Sadly owing to the aggressive spread of the delta variant of COVID-19 I have decided, in consultation with the staff and Karen Keating to postpone the celebratory evensong that was to take place this Sunday to celebrate the ministry of Karen Keating at Grace Church. We hope to reschedule for a date in the spring TBD.
As a result instead of the planned one service of Holy Eucharist at 9:15 at St. Mary’s, we will hold our full complement of services this Sunday at 8, 9:15, and 11:15. There will be no adult education, however.
The bishop has now mandated that masks be worn indoors for all church worship and meetings. We have also been asked to hold any events where food and drink are consumed outside. St. Mary’s vestry has decided to cease coffee hours until we can eat and drink safely indoors again. Grace has only been holding intermittent coffee hours so I would encourage them to follow St. Mary’s lead. We will address our two big events in November as time gets closer but we have contingency plans in the works should we need them.
We have a responsibility as Christians to ourselves and our neighbors. Our bodies are God’s temple and so we are obligated to protect our own bodies as well as those of others. We are at a crucial time in this country and in Virginia. The Episcopal Church does not recognize religious exemptions for having the vaccine and while, of course, we recognize that some people cannot have it for health reasons I ask that anyone who is not medically ill-advised to take the vaccine take it as part of your Christian duty. We will not be mandating vaccines in this parish to attend worship but we will be strongly encouraging them.
Let’s all do our part. COVID isn’t going away but we can get to a place where we can live with it.
Coffee with the Clergy RETURNS:
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!
Important News From the Diocese
Bishop Search Committee Announces
Listening Sessions and Open Survey
The search process for the 14th Bishop of Virginia is lifting off in earnest this Fall, and we want to hear from you! Be on the lookout in the coming weeks for an important online survey.
We want as many people as possible in the Diocese to participate in this survey.
In early October the committee will also conduct virtual listening sessions to give parishioners an opportunity to share their hopes for our new bishop. The schedule for the listening sessions will be as follows:
- Tuesday, October 12 at 7:30 p.m.
- Thursday, October 14 at 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday, October 16 at 10:30 a.m.
- Monday, October 18 at 7:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, October 20 at 7:30 p.m.
- Friday, October 22 at 7:30 p.m.
For now please mark your calendar. A sign-up for each virtual listening session will be coming soon!
Blessings of the Animals
Saturday, October 2, 2021
10 am @ The Rectory
At this time of year, you might notice a procession of animals, everything from dogs and cats to hamsters, chickens, lambs, and even horses, being led to churches for a special ceremony called the ‘Blessing of The Animals.’ This custom is celebrated in remembrance of Saint Francis of Assisi’s love for all creatures great and small. Saint Francis wrote a Canticle, an ode to God’s living things: “All praise to you, Oh Lord, for all these brother and sister creatures.”
You are invited to bring your furry, feathered, or finned friends to the Rectory grounds on Saturday, October 2nd @ 10 am to receive a special blessing at this wonderful outdoor service. RAIN OR SHINE! For our younger parishioners, stuffed animals are most welcome to come and receive a special blessing too.
Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all living creatures. You called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air, and animals on the land. You inspired Saint Francis to call all of them his brothers and sisters. We ask you to bless this pet. By the power of your love, enable it to live according to your plan. May we always praise you for all your beauty in creation. Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures! Amen.
Schedule Changes for the New Program Year
As we kick off our new program year, we are initiating changes to the service schedule. The start of our 9 and 11 am services will be bumped back by 15 minutes to better allow our ministry team more time to travel between the two churches.
Beginning on Sunday, September 12, 2021
Clarke Parish will offer services at:
8 am – Grace Episcopal Church
9:15 am – St. Mary’s Memorial Church
10:15 am – Adult Sunday School @ St. Mary’s Parish House
11:15 am – Grace Episcopal Church
The Community Music School of the Piedmont
This fun 10-week class will be held in the ‘Gracement’ at Grace Episcopal
Please help spread the word or register your little person now.
Classes begin on Monday, September 13 @ 10 am!
OUTREACH – How can you help with the ongoing refugee crisis?
As Christians, we are called to help! How can we respond to help alleviate some of the pressures off of the Afghanistan refugees who are being resettled in the US and are currently housed at the Dulles Expo Center, right in our own backyard?
There are many ways in which you can help depending on your own comfort level. Some are practical and some are financial.
Here are a few vetted options:
A Film-Based Dialogue on Race & Faith
Wednesday Evenings at 6 pm in the McIntosh Chapel!
