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.


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

Music Together

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:

‘Sacred Ground’
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 to receive information.

Clarke Parish

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.


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. 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:


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


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.
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)

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 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.

Summer Happenings

  • 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
    VERY appreciative
  • 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.

Susan Catlett

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.

Choral Evensong & Reception in honor of Karen Keating

Mark Your Calendars . . .
for a celebration to honor Dr. Karen Keating and her 22 years of music ministry in Clarke Parish. Karen (or KK, as her students know her) was to retire on Easter Day 2020 and the parish had planned a celebratory event to say “Thanks!” for her long and faithful service. Karen did retire, but the pandemic restrictions meant that we could not have a suitable celebration for her. Fast forward to 2021 — we will celebrate Karen and her ministry with us on Sunday, September 26, with a festive Choral Evensong at 4:00 pm followed by a reception. We will invite all Karen’s students, choir singers, colleagues, and friends to participate in the Evensong and we will welcome all volunteers to help with the reception. Put this very special event on your calendars, please!

NOTE: If so inclined, there is still an opportunity to contribute to ‘The Purse’ we are collecting for Karen. In honor of her retirement and years of dedicated service to Clarke Parish, we will present this special monetary gift to her during the Evensong Reception. Contributions should be sent to the church office ASAP (PO Box 678, Berryville, VA 22611)

Christian Education

Youth Sunday School
and Confirmation Classes
10 am in the ‘Gracement’ beginning on October 3, 2021!

Hooray…It’s almost time to finally rejoin for in-person Sunday School fun in the Gracement! After enduring over a year of virtual, take-home, or no classes, we can now safely regather on Sunday mornings for classroom lessons, fun projects, and extracurricular activities. Who’s ready?

We will begin our program year on Sunday, October 3 @ 10 am. All students AND parents are asked to join us in the McIntosh Chapel at this time for an informational meeting, session overview, teacher introductions, and classroom assignments.

Sunday Morning Adult Bible Study
10 am in the Parish House @ St. Mary’s
beginning on Sunday, September 12, 2021

Please join us each week and we begin a new session of Adult Sunday School with ‘Episcopal Church 101’.

This fun and informative class is open to all seeking a clearer understanding of our Episcopal traditions but will be mandatory for those seeking confirmation or reception into the Episcopal Church on November 7th when Bishop Gulick visits Clarke Parish.

Have you ever wondered what makes us English? Who are the Anglican Communion anyway? Who is our head, God, The Queen, The Archbishop of Canterbury, The Presiding Bishop, all of the above? How is our local parish governed? How do the readings on Sunday get selected? What do Anglicans believe about the sacraments, especially Holy Baptism and the Eucharist? Come and find out the answers to these and many other questions in our Episcopal Church 101 class starting on September 12th and every Sunday in October at 10am at the St. Mary’s Parish House. Mandatory for those being confirmed or received, encouraged for all others.

Syllabus – Episcopal Church 101
September 12 – An introduction to the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion
October 3 – An introduction to The Revised Common Lectionary
October 10 – An introduction to the Book of Common Prayer
October 17 – Music in the Anglican Tradition
October 24 – Class will meet at 9:45 in the Parish Hall @ GEC(Homecoming at St. Mary’s – one service at 11:00) / Q&A – bring your questions and have them answered
October 31 – The Sacraments

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