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.

Midsummer’s Night – June 21-24

Midsummer’s Night, Celebrate Light and community-  

We pass Midsummer’s Night in June . European celebrations that accompany the actual solstice, or that take place on a day between June 21 and June 24, and the preceding evening

 The Midsummer’s night celebration began in pre -Christian times when it was believed that forces could slip between this world and the next at a time when there was more light than at any time of the year. Fires were lit to ward off the evil spirits.  

We may think of Midsummer’s Night in terms of Shakespeare’s play of the same name. Ironically, most of the play takes place in a dark forest in a wild, mysterious atmosphere, rather than in the light, in which the magical elements of Shakespeare’s plot can be played out. One of the subplots involves the brawl of the ferries, Oberon and Titania which creates a disturbance in nature.  

Midsummer’s Night is the pagan celebration of the solstice. The Compline service is the Christian celebration. It is more general and can and is said daily by many in the world.

The ancient office of Compline derives its name from a Latin word meaning ‘completion.’  Dating back to the fourth century, and referenced by St. Benedict, St. Basil, and St. John Chrysostom, Compline has been prayed for continuously since then.

The practice of daily prayers grew from the Jewish practice of reciting prayers at set times of the day known as zmanim.

Catholics set up official prayers at the times of the day during the middle ages. The monastic prayer cycle was designed as a means of devoting the whole of one’s daily life to the LordIt is called the liturgy of the hours. Compline was at 7pm

The compline service is documented in the Prayer book, one of the additions of the current book.  It can be done in many  ways, particularly bringing prayers from other sources, such as the following.

Prayers at the Close of Day

There are many Anglican prayer books in the world- at least 50.  The Prayer book is a treasure trove of spiritual richness.  Each has unique prayers as we conclude our day. Here are a sample:

From the New Zealand Prayer Book:

Support us, Lord, all the day long, until the shadows lengthen, and the evening comes, the busy world is hushed, the fever of life is over, and our work done; then Lord, in your mercy, give us safe lodging, a holy rest and peace at the last. God our judge and our companion, we thank you for the good we did this day and for all that has given us joy. Everything we offer as our humble service. Bless those with whom we have worked, and those who are our concern. Amen”

“Holiness; make us pure in heart to see you; make us merciful to receive your kindness and to share our love with all your human family; then will your name be hallowed on earth as in heaven. 

“It is night after a long day. What has been done has been done; what has not been done has not been done; let it be. “

From the Book of Common Prayer (1979)

“O God, your unfailing providence sustains the world we live in and the life we live: Watch over those, both night and day, who work while others sleep, and grant that we may never forget that our common life depends upon each other’s toil; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

“Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love’s sake. Amen.” 

“Guide us waking, O Lord, and guard us sleeping; that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace.”

From the Celtic tradition

“Renew me this night in the image of your love, renew me in the likeness of your mercy, O God.” – Celtic Benediction, J. Philip Newell

“May the peace of the Spirit be mine this night; may the peace of the Son be mine this night; may the peace of the Father be mine this night. Amen” –  Celtic Worship Through the Year  

From the Canadian Prayer Book

“Merciful God, we have not loved you with our whole heart, nor our neighbours as ourselves. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, forgive us what we have been, accept us as we are, and guide what we shall be. Amen”

“To you before the close of day, Creator of all things, we pray that, in your saving constancy, our guard and keeper you would be. Save us from troubled, restless sleep; from all ill dreams your children keep. So calm our minds that fears may cease and rested bodies wake in peace. A healthy life we ask of you: the fire of love in us renew, and when the dawn new light will bring, your praise and glory we shall sing. Almighty Father, hear our cry through Jesus Christ, our Lord, most high, Whom with the Spirit we adore forever and for evermore. Amen.”

World Refugee Day, June 20, 2022 – the Stats

UNHCR 2021 Global Trends Report – key data:

  • By May 2022, more than 100 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide by persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations or events seriously disturbing public order.
  • At end 2021, the figure was 89.3 million, comprising:
    • 27.1 million refugees
      • 21.3 million refugees under UNHCR’s mandate
      • 5.8 million Palestine refugees under UNRWA’s mandate
    • 53.2 million internally displaced people
    • 4.6 million asylum seekers
    • 4.4 million Venezuelans displaced abroad
  • Among refugees and Venezuelans displaced abroad in 2021:
    • Low- and middle-income countries hosted 83 per cent
    • Least Developed Countries provided asylum to 27 per cent of the total.
    • More than two thirds (69 per cent) of refugees and Venezuelans displaced abroad came from just five countries: Syria (6.8 million), Venezuela (4.6 million), Afghanistan (2.7 million), South Sudan (2.4 million) and Myanmar (1.2 million).


