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.

Confirmation and Reception – What is it ?

On Sunday, May 19th, The Day of Pentecost, The Rt Rev Gayle Harris, Assisting Bishop in The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, will join us at St Peter’s for a joyful time of worship and celebration and for Confirmation and Reception.

Jennifer Gamber explains that “Confirmation is one of the Church’s seven sacraments. Sacraments are “outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace, given by Christ as sure and certain means by which we receive that grace.” In the sacraments we recognize God’s active presence in our lives.

The Episcopal Church recognizes the two great sacraments of the Bible, which are baptism and Eucharist, and five sacramental rights, which include Confirmation. For Confirmation, the outward visible sign of the inward and spiritual grace is the laying on of hands by the bishop, and the inward spiritual grace is the strengthening of the Holy Spirit.” (see Jennifer Gamber’s book, Your Faith, Your Life, An Invitation to the Episcopal Church for more details.)

The Book of Common Prayer reminds us that “in the course of their Christian development, those baptized at an early age, are expected, when they are ready and have been duly prepared, to make a mature public affirmation of their faith and commitment to the responsibilities of their Baptism and to receive the laying on of hands by the bishop.”

“Those baptized as adults, unless baptized with laying on of hands by a bishop, are also expected to make a public affirmation of their faith and commitment to the responsibilities of their Baptism in the presence of a bishop and to receive the laying on of hands.”

For those who have been confirmed in another denomination, the Book of Common Prayer provides for the formal reception into the Episcopal Church, which honors the commitment already having been made in the person’s previous denomination.

Chester Duke, Hamilton Duke and Zeke Fisher have all been meeting with Catherine to learn more about what it means to affirm their faith through the sacrament of Confirmation.  Following the shape of the Catechism, we have discussed a wide range of topics that will help us in our walks as faithful Christians.

As we welcome these three young men as confirmed members of the church, here’s some information to help you know them better. 

Zeke Fisher says that he is being confirmed to help him think about and reevaluate his faith.  He also wants to affirm the baptismal vows taken on his behalf when he was baptized as an infant here at St Peter’s.  Many of us know that Zeke is a world traveler.  He says that traveling is a great way to learn about God’s creation.  On his latest adventure, his favorite country was Greece.  He found the beauty of the island of Santorini captivating, especially the sunsets.  Zeke has also been speed skating for just about two years now.  He will be going to the national competitions in June, out in Nebraska. 

Chester Duke is an 8th grader at Caroline Middle School.  He is being confirmed because he wants to be open to God with all his heart, and to show that he is trustworthy.  Chester plays the French Horn and  is already an accomplished musician.  This year he was first chair in the school area band.  Chester also enjoys working with technology. 

Hamilton Duke is in 6th grade at Caroline Middle School.  He says that he is being confirmed because he would like to devote his life to this church, and because he had the opportunity this year to be confirmed, so he took the opportunity.  Hamilton’s science project team won first place this year at the YMCA science fair with their presentation on tornado resistant houses.  Hamilton is a member of Scout Troop 173, which meets in Bowling Green at St Asaph’s Episcopal Church.  Hamilton is also a musician and plays the trumpet. In the school band.  

Confirmation is not an ending, or a goal to be accomplished, but a joyful beginning, an open door that welcomes those passing through it into a life of faithfully following Jesus.  All of us at St Peter’s are responsible for supporting Zeke, Chester and Hamilton as they commit to following Jesus more intentionally in their lives.  Think of ways that you can support these beloved young people. 

On May 19th, the Bishop will receive our friend Jean Devitt into The Episcopal Church.  Jean lives in King George County and  is coming to us from the Catholic Church.  She has been with us for a year now, worshipping, studying and praying with this congregation.  She is a faithful member of the St Peter’s Wednesday Bible study.  Jean grew up in Carbondale, PA.   She worked at Dahlgren for 25 years as a computer engineer before retiring.  Jean says that what brought her to St Peter’s is the sense of spiritual connection that she finds in being part of a group who functions as a loving family in the Body of Christ.    Jean has many hobbies, including cooking, gardening, sewing, and painting with water colors.  (She was voted most artistic in her high school graduating class.)     Welcome, Jean, as you make your already strong connection with St Peter’s and  The Episcopal Church  official.  We at St Peter’s are delighted to support you in your faithful walk as a follower of Jesus.