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.

Give to the ECM Christmas Outreach

From Ken Pogue. “Each year the Episcopal Church Men help St Peter’s provide support to those in need during the holidays.  The men coordinate with the Caroline County Department of Social Services to provide families in the area with gift cards

 “Your donations are greatly appreciated by the ECM and the recipients of the gifts in the Port Royal community, Thank you so very much in advance from a grateful community.”

If you’d like to donate for the Christmas offering, please make a check to St Peter’s with ECM in the memo line by Sunday, Nov. 12

Last year $750 was given at Christmas.

Summary of Diocesan Convention, Fri. Nov 5 from Andrea Pogue

The topic for Friday was “Closing the Gap between religion and life” How do we close it? It was led by Bishop Stevenson and guest speaker Dr. Catherine Meeks

They talked about reparations, racism, church declining numbers, and young people.

1 Reparations are not only associated with money but is about relationship with one another, acknowledging the wrong that was done, the struggles that we are still facing, haves and haves-nots which are for the most part due to the color of their skin.
2. Race. In the church, the community is diverse. One person spoke about their community as more than 50% Afro-Americans but only 17% in church. Are we not approachable? Is our faith keeping people away? Let’s do something about that.
3. Decline in church – Bishop Stevenson mentioned a church that had declined to 15 members, 4 -5 years ago. Now -5 years later they have 40 members in the church. That’s awesome!

Read more

Veterans Day, 2023

1. “Let Us Beat Swords into Plowshares”                                    
2. “Tragedy of War”-Michael LaPalme

At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, World War I (called the Great War) ends.

Veterans Day on November 11 honors everyone who has served in the military, whether or not they served in wartime or died in battle (Memorial Day).

On November 11, 2018 at the beginning of the worship service, we along with many Americans tolled bells in remembrance of those who served and sacrificed. It is an important day years after this anniversary.

From a Litany for Veterans by Robb McCoy-“God of love, peace and justice, it is your will for the world that we may live together in peace. You have promised through the prophet Isaiah that one day the swords will be beaten into plow shares. Yet we live in a broken world, and there are times that war seems inevitable. Let us recognize with humility and sadness the tragic loss of life that comes in war. Even so, as we gather here free from persecution, we may give thanks for those that have served with courage and honor. ”  Here is an English Veterans’ Service.

All gave some, Some gave all.

While the US has “Veterans’ Day” celebrating and honoring all veterans who have served, Europe and Canada has “Remembrance Day” about the end of World War I  on November 11, 1918.  The red remembrance poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem “In Flanders Fields”. These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I; their brilliant red color became a symbol for the blood spilled in the war.

Mark Knopfler wrote “Remembrance Day” about this day. The song and  illustrated slideshow are here .

From “Remembrance Day”

“Time has slipped away The Summer sky to Autumn yields A haze of smoke across the fields Let’s sup and fight another round And walk the stubbled ground

“When November brings The poppies on Remembrance Day When the vicar comes to say May God bless everyone Lest we forget our sons

“We will remember them Remember them Remember them”

Prayers of the People, All Saints, 2023

The Prayers of the People

We give you thanks for those we have known and loved in this lifetime who rejoice with us, but upon another shore and in a greater light, that multitude which no one can number, and with whom, in your son Jesus Christ, we are one.  

James Abourezk, (friend of Linda Kramer), John Anderson (brother of Jim Anderson), Susan Allen (friend of Linda Kramer),  Bethune Andrews  (sister of Linneth Feliciano), Ruby Barnes  (sister of Laura Carey), Mattie Beale (friend of Mary Peterman and Denise Gregory), Easton Buchanan (cousin of Andrea Pogue), John Thomas Carter (Barbara Wisdom’s stepfather), Roger Chartters (friend of the Segars), Pansy Cohen (relative of Andrea Pogue) , Herb Collins (friend of Cookie Davis and Port Royal), David Fannon, David Fitzgerald (son of Lydia O’Neil),  Lynn Garrett,  Edward Geraci, (brother of Marion Mahoney), Louise Gossett (friend of Catherine Hicks) , Taylor Hayden (member of Scout Troop 304), Joan Johnson (Andrea Pogue’s family) , Billy Long (Larry Saylor’s brother-in- law)  Bill McKnight (Chris Fisher’s uncle) , Nancy Newton Nolen (friend of Barabara Segar), Beverly Pauken (Mary Peterman’s sister), Sandra Smith, John Stoddard (friend of the Upshaws), Paris Swisher ( friend of Tom and Alice Hughes), Edith Taylor (friend of Cookie Davis), John Vartonklan, MD.,  Robert Walker, Jane Harrington Webber  (Linda Kramer’s aunt), Jeremiah Williams 

