Grace Episcopal Church
The Lexington Parish of the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia
From the Rector
With the recording of 12 COVID19 positive cases in Lexington on Thursday, September 24, both Rockbridge County and Lexington have exceeded the threshold for Sunday, September 27. Sunday, September 27 Morning and Evening Prayer services will be held by ZOOM.
Christian Education for Youth and Students
Sunday, 1 - 2 pm, (ZOOM contact Sharon Massie for link)
September 27 What does it mean that God is Love?
(Megan Hess and Sharon Massie)
Godly Play, Tuesday, 4 pm (ZOOM contact email@example.com)
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.
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.)
Want to learn about American Sign Language and ministry to the Deaf in the Episcopal Church? Want to learn to sign the Lord's Prayer, Gloria, and Sanctus? Join us at choir rehearsal Thursday, Oct. 1 (virtual) when the Rev. Laurence Wainwright-Maks, Chaplain to Episcopal Conference of the Deaf join us.
David Cox will explore the history and riches of the Anglican Tradition of Evensong on Oct. 22.
Want to hear Ed Craun on "What's a Word?": A Christian Ethic of Speech--join us on Nov. 12.
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 will lead that discussion on Nov. 5.
There's more to come! A calendar will post next week, but this fall promises rich reflection on Walking in the Way of Love. Additionally, our music scholars are leading segments on music theory, music history, and vocal techniques. Demannuel Gonzalez WOWED us last night with an exploration of acoustics and physics. More to come!
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 Begins
Sunday, September 20 was the beginning of the 2021 Stewardship Campaign consistent with the parish theme for the months ahead "Walking the Way of Love." Every parishioner should have received a stewardship letter and pledge card in the mail. If you did not please contact Lisa McGuire. The three goals of the campaign are 100 percent participation; sufficient income through pledging to maintain current payroll and obligations without relying on endowment income ($550,000); and increase giving beyond Grace through the Diocesan pledge and Outreach. The campaign formally ends on November 1 on All Saints' Day.
We are pleased that 34 households have already pledged a total of $177,165 as of September 23. 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.
Your Stewardship Committee: Dennis Cross (Chair), Susan Cross, Carol Dent, Gail Dickerson, David Hansen, John Milford, Rob Minor
The Impact of Stewardship
Did You Know?
Did you know that the Christian Outreach Committee awarded $50,000 in grants to local agencies this year, with two thirds of that amount to support local urgent needs (complete list on the Grace Church website Outreach page)? This was possible thanks to the generous parishioners pledges and the Vestry's commitment to commit 10% of the pledged total to outreach.
Did you know that the COC's mission balances its priorities between financial support and hands-on ("skin-in-the-game") outreach among committee members, parish, and the broader community? The Hands-On Outreach Subcommittee maintains contact with community services for updated information about needs to shared with the parish.
Did you know that the COC is sponsoring a Boys Home Cottage, pairing parishioners with boys in SAMS cottage to develop personal relationships? This is in addition to the COC grant to Boys Home for scholarships.
Did you know that the committee's initiatives this year include forming a Prison Ministries Subcommittee that includes COC and non-COC parishioners, and a Racial Equity Subcommittee, that includes an equal number of representatives from the COC and leaders of color in the community? These and the Boys Home Cottage Sponsorship reflect our commitment to the Episcopal Church vision of Becoming Beloved Community.
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.
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.
A 9/11 Message and Prayer from the Rector
Today, as we remember the devastation and loss of 9/11/2001, we grieve the loss of the nearly 3000 people who died that day in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania including the nearly 400 police and firefighters who died courageously responding to the emergency. We pray for strength and healing for the tens of thousands directly impacted by the attacks including nearly 18,000 with 9/11 related cancer. We pray for all those for whom this day surfaces psychological, emotional and spiritual wounds We give thanks for all those who laid down their lives to help in the effort to save others, and for the prayers and good will extend to us from all the nations of the world in that confusing and frightening time. We pray that God will continue to work through our confusion and fear to strengthen our trust in his grace and love, to give us courage to face the challenges that confront us in our own day, and to help us work in hope for justice, peace, and the health and well-being of all people.
9/11 Memorial, New York City
photo by Sharon Massie
Our Sacred Ground series began on September 23 with 49 people registered. Tuck Bowerfind, Anne Grizzle, Anna Crockett, Patrick Rhamey, David Cox, Cecile West-Settle and Laurent Boetsch are our facilitators. Please pray for us as we journey through this powerful online curriculum of documentary films and readings that focus on Indigenous, Black, Latinx, and Asian/Pacific American histories as they intersect with European American histories.
Sacred Ground is a Becoming Beloved Community initiative of The Episcopal Church, a long-term commitment to racial healing, reconciliation, and justice in our personal lives, our ministries, and our society.
For more information about Sacred Ground please see
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.
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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)