Each Tuesday, Friday and Sunday during Lent, we’ll start each email with the daily Gospel reading and a reflection written by our clergy and parishioners young and old. We hope this becomes a meaningful Lenten practice for many of you.
Today's reflection is by The Reverend Blake Singer
John 3:22-26 
After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he spent some time there with them and baptized. John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim because water was abundant there; and people kept coming and were being baptized -- John, of course, had not yet been thrown into prison. Now a discussion about purification arose between John's disciples and a Jew.

They came to John and said to him, "Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you testified, here he is baptizing, and all are going to him." John answered, "No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven. You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, 'I am not the Messiah, but I have been sent ahead of him.' He who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice. For this reason my joy has been fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease." The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks about earthly things. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, yet no one accepts his testimony. Whoever has accepted his testimony has certified this, that God is true. He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has placed all things in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but must endure God's wrath.
A Reflection for Lent

The distribution of Communion last Sunday was the same as any other week. The choir came down from their loft and fanned out across the rail, and then the rest of the congregation followed suit. However, one of our youngest members managed to catch my attention. As she approached the rail, one of her hands was held by her mother, and the other held a toy of some sort. I had noticed her holding the toy a few minutes earlier during Children’s Chapel, and she likely held it throughout the rest of the service. My guess is that the toy gave her a sense of comfort. It was, after all, a toy from home and probably reminded her of home. At the same time, it also distracted her enough throughout the service so that mom and dad might have a few moments alone with God.

This young member took her place at the rail, barely able to see over the top. As she was getting situated, the mother gently removed the beloved toy and placed it on the cushion so that her daughter would have access to both hands. She followed her mother’s lead and put one hand on top of the other as the pair waited for me to come by. I looked them both in the eyes, put a wafer in their cupped hands, and I said, “This is the body of Christ, the bread of heaven.”

I can’t help but wonder if this whole scene approaches the heart of what John the Baptist meant when he said, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (vs. 30). John spoke these words as he was acknowledging that his own ministry was coming to an end now that the one for whom he had prepared the way for had, in fact, arrived. John’s words would actually make a pretty good motto or mantra for the season of Lent. The word “Lent”, after all, comes from the Old English “lencten”, which is related to our word “lengthen” and refers to the lengthening of days during this time of year. Just as the daylight increases during the spring, so also Lent is a season when we invite God’s presence to increase in our lives and in the world. But as John’s words suggest, there can’t be an increase without a decrease. More light means less darkness. More Jesus means less John. More of God in our lives and in the world means less of something else, and for our young member, more of Christ’s body meant less of her toy.

You see, she couldn’t receive the wafer as long as one of her hands was occupied with something else. This toy, as innocent as it may have been, was standing in the way of her fully receiving the gift that God had intended for her. So, during this season of prayer and self-reflection, what are you holding onto? What’s standing in the way of you fully receiving what God intends for you? What part of yourself needs to decrease so that God may increase? For some of us, it may be a bad habit or some sin that we just haven’t been able to kick. For others, like this young member, it may be something that isn’t inherently bad. Maybe, like her, it’s a distraction or a source of comfort that’s occupied a space in our lives that God alone desires to fill. Maybe, whatever it is, you’ve already given it up for these 40 days, or you’re sensing God calling you to give it up for the remaining 32 days (depending on when you’re reading this). Or maybe, God’s calling you to give it up well beyond the remaining 32 days. And that’s the gift of this season, because while this young member’s mom was there to remind her to let go for the sake of something so much better, most of us reading this are too old for our mothers to tell us what to do. So, for the rest of us, we have Lent.

