September 14, 2022

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Siblings in Christ,

This last Saturday as we went to the ordination of our new deacon, the Rev. Deacon Dawn McNamara, it struck me that it had been fiive years since I began at St. James the Less, to the day. A lot of water has gone under the bridge in that time.

We have had a deacon come, and go (but still kinda stick around). We had a few interns, two formation directors, a Priest Associate that became the Assistant Rector before leaving to be a rector, and two organist/choir directors and an interim. We had an administrator leave and another join us. We have had a capital campaign for a new organ, and installed it. We have started a second, and on Friday they broke ground on a pavilion to expand our ministry. We have served so many in our clinic, and we helped feed hundreds with our Food and Backpack ministries, along with our sister church First Baptist in the early days of the shutdown.We have suffered through a pandemic, and came out to a new normal. We have produced hundreds of hours of online services, and streaming worship, and classes, and meetings has brought us into being a hybrid model of doing church.

We have buried too many of God's faithful, and had the joys of baptisms and weddings. We have had bishops visit, and we have been blessed by the Archbishop of West Africa being with us. Graduations, confirmations, and all the ups and downs of life have come in those five years.

And we are still here. That is an accomplishment in days like these.

We still have a mission of being the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement in Ashland and our area of Hanover County, as our Presiding Bishop calls us. We have elected a new bishop who will actually visit us on December 11, and we are already preparing for that with joyful anticipation.

This is not a recap with finality, but every so often it is good to pause and take an assessment of where we have been. It helps shape where we are going. Our future is bright. And we are just getting started. Most human institutions may last a generation or two. It is the rare one that can look back over a century, and we are at one and two thirds centuries, thanks be to God. And God is not finished with us yet.

As we begin year six together, and a new program year, what can you do to help further God's work in Ashland, whether with St. James the Less, or a plethora of other ministries? There is so much good to be done to the glory of God.

Please join us Sunday to help welcome Dawn, and we will have a reception after the 10 o'clock service. Hope to see you!




Wednesday, September 14, 2022

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

Thursday, September 15, 2022

  • 10am- Book Club on Zoom

Saturday, September 17, 2022

  • 9am- Group Exercise Class
  • 1pm- Wiley Hughes Funeral

Sunday, September 18, 2022

  • 8am- Eucharist: Rite I Service
  • 9am-Sunday School for adults & children
  • 10am- Eucharist: Rite II (music)
  • 5:45pm-J2A

Monday, September 19, 2022

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


The new Pavilion has broken ground! It is such an exciting time. We’ve been looking forward to this for a long time! Praise be to God! Continue to pray for those building and developing this awesome new addition.


Wiley Hughes Memorial Service 

Please join us on Saturday, September 17 at 1pm to celebrate the life of Wiley Hughes, father of Bob Hughes. We will have a reception to follow.  Please bring a finger food to share. We are grateful to have such wonderful faithful examples in our midst. If you would like to read his obituary, please click here.

Deacon Reception

Please join us as we celebrate our new Deacon, Dawn McNamara, by having cake following the 10am service this Sunday. We are so happy to have her here!

Confirmation Classes

Would you or someone you know be interested in learning more about getting confirmed?  This class teaches the fundamentals, by Father Rock, about what it is to be an Episcopalian.  Email us if you would like to be part of this 4-5 week class. We will work out a convenient time amongst the participants to do it this fall. It's a wonderful time to meet new people and learn about our faith. 


As we start the new program year, we are looking for folks to help with a few things.  If you are interested, reach out the coordinator below.  Thank you so much!


We have the nursery open again this fall. We have Sunday School for the kids at 9am and then Children’s Church during part of the 10am service starting the week of September 11th. 


On Sundays, we offer youth group with a family dinner at 5:45pm. Please complete the registration form found here. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Supply List

If you would like to participate in the ministry by donating supplies from our Amazon wish list, please click the link and know we are grateful. It’s your support that makes this happen!

Children's Registration

Please be sure to register your children through this link. This will help us with planning and weekly activities. 

If you would like to volunteer to help with the youth, email Miriam. 


Adult Sunday school meets at 9am Sundays. We have two groups this year. 

In the 4th Quarter space, taught by Beth Harrison, they will be taking a deep dive into the Lord’s Prayer, line by line, looking at it in the Greek, Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus, as well as English. They will look at each line from at least 3 perspectives- the scholarly/intellectual, the metaphorical/poetic, and the mystical/universal. The prayer appears in two forms, one in Matthew and the other in Luke, so they will also look at them side by side as they appear in our New Testament. This familiar prayer helps us remember what is important in life and contains the central themes of Jesus’ teachings. In the spring, they will explore the gospel of John.

