May 11, 2022

Our Weekly News & Updates
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There are so many things distracting us these days. Some good. Some bad. All get in the way of focus and our intentions. Maybe it is just me, but it feels like every couple of days something hits the gas pedal again.

When I get distracted, I try to go back to the basics. Prayer. Scripture. Helping others. Mostly it is getting away from me and the spinning gerbil wheel in my head, and getting to my healthy/happy/whole place. That is where we are at our best, or at least I am. This world works hard to get our focus away from what truly feeds us: gratitude, appreciation, simplicity.

The rancor of our political climate, the questions and concerns around the bishop election, the health needs of those we hold most dear, and a hundred other things, all are pulling us in directions we do not necessarily want to go. I am not saying that we should put our head in the sand. Far from it. This world, your world, needs a solid Christian witness that "God is in God's heaven and all is right with the world." Or it will be. That is our faith speaking, and it speaks loudest when we model keep-on-keeping-on. Like doing right when the world seems to be going amuck quickly, when we do things well, lovingly, and patiently, it is then we declare that there is a better way.

On airplanes, they say to put your own oxygen mask on first before you try to help someone else. It seems counter-intuitive, but helping others requires us to be at our best (or at minimum less distracted). And to be at our best, we need to free ourselves from the things that distract us and pull us off course. "Let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us," as the writer of Hebrews (12:1) reminds us.

If your world seems to be running amuck, step back. Don't just do something, sit there. Ask God to join you. Listen more than talk. Breathe in, breath out. It may feel like you are faking it, but keep faking it till you make it. And soon, you may find, that you stopped faking it along the way.

Prayers and blessings, and know you are not in it alone. I am so thankful for this church family, and all the gifts we give to one another. You are a blessing.



Wednesday, May 11, 2022

  • 7:30am-Eucharist Rite II
  • Breakfast following

Thursday, May 12, 2022

  • 10am- Book Club
  • 6pm- Choir Rehearsal
  • 7pm- Hand Bell Rehearsal

Sunday, May 15, 2022

  • 8am- Eucharist: Rite I Service
  • 8:45am-Adult Sunday school
  • 9am-Children's Virtual Sunday school
  • 10am- Eucharist: Rite II (music & Children's Church)

Monday, May 16, 2022

  • 10:30am- Grief Group
  • 7pm- Dream Group
Click Here to Watch Services Live or Later

A Collect for the Church

Gracious God, we pray for your holy catholic church. Fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in any thing it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of Jesus Christ your Son our Savior. Amen.                                              

Book of Common Prayer, page 816


Our INCREDIBLE property team takes such intentional care of our Memorial Garden. It looks absolutely spectacular. You can feel the love it is tended with. A special thank you to Ann Lawrence for using her time, energy and talents to make this place so sacred and beloved to all of us. 


Please join us for Book Club on Thursdays at 10am.

The link to join the meeting is here


 If you need to call in, please dial 1 301 715 8592 and enter Meeting ID: 894 6180 0018 and Passcode: 781507

The book is Inspired, by Rachel Held Evans. You can purchase the book on Amazon HERE.  You can also get it on Hoopla through the library (ebook & audiobook).  Please let us know if we can purchase it for you or you need any assistance.  


Please join us this Sunday for two different training sessions:

  • To become an Acolyte, come to an informational meeting and training session at 9am. Meet in the Acolyte Room.
  • For our Counters: Nancy Fines will be providing training or answering any questions you may have concerning weekly count this Sunday following the 10am service this Sunday. If you can’t make it Sunday and have questions, let Nancy know and she can set up a session one Tuesday night.


We are so excited! We are putting together a new Church Directory. It will even come with an app for your phone so that you can locate people's contact information while you are on the go. Our dates to have your pictures taken are June 15-18. Just for participating you will receive a complimentary 8x10 portrait and a copy of the church directory. You will view your images right away and have the chance to purchase family portraits for your own memories and to give as gifts.

Please click HERE to sign up for a date and time. Click on "Photography Appointment Scheduling Login." Enter church code va139, and the church password is photos. We look forward to seeing you beautiful faces on the pages of our directory!


Mark your calendars for Sunday, May 22 after our 10am service for our annual Church Picnic. We will have fried chicken, tea, lemonade and water for everyone. Please bring a side dish to share. We will eat out on the picnic tables. We are so excited this is coming back! 


We have a team of delightful folks who would love to give you a ride to church on Sunday for the 10am service. If you would like a ride, please let us know by Thursday so we can make arrangements.   We hope you will join us!


Do you like greeting people, handing out bulletins, helping people get eucharist? We need YOU! We would love to get more folks on our Usher team. You can volunteers as much or as little as you like and we will train you. Email Kasey and she will get you set up!


Would you like to join our Parish Audit team this summer in conducting our annual audit of the Parish Finances. If so, please email Kendra Shifflett and she will add you to the team. It takes so many different skill sets to make this place work. If you love numbers, please join us!


Please mark your calendars for Sunday, June 5th for the Children’s Carnival from 11:30am- 1:30pm. Bring your children, grandchildren, neighbors and friends. It will be so much fun. We will have food, games and lots of laughter.

If you would like to volunteer to work a station, please let us know


Join us for some our summer movie line up! We have family films and movies for just the grownups. We will hold all movies indoors in Brydon Hall at 6pm, so come rain or shine. We will have popcorn, but you are more than welcome to bring food and drink from home to enjoy while you watch. 