Keep scrolling there's lots of news to share ...
Tuesday, March 7
Tuesday Men's Bible Study - 7:30 am, Valentine Hall
A weekly hour of fellowship, discussion of the bible and good food.
Contact: Patrick Strickler, jpstrickler@verizon.net
     Stephen Spraker, stspraker@gmail.com

Young Adults - 5:45 pm, location varies
We'll gather for a combination of fellowship, prayer, and Bible or book study.
For more information and/or to get on the GroupMe, contact the Rev. Blake Singer.
Contact: the Reverend Blake Singer, bsinger@doers.org

Wednesday, March 8
Living Faith Bible Study - 10 am via Zoom
This opportunity for fellowship, study and discussions that help to make
our Christian faith a “living faith” and apply the witness of the Scripture
to our everyday lives. Please contact Betsy for the Zoom link.
 Contact: Betsy Trow, betsytrow@gmail.com

Wednesday Noon Eucharist
in the Chapel

Wednesday Night Dinner and Fun-DO-Mentals Class - 5:30 pm, Valentine Hall
Please RSVP for dinner by 12 noon on Monday
And go here for information about the Fun-DO-Mentals Class

Thursday, March 9
Thursday Men's Breakfast Bible Study - 7:30 am
This group meets every other Thursday to read and discuss the Lectionary Readings
for the upcoming Sunday. It’s a great way to learn the scriptures and
build deeper relationships with other St. Jamesers.
Contact: the Reverend Dr. Mark Cooper, markcooper1966@gmail.com

Women in Fellowship - 7 pm, location varies
The group meets on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month at a parishioner's home.
We’ll be following the lectionary, and reading and discussing the upcoming week’s Gospel.
For information about where we'll meet this week, contact Kendal Sibley.
Contact: Kendal Sibley, KSibley@hunton.com

Saturday, March 11
Youth Family Social - 4 pm to 6pm
at the home of Billy and Callie DeLancey (4406 Chatwell Road, Midlothian)
St. James will provide snacks, water, and lemonade.
Parents are encouraged to bring a favorite beverage.

Keep scrolling there's more to read .....

This week's eChimes features
• Celebrate Founders Sunday
• Lenten Sunday Bible Study with The Rev. Dr. Doug Wigner
• Wednesday Night Dinner and Fun-DO-Mentals
• Young Family Social next Saturday
• Is this your check?
• Looking Ahead
• Prayers of the People
• Virginia Diocese information
Celebrate Founders Sunday.
Learn the power of legacy giving.   

This Sunday at both the 9:15 and 11 o'clock services, we’ll be celebrating members of the Whitlock Legacy Society who have chosen to support St. James's through a legacy gift. If you are a member of the Whitlock Society, please plan on attending either service so we can honor you for making financial provisions for the future of our parish. 

The Whitlock Legacy Society, which was founded with the $5,000 bequest of Mrs. Elizabeth Whitlock in 1930, now includes 221 parishioners, past and present, including 82 members who have joined within the last 5 years. Together, they have grown the St. James's Endowment Fund, Inc. to a value of over $10 million. 

To celebrate their generosity – and to introduce folks to the Whitlock Legacy Society – we’re having a brief program and reception (including cake!) during the 10:15 Adult Formation. We encourage everyone to attend to celebrate the Doers who contribute to the future of our church and to learn more about how you can join them. 

To know more about The Whitlock Legacy Society, go here.
Doug Wigner's
Lenten Sunday Bible Study:
What would you preach?

We had an overflow crowd for Doug’s first Lenten Sunday Bible Study: WWYP (What Would You Preach?). Come see for yourself what drew them to the class.

The Lenten gospels are transformative, seeking the reader to respond with life changes. We’ll study them and see if you were the preacher, what would you say about them? Each week is different and based on the next Sunday’s Gospel. Texts will be provided, but bring your bible as we cross reference the passages.

The class continues through Lent, still in room 205 in Michaux House, but with the adjoining room opened to make more room. You’re welcome to join regardless of whether or not you attended previous classes.
Wednesday Night Class & Dinner

Our Fun-DO-Mentals class this coming Wednesday will be part 2 of the history of the Episcopal Church.

Dinner is at 5:30; class is at 6:30, all in Valentine Hall.

