David Connolly, Dennis and Susan Cross and I are back from our study Pilgrimage in Israel. We will give a presentation on our experience at Christianity and Culture on Sunday, October 29.
As we traveled around to places of Jesus' life recorded in the gospels we often thought of our friends at Grace. On Saturday, September 23 as we visited St. Gabriel's Orthodox Church in Nazareth I asked Dennis Cross to take this photo of me lighting a candle in remembrance of you. The candle joined many others lit by other pilgrims and members of that church in a stream that goes back through the centuries. Each candle representing the true light of Christ who gives life to the world.
In this Sunday's gospel Jesus tells a parable about a landowner who leases his vineyard and wine press to tenants. When harvest time arrives he sends servants to collect his due. But the tenants beat the servants, and even kill them. Finally the landowner sends his son and the tenants seize the son and kill him too. Jesus asks what the landowner should do to the tenants?
One answer is that he will completely destroy them. But that is not God's answer. When God's Son our Lord was killed, he returned alive with the same message - that God is love, and God's loving will is to forgive and restore even those who reject and kill his son.
No matter how we respond, God loves and forgives. And God wants us to see and know the joy of his love. Joy that multiplies when it is shared with those who need it. With those who live in darkness and sin. Love is the fruit of the vineyard. Love is the wine of the new covenant. Love is the work of the vineyard. The people of God are those who are willing to do the work of love. Jewish, Muslim, Chirstian, even those of no particular religion, but willing to do the work of love, are the stewards of God's vineyard. Even in times of drought the vine of God's love and mercy bears abundant fruit. Fruit enjoyed through remembrance of the Father and the Son, and sharing in the power of the Spirit.
Tuck Bowerfind (he/him/his)
Rector | Grace Episcopal Church
Worship Services | Proper 22 | Sunday, October 8
Holy Eucharist | 8 a.m.
In-Person & Zoom
Christianity and Culture | 9:15 a.m.
Parish Hall & Zoom | A Sounder Community
October 8: What beloved book by a Rockbridge County native was recognized in 1970 as the "most distinguished contribution to American literature for children"? How did an extraordinary local teacher of color inspire the story and another go on to share it with Lexington fourth graders, sending at least one on a life-long quest for social justice? Come to the October 8th Christianity and Culture program at 9:15 to learn the answers and to imagine together how we might use lessons learned to build a Beloved Community --that is, "A Sounder Community." 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
Taizé Eucharist | 5 p.m.
Community Youth Group | 5:30 p.m. | Lexington Presbyterian
All 6-12 graders are welcome. Invite your friends. Any adults interested in helping with Youth Group or Sunday School please contact Tuck.
Indigenous People’s Day
This Monday, October 9, we celebrate Indigenous People's Day. It is an honor to have the Monacan Nation in our Diocese and we want to continue and strengthen our relationship with our Native American siblings. The Parish office will be closed in recognition.
Morning Prayer | Monday–Friday 8:30 a.m.
In-Person & Zoom
Paws to Connect
Join us this Tuesday and Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the courtyard infant of Grace!
Upcoming Music Events
SVU String Orchestra Concert, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 7 p.m. Grace Church
Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 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 Martha Burford), giant puppets, and children and adults from all over Rockbridge. Tickets are available here.
Sunday, Oct. 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, Oct. 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, Oct. 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, Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m. Concert by Allegri (Choir based in the North West of Ireland) and Washington and Lee Singers.
Saturday, Nov, 4 7 p.m. The Chamber Music Society of Lexington presents a program by The Deutsch-Amerikanisches Klarinettentrio.
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.
Grace Legacy Society Estate Planning Event
Lexington Golf and Country Club – Thursday October 12, 5:30-7pm, Happy Hour with appetizers. Room for approximately 20-30 people. Grace Legacy Society is pleased that experienced estate planning attorney Sarah Brownlow, Esq. of Virginia Estate and Trust Law, PLC in Richmond, will provide a presentation to interested parishioners on understanding the estate planning process, key documents, common questions and pitfalls to avoid. Her presentation will be about 30 minutes with time for Q&A. The event is open to all Grace parishioners. If your estate plans have not been recently updated, you have questions, or want to learn more about the estate planning process please come! The event is currently planned for the back covered patio at the Club. Please RSVP to David Hansen or Dennis Cross.
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
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. Pray for the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia, and our Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Mark Bourlakas. Pray for the people of St. Mark’s, Clifford and their rector, the Rev. Allison Caudill. Pray for Brendon, Michael Murphy, John Thomas, 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, and those we name aloud or in our hearts. Pray for those who have died. Pray for the people of Morocco, Libya, Hawaii, Sudan, Haiti, Ukraine.
In Thanksgiving for September and October Birthdays
10/6 Christine Szarzynski
10/8 Rob Minor
10/9 Jerry Nay, Susan Denson
10/11 Heather McBrayer
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.
Homecoming Bazaar | Tomorrow
The Annual St. Paul’s Mission and Monacan Indian Nation Homecoming Bazaar has been in existence for many years. As the name implies, Homecoming is a chance for St. Paul’s Bear Mountain families and neighbors to reunite, share a meal, and sell crafts and homemade goods.
This Saturday, October 7th, the quilt raffle will start at 4 p.m. and you do not need to be present to win. Tickets are $1 - Please message us to purchase tickets or you can purchase at the Bazaar.
There will be a gospel sing by local singers/musicians (message us if you want to participate in the gospel sing).
The event is open to the public. Come and participate in this local fall event - you won’t be disappointed!
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.