I moved to Ashland with Beth in October of 2015. On Sunday, October 11, we attended Sunday school and Holy Communion at Saint James the Less and suspected at once that we had found our church home. A sweet and practiced children’s choir, an accomplished organist and full choir, Charles Joy’s moving sermon and profound theology—followed by Dick Shirey and others making a fuss over our arrival. Wow. And in the years that have followed, we have found and continue to find dear friends here. My roles so far have been supper club and grief group participant, choir member, stewardship chair, district liaison, representative at diocesan council, student-in-chief at adult Sunday school, and convener of the Monday night dream group—and, of course support staff for Beth’s Fourth Quarter activities.
I grew up in the Episcopal Church and in early adulthood attended Virginia Theological Seminary when I was considering ordination, which, I realized, would not be a good idea. At previous churches I was also high-school Sunday school teacher and youth group advisor as well as frequent Shrine Mont youth group chaperone, song leader, and rhythm guitarist, occasional vestry member, and Curcillo alumnus. Now that I think about it, I guess it would be fair to say that I am deeply involved in the life of Saint James the Less.