March 20, 2024

Saint James the Less Weekly News & Updates

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A Note From Father Rock

Dear friends,


Next week is the highlight of my year. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. I love Holy Week.


On Sunday we gather and remember the Passion, from Jesus' triumphal entry to the Crucifixion. With the dramatic reading of the Passion story from Mark, we begin to see the weight and implications of each day. 


Thursday is Maundy Thursday when we are reminded that we were given a New Commandment, to love one another. We are given the bread and wine that became so much more on that night, and we step out into the unknown. (Service is at 7 pm.)


Good Friday is a time when we look deep into the horror of that day. We do not commune. We sit. We sit to ponder. We sit with the silence and gloom. And we depart. (Service is at 7:00 pm.)


On Holy Saturday we meet at Noon to think about the disciples, and how they cowered in fear for their lives, in shock from what happened the day before. (12 noon.)


Easter Vigil is by far my favorite service of the year, when we go over the salvation story from beginning to ending and look for where we are in it. This is a long, beautiful, interactive service. It marks the beginning of Easter when we can once again cry Alleluia! (Service begins outside at 7:45)


Easter Sunday is our family ingathering. 8 am finds us out in the pavilion for our sunrise service, and 10 am inside for our celebration.


The Triduum, the Three Days from Maundy Thursday to Easter Vigil, are my favorite liturgies of the year. It is always so wonderful seeing the story unfold so fully. I do hope to see you there. Blessings!




Wednesday, March 20, 2024

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

Thursday, March 21, 2024

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

Sunday, March 24, 2024

  • 8am- Eucharist Rite I (no music)
  • 9am- Sunday School (Adult & Children)
  • 10am- Eucharist Rite II (music)

Monday, March 25, 2024

  • 10:30am-Good Grief
  • 10:30am- Vinyasa Yoga with Lorie
  • 7pm- Dream Group (Harrisons)
Click Here to Watch Services Live or Later

March Calendar

  • 2/21- 3/20- Lenten Program (Wednesdays 7-8pm)
  • 3/22- 6pm Egg Stuffing Event (with pizza)
  • 3/28- Maundy Thursday Service 7pm
  • 3/29- Good Friday Service 7pm
  • 3/30-Noon- Holy Saturday Service,
  • 3/30- 7:45pm- Easter Vigil
  • 3/31- Easter Service (8am outside, 10am inside)
  • 3/31- Easter Egg Hunt 11am

Thank you Blood Donors!

We wanted to thank all who came out and gave blood!  We saw 26 people and collected 24 units for the patients impacting up to 72 lives! We collected 3 Power Red donations and 13 of our 26 were first time donors! You all are making a difference in many lives- changing them in fact. We are so grateful!

Easter Flowers

As our tradition goes, we honor loved ones with the flowers in the service on Easter Morning. If you would like to dedicate Easter Flowers in a loved ones name for Easter Sunday, please email Kasey with the name of the beloved(s) you would like to honor. They can be "in memory of" or "in thanksgiving of". The cost is $25. They will be assorted types of Easter and Spring flowers. It will be so beautiful to see our sanctuary filled with remembrances of our most cherished saints.

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: Building 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.  

8am service moving outside

The 8am Rite I service is moving back outside to the Pavilion. We will hold our 8am Easter Service outside and then continue on April 7. We will remain outside as long as it is over 60 degrees.

Church-wide Luncheon

Mark your calendars for Sunday, April 7th. We will have a delicious catered lunch following the 10am service to send Father Rock off on his Sabbatical. We are so happy for him and wish him a peaceful time away with his family.

Coffee Pot with Rachel Easter

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. On April 14th , following the 10am service, she will present updates, goals, and ways for SJTL to stay involved.

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!

FREE Transportation in Ashland!


Sunday Schedule:

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

Children's Supplies -Help us get ready for the annual Easter Egg hunt and Lent preparations. Click the link HERE to see the needs for our youth and children’s programming. Thank you all so much for your continued support!!!


  • 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, Meredith Moon, 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, Gavin Yonce and family, Smith family, Lyde Longaker, Mary Ann Harris, Michele Parks, Gini Dryden, Bob & Mary Lou Brown, Kay Kemper, David Bandas, Rone Deas, Wilson Loving, Phil Edmonds, Diana Timberlake, Kristi Elles, Sharon Street, Betz Martinez, Pam Gillette, Ray Tyson, Lillian Espinoza-Gala, Joanne Watkins, Ruth Beaudry, Tom & Fran Burke, 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.

Lent 5 Homily

Click HERE to read the sermon


March 20

Julie Ericksen

Dawn Davis-Baker

March 23

Daniel Ellithorpe

Head Jones

March 17

Hardy Meade

March 18

Beth Harrison


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.