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.

Sermon, 3rd Sunday in Lent, March 12, 2023

Today’s passages invite us to consider for ourselves who Jesus is and what Jesus offers to each of us, if only we take the time to be in conversation with him and to spend time with him.  Jesus welcomes us into a closer and more loving relationship with God through both his living and his dying.       

In today’s passage from Romans, Paul says that “But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.  Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God.”

Is God really waiting to deal wrathfully with us, miserable sinners that we are? 

In his commentary on Romans, William Barclay, a Scottish theologian, explains “the wrath of God” in this way.

Think about the law. 

We all know that none of us can keep the law perfectly.  That doesn’t stop us from trying to keep the law, but sooner or later, we mess up.  When we mess up, we suffer the consequences.  And if we think of God only in terms of the law, then we can assume that God is going to be angry with us when we break God’s laws.  Barclay points out that if we think of ourselves in terms of the law, then we are all headed for God’s condemnation. 

Paul wants  the Romans to know that trying to be in a right relationship with God through our own efforts will never work, because we will never be perfect. 

Thanks be to God, then, that we have another way to be in right relationship with God, and that way is when we enter by faith into a relationship with God.  We learn God is not waiting to condemn us and wrathfully punish us.  Instead, God loves us and is waiting for us to draw more ever more closely into God’s presence. 

Jesus is the one who leads us into a deeper relationship with God.  As we come to know Jesus more and more, then we find ourselves growing closer to God.  Jesus would do anything for us. He doesn’t wait for us to be good, or to have our act together—in fact, while we were sinners, Christ died for us.    

When Jesus died, he showed us the way to God by showing us the way of God—God is always breaking love wide open so that it can be shared more fully.  When Jesus was broken open in his death on the cross, God’s love flowed from the cross out into the world like a stream of living water that gushes up to eternal life.

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Remembering Harriet Tubman, March 10, 2023

Today March 10, 2023 the Episcopal Church recognizes Harriet Tubman on her own day from the day she died in 1913


  1. Cleo Coleman as Harriet Tubman video
  1. Catherine’s sermon on Harriet Tubman and St. Patrick

St. Peter’s Episcopal in Port Royal, VA has a unique connection to Tubman through Port Royal resident Cleo Coleman. Coleman is a Baptist but visits our church and is a member of our Wed. Bible study

Cleo has also dramatized Harriet Tubman for years. We have a video of a performance on July 4, 2018. The video is introduced by Cookie Davis who has worked with Coleman. Coleman talks about her dramatization. We have selections of her performance only edited by a malfunctioning camera.

Then there is a sermon Catherine did on March 17, 2019, which pays tribute to both Harriet Tubman and St. Patrick. March 17 is St. Peter’s Day. From the sermon

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Sunday Links, March 12, 2023, Lent 3

Celebrating a wedding anniversary

  • Third Sunday of Lent Service 11am YouTube link Sun., March 12, 2023

  • Lectionary for March 12, 2023, Third Sunday of Lent,
    Third Sunday of Lent
  • Bulletin for March 12, 2023,
  • Morning Meditation , Mon., March 13, 6:30am Zoom link Meeting ID: 879 8071 6417 Passcode: 790929
  • The Psalms study , Mon., March 13, 7:00pm Zoom link Meeting ID: 873 0418 9375
    Passcode: 092098

    The study continues after reading some of the earlier psalms last week and the last one, Psalm 150 as well as learning their backgrounds.

  • Ecumenical Bible Study, Wed., March 15, 10am-12pm.
  • Reading the lectionary for March 22, Man born Blind.

  • Village Harvest, Wed., March 15, 3pm-5pm. Please email Andrea to volunteer at wakepogue.public@gmail.com, or (540) 847-9002. Pack bags 1-3PM, Deliver food to clients’ cars 3-5PM.

  • March, 2023 Newsletter
  • Stations of the Cross in our churchyard
  • Meditate on the last hours of Jesus’ life by walking the Stations of the Cross. Mary Peterman’s moving watercolors and the text for each station are on a series of fourteen banners which you will find placed outside the church for quiet meditation either in solitude or in small groups.

  • All articles for Lent 3, March 12, 2023
  • Lectionary, Lent 3 Year A 

    I.Theme –   Water provides life in a physical sense and in a spiritual sense (affirmation, love, hope) as well as a pathway to the divine.  “Christ and the Samaritan Woman”  –  Stefano Erardi (1630-1716) The woman`s reaction of surprise is expressed by her hand placed against her chest as though in disbelief, while Christ …

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    Another look at the Gospel – Lent 3

    Another Look at the Gospel, Lent 3 – “Rebuilding the World with Everyday Wisdom” 

    We can go further and look at Jesus’ example beyond the woman in simply doing what’s needed to be done.

    Pschologist Barry Schwarz in a Ted Talk laments the loss of Wisdom. He argues powerfully that rules often fail us, incentives often backfire, and practical, everyday wisdom will help rebuild our world.   Here is the Ted Talk

    “Practical wisdom,” Aristotle told us, “is the combination of moral will and moral skill.”

    A wise person knows when and how to make the exception to every rule, as the janitors knew when to ignore the job duties in the service of other objectives. A wise person knows how to improvise, as Luke did when he re-washed the floor.

    Real-world problems are often ambiguous and ill-defined and the context is always changing. A wise person is like a jazz musician — using the notes on the page, but dancing around them, inventing combinations that are appropriate for the situation and the people at hand. A wise person knows how to use these moral skills in the service of the right aims.

    To serve other people, not to manipulate other people. And finally, perhaps most important, a wise person is made, not born. Wisdom depends on experience, and not just any experience. You need the time to get to know the people that you’re serving. You need permission to be allowed to improvise, try new things, occasionally to fail and to learn from your failures. And you need to be mentored by wise teachers.”

    The essence of the Samaritan woman at the well

    This is a scripture of compassion and giving.

    The key is that Jesus sees her, really sees her pain – she’s had five husbands before and then he reveals himself to her. She is living an unfocused life without husband and she is looking for direction and help.

    He provides a direction with life giving words and his messianic identity. This is part of the living water. What Jesus is driving at is the divine life that is never exhausted even as it is given, since it is, in its essence, nothing other than giving. Jesus is uniting the tribes of Israel to “worship the Father in spirit and truth.”

    “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty.” By leaving her water jar there she takes on a new more purposeful life.

    Daniel Goldeman looked into compassion in a TED talk –“Why aren’t we more compassionate?”

    He explains “And this is, I think, the predicament of our lives: that we don’t take every opportunity to help because our focus is in the wrong direction.”

    What is the wrong direction ? Here is the TED talk for his answer

    Blessing at the Well – A Poem for Lent 3

    Jan Richardson is an artist, author , United Methodist minister, and director of The Wellspring Studio, LLC.

    Her website is Painted Prayerbook  She combines her art, poems and scriptural references in a wonderful review of church seasons and individual Gospel passages.

    This poem is for Lent 3 – -the woman at the well. Richardson writes that “the encounter between Jesus and the unnamed woman offers something of an icon of the Lenten season and the invitation it extends to us. If we give ourselves to a daily practice, if we keep taking our vessel to the source even when we feel uninspired or the well seems empty or the journey is boring, if we walk with an openness to what might be waiting for us in the repetition and rhythm of our routines, we may suddenly find ourselves swimming in the grace and love of God that goes deeper than we ever imagined.”