Faces of Grace
Faces of Grace is a new social media feature. We will spotlight different members of Grace every 2 weeks and their photo at one of their favorite places on our campus accompanied by responses to three questions:
- Who are you? Tell us a little about you and your household (where you have lived and what brought you to Lexington)
- What inspires you? Share something about Grace that inspires and connects you to God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) and God’s mission of reconciliation. (A person, ministry, message, image, prayer, hymn, scripture passage, etc.)
- What is your Path of Discipleship? Share a little about your faith journey – what tradition you were raised in, how you started on your path of discipleship, traditions, and practices you have explored, something you are doing, or that is helping you, grow in faith now.
Martha and David
David and Martha Burford moved to Lexington in 2018 for Martha to accept the call as Grace’s Minister of Music. When Fr. James reached out to Martha, “No,” was the Burfords’ response, but as they prayed, meeting people of the parish and community, they realized the Holy Spirit was singing “Get you to Grace!” David generously agreed and packed up his guitars and their herd of dachshunds. Happily, the move brought him back to his" home mountains," Amherst, after trotting the globe as an engineer based in France and California.
Martha grew up in a family that talked about the impact of phrases such as “love thy neighbor as thyself,” “who is my neighbor,” and “[God] blessed us with memory, reason, and skill.” As an infant, Martha was baptized at All Souls Episcopal Church, Morristown, TN, on Candlemas. Perhaps that began her love for the Song of Simeon. Throughout her youth, Martha was formed by her dad’s vocation as an Episcopal priest with a passion for social justice and music, her mom’s vocation as an organist, summers at Kanuga, and amazing mentors such as Ray Glover, Mary Anthony+, +Anne Hodges-Copple, and +Susan Goff.
Drawn to Grace by Fr. James’s earnest belief in the goodness of people at Grace, Martha and David experience that goodness daily. Martha gives thanks for how people at Grace engage in missional worship and worshipful mission, how they seek to love neighbors and sing new songs of celebration and unity. Sacred Ground was momentous! The choir and worship committee beautifully and faithfully uplift the liturgies. Pastoral care happens in the deepest and often quietest of ways. Tuck+ is leading faithful reckoning with questions of what it means to become beloved community. And, Grace’s folk are even willing to climb into big, thorny, yucky ditches to pick up trash across Rockbridge.
Yes, the new organ and chancel space are a source of joy because they are splendid, but more because they serve as venues for Walking the Way of Love. The walls of Grace are filled with generations of saints’ songs, and those songs continue to fuel us to serve the God who loves us more than we can fathom. She and David are grateful for to be on the journey with Grace.
Lisa and Pat McGuire
Lisa is the Parish Administrator at Grace Church. Pat works from home as a Technical Writer for Raytheon. Pat is an Acolyte, volunteers with the Grace crew at the RARA Food Pantry, serves on the Property Committee and is a STEPS mentor to a returned citizen. Pat also serves on the board of the Rockbridge Area Habitat for Humanity.
The McGuires moved to Lexington 4 ½ years ago from Newport, RI. Pat graduated from VMI in 1985 and they both loved Lexington. They thought it would be a fun place to live after their nest became empty. Lisa grew up Catholic and Pat converted to Catholicism in 1993. They had fallen out of attending mass, but decided when they got to Lexington, they would join a church again. Lisa says that she was inspired by our former interim rector, Fr. James’ sermons, and asked Pat if he would like to attend a service one Sunday. They never looked back. They were received by Bishop Mark in March of 2018.
Lisa has been attending Morning Prayer for the past 2 1/2 years and Pat joined in last year. Lisa feels that starting the day with your prayer book and in fellowship has been a balm, especially during COVID. Lisa and Pat say that the love and support they have received from their parish family has been the most enriching part of joining Grace Episcopal Church.
Delea and Tuck Bowerfind
Delea was raised in Florence Alabama where her dad was an agricultural economist with TVA and her mom taught special ed. Delea moved to Cleveland OH with her daughter Tiffany in 1991 to earn an MSW from CWRU. They met Tuck at his home parish, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, in the summer after his ordination. After eight years in Cleveland, and three more children – George, Dorothy, and Elizabeth – the Bowerfinds moved to St. Mary’s, Barnstable MA and then to St. Luke’s, Alexandria VA. In September 2019 we accepted the call to Grace Lexington and started on the First Sunday of Advent.
At Grace, the memorials to many young people who died in some form of sacrificial service, military, civil rights, humanitarian inspire us. The beauty and power of their faithful service and witness made through their lives in a spirit of love for God and God’s people.
Delea was raised in a deeply religious family in a Baptist tradition. She was confirmed in the Episcopal Church at the same time as our eldest, Tiffany. Delea has had a life long commitment to the poor, children, and the dying. She brings people comfort and assurance and courage grounded in a deep knowledge of how social systems shape many of the conditions and fortunes of our lives. Here in Rockbridge County she works with Rockbridge Area Hospice as Director of Integrated Care.
Tuck was raised in the Episcopal Church. His grandfather was Bishop of Ohio and worked to integrate the church and bring racial reconciliation until his death in 1969. Tuck has worked throughout his ministry to continue to work for Martin Luther King’s vision of the Beloved Community through cooperative interfaith and ecumenical organizing rooted personal relationships that respect the dignity of every person.