Grace Episcopal Church
The Lexington Parish of the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia
Sunday, October 25
21st Sunday after Pentecost
In-person and Online
Holy Eucharist I 8 am (ZOOM)
Family Morning Prayer 9:15 am (ZOOM)
Holy Eucharist II 10:30 am (ZOOM)
In-person attendance is limited to 41 households or individuals. Masks and social distancing required at all services.
Communion will be distributed in bread only.
Both services will be livestreamed on Facebook Live
Christian Education for Youth and Students
Sunday, 1 - 2 pm, (ZOOM)
October 25 – What About Suffering?
Godly Play, Tuesday, 4 pm (ZOOM contact firstname.lastname@example.org)
Godly Play helps children to explore their faith through story, to gain religious language and enhance their spiritual experience though wonder and play. For children ages 3 to 7. Contact Sharon Massie for more information.
Exploring a Prayer Discipline, Mondays, 10:00
The Monday morning Exploring a Prayer Discipline group invites you to join them in reading Compassion in Practice by Frank Rogers, Jr.
This group meets for an hour on Monday's at 10 AM by ZOOM
For October 5 we will prepare Jesus' Spiritual Path of Compassion, pp 7-27
We will not meet October 12
October 19 Chapter 1: The Pulse of Compassion pp 28-41
October 26 Chapter 2 pp 42-64
November 2 Ch 3. Cultivating Compassion for Yourself pp 65-84
November 9 Ch 4 Cultivating Compassion for Others pp 85-110
November 16 Ch 5 Discerning Compassionate Action pp 111-146
We have one copy available to borrow in the office.
A Virtual Concert to raise funds for
the Boys Home of Virginia!
Treat yourself to an event premiering on Friday, October 30, 8pm EDT: a Virtual Concert hosted by Grace and presented by Musicians Who Care about the Boys Home of Virginia. Musicians from around the country: Tim Gaylard, William McCorkle, the Angel Band in Berkeley, California, cathedral organists, published composers, Rockbridge's "Kelly and the Old Boys" (Music Jam folk), violinists, bassoonists, Bolivian musicians, and many more have contributed to this AMAZING concert. Tax deductible Tickets will be available on boyshomehoot.com. All proceeds will go to the Boys Home. Check out boyshomehoot.com.
Complimentary tickets will also be available, but we are hoping this will be joyful opportunity for everyone to give to Boys Home, to celebrate, enjoy a beautiful, lifegiving, spirit lifting time with musicians from the age of 6 to 80+!
Remembering Our Saints
All Saints Day
Sunday, November 1
Grace Church members who have died since last All Saints Day:
If you would like to add someone to the list of remembrances for All Saints Day, please call the parish office or email@example.com with your request by Wednesday, October 28.
Searching for our Saints
To better understand “Walking the Way of Love”, God’s presence in our parish and community, please help us to recognize those whose lives have taught us this message. They may be living or deceased, and of any, or no, faith community. We are not only depending on your understanding, but asking you to talk to neighbors, friends, and acquaintances. Invite them to share who they see in this community expressing the ideals of love, justice, healing, and mercy.
Please use this form or give the office a call.
Send us individuals’ names before October 25, so we can celebrate them on All Saints Day November 1. Please include a few sentences, if you will, on why you identified this person and, also, include your name and email address, so we can learn more about them. We will of course contact these individuals prior to identifying them publicly.
Choir Rehearsals: Choir Rehearsals: They're not just for singers! How do we Walk in the Way of Love in our language, liturgy, music, and community? Join us for a rich array of topics and discussions. (Stay for singing if you like, but feel free to leave after the initial segments.)
Thursday, Nov. 5 Join us to consider how musical styles and language in hymns help us embody a Spirit of Welcome and Hospitality: Paul Vasile of Eden Seminary and Executive Director of Music That Makes Community.
