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.

Back to Jamaica in 2023

Donate school supplies for the children at the Victoria School in Jamaica. Two ways to do it:

  • 1. Purchase the actual supplies through Amazon
  • . Ship them to The supplies can be shipped to P.O.Box 385, Port Royal Va 22535.
  • 2. Make a check to St Peter’s with Jamaica/Victoria School on the memo line
  • In 2021, St. Peter’s fundraising contributed $3,000 for the school project.

    A mission trip was organized to setup the school distribution. The supplies were sent ahead of the distribution. This year only Andrea and Laura will be going to deliver the supplies.

    Victoria Primary School, formerly Victoria All-Age is located in North West St. Catherine about two (2) miles from the major town of Linstead in the farming community of Victoria. Victoria, along with the adjoining community of Banbury, where most of the children are from, has a populace of over 20,000.

    Approximately 10 % of the adult population is dependent on farming for a living, some of the produce from this activity is sold at the Linstead Market and the remainder kept for domestic use. Another 30% depends on vending as their main means of livelihood, 40% is employed while the remaining 20% is unemployed.

    The current parent population is very young with the average age being about 25 years. Most of them have attained secondary level of education but have not moved on to tertiary learning but instead have acquired a skill in order to become employable.

    The school was originally a shift school, an elementory. It was built to house about 200 children. At the time of the 2021 mission trip school population it was 330

    At the beginning of each school year, some parents often have financial challenges in purchasing items to send their children back to school. Some of these include the purchasing of school bags, writing books, pencils and uniforms etc. There are times when past students will assist in purchasing some of these items.

    Shred-it, May 19, an Essential Ministry

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

    Please note the change of date from Wed, May 10 to Fri, May 19

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

    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.

    There is also the environmental benefit for having these documents shred rather than lying in  some landfill. We don’t need any more paper cluttering our lives!

    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.

    It is also a fundraiser for our outreach ministries.  We have netted $2,570 over the last 10 years for outreach ministries.

    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 May 10 to let the professionals dispose of it securely.  Publicize it to your friends!

    Honoring Women’s leadership on International Women’s Day

    March 8 is International Women’s Day/ https://www.internationalwomensday.com “Celebrating women’s achievements and increasing visibility, while calling out inequality, is key.” “Collective action and shared ownership for driving gender parity is what makes International Women’s Day impactful.”

    Let’s call out the achievements of women at St. Peter’s:

    At St. Peter’s our key ministries are led by women. Andrea Pogue (Village Dinner, Village Harvest, Shred It, Sacred Ground, Jamaica mission), Cookie Davis (Buildings and Grounds, Sacred Ground as well as her work with historic Port Royal), Susan Linne von Berg (Village Dinner), Elizabeth Heimbach (ECW). BJ Anderson (Altar – Communion Bread), Jan Saylor (the above and anything creative), Denise Gregory (music) and Mary Peterman(music,art). One other lady to cite – Eunice Key who has moved to SC but who worked in most of the above ministries and named the Village Harvest and is in the collage. Diligent, hard working with abundant initiative to go along with it. Without them there would be a big gap.

    Souper Bowl collections

    Today, Feb. 12, 2023, we collected soup from parishioners today plus cards addressed to the recipients to provide additional connections to our Village Harvest food distribution, happening next Wed Feb. 15, 3pm-5pm. We collected about 25 cans and numerous cards. If was not just the donation that was important but also the symbolic bringing of the donation to the altar which we did today. This practice goes back to at least Exodus in the Old Testament when Moses encourages bringing donations forward to the Lord.

    Souper Bowl- Giving a can of Soup and a card this Sunday – the Gift of Life

    Why give ?

    A sermon by the Rev. Evan Garner highlighted why Church food ministries are so important in our time:

    “Because feeding them is our job. As followers of Jesus, it is our calling to feed these people, indeed to feed all hungry people. The kind of people who left their homes to walk out into the wilderness and hike up a mountain to see Jesus are the kind of people who were desperate to be fed. Some of them may not have needed physical nourishment, but most of them did. For most of them, their spiritual crisis was born out of an economic crisis. We know that because usually the kind of people who had enough on their own weren’t very interested in Jesus. The rich and the powerful ignored him or laughed at him or, sometimes, plotted against him.”

    “It is our job as the leaders of the church, as the stewards of the resources entrusted to us by God and by our parish, to count costs and estimate resources. But it is never our job as the people of God to allow an attitude of scarcity to overcome a theology of abundance. “

    The Village Harvest addresses the Food Insecurity issue in surrounding counties and is one our key ministries. The definition of Food insecure is “those households who not have access, at all times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members.”

    Food insecure is not the same as poverty. Many of those in poverty are not food insecure though poverty is one cause of food insecurity.

    There is a “poverty circle” just south of Port Royal in the direction of Fort A.P. Hill (map from Virginia Community Food Connections):

    Food insecurity is associated with numerous adverse social and health outcomes and is increasingly considered a critical public health issue. Key drivers of food insecurity include unemployment, poverty, and income shocks, which can prevent adequate access to food. Figures for food insecurity are expressed as a percentage of the population.

