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.

“Try Not To Miss Anything…”

By Dr. Kathy Bozzuti-Jones. She is Trinity Episcopal NY Associate Director, Spiritual Practices, Retreats, and Pilgrimage.

“When When it’s over, it’s over, and we don’t know any of us, what happens then. So I try not to miss anything. I think, in my whole life, I have never missed The full moon or the slipper of its coming back. Or, a kiss. Well, yes, especially a kiss.” -Mary Oliver (2010). “Swan: Poems and Prose Poems”, p.42, Beacon Press

As autumn begins to make its royal showing here in the Northeast, it’s a good time to celebrate the brilliance, the beauty, and the tender reverence of Mary Oliver’s poetry. “Try not to miss anything” was one of her instructions. It may sound a bit like FOMO (fear of missing out), but for Oliver, it’s all about quality, not quantity.

Her practice of present-moment awareness, evident in her poems about the natural world, has led some to call her “the poet of awe.” In her poem What Can I Say, for example, she writes, “The song you heard singing in the leaf when you were a child is singing still.” While some critics find her work to be lacking in complexity, others of us have folded her writings into our spiritual disciplines, prayer, and faith lives, precisely because of their freshness and simplicity. Oliver’s talent for viewing the world with the eye of the child and the reverence of a devotee makes her poetry resonant and visceral. She tries not to miss anything and invites us to do the same.

Read more about Oliver…

Sunday Links for Pentecost 18, Oct. 9, 2022

Harvest Scene

Oct. 9, 11:00am – Holy Eucharist

Pentecost 18

  • Holy Eucharist, Sun. Oct. 9 Zoom link Oct. 9 Meeting ID: 869 9926 3545 Passcode: 889278
  • Lectionary for Oct. 9, 2022,
    Pentecost 18
  • Bulletin, Oct. 9, 2022
  • Sermon, Oct. 9, 2022
  • Compline, Sun, Oct. 9, 6:00pm
    Zoom Link Meeting ID: 878 7167 9302 Passcode: 729195
  • Morning Meditation , Mon, Oct. 10, 6:30am Zoom link Meeting ID: 879 8071 6417 Passcode: 790929
  • Ecumenical Bible Study, Wed., Oct. 12, 10am-12pm. Reading lectionary of Oct. 16
  • Wednesday, October 12, Village Dinner, 4:30-6 PM. Eat in or take out. Pork Tenderloin, Rice, Veggie Medley, Dessert Call Susan Linne von Berg to make your reservation. 804-742-5233
  • Friday, Oct. 14, 7pm Beau Soir Concert. (Reception 6:15pm)
  • October, 2022 newsletter
  • All articles for Oct. 9, 2022

  • Lectionary, Pentecost 18, October 9, 2022

    "Jesus Heals the Ten Lepers" (17th century, unknown) 

    The lectionary readings are here or individually:  

    First Reading – 2 Kings 5:1-3, 7-15c
    Psalm – Psalm 111
    Epistle – 2 Timothy 2:8-15
    Gospel – Luke 17:11-19 

    Today’s readings remind us of the wholeness we experience when we allow God to heal and forgive In 2 Kings, Naaman’s healing leads him to acknowledge the one true God. Paul reflects on the centrality of Jesus Christ, who is himself the good news, bringing salvation. In today’s gospel, 10 lepers receive healing; one healed leper receives salvation.

    Sometimes in the faith journey we feel like failures. We want to give up. We have done our part to share the Good News, nothing we do seems to bring people in, and still others even question our motives for what we are doing (think Elisha and Naaman). However, when we are faithful to God, we will see God’s faithfulness in us. Sometimes we are like the lone Samaritan who recognizes what God has done. Sometimes we are like Naaman, pulling and fighting all the way. And sometimes we are like Jesus, wondering what happened to all the others, but knowing that one is enough. The seeds are planted. Live in faithfulness, and you will experience God’s faithfulness in you.

    The healing in today’s gospel occurs “on the way.” This sounds a contemporary note. As Jane Redmont writes in Generous Lives: "Commuting time seems to have become the privileged place of prayer in North America."

    Modern commuters have made the same discovery as first-century lepers. Simply because we’re on our way to something else does not mean that Jesus can’t intersect us. We meet Jesus on the L.A. freeway, the Washington D.C. Metro and the barbed wire along the Rio Grande.

    We meet God in the spaces between certainties. As one retreat director said, "95% of your life may be just fine, and you don’t mind revealing it to anyone. It’s the other 5% we’re concerned with." In the shadowy, unstable, insecure areas, we need healing. There we are most likely to feel the touch of Jesus’ hand.

    And how do we respond? As usual, the answer comes in story form. Just as the despised Samaritan would show Jews how to be good neighbors (Luke 10:30-37), so a "foreigner" demonstrates how to receive a gift. Healing is offered to all 10 lepers, just as rain and sunshine fall on all people. But the ability to recognize the blessing and express gratitude for it seems to be more unique. "You sanctify whatever you are grateful for," writes Anthony DeMello.

    The disease part of the Old Testament readings and Gospel has been reinterpreted  Indeed, in modern translations, the word “leprosy is” not used, but is represented by the term “scaly infection”.  This condition is actually several, referring not only to skin disease, but also to fungal infestations of fabric and of walls.  Such skin conditions may represent psoriasis, mycotic infections, eczema, or pityriasis rosea.  All were tied to the ritual impurity codes of the Hebrew Scriptures.  In the Gospel reading today, Jesus encounters ten lepers, and their condition may be more connected to the ancient understanding of tzaraath than to our modern understanding of leprosy.  It is interesting that the “leper” (a Samaritan) who returns thanks exhibits a double problem of ritual purity – his skin and his race.

