September 27, 2023

Saint James the Less Weekly News & Updates

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A Note From Father Rock

Greetings, St. James the Less family,

This Sunday at 5 p.m. is one of my favorite services of the year, The Blessing of the Animals. This glorious time of celebration of some of the creatures we hold most dear is always so precious. Every year we do it is something different and special. I have blessed the normal cats and dogs, but I have blessed gerbils and hedgehogs and even a horse.

This year we will gather in the Sanders Pavilion with our critters (or pictures if the gathering would make them too anxious) and bless them. We will have music and readings.

According to tradition, early in his ministry around 1210-15, St. Francis had some doubts about his calling and wandered the fields to be with God. He took seriously the command in Mark 16:15 "And [Jesus] said to them, 'Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation.'" Notice in Mark the word is Whole Creation (cosmos in the Greek), which is different from Matthew's "all the world" in his Great Commission.

So seeing a flock of birds, St. Francis began preaching to them and they flocked around him! This is where we often see him in garden statues, from this dramatic story. And hence, the first blessing of the animals. We continue this tradition to this day. We do hope you will join us, if just to pet all the animals! Blessings!



Wednesday, September 27, 2023

  • 7:30am- Eucharist Rite II & breakfast to follow
  • 10:30am-Vinyasa Yoga with Lorie
  • 5pm- Vinyasa Yoga with Susan

Thursday, September 28, 2023

  • 6pm- Hand Bell Rehearsal
  • 7pm- Parish Choir Rehearsal

Sunday, October 1, 2023

  • 8am- Eucharist Rite I in the Pavilion
  • 8:45/9am- Sunday School
  • 10am- Eucharist Rite II (music)
  • 5pm- Blessing of the Animals

Monday, October 2, 2023

  • 10:30am- Good Grief
  • 10:30am- Vinyasa Yoga with Lorie

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

  • 10am- Book Club
Click Here to Watch Services Live or Later

October Calendar:

  • 9/28-Journal Group with Beth Harrison 10:30am
  • 10/1- Blessing Of the Animals 5pm
  • 10/9- Indigenous Peoples Day - Office Closed
  • 10/13-15- Shrine Mont Retreat
  • 10/15-10am Morning Prayer service (no 8am)
  • 10/16 – 6:30pmVestry Meeting 
  • 10/19- Journal Group with Beth Harrison 10:30am
  • 10/21- Supper Club

It is always so good to be together! Betty Moore and Lyde made gorgeous flowers for us this week.

Our amazing youth group made "Hunger Bags" to deliver to the homeless around Richmond this past week.

SJtL Blood Drive

We are hoping to host a blood drive here at SJtL. If you are willing to donate blood, please email us or sign up on the board in the hallway. This is not a commitment since we do not know times and dates yet. We simply need 30 people willing to consider before they will come out to our property.

Blessing of the Animals

We hope you will join us Sunday, October 1 at 5pm with your dogs, cats, bearded dragons, birds, hamsters- all are welcome to the Blessing of the Animals! It will be a beautiful time of praise and blessings as we worship alongside our furry and feathered friends. They will receive a blessing during the service.

Brunswick Stew

We are so excited to be selling our famous "Bishop's Blessed Brunswick Stew." They will be $12 a quart. If you would like to reserve a quart (or more) for yourself or your family, please do that here, or you are welcome to call Kasey and she can set you up. (804-798-6336). You can pay when you pick it up via check, cash or card on Saturday, November 11th.

We need volunteers! If you are willing and able to help us, please sign up on the bulletin board or email us and let us know how/when you'd like to be part. We need help with set up, stirring the stew, chopping vegetables the day beofre, etc. It is so much fun to work together! THANK YOU!

2023 SJtL Ornament

We started a tradition last year creating a SJtL Christmas ornament. We are thrilled to continue that again this year! This year's ornament features the Pavilion. (last year it had our logo on it) It is crystal with beveled edges. It's gorgeous! We are selling this Parish Fundraiser for $20. To place an order, please complete this form, sign up in the hallway on the bulletin board or call the office, 804-798-6336. Orders need to be in by Friday, October 27th for pick up at our Stew Sale. You can pay when you pick them up. Thank you for supporting this community!


Sunday Schedule:

  • Children's Sunday School- Sundays 9am
  • Nursery- Sundays 9am
  • Children's Church- during the 10am service

Pop Tops

We are so excited to announce that we mightily beat our pop top numbers from 2022 with a whopping 40.2lbs this year!! We cannot say how grateful we are to continue the tradition of collecting pop tops for Ronald McDonald house in honor of our beloved Charlotte Jennie Reynolds. Don't forget to keep collecting throughout the year!! We want to make it 60lbs next year! 



Did you know that as a high schooler you can join both our bell choir and church choir? We would love to have you join us for practice on Thursday afternoons. Please email Reggie if you are interested!Volunteers Needed: Please help us bulk up the ranks of our children's programming by volunteering for Sunday School or Children's church. Our hope is to have younger and older Sunday School classes, but we need a minimum of 4 volunteers for that to happen each week. Please let Kasey or Miriam know if you are able to serve in this ministry. Thank you for all of our wonderful volunteers through the years! 

Children's Supplies -Help us get ready for the new program year. Click the link HERE to see the needs for our youth and children’s programming. Thank you all so much for your continued support!!!

Children's Program Registration- Please click HERE if you would like to register your child for this program year. This would include using any of the children's services- nursery, children's church or choir. Looking forward to a wonderful program year together!

