April 24, 2024

Saint James the Less Weekly News & Updates

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A Note From Father Bo

I have not encountered too many parishes named after St. James the Less over the years. I was intrigued and wanted to learn more about this saint.  I am sure all the members of SJTL know this, but I will share with you what I learned. 


As you might imagine, with ancient history, we can’t say everything with certainty. We can say that St. James the Less was a figure of early Christianity.   We can say that James was called “the Less” not because he was less valuable, but because he was younger, or perhaps even shorter than James, the brother of John,  sons of Zebedee.  Some identify James the Less with James the brother of Jesus and others with James son of Alphaeus, one of the twelve.


I found this, from Wikipedia, to be very interesting: 

“In the New Testament the name James’ identifies multiple men. James the Less is named only in connection with his mother ‘Mary’  who is also the mother of Joseph… There are four mentions:

  • "Mary, the mother of James and Joseph" (Matthew 27:56);
  • "Mary, the mother of James the younger and of Joses" (Mark 15:40) ("James the younger" here has also been translated "James the less");
  • "Mary, the mother of James" (Mark 16:1 and Luke 24:10).

This ‘Mary’ may have been Mary of Clopas mentioned only in John 19:25. It is unlikely to be Mary the mother of Jesus since she is not identified as Jesus' mother but only called the mother of James the Less and Joseph/Joses. In Matthew 27:56, she is clearly distinguished from the mother of James, son of Zebedee.” (see the Wikipedia article on St. James the Less)


In the Roman Catholic Church the feast day for St. James the Less has been on several different days including May 1, May 11, and May 3.  In the Church of England it has always been observed on May 1.  In the Episcopal Church USA it is not entirely clear to me.  I couldn’t find a day for St. James the Less specifically, but there is a day for Apostles Philip and James on May 1. So in this understanding, James the Less is identified with James Son of Alphaeus, one of the twelve.

Where does this leave us?  First, James the Less was a real person with a role in the life of the early church.  Second, what was most important, was not him, but his service and his commitment to Jesus.  I suspect James the Less would be fine with not being remembered, as long as Jesus is remembered!


Wednesday, April 24, 2024

  • 7:30am- Morning Prayer (with bagels & coffee to follow)
  • 10:30am- Vinyasa Yoga with Lorie

Thursday, April 25, 2024

  • 6pm- Hand Bell Choir
  • 7pm- Parish Choir

Sunday, April 28, 2024

  • 8am- Eucharist Rite I -MOVED INDOOR DUE TO COLD TEMPS
  • 10am- Eucharist Rite II (music)
  • 6pm- Youth Group

Monday, April 29, 2024

  • 10:30am- Good Grief
  • 10:30am- Vinyasa Yoga with Lorie
Click Here to Watch Services Live or Later

April Calendar

  • 4/28- Youth Night 6-8pm

May Calendar

  • 5/4- Jimmy's Jam
  • 5/5 -Prayer Cloth Ministry
  • 5/12- Mother’s Day 
  • 5/18- Supper Club
  • 5/19- End of Program Year
  • 5/19- Contemplative service-Evensong 5pm
  • 5/27-Memorial Day- Office Closed

We are so grateful to Miriam Smith and Aleta Meyer for the awesome information they presented at our Lunch and Learn Sunday. A big thank you to our amazing hospitality gurus (Nancy Chamlee & Alice Cobb) for the delicious lunch as well!

8am Service on Sunday Indoor This Week

The 8am service will be moved indoor this week due to colder temperatures. It will be 50 degrees at 8am this Sunday. We want to make sure we are keeping you warm and safe.


Do you have a senior in high school or college that will be graduating this year? We'd love to help celebrate and include them in our newsletter and our Graduate Sunday. Please let us know and we will include their name, photo, graduating school and future plans. We look forward to celebrating with you.


Please join us as the choir presents Evensong on Sunday, May 19th at 5pm. Reggie has designed a beautiful program. We hope you will join us.

