe
11/13 Doug Ayer
11/13 Julie Grover
11/14 Jim Farrar
11/15 Tim Price, Rene' Glidden, Samson Mamour
11/18 Sis Harcus, Diana Harris
11/19 Steven Lawrence, Hank Humphreys
11/21 Tim Gaylard, Liam Murphy
11/22 Will McClung
11/23 Bill Kozak, Kristi Finnell
11/26 Michael McCabe
11/27 Jack Hershbell, Anne Blanken, Avery Hess
11/29 Robert Glidden
11/30 Harry Warner
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.
Donations for Lisa's House – Project Horizon
Items we currently need: · High efficiency laundry detergent · Toilet paper, paper towels · Lysol disinfectant spray · Dish soap · Coffee · $10 gas cards At this time, we are only able to accept items on this list. Thank you for thinking of us!