This Sunday we hear a parable of a proud royal father who calls guests to the wedding feast for his beloved son. But the guests refuse to come. And they even violently assault the king's servants.
After punishing those people, the king invites all sorts of people, so that the wedding hall is full of guests from all walks of life. But when he enters the hall the king notices a man without proper attire and casts him "into the outer darkness."
We should identify with those of all sorts and conditions who fill the banquet hall. This is the church, an assembly of sinners blessed by the abundant mercy and goodness of God.
It is not enough to accept forgiveness. God expects us to forgive as we have been forgiven. It is not enough to be grateful for abundance. God expects us to be generous from our abundance toward the needs of others and for the common good. It is not enough to see the light of Christ. We are expected to be the light so that others will see our good deeds and give glory to God.
I see the many good works members of this parish do and have done throughout this community. So many ways in which you give of yourselves and your treasure for the well being of others. It is beautiful. I pray that you feel God's joy and God's goodness in all your works. And I invite you to come to a celebration of Grace Church and the fellowship of loving service we enjoy in God's name on Sunday, October 22 beginning with evensong at 5 pm followed by a reception in the Parish courtyard. Please come and make the celebration more complete by your presence. No one will be cast into the darkness!
Tuck Bowerfind (he/him/his)
Rector | Grace Episcopal Church
Worship Services | Proper 23 | Sunday, October 15
Holy Eucharist | 8 a.m.
In-Person & Zoom
Christianity and Culture | 9:15 a.m.
Parish Hall & Zoom | All About Evensong
Evensong, or the office of Evening Prayer set largely to music, has long been considered a gem of our Anglican tradition—and is making something of a comeback in England notably in university chapels. With good reason, as it can promote the quiet contemplation of our gracious Lord at the close of a day which whatever its challenges is always filled with blessings. On October 15, anticipating Evensong at Grace Church the following Sunday, David Cox will describe the service itself, and also show how you can join in Evensong every day from your own home. October 22: Sacred Ground is a film and readings based dialogue series on race, grounded in faith. This 11-part series is built around a powerful online curriculum of documentary films and readings that focus on Indigenous, Black Latino, and Asian/Pacific American histories as they intersect with European American Historie. Please join Tuck and some Sacred Ground graduates and learn more about this timely program. October 29: Now that our Grace pilgrims have recovered from their recent pilgrimage to Israel, we are excited to have them share their experiences and inspirational moments with us. What a special way for our members, old and young, to work together to take care of God’s creatures great and small. We look forward to seeing you at these sessions of Christianity and Culture. Please invite a friend to come with you.
Holy Eucharist | 10:30 a.m.
In-Person and Youtube
Student Bible Study following the 10:30 am service in the College Room. Lunch will be served.
Bible Study, 4 pm – The ladies’ discussion group will meet in the Welles Room (Library). Please join us!
Evening Prayer Rite II | 6 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 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the courtyard in front of Grace!
Upcoming Music Events
Saturday and Sunday, October 14 and 15, come out to Spectacle at Boxerwood! Musicians and actors have rehearsed at Grace since mid-summer. The show is full of music (some composed by our own Martha Burford), giant puppets, and children and adults from all over Rockbridge. Tickets are available here.
Sunday, October 15 Join us at 6 p.m. for Rite II sung Evening Prayer. The service will be sung and prayed directly from the Book of Common Prayer and Hymnal 1982, and will last approximately thirty minutes.
Sunday, October 22 5 p.m. Join us for Choral Evensong celebrating the Feast of James of Jerusalem. The service will include Scripture, hymns, prayers, and music by Herbert Howells, Joanna Forbes L’Estrange, and Sergei Rachmaninoff. Saturday, October 28 The Chamber Music Society of Lexington and Grace Episcopal Church present “Music of the Southern Hemisphere.” The concert will feature local and visiting musicians and include compositions by Villa-Lobos, Brouwer, del Aguila, and others. Wednesday, November 1, 7:30 p.m. Concert by Allegri (Choir based in the North West of Ireland) and Washington and Lee Singers.