Tolling of the Bell 

“We Remember Them”- Sylvan Kamens & Rabbi Jack Riemer 

At the rising of the sun and at its going down; We remember them. 

At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter; We remember them. 

At the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring; We remember them. 

At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer; We remember them. 

At the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of the autumn; We remember them. 

At the beginning of the year and when it ends; We remember them.  

When we are weary and in need of strength; We remember them. 

When we are lost and sick at heart; We remember them. 

When we have decisions that are difficult to make; We remember them. 

When we have joy we long to share; We remember them. 

When we have achievements that are based on theirs; We remember them. 

For as long as we live, they too will live, for they are now a part of us as, we remember them. 

Loving God, you have bound us together in one communion and fellowship.  Grant to us, your whole Church in heaven and on earth, your light and your peace as we continue on in our pilgrimage in faith with one another and with Jesus, our companion and friend.  Amen. 

And now, let us pray for an end to all violence and for the desire to walk the way of Jesus, for if only we follow that path,  we will find God’s reign of love here, on this earth.  

Lord, make us instruments of your peace.  Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.  Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love.  For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.  Amen. 

Recent Articles, Oct. 29, 2023

Pentecost 22, Oct. 29, 2023
Lectionary for Pentecost 22
Photos Oct. 29, 2023
Videos, Oct. 29, 2023
Commentary Oct. 29
Vanderbilt visual commentary
The Flow of the lectionary
Stewardship Commentary
Gospel Reflection
Concept of love in Biblical times
Introduction to Thessalonica
Why does Paul go to Thessalonica”
Request for names for All Saints Sunday

The Village Harvest, Oct. 2023, the end of 9 years
ECM Thanksgiving donations
Completion of God’s Garden class

End of October
Reformation Day Oct. 31, 2023
How do we get halloween (Oct. 31) from All Saints (Nov. 1) and All Souls(Nov.2)?

Stewardship 2024
To be a Church Rooted in Love
Planning your financial giving
Options for estimating your giving
Ministry Connections

About Stewardship
5 Principles of Stewardship
Stewardship is…
Stewardship FAQ

2024 Planning
Walk in Love planning help

Fall photos
Robert Frost, October
Early Fall

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.

Church open Oct. 17, 2023, 12 pm-2 pm for prayer

St Peter’s Episcopal, Port Royal, will be open Tues, Oct. 17 for prayer. Please plan to come to the church tomorrow anytime between noon and 2PM to pray for peace in the Middle East. Feel free to come for a short time, or to stay for the whole time. People are welcome to come and go throughout the two hours. We will be praying along with people around the world who are joining the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem who have called for this day of prayer.

Our time together will include a short prayer service at noon, which will include spoken prayers and some meditative music.

After this opening, people are invited to use the various resources that will be available in the church as we pray silently in solidarity with one another and with others around the world who will also be praying for peace.

A short prayer service at 1:50PM will conclude our time of prayer together.

Walk in Love Planning Help Needed!

The new church year starts on the first Sunday in Advent, this year on Sunday, December 3rd. The Vestry has decided that the coming year’s theme will be Walk in Love.

Each season will have a particular focus. The focus of the Advent and Christmas season will be Walk to the Manger. The season after The Epiphany will be Walk in the Light. The seasons of Lent and Holy Week will be Walk to the Cross. The Season of Easter will be Walk in New Life. The season after Pentecost will be Walk in the Way. Catherine and the Vestry will be working on what we do together as the church with these themes in mind. We need a planning committee!

