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.

Lectionary, Pentecost 2, Proper 4, June 2, 2024

I. Theme –  The role of the sabbath

Withered Hand

The lectionary readings are here  or individually: 

Old Testament – Deuteronomy 5:12-15
Psalm – Psalm 81:1-10
Epistle –2 Corinthians 4:5-12
Gospel – Mark 2:23-3:6  

II. Summary

Sometimes rules and regulations can get in the way of our mission. The connection this week is in the role of the Sabbath. Jesus’ operating principle is that the Sabbath ( and the law and the rituals of holiness) was created for humanity, and not the other way around. ’ In that sense, God is chiefly known as love and the laws and purity rituals are for humanity’s own good. The alternate theology is that for humans have to achieve a certain level of holiness – through following laws or practicing purity rituals – to be acceptable to God. That’s the focus on the Pharisees whose religion had deteriorated into rules, regulations and rituals..

To make His point still further, Jesus goes into the synagogue and brings a man with a withered arm into the middle of the gathering. Then, He asks the simple question – is it against the law to do good on the Sabbath – or to save a life? Needless to say, His critics have no answer. Jesus has an answer – he heals the man. Mark’s description of healings were important – they were signs that the Kingdom of God was at hand

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Track 1 or 2 ?

During Ordinary Time there are two possible tracts or Old Testament, Psalm and Epistle Readings:

Track 1 – Old Testament in Order. In Year B we begin with 1 Samuel.

Track 2 – Themes Old Testament in line with the other reading. It follows the Roman Catholic tradition of thematically pairing the Old Testament reading with the Gospel reading, often typologically—a sort of foretelling of Jesus Christ’s life and ministry. We use Track 2 at St. Peter’s.

Trinity Sunday

Trinity Sunday, the first Sunday after Pentecost, honors the Holy Trinity—the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Although the word “trinity” does not appear in Scripture, it is taught in Matthew 28:18-20 and 2 Corinthians 13:14 (and many other biblical passages). It lasts only one day, which is symbolic of the unity of the Trinity. 

Trinity Sunday is one of the few feasts of the Christian Year that celebrates a reality and doctrine rather than an event or person. The Eastern Churches have no tradition of Trinity Sunday, arguing that they celebrate the Trinity every Sunday.  The Western Churches did not celebrate it under the 14th century under an edict of John XXII

Since that time Western Christians have observed the Sunday after Pentecost as a time to pause and reflect on the Christian understanding of God

The intention of the creeds was to affirm the following core beliefs:

 -the essential unity of God  

 -the complete humanity and essential divinity of Jesus  

 -the essential divinity of the Spirit  

Understanding of all scriptural doctrine is by faith which comes through the work of the Holy Spirit; therefore, it is appropriate that this mystery is celebrated the first Sunday after the Pentecost, when the outpouring of the Holy Spirit first occurred.  

The Trinity is best described in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, commonly called the Nicene Creed from 325AD.

Essentially the Trinity is the belief that God is one in essence (Greek "ousia"), but distinct in person (Greek "hypostasis"). The Greek word for person means "that which stands on its own," or "individual reality," but does not mean the persons of the Trinity are three human persons. Therefore we believe that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are somehow distinct from one another (not divided though), yet completely united in will and essence. 

The Son is said to be eternally begotten of the Father, while the Holy Spirit is said to proceed from the Father through the Son. Each member of the Trinity interpenetrates one another, and each has distinct roles in creation and redemption, which is called the Divine economy. For instance, God the Father created the world through the Son and the Holy Spirit hovered over the waters at creation. 

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The Importance of Trinity Sunday

Article from Building Faith – “Three Teaching Points of Trinity Sunday”

God is Love Because God is Trinity. “In the First Letter of John, we find one of the most comforting and profound claims about God, “So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is Love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.” (I John 4:16). For this to be true, for God to be love, completely and perfectly, God must also be Trinity. For there to be love you need three things; the lover, the beloved, and the love or union shared between the two. Only in the revelation of God as Trinity can we see that God is love.

