PRAYING SHAPES BELIEVING
A Meditation for You
Praying shapes believing. In Latin, lex orandi lex credendi, the way we pray determines the way we believe. And, as pledged in the covenant of Baptism, the way we believe has the potential to determine the way we act, with God’s help. 
Life Still Imitates the Bible
If you scratch your head at times, wondering how translated texts from times scribed long ago might still hold meaning for us Christians today, check this out: 

From the Gospel appointed for the fifth Sunday after the Epiphany, Mark 1: 29-39
That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered around the door. And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.

I have a close family friend whom I’d call quietly faithful but not religious. Last week in a texting conversation, she nailed the scenario from Mark’s Gospel! 

“I registered with MCV, the State Health Department, Loudoun County and numerous times at the Chesterfield County Health Department. Loudoun County left a message last week that I should receive an appointment for the vaccine in a few weeks. Today about noon Chesterfield County Health Department called to say ‘get to the Fairgrounds by 2 p.m.’, and we would be vaccinated. We arrived about 1 p.m.; waited in a long traffic line for close to an hour and in the outside line for about an hour before entering a building for vaccination. It was a heart-warming experience because most of the staff were volunteers. The line closed and people were turned away at about 2:30 p.m. We are very thankful.”

Please pray. Continue praying. God has a long history of working it out among us. If you don’t have words, maybe these will help: 

I have been praying for this day and now it is here!
With great excitement, a touch of trepidation
And with deep gratitude
I give thanks
To all the scientists who toiled day and night
So that I might receive this tiny vaccination
That will protect me and all souls around this world.
With the pandemic still raging
I am blessed to do my part to defeat it.
Let this be the beginning of a new day,
A new time of hope, of joy, of freedom
And most of all, of health.
I thank You, God, for blessing me with life
For sustaining my life
And for enabling me to reach this awe-filled moment.
Amen
--By Rabbi Naomi Levy

*Source: https://www.rabbinicalassembly.org/story/prayers-covid-vaccine This prayer contains various elements including an affirmation that one is performing a mitzvah, an expression of gratitude for the wisdom of scientists, a prayer for healing, and the blessing of gratitude traditionally recited each day for the magnificent workings of the human body. Elements are taken from various prayers by other authors.
--Rabbi Robert Scheinberg and Rabbi Naomi Kalish

*Narrative and photography by Stephanie Shareck Werner, © 2021. Photo taken last month near St. Augustine, Florida. 
Join us Sunday
Sunday Morning

Please join us online Sunday for a Morning Prayer at 10am. Let's us be together in Spirit! The link to watch and get the bulletin are in the schedule below.
Sunday Evening

Please join us Sunday Evening at 5pm for the Contemplative Service. The theme this week is The Beloved Community. We will be looking at Racial Inclusion and Equality in the Church in a contemplative way. It will be a loving way to hold space for all of God's children. The link and bulletin are listed below in the schedule.
Staying Connected
Friday, February 5, 2021
  • 12pm- Noonday Prayer (online)

Sunday, February 7, 2021
  • 9am- Children's Sunday School (online)
  • Link to join
  • 10am- Morning Prayer Worship (online)
  • Link to watch service
  • Link for bulletin
  • 5pm- Contemplative Service (online)
  • Link to watch service
  • Link for bulletin

Monday, February 8, 2021
  • 10:30am- Grief Group (online)
  • Link to join
  • 12pm- Noonday prayers (online)

Join us daily for Noonday Prayer online here. You can follow along with the service on page 103 of the Book of Common Prayer or visit BCPonline.org (Click on "Daily Office" and then "An Order of Service at Noonday")

If you can't join us live-time, no worries. All of these services can be viewed at your convenience afterward on Facebook. All our Sunday morning and Contemplative services will be posted on our YouTube Channel, "St. James the Less Ashland VA." You can access that here.
Helpful Links
St. James the Less
125 Beverly Rd. | Ashland VA 23005 | (804) 798.6336