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.

Ways to help those in need in Hawaii

Ways to help those in need in Hawaii

->Group Donation 

We at St Peter’s  can come together as a group to do our part to help with immediate relief efforts in Hawaii.  If you would like to donate through St Peter’s, as this part of the Body of Christ, make out a check to St Peter’s and put Hawaii in the memo line.  The St Peter’s collection will go to The Diocese of Hawaii to The Bishop’s Pastoral Fund with a note that this is from our church, St Peter’s,  here in The Diocese of Virginia.   The Diocese of Hawaii will put this money to work through A Cup of Cold Water,  the homeless assistance ministry run by the four Episcopal Churches on the island of Maui. 

If you would prefer to donate individually online to The Bishop’s Pastoral Fund, click this link.  online donations

->Individual Donations

If you would like to donate online through Episcopal Relief and Development, click on this link, https://support.episcopalrelief.org  and put US Disaster Fund in the memo line.  This group is also working with The Diocese of Hawaii. 

Charity Navigator, a website that rates charities in an effort to help people use their donations wisely, has a curated list of charities which are accepting donations to help the people of Hawaii.  Go to this link, https://www.charitynavigator.org .  Click on Hawaii Wildfires to find their list and ways to contribute to various groups online.  

Videos, Pentecost 11, Aug. 13, 2023


Opening Hymn – “O God Our Help in Ages Past” – Portion – Congregation

Gospel and Sermon

Prayers of the People

Announcements, including address by Anneette Steele, Principal of Victoria School

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Summer Party for Youth and Children

What’s better than a party before school reopens!! St Peter’s Episcopal Church women welcomed a group of youth and children from Port Royal for lunch and games on Wednesday, August 9th. School starts next week.

This was the first summer event for Port Royal since the pandemic. In 2019, we had a program during June and part of July. Here is a link to an event in late July, 2019.

This year focused on pure entertainment. The children had fun playing various games. The giant bubble maker was a huge hit. Also, everyone guessed how many M&Ms were in a large container (1984 M&Ms!). The winner gave everyone else some M&Ms to take home.

Adults and children enjoyed eating pizza, watermelon, and grapes for lunch in the pavilion. All of the children got to take home a selection of books, thanks to Elizabeth and The Little Free Library program. Thanks to all who attended and all who worked to make this enjoyable time a success.

Thanks to the work of the ECW and planning by Andrea Pogue and Elizabeth Heimbach. Thanks in addition to Dave and Jean for helping out.

Annette Steele’s day at St. Peter’s, Sun Aug 13, 2023

Annette Steele, principal of Victoria Primary School, enjoyed a full day at St. Peter’s on Sun, Aug. 13. She addressed the church at announcements about our joint mission to help the students in her elementary school get ready for school in Sept, both in 2021 and 2023. She explained how much it meant to the students and her community.

After the service, she enjoyed St. Peter’s hospitality at a luncheon and met our parishioners and guests.

Then, she came to the youth pool party to sample many flavors of ice cream. The rest of the mission team this year – Andrea and Ken Pogue and Laure Carey were also there. The team depart on Wed Aug. 23 in preparation for the school distribution on Sat. Aug. 26 for over 300 students.

Addressing the church, having lunch with two of our guests and then a conversation with the Rev. Catherine Hicks.

Filling up on ice cream at the youth pool party in the afternoon! Image at right shows Annette and to her right St. Peter’s mission team members, Laura Carey, Andrea Pogue and Ken Pogue.

Thanks for all who have supported this mission and those who journey to Jamaica to help with the school distribution.

Welcome, Annette Steele!

On Sunday Aug 13, 2023, Annette Steele, Principal of the Victoria Primary School in Jamaica, will be with us during the 11AM worship service. Two years ago we purchased enough school supplies for 350 children and sent 7 on a mission trip. We will return this month sending more school supplies and this time equipment.

Annette was born in Jamaica and received her education at University of the West Indies, Jamaica with a Bachelors in Primary Education and a Masters in Education. She started as a 6th grade teacher and then moved toward administration, first as a vice principal and then a principal in 2010 at Victoria Primary School.

Victoria Primary School has been in existence since 1932. They currently have 300-350 students in enrollment ages 6-12 years, 13 teachers, and one guidance counselor on staff. Annette is married and has two daughters

What does she love about education? “Teaching and watching the kids excel is my ultimate goal, I am extremely passionate about my students.”

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Andrea, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and the community for initiating this Back to School Drive. Thanks for their continued support. It is making a tremendous impact on the students, parents, teachers, and the community alike.”

We will have lunch to honor Annette following worship in the Parish House.