Please RSVP here by Monday noon. so we get an accurate idea of how many folks will be coming to our popular Wednesday night dinners.Thanks! 

The suggested donation for dinner is $5 per person, with a $20 maximum per family.
Turn something you love into a Lenten discipline.

Our popular Wednesday night dinners are continuing through March – and we’re seeking folks to join a cooking team or form a team of your own. There are so many ways to help. You can cook, of course, or help prepare food, shop for food, or even donate wine.

So grab some friends, hook up with
a former cooking team, or use this as
an chance to meet new St. Jameser’s. All abilities wanted, just a love for community and fellowship is required. Someone on our staff will be in touch to answer your questions and provide guidance. 

Young Family Social
This Saturday, March 11

Our next Young Family Social will be this Saturday, March 11 from 4 to 6 pm at the home of Billy and Callie DeLancey (4406 Chatwell Road, Midlothian). 

Come for fellowship and fun. St. James’s will provide snacks, water, and juice. Parents are welcome to bring a favorite adult beverage if you wish. These socials are for any St. James's family with children living at home.

We’re trying to figure out
who sent us this check

On December 8, 2022, a generous parishioner sold stock (MFS Massachusetts Trust Fund - MITTX) through Wells Fargo, then sent it to Davenport as a gift to St. James’s. Unfortunately, there’s no name attached to the gift. 

If you instructed Wells Fargo to send us money through Davenport, please email Poconna Thiel at pthiel@doers.org or call her at 804.355.1779 x311, so she can make sure it’s on your gift record. Thank you. 

Looking Ahead
It's time to remember
those you love with Easter Lilies

St. James’s is filled with beautiful lilies on Easter. If you would like to contribute a lily as a memorial for or in thanksgiving of a loved one, please do the following:

*Contact Veni Davidkova at vdavidkova@doers.org or at 804-355-1779, ext. 315 no later than Wednesday, March 29 with the name(s) as you would like them to appear in the bulletin. 

*Send a check for $25 (clearly marked for a lily) and the name of the honoree to:
St. James’s Church,
1205 W. Franklin St., Richmond, VA 23220.

Lilies will be delivered to the sick and home-bound after Easter services.
in the Community
March opportunities

Creation Care
Our March Doers Doing activity focuses on creation care! Join us for a James River clean up at Belle Isle on Saturday, March 25 from 10 am-12 pm.

We’ll meet in the Belle Isle parking lot (300 Tredegar Street). Cleaning materials will be provided, just wear sneakers and bring water!

Greater Richmond Scan
There are three great events to get involved with SCAN during March:
  • CASA Give Back Night
  • SCAN Orientation
  • CASA Info Session
For the details and to sign-up, go here.

Greater Richmond SCAN provides the awareness, treatment, advocacy, and education needed to enhance the lives of children. SCAN’s services promote positive parenting, strengthen families and help create a community that values and cares for its children.
Adult Forum Schedule for Power of Community in a Season of Transformation:

  • 3/12- Peter Paul -- Presenter: Damon Jiggetts; Interviewer: Anne Hurt
  • 3/19 - REAL LIFE -- Presenter: Sarah Scarbrough; Interviewer: Katie Morris
  • 3/26 - ACTS RVA -- Presenter: Billy Poarch; Interviewer: The Rev. Amelia Arthur
One of the most anticipated musical masses of the year is just over two weeks away. The Dylan Mass, featuring the West Gallery choir and the Guitar Ensemble performing songs by Bob Dylan, is March 19 at the 9 am service. 

Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls (Jeremiah 6:16). Prayerfully, the good way will be illuminated as we worship in the spirit and words of Bob Dylan.

We do our best to keep this list current, but if you want your name added or removed, please email Mary Brown at mbrown@doers.org or call her at
804-355-1779 ext. 313
For Diocese of Virginia news and information, visit: https://www.thediocese.net/
You can always find the eChimes at doers.org/eChimes.