April 10, 2024

Saint James the Less Weekly News & Updates

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*Reminder* The Rev. Bo Millner will be leadings us through the end of June during Father Rock's sabbatical. While he is with us, we can help him by getting back into the practice of wearing our nametags. (If you need a new one, or a correction, please let us know) See his bio below to learn more.

If you have a prayer request, health update or concern you would like to discuss or get support with while Father Rock is away, please reach out to the office (804- 798-6336) and we will make sure you get the support you need. Our team is prepared and ready to step in however might be needed.

The Team

The Rev. Bo Millner- Priest in Charge during Father Rock's sabbatical

The Rev. Deacon Dawn McNamara- Deacon

Dr. Bart Natoli- Seminarian

Bob Hughes- Senior Warden

Kathy Marshall- Junior Warden

Miriam Smith- Formation Director

Reggie Long- Music Director/Organist

Kasey Buckland- Parish Administrator

The Rev. Bo Millner Biography

Born August 3, 1954 in Richmond, Va. Grew up in Kinston, NC, being baptized at St. Mary's on November 14, 1954. Graduated from high school in Kinston in 1972. Graduated from University of Richmond in 1976 with a BA and from the Virginia Theological Seminary with an MTS in 1979. Prior to ordination in 1984 in the Diocese of NC, I did further work (4 semesters) at the Duke University Divinity School. Served churches in NC, Christ Church Raleigh as a DCE, St. Stephens, Durham, as ordained Assistant. Then went to St. Johns at West Point Va. as Rector. Followed by 11 years as Rector at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Rocky Mount NC. Served GHTC as Rector for sixteen years, beginning in 2003 and ending with retirement in August 2019.  

I am grateful for all the opportunities these churches provided, with my work with Circles RVA being a particular highlight. I was a founding Board member and first President of the Board. In retirement I enjoy working at the St. Thomas Food Pantry, continuing to advocate for Circles RVA, and as a Board member of Sophia Theological Seminary. Also in retirement I have enjoyed pursuing photography. I had a solo show at the Imperial Centre in Rocky Mount, NC in 2022 and in June 2024 will have a solo show at Art Works in Richmond. In retirement I've also had a few articles published in The Anglican Digest.

I married Katherine Kelly in July 1976. She is a retired art school teacher and maintains her own painting studio in Richmond. Two children, Bollin (1985) and his wife Gabrielle, live in London, and Tom (1987) and his wife Kai'li live in Charlottesville Va.

A Note From Father Bo

I am grateful to have this opportunity to be a part of the St. James the Less community while your Rector Rock Higgins is on sabbatical. In the course of 35 years of active ministry as an ordained person in the church, I enjoyed three sabbaticals. And each time I came back refreshed and ready to lead the church through the next set of challenges. I commend the leadership and congregation of St James the Less for making a sabbatical possible for your Rector. It will be good for him and for you.

It is also true that each one of us benefits from sabbatical time. It is not best for us to be always responsible, always pushing, always on the job, whether that job is out in the world or at home. The concept of sabbatical is built into the biblical story of creation. God worked for six days and on the seventh day God rested from all the work that had been done. And in Exodus 20 God commands that we rest as well, once a week.

God knows we need the rest. Claiming fallow times is important. I have found this is true even in retirement. Finding a rhythm in our lives between activity and rest is a lifelong challenge. So, as we send Rock on his way, with thanksgiving, perhaps we can take just a moment to think about our own lives. Do we have the right balance or not? This Easter Season gives us the chance celebrate what we have. Also, where necessary, we can embrace positive change.

Blessings and peace to you all and thank you for this opportunity to worship with you over the next 12 Sundays.


Wednesday, April 10, 2024

  • 7:30am- Eucharist Rite II (with bagels & coffee to follow)
  • 10:30am- Vinyasa Yoga with Lorie

Thursday, April 11, 2024

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

Sunday, April 14, 2024

  • 8am- Eucharist Rite I -MOVED INDOOR DUE TO COLD TEMPS
  • 10am- Eucharist Rite II (music)
  • 11am- Coffee Pot with Rachel Easter

Monday, April 15, 2024

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

April Calendar

  • 4/14- Coffee Pot Rachel Easter 11am
  • 4/20- Supper Club
  • 4/21- Lunch & Learn 11am
  • 4/21- Contemplative Service 5pm
  • 4/28- Youth Night 6-8pm

What an awesome day being together this past Sunday! We wished Father Rock well on his sabbatical and sent him with our support and care. He landed safely in Costa Rica and has started his adventures.

