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.

Prayer Walk, 2017

 Sunday, June 25,2017, Prayer Walk (full size gallery)


This was a meaningful event on many levels, visiting 11 stops in Port Royal for about an hour, starting at 8:30am. Bishop Shannon had not done a prayer walk or "beating of the bounds" since he was a Parish Priest. The beauty of the early morning captivated all, especially the nature stops. We invited the Baptists at Shiloh and Memorial to pray with us . We had the fisherman on the river participate.  We talked about the history of the places visited. It was an event of interest to all ages. We had all 3 orders present – Deacon, Priest and Bishop

Thanks to Catherine for writing the prayers, the Bishop for walking with us and all who participated, about 13. We want to do this again with parishioners and others writing prayers. It helps us see the larger picture in our community to work with our brothers and sisters in Christ and to share in the blessings we have. A great event!

The test used is below. 

Port Royal Prayer Walk

June 25, 2017 

Beginning in the St Peter’s graveyard 

Years before this church was built, Anglicans in this community met in one another’s homes to pray.  History remains silent on how the decision to build this church was made, except for a sentence or two in one young woman’s diary, in which she wrote of her longing that she and the others might someday have a church in which to worship.  Over time, her longing became a reality, and St Peter’s rose, brick by brick, on the banks of the Rappahannock.  Here in this quiet graveyard, those whose vision and faith built this church and cared for it over the years surround us and silently support us now as we do the work that God has given us to do in this church, and in this town.  

Together, let us pray: 

Eternal God, we give you thanks and praise for those who have gone before us, steadfast in their faith and diligent in their labors for your glory, who worshipped and served you in this place, and cared for everything so well that we too have the blessing of gathering here to praise your Holy name. “And now, Father, send us out to do the work you have given us to do, to love and serve you as faithful witnesses to Christ our Lord.  To him, to you, and to the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.”   

Walk to the end of Water Street. 

Fish swarmed in the waters of the Rappahannock, bear and deer thrived in the forests along the shores, and eagles flew high above, always watching.   The Native Americans settled here, and then later the Colonial settlers who built this town.    Today, the Mayor, Jim Heimbach and the Town Council, and Nancy Long, Caroline County Commissioner from Port Royal, make every effort to work for the common good of all who live here.  May their efforts on behalf of this town and this area bring peace and stability for all. 

Let us pray:

(Bishop Shannon)

Almighty God our heavenly father, send down upon these people who hold office in this Town and County the spirit of wisdom, charity and justice; that with steadfast purpose they may faithfully serve in their offices to promote the well-being of this earth and all people; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.   

(Walk to the Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge) 

The Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge was established by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in 1996 to protect and enhance important habitat for migratory birds along the Rappahannock River and its major tributaries.  These lands also help to protect water quality, acting as a protective skin that intercepts polluted runoff and allows it to be cleansed as it percolates through the ground.  Today we give thanks for the dozens of volunteers who work year-round to keep the refuge open and accessible to all who seek calm, solace, and renewal in the natural world.  

Let us pray:

(Bishop Shannon)

O gracious Father, you open your hand and fill all things living with plenty:    Bless the lands and the waters, give us the will to preserve and protect your good creation, and let your Spirit go forth, that it may renew the face of the earth.  Show your loving-kindness, so that this refuge may provide life, safety and renewal to all.  Open our eyes to behold your gracious hands in all your works, that rejoicing in your whole creation, we may learn to serve you with gladness.  And save us from the selfish use of what you give, so that all people who enjoy the natural wonders and the peace of this refuge may give you thanks for the beauty of your creation; through Christ our Lord. Amen.  

Walk to the intersection of Caroline Street and Market Street.                                          

In the early history of Port Royal, Market Street was known as Velvet Street because the way was covered with moss.  May we step gently upon the earth, and may peace be in every step we take.  

Together, let us pray. 

O God, the King eternal, whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning:  Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that having done your will with cheerfulness during the day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.  

Walk up Market Street to Shiloh Baptist Church. 

Today is an important day in the history of Shiloh Baptist Church.  The pastor, The Rev. Gregory Nick, is celebrating his 18th anniversary of ministry in this town.  We give thanks for the ministry of this congregation to the community and present this card of well wishes from St Peter’s to The Rev. Gregory Nick and the congregation.  

Let us pray: 

(Bishop Shannon)

Ever living God, whose will it is that all should come to you through your Son Jesus Christ: Continue to bless this church and the ministry of its pastor, The Rev. Gregory Nick, and inspire all the churches of Port Royal in their witness to Jesus Christ, that all may know the power of his forgiveness and the hope of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen. 

Walk to the trailer park. 

Church members live here, and people who come to our food distribution live here.  Life in this place can be a struggle.  And so we pray today for all the people who live in this trailer park, asking your blessing, your peace and your justice for each resident in this area and in all of Port Royal.  

