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, and we respect and honor with gratitude the land itself, the legacy of the ancestors, and the life of the Rappahannock Tribe. Our mission statement is to do God’s Will in all that we do.

Sunday’s Thoughts, Pentecost, May 19, 2024

1 There were many “moving parts” during this service which remarkably moved together and created a memorable service. The only concern was the weather with the outdoor concert and reception. The weather held! The reception was divided up between the kitchen for people to get their food and to converse with the bishop with tables outside for people to enjoy the music.

2. Some parts of the service were the culmination of months of activity. Initially they moved at a slower pace but today they were up to speed. The three to be confirmed spent two months on Thursday nights to understand confirmation and to decide if they really wanted to go through with it. At the end they contributed to the process of organizing the procession. The choir spent months learning the prelude “Let the Whole Creation Cry”.

3. Those who were part of the reception had to be organized to decide who was bringing what. The choir had to prepare as well the “Tongues of Fire” on the last hymn. The “Little Falls Bluegrass band” had to be booked and coordinated when they were to appear. Cookie had to prepare the altar and outside flowers.

4. The Bishop has been in this position for 22 years. Going to a new church means going through a check list. And of course a special sermon for both Pentecost and the presentation. The presentation involving two churches had to be worked out. The priests involved have much to do leading up to the service. We made time for the Bishop an hour before the service for her to talk to the confirmands. One unique feature during the service was her conversing individually with each which made the process more meaningful to all at the end.

5. The bishop also contributed to her choir with her sonorous voice. She also gave an impromptu talk prior to the reception in the Parish House about General Convention coming up in June.

6. And then there was Pentecost. 50 days since Easter. As the Bishop says the second most important Sunday of the year (behind Easter). We had to make sure to extinguish the Paschal candle for the last time. “Hail Thee, Festival Day” is sung almost every Pentecost. It is a difficult hymn the way it is organized and requires practice. But there is nothing better for Pentecost!

6. It was both an enjoyable and meaningful day. 9 people between two churches, St Peter’s and St Paul’s, king George were confirmed or received.