October 18, 2023

Saint James the Less Weekly News & Updates

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A Note From Father Rock

Good morning, friends! I hope you woke up warm and well. 

Last weekend's retreat went so well, and I so appreciated so many taking the time and effort to be there and engage with the theme and each other. We explored making "All Things New" and being courageous and vulnerable. Thanks to all who came out. And thanks to Bart, our seminarian, for holding down the fort while the rest of us were away.

For those that attended, I did receive word that someone on the trip tested positive for COVID on Tuesday. That being said, if you have symptoms for COVID, please test and make sure. The current strain, while not as lethal, is very contagious. If in doubt, test.

I do have some more sad news to share. Our deacon, Dawn+, lost her mother last week. She shared with me the following about the details for her mom's service:

The family will receive friends from 1:00 pm until service time at 2:00 pm, Saturday October 28, 2023 at Varina Episcopal Church, 2385 Mill Road, Richmond, VA. 23231, with a reception to follow in the Parish Hall. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Varina Episcopal Church Outreach Ministries or to A Servants Heart Ministry, which is a ministry that provides direct aide to the homeless in the City of Richmond at A Servant's Heart Ministry, P.O. Box 9186, Richmond, VA. 23227.

One of the big things that came from this weekend was taking care of one another. In the book we read, we were reminded that asking for help is not weakness, but strength. Asking for help is refusing to give up. We have a great opportunity for our lunch and learn this week to help our friends who may be having a hard time. The session will give ways to support our loved ones when they are having mental health issues or contemplating suicide. This is such an important topic these days, and I do hope you will sign up and join us Sunday after our 10 a.m. service.

In Christ,



Wednesday, October 18, 2023

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

Thursday, October 19, 2023

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

Saturday, October 21, 2023

  • Supper Club

Sunday, October 22, 2023

  • 8am- Eucharist Rite I (no music
  • 9am- Adult & Children Sunday School
  • 10am- Eucharist Rite II (music)
  • 11am- Lunch & Learn

Monday, October 23, 2023

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

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

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

October Calendar:

  • 10/21- Supper Club
  • 10/22- Lunch & Learn- Talk Saves Lives (after 10am service)
  • 10/29- Coffee Pot- Budget Check In (after 10am service)

A big thank you to our volunteers who led and worshiped here at SJtL while many were at Shrine Mont. We are so blessed to have such incredible people in our midst!

Our volunteers are the best in the world. Ann and Anne came in to help change over the Memorial Garden flowers. Thank you for all that you do! We are so grateful for your care!

Parish Retreat

We had such an incredible time at the Parish Retreat at Shrine Mont. There was much laughter and love shared. The food was delicious as always! If you weren't able to join us, you were missed and we hope that you can join us next year!

Lunch & Learn 10/22 11am

Please join us on Sunday, October 22nd after the 10am service for a Lunch and Learn sponsored by Hanover County Behavioral Health and Wellness Specialist, Christopher Townes. He will be sharing with us important tools and information about mental health and suicide. Educating yourself will help your family and community.

Please email Kasey to let her know you'd like to attend and we can make sure we have enough food. We will be having yummy soup and sandwiches.

All Saints

We will be observing All Saints at our Sunday, November 5th service. We read the names of our Beloveds that have passed at that service. If you would like the name of your loved one read aloud, please email Kasey and let us know how you would like it to read.

Journal Group

Please be advised that the Journal group is not meeting this week, 10/19. The next journal groups will be November 2nd at 10:30am and December 14th at 10:30am.

Supper Club

The next Supper Club is Saturday, October 21st. Please check in with your host if you need more details.

Coffee Pot- Budget Check In

For those who are curious about how the church is doing financially, please join us for a Coffee Pot on Sunday, 10/29 following the 10am service. We will be able to answer questions and give a clear picture of how things are going. We hope you will join us!

Election Eve Prayer

The Election Eve Prayer Service is a area-wide service praying for our community, state, and nation. We have been doing this for several years. It is a non-partisan gathering lifting up our friends and neighbors and asking for God's grace in our communal life on Monday, 11/6 at 7pm. All are welcome, as we celebrate our unity in Christ with The Rev. Rock Higgins and Reverend Isaac Varner of Independence Christian. Please join us and invite your church and neighbors!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There is a poster and some information on breast cancer table in the hall opposite the church office. There is also a Survivor banner attached. If you are a survivor of breast cancer, you are encouraged to attach your name to the banner.

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

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!!!

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


If you would like to view the rest of the Halloween events the town of Ashland has going on, click HERE. What a fun place to live!


  • 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 vegetables (not green beans)
  • Canned fruit
  • Canned soup
  • Canned beans
  • Peanut butter
  • Pasta sauce
  • Cold cereal
  • Oatmeal (smaller sizes, or instant packets)
  • Laundry detergent


Children's Clothing:

  • Boy's and Girl's fall & winter clothing (all sizes)
  • Boy's and Girl's fall & winter pajamas (all sizes)
  • Boy's and Girl's shoes (all sizes) VERY LOW INVENTORY
  • Boy's and Girl's socks (all sizes)
  • Boy's underwear (size 6 - 8)
  • Girl's underwear (size 16)
  • 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 athletic socks (all sizes)
  • Women's athletic socks (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, Bower family, Michele Murphy, Gavin Yonce and family, Smith family, Lyde Longaker, Mary Ann Harris, the Poskey family, Dennis Ray, Michele Parks, Gini Dryden, Aubree Dillon, Debby Hudgins, 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, especially Bettilee Kay. 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 23 Homily

Click HERE to read the sermon text


October 19

Bob Chamlee

Nancy Chamlee

Chip Roberts

Isobel-Kate Smith

October 20

Quinn Cauthorne

October 22

Jake Epperson

Matt Meade

October 23

Paul Feeley

Brooke Matthews

October 24

Heather Grande


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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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.