Thursday, Nov. 12 Want to hear Ed Craun on "What's a Word?": A Christian Ethic of Speech
Ukulele Group meets virtually 4:30-5:15 on Wednesdays. For people ages 3rd grade through 4,007th grade. Contact Martha at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to be one of the voices on the recorded hymns for Sundays, email Martha at email@example.com
Stewardship Campaign Progress Report
The 2021 Stewardship Campaign has one week remaining before its formal ending on All Saints’ Day. 95 households have pledged a total of $390,159 as of October 22. The goal for this year’s campaign is $550,000. Of parishioners who pledged last year, 43 have yet to pledge this year. We ask those who have not pledged to consider prayerfully their support and return their pledge to the church bookkeeper by Thursday, October 29 in order to be included in the total announced on November 1.
Please remember that the Stewardship Campaign has three goals: 100 percent participation; sufficient income through pledging to maintain current payroll and obligations without relying on endowment income; and increase giving beyond Grace through the Diocesan pledge and Outreach.
Your Stewardship Committee: Dennis Cross (Chair), Susan Cross, Carol Dent, Gail Dickerson, David Hansen, John Milford, Rob Minor
Lay Stewardship Sermon - Brant Hellwig
Sunday, October 18
Dennis Cross, chair of our parish’s stewardship committee, approached me a few weeks ago about delivering the lay sermon on stewardship. I agreed, although with a healthy degree of apprehension. The idea of delivering a sermon suggests that I have something meaningful or profound to impart. I am not sure about that. But thankfully, this is a lay sermon, and I am confident in my ability to showcase the “layperson” aspect of the address.
Dennis asked that I share some background on why our family contributes to the church as part of our stewardship campaign. In that regard, I want to share a story of a stewardship-themed event at our previous church home in South Carolina.
As part of stewardship season, the church decided to invite members to a one of many gatherings hosted by parishioners in their homes to discuss the topic. My wife and I hosted one of the events, which seemed nice enough. We had some wine, beer, appetizers – something of a stewardship happy hour. We are Episcopalian after all. There were about 10 people at the event, we all sat around a circular table, and started to chat. “Ok. Stewardship . . . Discuss.”
After people broke the ice, the conversation picked up. Actually, a little too much. One parishioner highlighted the number of excellent initiatives our church supported in the local community and beyond, stressing those good works – and one in which he was actively involved – as a dominant reason behind his giving to the church. Another member of the congregation, who I would describe as a cradle-to-grave, dyed-in-the wool Episcopalian, was somewhat bothered by that approach. No, in her mind, the reason to give abundantly to the church was grounded in Christian duty. Beginning and end of story.
The two went back and forth for a bit and, after the one parishioner once again touted his preferred outreach activity, the other finally asserted “I frankly don’t give a [darn] about that program.” But her statement had a little more heat on it than “darn.” Her husband shook his head, saying something like “Oh Lord, here we go,” and the rest of us scrambled to refill the wine glasses and change the subject.
At the end of the day, I am not so sure our stewardship happy hour had the desired effect of striking a positive tone. [Nonetheless, we did make sure to hand out the stewardship envelopes to everyone on the way out.]
I thought back to that event as I prepared my remarks, because, on the issue of whether our giving to the church should be tied to or depend on the activities of our church parish, I actually think both individuals had a point.
n one sense, our family’s giving to our church home in Grace Episcopal has nothing to do with the events that are going on here. Rather, our giving constitutes an expression of thanksgiving for the many ways we have benefited from God’s grace. It stems from a recognition that the resources we are privileged to have are not really ours alone – maybe not “ours” at all. Especially in times like this, the ability to have a job to even earn a living is itself a blessing from God. Returning a portion of our resources to the church is simply a recognition that we have benefited abundantly from God’s grace. Doing so is liberating, relieving, and even joyful. It is one way for us to recognize that we not really rugged individualists who make or break our own destiny. Rather, we are part of God’s family, and all that we have ultimately comes from Him. Stewardship therefore is not so much of an obligation, but rather a grateful recognition of His benevolence.
None of what I just described depends on what is taking place at Grace Episcopal Church in Lexington Virginia. Nonetheless, our family is inspired and moved by what our church parish is doing not only for us and for our parish, but for our community more broadly. Through our stewardship pledge, we are saying “Yes” to the various ways our church is sharing God’s word and his love.
