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Parish News | March 26

Updated: Apr 3, 2023

A young boy in a grey t-shirt waters a shrub from a red watering can
Our youngest member of the Property Committee waters plants in front of Grace

Dear Friends,

As we draw toward the end of our Lenten journey we follow Jesus this week to the home of his friends Mary and Martha and the tomb of his recently deceased friend Lazarus, and then we follow him to his own tomb. ...

When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet weeping and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

So many times I have heard family members wonder, as they suffer alongside their loved ones bedsides, whether God might intervene, and what it means if God doesn't intervene.

I can't offer a satisfying response. I can remind them of what I do know. Their presence with each other in these moments is a sacred blessing. Death and grief are not the enemy. Grief is the complex form love takes at the time of death. Death brings us to a new depth of love. It is important to feel what we feel in grief - the sadness, the anger, the denial, the bargaining, the depression, the guilt, the relief, the humor, the beauty, the hope, ... the gratitude - all mixing with and flowing into each other.

Sometimes something awesome happens. Jesus raises Lazarus. And that is awesome. But this awesome event shouldn't erase the awesome loveliness of Jesus sharing, feeling grief with Mary. God simply being with us in Life is awesome - apart from fixing what is broken, or healing what is sick, or providing what we need, the divine presence affirming and sharing our humanity, loving us and accepting our love -

This is the glory of God. This is abundant life, eternal life. In this moment of unguarded human frailty when nothing awesome has happened Jesus reminds and opens Mary's eyes and heart and mind and spirits to the transcendent beauty of Life with him so that when the awesome thing happens she will know that there is something more awesome than resurrection. There is Life. And you have it.

May the Lord keep you in eternal life.

With Gratitude,

Tuck Bowerfind, Rector, Grace Episcopal Lexington

During Lent, as always, the Grace Labyrinth is available. To learn more about the use of Labyrinths as a prayer practice please visit the information on our website.

Worship Services | Fifth Sunday in Lent | Sunday, March 26

Holy Eucharist | 8 a.m.

In-Person & Zoom

Fifth Sunday Lent at 8
Download PDF • 261KB

Christianity and Culture | 9:15 a.m.

Parish Hall & Zoom | Renewal of Faith, Confirmation

Holy Eucharist | 10:30 a.m.

In-Person & YouTube

Fifth Sunday Lent at 1030
Download PDF • 278KB

Evensong | 5 p.m.


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

In-Person & Zoom

Lent Madness | Wednesdays in March 6:45 p.m.
Holy Week Schedule

April 6, 6 p.m. Maundy Thursday Service with Holy Eucharist

April 7, 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. Good Friday Service

April 8, 6 p.m. Easter Vigil followed by Lamb Dinner in Parish Hall

April 9, 8 a.m. & 10:30 a.m. Easter Service

Join Us for Paws to Connect

Paws to Connect is back and better than ever! Join us this week on Grace's steps from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday!

We're on Twitter!

To stay in the loop with all things Grace Episcopal, give us a follow on our new Twitter! While you're at it, check out our other socials too.

Spring Clean Up

Flowers are blooming, leaves are beginning to appear, and it’s time to tidy up the courtyard garden and labyrinth for Spring.

Please join the Property Committee on Saturday, April 1st, at 8 a.m. to pick up sticks, weed, pull out Ivy, and apply mulch. We will finish before 12. Coffee and donuts will be served. Bring a rake and wheelbarrow if possible. It will be a fun morning and the garden will be ready for Palm Sunday and Easter. We hope to see you there!

Graceful Play

Graceful Play, an after school program for early childhood and early elementary children, begins next week on Tuesday, March 28, and we need volunteers to assist. Graceful Play blends curriculum elements from Godly Play and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, and hopefully, a Vacation Bible School meets Mr. Roger's Neighborhood atmosphere.

As a volunteer you will not be expected to be present each week. There will be no meetings or training, except Safeguarding. As our parish continues the work of Becoming the Beloved Community, I ask you to prayerfully consider participating in Graceful Play.

If you would like to know more about Graceful Play, please contact Marjorie Connolly at (713-206-1756).