We have a second class that meets on Sunday mornings looking at a book about Episcopal beliefs and practice named Walk in Love. It is award-winning and comes out of the devotional publishing house Forward Movement. We will be looking at a chapter a week beginning September 11 and going up to Easter if we can maintain our schedule. This class will meet in Brydon Hall, 9 am to 9:45 Sundays, taught by Father Rock. We have a few extra copies. If you would like to purchase a copy from the church it is $15. To purchase it from Amazon click HERE


Book club meets Thursdays at 10am on Zoom,  reading a chapter a week. We are reading The Divine Conspiracy, by Dallas Willard. The link to purchase it on Amazon is HERE. If you would like us to purchase it for you or need help with the cost, please let us know. We don't want there to be a barrier to you joining us. It is a very special group! Please let us know if you would like to get emails with the Zoom link to join us.

The Divine Conspiracy has revolutionized how we think about the true meaning of discipleship. In this classic, one of the most brilliant Christian thinkers of our times and author of the acclaimed The Spirit of Disciplines, Dallas Willard, skillfully weaves together biblical teaching, popular culture, science, scholarship, and spiritual practice, revealing what it means to "apprentice" ourselves to Jesus. Using Jesus’s Sermon of the Mount as his foundation, Willard masterfully explores life-changing ways to experience and be guided by God on a daily basis, resulting in a more authentic and dynamic faith. 


We are thrilled to announce that we are taking our Parish Retreat to Shrine Mont on October 14-16, 2022. It is a restorative time for yourself and your family. It is also chocked full of community and faith building. We hope you can join us. There are multiple ways you can let us know you are planning on coming. You can fill out this online form HERE. You can call Kasey and have her sign you up at 804-798-6336. You can also sign up on the bulletin board in the hallway. 

The cost is $75 for children (ages 4-12), $90 for teens (13-18), and $175 for adults (18 +). If you would like to complete a Chenery grant request to help with the cost of your trip, please complete THIS form. We don’t want cost to hinder anyone from this awesome experience.

Father Rock+ will be holding another book club at Shrine Mont this year. We will be reading the #1 New York Times Bestseller The Stranger in the Lifeboat, by Mitch Albom. Please read the book ahead of coming and join us for a discussion Sunday morning.

If you would like to purchase the book on Amazon, click HERE. If  you would like us to help with purchasing the book, please let us know.  We are happy to help!


  • 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)

Pantry: Canned beef stew (smaller cans), Canned fruit, Canned mixed vegetables, Canned baked beans, Canned soup (all except cream based), Boxed potatoes (smaller containers preferred), Bagged rice (smaller bags preferred), Spaghetti/Pasta sauce (cans or jars), Laundry detergent (smaller size containers preferred), Shampoo (with or without conditioner)

Adult Clothing: Men’s boxers or boxer briefs (all sizes), Men’s undershirts (all sizes), Men’s athletic socks (all sizes), Men’s athletic shoes (all sizes), Women’s underwear (all sizes), Women’s bras (cup size D and larger/band size 36 and larger), Men’s and Women’s fall and winter clothes (any size)

Children's Clothing: Boy’s shoes (all sizes), Boy’s and Girl’s fall and winter clothes (sizes 12 and larger preferred), Boy’s and Girl’s pajamas (sizes 12 and larger preferred)

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, 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, Paul, and Jennifer, our Bishops, the Bishop Elect, The Rev. Canon Mark Stevenson and family, Rock+, our priest, and Dawn, our Deacon. 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, Dennis Folsom, Paul Robb, Debra Bernard, Smith family, Jeff Lawrence,  Court Warfield, Andrea Alexander McCallum, Tom Ficklin, Janet Taylor, Bower family, Cameron & Camilla Sharma, Jessica and family, Joy Stevenson, David Turner, Kim Keene, Brad Rose, Wendy Vaughan, Sara Reece, Richard Rennolds, Andy Newchok, Jim Smith, May & family, Joe Beane, Bettilee, Iana Mason, Sally Temple and Allison Provencher.

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. We ask your prayers for those who grieve.  

We pray for governments and governing bodies of Metropolitan Richmond: For the Mayor and City Council of Richmond, the City Administrator, and all city employees.

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 19

September 11, 2022


September 15

James Urquhart

September 17

Gaby Woodbridge

September 18

Dan Massey

Mai Anh Jones

September 19

Jane Newchok

September 20

Sally Temple

John Friedman

Curtis Conley

Declan Belyea


Saint James the Less Episcopal Church

125 Beverly Road

Ashland, VA 23005

(804) 798-6336


The Rev. Rock Higgins, tssf Rector

Reggie Long- Organist/Music Director

Miriam Smith- Christian Formation- Children & Youth Director

Kasey Buckland- Parish Administrator

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