May 22, 2024

Saint James the Less Weekly News & Updates

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A Note From Father Bo

I grew up in the Episcopal Church, so I have lots of memories of being in services and spending time with The Book of Common Prayer.  By the way, and if memory serves,  at least 50% of folks who are current members of the Episcopal Church, grew up in other denominations.  Regardless of when you joined, The Book of Common Prayer is an important part of life in the Episcopal Church.


When I was younger, I would often just flip through the Prayer Book to see what was there.  I should add that I grew up with the 1928 Prayer Book.  There was some interesting stuff in there that felt like it came from a different age.   For instance, there was a service commonly called “the Churching of Women.”   The rubric said “The Woman, at the usual time after her delivery, shall come into the Church decently appareled, and there shall kneel down in some convenient place…The Minister shall then say unto her, ‘Forasmuch as it hath pleased Almighty God, of his goodness, to give you safe deliverance, and to preserve you in the great danger of Child-birth; you shall therefore give hearty thanks…’”. And the service continues with a psalm.  I am glad that with medical advances, the act of giving birth, while powerful and incredibly demanding, is not as life threatening as it once was.  


By comparison, the parallel service in the current Book of Common Prayer begins, “Dear Friends: The birth of a child is a joyous and solemn occasion in the life of a family. It is also an occasion for rejoicing in the Christian community. I bid you, therefore, to join (the parents)  in giving thanks to Almighty God our heavenly Father, the Lord of all life, for the gift of N. to be their son (daughter)…”


I also remember reading the Articles of Religion. These were the very last thing in the 1928 Book and are preserved in the current Book in the section entitled “Historical Documents of the Church.”   For the life of me I couldn’t (and still really can’t) fully grasp the Article on Predestination.  “As the godly consideration of Predestination, and our Election in Christ, is full of sweet,

pleasant, and unspeakable comfort to godly persons, and such as feel in themselves the working of the Spirit of Christ, mortifying the works of the flesh, and their earthly members, and drawing up their mind to high and heavenly things, as well because it doth greatly establish and confirm their faith of eternal Salvation to be enjoyed through Christ, as because it doth fervently kindle their love towards God: So, for curious and carnal persons, lacking the Spirit of Christ, to have continually before their eyes the sentence of God's Predestination, is a most dangerous downfall, whereby the Devil doth thrust them either into desperation, or into wrethchlessness of most unclean living, no less perilous than desperation.”  (Article XVII)


All of which is to say, if you haven’t already, take some time to just flip through the Book of Common Prayer, from the beginning to the end. Stop and read, when something catches your eye.  See if you can find something you didn’t know was there or revisit a favorite prayer.  The Prayer Book is a treasure; one that is particular to our branch of the Church, but which has contributed a great deal to the Church as a whole.


Wednesday, May 22, 2024

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

Sunday, May 26, 2024

  • 8am- Eucharist Rite I -outside in Pavilion
  • 10am- Eucharist Rite II (music)

Monday, May 27, 2024

Click Here to Watch Services Live or Later

May Calendar

  • 5/27-Memorial Day- Office Closed

June Calendar

  • 6/9- Family Mario Kart Night
  • 6/16- Father’s Day (No Contemplative Service)
  • 6/19- Juneteenth- Office Closed

2024 Graduates

As a community we come together and celebrate the hard work and dedication of these wonderful graduates. We applaud you, pray for you and hope for all the best life has to offer ahead of you. Well done!!

Ellie Long

Graduating from St. Catherine's School.

She will be studying Linguistics at William & Mary in the fall.

Reggie & Leslie Long's daughter

Katey Grace Buckland

Graduating from Hanover High School.

She will be studying Economics and International Business at the University of Virginia this fall.

Paul & Kasey Buckland's daughter

Sophie May

Graduating from Atlee High School.

She will be studying Architecture at the University of Virginia in the fall.

Jim May & Gay Gibson's daughter

Grace May

Graduating from UNC Chapel Hill with Majors in Spanish Literature and Public Policy.

Jim May & Gay Gibson's daughter

Ryan Dowling

Graduating from Penn State with a BS in Secondary Education in Social Studies.

He will be teaching at Easterseals and pursuing a Masters in Special Education.

Teva Rittenhouse's grandson (his Oma). They share a love of history and teaching.

Henry Grant Shifflett

Graduating from the University of Virginia with his BA in Political Philosophy and French.

He will be an English teaching assistant in France with the TAPIF program in the fall.

Curtis & Kendra Shifflett's son

Episcopal Church Women of The Diocese of Virginia Scholarship Program Scholarship

It is time to reach out to high school seniors and college undergraduates in local churches. The ECW (Episcopal Church Women) will be awarding the 2024 Scholarships this July. Completed applications must be received by June 30, 2024.

The 2024 Scholarship application is attached HERE as well as a College Finance Worksheet HERE. The application asks for a transcript, two letters of support as well as the student’s educational purpose and goals.  Copies of the application are also on the table in the hallway.

All Diocese of Virginia Episcopal students planning to attend a four-year college or university, a community college, or a trade/vocational school are eligible to apply.