Upcoming Music Events (No Registration Required)

Friday, March 24: Messiaen: The concert is a Celebration of the work of the French composer Olivier Messiaen, whose works focus on the eternal and redemption, and who thought of music composition in terms of colors. The concert will include choral music, organ music, and Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time scored for clarinet, cello, piano, and violin. The program is open to the public, sponsored by Martha Burford and Mark Gallagher, and hosted by Grace Episcopal Church. A reception in the parish hall will follow.

Sunday, March 26: Choral Evensong

Sunday's evensong, March 26, 5pm, will celebrate the Feast of Bishop Charles Henry Brent and will  feature music of guest musician Dr. Ryan Tibbetts, Herbert Howells, and Sarah MacDonald. Evensong is a beautiful service of worship in which congregation pray both by listening and singing. The choir offers most of the music, and the congregation is able to let the sung prayers wash over them. A reception in the parish hall follows the service, for time to welcome and connect.

Confirmation Preparation

Anyone interested in Confirmation, Reception, or Reaffirmation of Faith please contact Tuck or Samson. Meeting are held in the library after the 10:30 a.m. service.

Lent Madness

The goals of this contest are fun and reflecting on how we are inspired and challenged by some exemplars of Christian discipleship. Please invite friends to participate and come to the presentations and debates.

Please subscribe for the Lent Madness emails which will allow you to vote for each contest.

Presentations will take place on Wednesday nights in March starting at 6:45 p.m. On Wednesdays in March those who wish may gather for abbreviated Evening prayer at 6 p.m. Anne Sauder will serve a Soup and Bread supper at 6:20 p.m. and our presentations will begin at 6:45 p.m. We plan to adjourn at 7:30 p.m.

Presenter Schedule
Download • 64KB

Student Accolades

Grace Music Scholar, W&L24, Annie Thomas has been named a recipient of a Beinecke Scholarship, which will provide substantial funding toward Annie's graduate studies. Annie was nominated in a highly competitive selection, and was chosen from 87 nominees from different undergraduate institutions. In Annie's words, " application was all about sacred music! My heart is so full of gratitude for all the mentorship and support [Grace has] given me the last couple of years and the opportunities to learn and grow and experience things at Grace!"

An invitation from Grace Music Scholar, baritone Michael McLaughlin '23: After "living" in the Lenfest Center for the Arts for the past four years, Michael is proud to announce that on Friday, March 31 at 8 p.m., alongside Dr. Anna Billias, he will present his senior recital. An hour-long concert of various composers from different time periods, all performed by Michael alone, this recital is the culmination of his studies here at W&L. The recital will feature songs and arias by JS Bach, Antonín Dvorák, Maurice Ravel, John Jacob Niles, and others. No tickets are required. The concert will be streamed at

Join Grace Music Scholar Chris Vasquez and Laney Milton from Southern Virginia University on April 12th at 7:30 p.m. for their Senior Conducting Recital! Featuring composers of every era, they are excited to present the music of many favorites, including Palestrina, Berlioz, Fanny Hansel, Jonathon Dove, and others. Grace is excited to welcome their collaboration with acclaimed composer and organist Kurt Knecht from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Kansas City.

Easter Flowers

Lilies and other spring flowers will be used to decorate the Nave & Chancel. 28 Memorial plants will be available: $10 donation. Please make your check payable to Grace Episcopal with Flower Guild on the memo line, or donate on line at our website, pick Flower Guild in the dropdown box on the Give page. To list a memorial in the bulletin, email Lisa by Tuesday, April 4. Weekly altar flower dedications will resume after Easter.

Ukrainian Dinner

Join us for an authentic Ukrainian Dinner to support our local Ukrainian families. April 15, 2023, 5:30–8:30 p.m. at Grace Episcopal Church. Complimentary Beer and Wine Bar, Three-course dinner prepared by Ukrainian mothers. Raffle, silent and live auction, including: A week on Cape Cod, The Red Hen dinner for two, and other high end items. Only 96 Tickets are available. $50.00 donation per dinner ticket. Each ticket includes dinner and a raffle number! To order by credit card click here or call 540-463-4981, Ext. 2107. Raffle tickets (without dinner) are available here. All proceeds from ticket sales will support the three families living here in Lexington (rent, utilities, food, clothing, transportation, school supplies, etc.) Please bring cash or check for auction items. Your presence is not required to win the raffle! Check us out at

Christian Outreach Committee Announcements

Please click below to see announcements from the Christian Outreach Committee in relation to 2023 grants and the needs of Christ Episcopal Church in Buena Vista.

