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.

Jamaica team in Jamaica

The St Peters mission team shown here—Ken Pogue, Johnny and Cookie Davis, Laura Carey, Jan Saylor and not pictured, Andrea Pogue and Catherine Hicks, along with members of Andrea’s family, spent Friday unpacking supplies and getting the bookbags stuffed and ready for the distribution. This photograph was taken in one of the classrooms for the older children.

FredCamp Lunches, June 29-July 3, 2015

Thanks to Barbara Segar, Nancy Long, Cherry Everett, Becky Fisher, Betty Kunstmann, Elizabeth Heimbach and Catherine Hicks for their help in providing FredCamp lunches from June 29-July 3. We have supported FredCamp with lunches for the past four years. A great outreach project! This year one of the sites was right in Port Royal- 7213 Royal Street. These pictures were taken by Catherine on the last day, July 3. Kentucky Fried Chicken and all of the fixings plus pizza was served and devoured.

Cooking for the Team, October 17, 2014

|Roger, Eunice, Cookie, Johnny, Betty, Clarence, Charles and Catherine for their help in feeding a bunch of hungry guys in “Cooking for the Team”, Caroline High School football team. They partnered with Second Mount Zion, Dawn, including Beverly Baylor, Elnora Smithers, Dorothy Tolliver and Stanley Quash. St. Peter’s fixed the chicken and macaroni and Second Mount Zion the String beans, fruit and rolls

7th Community Dinner, March 30, 2013

We had our 7th Community Dinner on the Saturday before Easter. As with Christmas we partnered with Parks and Rec and Caroline’s Promise. Parks and Rec provided the publicity and decorations. Caroline’s Promise the easter baskets and crafts. St. Peter’s donated 880 plastic eggs plus 43 bags/boxes of candy, individually wrapped. We had slightly lower numbers than Christmas and estimates ranged from 80-120

Return to Staten Island Dec. 1-6, 2012

Catherine, Roger, Lamar and Travis left St. Peter’s after church on Dec. 1, 2012 to journey back to Staten Island. Another clothes distribution was getting organized but not one for school children, but for the entire island devastated by Hurricane Sandy a month earlier. Catherine’s sister Lynnette, pictured with the group above, worked with a local Congressman to have clothes from Idaho and other places delivered. St. Peter’s group along with others, including Moravians from Bethlehem, washed them at a local laundry, carried them in and worked on sorting the clothes.

Mission Trip to Staten Island Aug 22-28, 2012

These are Catherine’s pictures from the Staten Island trip, Aug 22-28, 2012. With the Moravians and other churches they helped over 1,000 people obtain clothing for the next school year. We had 13 participate in the trip. The Fishers, Wendy Gayle, Elizabeth and Jim Heimbach, Johnny and Cookie Davis, Eunice and Roger Key and Catherine.

Community Dinner Dec. 13, 2013

We partnered again with Caroline’s Promise, Parks and Recreation, Town of Port Royal, Memorial Baptist to provide a Christmas experience on Dec. 13, 2013 for the children and families. We probably had 150+ people, larger than 2012. St. Peter’s provided the food – two kinds of soup, bread and vegetables. The Fishers did the face and hand painting. Numerous crafts and games were setup. After 6pm, we moved outside for caroling led by Nancy, culminating in the lighting of the tree and the arrival of Santa Claus. The line was long for Santa. After sitting on Santa’s lap, each child received a gift. St. Peter’s also donated the $50 Sheetz gas card for the raffle. Barbara Wisdom and the Evening ECW did an excellent job in organizing this wonderful evening

Community Dinner #6, Dec. 14, 2012

This was our 6th and final community dinner, begun in mid-2011 and sponsored in part by a Mustard Seed Grant. We went out in style – 100 + people, not counting Santa and the workers. We partnered with Parks and Rec. and Caroline’s Promise which was an idea from Nancy. Workers from the Evening ECW included Barabara, Phyllis Sue, Catherine, Elizabeth, Andrea and also Nancy with the beverages and cake. Thanks for Barbara and Nancy for their planning. A beautiful evening as you will see in the pictures.

