Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

“We’re All In This TOGETHER!”

Stay Home, Stay Safe & Stop the Spread

Maybe you’ve seen the commercials on TV this week with celebrities saying “We’re all in this together” – well, since we can’t be together in person during this time of self-isolation, quarantine and social distancing, we’ve made our own video to share and show one another virtually that we too are all in this together and doing the best we can during this crazy and uncertain time.

Rector’s Reflection

From the Rector:
Dear Friends:

As we begin this new season of ministry together after last Saturday’s wonderful celebration, what better time to begin this new season than a season founded on beginnings – Advent.

Advent signifies the beginning of the Church’s year. You have done a lot of waiting and longing during this transition but now we enter the season of waiting and longing. However, this season is not just about beginnings and waiting for a saviour to redeem the world. It is also a season about hope. There has long been a tradition in Latin Rite Church – what is now the modern Roman Catholic Church to see Advent as a season of penance much like that of Lent. However, there is a lesser-known tradition in the Church to view Advent as a season of hope. This tradition is in many ways far more Anglican since it developed in Old Sarum (modern-day Salisbury) in England. The color is not the penitential purple but rather what is known as Sarum Blue.  The Sarum Rite was the Rite being used in the Roman Catholic Church in England up until the Reformation and in fact, is the basis for modern Anglican rites.  For example, the tradition that we use here for “High” services such as last Saturday of the celebrant only wearing the chasuble for the celebration of the Eucharist is a Sarum tradition and not one you will find in most modern Roman Catholic churches where the celebrant wears the chasuble throughout.

This Sunday – the first in Advent – we will bless our new Sarum Blue Altar hangings and vestments at Grace that were given in memory of two long-time parishioners, Ann Heard and Bing Germelman.

St. Mary’s will continue the modern Latin tradition of purple. So we will have both traditions represented in this parish, at least for the time being.

Wishing you all a blessed Advent,

Coffee with the Clergy:
Please join me on Monday afternoons at Cordial Coffee in Berryville from 2-4 pm. This time is meant for parishioners and community members alike to come down and share a cup of coffee/tea and some conversation with me. I hope to see you soon!

Stewardship News

‘Collection Sunday’ was a tremendous success! We want to thank everyone that faithfully turned in their pledge card last week at both Grace and St. Mary’s.

Your pledge commitments help our parish and its churches better plan for the future and allows us to continue our work spreading God’s good news. Ministry over the last year has been challenging and sometimes discouraging, but there are moments of incredible joy when we think about how Clarke Parish shows our love for Jesus through the ministries you make possible. THANK YOU!

Grace Church – To Date:
28 Pledge Cards received totaling $68,310 / 7 new pledge donors
St. Mary’s – To Date:
11 Pledge Cards received

If you haven’t yet returned a pledge card and are still considering a gift, it’s not to late! We ask that you prayerfully consider how you can help Clarke Parish continue to meet the needs of our community through your financial pledge.

Pledge Cards are still available in the office or church narthex. Or you may make your commitment using our online partner:

Community Outreach
Please help us spread holiday cheer throughout our community!

Clarke Parish has again partnered with our local Dept. of Social Services agency to help community members in need this holiday season. We have ‘adopted’ a bunch of people from the ‘Angel Tree’ who are in need of some extra love and assistance right now.

We need your help – In these difficult and uncertain times, the demand for assistance is greater than usual. Let’s come together as a parish to lend a hand and help our neighbors!

If you would like to sponsor a family or individual (11 adults / 8 children) this holiday season, please contact Robin in the church office at 540.955.1610 OR

We have requests from children, teens, adults, and the elderly – wherever your heart lies, we can match you with an appreciative recipient. Will you lend a hand? Still facing the challenges of COVID in our lives, the majority of our adult and elderly adoptees would prefer gift cards to local retailers instead of specific items. Walmart, Martins Grocery, the Dollar General Store, and Amazon gift cards seem to be the overwhelming favorites. That’s pretty easy, right? The children too like gift cards, but they also have specific ‘wish list’ items like coloring books, lego sets, jigsaw puzzles, pop-its, arts & craft supplies, etc…

I’d like to encourage our readers (congregants and friends) to please consider supporting this important program. Your help can be as simple as buying gift card(s) and sending them in the office OR simply making a monetary contribution and we’ll do the shopping.

