First held on November 28, 1929, Grace Episcopal Church was one of the first churches in the country to have a “Blessing of the Hounds” service–a tradition that has continued each Thanksgiving Day since.
By the late 1700’s in England, foxhunting had taken on the forms that remain today. It has been a popular sport in Virginia since colonial times, and it continues customs and traditions that are mostly English in origin. The blessing of hunting hounds is an ancient practice that today features traditions and rituals developed over the centuries. After the foxhunters, their horses and hounds, and even the foxes have been blessed, the hunt begins. All who attend “The Blessing of the Hounds” are welcome to follow across the road for a glimpse of this fascinating tradition. The Episcopal Church Women serve cider, and hot chocolate in the Parish Hall before and after the Blessing of the Hounds service. It is an exciting event and will be a great way to begin your Thanksgiving celebration!
2019 Blessing of the Hounds
The ninety-first Blessing of the Hounds service will be held on Thanksgivingmorning, November 28th, at 10:00 a.m. This is a beautiful fall service of worship and thanksgiving and is well-attended by the friends of Grace and the general public (approximately nine hundred people including T.V. news networks). Therefore, we need volunteers to assist with all aspects of the service including directing traffic on the grounds and parking, handing out programs, greeting and assisting the many visitors that attend the service. If you would like to donate fall fruits such as pumpkins and gourds, fall vegetables, dry corn stalks, and hay bales for door decorations, we thank you, and please leave them at the church by Tuesday, November 26th. The Episcopal Church Women will be serving doughnuts, coffee, and hot chocolate in the Parish Hall before and after the Blessing of the Hounds’ service.
The following agencies will receive the offering from the Blessing of the Hounds’ service:
Hope’s Legacy www.hopeslegacy.com 434-531-5688 5145 Taylor Creek Road, Afton, VA 22920 We estimate, based on the 215,000 horses in Virginia, that about 4,000 are unwanted or at risk every year. Horse rescue is a continuous hidden need in Virginia. Hope’s Legacy receives 5 to 10 phone calls every week asking us to take an animal. We are limited in the number we can bring in by funding, space and volunteer hours. So far in 2019 we’ve rescued 45 equines and currently have 33 horses and donkeys in residence. Since 2008, Hope’s Legacy has rescued, rehabilitated and adopted out 250 horses, donkeys, miniature horses and ponies. We are a community resource for Animal Control agencies and private citizens throughout Virginia, but mainly in central Virginia: Albemarle, Orange, Culpeper, Greene, Nelson counties and the Shenandoah Valley. We take in animals like Dezi, who was starved and neglected by her owner and is currently recovering with us. Or Amber, a 20+-year-old Arabian rehabilitated at Hope’s Legacy in 2017, who has gone on to become a ribbon-winning jumper with her new adopter/owner Taylor. Hope’s Legacy operates with 2 employees, a 5-member Board, and 40 awe-inspiring volunteers who feed, groom, water, and bathe horses; muck stalls, clear brush, bush-hog, paint, build, plumb, mow, fundraise, and so much more. Our volunteers have posted over 2300 hours already this year!
BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS of CENTRAL BLUE RIDGE http://www.blueridgebigs.org 434-244- 0882 1102 Carlton Avenue, Charlottesville, Virginia 22902
Our vision: All children achieve success in life. Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Blue Ridge operates under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. As the area’s leading provider of evidence-based mentoring, our agency makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteer mentors (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 6 through 16, in the Charlottesville and Albemarle communities.
The mission: To provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported 1-to-1 relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. Big Brothers Big Sisters promotes higher aspirations, greater confidence, and better relationships, avoidance of risky behaviors; and educational success. For more information see the results of the national study. http://www.blueridgebigs.org/our-impact
Volunteer are needed: http://www.blueridgebigs.org/volunteer Volunteers are interviewed, trained and continually supervised. They must pass a criminal records check. There is a special need for Big Brothers. More than 60 percent of our children waiting for a Big are boys, but only 3 out of every 10 inquiries to volunteer come from men. Disproportionately, the children we serve and those waiting to be matched are African American and Hispanic boys. Their parents seek our support, knowing a Big Brother can recognize their son’s potential and model positive choices that put him on the path for success in and out of school.
The volunteer hours are 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. We want you to be able to worship, enjoy, and attend the service with family and friends, so please consider being a volunteer before the service. We are flexible. Please sign-up in the Parish Hall, call Alison Walden at 434.295.0551, or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
This can be a great family event and fun time! It promises to be an exciting day and will be a wonderful way to begin your Thanksgiving celebration!
General Office Hours: Monday: 8am-1pm Tuesday: 8am-2pm Wednesday: 8am-2pm Thursday: 9am-3:30pm Friday: 11am-3:00pm See the church calendar for any exceptions If possible, please call ahead of visiting to confirm availability. Staff hours are located here