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.

Richard Rohr on St. Francis

Rohr is a Roman Catholic priest and writer. He is the founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation which brings together action and contemplation .

He recently created a video on St. Francis.

Rohr discusses St. Francis and his connection with nature which he refers to as “The First Bible”.  Some points

1 The  early Franciscans taught that the whole natural universe is the first Bible

2 if we murder and mangle and manipulate and destroy, how would we possibly have the skills to reverence and use, correctly, the written Bible?

3  You grant respect and reverence to nature and you let the animals talk back to you. Once you’re inside the enchanted universe where everything is granted subjectivity, you’re never lonely

World Communion Sunday, Oct. 1

What is World Communion Sunday? Churches this Sunday all over the world celebrate oneness in Christ in the midst of the world ever more in need of peacemaking and the universal and inclusive nature of the church. The tradition originated in the Shadyside Presbyterian Church in 1933, was adopted throughout the US Presbyterian Church in 1936, and subsequently spread to other denominations. The Episcopal Church also remembers students serving abroad, particularly the Young Adult Service Corp in the Episcopal Church.


Poem for World Communion Sunday 


We will sit down where feet tire from the journey.
    We will sit down where grief bends the back.  

We will sit down under roofs wrecked by artillery.
    We will sit down where cries sound from cracked walls.  

We will sit down where heat beats like hammers.
   We will sit down where flesh shivers in cold.  

We will sit down where bread bakes on thin charcoal.
   We will sit down where there is no grain in baked fields.  

We will sit down with those who dwell in ashes.
   We will sit down in shadow and in light.  

We will sit down, making friends out of strangers.
   We will sit down, our cup filled with new wine.  

We will sit down and let love flow like language.We will sit together at the table with no edges.
   We will sit to share one loaf, in Christ’s name, in one world.  

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!

Videos, Pentecost 17, Season of Creation 4, Sept. 24, 2023

1. Opening Hymn- “Not here for high and holy things”

2. Song of Praise- “A Scottish Blessing”

3. Sequence Hymn- “Amazing Grace”

4. Gospel and Sermon

Read more

Sunday Links, Sept 24, 2023, Pentecost 17, Season of Creation IV

  • Web site
  • YouTube St. Peter’s Page for viewing services
  • Facebook St. Peter’s Page
  • Location – 823 Water Street, P. O. Box 399, Port Royal, Virginia 22535
  • Sun. Sept. 24, 2023, 10:30, God’s Garden — A gathering of children ages 5-9. Sunday School activities and fun, led by Elizabeth Heimbach, Jan Saylor in the Parish House
  • Sun. Sept. 24, 2023, 11am Church service – Eucharist
  • Serving:

    Lector: Jennifer Collins
    Chalice Bearer: Andrea Pogue
    Altar Cleanup: BJ Anderson
    Lectionary link

  • Sun., Sept 24, Last day to bring snacks for kickball Place in the backrow.
  • Mon., Sept 25, ECW Tea in the Parish House, 3pm. Meeting is to welcome Jean Devitt, to choose where to send ECW money for outreach, and to plan upcoming activities.
  • Tues., Sept 26, Kickball at the Heimbach’s, 5:30-7pm. Sponsored by Caroline County Public Schools ; Cancelled due to inclement weather
  • Ecumenical Bible Study, Wed., Sept 27 10am-12pm, Parish House Reading Lectionary for Oct 1, Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost
  • Remembering St. Matthew Wed., Sept. 21
  • Remembering St. Michael and all the angels, Fri., Sept. 29

  • All articles for Sunday, Sept 24, 2023
  • Sept. newsletter
  • Recent Articles, Sun. Sept. 24, 2023

    Pentecost 17, Sept. 24, 2023
    Lectionary for Pentecost 17
    Lectionary commentary
    Visual Lectionary
    Season of Creation Podcast on this Lectionary
    God’s Garden 1st week review
    Matthew remembered, Sept. 21
    St. Michael and all the angels, Sept. 29
    Sept., 2023 newsletter

    Focus on the Season of Creation, Week 4
    The Season of Creation, 2023
    Keys to the Season of Creation, 2023
    5 areas of the Environment in the Season of Creation
    This week is food waste
    IPCC – Lowering emissions
    Project Drawdown
    Climate Change – Reduce

    Mission and Outreach
    Donations for Maui

    Andrea Pogue reported on St. Peter’s 2023 Jamaican mission trip Sept. 3, 2023 during church. This was our second mission trip after 2021 with the next trip planned for 2025. Thanks to Andrea and the entire mission team for a job well done serving 300 students with school supplies and prizes.

