July 3, 2024

Saint James the Less Weekly News & Updates

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A Note from Father Rock

Good morning, friends. I am home.

For your thoughts and prayers, I am truly thankful. I appreciate the ability to take a sabbatical to reflect, rest, and renew as I wind down my 7th year as your priest and rector. We had to divide my time away because of my work with the Triangle of Hope, and I will take my last third of my time starting mid-August.

The last few months I have been in Costa Rica. The first 8 weeks I was in language school, attempting to learn Spanish, and was proficient enough that I could celebrate the Eucharist at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd in San Jose. While I still have a long way to go, that was a benchmark and milestone for me. My family and I spent a few weeks at the beach in a beautiful town named Jaco on the Pacific, and it was wonderful to have a last hurrah before college pushes us in different directions. Mid-August will take me to Spain to walk the millenium old pilgrim trail known as the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, so many adventures are yet to come. I am so grateful to you all for the time and space to do this, and to the Lily Foundation for the grant that enables all this (including the coverage for me to be gone). I am so thankful that Bo+ was able to be with you, and the phenomenal job I understand that he did.

This Sunday we have our Independence Day (Observed) service. At a time when our nation is so divided, it is important to celebrate what brings us together and can drive us forward if we will let it. I hope to see you outside at 8 or inside at 10 this Sunday! I have missed you all, and look forward to connecting.

As we honor our heritage of freedom, pray the words from our Independence Day collect:

Lord God Almighty, in whose Name the founders of this country won liberty for themselves and for us, and lit the torch of freedom for nations then unborn: Grant that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain our liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Blessings on your 4th! 


A Note From Father Bo

Dear SJTL Family,


I cannot tell you how grateful I am for all SJTL did to mark my last Sunday as your supply priest. It was over the top!  The “Elevated Coffee Hour” was actually an elegant and delicious lunch complete with dessert.  I had a full plate and enjoyed every single bite. The Hospitality Team is amazing. I thank them for all their work and for their special gifts for Katherine and for me.  The public words at services and at the reception were very gracious as were all of the conversations I was able to have one on one with folks – at the reception and throughout the morning.  And then, there are the cards!  There are so many of them and the messages in each one touch my heart.  I am keeping them all so I can read them whenever I need a lift.  Many thanks for those kind thoughts and also for the gift cards…you are keeping me in coffee, food, books, giving me significant spending money and even enabling me to get my car washed.  I came home with flowers from the altar and Katherine and I are thoroughly enjoying their beauty. I also came home with lots of goodies from the reception.  I am humbled and overwhelmed by your kindness, generosity and support.  What amazing people you are!  Katherine joins me is saying to each and every member of the congregation:  Thank You!!!


-Bo Millner


Wednesday, July 3, 2024

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

Thursday, July 4th & Friday, July 5th

  • Office Closed

Sunday, July 7, 2024

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

Monday, July 8, 2024

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

July Calendar

  • 7/4- Independence Day- Office Closed
  • 7/25- 5:30pm- Family Lego Night

We are so grateful to our Hospitality and Altar Guild for all they do for our community! We are so appreciative of all the thoughtful ways you bring our people together.

New Presiding Bishop
Last week at the triennial General Convention of the Episcopal Church, the House of Bishops elected the Rt. Rev. Sean Rowe, bishop of the Episcopal dioceses of Northwestern Pennsylvania and Western New York, as the 28th presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church. His nine-year term begins November 1. Bishop Rowe was chosen from among five nominees on the first ballot, and following his election by the House of Bishops, he was confirmed by the House of Deputies. 
The presiding bishop has a range of responsibilities outlined by Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church: presiding over the House of Bishops, chairing the church’s Executive Council, visiting every Episcopal diocese, participating in the ordination and consecration of bishops, receiving and responding to disciplinary complaints against bishops, making appointments to the church’s interim bodies, and “developing policies and strategies for the church and speaking for the church on the policies, strategies and programs of General Convention.”
 Rowe, 49, is a graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria. The Pennsylvania native has a bachelor’s degree in history from Grove City College, and a doctorate in organizational learning and leadership from Gannon University. He was the youngest Episcopal priest in the U.S. when he was ordained in 2000 at age 24, and he was the youngest member of the House of Bishops when he was ordained and consecrated at age 32 in 2007. While Bishop Rowe was the youngest of the five nominees for presiding bishop, he has the longest tenure as a bishop.
 Rowe and his wife Carly Rowe, a Christian educator, have a daughter, Lauren.
You can read more about what took place at the General Convention here and here.

Prayer Shawl Ministry

Prayer Shawls are such a beautiful way to show someone care and support during a difficult time. We are hoping to collect a small supply of them in the office that we could distribute them as needs arise. Please fill out the information HERE or let the office know that you are interested in making prayer shawls for our ministry. We truly appreciate your dedication to such a special ministry for our community. HERE is a link to a few simple patterns for prayer shawls if you would like to learn more.

Shrine Mont Planning Committee

Would you like to help plan some of the fun activities we do at Shrine Mont for our Parish retreat? We would love your input and help. We are looking for a few individuals with ideas and energy to share. Please email Kasey or call the office if you'd like to be on the team. We are looking forward to a wonderful weekend!

Family Lego Night

Please join us for food, fun and prizes! We will have Family Lego Night on July 21st at 5:30pm. All ages are welcome! We will have a little kids building area as well as space for our children and youth. There will be competitions with chances to win prizes (and bragging rights). Please use the link below to make sure we have enough food and legos :) See you all then!!


Flying Squirrels Game

Join St. James the Less Episcopal Church for Faith Night at The Diamond on August 8th at 6:35pm! First pitch is at 6:35pm, but make sure to arrive early for pre-game player testimonials and faith-based bands on the main stage! Post-game fireworks too! Tickets will be available for purchase until the day before, HERE. The SJtL family will be seated together. We hope you can join us!

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 $55 for children (ages 4-12), $70 for teens (13-18), and $155 for adults (18 +). 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.

  • July 21st- Family Lego Night- 5:30pm- Pizza and Ice Cream 
  • August 8th- Flying Squirrels game 6:35pm (ticket information above)


  • 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, Pam Gillette, Ruth Beaudry, Tom & Fran Burke, Dennis Ray, Dawn Haase & family, Kimette Cannady, Traci Smith, Jerry & Carolyn Peart, John Wagner, Alicia Wood, Lisa Capen, Heather Grande & family, Jenny Bruce, Pat Jordan, Anna Marie, Steve Crain, Lizzie Campus, Tom Gillman, and Lee Chambers.

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 Esther Gilman. 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.


July 4

Jeanne Trible

July 6

Harry Hassell

July 8

Zachary Truitt

July 9

Woodi Sprinkel


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.