With Heartfelt Blessings –
Robin McFillen, Parish Administrator & Director of Christian Education / Youth Activities

NOTE – Our gift offerings MUST be returned to the Dept. of Social Services no later than December 10th! We’ll use the office as a collection site.

All ‘Angel Tree’ recipient information will be kept confidential. No names will be released.

The Backpack Program
Holiday Food Drive

The Backpack Ministry is in full swing for the 21-22 school year. Clarke Parish is currently packing 36 bags each week that are distributed to two schools in Clarke County. Our volunteers are absolutely awesome as they are always reliable and extremely generous in so many ways.

We are getting geared up for our holiday packing and can use your help. When you are out shopping, consider adding any of the following items to your grocery list and dropping it off in the donation box in the Parish Hall.

  • Canned Pasta (spaghettios, ravioli, etc.)
  • Canned Chili/Stew
  • Vienna Sausage
  • Tuna
  • Ramen Noodles
  • Fruit Cups/Bags

As always, many thanks for your support.
Susan Catlett, Coordinator

Advent Wreath Workshop

Sunday, November 28 – 10 am
Fellowship Hall at GEC
In lieu of regular Christian Education classes (youth and adult), everyone is invited instead to join us in the fellowship hall to make a beautiful Advent Wreath for their home using fresh greenery clipped from trees and bushes found on the church campus.
This workshop is open to all – Suggested donation $15

TAIZE in Advent!

Saturday Evenings beginning on November 27th
During the Season of Advent, Clarke Parish will offer special Saturday evening Taize services for our church family and the community. Everyone is welcome!
These services will begin at 5 pm at St. Mary’s Memorial Church
every Saturday in Advent – Nov. 27, Dec. 4, Dec. 11 and Dec. 18.
What is Taize? Taise is an ecumenical type of worship that originated in 1940 in the small village of Taize, which lies in the southern part of Burgundy, France, by a monk named Roger Louis Shutz-Marsauche. the practice has spread worldwide since it is non-denominational and seeks to unite all forms of Christianity. A candlelit, contemplative service highlighted by repetitive prayers and music, and periods of silence, Taize allows attendees the opportunity to be in peaceful prayer and unity with God and their own spirituality. “According to the official Taize Community, the repetitive songs allow people to continue to pray the songs in their heads even after the service is over. This keeps prayer going all day long in the followers’ minds and hearts.”

The Piedmont Singers Present
“Christmas in Our Hearts”

Saturday, December 4 @ 7 pm – Grace Church, The Plains
Sunday, December 5 @ 4 pm – Grace Church, Berryville

Many of our “regular” holiday activities and practices were turned upside down by the pandemic, leaving big holes in our hearts. For many of us, Christmas does not seem like Christmas at all without beautiful live Christmas music.
This was surely the case for The Piedmont Singers, the musical outreach ministry that came to Grace Church in early 2020. At Christmas 2020, The Piedmont Singers were silent, along with choirs around the world, celebrating Christmas in their hearts.
The Piedmont Singers began as a “musical outreach ministry” at Emmanuel Church in Middleburg with singers from churches across our region presenting Handel’s Messiah in December 1999. Since then, the choir has gained a reputation for presenting the finest in sacred choral music from many periods and genres for Christmas and during Holy Week. Today The Piedmont Singers are at home and serve as a music ministry at both Grace Church in Berryville and Grace Church in The Plains. We are delighted to be surrounded by Grace!
Christmas 2021 brings The Piedmont Singers back to live concerts with Christmas In Our Hearts, presenting “musical comfort food” at Grace Church in The Plains on Saturday, Dec. 4, at 7:00 pm, and at Grace Church in Berryville on Sunday, Dec. 5, at 4:00 pm. The concerts are open to the public and free of charge. Donations will be gratefully accepted. Masks are required.
We look forward to sharing wonderful music to fill all our hearts with beautiful images of the Christ-child coming to earth, including “Christ Is the Morning Star” by John Rutter. We hope you can join us!
Wendy O.


