A Meditation for You
Let Freedom Ring!

This month,  Praying Shapes Believing  is devoted to concepts of freedom, which we will explore through diverse inputs. 
Freedom requires letting go of impediments.

Now that she had nothing to lose, she was free.”  
― Author Paulo Coelho,  Eleven Minutes

“You wanna fly, you got to give up the s[tuff] that weighs you down.”  
― Author Toni Morrison,  Song of Solomon

“As human beings we all want to be happy and free from misery. We have learned that the key to happiness is inner peace. The greatest obstacles to inner peace are disturbing emotions such as anger and attachment, fear and suspicion, while love and compassion, a sense of universal responsibility are the sources of peace and happiness.”  
― His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, the spiritual leader of the Tibetan People and of Tibetan Buddhism

Using the “Prayer for Our Community” of Franciscan Father Richard Rohr : O Great Love, thank you for living and loving in us and through us. May all that we do flow from our deep connection with you and all beings. Help us become a community that vulnerably shares each other’s burdens and the weight of glory. Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our world. [Please add your own intentions.] . . . Knowing you are hearing us better than we are speaking, we offer these prayers in all the holy names of God, amen. .
A Note From Father Rock
We all have seen the sign, Do Not Feed the Bears. Maybe not in person, but at least in a cartoon or on Yogi. We do not feed wildlife, because if they became "tamed" then they cease being wildlife. 

During these strange days I have had to be very careful about what I feed, and what I intentionally do not feed. When I see things that frustrate or anger me, I do not lean into that. I have a choice. I invite myself to see it from another point of view. I remember that we are all trying to find our way home, and that not a one of us is in the same place. I do not feed that bear of hate or anger.

But there are good habits I do want to feed. Getting enough rest. Getting enough exercise. Checking in on those in my care and charge. Taking measured and disciplined measures to maintain my spiritual growth. If I do not feed these, then I will become wild. These are the disciplines that keep me on track when the world seems to be derailed or on its way to be.

Think about what you are feeding, and what you are pushing off by letting it go away.

St. James the Talent-Less Show
Calling all artists, musicians, poets, dancers, actors/actresses and dreamers! We are looking for you!
St. James the Less is hosting its first ever Virtual Talent Show! Please send us a video, less than 5 minutes in length, showing us your creation by Wednesday, July 22.

Art is always in the eye of the beholder, so whatever you deem to be art- send it! Text all submissions to Father Rock's cell phone, 804-306-2112. If you have any questions, reach out . If needed, we can film you here at the church. We are so excited to see what you send in. We will premier the submissions on Sunday, July 26th at 7pm. It will be a fun way to "see" each other and celebrate the gifts we have collectively.
  • Click here to see the VA & DC Diocese plan for the phased reopening.  
  • Click here for the most current response from Bishop Goff and The Diocese.
  • Shrine Mont Camps programs are suspended for this summer. The letter from Shrine Mont Camp Director, Paris Ball, can be found here.
Staying Connected
Friday, July 17, 2020
  • 12pm- Noonday prayers (online)

Sunday, July 19, 2020
  • 12pm- Worship (online)
  • Link to watch service
  • Link for bulletin

Monday, July 20, 2020
  • 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 (Click on "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
  • Ways to Give- Useful suggestions for your giving
  • Prayer List- Prayers of the People
  • Ask for prayer-Send in your prayer request (please acknowledge if the prayer is private or for our Parish list)
  • Lectors & Pray-ers for Prayers of the People Wanted- Email us if you would like to read one of our Readings for Sunday Worship. All you need is a cell phone, a good speaking voice and a willingness.
  • Forward Day By Day- Email us if you would like us to mail you a copy of the Forward Day By Day. Please make sure to include your first and last name and US Postal address.
  • Giving to the First Baptist Food Pantry- Here's all you need to know about giving to our neighbors.
  • List of Local Food Pantries- Click here for a complete list of local food pantries.
  • Fall Line Farms- A wonderful organization that supports local farmers. Click here to order food so you can pick it up here at SJTL on Thursdays.
  • Self- Guided Ways Of Worship Brochure- It has wonderful ways of engaging with your own space (and the spaces around the church) to find the Holy, already present, within them.
  • Good Chi Yoga- Barbara Olin is offering her yoga classes, via Zoom, on Wednesday and Fridays. Click the link to email her and let her know you are interested in joining!
  • Shrine Mont Survey- a quick survey to get some feedback on moving forward with our Annual Parish Retreat scheduled for October.
  • Father Rock's Blog- Access reading of all of Father Rock's Homilies.
St. James the Less
125 Beverly Rd. | Ashland VA 23005 | (804) 798.6336