Adult Sunday School

You are invited to an Adult Formation study of the Book of Acts, lead by our Seminarian, Dr. Bart Natoli. There are discussions on Sundays between the two services from 9:00-9:45 am in the Parish Hall. The dates are April 14-May 19. You are invited to participate in as many discussions as you’d like, but you are not required to attend all discussions.

The Book of Acts is a foundational piece of Christian scripture because it is the lynchpin between the teachings and life of Jesus and the creation of the Christian Church. It tells the story of the early development of the Jesus movement, a sect of Judaism, into a faith that for the Gentiles, as well. As such, it is not only a key piece of evidence for the early practices and theologies of the nascent church but also a constant invitation for us to reflect upon the role of Christ in our own lives.

Our discussions of the Book of Acts will consist in the study of select passages and the reflection on the role of these passages in our lives. Each week, we will consider a different aspect of the Book of Acts:

April 28: First Martyrs and Converts (Acts 6:1-9:31)

May 5: The beginnings of Paul’s mission (Acts 9:32-12:25)

May 12: Creating a Christian Identity (Acts 13:1-21:14)

May 19: Christians and Romans (Acts 21:15-28:31)

Please join us for this blessed study of the Book of Acts. No special materials are needed other than a bible in whatever translation you prefer.

Grace and peace to you,


I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles, so that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth. -Acts 13:47

Prayer Cloths Ministry

God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that when the handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were brought to the sick, their diseases left them, and the evil spirits came out of them (Acts 19:11-12).[1]

We will be making Prayer Cloths by crochet or knit on the first Sunday's of the month. Our first one will be Sunday, May 5th following the 10am service. Beginners welcome. We will have yarn, needles and patterns. Come for a bit of creative fun and fellowship.

Prayer cloths will be blessed and available for anyone that needs a reminder that they are loved and supported.

Volunteer For St. Jimmy's Jam

Would you like to help volunteer at Jimmy's Jam on May 4th? (or the night before). Sign up HERE to help in whatever time or capacity you are able. It's always fun to work together! We will have live bands, food trucks, drinks and a super fun children's activities. Come help us make this possible for our community!

Sight & Sound Theatre

Independence Christian in Ashland, friends of St. James the Less, are going to Sight and Sound theatre in Lancaster, Pennsylvania to see Daniel June 21-22. They have extend the invitation to our community. If you are interested in going, reach out to the office or check the board for more information in the hallway.


Sunday Schedule:

  • Children's Sunday School- Sundays 9am
  • Nursery- Sundays 9am
  • Children's Church- during the 10am service

St. Cecilia's Choir at St. Jimmy's Jam

We would love to have the choir members perform at St. Jimmy's Jam on May 4th. We will meet on April 21st during Sunday School to run a quick practice. We will plan to do the song from Easter with a little Gospel/Bluegrass twist. Mr. Tripp will be accompanying us on banjo for the day of. Please reach out to Miriam to let her know if you are able to join in. We will plan to perform on the day of at the best time for the families. Looking forward to it!

The Expansion of SJTL Youth Group: Discerning, Teaming, and Planning 

We are holding four workshops in April and May to bring together those who want to see what is possible for the next phase of youth group at SJTL. These workshops are open to anyone who wants to spend time together discerning, teaming, and planning. We will meet in Brydon Hall. Bring a note pad or journal to write down and save your thoughts and ideas. For more information, text or call Aleta Meyer at 804-380-7832.

  • Sun May 5, 6-7:30pm — Next Phase Workshop Three: What personal gifts do I bring, and/or want to strengthen, to a next phase of youth group at SJTL? What are our gifts, collectively?
  • Sun May 19, 6-7:30pm — Next Phase Workshop Four: What ideas do we have for our roles and overall plans for a next phase of youth group in 2024-2025?


We are hoping to provide 48 bags for the summer needs of the unhoused community in our area. On April 28th, we will gather to learn more about the mission Dawn works with as well as how we can make an impact on the lives of those around us. So many focus on this community during the cold months, but forget about the toll that heat and summer elements can take on them. If you would like to donate individual items or items from our Amazon wish list, anything is truly appreciated and can be dropped off in the hallway at church. Thank you all for your continued support!! 