Our Memorial Garden is SO beautiful thanks to our incredible volunteers. Make sure you come see the fantastic job they did putting in our spring flowers. We are so grateful for you and the ways you help us remember the saints before us.

It is always such a gift to celebrate Pentecost together! Our community is rich in Spirit, that is for sure. The altar flowers were INCREDIBLE!

Supper Club had a wonderful time together. Thank you to the organization of Beth Harrison and Jenny Bruce for all they've done to make this such a warm time in community and grow our care for each other.

A Note from Deacon Dawn

For this Sunday, Trinity Sunday, we dive into the mystery of the “three-in-one”. We talk through the words every service but what understanding do we have of those words? 

I have spent the last week or so diving into the waters of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. I have some thoughts and will share them with you on Sunday.

The Holy Spirit is continuing to call us deeper into ourselves and more importantly, deeper out of ourselves.  By into, I mean what are our own individual thoughts, feelings and experiences that guide us with God’s help into a deeper outward and visible expression? How am I to love my neighbor? Are there conditions or barriers to my love for my brothers and sisters who love and express themselves differently from me? I pray not.

On Saturday, May 9, at Holy Comforter in Richmond, there will be a service of inclusion hoping to transcend what in our humanness can divide, and God seeks to unite.

People from all over Richmond will be coming together to affirm that all are welcome to the table. Jesus preached by word and action that there is no one that is out of reach from the loving and life giving arms of God.  

I hope you will join us. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out by phone (804-356-6803) or email (



8am Service on Sunday OUTDOOR This Week

The 8am service will be in the pavilion this week. It will be 65 degrees at 8am this Sunday. We are excited to get back out there!

June 30th- Gratitude for Bo+

Sunday, June 30th, following the 10am service, we will have an "elevated" Coffee Hour in honor and gratitude of The Rev. Bo Millner. He has helped us through the first part of Rock's+ sabbatical so beautifully. We hope you will join us in saying "thank you." Please bring a side dish or finger food to share. We look forward to this time together.

Need For Service Streaming Crew

Since Covid, when we started streaming our 10:00 service, Stephanie has generously been single handedly working the iPad every….single….service! So, it’s time to create a streaming crew to help out!  We need approximately 5-6 volunteers to commit to one Sunday a month to help stream the service.  Does it sound difficult?  I assure you it’s not!  If you have ever zoomed in with your cell phone camera or streamed music to a speaker, then this will be a snap for you!  And we’ve created easy to follow, step by step directions which are absolutely idiot proof! ;)

Folks, this a spectacularly easy way to give back without taking much time out of your schedule – because you’re already at church anyway. Interested, but not quite sure you’re ready to commit to the challenge?  Then I invite you to sit with me during a service and I’ll show you just how easy it is. This is also a wonderful way for your middle schooler or high schooler to see that they too can make a difference by assisting you with this task if you find the idea a little intimidating. Please consider helping us out on this worthwhile mission to share our service with those who cannot attend in person.  If you have an interest then please reach out to Kasey or me and we will also have a sign up sheet on the bulletin board by the office.  Beth Baxter

Shrine Mont Annual Retreat

We are thrilled to announce that we are taking our annual Parish Retreat to Shrine Mont on October 4-6, 2024. It is always such a restorative time of community and faith building. We hope you can join us! Please complete the form HERE or sign up in the hallway to let us know you are interested. 

The cost is $35 for children (ages 4-12), $50 for teens (13-18), and $135 for adults (18 +). *pricing not fully settled yet, but will be around these prices* If you would like to complete a Chenery grant request to help with the cost of your trip, please let the office know and we can get you a copy of the application, 804-798-6336. We don’t want cost to hinder anyone from this awesome experience. All are wanted and welcome!


We will not have Sunday school, nursery or Children's church through the summer, starting this Sunday. We will be back with normal schedule in the fall. We hope you will bring your children into church. We welcome all!

Summer Programming

With the program year over, we look forward to family friendly events that will keep us connected through the summer. Please make plans to join us.

  • June 9th- Mario Kart Night- 6:30pm- Popcorn and Treats 
  • July 21st- Family Lego Night- 5:30pm- Pizza and Ice Cream 
  • August 8th- Flying Squirrels game (more information to come)

Vacation Bible School

This year we will not be offering VBS, however we have compiled a list of local churches offering VBS. Below are the links. Hope this helps!

Ashland Area:

St. Ann's Church- June 9th - June 15th

Slash Christian Church - July 22nd- July 26th

Gwathmey Baptist Church - July 15th - July 19th

Richmond Area:

St. Stephen's Episcopal - July 29th - August 1

Reveille UMC - July 15th - July 18th

Third Church - June 10th - June 14th 


  • 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, Bo+, our supply priest. 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, Joanne Watkins, Ruth Beaudry, Tom & Fran Burke, Dennis Ray, Dawn Haase & family, Tuck Davis, Kimette Cannady, Traci Smith, Jerry & Carolyn Peart, John Wagner, Alicia Wood, Lisa Capen, Heather Grande & family, Betsy Snipes, 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. 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.


May 22

Haden Hopkins

May 24

Mary Leachman

Rachel Grosse

Everett Bowles

May 26

Will Rosser

May 27

Tom Hubbard

Andy Temple

Caroline Dyer


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.