Let us pray.

(Bishop Shannon)

Almighty and most merciful God, we remember before you all people whom it would be easy for us to forget:  Bless their lives, heal those who are broken in body or spirit, and turn the sorrows of this place into joy.   Have mercy upon us.  Help us to eliminate our often-unwitting cruelty to these our neighbors.  Strengthen us in our work to show forth your love, active and alive and sustaining, through the St Peter’s ministry of food and love to these our neighbors.  We pray for equal protection of the law and equal opportunities for all.  And grant that every one of us may enjoy a fair portion of the riches of this land; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.  

Walk to the Fire House. 

The volunteers at the Port Royal firehouse provide rescue for those in danger in this area.  The  Port Royal Ruritans meet in this place, and this group also does much good for this community.  And this place provides space for community gatherings and celebrations.  So today we give thanks for all who volunteer here and for the shared caring for this community that this building holds.  

Let us pray.

(Bishop Shannon)

Merciful and compassionate God, we give thanks today for all who give their time and their energy for the safety, the well-being and the positive growth of this community.  May we be ever mindful of their sacrificial witness to your merciful love.   Bless their efforts, sustain them, and protect them as they go about their work.  In the strong and powerful name of Jesus we pray.  Amen.  

Walk to the Masonic Lodge. 

This town is full of history.  Many people here desire to preserve the history of this town as a witness to the strength, grit and determination of our ancestors in this place.  The people of Historic Port Royal head up this effort, along with many others who care for historic properties and work to preserve what is left of this town’s colonial heritage.  

Let us pray:

(Bishop Shannon)

God, the ruler of all history, bless this town and its rich heritage.  Give to all of those who work for preservation your wisdom about how best to proceed in their efforts.  Grant them an abundance of blessings—people to carry out the work, and the money with which to do it, and the will to work together and to persevere in this calling for the common good of this community; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.  

Walk to Memorial Baptist Church.

After the United States created Fort AP Hill and relocated many small Caroline County communities, Baptists in the area came together to give birth to a new church, Memorial Baptist Church.  We give thanks for the ministry of this congregation to the community and pray for this community’s continued well-being. 

Let us pray:

(Bishop Shannon)

Gracious Father, we pray for the people of Memorial Baptist Church and for Christians and the Church throughout the world.  Fill the Church with your Holy Spirit.  Fill your Church with all truth, in all truth with all peace.  Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in any thing it is amiss, reform it.  Where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in want provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  Amen.  

Walk down to the pier if time, if not, pray from the top of King Street. 

The Town of Port Royal has recently constructed a pier out into the Rappahannock River here at the bottom of King Street, once a place of commerce in Port Royal.  Fishers can catch bass, catfish and perch. The pier also provides river access to kayakers and canoeists to the Port Royal Water Trail. 

Let us pray.

(Bishop Shannon)

Almighty God, creator of earth and sky and sea, we give you thanks for the Rappahannock River, for its beauty, for tides that renew it, for the creatures that live in its depths and for the peace and relaxation that it brings to those who venture out onto it.  Bless this river and the communities all along its banks. 

We thank you for living water.  

We thank you for the gift of the waters of our mothers’ wombs, that held and sustained us from the moment of our conceptions.  We thank you for the gift of life. We thank you for the water that we drink for sustenance, the water that cleanses us, the water that we play in and find renewal.  We thank you for the sound of flowing water, the echo of the music of the spheres.  

And we thank you, God, for your gift of water in our Church’s story.    Over it the Holy Spirit moved in the beginning of creation.  Through it you led the children of Israel out of their bondage in Egypt into the land of promise.  In it your Son Jesus Christ received the baptism of John and was anointed by the Holy Spirit as the Messiah, the Christ, to lead us, through his death and resurrection, from the bondage of sin into everlasting life.  We thank you, Father, for the water of Baptism.  In it we are buried with Christ in his death.  By it we share in his resurrection.  Through it we are reborn by the Holy Spirit.    

So we give you thanks for water, and may we never take our water, or our baptisms,  for granted. In the name of your Son our Savior, Jesus Christ, the living water that springs up to eternal life, we pray.  Amen.  

Return to St Peter’s.  

Together, let us pray.

O God, the head of the Church and the author of our salvation, we give you thanks and praise for this church, St Peter’s.  Bless this church.   Grant us, in all our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what you would have us do, that the Spirit of wisdom may save us from all false choices, that in your light we may see light, and that in your straight path we may not stumble.   Direct us in all that we do here with your gracious favor, and further us with your continual help; that in all our works begun, continued and ended in you, we may glorify your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.  


Resources:  The Book of Common Prayer

Hidden Village, by Ralph Fall.