Religion News: August 2021

Jimmy D. Temple assumed the position of lead pastor of Hillsboro Baptist Church immediately before the pandemic. Photo: Malcolm Andrews.

Jimmy Temple Now Lead Pastor of Hillsboro Baptist

Pastor Jimmy D. Temple was chosen by the search committee of Hillsboro Baptist Church on March 8, 2020, and held his first official service on March 15. It was to be a brief in-person introduction to his flock. “Then we closed down,” he said. 

Luckily, Temple was already familiar with the congregation and the lovely old church building. He grew up in Charlottesville and went to Afton Christian School, where Leta Hardwick (married to Hillsboro’s retired minister, Jim Hardwick) was a teacher. “We stayed in touch after I graduated,” he said, “and she kept me up to date about the church’s needs.”

His former teacher knew her student was musical. When the church needed a music minister in 2018, Temple was glad to fill in between semesters while studying for the ministry at Liberty University. 

After his lone appearance pre-pandemic, Temple knew one of his first tasks was to revamp the website: it had been about the same for 15 years, he said. He was respectful of the church’s history (it was built in 1839), and was glad to find the congregation shared his desire to engage new people while retaining the close-knit connection they presently enjoy. They came through the pandemic with a mix of in-car, outdoor and online services and recently re-opened the church for in-person worship with a clear list of guidelines designed to protect everyone in the congregation.

Temple and his wife Megan are both musicians, and he finds this fitting for the rural church. “Historically, Hillsboro has always had a bluegrass connection,” he said, “so we recently introduced a banjo into a service.” A mandolin might also make an appearance (Temple plays guitar, ukulele, banjo, and the Appalachian dulcimer) and Megan is trying out fiddle parts on her violin—not as easy as it might seem, he said.

Temple grew up in the church, with both parents involved in world missions. Still, he’s known to sometimes question himself about what he has to offer, given his youth. But he also knows the answer. He points to his Bible: “It’s all right here,” he said.

Jimmy and Megan Temple live in the Hillsboro parsonage. She is a patient care technician and works for a dialysis center in Staunton. 

Hillsboro Baptist Church invites new members and has an active preschool enrolling for the fall semester, which starts Sept. 7. Find out more at

Dining, Shakespeare, Folk Music, Dramatic Readings at Holy Cross Café

Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Batesville invites the community to its Third Friday Café held monthly from 6 to 8 p.m. in the church parish.

Marion Kanour, the priest in charge at Holy Cross, said the gatherings began in May with a meet-and-greet. Others followed, with musical duo Jimbo and Kim Cary, a reading of Midsummer’s Night’s Dream appropriate for the June gathering, and the Hamner Theater Improv Troupe in July.

Those attending these informal evenings are served a light dinner before enjoying performances by an array of local artists and musicians, but there’s another purpose to the gathering: The church wants to offer the community a chance to meet neighbors and friends in low-key, welcoming surroundings. There’s no charge for the dinner and program, but donations are always appreciated. Upcoming cafes are as follows:

Members of the Hamner Theater Improv Troupe entertained at Holy Cross Cafe in July.

August 20: Eric Hollandsworth and his ensemble, Tendencies. Hollandsworth describes his group as “an Appalachian roots rock group, hailing from the Blue Ridge Mountains, blending roots, country, and alternative rock with a dash of folk, traditional and Appalachian music with a fresh lyrical perspective.” Dinner will be a build-your-own burrito or burrito salad bar.

September 17: a “Stone Soup” evening, with a reading of that timeless story and stone soup for dinner. The Batesville Strings will perform after dinner.

October 15: a production of Much Ado about Nothing by the Central Virginia Theater Alliance, with an Octoberfest-themed dinner.

November 19: a readers’ theatre version of Beatrix Potter’s The Tailor of Gloucester, followed by the music of Jimbo and Kim Cary, with a traditional spaghetti dinner.

Holy Cross is located at 2523 Craigs Store Road (Rt. 635), approximately 3.4 miles from the Batesville Market. Follow Holy Cross on Facebook (Holy Cross Episcopal Church Batesville VA) to hear about other community offerings.

Crozet Baptist Children Explore “Rocky Railway” and the Crozet Tunnel

Those attending Crozet Baptist’s vacation Bible school found plenty of lighthearted instruction in the church’s “Rocky Railway” theme, July 11 to 13. Chuck Miller, the program director, said there were 25 young people at the in-person classes, and 11 more via Zoom.

Crozet Baptist families visit the Crozet Tunnel joined by Rev. David Collyer as Claudius Crozet and Chuck Miller as “Railroad Bill.”

To build on that theme, a dozen kids with their parents and grandparents gathered for an excursion through the Crozet Tunnel in July, escorted by Pastor David Collyer as Claudius Crozet, and Miller as a laborer (they were known as “Fardowners”) called “Railroad Bill.”

Muslims Distribute Food Locally to Celebrate Eid al-Adha

In July, as Muslims around the world celebrated Eid al-Adha (also known as the Festival of Sacrifice), local Muslims found a fitting way to commemorate the traditional sacrifice of a lamb, goat or cow. The festival, which lasts for four days, celebrates Prophet Ibrahim’s devotion to God. Muslims believe Ibrahim was rewarded a lamb to sacrifice for his good deeds.

Prophet Muhammed advised that one-third of the meat be kept, one-third be distributed to family and friends, and one-third to the less fortunate. The Eid reminds believers to sacrifice something beloved such as money or time, to be aware of those around them in need, and to give back to their community.

To share in the spirit of sacrifice, Rumi Forum Charlottesville provided packages of meat to 50 families and, through Embrace Relief, the International Rescue Committee and Loaves & Fishes, distributed the packages to families living in the Albemarle County-Charlottesville area.

The Rumi Forum asks that Muslims locally continue to come together, work for the common good, and increase social cohesion among all people. 


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