Following the lunch, all are invited to come to the Davis residence from 2-5 PM for a time of renewal, recreation, and refreshments. During our time together, we will consider our baptisms and renew our baptismal vows, and those who would like to experience what baptism by John the Baptist might have been like will have that opportunity. Thank you to Cookie and Johnny Davis for hosting this party.

Photos, Youth Pool Party, Aug 13, 2023

(full size gallery)

The Youth end of summer came to the Davis household on Aug 13 at 2pm. School begins this week. Instead of a blessing of back packs, the focus was on water – the waters of baptism and the waters for recreation. They first discussed baptism. Most could not remember their baptism so it was appropriate for Catherine to lead them in the renewal of their baptism vows. They discussed the differences between John the Baptism focus on repentence and Jesus baptism with the Holy Spirit.

Swimming was next on the agenda. Since it was a hot day, the water was refreshing, even for Jack, the Davis dog.

About 4pm there was an ice cream social – making your ice cream in a bowl and or cone. There were at least 5 flavors of ice cream. After this there were games – a bean bag game, in particular. The hummingbirds fluttering around were a visual treat. We learned how much sugar and water was needed to keep them happy.

The party concluded at 5pm. Time for school!

Lectionary, Proper 14, Pentecost 11, Aug. 13

I.Theme –   Confronting our Fears

 "Jesus Walks on Water" – Ivan Aivazovsky (1888)

The lectionary readings are here  or individually:

Old Testament – 1 Kings 19:9-18
Psalm – Psalm 85:8-13 Page 708, BCP
Epistle –Romans 10:5-15
Gospel – Matthew 14:22-33

This Sunday’s readings deal with our need for help. This comes in various forms. It may be out of fear; it may be due to bodily danger; it may be a psychological condition.  

Our faith may be tested in extreme. Each of the readings has a different form and setting where this occurs.

In all of this we have to remember Jesus call to us. Then it is that we feel his hand reach out to ours. Then it is that we know that the power to take one step more—and perhaps only one step more—is ours for the asking when we call on Jesus. How do we keep our eyes on Jesus when our failures and trials obscure our sight? How often do we feel as if we cannot take the next step? We feel ourselves sinking, sinking in our self-doubt and despair. It is difficult to remember this when our situation close to us cloud our vision.

In the Old Testament, the prophet Elijah was active in the northern kingdom of Israel in the middle of the ninth century BC. He was an opponent of King Ahab and his wife Jezebel, who supported the worship of Baal and other Canaanite fertility gods. Today’s passage follows Elijah’s demonstration that Yahweh is in control of the forces of nature (17:1) and is mightier than Baal (18:20-39). Elijah then flees the vengeance of Jezebel (19:1-3). An angel strengthens him on his journey to Horeb (an alternate name for Sinai).

God’s revelation to Elijah echoes God’s revelation to Moses (Exodus 33:17-23). Like Moses, Elijah receives a revelation and a commission from the Lord. Like Moses, Elijah has gone through conflict with royalty and is fleeing for his life. Like Moses he feels inadequate to the task but is sent back into the fray.

God speaks to the prophet Elijah not in earthquake, wind and fire but in a mysterious silence. This may be an internal communication with him. Elijah thinks that he is already at the limit of his experience and energy, but a “sheer silence” draws him in deeper to the requirements that God has for him.

In the Psalm, this national lament seems to have been composed originally for a particular historical situation of affliction and then to have passed into general use. The original context may have been crop failure before the exile; or more probably, it may have been the difficulties faced by those returning from exile in Babylon. Thanks are given for the return (vv. 1-3), and the lord’s continued help is requested (vv. 4-7). The lord’s answer comes (vv. 8-13), perhaps as an oracle uttered by a temple prophet or priest. Verse 11 reassures the people of God’s gracious care. These four qualities—steadfast love, faithfulness, righteousness, and peace—spring from God and unite to work for the good of God’s people.

The Gospel lesson is the story of Jesus walking on the water. In many of these Gospel stories we know them by the title but there is another secondary story. This is the case with Peter.

The three miracles in this story are: Jesus walking on water, Peter doing the same (and failing ultimately), and the wind ceasing abruptly. Jesus brings comfort from the outside against the elements and faith inside, questioning the disciples own faith and demonstrating by example a deeper faith.

Jesus demonstrates his mastery over wind and sea (which, in the Old Testament, symbolized the powers of chaos and death) and is near to rescue the disciples when they desperately need help. He identifies himself by using the words, “It is I,” which echo God’s own self-description that became the proper name for God in the Old Testament (Exodus 3:14; Isaiah 43:10-13).

This story has many similarities to the narratives of the resurrection appearances; the disciples are afraid, they don’t recognize Jesus, they take him for a ghost, and finally they are reassured by him. Matthew adds the story of Peter’s attempt to imitate Jesus, illustrating the themes of discipleship and faith.