    Here is the data for the local counties which we serve from Feeding America and the percentage of those who are food insecure. There have been significant improvements in all counties since 2017 except for Westmoreland. Half of the local area is still above Virginia in food insecurity which we would like to reverse:

    2020 2017
    County % %
    Caroline 7.4% 11.3%
    Essex 11.0% 14.0%
    Westmoreland 10.7% 10.8%
    King George 5.6% 8.1%
    Virginia as a whole 7.7% 10.2%

    St. Peter’s spends about $2000 a year on food purchased from the Healthy Harvest Food Bank for the Village Harvest. Please give generously this Sunday. Thanks!

    Village Harvest in 2022

    The Village Harvest grew in 2022 both in numbers and food.  The number of people served rose from 999 to 1,051  and pounds of food from 14,303 to 15,302. The percentages of growth are 5% for people and 7% for food.  This compared to 2019 (8%) and 3% for people and food respectively. (The 2019 harvest had only 11 periods and thus the numbers were annualized for the comparison). Additionally, the positive growth in both people and food had not occurred together since 2016.

    One comparison is reviewing the Harvest is to consider. pounds per person. In 2022  it was 14.6 pounds closely followed in 2021 at 14.32. The 2022 figures not only posted an increase but are the best in the 8 year history of the harvest!  Another achievement in 2022 was going over 10,000 people served over the lifetime of the Harvest

    Thanks goes out to Eunice Key one of the originators of the program and who provide the name, “Village Harvest”.  The success of the harvest is due to volunteers like Eunice and Cookie and Johnny Davis who have delivered food from the Healthy Harvest Food bank month after month as well as Jim and Elizabeth Heimbach.  Kudos also go out to our current director Andrea Pogue who has contributed many pictures to display the Harvest.

    ECM gives $1,250 to the Community for Thanksgiving and Christmas, 2022

    Each year the Episcopal Church Men (ECM) provide support to those in need during the holidays by coordinating with the Caroline County Department of Social Services. In pre-pandemic times they donated Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas gifts to specific families from Social Services. With the Pandemic the Department of Social Services will continue providing families with secure store specific grocery limited gift cards.

    This year $500 was given for Thanksgiving and $750 for Christmas for a total of $1,250. It was the third year since 2020 that over $1,000 was provided!

    Thanks to all who contributed and to Ken Pogue and the leadership in the ECM for their work in organizing their ministry and this outreach effort!

    Giving Tuesday, 2022 results

    The 2022 collection on Giving Tuesday of $1,175 exceeded teh 2021 total of $899. This should help to pay for 5-6 months of the Village Harvest in 2023. We serve about 190 people a month. Wonderful!

    Also at the end November, the United Thank Offering collection was $484.73, rolling past November, 2021’s total of $268.87. The UTO is one of the oldest women’s ministry. Here is a short article on the UTO.

    From a recent article in Episcopal News Network. “Practicing gratitude can be “a truly transformative thing,” UTO Board President Sherri Dietrich told ENS, since it helps people focus on what they have instead of what they might be lacking. “It just makes your life happier,” she said, and that can have an impact on others. “I really believe gratitude is one of those things that changes a circle of the world around you and can spread from there.”

    Rev. Heather Melton, UTO staff officer called practicing gratitude “a healthy and important practice” and added that gratitude is sorely needed today. “We live in a time where people feel disconnected. Gratitude is one way to notice not only the thing someone is doing for you but also the connection we have with that person. Gratitude is a reminder that we need each other, from the person who makes your coffee to your best friend.”

    Thanks to all who contributed!

    ECM Collection for Thanksgiving, Christmas – $1,017.20!!

    As of Mon, Nov 14, the ECM (Episcopal Church Men has collected $1017.20 for their seasonal offering

    The plans are to distribute to social service to they can provide gifts cards for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The men will decide how to divide their gifts.

    The church will be collecting the Christmas portion of the offering until Sunday, Dec. 11

    Giving Tuesday, Nov. 29 – the background

    Why give ? The Village Harvest addresses the Food Insecurity issue in surrounding counties and is one our key ministries. Food insecure definition – These households to not have access, at all times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members. Food insecure is not the same as poverty. Many of those in poverty are not food insecure though poverty is one cause of food insecurity. Food insecurity is associated with numerous adverse social and health outcomes and is increasingly considered a critical public health issue. Key drivers of food insecurity include unemployment, poverty, and income shocks, which can prevent adequate access to food. Figures for food insecurity are expressed as a percentage of the population. Here is the data for the local counties which we serve:
    County %
    Caroline 7.4%
    Essex 11.0%
    Westmoreland 10.7%
    King George 5.6%
       
    Virginia as a whole 7.7%

    St. Peter’s spends about $2000 a year on food purchased from the Healthy Harvest Food Bank for the Village Harvest.

    Our goal is to raise $500 or about 25% during Giving Tuesday.

    Thanks to the generosity of St Peter’s, not only are we able to provide food, but Catherine has also been able to use her discretionary fund to help these people in other ways.  

    During the first  11 months of 2022, we have fed 970 people compared to 898 in the previous year during the same period.  The amount of food provided is about the same – 13,834 pounds for 2022 and 13,292 for 2021. Pounds per person, however, were higher in 2021 at 14.80 compared with 14.26 in the current year

    You can give at this link which has the mail and online address for Village Tuesday.. Many thanks for your help!