Grace Episcopal Church
Walking in the Way of Love

Parish News
For the Week of October 4, 2020

Sunday, October 4 
18th Sunday After Pentecost
With the rising number of cases of COVID 19 in both Rockbridge County and Lexington we have exceeded the threshold for safe in-person worshiping for Sunday, October 4. Services will be held by ZOOM.
Morning Prayer 8 am  (Bulletin)  (ZOOM)
Morning Prayer 10:30 am  (Bulletin) (ZOOM)
The Feast Day of St. Francis
Due to COVID-19 we have to celebrate the Feast Day of St. Francis differently
this year. We will have a special prayer time during the 8 & 10:30 ZOOM worship services to bless the animals.
We invite you to bring your pet(s) into view or present pictures of your pets or favorite wild animals during our online services.
Fr. Tuck will pronounce a blessing on our beloved companions.   
We also invite you to share a picture or two of your pets via our Facebook page this week and next.  
We were planning to ask for donations of non perishable people/pet food and dedicate the loose offering to the RARA Food Pantry on this Sunday. Please consider giving a donation to the RARA Food Pantry or pet shelter of your choice.
Morning Prayer, Monday -  Friday, 8:30 am 
Compline, Monday - Thursday, 8:30 pm  
If you are interested in leading a night of Compline please let Sharon or Martha know.   
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.
Stewardship Campaign Progress Report 
Sunday, September 21 was the beginning of the 2021 Stewardship Campaign consistent with the parish theme for the months ahead "Walking the Way of Love." 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 56 households have already pledged a total of $253,265 as of October 1. 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? The Pastoral Care Edition
Did you know that Eucharist Visitors are dispatched after the morning service on Sunday to take communion to those unable to attend in person?

Did you know
that Eucharist Visitors conduct a short service before administering home communion?

Did you know
that we have five licensed Eucharistic Visitors? Sharon Massie, Gail Dickerson, James Keane, Helen Moore and Marlys Craun. 

Did you know
that we have approximately three dozen parishioners who participate in the home communion program?

Did you know
that the pandemic has increased the number of requests for home communion?

Did you know
that you can receive home communion by calling the office and asking to be added to the list of recipients?

Did you know
that Shay Peters distributes communion at Kendal during the pandemic? 
Did you know that our ACTS Ministry (Actively Caring Through Sharing) began in 2014?
Did you know that our ACTS Ministry has 5 teams that take turns weekly praying for and contacting parishioners by phone, email or cards?
Did you know that our ACTS Ministry teams are named after the fruits of the spirit and captained by Gail Dickerson (Patience) Melissa Cox (Joy) James Keane (Faithfulness) Lynn Dent (Kindness) and Judy Hotchkiss (Peace) and overseen by Gail Dick and Sharon Massie  
Did you know that our ACTS MInistry meets over 500 requests a year?  
Did you know that you can join an ACTS group? Contact Sharon Massie or Gail Dick  
Faith@Home Devotions for the 18th Sunday after Pentecost
These devotions for all ages invite you to engage in the discipleship practice of Reading, Reflecting, and Responding to Scripture in the context of community.

Each devotion is written for a particular age group pairing, so you can have conversations with everyone, no matter where they're at in life. The Adult and Small Child pairing is designed for preschool students and younger; the Adult and Elementary pairing is for children in elementary (or grade) school; the Adult and Youth pairing is for youth in middle and high school; and the Adult and Adults pairing is for use with young adults and adults.
Prayer Pumpkins
All you need is a pumpkin and a Sharpie marker to have a prayerful October!
Christian Education for Youth and Students
Sunday, 1 - 2 pm, (ZOOM)
October 4 - How Can We Love God and Science?
In this session, we will explore how religion and science can be seen as complementary and try to understand why so many people mistakenly believe that Christianity is "anti-science."  
Youth Pumpkin Carving, Sunday, October 25, 2:30 pm
Join us on the patio to carve Jack-O-Lanterns. 
Godly Play, Tuesday, 4 pm (ZOOM) 
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.
Sacred Ground began September 23 
Our Sacred Ground series now has 50 people registered! Tuck Bowerfind, Anne Grizzle, Anna Crockett, Patrick Rhamey, David Cox, Cecile West-Settle and Laurent Boetsch are our facilitators. Please continue to 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

Our One Word is back! Tuesday, October 13, 7 pm ZOOM 
Ladies, join us for an hour of conversation. We will focus on the word "Resiliency"
and explore if that word has or has not been at work in our lives that week. Invite a friend! (ZOOM)
Two Joyful Music Events to raise funds for  
the Boys Home of Virginia!
Grace Episcopal Church hosts, in partnership with Music That Makes Community, a Community Singing Celebration and Kickoff! Live singing 3-4:15, Saturday, Oct. 10. Registration is at 
Treat yourself to the second of the two events premiering on Saturday, Oct. 8pmEDT: 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 All proceeds will go to the Boys Home.  Check out 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+! 
Music Ministry 
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, Oct. 8, join the choir as we learn from guest choral expert, Dr. CJ Redden-Liotta, as he explores meter in sacred texts.  ZOOM 

Thursday, Oct. 22 David Cox will explore the history and riches of the Anglican Tradition of Evensong.

