Today's Lenten reflection is by Fontaine Williamson
John 6:52-59

The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”

So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me.

This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever.” This he said in the synagogue, as he taught at Caper′na-um.
A Reflection for Lent

In this passage from John, Jesus speaks words that the Jews don’t seem to understand. He uses physical words of flesh and blood, which they take literally. Yet these words would have been familiar to the Jews since one of their religious rituals was to sacrifice lambs and other animals as an offering to God for their sins. Animals were slaughtered ON the altar, their blood was dashed against the altar and even on the people! There are many references in scripture to blood being thrown all over the place. ( Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy) Thankfully, we don’t do this in church today!

Later in the story of Jesus’s life, He eats supper with His disciples. Jesus shares bread, saying, “Take, eat, this is my body, given for you,” and wine, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” Jesus transforms the sacrificial lamb into a remarkable new concept. He becomes the bread of life. “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me and I in them” and “the one who eats this bread will live forever.” As one person, He dies for all of our sins forever. His life is a complete gift to us.\ As we receive the bread and wine at our Lord’s table, in remembrance of His Last Supper, followed by His death, perhaps we are invited to a little death within ourselves. We might offer to let go of having things our way, of wanting power or control over others, of being unwilling to forgive or any of the thoughts, actions or habits that draw us away from God. A little death. Or we might consider offering a gift to Jesus as we approach the communion rail to receive this small yet significant meal, just as one might take a hostess gift when invited to dine at a friend’s home.

We may not often think of Jesus during the busyness of our daily lives, yet He is always with us and empties Himself for us. In that quiet moment on Sunday mornings, when you open your hands to receive Him into your body, heart and soul, what gift might you have that is uniquely yours to offer to Jesus? It could be as small and simple as this: A quote that inspires me is from St. Faustina, who had a vision of Mary, Jesus’s mother, saying this to her: “My daughter, strive after silence and humility, so that Jesus, who dwells in your heart continuously, may be able to rest.” A resting place for Jesus. That is a precious gift to offer our Lord and Savior, who gave all, His very life, for us.

Keep scrolling there's lots of news to share ...
Saturday, March 25
 DOERS Doing in the Community - Belle Isle Cleanup, 10am-2pm
Meet at Belle Isle Parking Lot (300 Tredegar Street)
Our March Doers Doing activity focuses on creation care!
DOERS of all ages are invited to join us for a James River clean up at Belle Isle.
Cleaning materials will be provided, just wear sneakers and bring water!

Tuesday, March 28
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,
     Stephen Spraker,

Women's Bible Wisdom - 4pm, Michaux House Library
There's also an option of participating via Zoom
This Bible study meets twice a month, on 2nd and 4th Tuesdays, to read together
through a biblical book or theme at a time. We explore when and under
what conditions the passages were written.
Contact: the Reverend Amelia

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,

Wednesday, March 29
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,

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

Keep scrolling there's more to read .....
This week's eChimes features
  • Volunteer for Palm Sunday Pancake Breakfast
  • Deadline for Easter Lilies is this Wednesday, March 29
  • DOERS Doing is this Saturday, March 25 at Belle Isle
  • Only a few slots left for our slave trails walks
  • Wednesday Night Dinners extended to May 17 - Come be a cook
  • LaPierre Memorial Fund
  • Summer Youth Missions - add something amazing to your summer
  • This coming Wednesday Dinner and Fun-DO-Mentals class
  • Those who have died
  • Prayers of the People
  • Virginia Diocese information
You’ll flip
for this service opportunity. 
Sign up by this Sunday, March 26

The Palm Sunday Pancake breakfast is approaching. Youth in grades 5-12, as well as any adults, are invited to volunteer for this fun event on April 2.

We need volunteers to cook and help cleanup. When you volunteer to cleanup means you can sleep a little longer before coming to help.

Sign up to cook or cleanup by this Sunday,

For those attending, breakfast will be from 8:30-9:30 am and the Palm Sunday Parade will begin at 9:30 am. There is a suggested donation of $5 per individual, $20 per family. 

All donations benefit youth missions. 

Have you remembered
those you love with an Easter Lily?
The deadline is this Tuesday.

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 so by this coming Wednesday, March 29.

You can contribute an Easter Lily by doing the following:

*Contact Veni Davidkova at 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
Attn: Veni Davidkova
1205 W. Franklin St., Richmond, VA 23220.