Join us to celebrate an awesome program year following the 10am service on Sunday, May 19th! We will enjoy fellowship and popsicles.


  • Sign up to bring meals for the Clinic Volunteers HERE
  • Help stock our Emergency Food Pantry (outside the clinic)
  • Send in your Pop Tops for McDonald House
  • Bring in Hygiene or laundry items for Peter Paul
  • Donate to ACES- Click HERE for current needs (we have a box in our hallway)
  • Donate to Peter Paul Development Center. (box in our hallway)


Lord, we lift up this nation struggling with itself these days. Encourage us to faithfulness, righteousness, and compassion for all God’s Children. We lift up Justin, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael, our Presiding Bishop, Mark, Dabney & Gail, our Bishops, Rock+, our priest, and Dawn+, our Deacon. We pray for Bart, our Seminarian, in his formation May they be strengthened and encouraged as the work with us to proclaim your Good News in this world. We pray for Joe, our President, Glenn, our Governor, and Steve, our Mayor, and all our elected officials. Guide them to lead us to the common good. 

We ask your prayers for peace; for goodwill among nations; and for the well-being of all people. Remembering especially Gus Miller, Erin Yagla, Meghann Batten, Dennis Folsom, Court Warfield, Andrea Alexander McCallum, Joy Stevenson, Andy Newchok, Haden Hopkins, Kim Keene, Pam Bowers, Hilda Kelly, Harry Hassell, Bower family, Smith family, Lyde Longaker, Mary Ann Harris, Gini Dryden, Bob & Mary Lou Brown, David Bandas, Rone Deas, Diana Timberlake, Kristi Elles, Sharon Street, Pam Gillette, Lillian Espinoza-Gala, Joanne Watkins, Ruth Beaudry, Tom & Fran Burke, Dennis Ray, Dawn Haase & family, Tuck Davis, Bobbie Street, Patty Smith, and Margaret Belyea.

We ask your prayers for the poor, the sick, the hungry, the oppressed, and those in prison. We also ask your prayers for those serving in the diplomatic corps, the military, and as missionaries: Larson Flanagan, Kemper Jones, Greg Ericksen, Matthew Thomas, Philip Morison, James Ashley, Ellie Deas, Andrew Brunson, Liam Higgins, and Katherine Murphy. 

We ask your prayers for those who have died, especially Holly Rison. We ask your prayers for those who grieve.  

Our citizens who live in Hanover County, the Board of Supervisors, School Board, and Manager. The print and broadcast media. The churches of metropolitan Richmond: members and clergy. All who live in poverty. All who suffer from mental illness. Our citizens who live in Ashland, Hopewell, Colonial Heights, and Petersburg, the town and city Councils and Managers. All who work in banks and finance; all making financial decisions for greater Richmond. Prisons and jails of metropolitan Richmond: prisoners and staff. All who are unemployed or underemployed. All public servants.

For all those who seek peace in the world and for ourselves, that we may bring about God's Kingdom here on earth. For our enemies, and for those who wish us harm.

Praise God for those in every generation in whom Christ has been honored.


April 22

Dani Stockwell

April 23

Ian Starrett

April 25

Jake Stockbridge

April 28

Danielle Stockbridge

April 29

Doris Hassell

Karla Batten

Cindy Fawsett

April 30

Leon Stockwell


Saint James the Less Episcopal Church

125 Beverly Road

Ashland, VA 23005

(804) 798-6336

Staff: (click on the name to email them)

The Rev. Rock Higgins, tssf Rector

The Rev. Deacon Dawn McNamara Deacon

Reggie Long- Organist/Music Director

Miriam Smith- Christian Formation- Children & Youth Director

Kasey Buckland- Parish Administrator

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Weekly E-News Deadline:  If you have an announcement to be shared with the parish, please get the information in no later than noon on Monday.