Updated: Feb 11
That's the question explored by the Episcopal Church Foundation in its January edition of Vestry Papers. We will discuss that question in Christianity and Culture this Sunday, January 22. And I hope you will ponder that question as you complete this survey that was also sent out on Wednesday.
Our current Parish House was built in 1959 to support a vision of parish ministry driven in part by the baby boom and nationwide growth in church attendance across all denominations. 64 years later the Parish House continues to support important ministry, but the drivers are radically different. Today church attendance among the population of married college educated whites who love classical music and liturgy is in steady decline. At the same time community initiatives and experiments to further the humanitarian mission of the church proliferate, independent of creed, denominational affiliation, or church membership.
The Parish House continues to serve critical needs of these community groups that lack their own space: Scouts, AA, Coffee House, Walker entrepreneurs, Rotary, Hospice, YMCA, Rockbridge Youth Chorale, Hosting Ukrainian Families. Grace provides room set-up, cleaning, and sometimes administrative support for these groups. At the same time, some space in the Parish House is not very useful because of the way it is furnished, or because of size, or accessibility, or frankly because of appearance.
The world continues to need the saving grace of God in Jesus. In many ways the church of 2023 is much stronger than it was in 1959, despite demographic changes impacting Sunday attendance.
In May 1958, when the church was near its apex in membership, the Vestry voted 10-3 to inform the Diocese they were against integration at Hemlock Haven, the new diocesan conference center. In 1957 the Diocesan Convention voted two thirds against removing restrictions to the ordination of women. Today, Grace and the Diocese embrace Becoming Beloved Community and the full participation of all people in the mission and worship of the church in ways we couldn't imagine in 1959. Beloved Community is reflected in the groups that use our Parish House, and in the partnerships we are building in Lexington, Sudan, Haiti and elsewhere.
Please join in the conversation. Dwell with and in the Word of God. Talk to your neighbors and other parishioners. Take the survey. Come to the Feb 12 Town Hall. And never stop looking with hope and eager anticipation for how God is making signs of the future in the present. Signs we can follow and build on with God's help.
Tuck Bowerfind, Rector, Grace Episcopal Lexington
Worship Services | Third Sunday after the Epiphany | Sunday, January 22
Holy Eucharist | 8AM
In-Person & Zoom
Christianity and Culture| 9:15AM
Parish Hall & Zoom
Holy Eucharist | 10:30AM
In-Person & YouTube
Upcoming Evening Services
January 22 | 5PM Spoken Eucharist
January 28–29 | Evensong and Recital with visiting organist Dr. Theodore Davis
Morning Prayer | Monday–Friday 8:30 AM
In-Person & Zoom
Annual Convention | January 29 | 10AM
We're on Twitter!
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Christianity and Culture | 9:15AM Sunday Forums
January 22 Building Use Plan | Tuck Bowerfind will lead us in discussion about What we hope the church looks like in 25 years?
January 29 (Diocesan Convention) | Warden Joanne Robblee will introduce the Parochial Report Questions each parish is asked to answer.
February 5 | Delegates to Diocesan Convention will share their observations about What happened at Diocesan Convention.
We are pleased that 120 households have pledged a total of $479,433 as of January 6th. The members of the Stewardship Committee appreciate everyone’s prayerful consideration of a pledge to support the parish and its important missions through our relationship with God and Jesus Christ.
Baltimore Musician, Dr. Theodore Davis, in Weekend of Music
Casavant Frères Opus 3941 in Concert, 5pm, Saturday, January 28 at Grace Episcopal Church! The program will be played by Dr. Theodore Davis, an active recitalist, chamber music performer, and conductor currently serving at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Baltimore. “Ted” has performed across the Eastern United States, England, and Japan; has achieved national recognition in organ-playing competitions; and is an active and published composer. He has also served as assistant to the music directors in productions at the Boston Early Music Festival and the Amherst Early Music Festival. Ted holds music degrees in organ performance from Birmingham-Southern College, choral conducting from Northwestern University, harpsichord from the Longy School of Music, and a doctoral degree from the Peabody Conservatory.
The program will include works by Louis Vierne, Samuel Coleridge Taylor, Florence Beatrice Price, Ad Wammes, Théodore Dubois, and others.
Choral Evensong on Sunday, January 29, 5pm at Grace Episcopal Church will feature the choir and friends of Grace, directed by Martha Burford; Dr. Theodore Davis as organist at the Casavant Frères Opus 3941; and works by C.H.H. Parry, Sarah MacDonald, S.S. Wesley, Theodore Davis, Thomas Tallis, William Bradley Roberts, and others. Evensong is a service of prayers, Scripture including Canticles, Psalms, and Lessons, and music. It usually lasts approximately 45 minutes. All are welcome.
Free will donations will be gratefully received for this stellar program and performance! For details contact Martha Burford.
Join Campus Kitchen for a soup-tasting event benefitting the Campus Kitchen Backpack Program. Enjoy soups from local restaurants and caterers, and listen to W&L acapella groups. All ticket sales will go directly to provide breakfast, lunch and snack items to area children on free and reduced lunch programs.
Please pray for the wider Church and intercessions requested by our Congregants: The Diocese of Southwestern Virginia, and our Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Mark Bourlakas. Pray for the people of Christ, Buena Vista.
Pray for Robbie and Brendon (friends of the Brooke family), Michael Murphy, John Thomas, Timmy, Katie (daughter-in-law of Connie Bryant), Rick Alexander, Bradley Fairchild and Karen Junkin (friends of the Gibsons), Caroline Parcell, Alice Parcell, Stanard, Rebecca, and Caroline (family of Mary Price), Gloria June Perry (mother of Michael Perry), Glen Jones (friend of the Riethmillers), Darlene Travis (sister of Don Ellis), Elizabeth Boetsch, Scott Littlefield, Patricia Brown Boyer (sister of Madison Brown), Alice Furgerson, Dolly Shumate (friend of the Lewis’), Laura Wieman (friend of the Hotchkiss’), Reed Wilcox (president of SVU), Carolyn Glenn (friend of Judy Schram), Jack Hershbell, David Passmore, and those we name aloud or in our hearts. Pray for those who have died, especially Walter Joly.
Paws to Connect
We look forward to connecting with you in the New Year. We will be on the courtyard with our pups on February 14, 2023. Come by and tell us about your holidays and pet the dogs!
Hosting Ukrainian Families
A humanitarian outreach effort organized by citizens of Lexington, Buena Visa, and Rockbridge County, we aim to pave the way for sponsoring temporary re-settlement of families who qualify for entry according to the laws of the United States.
The mission of Hosting Ukrainian Families is based upon love, compassion, and humanitarian concerns for families seeking to live in peace. Accordingly, a call is issued to each person joining in this effort to set aside all political, culturally divisive viewpoints, and all differences which may hinder or defeat these goals. To donate, click the link below.
In Thanksgiving for January Birthdays
1/20 Paul Strickland
1/21 Sarah Edgar
1/23 Virginia Cooke
1/26 Maille Carrington
1/27 Sean Carrington, Joseph Moles
1/29 Jane Brooke
1/30 Melissa Gladwell-Sayre, Cary Edgar
1/31 Tom Gosse
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.
Exciting Things Are Here!
Our new website is live! You will find it more user-friendly and easier to navigate, with a fresh, modern design and new features to enhance your experience. All clergy and staff emails have been updated to @gracelexva.org. You can find our new contacts here. Please remove the old, @graceepiscopallexington.org emails from your address books and replace them with the new versions.
We appreciate your patience as we work to bring you a better online presence for our church. In the meantime, please don't hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions or need any information.