Evening Taize Service
November 27, 2021

5 pm in the McIntosh Chapel at GEC
Celebrant: Rev. Justin Ivatts
Seminarian: Caroline Mitchell
Lay Reader: Penny Poe
Pianist: Wendy Oesterling


First Sunday of Advent
November 28, 2021

8 am at Grace Episcopal Church
Holy Eucharist (Rite I)
Celebrant: Rev. Justin Ivatts
Seminarian: Caroline Mitchell
Lay Reader: Wendy Oesterling

9:15 am at St. Mary’s Memorial Church
Holy Eucharist (Rite I)
Celebrant: Rev. Justin Ivatts
Seminarian/Lay Reader: Caroline Mitchell
Pianists: Hailey Outland & Helena Goldberg

11:15 at Grace Episcopal Church
Holy Eucharist (Rite I)
Celebrant: Rev. Justin Ivatts
Seminarian: Caroline Mitchell
Lay Reader: Robin McFillen
Acolytes: Stella Herndon & Gray Jones
Organist: Wendy Oesterling

Click HERE – Lectionary Insert for Nov. 28, 2021
Jeremiah 33:14-16 / Psalm 25:1-9 / 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13 / Luke 21:25-36

The altar flowers at Grace Church are given to the glory of God by Kathy & Jon Campbell
in loving memory of their son, Graham Robert Campbell.

Instead of regular Sunday School classes this week, everyone is invited to participate in an Advent Wreath Workshop in the Fellowship Hall beginning at 10 am.


Virtual Worship

For those of you still wishing to join us virtually instead of attending in-person worship, the 11:15 am service at Grace Church will continue to be live-streamed each week.
Please use the links below to view the service offerings.
These links are permanent and will not change week after week.

Our YouTube page:

Our Facebook page:


ANY time between 10:30am & 12:30pm each Tuesday
with your beverage of choice and let’s have a chat & a prayer!
Meeting ID: 880 3038 3081
Password: 755693


Study Topic – Heaven and Hell!
Wednesday’s at 10:30 am in the Conference Room
We’ve embarked on our latest study topic – an in-depth exploration of heaven and hell! If you are interested in
participating, please purchase Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife by Bart D. Ehrman.
Class begins @ 10:30 / Social time and coffee @ 10 am.
The book can be purchased here by clicking the link below:
For those further away and those who do not feel comfortable attending in person,
we will continue offering Zoom.
Meeting ID: 836-2345-4876 / Password: 279419
(IMPORTANT NOTE – This link is for recurring meetings and will be used each Wednesday for the next 12 weeks)

Lay Reader & Acolyte Schedule
November & December 2021

Please click the link below to access the most recent schedule of lay readers and acolyte assignments at both Grace and St. Mary’s.

Click HERE – November & December 2021

If scheduled, please remember to contact the office in case of conflict or unavailability and always attempt to find a substitute to swap dates with if needed.

NOTE TO ALL: We are always in need of more volunteers to add to our lay reader roster at all church services. Lay reading is a wonderful opportunity to take part in the service, let your voice be heard reading scripture and prayers, and see the church from a different perspective standing at the lectern. If you would like to join this important ministry, please contact the office for more information and/or to be scheduled.

with our ongoing Fundraiser

These 30oz RTIC Tumblers are stainless steel, double-wall vacuum insulated. Keeps drinks ice cold longer – works great for hot beverages too. The included shaded Splash Proof lid with flip-top closure resists spills and is straw-friendly. Easy to clean.

$26.50 each / Supplies are limited – Stop by the office or email Robin
at to get yours today!


Clarke Parish has initiated a new approach to stewardship! We have partnered with – a trusted platform to provide a simple, convenient and secure way to continue supporting our ministry through online giving from anywhere at any time.
Please consider this option to make pledge or one-time payment to the church. You can also set up recurring payments, and likewise you can utilize to give to the Rector’s Discretionary Fund too, by selecting from the drop down menu options. this fund helps our priest tend to the suffering, sooth the afflicted, care for the poor and help heal the sick. Your gift will help in the work of the gospel.

Virtual Pilgrimage

Virtual Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

Thanks to the Center for Anglican Communion Studies at Virginia Theological Seminary and St. George’s College, Jerusalem the dean of St. George’s College, The Very Rev Dr. Richard Sewell, leads us on a virtual pilgrimage to the Holy Land. These four short videos can be watched at your own pace and are available to view now.

Grace Episcopal Church
PO Box 678
Berryville, VA 22611

St. Mary’s Episcopal Church
PO Box 252
Berryville, VA 22611