The cause of the fear for the disciples this time is not the storm, but the man walking. There is something expected about waves surrounding a boat. The fact that a man is on the water is not even the source of the fear. The fear comes the unidentified nature of the one walking.  

The fear and repulsion are here expressed by the perception of Jesus as a ghost, but they are balanced by his comforting words: “Take heart; it is I; do not be afraid.” The disciples by now know Jesus and trust him, even if their faith remains incomplete. Thus, for him to say “It is I” is to bring the fearful awesomeness of the scene under control by relating it to what is familiar. 

Unlike Elijah, Peter wants to think that he is capable of more. Peter asks for and receives a share of Jesus’ power, but when his attention is distracted he begins to give way In the context of fear and apprehension as the disciples see the figure of Christ coming to them on the water, Peter’s brash attempt seems heroic until he realizes that he is caught in the same trap of fear. He suddenly needs a “rescuer” ( Psalm 85) to pick him up and save him for future adventures of faith. Especially in Matthew’s time, the “boat” of the Church, “beaten by the waves” of hostility and persecution, needed reassurance that the Lord was always nearby.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian, writes the following about Peter. “Peter had to leave the ship and risk his life on the sea, in order to learn both his own weakness and the almighty power of his Lord. If Peter had not taken the risk, he would never have learned the meaning of faith… The road to faith passes through obedience to the call of Jesus. Unless a definitive step is demanded, the call vanishes in thin air, and if [people] imagine that they can follow Jesus without taking this step, they are deluding themselves like fanatics.”

In some respects, Matthew’s account is the opposite of the Elijah story. What convinces Elijah does not convince the disciples and Peter, and visa versa. The wind and wave are heady proofs of the danger and their vision of Jesus over coming them seem to be the seed bed of their faith

The Romans reading is less about fear but of faith. You may say that Paul is experiencing a psychological fear. Paul confronted the separation already growing between his beloved Jewish people and his chosen Christian community. Paul wrote this before the expulsion of the Christians from the synagogue—long before the bitter persecution of Jews by Christians began.

In this passage, Paul compares the right relationship to God (“righteousness”) that comes through a strict adherence to the Mosaic law to that which comes by faith. In contrast to a slavish adherence to this law, which is ultimately futile, the righteousness that comes by faith is entirely attainable. It requires no superhuman effort such as ascending into heaven or descending into the abyss. Such feats have already been accomplished by God in Jesus’ incarnation and resurrection.

People need to accept the “word of faith” proclaimed by the apostle. This acceptance is manifested both through inner conviction and outer profession. These signs of faith are rooted in the work of God, affirming that Jesus is God incarnate and that Jesus now lives.

The first of these professions of faith, “Jesus is lord,” was particularly central for the early Church in areas where the people believed in “many gods and many lords” (1 Corinthians 8:5-6). It is the earliest and simplest creed of the Church.

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Sunday Links, Aug. 13, 2023, Pentecost 11

Today is the famous story of Jesus walking on water. We receive a special visitor

  • 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

  • Before and After the July 29 storm

  • Sun. Aug. 13, 2023, 11am Eucharist YouTube 823 Water St. Port Royal, VA 22535
  • Lectionary Aug. 13, Pentcost 11, Lectionary lnk
  • Aug 13. Welcome Annette Steele, Principal of the Victoria Primary School in Jamaica. We have supported the school since 2021.

  • There will be a lunch after the service in the Parish House. Following lunch, all are invited to come to the Davis residence from 2-5 PM for a time of renewal, recreation, and refreshments. During our time together, we will consider our baptisms and renew our baptismal vows, and those who would like to experience what baptism by John the Baptist might have been like will have that opportunity.

  • Celebrating the Virgin Mary, Aug. 15
  • Ecumenical Bible Study, Wed., Aug. 16, 10am-12pm, Parish House

    Reading Lectionary for Aug. 20, Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost

  • Aug., 2023 Newsletter
  • All articles for Sunday, Aug. 13, 2023
  • A Full day of Church with Annette Steele’s visit to St. Peter’s and the Youth pool party all afternoon. We have photo galleries and some videos of both.

    We had 33 at service which was encouraging. Hightlights would have to be the announcements which centered on outreach for Jamaica and our mission trip. Annette Steele was here from the elementry school to underscore the need for mission. Mission trips are wonderful since both sides find benefits. Another area need support was Hawaii. We provided informatin in the bulletin and on this website how to provide assistance for Hawaii after the wild fire.

    We had numerous visitors in support of Jamaica and Annette Steele’s visit. The luncheon was provide by numerous parishioners.

    Lectionary illustrations, Aug 13, 2023

    "He said (to Elijah), ‘Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’ Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence." – 1 Kings 19:11-12

    "Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds… When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land,[a] for the wind was against them. And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” – Matthew 14:22-27