    Read more…

    From the 10 Lepers

    From the 10 Lepers , Luke 17:11-19

    Reflections by The Rt. Rev. David C. Jones

    "In this wonderful story from the life of Jesus, we see the connection between gratitude and faith. The Samaritan was so grateful that he prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and profoundly thanked him. It is that expression of gratitude, yes, profound gratitude that is at the heart of our stewardship of time, talent and treasure. We give in response to the One who has given us life and the hope of Salvation. It is an attitude of being “all in”, one expressed by the Samaritan, which informs my participation in church life and personal giving.

    "I am “all in” when I am fully present in worship, when I am committed to parish outreach or with my personal giving.

    "I am “all in” when I am responding from a heart of gratitude – wanting to give and continue to give of myself, my time, talent and treasure."

    Beau Soir group at St. Peter’s, Fri. Oct. 14, 7pm

    The Beau Soir Ensemble https://www.beausoir.org   is a flute, viola, and harp trio in the Washington, DC area dedicated to the performance of standard and contemporary repertoire spanning a variety of musical genres. The group was founded by harpist Michelle Lundy in 2007.

    They will be in concert at St. Peter’s,  Episcopal Church, Oct. 14, 7pm. The  concert is free but we encourage donations so we can continue our concert series, our 9th one since 2013

    Listen to their music here.

    Promotional Video

    Help us promote the concert! Download the poster for individuals who may be interested and businesses to display Or print directly:

    Sermon, Pentecost 18, Oct. 9, 2022 – Jesus and the Ten Lepers

    Today’s scriptures remind us that faith and gratitude go hand in hand when we respond to God’s healing power at work in our lives. 

    In today’s gospel story, Jesus is in the region between Galilee and Samaria, heading for Jerusalem.  Both Jews and Samaritans must have lived in the village that Jesus entered.  But even if they did live together in the same village, they probably stuck to their own groups.  After all, the Jews looked down on the Samaritans, and I would imagine that the Samaritans did not care to be around the Jews either.  

    But all of them, both the Jews and Samaritans, avoided the lepers and stayed away from them.  Jewish law required that these people with a fatal skin disease that slowly stole away their bodies and finally their lives had to stay away from those who were well.  The lepers were avoided by everyone.    

    A Samaritan with leprosy must have felt doubly cursed and outcast. 

    Maybe the Samaritan leper in today’s gospel lingered in the back of the group as the others called out to Jesus asking for mercy.  The Samaritan must have wondered if this Jewish healer would extend mercy even to him, a despised Samaritan.    

    Maybe he was surprised when Jesus did not cull him out because he was a Samaritan, unworthy of healing.     

    But Jesus sees all the lepers  and tells them all to “Go and show yourselves to the priests.”  It was on the way to the priests that all ten lepers were made clean.  I suppose the other nine went to the priests as Jesus had told them to do, because they wanted the priests to examine them and to formally declare them clean.  With the priests’ blessing  they could return to whatever was left of their former lives.  

    The Samaritan did not ever make it to the priests.  When he saw that  God had healed him, he needed no other validation.   He was free at last, and so he turned back to thank Jesus,  shouting out his praise and thanksgiving to God.     

    Out of the group of the ten lepers, only the Samaritan recognized that God and Jesus were part of the same healing fabric of love and mercy that had just enfolded him and made him clean, and his gratitude knew no bounds.  

    As the leper threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him, Jesus took note that the other nine had not returned to say thank you.    Only the Samaritan had made the connection that Jesus, the healer, was doing God’s work and had returned to give thanks to God for the healing he had received through Jesus.  

    Read more of the sermon

    Saint of the Week – Teresa of Avila

    Poem – "Christ Has No Body"  

    "Christ has no body but yours,
    Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
    No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
    Yours are the eyes with which he looks
    Compassion on this world,
    Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
    Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
    Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
    Christ has no body now but yours,
    No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
    Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world.
     Christ has no body now on earth but yours  "

    Teresa of Avila (1515–1582), mystic, reformer, writer

    Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada (later known as Teresa de Jesus) was born in Avila, Spain, 28 March 1515, one of ten children whose mother died when she was fifteen. Her family was of partly Jewish ancestry. Teresa, having read the letters of Jerome, decided to become a nun, and when she was 20, she entered the Carmelite convent in Avila. There she fell seriously ill, was in a coma for a while, and partially paralyzed for three years. In her early years as a nun, she was, by her account, assiduous in prayer while sick but lax and lukewarm in her prayers and devotions when the sickness had passed. However, her prayer life eventually deepened, she began to have visions and a vivid sense of the presence of God, and was converted to a life of extreme devotion.

    In 1560 she resolved to reform the monastery that had, she thought, departed from the order’s original intention and become insufficiently austere. Her proposed reforms included strict enclosure (the nuns were not to go to parties and social gatherings in town, or to have social visitors at the convent, but to stay in the convent and pray and study most of their waking hours) and discalcing (literally, taking off one’s shoes, a symbol of poverty, humility, and the simple life, uncluttered by luxuries and other distractions). In 1562 she opened a new monastery in Avila, over much opposition in the town and from the older monastery. At length Teresa was given permission to proceed with her reforms, and she traveled throughout Spain establishing seventeen houses of Carmelites of the Strict (or Reformed) Observance (the others are called Carmelites of the Ancient Observance).