The Trinity Is To Be Loved, Not Solved. “Look again at our verse from First John, “God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.” John is not trying to help us solve a puzzle; instead, he wants us to see that the Triune God has created us so that we might share in his love, that we might abide in God and God in us.

The Trinity is the Central Mystery of the Christian Faith and Life “When we are baptized, it is in the Name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Our prayer is Trinitarian in shape; for example, the collects in the Book of Common Prayer (BCP pg. 211) are addressed to the Father, through the Son, in unity with the Holy Spirit. Many of the postures we use in worship and prayer are Trinitarian; the sign of the cross, for example, invokes the Name of the Triune God. The whole of our lives as Christians is a participation in the mystery of the Holy Trinity.

Lectionary, Pentecost1 Trinity Sunday, Year B

I. Theme – The Trinity points to the mystery of unity and diversity in God’s experience and in the ongoing creative process

 Holy Trinity– Anton Rublev (1430)

The lectionary readings are here  or individually: 

First Reading – Isaiah 6:1-8
Old Testament – Psalm 29 Page 620, BCP
Epistle –Romans 8:12-17
Gospel – John 3:1-17 

Commentary by Rev. Mindi

The Call of Isaiah is dictated in chapter 6 with a glorious vision of God as a king seated on a throne surrounded by his attendants, the six-winged seraphs above the Lord. Even the seraphs seem not worthy of God, covering their feet and their faces, not daring to touch the holy space of heaven, not daring to look upon the face of God. Isaiah feels unworthy to speak in God’s presence, until the coal is pressed to his lips and Isaiah is purified. We are reminded through Isaiah’s vision that God is beyond our understanding, beyond our comprehension, but we do have a way of responding to God: through our answering God’s call, through our saying “yes” to God, to our saying, “Send me!” We may not understand God, but God understands us, and calls us into the world to carry God’s message.

Psalm 29 speaks of God as the Great Creator, whose voice carries the power of creation. God calls forth creation by speaking in Genesis 1 and the creative power of God’s voice is echoed here. It is God’s voice that calls creation out of the void, the deep, the darkness–and it is God’s voice that calls us out of the darkness of the world to witness to the light.

John 3:1-17 is the familiar story of Nicodemus which we read a portion of during Lent. Jesus speaks to Nicodemus about being born of the Spirit, and that God’s love for the whole world is so great that God has sent Jesus. We often read verse 16 without reading verse 17–that God did not send Jesus to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Using the Father-Son language, we understand the relationship of Christ to the Creator to be intimate, close, indwelling, along with the Spirit–a hint at the Trinity. While the Trinity is a concept never named in the Bible, we have inferred the triune relationship of God through scriptures such as these, knowing that we can never fully understand God, the Trinity helps us understand how God has been made known to us.

Romans 8:12-17 also infers the triune relationship of God by tying in our relationship with Christ as also being children of God, who have a close relationship with God to where we also can call God Abba (the Aramaic word for Father that Christ used indicates closeness). And we are led by the Spirit of God, who guides us in this world to the way of life.

Reflection and Response

We stand on holy ground. That truth resonates throughout today’s readings, reminding us of the essential sacredness of our experience, throughout all times and seasons.

The sacred character of human life springs from our intimate connection with the triune deity. God’s self-identification to Moses is not that of some distant figure, aloof from human life. Instead, he is the God of people: Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Rachel. If we substitute the names of our own parents or loved ones, we get the message. God is part and parcel of that most close and frustrating human relationship.

To see our ordinary days in this divine light takes a special gift of the Spirit. Elusive as the wind, it inspires and empowers us, enabling us to rise above our mortal limitations and place our lives in the context of the holy. The normal bounds of our thinking can be utterly shattered and expanded, just as Moses’ were when he saw a bush burning, yet not consumed.

The same irony is present as we realize that we are deeply human, yet somehow more than that. Redemption by Jesus implies that although we are doomed to die, we also inherit eternal life. The implications of that fact should brighten the dusty surface of our days.

