Lector: Cookie Davis
Chalice Bearer: Andrea Pogue
Altar Cleanup: Jan Saylor
We are a small Episcopal Church on the banks of the Rappahannock in Port Royal, Virginia. We acknowledge that we gather on the traditional land of the first people of Port Royal, the Nandtaughtacund, who are still here, and we honor with gratitude the land itself and the life of the Rappahannock Tribe. Our mission statement is to do God’s Will in all that we do.
St. Peter’s play is not just an original play for children but for the entire congregation. And it was certainly true when entire families were coopted to help prepare a Mass for St. Francis. He wanted to see the birth of Jesus with his own eyes.
This play was different in that it was not set in Bethlehem but 13th century Italy. Part of the fun was to see how St. Peter’s family names were converted into an Italian script. Helmut made it work playing Giovanni that loveable guy who wanted to turn the village upside down preparing a wonderful mass for St. Francis. He made you believe he was making it happen.
6 families he was able to convince to participate in the mass were the following -Alexandros Long, Davissimos, Foxittis, Felicianos, Fishuttis, and Pogmattis. What a convincing guy ! No one turned him down. Clarence as St. Francis was a perfect look a like for St. Francis. He could easily blend in with the monks.
We had 54 to see this wonderful play on a brisk late fall day (last day of fall) under clear skies and broad sunlight.
From this article in “Journey with Jesus” Words are not enough
“What Jesus opposed through the story of the father and the two sons was all forms of religion that stop at empty words. All forms of piety that don’t move us into the world of concrete action on behalf of justice, mercy, equality, love, and compassion. All forms of Christianity that flicker to life on Sunday morning, but then fade out between Monday and Saturday.
“We are invited to be like the first son. We are invited to be like the tax collectors and the prostitutes. But we cannot do this if we keep our faith lives tethered to abstractions. If we live a Christianity of the mind without also living one of the flesh. After all, it is with our bodies that we experience pain, anger, terror, and joy. It’s my chest that hurts when I mourn. It’s my face that burns when I’m angry. It’s my whole body that warms with pleasure when I’m happy. Our faith is meant to be embodied. To be incarnate. To be organic. To be active. In the realm of God, words — even the most beautiful words — are not enough.”
I.Theme – Look carefully at the vineyard you are cultivating!
"Vineyards with view of Auvers" – Van Gogh (1890)
The lectionary readings are here or individually:
The main motif in 3 of the 4 readings is about the vineyard which beginning in the Old Testament refers to Israel and by the Gospel to those tending it. Corruption is evident in Israel in the 8th Century BC and in 30AD with Christ. In Christ time the vineyard represents all places where we have been called by God to produce the fruits of the kingdom. The real villains move from Israel as a country to specific groups cited by Matthew.
The Isaiah reading is one of the oldest parables in the Bible. This song of the vineyard is a parable and a prophetic attack on corrupt Israel. It begins as a love song, singing of a deep love that is giving and caring, moves on to convey disillusionment, and then to express anger and a withdrawal of love and care. The coming destruction (verses 5-6) results from the people’s failure to do what God "expected," and more literally and poignantly, what God "hoped for" (verses 2, 4, 7). God doesn’t destroy the vineyard directly. Instead, what he described was simply the removal of his care and protection of the vineyard, the careful work done earlier.
The September meeting of the St. Peter’s ECW was held at the Heimbachs’ house because tree work at the church made parking limited. There were about 11 in attendance.
Typically the ECW (Episcopal Church Women) at St. Peter’s give half of their earnings away by the 4th quarter of each year for outreach.
After everyone enjoyed tea and snacks, we welcomed our new member, Jean Devitt. Then, Elizabeth reported that the ECW account currently totaled $2280.89, and the group agreed to donate $100 to CERVE, (the Caroline Emergency Relief through Volunteer Efforts), $250 to Catherine’s Discretionary Fund, $500 to Village Harvest, and $500 to Social Services for their Christmas program. Since an anonymous member had given an additional $70, the ECW account will have $1000 after these donations are made.
Nancy Long has agreed to do some research to find out about the cost of repairing the brass altar vases which were a gift to St. Peter’s from the ECW, while Alice said that she would try to find out the possible value of the large bas-relief currently stored upstairs in the rectory.
The group also discussed plans for the coming months including a visit to Chancellor’s Village, and a tour of the Potowomack Center. In addition, we talked about providing refreshments for the Epiphany and Presentation Services when the St. Peter’s Choir will join the choir of St. Asaph’s. We also agreed to prepare dinner for the Episcopalian students at Mary Washington, and, perhaps, to supply snacks for them during exam week in early December.
Finally, several people had ideas for events for which we could sell tickets to raise money. Jan suggested a Mother’s Day brunch, Catherine suggested a croquet match, and several people talked about the possibility of an event like a concert that could include a barbecue.
This week we look at ground level to consider deforestation
Forests in our memories – From Michelle Cook, Intergen. “How do you think of forests? In your imagination are they places of peace and quiet? Are they
places that scare you? Are you more at home in a eucalypt forest than in a mangrove forest?
Sometimes forests can be places of fear. Think of all the old stories from Europe, the folk tales
some of us may have grown up hearing. Stories like Hansel and Gretel, where children get lost in
the forest. Stories like Snow White, where the beautiful young girl gets taken to the forest by the
hunter so that he may kill her far away from witnesses. Forests in these stories are seen as
places of secrecy, of unknown dangers and mysterious powers.”
“In Psalm 139 it is our bodies being knit together in our mother’s wombs that becomes known.
God, the creator of everything, knows our bodies, and hear the Psalmist says to us that we are
fearfully and wonderfully made. Even the workings of the womb, hidden from us, and felt by
mothers, are known by God. The story of creation is retold in Genesis 2:4b-22. Adam is created
from earth and is set in a garden – a forest of fruit trees – a garden of food. Here is a forest,
where again, all is known. The chaos and desperation of the land, where nothing is yet growing,
is contrasted with the richness and safety of the garden.”
The image shows the challenges and work to improve the environment in the darker areas with the light areas, the work we are doing now and a promise for the future.
We did fewer projects and concentrated on the beauty of creation and the need for renewal. The Season of Creation was present in these areas:
Based on the Fifth Mark of Mission
God, creator of the universe,
Fill us with your love for the creation,
for the natural world around us,
for the earth from which we come
and to which we will return.
Awake in us energy to work for your world;
let us never fall into complacency, ignorance,
or being overwhelmed by the task before us.
Help us to restore, remake, renew. Amen