Saturday, November 4, 7 p.m. The Chamber Music Society of Lexington presents a program by The Deutsch-Amerikanisches Klarinettentrio.
Boys Home of Virginia Wish List
Please help us support the Boys Home of Virginia by supplying any of items on their wishlist.
The Vestry is looking for Delegates and Alternates to Convention 2025. If you are a Grace Church Member and are interested in being a Delegate or Alternate, please contact Kathy Hill for more information.
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.
Stewardship and IWC are planning a ministry celebration 5:45 p.m. Sunday Oct 22, immediately following evensong. This is a reception for all members of the parish, whether they attend evensong or not.
At this reception we want to have a large word cloud that shows all the organizations in Lexington and Rockbridge county supported financially or through volunteer work by members of Grace. To solicit this information we want to survey the congregation and get their input. "Please share all the organizations in Lexington and Rockbridge county you support financially and or through your volunteer work"
A member of IWC and Stewardship will tabulate results for creation of a word cloud and perhaps name tags "Ask me about ___________"
IWC and Stewardship will plan the menu for the reception. We will need survey results by the end of September. Contact Liz Moss with any questions. email@example.com
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.
Plastic Bag and Film Recycling through the Trex Challenge
Around the world over 400 million tons of plastic are produced each year and the quantity is growing exponentially. Sadly, only a very small percentage of the plastic waste is being recycled, while the majority ends up in landfills and the oceans. The Creation Care Committee at Grace Episcopal believes we need to do our part to reduce plastic film waste, and we have joined the Trex Challenge to recycle plastic bags and films.
You may be aware of Trex, a company in Winchester, VA who produces composite materials for decking and other uses. Trex uses the plastic bags and film collected in the production of their products. The challenge is to collect 500 lbs. of plastic film over a 6-month period. If we meet this goal, we will receive a free bench made from Trex material. This program has been tremendously successful at Kendall where they have received 5 or 6 benches because of their collection efforts.
Our program kicks off on October 1st. For Grace to receive credit, all plastic bags and film should be deposited in the blue container under the bridge. We will collect and weigh the contents before taking the bags and film to be recycled. A listing of acceptable plastics is attached for your reference.
We ask for your steadfast support in this effort. Together we can make a difference in our environment if we all join in this program.
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 Grace Memorial, Lynchburg and their rector, the Rev. Alan Cowart. 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, 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, Carrie Strickland, Shelby, Edith Covard Crutcher, 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 Mary & Tim Price), and those we name aloud or in our hearts. Pray for those who have died, especially John Thomas. Pray for the people of Israel, Gaza, Sudan, Haiti, Ukraine, and pray for peace.
In Thanksgiving for October Birthdays
10/16 Sharon Kurtz
10/20 Eloise Adams, Drusie Milford
10/23 Claudia Ellis
10/24 Sarah Centorino
10/25 Lily Youngman
10/26 Melissa Cox
10/27 Connie Loughhead
10/29 Jimbo Smith
10/30 Steve Shultis
10/31 Peggy Hays
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.
2023 Community Pride Festival
Join us on October 21 at Brewbaker Field from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. For Project Horizon’s annual Pride Festival. See the below flyer, in both English and Spanish, for more information.
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!
Jazz in the Community
On October 15 at 3 p.m. at Lylburn Downing, come and enjoy an afternoon of Straight Ahead Jazz, Latin Jazz and Jazz Standarts with The Bill Hoffman Jazztet (Bill is an original member of the Rhythm Makers with roots in Lexington and at Lylburn Downing Middle School). This is a fundraiser for the Jacqueline Pleasants Scholarship Fund which provides scholarship assistance to a graduating senior from Rockbridge County High School who intends to enroll full time in an accredited two or four-year college or university.