    Jamaican mission setup, Aug. 24, 2023
    Jamaican mission school distribution, Aug. 26, 2023
    Village Harvest

    Lectionary Pentecost 17, Proper 20, Year A, Sept 24, 2023

    I.Theme –   Grace to all who ask. However, we often covet God’s power to forgive and God’s control over who is forgiven and how.

     "Late Arriving Workers" – Jesus Mafa (1973)

    The lectionary readings are here  or individually: 

    Old Testament – Jonah 3:10-4:11
    Psalm – Psalm 145:1-8 Page 801, BCP
    Epistle –Philippians 1:21-30
    Gospel – Matthew 20:1-16 

    The scriptures focus on God’s gift of grace in the Old Testament and Gospel readings. We should not covet it or second guess and we may wait on the promise. As the Psalm emphasizes, praise God’”wonderous works” and celebrate the mercy, compassion and goodness of God.

    There is a sense of unity that should prevail as Paul stresses in the Epistle to the Philippians. They are bound together with Paul in a mutually supportive relationship — they share his conflict and suffering, because their entire struggle is a sharing in the sufferings of Christ. They are to live as free citizens — not of Rome, but of God’s coming rule on earth and stand firm in the face of adversity and to be loving and unselfish in their behavior towards one another.

    In the Old Testament reading, Jonah, has run away to avoid delivering the message of forgiveness that God has sent him to proclaim. Jonah complains about God giving grace to those in Ninevah "for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing," and surely this cannot be for them? Jonah regarded God’s "steadfastness" and grace as the unique, covenantal possession of Israel. However, it was not unthinkable that God would "change his mind" with regard to the nations.

    Ancient Nineveh was well known for its lawlessness and violence. Nineveh was the capital of Israel’s greatest enemy, Assyria. Assyria would later depose Israel sending them to Babylonia.

    Yet Nineveh also represents second chances to hear and obey the Lord. However, Jonah becomes angry, deserts Ninevah . God then caused tree to grow over Jonah but then sent a worm to attack the bush and then sent the heat and wind against Jonah.

    In the Gospel’s parable of the workers in the vineyard, Jesus likens the kingdom of heaven to a foreman who hired laborers early in the morning, then successively throughout the day at the third, sixth, ninth, and eleventh hours. A twelve-hour day of manual labor, with the "burden of the work and the heat of the day" is a long day. That evening the foreman settled accounts, paying those who had worked a meager one hour the same as those who had worked twelve hours.

    The repeated visits to the marketplace by the landowner to look for laborers is a warning to anticipate some other unexpected behavior from him. He is looking for the many to bring into the kingdom. In the Gospel, grace comes to those who work many or few hours. God’s grace is open to all.

    For Jesus the parable teaches that the gift of eternal life is not the reward of human merit, but a free gift of divine grace. The sacrifices of the followers of Jesus will be honored by God, but the reward will so far outstrip the sacrifice that it can only be called sheer grace, something God gives us or brings about in our lives that we cannot earn or bring about on our own steam.

    In an article in the The Chautauqan Daily, lecturer Amy-Jill Levine writes:

    "Many of the people in Jesus’ audience would have been day laborers and identified with the people in the story.  

    "Equal wages for workers, no matter what time of day they were hired, was not an unfamiliar aspect to Jewish law.  

    "The shock of the parable so far is not that everybody was paid equally; it’s how they were paid and the expectation that the first hired would actually receive more,” Levine said.  

    “The problem is not about economics; it’s about social relations,” Levine said. “They’re thinking in terms of limited good. … They’re thinking in terms of what they think is fair, but the landowner is thinking in terms of what he thinks is just.”

    "..perhaps the parable helps us redefine our sense of what good life, abundant living, means. We might have thought that the most important thing in life is to be fair, which means to be impartial. But perhaps the more important criterion is to be generous.”

    The parable is part of the great reversal – first will be last and the last will be first.

