December 20, 2023

Saint James the Less Weekly News & Updates

YouTube Page
Facebook Page
Visit our Website

A Note From Father Rock

Merry Christmas, dear friends!

We finish Advent in the coming days, and join in the 12 Days of Christmas and all the wonder and joy of that season. Hanover ARC, our partner in ministry, received some last minute requests and have invited us to respond. More information is on that below. If you can help, please do so.

We have so much to be thankful for as we conclude 2023. There have been wonderful things, and heartbreaks, too. That is the way of life. And in all of it, God has been and will be with us. We have increased in attendance, both in-person and online. Lots of new faces are finding us, and are looking to make themselves at home. I appreciate it when you all are creative, upbeat, and enthusiastic about our church. It shows, and people want to be a part of a thriving and growing community. Studies have repeatedly shown that people join churches where they are welcomed and invited in. Together we are Christ's Church here on Beverly, and part of a greater parish of all believers in Ashland and Hanover. As we grow in and share Christ's love we will see more and more come in and grow themselves. Never forget how we got here.

The Vestry gathered Monday evening for our Christmas gathering, and a huge part of it was a conversation about what we are thankful for. What came up repeatedly was the Spirit of this place, and the "at home" feeling that exudes here. I could not agree more. We have been blessed, and as it always has been, we have been blessed to be a blessing. God is the one who enables and encourages us to grow and build up the Kingdom. If we are and remain true to that, everything else will be taken care of. I firmly believe this.

And that is the gift of the humble child born unto us, to erase the barriers and borders that divide us. Wise Men and humble shepherds both are invited in and celebrated. All those things that we tend to see as so important are removed, and God is left. And it is through God's invention in our world, and invitation, we are invited into the holy place he invites us to join. You will hear that message repeatedly in our readings and preaching this weekend. I hope we will see you, and that you will be blessed this Season and in the year to come. 




Wednesday, December 20, 2023

  • 7:30am- Eucharist Rite II (coffee & bagels to follow)
  • 6:30pm- Elf Movie Event

Thursday, December 21, 2023

  • 6pm- Handbell rehearsal
  • 7pm- Parish Choir rehearsal

Sunday, December 24, 2023

  • No 8am service, Sunday School (children or adult) or nursery
  • 10am- Eucharist Rite II (music)
  • 4:30pm- Family Christmas Eve Service
  • 10:30pm- Christ Mass

Monday, December 25, 2023

  • 10:00am- Christmas Day Service

*NO Wednesday Eucharist Service- 12/27

Click Here to Watch Services Live or Later

December Calendar

  • 12/20- Youth Elf Event
  • 12/24- Christmas Eve Services
  • 10am service (no 8am service, Sunday School or Nursery)
  • 4:30pm Family Service
  • 10:30pm-Christ Mass
  • 12/25 10am only-Christmas Day Service
  • 12/25 & 12/26- Office Closed
  • 12/27-No Wednesday morning Eucharist service
  • 12/31- Lessons & Carol Service 10am (no 8am service, Sunday School or Nursery)

What a wonderful weekend! Reggie and the Choir did an amazing job with the Choral Evensong. Thank you to our Hospitality team for making such a lovely spread afterward. We are so grateful for our people and the use of their gifts!

All Hands on Deck!

Our beloved friends at the Hanover ARC need our help providing Christmas for 4 children in their organization. If you are able to help these families click THIS LINK and sign up.

The wrapped gifts (labeled with which child they are for) need to be dropped off at the Hanover ARC (417 England Street) or St. James the Less by THIS Friday at noon. That's a quick turnaround, but your generosity is incredible! We are so grateful for anything you can do!

Reunion for SJTL Youth Group Members and Leaders
On Wednesday, December 27, 6-9pm, past members and leaders of STJL Youth Group are invited to a reunion at Aleta Meyer and PK Kinser’s to reminisce and reconnect! At Shrine Mont this year, many talked about how fun this would be. They will have veggie chili, cornbread, beer, wine, sodas, and a fire to share. It will be good for our souls! See you there! 319 Myrtle Street, Ashland VA 23005


Sunday Schedule:

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

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!!!

All youth 5th grade an up are welcome to join us on December 20th for cookie making, hot cocoa and the best Christmas movie, "Elf". We will meet in the library at 6:30pm. If you have any questions or can't make it, let Miriam know. Can't wait!!


  • 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 fruit
  • Peanut butter
  • Pasta sauce/spaghetti sauce
  • Cold cereal
  • Oatmeal (smaller sizes, or instant packets)
  • Laundry detergent
  • Toothpaste/toothbrushes (packs of 1, 2, 3, or 4)
  • Bar soap
  • Shampoo 


Children's Clothing:

  • Boy's winter clothing (size 6 thru size 18)
  • Girl's winter clothing (size 14, 16, and 18)
  • Boy's and Girl's winter pajamas (all sizes)
  • Boy's and Girl's shoes (all sizes) 
  • Boy's and Girl's socks (all sizes)
  • Boy's underwear (size 6 - 18)
  • Girl's underwear (size 10 - 18)
  • 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 - 40)
  • Men's undershirts (all sizes)
  • Men's and Women's athletic socks (all sizes)
  • Men's and Women's underwear (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, Andy Newchok, Rebecca Hottman, Haden Hopkins, Kim Keene, Pam Bowers, Hilda Kelly, Lee & Susan Chambers, Harry Hassell, Joel Blunk, Holly Rison and family, Bower family, Gavin Yonce and family, Smith family, Lyde Longaker, Mary Ann Harris, Michele Parks, Gini Dryden, Steve Sullivan, Leslie Crabbs, Diana Timberlake, Bob & Mary Lou Brown, Kay Kemper, David Bandas, Rone Deas, and Lee Roberts.

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.

Advent 3 Homily


December 22

Tom Fritter

Arleen Williams

Seth Mills

Jemma Cobb

December 23

Freda Sergi

December 24

Teva Rittenhouse

December 25

Abby Friedman

December 26

Sojo Higgins


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

YouTube Page
Facebook Page
Visit our Website
Weekly E-News Deadline:  If you have an announcement to be shared with the parish, please get the information in no later than noon on Monday.