1. Internally displaced People are people who have been forced to leave or abandon their homes, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized border

People flee within their own countries for example to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural- and human-made disasters. 

2. Asylum seekers

An asylum-seeker is someone whose request for sanctuary has yet to be processed. Every year, around one million people seek asylum.

3. Refugees

Refugees are people who have fled war, violence, conflict or persecution and have crossed an international border to find safety in another country.

They often have had to flee with little more than the clothes on their back, leaving behind homes, possessions, jobs and loved ones. 

Arrivals climbed in Uganda, Chad and Sudan among others.

Most refugees were, once again, hosted by neighboring countries with few resources.

World Refugee Day in 2022 – a local ministry

A Local perspective

Much of the work is local once the refugees arrive.

St. George’s in Fredericksburg established a group Afghan Allies to minister to the Afghans, overrun by the Taliban by Aug. 2021. Afghan refugees were processed in Virginia, Texas, Wisconsin and New Jersey. Article written by Cathy Barron a member of that group in April, 2022 

“Thank you, St. Georgians! You have shown hospitality to some of our community’s newest neighbors, families who were evacuated from Afghanistan. Using your gifts of financial aid, furniture, and household supplies, Afghan Allies of St. George’s has helped settle five families into apartments and townhouses. We worked with Catholic Charities, the U.S. government appointed liaison in this area to supply the basic needs of these families — tables, chairs, lamps, beds, pots, dishes, sheets, towels — and welcoming smiles. That’s where your gifts came in.

“However, often we had requests for additional items that would meet individuals’ needs. One woman requested a sewing machine and fabric because she and her family had fled with only the clothes they were wearing (as was often the case.) Another woman wanted fabric for curtains to soften the stark interior of her new home. One man needed a computer so that he could study English and look for a job. Children wanted toys (which St. George’s youth are helping to supply.) Occasionally our new neighbors talked about themselves and what they had left behind. More than one person was worried about relatives and friends left in Afghanistan.

“And always they were thankful. We saw people run their hands delightedly over a new-to-them desk or table. In addition, they wanted to show hospitality to us. We were always invited to sit and share tea or juice with the families.

were always invited to sit and share tea or juice with the families.

Role of Episcopal Migration Ministries

Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) is the refugee resettlement program of the Episcopal Church, and a living example of the Church’s commitment to aid the stranger. Resettlement is the last option for any refugee, when it is not possible for the refugee to return home or to integrate into the country which first offered asylum. In 2020, EMM resettled 1,121 individuals from 29 counties to build new lives . They collaborated with local partner agencies in 10 Episcopal dioceses to welcome those fleeing persecution. 

Episcopal Migration Ministries is the church’s foremost response to refugee crises. Working in partnership with offices and groups within the church as well as with governments, non-government organizations (NGOs), and a network of affiliated offices, Episcopal Migration Ministries assures safe passage and provides vital services for thousands of refugee families upon their arrival in America: English language and cultural orientation classes, employment services, school enrollment, and initial assistance with housing and transportation. For each family, the goal is self-reliance and self-determination. After years of living in limbo, thanks to Episcopal Migration Ministries, refugees now have the opportunity to begin again on a strong foundation that honors their stories and dignity.

There are three durable solutions for refugees: repatriation, integration, and resettlement. Thankfully, in many cases, refugees are able to repatriate or return to their home countries once the conflicts there have ceased and civil society has stabilized. Other refugees, who may not be able to return home, are able instead to integrate into the country of first asylum – the country to which they fled for safety. The remaining group of refugees – less than 1 in 100 refugees – is resettled to another nation.

Village Harvest – Behind the scenes, June 2022

We sometimes forget there is more than one team that makes the Village Harvest happen. These pictures were taken at the Healthy Harvest Food Bank in Montross on June 14, 2022, one day before the Harvest on June 15, 3pm to 5pm

Healthy Harvest’s mission is “To provide hope in the communities we serve through the right food and education . ” Serving six counties in Virginia’s Northern Neck and Upper Middle Peninsula as the only organization of its kind in the region, the food bank is committed to increasing its capacity to meet future demand, offer educational programs to children as well as clients with health-related dietary issues and increase the nutritional value of food provided locally and across the state of Virginia.”  One in eight neighbors in need struggle with food insecurity, making the services offered at the food bank critical for every struggling family, child and senior who deserves access to healthy, nutritious food.

The facility is modern. The picture shows the facility powered by solar panel. The food is gathered and this month placed in Helmut’s truck. (Cookie and Johnny who usually do this leg were away Wisconsin).

Thanks to Denise, Catherine, Andrea and Helmut who helped to gather the food in June.

Father’s Day Prayer

We give thanks for fathers.

We give thanks for those fathers who have striven to balance the demands of work, marriage, and children with an honest awareness of both joy and sacrifice. We give thanks for those fathers who, lacking a good model for a father, have worked to become good fathers.