Regional Youth Group: Go Fourth Sundays

Join us on November 26th at 6pm for the next meeting of Go Fourth Sundays for our Youth! We will share a meal, create a to go service project, and share in fellowship! Follow us on instagram for more information. @GoFourthSundays


Shrine Mont

We are looking forward to our Parish Retreat October 13-15 at Shrine Mont retreat center. Please make sure you've paid your fees before we go or make arrangements with the office. The cost is $175 for adults, $90 for youth (13-18) and $75 for children (4-12, 2 and under are free).

Book Club for Shrine Mont

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackery has been chosen as our book club for Shrine Mont. You can purchase the book from Amazon HERE. There are also copies in the local library. We will be discussing this beautiful book while we are on the mountain. Everyone is wanted and welcome!


  • Sign up to bring meals for the Clinic Volunteers HERE
  • Help stock our Emergency Food Pantry (outside the clinic)
  • Send in your Pop Tops for McDonald House
  • Bring in Hygiene or laundry items for Peter Paul
  • Donate to ACES (see below)


  • Canned beef stew
  • Canned corn
  • Canned fruit
  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly
  • Instant potatoes (small and medium size boxes)
  • Oatmeal (smaller sizes, or instant packets)
  • Laundry detergent


Children’s Clothing:

  • Boy’s and Girl’s summer and fall clothes (sizes 14 – 20)
  • Boy’s and Girl’s fall pajamas (all sizes)
  • Boy’s and Girl’s socks (for shoe sizes 1 – 5)
  • Boy’s and Girl’s shoes (sizes 8 – 13; and sizes 1 – 5)
  • Diapers (size 4, 5, 6 and 7)… We do not need pull-ups
  • Baby Wipes 


Adult Clothing:

  • Men’s athletic shoes (all sizes)
  • Men’s work boots (all sizes)
  • Men’s jeans (all sizes but especially size 28 – 38)
  • Men’s boxer briefs (sizes M, L and XL)
  • Men’s athletic socks (all sizes)
  • Men’s undershirts (all sizes)
  • Women’s sanitary products

ACES is open on both Mondays and Wednesday from 8:30-11:30am. Thank you for your continued support!


Lord, we lift up this nation struggling with itself these days. Encourage us to faithfulness, righteousness, and compassion for all God’s Children. We lift up Justin, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael, our Presiding Bishop, Mark, Dabney & Gail, our Bishops, Rock+, our priest, and Dawn+, our Deacon. We pray for Bart, our Seminarian, in his formation May they be strengthened and encouraged as the work with us to proclaim your Good News in this world. We pray for Joe, our President, Glenn, our Governor, and Steve, our Mayor, and all our elected officials. Guide them to lead us to the common good. 

We ask your prayers for peace; for goodwill among nations; and for the well-being of all people. Remembering especially Gus Miller, Erin Yagla, Meredith Moon, Meghann Batten, Dennis Folsom, Court Warfield, Andrea Alexander McCallum, Janet Taylor, Joy Stevenson, Wendy Vaughan, Andy Newchok, Rebecca Hottman, Haden Hopkins, Kim Keene, Pam Bowers, Hilda Kelly, Lee & Susan Chambers, Harry Hassell, Baker/Penland family, Joel Blunk, Holly Rison and family, Bettilee Kay, Karen Bower, Michele Murphy, Gavin Yonce and family, Smith family, Richard Delaney, Lyde Longaker, Mary Ann Harris, the Poskey family, Dennis Ray, Michele Parks, and Bobbie Street.

We ask your prayers for the poor, the sick, the hungry, the oppressed, and those in prison. We also ask your prayers for those serving in the diplomatic corps, the military, and as missionaries: Larson Flanagan, Kemper Jones, Greg Ericksen, Matthew Thomas, Philip Morison, James Ashley, Ellie Deas, Andrew Brunson, Liam Higgins, and Katherine Murphy. 

We ask your prayers for those who have died. We ask your prayers for those who grieve.  

Our citizens who live in Hanover County, the Board of Supervisors, School Board, and Manager. The print and broadcast media. The churches of metropolitan Richmond: members and clergy. All who live in poverty. All who suffer from mental illness. Our citizens who live in Ashland, Hopewell, Colonial Heights, and Petersburg, the town and city Councils and Managers. All who work in banks and finance; all making financial decisions for greater Richmond. Prisons and jails of metropolitan Richmond: prisoners and staff. All who are unemployed or underemployed. All public servants.

For all those who seek peace in the world and for ourselves, that we may bring about God's Kingdom here on earth. For our enemies, and for those who wish us harm.

Praise God for those in every generation in whom Christ has been honored.

Proper 20 Homily

Click HERE to read the sermon text


September 20

Sally Temple

John Friedman

Curtis Conley

Declan Belyea

September 21

Lyde Longaker

September 22

Bob Flanagan

September 23

Jenny Bruce

Kasey Buckland

Alex Gillette

September 25

Paul Wehman

Aliya Cobb

September 26

Dawn McNamara


Saint James the Less Episcopal Church

125 Beverly Road

Ashland, VA 23005

(804) 798-6336


The Rev. Rock Higgins, tssf Rector

The Rev. Deacon Dawn McNamara Deacon

Reggie Long- Organist/Music Director

Miriam Smith- Christian Formation- Children & Youth Director

Kasey Buckland- Parish Administrator

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