You are cordially invited to join us for a series of conversations walking through important chapters of America’s history of race and racism, while weaving in a thread of family stories, economic class and political and regional identity. We will focus on our long-term commitment, as the Episcopal Church, to racial healing, reconciliation, and justice in our personal lives, our ministries, and our society as part of the church initiative Becoming Beloved Community
Gwen Malone and Wendy Oesterling are serving as facilitators for this 10-week program. We will meet weekly on Wednesdays at 6:00 pm in the McIntosh Chapel at Grace Church. (9/8, 9/15, 9/22, 9/29, 10/6, 10/13, 10/20, 10/27, 11/3 & 11/10)
Everyone is welcome! Masks mandatory!
Contact email@example.com to receive information.
SUMMER WORSHIP SCHEDULE
8 am @ Grace Episcopal Church
9 am @ St. Mary’s Memorial Church
10:15 am @ Grace Episcopal Church
We will remain on this schedule through Labor Day unless otherwise specified.
The Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost
September 26, 2021
8 am at Grace Episcopal Church
Holy Eucharist (Rite I)
9:15 am at St. Mary’s Memorial Church
Holy Eucharist (Rite II)
Celebrant: Rev Justin A. Ivatts
Seminarian: Caroline Mitchell
Lay Reader: Gwendolyn Malone
Pianist: Hailey Outland
11:15 am at Grace Episcopal Church
Holy Eucharist (Rite II)
Celebrant: Rev Justin A. Ivatts
Seminarian: Caroline Mitchell
Lay Reader: Penny Poe
Organist: Wendy Oesterling
Acolytes: Diane & Robyn Preston
Usher: Ben Newlon (September)
Click HERE – Lectionary Insert
Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22 / Psalm 124 / James 5:13-20 / Mark 9:38-50
The altar flowers at Grace Church are given to the glory of God by the Donner family
(Stefan, Suzanne, Aza, Ilia, Kostya, and Nastia) in celebration of their 21 years together as a family.
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. However, Live Stream will not be available on September 19 or 26th! These two special services (Mass on the Grass & Evensong Celebration) will be recorded and posted to our YouTube and Facebook Channel when available.
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:
VIRTUAL COFFEE SHOP WITH REV. IVATTS
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
WEDNESDAY MORNING BIBLE STUDY
New Study Topic beginning THIS WEEK!
Wednesday’s at 10:30 am in the Conference Room
By popular demand, we will embark on an exploration of hell starting TODAY – Wednesday, September 22 at 10:30 am. Social time will precede class each week beginning at 10 am. If you are interested in participating, please purchase
Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife by Bart D. Ehrman.
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)
Clarke Parish Backpack Program
The Backpack Program is gearing up for the new school year with our first delivery scheduled for Tuesday, September 14. Along with Duncan Methodist, Clarke Parish provides a bag of food each week for students whose family is food insecure to take home. This food provides a bridge from the free food provided during the week at school to the weekend. Each bag contains breakfast and lunch items, a quart of shelf-stable milk, and snacks.
The schedule of volunteer packers and purchasers is being developed so if you are interested in joining this ministry, please let us know. You can email Susan Catlett at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Robin in the office.
Packing responsibilities: Pack approximately 30 bags of food about every 6 weeks (the more the packers, the less the frequency) and have them ready by the Sunday before delivery (schedule will be provided)
Purchasing responsibilities: Purchase the item assigned in bulk 1 or 2 times per month, place in the pantry, and submit receipts to the church office for reimbursement.
- The Methodist Church packed and distributed bags this summer. Clarke Parish provided items from our pantry to assist. Participation (since the bags were not delivered this summer like in 2020) was not as strong. But…the effort was made
- Pantry items with nearing expiration dates were donated to FISH. They were
- School counselors have been contacted and are assessing needs as students enroll.
- Dave Borger has agreed to continue to deliver the bags each Tuesday. THANK YOU!
- St. Mary’s has agreed to continue to provide juice boxes for the program. YAY!
- St. Luke’s Baptist Church just donated a load of breakfast items and snacks as well as made a monetary donation. AWESOME! ❤
- Milk and peanut butter have been ordered.
- A case of new grocery bags was donated by Martin’s.
- Margaret Burks continues to work on grant opportunities
Thank you to all of our volunteers and those that support this important program.
Lay Reader & Acolyte Schedule
September & October 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 – September & October 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.