Lilies will be delivered to the sick and home-bound after Easter services.
 DOERS Doing in the Community
We’re cleaning up at Belle Isle tomorrow!

Our March Doers Doing activity focuses on creation care! DOERS of all ages are invited to join us for a James River clean up at Belle Isle tomorrow, March 25 from 10 am- noon. 
  • We’ll meet in the Belle Isle parking lot (300 Tredegar Street). 
  • Cleaning materials will be provided, just wear sneakers and bring water!
Remembering Jeanne Lapierre...

On Saturday, March 11, St. James’s celebrated the life and devotion of Jeanne Marie Lapierre with a truly remarkable memorial service. Over 90 voices from the Parish, West Gallery and Youth Choirs joined to honor Jeanne with one of the most memorable choral tributes in St. James’s history. (You can view the service on YouTube.)

The Choirs have rallied to initiate the Jeanne Lapierre Memorial Fund, with the goal of securing $50,000, the minimum required to establish a permanent, named fund in the St. James’s Endowment. If funded, the annual proceeds (4%) from the Jeanne Lapierre Memorial Fund will be dedicated to support a yearly musical tribute in memory of Jeanne. Such might include strings/brass at Christmas or Easter services, for example.

All are invited to join the Choirs in creating this Fund by making a donation to St. James’s for the Jeanne Lapierre Memorial Fund.
  • Checks should be made payable to St. James’s Episcopal Church and put the Jeanne Lapierre Memorial Fund on the memo line. Please mail your check to the church at 1205 West Franklin Street, Richmond, VA 23220
  • Or make an online donation at the Giving page of our website.
  • Once on the Giving page, 1-- enter the amount, 2-- designate it as a memorial gift and 3-- in the memo put the Jeanne Lapierre Memorial Fund.

The Choir “family” will sorely miss Jeanne and her quiet, selfless dedication to our outstanding music programs. Please help us honor Jeanne with your remembrance.

Thanks be to God for angels like Jeanne!
Only a few slots left
for our Slave Trail Walks
Saturday, April 1 and April 15

The Becoming Beloved Community ministry is happy to announce two opportunities to walk the historic and moving Slave Trail, led by the Rev. Ben Campbell, social justice advocate and author of Richmond’s Unhealed History.

The walks will take place on Saturday, April 1 and April 15, starting at 9am. The 2.1 mile walk follows the route taken by enslaved people destined for the slave market, starting in Manchester and ending at Lumpkin’s Jail. After each walk we’ll gather for a complimentary lunch to discuss what we’ve just experienced.

There are only a handful of slots left so please sign up here as soon as possible. Information about carpooling from the end point back to Manchester will follow.

You can find more information about the Slave Trail here.
Wednesday Night Dinners extended to May 17!
Thanks to everyone who has made the return of our Wednesday Night Dinners such a big success. Because there’s been so much enthusiasm for the dinners we’re extending them through May 17.

Now we need your help to keep the momentum going. If you’re interested in creating a cooking team or joining one, reach out to Katie Ricard at 

We are so grateful to the cooking teams who have already volunteered – nothing beats a home-cooked meal!

St. James’s Youth:
Add something amazing to
your summer. 

There are so many opportunities at St. James’s to be part of a Youth mission or to volunteer this Summer – and now is the time to sign up.

By taking time this summer to give back, you’re doing more than being God’s hands in the world, you’re starting new friendships, strengthening old ones, and putting yourself in situations that will leave you feeling inspired and proud. 

You can learn about our summer mission and volunteer opportunities here.
To sign up, complete this form.

You can also reach out to Katie Ricard, Director of Youth Ministry, at or by calling (804) 355- 1779 ext. 334.
Wednesday Night
Class & Dinner

This coming Wednesday's will be the last Fun-DO-Mentals class and it will focus on Life at St. James's

Before our Wednesday night class, come enjoy a delicious meal prepared by our Lenten food team. Wednesday's dinner menu will be posted in our upcoming Tuesday email.

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!

Dinner at 5:30 pm
Class at 6:30 pm

The suggested donation for dinner is $5 per person, with a $20 maximum per family.
Parishioner who passed away recently:
Mary Lee Allen (d. 3/18/2023)
We commend Mary Lee to God’s love.

If you would like information on how to reach out to the loved ones of the deceased, please do not hesitate to contact the church offices. 

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