We older folk become as skeptical as Nicodemus about the possibilities for rebirth. The noted teacher is quite willing to admit that the signs Jesus does mark him as one who lives in the presence of God. Yet the next step Jesus asks him to take is the difficult one: acknowledging that any person can see God’s kingdom as clearly, enter into this reign and be born of the Spirit.

In so doing, Paul says, we become joint heirs with Christ, suffering with him so that we can also share his glory. It is our union with Christ that makes all ground holy: our affections, our work, our suffering and triumphs.

Quietly consider:
If I am an heir of God, how then should I act?

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Trinity Sunday – the Trinity Knot

Trinity Sunday on our church calendar is the only Sunday in the year devoted to a doctrine of the church.

The Trinity Knot is also known as ‘Triquetra’ which comes from the Latin for ‘three-cornered’. It has been found on Indian heritage sites that are over 5,000 years old. It has also been found on carved stones in Northern Europe dating from the 8th century AD and on early Germanic coins. It developed during Ireland’s Insular Art movement around the 7th century

It’s likely the Trinity knot had religious meaning for pagans and it also bears a resemblance to the Valknut which is a symbol associated with Odin, a revered God in Norse mythology. According to the Celts, the most important things in the world came in threes; three domains (earth, sea and sky), three elements, three stages of life etc. It is also possible that the Triquetra signified the lunar and solar phases. During excavations of various archaeological sites from the Celtic era, a number of Trinity knot symbols have been found alongside solar and lunar symbols.

For Christians, the Trinity knot consists of three corners, some designs also include the circle in the center. The three points of the Trinity knot represent the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit and the circle eternal life

Nicene Creed – line by line

We say this creed every Sunday in the Eucharist service.  It is the central creed or belief of Christianity and goes back to 325AD.  On Trinity Sunday it is good to break it down into its essential meaning. 

Walls of Nicea

“I believe in one God

The Greek, Latin and proper English translations begin with “I” believe, because reciting the creed is an individual expression of belief.

the Father Almighty

God the Father is the first person, within the Godhead. The Father is the “origin” or “source” of the Trinity. From Him, came somehow the other two. God the Father is often called “God Unbegotten” in early Christian thought.

Maker of heaven and earth, And of all things visible and invisible:

Everything that is was created by God. Some early sects, the Gnostics and Marcionites, believed that God the Father created the spirit world, but that an “evil” god (called the demiurge) created the similarly evil material world.

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Sunday Links, May 19, 2024

Pentecost, May 19, 11am, Day of Pentecost, Bishop Visitation, Confirmation and Reception

  • Web site
  • YouTube St. Peter’s Page for viewing services
  • Facebook St. Peter’s Page
  • Instagram St. Peter’s Page
  • Location – 823 Water Street, P. O. Box 399, Port Royal, Virginia 22535
  • Staff and Vestry
  • Servers, Pentecost, May 19 11am
    Lector: Johnny Davis
    Acolyte: Arthur Duke
    Chalice Bearer: Andrea Pogue
    Altar Clean up: Everyone
  • The Rt. Rev Gayle Harris, Assisting Bishop in The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia will be here to confirm Zeke Fisher, Chester Duke, Hamilton Duke and receive Jean Devitt, Robin and Jim Monroe.
  • Wed., May 15, Ecumenical Bible Study, Parish House, 10am-12pm  Reading Lectionary for Pentecost
  • Wed., May 15, Village Harvest food distribution, 3pm-4pm Call Andrea (540) 847-9002 to volunteer. All help is welcome for this vital St Peter’s ministry. Time of food pick up and unloading of food to be announced for earlier in the week and help will be needed
  • Thurs., May 16, Confirmation Class concludes, 7:30pm-8:15pm in person.
  • Coming up!

  • Shred-It, Wed., June 12, 1:30pm
  • April newsletter
  • All articles for Pentecost Sunday, May 19, 2024