Grace Notes – April 19, 2018


Initial Office Hours  Monday-Friday  9:00-12:00


Thoughts From Our Rector

The Lord works in mysterious ways.

Last week I ran into finding my own words come back to me in a new and rather delightful way. 

I often peruse old sermons looking for thoughts I’ve had in the past on the text at hand or for a favorite story to share.  On Thursday, I was doing just that when I ran across a sermon from two years ago.  It was a sermon I preached here at Grace Church.  A sermon I had forgotten.

I was the Canon Missioner for this Convocation at the time and it must have been just after Rev. David Rose’s last Sunday.

I was preaching on a parable in which someone from the crowd asked Jesus to arbitrate between him and his brother in the matter of an inheritance. Rather than act on the stranger’s behalf toward wealth, simply put, Jesus said, “Be on your guard against all kinds of greed . . . (instead be) rich toward God.”

I also spoke to the epistle lesson for that day, Colossians 3:1-11 which says, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

I focused on our identity as Christians in this sermon.  And I talked about how challenging times in life like transitions can leave us feeling spacey.  I pointed out that this text from Colossians unfolds what we are because of our union with Christ and what we should become as a result of that union.

And then I wrapped up my thoughts with the following advise:

As you move into this period of transition as a parish, I implore you to do so spiritually.  You will have times of strife, you will experience chaos, you will have moments that are like losing your keys. The best parishes have fallen into division and conflict in the face of these common experiences.  Don’t.  Some parishes have failed to call a new pastor for years.  Don’t do that either.  Some parishes have not been able to come together as a family and ended up splitting and dying. By all means do not do that. Instead, enter into this time with a foundation of faith and love.  This means praying more than doing, listening more than deciding and discerning God’s will for Grace Church more than our own.  Don’t set out to hire a new CEO, don’t set out to fix all the problems before the new boss comes, don’t take this time of transition as an opportunity for agendas.  Be gentle and patient with each other and remember most of all that you are following God’s call for this parish in mission.  Be wise, be prayerful, be patient. And be rich toward God.


After I read this, and after I stopped laughing, I sat in deep gratitude for a few moments.  Because, apparently, you have heeded my humble advise.  When I spoke these words to you two years ago, I was imagining someone else to be your next rector.  I was imagining someone not at all like me to become your pastor.  Maybe you were too.  But here we are.  And I for one feel delightfully surprised. You have kept the faith, you have supported each other gently and you have come through a difficult time with prayer, patience and wisdom.  

So, let’s be “rich toward God” as we move forward.

Meet Our New Secretary

We are very excited to welcome Samantha Oty to Grace.  Samantha grew up in Christiansburg, and holds a BoS degree from Radford University in English and an MPS in Publishing from The George Washington University.  She works with various online publications from her home office when not working as our Parish Administrator.  Her schedule will initially be 9:00 to 12:00 Monday through Friday.

  Have you noticed?

 The rectory is looking great!  The inside is finished; outside painting is almost complete and the   restaining of the deck will begin soon. Thank you to Lee and Jim Slusher for coordinating the   work on the house. And thank you to Betty Lee for coordinating (and helping with) the landscaping work in the rectory yard. 

Thanks to Ron Downs for his meticulous care of the lawns at Grace and the rectory! 

Dedication of name plaques Sunday April 29

Our 125th celebration included the opportunity to contribute to the Capital Campaign and choosing to have a name plaque placed on a pew.  We are happy to have our new rector, Kathy, be a part of our celebration by dedicating those plaques on Sunday April 29 at the 11:00 service.   Please join us on that day for this special opportunity to honor those who have loved and served Grace through the years.

April  Monthly Mission

United Thank Offering is a ministry of the Episcopal Church for the missions of the whole church. Through United Thank Offering, men, women, and children nurture the habit of giving daily thanks to God. These prayers of Thanksgiving start when we recognize and name our many daily blessings.