If you are interested in helping with the fun of planning the new year, please complete contact Catherine at (540) 809-7489 or complete this form. Thanks for willingness to help plan!

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The new church year starts on the first Sunday in Advent, this year on Sunday, December 3rd. The Vestry has decided that the coming year’s theme will be Walk in Love. Each season will have a particular focus.

If you are interested in helping with the fun of planning the new year, please complete this form:

“Try Not To Miss Anything…”

By Dr. Kathy Bozzuti-Jones. She is Trinity Episcopal NY Associate Director, Spiritual Practices, Retreats, and Pilgrimage.

“When When it’s over, it’s over, and we don’t know any of us, what happens then. So I try not to miss anything. I think, in my whole life, I have never missed The full moon or the slipper of its coming back. Or, a kiss. Well, yes, especially a kiss.” -Mary Oliver (2010). “Swan: Poems and Prose Poems”, p.42, Beacon Press

As autumn begins to make its royal showing here in the Northeast, it’s a good time to celebrate the brilliance, the beauty, and the tender reverence of Mary Oliver’s poetry. “Try not to miss anything” was one of her instructions. It may sound a bit like FOMO (fear of missing out), but for Oliver, it’s all about quality, not quantity.

Her practice of present-moment awareness, evident in her poems about the natural world, has led some to call her “the poet of awe.” In her poem What Can I Say, for example, she writes, “The song you heard singing in the leaf when you were a child is singing still.” While some critics find her work to be lacking in complexity, others of us have folded her writings into our spiritual disciplines, prayer, and faith lives, precisely because of their freshness and simplicity. Oliver’s talent for viewing the world with the eye of the child and the reverence of a devotee makes her poetry resonant and visceral. She tries not to miss anything and invites us to do the same.

Pick up any Mary Oliver poem this month and experience her commitment to careful observation and deep listening. In fact, her definition of prayer is paying attention. She finds God through being truly present, especially to the natural world, leading her to experiences of wonder and moving the reader to compassion and gratitude. In Thirst, she prays, “Oh Lord, love for the earth and love for you are having such a long conversation in my heart.”

It is no mean feat to be fully present, so engaged and intimate with a subject, to truly see it — and to see yourself in it. To truly see it — and to see God in it. This is the secret that contemplatives and mystics know. And therefore the rest of us practice prayer and contemplation for a glimpse or two. Oliver asks in Invitation, “Oh do you have time / to linger / for just a little while / out of your busy / and very important day / for the goldfinches…” The line breaks seem to echo the start-stop ways in which we tend to live our daily lives, charging along and missing an abundance of beauty along the way.

We are surrounded by beauty and opportunities for thanks. And all we need to do is stop and stand in awe.

Her poems invite us to begin to slow down and focus on small details, as in The Summer Day, where she asks, “Who made the grasshopper? This grasshopper, I mean — the one who is eating sugar out of my hand…” Not just any grasshopper, but this very one, right here. If we were to stand still and look at it (or a tree, a river, tuft of moss, a goose or dog or wave) long enough, it might teach us something about prayer, too.

With her emphasis on presence and wonder, Mary Oliver models for us a posture of receptivity, which is essential in the spiritual life. We are called to live into our full humanity as made in God’s image — actively seeking mutual receptivity and mutual presence in the divine dance of living. Not just to observe, but to participate in what we observe and, in doing so, to receive its gift: to witness God in all things and all things in God.

This fall, let us practice noticing those things that point us to the presence of God. We are surrounded by beauty and opportunities for thanks. And all we need to do is stop and stand in awe.

So, practice silence. Practice paying attention. Practice observation as prayer. Practice listening for another voice. Dispose yourself to the mystery in front of you and allow yourself to experience awe as mutuality.

Mary Oliver’s invitation is to treat the details of your day as blessing. May we follow her example by remembering to be astonished. May we learn gratitude through loving this world and seeing God in all of it. May we experience the presence of divine love in all the blessings and sufferings that compose our lives. And may we bring our questioning spirits to the woods or fields or parks or porches, “with our arms open,” in a reverent search for oneness.

Blessings and peace,
Dr. Kathy Bozzuti-Jones and the Faith Formation and Education team