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.

The Good Shepherd in our hymns

“The Good Shepherd” – Jorge Cocco

The hymns today speak of the qualities of the Good Shepherd

1 Savior, like a shepherd lead us . Author  Dorothy Ann Thrupp (1779-1847) speaks of Jesus as guardian of us in our lives,  keeping away from sin and coming after us when we go astray, freeing us in the process. She calls upon Jesus help us do His Will in general

Thrupp compiled several hymnbooks for children. Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Us appeared unsigned in her Hymns for the Young, published in 1836, but is commonly attributed to her.

2. When morning gilds the sky,

“May Jesus Christ be praised! in all our work and prayer we ask his loving care”

Author Edward Caswall (1814-1878) was an early 19th century English priest but eventually became Catholic He is noted for his devotion to poor and translation of Latin hymns

3. The Lord my God my shepherd

The hymn speaks of Leadership (“he safely doth me lead.”), sustenance, trust, guiding us through the Valley of Death and restoration to go the righteous path

Author Francis Bland Tucker (1895-1974) was a Virginian, born in Norfolk, and son of a bishop born in 1895. He speaks of never having a thought of writing a hymn until he was named a member of the Joint Commission on the Revision of the Hymnal in 1937 which prepared the Hymnal 1940The Hymnal 1940 Companion, and was then named to the Joint Commission on Church Music of the Episcopal Church where he served from 1946 to 1958. Subsequently he served on the Theological Committee which reviewed material for the successor to The Hymnal 1940. There his poetic talent was most adept at providing new phrases in older hymns where the original lines were too obsolete or sexist for late-twentieth-century users of the hymnal.

4. Shepherd of souls, refresh and bless

The hymn speaks of being refreshed by manna and water. However, we don’t live by bread alone but depend upon grace. 

James Montgomery (1771-1854) was the son of Moravian parents who died on a West Indies mission field while he was in boarding school.  Montgomery inherited a strong religious bent, a passion for missions, and an independent mind. He was editor of the Sheffield Iris (1796-1827), a newspaper that sometimes espoused radical causes. Montgomery was imprisoned briefly when he printed a song that celebrated the fall of the Bastille and again when he described a riot in Sheffield that reflected unfavorably on a military commander. He also protested against slavery, the lot of boy chimney sweeps, and lotteries. Associated with Christians of various persuasions, Montgomery supported missions and the British Bible Society. He published eleven volumes of poetry, mainly his own, and at least four hundred hymns.


5. Blessing –  Nathan Nettleton, LaughingBird.net

“Go now with your trust in the good shepherd,
and let us love, not just in words,
but in truth and action.
Believe in the name of Jesus Christ,
and love one another, just as he has commanded us.
And may God be at your side, even in valleys of death.
May Christ Jesus be the cornerstone of your life.
And may the Holy Spirit abide in you
….and tend you with love and mercy all the days of your life.”