January 17, 2024

Saint James the Less Weekly News & Updates

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Due to freezing cold temperatures and the safety of all, we are canceling this morning's 7:30am Eucharist service.

A Note From Father Rock

Good morning, Church Family!

This Sunday evening at 5 p.m., Bart and Dawn+ will be leading our Contemplative Service, and I do hope that you will join them. It will be a calm, soothing, and reflective time as we begin 2024.

We received some incredible news this last week and I think that we should all feel good. Last year we had to make some hard decisions when it came to our budget and funding our work and mission here at St. James the Less. Twice we had working coffee and conversation times looking at how we could do things differently/better. Great ideas emerged. Those times made a difference.

As the books closed out for the year, we actually were able to finish in the black, taking in a bit more than our expenses. We expected many things that did not come through, financially speaking that is, but through it all this community remained faithful. Many of you gave above and beyond during this season where we are moving from the tender days of the pandemic to being tenacious and faithful followers of Christ.

This year's budget is much like last year's. Expenses are going up, and pledge units are not. While it might be easy to be like Chicken Little and say the sky is falling, there are some many examples of people trusting God and giving to make this special community what it is. We are not a group. We are not a club. We are a faith community. Faith is the first word in what we are, and we can never let anything move, replace, or have us forget that. The needs may make us want to respond to the Urgent, but our faith reminds us to stay focused on the Important.

Monday night the Finance Team worked for hours, and as we cut here and increased (rarely) there, it could have been easy to feel defeated. But then I saw these amazing, faithful people working hard at making the mission of the church real. While focusing on the eternal, we still have to pay the monthly bills. I pray that we never confuse the (seemingly) Urgent with the (eternally) Important. And as we wrestle with being faithful in both, we need to be reminded that the God who began this work is faithful to complete it in us, for us, and through us. Blessings on you and on St. James the Less!



Wednesday, January 17, 2024

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

Thursday, January 18, 2024

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

Sunday, January 21, 2024

  • 8am- Eucharist Rite I (no music)
  • 8:45/9am- Adult & Children Sunday School
  • 10am- Eucharist Rite II (music)
  • 5pm- Contemplative Service

Monday, January 22, 2024

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

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

  • 10am-Book Group
  • 12am- Red Hats- Marco's Italian Restaurant (805 England St)
Click Here to Watch Services Live or Later

January Calendar

  • 1/20- Supper Club
  • 1/21- Contemplative Service 5pm
  • 1/28- Lunch & Learn- Drug policy & prevention
  • 1/28- Youth Group 6-8pm

Contemplative Service

Please join us for a Contemplative Service at 5pm January 21st. It will be a welcomed time of quiet and care for the soul. Please join us for this time of contemplation.

Lunch & Learn- January 28th

Please join us on Sunday January 28th following the 10am service to hear from the Hanover Community Services will be coming back to educate us on drug policy and prevention in our community. We will have a meal as we learn. Everyone is welcome! Let us know you are coming, please. That helps us with planning food. But, don't let that stop you. Please come even if you haven't let us know.

REVIVE is the Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Education (OONE) program for the Commonwealth of Virginia. REVIVE! provides training on how to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose emergency using naloxone. (SAM) Smart approaches to marijuana preventing another big tobacco. They will be going over this with us.

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!

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 7-8pm. 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. 

Pledge Envelopes

If you ordered pledge envelopes this year, they are ready to be picked up on the table in the hallway outside the office. If you ordered them and they are not in or if you would like envelopes, please let me know. We are happy to help! Thank you!

Book Club Tuesdays 10am

We started our next Book Club (a non-fiction piece) on January 16th at 10am. We will be meeting in person (and via zoom for our hybrid friends) on Tuesdays at 10am for 9 weeks. If you would like to be added to our mailing list to receive information about the group, let us know. We hope you will join us! It's not too late! Everyone is welcome!


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!!!

Family Lego Night

Get your bricks ready! We will be hosting a family Lego night in January 24th at 6pm. Meet in the Sunday school room and we will have all the legos you need for your creations. Come join us for legos and of course snacks! 

Go Fourth Sunday 

We will have our January Go Fourth Sunday on the 28th in Brydon Hall. We will be making blankets for CJSTUF. Dinner is provided. Let Miriam know if you have any questions! 

Triangle of Hope Youth Pilgrimage Accepting Applicants

2024 pilgrimage, July 24-August 4, Virginia


Current 8th graders and high schoolers interested in learning and engaging with the historic legacy of the Mid-Atlantic Slave Trade are encouraged to apply to participate in the Triangle of Hope Youth Pilgrimage. The Triangle of Hope Pilgrimage is a three-diocese program dedicated to transforming the long history, ongoing effects, and continuing presence of slavery in our world through repentance, reconciliation, and mission. There will be pilgrims from Kumasi, Ghana, Liverpool, England, and Virginia participating in the 2024 pilgrimage in Virginia. Ideally, students will be current 8th or 9th graders, so that they can complete the three-part pilgrimage before graduating from high school. Costs and other information are on the application form. Questions? Contact the Rev. Rock Higgins.


  • 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, 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, Trinity Episcopal Church, Rone Deas, Wilson Loving, Phil Edmonds, Sharon Street, Diana Timberlake, and Kristi Elles 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.

Epiphany 2 Homily

Click HERE to read the sermon


January 18

Barbara Olin

Jennifer Rose

January 19

Dale Hill

Danah Massey

January 20

The Rev. Becky McDaniel

January 21

Mark FitzHugh

January 22

Kelly Criste-Cook

Carolina Lugo


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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