Family films:  

  • June 3- Sing 2
  • June 17th- The Wizard of Oz
  • July 1- Raya the Last Dragon
  • August 5- The Jungle Book (live action)

For the grownups:

  • May 20th- The Great Gatsby
  • July 15th- Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile
  • August 19- That Thing You Do


The Standing Committee is pleased to provide additional information about our nominees. We invite you to view their resumes and a short video message from each nominee.


Please keep our Nominees, the Transition Committee, the Standing Committee, and our Diocese in your prayers during this time of discernment.

Meet and Greets with the nominees take place May 20-24 at locations around the Diocese. Click here for details.

We will offer a van to go to the meet and greet at All Souls on May 20th at 7pm. The van will leave SJTL at 6pm so that we can have plenty of time. 

The Special Convention to Elect the 14th Bishop Diocesan of Virginia will be held on June 4. Click here for details.

A Prayer for the Search for a New Bishop

Almighty God, Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, who calls, guides and empowers us as your Church: Create in us discerning minds as we seek to elect a bishop in this diocese. So many issues are open before us; so many wounds that need healing; so many gifts that need celebrating. Bless and continue the good work begun in your name and open our ears to the hurts and hopes around us; broaden our vision to see what we do not want to see; and enliven our hearts with honesty and compassion to do the hard work that lies before us. Guide us as we seek an inspirational leader and willing advocate to help us meet the challenges and lead us to become the people you have equipped us to be in your service. All this we pray through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen.


LAST CALL for Pop Tops! Our children will be gathering and counting them on May 29th. Please make sure you bring in your Pop Tops before then so that The Ronald McDonald house benefits from your generosity!


"We rise by lifting others." -Robert Ingersoll
Meals for the Clinic Volunteers

As many of you know, Saint James the Less Free Clinic meets every Wednesday evening. It is staffed by some INCREDIBLE volunteers who care in remarkable ways for our community. We have the opportunity to provide meals for them. If you would like to bring food over for 8-10 people before clinic starts on a Wednesday evening, click HERE to choose your date. More information is listed on the website. We are grateful for your willingness!
Emergency Food Pantry

Right outside our Saint James the Less Free Clinic we have a food pantry. It is available 24/7 and used a great deal as immediate needs come up. Please donate non-perishables to this. It would be an incredible blessing to our community.

ACES is in need of the following items:

Pantry: Spaghetti sauce, Beef stew, Canned fruit, Boxed potatoes, Crackers/Cookies/other snack foods,  Laundry detergent (smaller containers), Queen size sheets

Adult Clothing: Women’s bras (C and larger cup; 38 and larger band), Men’s athletic shoes (sizes 10 and larger), Men’s undershirts (sizes L, XL, and 2X), Men’s boxers and briefs (sizes L, XL, and 2X), Men’s jeans (all sizes)

Children's Clothing: Boy’s clothing (sizes 14, 16 and 18), Girl’s clothing (sizes 14, 16 and 18)

*They are now looking for spring and summer items.

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

Peter Paul is currently in need of the following items. If you are able to give you are welcome to put them in the box in the hallway.

Hygiene items- bar soap, body wash, lotion, deodorant, toothpaste, chapstick, Vaseline, sanitary products.

Laundry items- Detergent pods, rolls of quarters, dryer sheets.

We are still collecting Pop Tops for Ronald McDonald house. Hang on to them or bring them by when you can. This is a valuable resource that goes to help families with children in the hospital here in Richmond.

Lord, we lift up this nation struggling with itself these days, reeling from this pandemic and its repercussions. Encourage us to faithfulness, righteousness, and compassion for all God’s Children. We lift up Justin, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael, our Presiding Bishop, Susan, Jennifer, and Porter our Bishops, Rock+ and Becky+, our priests. 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, Michael Fox, Bill Blakemore, Chambers Cromwell, Dennis Folsom, Carter, Paul Robb, Debra Bernard, Smith family, Alex Gillette, Pam Gillette, Sally Budd, Sarah Chamblee & family, Jeff Lawrence, May and family, Melanie Fischer, Court Warfield, Meredith Roemer, Jane Howard, Carol Martin, Pam Bowers, Mayers family, Rose & Mike Brown, Wendy Vaughan, Andrea Alexander McCallum, Matt & Megan Goff, Tom Ficklin, Betty Lee, Janet Taylor, the called Diocesan Convention for our new Bishop and the Slate of Candidates for the process.

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: Kemper Jones, Greg Ericksen, Matthew Thomas, Philip Morison, James Ashley, Andrew Brunson, Jordan Fox, and Katherine Murphy. 

We ask your prayers for those who have died, especially The Rev. Susannah Metz.

We ask your prayers for those who grieve.  

We pray for health care in Metropolitan Richmond: For clinics, medical personnel, and all institutions that serve persons who are uninsured or underinsured. For a national health care system that promotes and encourages health, wellness, and well being for all people.

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.


Fourth Week of Easter

May 8, 2022


May 15

Debra Grosse


Saint James the Less Episcopal Church

125 Beverly Road

Ashland, VA 23005

(804) 798-6336


The Rev. Rock Higgins, tssf Rector

The Rev. Becky McDaniel- Assistant Priest

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.