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.

9/11 – Forgiveness and Steadfast Love

Steadfast Love service 09-11-2011

Both services today remembered 9/11 on its tenth anniversary. The Prayers of the People  at 11am  featured Bishop Shannon’s “Litany for the Tenth Anniversary of September 11, 2001, a part of the bulletin and the evening service used "The Litany of Remembrance" was written by The Reverend Thomas Weitzel, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. There is a slideshow on the evening service and the day at St. Peter’s. We had 41 at the 11am service and 44 at the 7:30pm on a day with brilliant sunshine.

Christian education and the sermon came to grips with the concept of mercy and forgiveness from Matthew 18.  As expressed in the sermon “forgiveness is a process, a long drawn out process if the hurt is deep enough.  In the end, reaching a state of forgiveness  in which I can let go and be free of the hurt I’ve suffered is finally an act of grace and mercy from God.”  It is a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge and frees us from destructive feelings. It is not condoning, forgetting, giving in or reconciliation.

Forgiveness can lead to reconciliation but may not. Many of these concepts were taken from  Father Frank Desiderio, a member of the Paulist religious order in the Catholic church, in a series of talks on forgiveness called "Letting Go:  Five Steps to Forgiveness"

The evening service theme was from the Book of Lamentations:  
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end;
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”

For the evening service, the church was bathed in candles provided by several members of the congregation including BJ, Terri, Elizabeth and  Marilyn.   Nancy and Brad teamed up for "Our Father Who Art in Heaven." We would like to thank St. Asaph’s which provided an outstanding choir in support and for Rev. Bambi Willis’ homily on 9/11. 

The outside featured luminaries lighting the way as the congregation departed in silence.