COC Announcement
Download PDF • 470KB
Prayer List

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 today for the Deacons of the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia and our Archdeacon, The Ven. Brian Hutcherson. Pray for the people of St. John’s, Wytheville. Pray for Brendon (friend of the Brooke family), Michael Murphy, John Thomas, Timmy, Rick Alexander, Bradley Fairchild and Karen Junkin (friends of the Gibsons), Gloria June Perry (mother of Michael Perry), Glen Jones (friend of the Riethmillers), Darlene Travis (sister of Don Ellis), Patricia Brown Boyer (sister of Madison Brown), Dolly Shumate & Betty Gale Anderson (friends of the Lewis’), Carolyn Glenn (friend of Judy Schram), Jack Hershbell, Crystal Iosco and John Penn (granddaughter and son of Ellie & George Penn), Mary & George Kostel, Laura Stearns, Carl & Rachel Pattison, Diana Kenney, Tom Strickland, Worth & Katie Burnes (friends of the Smiths), Amelia Dull, Jan Ashworth, Barb, Stephen DeMaria, Bill Stearns, and those we name aloud or in our hearts. Pray for those who have died, Alice Furgerson.

In Thanksgiving for March and April Birthdays

3/24 Rose Gordon

3/26 AP Smith

3/27 Kathryn Hill

3/31 Will Edgar

4/2 David Connolly

4/3 Dot Fogo

4/3 Alice Moore

4/3 Punky Dod

4/5 Gail Dickerson

4/6 Molly Brown, Jasper Murphy

4/7 Diana Kenney

4/8 Anne Sauder, Emily McClung, William Mackie

4/9 Lori Sadler

4/10 William McCorkle

4/13 David Passmore

4/15 Helen Head

4/16 Donald Ellis

4/18 Dennis Cross, Kevin Manning

4/19 Lisa J McGuire, Beverly Wirtz

4/20 Erika Brooke

4/22 Buddy Atkins

4/25 Genelle Gertz

4/26 Chuck Smith

4/27 Nancy Walker

4/28 Sharon Humphreys, Abby Moles, Madison Brown

4/29 David Hansen


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.


Black in Appalachia Pilgrimage

Join the Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia April 28-30 for a pilgrimage to explore and learn about the roots of black history in the Appalachian Mountains. There is a limit of 15 spots for this trip, so please see the event details and registration button below.

Our Lenten Journey: Companions Along the Way

You're invited to Our Lenten Journey: Companions Along the Way, a six-week, online series on Tuesdays at 7PM from February 28 – April 4 sponsored by The Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia.

Episcopal Church's Public Affairs Office Email List

Subscribe to the Episcopal Church’s Public Affairs Office’s email lists to receive the latest information about The Episcopal Church. “The Episcopal Church Press Release Digest” provides up-to-the-minute information about news, events, and resources from The Episcopal Church. The “Daily Scan” is a daily list of links to news stories in the mass media that highlight The Episcopal Church, Episcopal parishes and dioceses, and Episcopalians.


Donate to The Bishop’s Dollar Fund

This year during the season of Lent, Bishop Bourlakas extends his annual invitation to reflect on our discipleship in Jesus' name. As you walk the way of the cross through the forty days of Lent, we encourage generous support of The Bishop’s Dollar Fund to continue to address a variety of initiatives and needs throughout the diocese that would not be available through our annual program budget. You may send donations via the link below or mail a check to the Diocesan Office made payable to the Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia with "Bishop's Dollar" in the memo line to: Attn: Bishop's Dollar Fund, PO Box 2279, Roanoke, VA 24009.

Walking Tour of Rockbridge Women's History

Opening Remarks and Exhibits at the RHS Museum

Sunday, March 26, 2 p.m. FREE

The 90-min guided tour will stop at several historic sites in downtown Lexington. Presenters spotlight notable local women, across the 20th century, who made lasting

impacts on education and civic leadership. A reception with historic displays will follow.

Rockbridge Area Cleanup

Saturday, April 22, 9-12, Grace participates in the Rockbridge Area Cleanup! Place to be announced. Please email Martha about how excited you are to participate. The Creation Care Committee will have jackets and bags ready AND provide lunch after!

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.

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