A HUGE thank you to Nancy Chamlee and Alice Cobb for all they did to make our feast possible on Sunday. They do hospitality like no one else!

We are so grateful to our Altar Guild for all the care they take of our community. Such a talented bunch!

Here are a few more pictures from Easter- what a special day in community!

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.

Coffee Pot with Rachel Easter 4/14

With God’s help and support from the SJTL congregation, the Cycles of Change project continues in rural Honduras! Dr. Rachel Easter participated in another medical brigade the past February, conducting women’s health classes and distributing menstrual hygiene products. The communities are hungry for more education about sexual health and puberty topics for both boys and girls, and Dr. Easter is committed to ensuring this effort continues. This Sunday, on April 14th , following the 10am service, she will present updates, goals, and ways for SJTL to stay involved.

Contemplative Service

Please join us for the contemplative service on Sunday, 4/21 at 5pm. Dawn+ will be leading us in this reflective service. We hope you will join us.

Adult Sunday School

You are invited to an Adult Formation study of the Book of Acts. There are six (6) discussions on Sundays between the two services from 9:00-9:45 am in the Parish Hall. The dates are April 14, 21, 28, May 5, 12, and 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 14: Setting the Scene and Commissioning the Apostles (Acts 1)

April 21: The Rebuilding of the ‘house of David’ (Acts 2:1-5:42)

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

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 April 14, 6-7:30pm — Next Phase Workshop One: What was the role of youth group in my life? In the lives of others? Why does youth group matter now?
  • Sun April 21, 6-7:30pm — Next Phase Workshop Two: How do I feel about getting involved? What nudges and concerns am I hearing? Am I feeling called?
  • 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?


Lunch and Learn April 21: Growing a Church-Wide Culture of Support for All Children and Youth

Join us for a Lunch and Learn facilitated by Aleta Meyer and Miriam Smith that will (1) raise our awareness about the important roles everyone in the church plays in the lives of children and youth AND (2) build our capacity and muscles for reaching out, paying attention to, and engaging with someone in a different generation or someone that we may not know very well or at all. You Matter. We All Matter.  

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!

Better Than Great News- Sponsorships

Jimmy's Jam sponsorship challenge of $2,500 matching gift request has been met. Double Match! Double Match! Thank you to our inspired and humble parishioners who have donated to support the church’s ministry. Thank you, also, to all those others who have committed to support Jimmy's Jam through financial contribution and targeted elements of the festival. The Church Giving Network (CGN) is still open for 24 days. Late donations will be cheerfully accepted!

Triangle of Hope Meals

We are so looking forward to hosting the youth and chaperones of Triangle of Hope in Ashland, VA July 24- August 4 at Randolph Macon. While they are here we will need some help supporting them with meals. We have asked other churches and groups from our Diocese as well. Some meals will be dropped off to them at their dorms at Randolph Macon in individually bagged breakfasts/lunches. Some meals will be prepared warm at St. James the Less. If you, your church or a group of friends and family would like to sponsor a meal, please review the available slots HERE and click on the button to sign up. There will be around 50 people (34 youth, 16 adults) 

Please also bring plates, utensils, napkins, cups and drinks with your meal if you can. If you are bringing a "Grab & Go" meal you are welcome to put them in brown bags. Please include the utensils and napkins needed in the bags. 

Thank you! We are so grateful for your support of this community! We couldn't do it without you!


Sunday Schedule:

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


  • 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. (we have a 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, Rebecca Hottman, Haden Hopkins, Kim Keene, Pam Bowers, Hilda Kelly, Harry Hassell, Joel Blunk, Holly Rison and family, Bower family, Smith family, Lyde Longaker, Mary Ann Harris, Michele Parks, Gini Dryden, Bob & Mary Lou Brown, Kay Kemper, David Bandas, Rone Deas, Diana Timberlake, Kristi Elles, Sharon Street, Pam Gillette, Ray Tyson, Lillian Espinoza-Gala, Joanne Watkins, Ruth Beaudry, Tom & Fran Burke, Dennis Ray, Dawn Haase & family, Tuck Davis 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 Meredith Moon. 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 10

Caroline Cobb

April 11

Ginny Meyer

John Nix

Mike Hottman

Alex Maria

Elias Austin-Hudgins

Harrison Higgins

April 12

Rachel Hoar

April 14

Zach Sergi

April 16

Mary Reed


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.