There is simply no way to capture all that our church does, but I’ll mention some things that inspire our family and bring us closer to God.
- The spiritual leadership and guidance provided by Father Tuck, which we find inspiring.
- The unquestioning acceptance and fellowship offered by the Tuesday Morning men’s prayer breakfast group.
- The impactful work of members of our Outreach Committee.
- The hard word and leadership offered by members of our church Vestry.
- The joy we are able to bring children through our Angel Tree gifts.
- The statements of support that we have made to marginalized members of our community.
- The greetings we receive from the ushers when we walk into the church – even when we are coming in a few minutes late.
- The warmth that exists among members of our congregation when we can gather, which is genuine and palpable.
- Our interest in welcoming newcomers to our church and to our worship services.
- The care that so many have shown to my daughters, who essentially grew up in this parish.
- The feeling of peace, love, and hope that exists when we all sing Silent Night by candlelight in the courtyard after the Christmas Eve service.
- The return of the alleluias and the joy in celebrating Jesus’ resurrection on Easter morning.
These and many more things are all gifts from God, gifts that are facilitated through our parish. They are a few things with which I am most familiar, and they merely scratch the surface of the many ways our church parish spreads God’s love among us and our community.
Our stewardship pledge is a way for us to essentially say “Yes” to all of these good things. That feels good. It brings my family contentment and joy.
In closing, we all have our own particular motivations for contributing to the Lord’s work through Grace Episcopal. It may be a simple recognition that our resources are not ours alone. It may be because you are inspired and want to support the sharing of God’s grace that occurs through our church and, in particular, through our clergy, our staff, and our parishioners. It may be some of both, along with other reasons. Ultimately, I believe common denominators are an expression of gratitude and a desire to spread God’s love. Both bring us closer to Him.
Time and Talent Survey
Whether you are active or not on a ministry team or formation group at Grace, please let us know whether you might consider participating with one of the following teams or groups. No previous knowledge is required. All necessary training will be provided at your convenience.
from the Rector
I know that many of you have already voted and many of you are still preparing to vote.
Whether you have already voted or not, I hope you will attend to the guidance given in the Book of Common Prayer and through the Episcopal Public Policy Network.
The Episcopal Public Policy Network has teamed up with Vote Early Day.
The Book of Common Prayer includes the following Prayers for National Life on pages 820-823, included here for your convenience. Of course the prayer for an election, #24 is most appropriate, but each of the prayers offers an important perspective and focus. Our rights and the authority are grounded in our human nature, made in the image of God.... read more here
YMCA ALL DAY LEARNING CENTER AT GRACE
At the end of July the Rockbridge Area YMCA reached out to Grace along with other sites around Rockbridge County to inquire whether we would be willing and able to provide some of our space for the Y’s All Day Learning Center. With the ever changing school situation in Rockbridge County, many working parents are seeking safe alternative learning situations for their children. Following a visit from the Y’s Branch Director Bobbie Wagner and Child Care Director Annie LePere in early August, fire and asbestos inspections had to be conducted in order for Grace to host Y staff and children enrolled in the All Day Learning Center. As those reports came back, we have been checking off the health and safety issues that needed to be addressed.
The Y’s All Day Learning Center began Tuesday, September 8, and will operate Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm. The maximum number of students at Grace will be 20. Students aged 5-12 will be using the Parish Hall and the Nursery traveling from one area to another by the rear staircase in the Parish House. CDC Covid-19 guidelines and Y child care guidelines will be followed.
You don't need any professional writing experience to create great text-content, all you need is an idea and a keyboard.
Prison Ministry Panel Discussion – July 20, 2020
These Zoom recordings are the Main or plenary session of our Prison Panel Discussion including six noted panelists that work in different parts of the prison experience and our break out sessions. They include a chaplain, director of a W&L Prison clinic, professors that teach in the prisons, a prison visitation specialist, a counselor/prison reform activist, and the Reentry Services Administrator for the Virginia Department of Corrections (VDOC). The information gained from this session will be used to further develop our Prison Ministry known as S.T.E.P.S.
(Supporting Transitions by Engaging in Parolee Sponsorship)