We give thanks for those fathers who by their own account were not always there for their children, but who continue to offer those children, now grown, their love and support. We pray for those fathers who have been wounded by the neglect and hostility of their children.

We give thanks for those fathers who, despite divorce, have remained in their children’s lives. We give thanks for those fathers who have adopted children, and whose love and support has offered healing.

We give thanks for those fathers who, as stepfathers, freely choose the obligation of fatherhood and have earned their stepchildren’s love and respect. We give thanks for those fathers who have lost children to death, and who, in spite of their grief, continue to hold those children in their hearts.

We give thanks for those men who have no children, but cherish the next generation as if they were their own. We give thanks for those men who have ‘fathered’ us in their roles as mentors and guides.

We give thanks for those men who are about to become fathers; may they openly delight in their children. And we give thanks for those fathers who have died, but who live on in our memory and whose love continues to nurture us.

We give thanks for fathers.


Adapted from a prayer by Kirk Loadman-Copeland

A Collection of Daylilies

Luke 12:27 ESV
“Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”

Friday, June 17, 2022

The Village Harvest at June– increase in numbers

For the first six months of 2022, the Village Harvest served 543 people compared to 535 in 2021. Most of the shoppers came during first quarter through the 2nd quarter showed most of the increase. This is the first increase since 2019 during the first six months of the year

The actual pounds were down from 7,664 to 7,590. Pounds per person were also down from 14.33 to 13.98. However, we are above the level of the pre-pandemic period with the best figure then at 11.67. At $6 a pound, the 2022 figure is just under $84 in value.

Bishop Susan Goff visited St. Peter’s, Sun June 19 for confirmation

Bishop Susan Goff’s visitation occurred on June 19. The last Bishop visit was Bishop Ihloff in 2019. She substituted for the Rt. Rev. Jennifer Brooke-Davidson who had a death in the family

Arthur Duke and Cornesha Howard were confirmed with a covered dish luncheon following the service.

Bishop visitation and confirmation June 19, 2022(full size gallery)

Galatians on tap – June 19, 26, July 3

Introduction to Galatians

We will be reading Galatians as the Epistle on June 19, 26 and July 3. Here is some background to Paul’s letter.

In the face of Jewish opposition, the southern region of Galatia had been fertile soil for Paul’s ministry as he traveled with his companion, Barnabas, through cities recorded by Luke in Acts 13 and 14 . However, after Paul left the area of Galatia he received news that some trouble-makers were agitating the believers . Although Paul was not completely sure of the identity of his opponents (Galatians 5:10), apparently a group of Jewish Christians, or possibly local Jews, were teaching that submission to the Jewish law was a requirement of salvation. Paul’s letter to the Galatians was a result of the challenges the Galatians were facing, but also reflected a continuing debate regarding the applicability of the Torah in Jerusalem and Antioch in Syria.

Paul’s opponents viewed adherance to the law as an integral part of maintaining and, likely, procuring a relationship with God . In order to further their agenda, the agitators attempted to undermine Paul’s authority, claim Paul’s gospel was not true, and charge that the gospel preached by Paul would lead to immorality. Paul addressed the issues of the law with various arguments.

The crucial language utilized by Paul arguing for the sufficiency of the Christian faith climaxes with “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 5:20) which naturally leads to the recognition that righteousness, which the Jewish Christians were attempting to accomplish through the futility of human effort, can only be realized by grace via faith. In other words, “Christ in me” imputes righteousness not the Law, otherwise, “Christ died needlessly” (Galatians 5:21-3:2).

Longenecker in the book The Cambridge Companion to St Paul identifies four significant Pauline points which decimate the opponent’s gospel which, of course, is no gospel at all (Galatians 1:6-7):  

1 MoralityPaul emphasizes that a morality is central to a life with Christ. This righteousness frees believers from the need to acquire significance or justification from immoral idolatries such as human performance by realizing the very thing we are striving for already exists.

2 The Law -Paul explains the entirety of the Law is fulfilled in one word: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Galatians 5:14). In other words, through “service to others the expectations of the law are fully concretized in unrivalled fashion.” Self-giving is magnified completely fulfilling the Law in an unbridled extension of love for others.

3. Walk in the Spirit. Paul refers metaphorically to the purpose of the law as pedagogue (Galatians 3:24) which is “relieved of its duty once the child comes of age,” just as the function of the law terminated with Christ’s arrival Accordingly, Paul now directs us to “walk by the Spirit” not by the Law, for if led by the Spirit, we are not under the Law (Galatians 5:16-17).

4. Finally, Paul plunges a dagger into the motivation of his opponents by accusing them of championing teaching of the law for the purpose of self-promotion Galatians 4:17).