January 31, 2024

Saint James the Less Weekly News & Updates

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A Note From Father Rock

Good morning, Church Family!

I had a fellow clergy person ask what was going on at St. James the Less? Before I could respond with anything, they went on, "I wish I could bottle it and spread it around the diocese! The Holy Spirit is doing something good!" Because this is the water we swim in, it is hard to see other perspectives. There are people in the know who see the work, loving spirit, the faithfulness of this body and thank God for you and your ministry to Ashland and Hanover County. (I do, too!)

As the conversation went on, I mentioned so many good things that work together to make this place what it is. We have a loving and caring community. It is palpable, and you do well including new folks into the fold. We have a phenomenal staff team, who love this place and the people. They have stuck together through some hard times, and did not slow down. (By the way, last weekend we should have announced Reggie's 4th anniversary with us. Thanks be to God!) And in hard financial times, you have repeatedly shown faith and trust. Lastly, in a day and time when Fear is the driving force, as a community we preach a Gospel of Grace, and live in a Hope that inspires those outside our community. As your pastor and priest, THANK YOU! May God continue to be at work in us and through us, to the glory of God's name.

Lastly, for the almost 40 people who came to the Lunch and Learn on Sunday, thank you! For the hospitality folks who made it possible (and SO YUMMY!), thank you for making it so special. I love our church.

I hope you have our Lenten programming on your radar, Wednesday evenings at 7 in the Parish Hall starting February 20th. Dr. Bart Natoli, our seminarian, is leading the time with a curriculum he helped form with his fellow seminarians. More on that in the weeks to come.




Wednesday, January 31, 2024

  • 7:30am- Eucharist Rite II (with bagels & coffee to follow)
  • 10:30am- Vinyasa Yoga with Lorie

Thursday, February 1, 2024

  • 6pm- Hand Bells Choir
  • 7pm- Parish Choir

Sunday, February 4, 2024

  • 8am- Eucharist Rite I (no music)
  • 8:45/9am- Adult & Children Sunday School
  • 10am- Eucharist Rite II (music)

Monday, February 5, 2024

  • 10:30am- Good Grief and Yoga with Lorie
  • 7pm- Dream Group (Harrisons)

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

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

February Calendar

  • 2/13- Shrove Tuesday Meal 5:30-7pm
  •  2/14- Ash Wednesday- 7:30am & 7pm Service
  • 2/17 – Supper Club
  • 2/18- Contemplative Service 5pm
  • 2/19-Washington’s Birthday- Office Closed
  • 2/21- 3/27- Lenten Program (Wednesdays 7-8pm)

What an incredible week in community!

Miriam held a super fun Lego evening for the kids. They built towers beyond compare and had a blast doing it.

The youth got together and made blankets for CJ's Thumbs' Up Organization. There was a large turnout and a deep sense of community.

A huge thank you to our awesome Hospitality Team (amazing leaders- Nancy Chamlee & Alice Cobb) for their generosity in sending in such delicious food for our Lunch and Learn series following the 10am service. 

Donations Needed

Our very own Rachel Easter is looking for donations for her upcoming trip to Honduras doing women's care. She needs more tote bags, washcloths, and clothing snaps. She's created an Amazon wishlist. Non-Amazon purchases of travel sized soaps, washcloths, tote bags can also be made. You can ship or bring to the church and she can pick up from there. We will have a box in the hallway 




She will be hosting a Coffee Pot to tell us all about her trip!

Susan Chambers' Funeral

Many of you have asked about a date for Susan Chambers' funeral. We are confirmed for the afternoon of Saturday, February 10th at 2pm, with a reception to follow here at St. James the Less. We will update you when have more information. Thank you for your care.

Shrove Tuesday

Please join us on Tuesday, February 13th 5:30pm- 7pm for our annual delicious Shrove Tuesday Pancake meal. We will "feast before we fast." There will be pancakes, bacon, sausage, fried apples. The cost is $6/person (with a max of $20/family). We hope you will join us for this fun time in community!

Ash Wednesday Services

Please join us for our Ash Wednesday services, Wednesday, 2/14 at 7:30am and 7pm. There will also be stations set up all over for Ashes to Go as well.

Lenten Series

This Lent, the Diocesan Community is invited into a journey to commit in new ways to becoming Beloved Community and growing loving, liberating, life-giving relationships across the human family of God. We make the journey not only as individual Christians and congregations, but as a whole church, seeking to make a commitment to racial healing, reconciliation, and justice. We will be meeting 5 weeks on Wednesdays 7-8:30pm. February 21st will be the first class. There is no class Holy Week. Our Seminarian, Dr. Bart Natoli will be leading us for this incredible series.

In the ministry of racial healing and justice, none of us walks a straight line. We enter the labyrinth wherever God has provided an opening – telling the truth about our church’s story around race; discerning and proclaiming God’s dream of Beloved Community where we are; learning and practicing Jesus’ way of healing and love; and bravely working to transform systemic racial injustice. We keep moving from one quadrant to another and back. No one is ever really finished. That is the way of ongoing spiritual formation. And so, this Lent, we will “walk” sections of this labyrinth, gathering as a group, engaging with the scriptures, and reflecting on our experiences. 

Blood Drive 3/17

We will be holding a blood drive in our Parish Hall on Sunday, March 17th from 8am -noon. If you would like to go ahead and sign up for an appointment, you can do that HERE.

Thank you so much! You are saving lives!


Climate change will bring a cultural crisis affecting all of us in ways we are only beginning to comprehend. Faith communities are called to be in a place of leadership. We seek the voice of a prophet. Steven Charleston, retired Episcopal Bishop of Alaska and Choctaw elder, believes that the Native American experience and prophets offer tools for survival in times of loss and change. His new book We Survived the End of the World; Lessons from Native America on Apocalypse and Hope can give us new insight into how to face such times. 

               The Spiritual Resilience Working Group of the CCC invites you to this Lenten study of prophecy, facilitated by the Rev. Salli Hartman, Deacon in the Diocese of Va., on Thursdays from 7 to 8:30 PM, Feb. 15 through March 28. The group will be limited to 20 people with registration through Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.com/e/explore-spiritual-resilience-through-the-lens-of-native-american-wisdom-tickets-807125262387?aff=oddtdtcreator  For questions, contact  creationcare@episcopalvirginia.org 


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!!!


  • 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 (Click HERE for current needs)


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, 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, Bob & Mary Lou Brown, Kay Kemper, David Bandas, Trinity Episcopal Church, Rone Deas, Wilson Loving, Phil Edmonds, Diana Timberlake, Kristi Elles, Sharon Street, Nellee, Meg and family, Kathy Marshall 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, especially Susan Chambers, Rick Roberts and Johnny Ellis. 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.

Epiphany 4 Homily

Click HERE to read the sermon


January 31

Roger Reynolds

Stephanie Werner

February 2

Teddy Cook

Hank Hunter

February 3

Kimette Cannady

Rebecca Batten

February 5

Margaret Belyea

Hayes Jones

February 6

Tim Yagla

Kalani Jones


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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