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 

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 week with an exploration of acoustics and physics.
Ukulele Group meets virtually 4:30-5:15 on Wednesdays. For people ages 3rd grade through 4,007th grade. Contact Martha at

If you want to be one of the voices on the recorded hymns for Sundays, email Martha at

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.
Vestry Nominations
The retiring 2020 Class of Vestry members (Gail Dickerson, Don Ellis, Tom Gosse, and Steve Shultis) has begun work on nominations for the Vestry Class of 2023. In compliance with Canon 11 of the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia, the date of this year's and future Annual Meetings at Grace Episcopal will be the second Sunday of Advent; this year that date falls on December 6. Vestry members for the Class of 2023 will be elected and regular Annual Meeting business will be conducted at that time.

We invite parishioners to nominate people over the age of 18 who display some or all of the following: active participation in the life of Grace Church, love of God and their neighbors, love of the church, active listening and critical thinking skills, strong leadership and managerial skills. The nominating committee will discern whether each nominated person meets the qualification requirements as stated in Grace Episcopal Church's By-Laws (Article IV, Section 3):
-an adult (18 years of age or older) confirmed communicant;
-one who has made a current pledge to the church; and
-a regular worshipper in the Parish for at least twelve (12) months.

Nominees for Vestry should be aware that Vestry members must be able to make a significant time commitment. The regular monthly business meeting is held the fourth Monday of each month. On the third Monday of each month, members gather for wHoly Conversation: a time for discussion and sharing of ideas as we envision what God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit would have us do as we address the needs of the parish and build Beloved Community with all of our neighbors. Each Vestry member also serves as a liaison to one of our Standing Committees (Christian Education, Christian Outreach, Gadsden, Finance and Investment, Memorials, Property, Stewardship, Strategic Financial Planning, and Worship) whose talented chairpersons carry on the vital work-within and beyond--the Parish. Yes, the time commitment is significant; however, the benefits of building new relationships, achieving goals, and carrying out God's work are immeasurable.

Please submit the names of potential Vestry candidates (self-nomination or nomination of another with his/her permission) to Gail Dickerson, Sr. Warden, (; 540.817.3466) by September 30, 2020.
From the Sudan Mission Group
John, Mary and William, the three students from Tonj, South Sudan, will be able to continue their education in Kenya next year! The goal of $3,500 was surpassed by $1000 which gives a good cushion for any unanticipated increases that might arise.
What a wonderful extension of the teaching and reconciliation work of Rev. Dr. Marc Nikkel amongst the Sudanese during the 1980's and 1990's!
The members of the Sudan Mission Group are planning a Zoom meeting soon with the three students and others who live at Bishop Peter's Hope House in Kitale, Kenya. We are optimistic that we'll be able to get some current pictures and information from the students during this Zoom meeting which we will share with all of you.
Many, many thanks for your prayers, cash donations and hands-on help!
       -MJ Mayerchak for the Sudan Mission Group   
Fall Ingathering of the United Thank Offering -- November 8, 2020
Every Sunday at the Holy Eucharist we are asked always to give praise and thanksgiving to God for the remembrance of His son, our Savior Jesus Christ.
The emphases are on "always" and "remembrance." The spiritual practice of the daily discipline of prayers of thanksgiving for innumerable blessings in our lives is at the heart of our faith, worship, and response to stewardship and the mission of the United Thank Offering.

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues with an end not yet determined, let us not forget the simple remembrance of our daily blessings. The traditional UTO way since the coming of the Blue Box has been to place a coin, a dollar bill, or two, or even an IOU, into the box simultaneously with a prayer of thanks for the remembrance of a specific blessing. If we actually do that, miracles happen. Those blessings multiply with those of thankful people of other parishes sending offerings to the DIOSWVA and combined with those of all dioceses in the Episcopal Church, Every cent from ingatherings go to mission.

If you are new to the Episcopal Church and to UTO, pick up a reusable Blue Box in the narthex of the church to begin the happy journey of remembrance. For the next ingathering, simply count the contents of the box, deposit them, and write a check to Grace Episcopal Church with "UTO" on the memo line. UTO envelopes are also available for offerings.

For you loyal supporters, do as you are accustomed to doing, drop your offering in the collection plate on UTO Sunday, November 8, or mail it to the church.  
Blessings to you all.
In remembrance always with thanksgiving,
Julia Littlefield, UTO Parish Coordinator

For more information about Living the Way of Love click here  
Grab your sneakers, chart your own course, and pound the pavement anytime the weekend of October 16-19, 2020 to compete in the first annual Rockbridge Area Habitat for Humanity Virtual 5k! All participants will receive a t-shirt and the opportunity to support local home building efforts right here in Rockbridge County. There will also be a raffle for some exciting local prizes! Print your digital race bib directly from your profile page and feel free to run, walk, hike, or bike to complete the race!  Register here! 
Early In-person Voting began September 18  

 Grace Episcopal Church
123 W. Washington Street  Lexington, VA 24450