5th Community Dinner, June 9, 2012

We held the 5th community dinner on June 9, 2012 at the Fire house on a beautiful summer evening with relatively mild temperatures. It was the one year anniversary and it featured Stanley’s new grill with Kirkland’s hamburgers and hotdogs. We served 25 at the dinner with 12 people helping from St. Peter’s. We also gave away a $50 gas card.

Community Dinner #4 – March 10, 2012

We had 28 to dinner on our fourth community dinner on March 10, 2012 at the Firehouse. Thanks to the Evening ECW and particularly Barbara Wisdom, Cynthia Fields and Elizabeth Heimbach, and ECW member Cookie Davis as well as those from the ECM, Stanley Fields and Boyd Wisdom. Stanley cooked 3 pots of wonderful chile and others contributed the salad, brownies and corn bread. Also thanks to the Diocese of Va. for the Mustard Seed grant.

Community Dinner for Port Royal, June 4, 2011

The first Community Dinner sponsored by the ECW and ECM on was held June 4 besides the fire house. The weather was perfect – mid 80’s under blue skies. We had 25 people outside the Church attend and the consensus was it was a good start for these dinners.

Community Dinner #2, Sept 3, 2011

Our second dinner was smaller than the first, possibly due to the scheduling on Labor Day weekend. Nevertheless we had 16 guests and gave out 14 bookbags and other supplies.

World Refugee Day, June 20

“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” – Hebrews 13:2

World Refugee Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2000 to celebrate the strength and courage of those around the world who have been forced to flee their home country to escape prosecution or conflict.   World Refugee Day helps to raise awareness about the growing refugee crisis in places like Syria and Central Africa and to focus on ways to improve the lives of refugees. 

“ Refugee” is a legal term used to define an individual who:

“…owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.” (1951 Geneva Refugee Convention.) 

Read more

The Connection – Juneteenth (June 19) and World Refugee Day (June 20)

Juneteenth is related to World Refugee Day.

Juneteenth and World Refugee Day are times to celebrate what has been done to make our world better for all and reminds us to recommit ourselves to the healing work we need to do before we can all truly be free. It also reminds us to attend to the systemic forces that prevent change, keep oppression in place, and distract us with the falsehood that one person’s freedom must be another person’s loss. As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”—Ruth Frey

Jesus disturbed the comforted and comforted the disturbed – Ryan W. Clayton

Junetenth is about personal freedom. World Refugee Day also proclaims the value of each person as a unique child of God and commit ourselves to the healing and wholeness of all persons.

There is a community element as well. As the Bishop of Atlanta writes “God rejoices when we celebrate the truth-that we were made for each other and for God’s glory. “How good and how pleasant it is for brothers and sisters and siblings to dwell together in unity.”

Juneteenth also preserved the integrity of the family by allowing families to stick together without the possibility of being sold. World Refugee Day remembers and honors the families and individuals made homeless by disasters, wars, poverty, and intolerance around the world.

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Shred-It, June 12, 2024, 1:30pm

Above – From Left to right, top to bottom – 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2022

Shred-it is an essential ministry because it involves a number of people around a common necessary task that is best accomplished by professionals.

Why support Shred-It?

1. For you. Shred-it’s goal is to safely dispose of records no longer needed. It may be old Tax returns, bank statements, investment records,  any expired document etc.   They lie around gathering dust and may contain personal information that needs to be kept secured even if the records are no longer pertinent or useful. For obvious reasons we don’t want to put them in the regular trash or even recycling bin. Dispose of sensitive documents safely and securely, and free up needed space at home or work.

2. There is also the environmental benefit for having these documents shred rather than lying in  some landfill. A majority of people in the US still sends their trash to the dump. Harmful chemicals and greenhouse gases are released from rubbish in landfill sites. Recycling helps to reduce the pollution caused by waste.

