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Sunday Links, Feb. 5, 2023 Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany

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Readers from Jan 29

Feb. 5, 11:00am – Holy Eucharist

  • Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany

  • Lectionary for Feb. 5, 2023,
    Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany
  • Bulletin for Feb. 5, 2023, Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany,
  • Morning Meditation , Feb. 6, 6:30am Zoom link Meeting ID: 879 8071 6417 Passcode: 790929
  • Tues, Feb. 7th, Bingo Night 6-7:30PM at Port Royal Fire Department St Peter’s is serving as a Partner in Education with the Caroline County Public Schools. We will be providing snacks for the Caroline County If you would like to help, please bring granola bars, individually wrapped bags of trail mix, or small bottles of water and place them in the back pew.
  • Ecumenical Bible Study, Wed., Feb. 8, 10am-12pm.
  • Village Dinner, Wed., Feb. 8, 4:30pm-6pm. Serving – Baked Ham, Macaroni and Cheese, Candied Yams, Collard Greens, Corn Bread, Peach Cobbler
  • February, 2023
  • All articles for Feb.5, 2023

  • Coming Up!

  • Sun, Feb. 12 Souper Bowl Sunday. Bring a can of soup and a Valentine card for a Village Harvest client.
  • Souper Bowl- Giving a can of Soup and a card this Sunday – the Gift of Life

    Why give ?
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    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 “these 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):

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    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. There have been significant improvesments in all counties since 2017 except for Westmoreland. Half of the local area is still above Virginia in food insecurity:

    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!

    Salt and Light, Epiphany 5

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    This week Jesus spends some time telling the disciples how to BE disciples in real time. And so when Jesus was teaching the disciples on the mountain in the Sermon on the Mount, he gave them some illustrations about how to carry out their work, right?” “He told the disciples, “You are the salt of the earth.” And also light.

    Salt preserves and enhances flavor. As salt, we add flavor and zest to the world, and we also preserve goodness in the world. And as light, we reflect God’s glory and bring God’s light into dark places—and there is plenty of darkness in our world.

    This perspective of authentic belief and outward practice described as righteousness runs through all of our readings this week. In short, the question is “Who is your God?” This question is at the very core of stewardship in our faith authenticated, or not, by how we use our time and God-given abilities and how we share our material and financial resources.

    Jesus tells us in the Sermon on the Mount that we are salt and light. We are baptized as partners with Jesus in establishing the kingdom of heaven to preserve the faith of the Gospel for the good of the world. In today’s reading, Jesus gives us our job description, tells us who we are to be as his followers—And that’s all of us. Farmers, parents, horseback riders, nurses, realtors, insurance agents, priests, retired people, students, teachers, accountants, those of us who are still seeking clarity about what God is calling us to do in our lives—regardless of who we are, and who we are to become, God is always giving us work to do, here and now.

    Preservation of our own belief in the Gospel comes through authentic practice of our faith stewarding our time and abilities in prayer, worship, and service of others, and stewarding our material and financial resources to support the mission of the Church. The “scribes and Pharisees” in Matthew’s gospel account are characterized by closing themselves off to the presence of the kingdom of heaven because they were busy maintaining their own kingdoms.

    The Gospel reading is the second week of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus provided this as an instruction manual that directly addressed the Messianic Jews of Antioch, who found themselves deeply embattled by the Pharisees and Sadducees

    As Jesus begins, the audience is apparently his closest disciples (5:1); when he ends, the audience is much broader (7:28). The primary theme of the sermon is righteousness or justice (dikaiosune); the content that follows will give the specifics. Jesus’ teaching opens with the beatitudes (5:3-11).

    Matthew follows the Beatitudes with two sayings, one on salt and one on light. Salt was used as a purifier of sacrifices (Ezekiel 43:24). The images of both salt and light also described the law. Light also referred to God and to the restored Israel after the exile.

    Verses 17-20 explain Jesus’ relationship to the law. Because of the destruction of the temple, the central authority for Judaism during this period was the law, and Jesus was to be evaluated in relationship to it.

    Matthew asserts that a great reversal has taken place: The law is no longer to be the center about which everything revolves. Jesus is the new center, and the law and the prophets must be evaluated in relation to him. That relationship is one not of abolition, but of fulfillment. Matthew sees the law and prophecy as fulfilled in Jesus (11:13). The law pointed forward to, and now finds its meaning in, Jesus.

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