    Those who begrudge the landowners generosity were those who felt that they had earned what they received, rather than see their work and wages as gifts. The wages at stake (even at the moment of Jesus’ first telling of the parable) are not actual daily wages for vineyard-laborers, but forgiveness, life, and salvation for believers.

    The scandal of this parable is that we are all equal recipients of God’s gifts. The scandal of our faith is that we are often covetous and jealous when God’s gifts of forgiveness and life are given to other in equal measure.

    The reversal saying is also a word of challenge to the disciples in their attitudes toward women and children, and other "unimportant" people with whom Jesus chooses to mingle and eat, whom he heals and restores. The disciples could be among the last.

    The disciples, hearing this strange saying about reversal of status probably identified with the last who would become first. But Jesus was using the saying to caution them that, in a spiritual sense, they are in danger of becoming the first who would be last. Jesus’ followers are to beware of spiritual arrogance that makes them the self-appointed elite of others of lower degree.

    Read more

    Climate Change – and you – the big items

    Home owners


    • A house with a furnace is like a car that idles all day. Swap your furnace for a heat pump, which works by extracting heat from one location and transferring it to another (Tax Credit : 30% of the cost paid by the consumer, up to $2,000/year,)
    • Swap your gas stove for an electric stove, which will also lower indoor air pollution (rebate amount has not been publicized year)
    • Install a programmable thermostat model to turn off the heat/air conditioning when you’re not home.
    • Get a home or workplace energy audit to identify where you can make the most energy-saving gains.  ( Tax credit – 30% of the cost paid by the consumer, up to $150)
    • Consider Solar- This is  a significant expense but can vary depending on the company you choose.

    30% federal tax credit via Inflation reduction act. State – – A property tax exemption for the increase in home value after going solar.

    Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECS), which are financial incentives for generating clean electricity.  You gain one SREC for every 1,000 kilowatt-hours generated by your solar panels, and you can sell the credits to local electricity providers and other organizations that are subject to renewable energy mandates. As of 2023, each SREC can be sold for around $45 to $70.

    Solar alternative – Even if you can’t install solar panels, you can still be a part of the clean-energy economy. Check out – Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC) odec.com. ODEC has entered several long-term purchase power agreements for energy generated by wind, solar, and landfill gas resources. .

    Your home – other

    • Unplug computers, TVs and other electronics when you’re not using them
    • Turn off lights you’re not using and when you leave the room. Change to energy-efficient LED bulbs
    • Wash clothes in cold water. Hang-dry your clothes when you can
    • Draft proof.
      Drafts waste five to 30 per cent of energy. Those from basements and roofs cool the most. Seal doors, windows and chimneys in those areas first. Try testing with incense. Where the smoke wavers, a draft is blowing in.To seal leaks, make or buy a “door snake” and caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows. Look for non-toxic, eco-friendly caulks. You can also add small insulating covers underneath electric outlet wall plates on outside walls or beside cold basements and crawl spaces.
    • Insulate windows.
      Hang heavy curtains to keep the cold out and the cozy in. A cheaper solution: insulation film, available at most hardware stores. This plastic shrink film is easy to apply and keeps in much of the heat that would otherwise escape.
    • Reverse ceiling fans.
      Many ceiling fans have a reverse mode. When they turn clockwise, they push down warm air that pools near the ceiling and circulates it through the room.
    • Change furnace filters.
      Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase your furnace’s energy demand by making it work harder. Replace filters at least every three months during the heating season.Better indoor air quality is a nice side benefit of this energy-saving tip. Consider switching to a washable filter, which reduces waste and is more effective.
    • Check your thermostat.
      Every degree you turn it down can save between 1.5 and five per cent of your heating bill. A programmable thermostat will help you get efficient and consistent.Turn down the thermostat when you’re sleeping or out. It’s is the most efficient way to reduce your heating bill — and your eco-footprint.



    • Combine errands to make fewer trips. Remove excess weight from your car. Use cruise control.

                    Consider electric or hybrid or low carbon vehicle for your next car

    Speeding and unnecessary acceleration reduce mileage by up to 33%, waste gas and money, and increase your carbon footprint.

    • Properly inflated tires improve your gas mileage by up to 3%. It also helps to use the correct grade of motor oil, and to keep your engine tuned

                    Fly less and take alternate transportation