A Meditation for You
We Are All Bearers of Christ

For the rest of this month into November we are examining civil discourse. Readings will be excerpted from the web page of the Office of Government Relations of The Episcopal Church. 

Episcopal Leaders from across the country are sharing their thoughts on civil discourse based on the following prompt: What are your values as an Episcopalian as they relate to issues of public policy? How are you living into your values when considering civil discourse and civic engagement? 
This week, Sarah Lawton, a member of St. John the Evangelist in San Francisco quoted Civil Discourse in America panelist Rabbi Steve Gutow who said, “Civility is simply demonstrating respect for the dignity of our fellow humans – even those humans with whom we have sharp disagreement. Civility is allowing others to speak, and having the humility to admit that we may have something to learn. Civility favors truth over cheap gain, and patience over knee-jerk judgment.” 

Ms. Lawton said, “We know there are different ideas about how to address our society’s problems. We may not even agree on what the problems are. If we take those same baptismal vows seriously… then those with whom we disagree are also bearers of Christ with whom we are called to reconcile. We start with an assumption of the dignity of every person.” 

Let us Pray
Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer, p. 823)

From Last Week 
“Our tradition of the via media—the middle way of Anglicanism—offers this country a desperately needed model of what public discourse might become.” --The Rt. Rev. Jeffrey D. Lee Bishop of Chicago

Learn more and read the unedited responses here.
A Note From Father Rock

Many of us are preparing to vote or already have. This season, which seemed eternal at times, is ramping down. There are two resources I want you to be aware of as you vote. Like our local efforts, there are national movements encouraging us to remember our common values and faith as we go into the polls, and that our unity and devotion to one another is more important than political opinions.

The first is a simple prayer to say while waiting to vote, from the Episcopal Public Policy Network. Here it is:

Gracious God, be with us as we enter the line to our polling place. Help us to remember the great cloud of witnesses around us; that our ancestors’ dreams and struggles are why we vote; that our vote matters, and we are walking by faith. Though it may be hot, or cold, though it may rain or it may be sunny and turn to night, give us strength not to give up. We know you are with us. Our dreams and passions guide us to vote, for ourselves, for our communities, and for those who cannot vote. Help us to vote faithfully. Help us to walk with you. Help us to walk in love. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 

The other is a novena, a nine day series of devotional prayers building to the election day starting on the 27th of October. Here is a link to those. You can print it off, or sign up for the email to be sent those nine days. LINK There is also a video from Presiding Bishop encouraging our participation.

Blessings, and hope to see you at Compline Sunday night!

Happening This Weekend
Grab your mask, chair (or blanket) and get your taste buds ready! We will be hosting Hibachi Mobile food truck here on Sunday, October 18th from 4-6:30pmin the parking lot. 
Check out their Facebook page. Your mouth will be watering! Please be advised, they only take cash. Average (big!) meal cost is around $9-$12.

Come enjoy dinner with your family socially responsibly outside and stay for Compline, if you can, at 6pm. We would love to see you!
Please join us for the Compline service this Sunday, October 18th at 6pm in-person (outside) and online. Please note the time change. It will be a beautiful time of reflection. The link is listed below to join us online. We hope this will be beautiful way to close your evening and leave the rest to God. 

Please remember if you choose to join us in-person that we are following all COVID Protocols of Social Responsibility. Please wear masks and keep 6 feet apart. Please choose to join us online, instead of in-person, if you have come in contact with someone who may be sick or you, yourself, are sick. (Link below) We want to ensure everyone is safe.

We'd love for you to join us early between 4-6:30pm for Hibachi Mobile Food Truck. The food is EXCELLENT! Come join us and we can enjoy a socially distanced meal together! It will be so good to be together!
Staying Connected
Friday, October 16, 2020
  • 12pm- Noonday prayers (online) 

Sunday, October 18, 2020
  • 9am- Children's Sunday School (online) 
  • Link to join
  • 10am- Morning Prayer Worship (online)
  • Link to watch services
  • Link for bulletin
  • 4pm-630pm- Food Truck- Hibachi Mobile
  • 6pm- Compline Service (online & in person outdoors)
  • Link to watch services
  • Link for bulletin

Monday, October 19, 2020
  • 10:30am- Grief Group (Memorial Garden) 
  • 12pm- Noonday prayers (online) 
  • 5pm- Prayer for our Country (Memorial Garden)

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 "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.
  • 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.
  • COVID VA- Download the Covid Virginia app the Governor recommends.
  • Randolph Macon College COVID Dashboard- Link here
Helpful Links
  • Prayer List- Prayers of the People
  • Giving Online- Click here to give online or text "GIVE2THELESS" at 73256 from your phone.
  • Ask for prayer-Send in your prayer request (please acknowledge if the prayer is private or for our Parish list)
  • 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!
  • Father Rock's Blog- Access reading of all of Father Rock's Homilies.
  • Blessings & Dressings- A copy of the SJTL Cookbook
St. James the Less
125 Beverly Rd. | Ashland VA 23005 | (804) 798.6336