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.

“God’s Garden” Fall Session Completed

This fall, Jan Saylor and Elizabeth Heimbach have been meeting each Sunday with a wonderful group of children who have been enthusiastic about singing, talking, listening, and learning.

God’s Garden met for the first time on Sept 17 for 30 minutes in the Parish House before church for 5-9 year olds. The curriculum was developed by the Episcopal Relief and Development organization, and it is designed to help children see God’s gifts around them everywhere in the world of nature.

The class combines song “The Lord’s Been Good to Me”, Bible stories, and crafts. The first lesson focused on water; other lessons centered on animals, seeds, and soil. A favorite part of the animal lesson involved packing little bags of treats for cats and dogs. The class was delighted to distribute the treats to pet lovers as part of the service celebrating St. Francis.

Attendance has been mosty comprised of 3 girls who are very engaged answering questions and responding. The class completed after Sunday’s lesson Oct. 22, 2023. Looking forward, Jan and Elizabeth hope to continue with a second session later in the year.

What Does Ministry Look Like ?

This is a PowerPoint comprising a list and description of St. Peter’s ministries under four headings – internal, local partners, state and national partners and international partners. The internal are distinguished by parishioner involvement and are generally active yearly. The others may not be active every year.

Many of these ministries represent the day to day work of the church, both outreach into the world and inreach for those within the church. The church is more than just Sunday and the St. Peter’s building but is working in the world! They involve the both the clergy and parishioners in the church as well as others. Many of these ministries are historic (Bible Study is 20 years old) but some, like Sacred Ground were created in the last five years.

To see a full screen version, press right button in the bottom windows   to open in a new window

Your giving for 2024 is crucial to making these ministries thrive. Also, consider joining these ministries and contribute toward their successes. We are always on the lookout for new ministries. An example is Andrea Pogue’s work with Shred-it which originated with her.

Creating Pet Blessings for St. Francis Day, Oct. 4

Our Christian Education class for children, “God’s Garden” explored what is meant to be a saint, today (Oct. 1, 2023) as a prelude for St. Francis day on Oct. 4. As an example they told the story of St. Francis taming the Wolf of Gubbio. Then, they made Pet blessings with treats to give out in church to make pets happy on St. Francis Day, Oct. 4.

Three videos show packing the bags, processing into church during the first hymn, and finally handing them out during the announcements. A fun activity for all with the children gaining an appreciation for this popular saint.

1. Making Pet Treats

2 Procession to the church during “Morning has Broken”

3. Distribution of the treats during Announcements.

When the Sermon stopped – blame it on Jonah!

Art Linkletter had a phrase from his TV show many years ago – “Kids say the darndest things!! We had a Linkletter moment at St. Peter’s today.

The children in Sunday School on Sept 24 had a lesson on water and the story of Jonah and the whale was included. Later, during the sermon in Church, the Rev. Tom Hughes mentioned Jonah as part of Old Testament lessons and stressed that it demonstrated the grace and forgiveness of God. Then, a child raised her hand and a discussion began which led to a rapid end of the sermon in a good way. The children had paid attention in Sunday School!

The video has part of the Sunday school lesson on Jonah, about 4 minutes 25 seconds. Then after 4 blank seconds the end of Tom’s sermon is spliced in. The children did not have a microphone but in the end, it didn’t matter!

“God’s Garden” Begins

A new ministry debuts 9/17/2023! God’s Garden for 5 to 9 year olds began with 4 children and two experienced teachers, Elizabeth Heimbach, the originator of the class and Jan Saylor. With this age range the pace is fast. The lessons included a song which will be weekly and then the focus was on water. This was apropos since we are celebrating the Season of Creation during September. After a song on creation, the class looked at why water is necessary through agriculture, people, and nature. The teachers next asked for examples of water in the Bible. With a little prompting the children brought up Noah’s flood and Jonah being swallowed by a whale. Water is necessary but there are hazards!

An engaging segment demonstrated how Moses life was shaped by water in multiple ways. Miriam is the sister who watches over her baby brother Moses among the bulrushes on the banks of the Nile. Their mother had hidden Moses in a basket on the riverbank to protect him from Pharaoh’s decree to throw all Hebrew baby boys into the river. Pharaoh’s daughter finds the floating basket on the Nile River with a helpless baby inside. She adopts him and calls him Moses. What a way to start your life!

Both the children and teachers were enthusiastic in the class, which made for good learning and the conversations flowed in both directions.

Images left to right top to bottom. Taking about creation (the big world!), a song, water in our time, and story of Moses

Sacred Ground resumes…

Please consider joining Sacred Ground, the group at St Peter’s working specifically for racial reconciliation in our lives, in our community, in our nation and in the world.  All are welcome.   We are meeting on Zoom on Sept. 12. 

Members of the group are coordinating with Germanna Community College Workforce to seek a recipient for the St Peter’s Sacred Ground Scholarship as we move forward.  

We are seeking information from the Diocese about the history of St Peter’s, so that we can understand our history more fully as we learn about how our past is intertwined with the institution of slavery.  

We hope to deepen understanding of the history and culture of the Native Americans of the Rappahannock and Patawomeck Tribes by planning a field trip to the Patawomeck Museum and Cultural Center in Stafford and working to establish a connection with the Rappahannock Tribe.

The group will also choose a book to read and to discuss as we  to continue increase the knowledge that will help us to improve our work for racial reconciliation. 

Join the meeting on Zoom,  7PM on Tuesday, September 12.  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85488115724?pwd=K0tJTTV1VTA4Z3RLUWhUZlUwdlkzdz09 Meeting ID: 854 8811 5724  Passcode: 539098