Those who participate in UTO discover that thankfulness leads to generosity. United Thank Offering is entrusted to promote thank offerings, to receive the offerings, and to distribute the UTO monies to support mission and ministry throughout the Episcopal Church and in invited Provinces of the Anglican Communion in the developing world.    

Put April Monthly Mission in the memo line of your check. Thank you.

 Boy’s Home Raffle


Executive Directory Donnie Wheatley’s sister, Phyllis Gibson, made and donated a quilt for this year’s raffle. This beautiful quilt is pieced using primarily blue/ Peacock fabrics and measure 78” x 95” and fits a full sized bed. The pattern is an original design. Tickets are $5 for 1 ticket and $45 for 10 tickets. We will draw a winner on May 11, 2018. All proceeds go to the equine program at Boys Home.  Send your name,  address and a check to:

Boy’s Home of Virginia

Attn: Quilt Raffle

414 Boys Home Road

Covington, VA 24426


Thanks for wearing your name tags on Sundays!  Kathy really appreciates it!

Grace Visitations Teams

Thank you to all who volunteer in this important service:

April Team – Greg and Fran Rooker

May Team - Penny Sweet and Bette Wright

Altar Flowers

Providing flowers on the altar is a wonderful opportunity to honor the memory of someone or to give thanksgiving for someone or something in your life.  Won't you help us provide flowers for the altar this year? 

There are a number of Sundays open. The sign-up sheet is on the bulletin board in the Parish Hall or you can call the office to see if certain Sundays are open and sign up via the phone.  Please help us by signing up for a Sunday or two. 

Altar Flowers from Northside Flowers:

          One Sunday - $25

          Two Sundays - $40 (Sign up for two consecutive slots.The flowers from the 1st Sunday are picked up by Northside, refreshed, and returned for the 2nd Sunday)

Contact Northside Flowers (540-639-9351) to order flowers and contact the office to place the dedication in the bulletin. 

Flowers 2018

Apr 15 – M Hrezo

Apr 22 – Harshberger

Apr 29 – Harshberger

May 6 – Asbury

May 13 - Asbury

May 20 – L. Jones

May 27 -  L. Jones  

All are invited!

Claytor Lake State Park  

Shelter 1 (handicapped accessible with restrooms)

New River Convocation Meeting

Sunday May 6, 2018

2:00PM - 7:00PM

Potluck Supper at 5:00PM

Come early for hiking, fellowship, etc

$5 parking fee per car

RSVP to Ann Walker 540-230-4525

Weekly Roles

Thank you to all who participate in the weekly roles on Sunday. Weekly Roles are on the bulletin board and in Grace Notes.  A calendar of weekly roles is also kept online. 

Acolyte:                         Ryan Beasley

May 6

Chalicer             8AM  Michael Cluver    11AM  Mark Carper

Lector                8AM  Bob Himmel        11Am  Mark Carper

Counters            Bette Wright & Hank Johnson

May 13

Chalicer             8AM  Bob Himmel          11AM   Jack Brockway

Lector                8AM   Paula Downs         11AM   Ann Walker

Counters            Terry Nester & Terry McCraw

If you can’t serve that day, please find a substitute and contact the office with the change.  People are often willing to switch or fill in given enough advanced notice. If you would like to serve and are not on the lists, please contact Ann Walker about how to participate. (Adults can also be Servers, Crucifers and Acolytes.)

2018 Coffee Hour


6     To be determined (let the office know if you are willing to host on this date)

13     McCraw, Terry and Kristi

20     To be determined  (let the office know if you are willing to host on this date)

27     Nester, Terry and Robbie

The Coffee Hour duty schedule has been organized to assign each person/family to no more than 2 times a year. If you cannot meet your assigned time please try to trade with someone in your month and call the church office (639-3494) with the change.  If you can trade assigned times with someone else please do so. Be sure to call the church office with the change to avoid two parties providing Coffee Hour at the same time. If you would like to be on the list to do Coffee Hour please contact the office at

Your cooperation and suggestions are welcome.  If needed, directions for providing Coffee Hour are posted on the kitchen refrigerator.