3. Fellowship Shred-it is a fellowship event as well that goes beyond the church. It is a community event  We get to see people who come around once a year from the community. We might ask “What’s new ? How has your life changed over the year ? Have you seen so and so from the neighborhood” and then .”Thanks for contributing to St. Peter’s ministries.” Andrea usually had food to encourage the fellowship.

It is also a time to remember those no longer part of our lives whether due to relocation, sickness, death  or some other reason. It is another event that is part of the scrapbook of our lives.

4. For the church. It is also a fundraiser for our outreach ministries.  The funds we earn less the cost of the Shred-it truck helps our outreach ministries, such as the Village Harvest food distribution, which plows funds back into the Port Royal community. We have netted $2,875 over the last 11 years for outreach ministries.

5. Finally, Shred-it is another opportunity to thank Andrea Pogue who came up with the idea and has organized it since.   For all these reasons here it is a great ministry!

So I am encouraging you to check your valuable records, stuff that needs to go that you don’t want to entrust with your regular garbage or recycling services and plan to bring it to St. Peter’s on June 12 to let the professionals dispose of it securely.  Publicize it to your friends!

Sunday’s Thoughts, June 2, 2024

A lovely collect this Sunday was a good start – “On this day of rest and gladness, we praise you, God of creation, for the dignity of work and the joy of play, for the challenge of witness and the invitation to delight at your table. Renew our hearts through your sabbath rest, that we might be refreshed to continue in your work of restoring the world to wholeness. Amen”

It is all about energy – work, play, witness, renewal and restoration.

This sense of energy carried through to the blessing-
“May the light of God illumine the heart of our souls.
May the flame of Christ kindle us to love.
May the fire of the Spirit free us to live.
This day, and forever more.”

We had the Rev. Shirley Smith Graham to talk to the congregation about the transition, planning and next steps. Johnny and the Vestry are handling this.

The sermon use the clay pots metaphor to illustrate Paul’s reading from Corinthians – “We have this treasure in clay jars.” In one case light can shine through and another it cannot. This was acted out by three children helpers. It provided examples of how St. Peter’s lets light shine through – the Village Harvest distributing food, the Jamaica project providing educational materials, the work with other organizations in the area including the schools, Sacred Ground providing scholarships.

We had another one coming up this month in June. Some of the best ministries are home grown and we have Shred-It that is a combination of fellowship, ecological goodness and outreach. On June 12, 1:30pm bring your documents to the church to be securely shred. Enjoy the fellowship with neighbors. Make a monetary contribution to St. Peter’s outreach for keeping your documents safe, secure and out of the landfill.

“Only God could give this small church the power to accomplish these things. God’s power works in us so that God’s glory can shine out through us.”

A nod to the transition – We are going to get broken in this life and suffer “big and and little deaths”. But these can be beneficial ” Change cracks us open so that new light and life can flow in and then back out into the world. Churches in transition are in the process of dying to what has been so that they can be open to the new life that will be, new life and light that they can then pour out into the world.”

Paul had the last word in the sermon – “Paul was right. We do have this treasure of God’s light in clay jars. So may we welcome the breaking, the spilling, the hardships, and the changes that life brings to each one of us and to our church. For through us, Jesus is already coming again in glory every time we get broken apart and his light shines and pours out through our brokenness into the world”

Update on Snacks for Caroline County Public Schools

Based on information discussed at the February CERVE meeting regarding the need for snacks at the elementary schools in Caroline County, St Peter’s Vestry made a donation, along with many other churches, to raise $1268 to be spent on snacks for the three schools. Teachers at these schools have been individually providing snacks for their classrooms since many of the children cannot afford to bring a daily snack to school.  

One of the CERVE members coordinated with personnel at the three county elementary schools, getting input about what snacks would be wanted.  She then purchased juice boxes, fruit cups, apple sought and other healthy snacks and delivered snacks to the three schools.  With the donations received, the schools will receive snacks through the rest of this school year.  Needless to say, everyone is extremely grateful for this direct help for our Caroline County children.