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.

UTO Spring Ingathering to be collected May 28 at Pentecost

The United Thank Offering (UTO) is a ministry of The Episcopal Church for the mission of the whole church. Originally it was started in the 1880’s to support missionary work. Through UTO, individuals are invited to embrace and deepen a personal daily spiritual discipline of gratitude. UTO encourages people to notice the good things that happen each day, give thanks to God for those blessings and make an offering for each blessing using a UTO Blue Box. UTO is entrusted to receive the offerings, and to distribute the 100% of what is collected to support innovative mission and ministry throughout The Episcopal Church and Provinces of the Anglican Communion. 

Here is a recent video on the UTO

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“Thy Kingdom Come”

“Thy Kingdom Come” is celebrating its 7 year anniversary in 2023. Since May 2016, The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the people of Thy Kingdom Come have been bringing the world together in prayer. St Peter’s has been part of this international prayer initiative for several years. Here is the website. Check out their new mobile app.

In the gospel according to Luke, before Jesus ascended, he told the disciples to go to back to Jerusalem and await the coming of the Holy Spirit. They did as he asked, spent ten days absorbed in prayer as they waited, and the Holy Spirit came upon them at Pentecost.

Through these prayerful disciples, the Holy Spirit brought the Church to birth. Following the example of these disciples, we can spend time in intentional prayer praying for people around the world to be filled with the Spirit and to come to know Jesus more fully.

So what we can do to participate?

1. Review the 2022 Play list

The 2021 Video Series is also available

Here is their Impact Report from 2022 and before.

2. Pray for 5 people

From the Archbishop of Canterbury:

Download the card. This card will easily fit inside your wallet, purse or book. Choose five people you would regularly like to pray for and write their names down onto a list. If you’re not sure who to pray for, ask God to guide you as you choose. Once you have settled on 5 names, commit to praying for them regularly. Use this card as a daily reminder to pray for them.

Once you have settled on 5 names, commit to praying for them regularly by praying the following: Loving Father, in the face of Jesus Christ your light and glory have blazed forth. Send your Holy Spirit that I may share with my friends [here, name your friends] the life of your Son and your love for all. Strengthen me as a witness to that love as I pledge to pray for them, for your name’s sake. Amen.

3. Go deeper with a 2023 Prayer Journal

Each day there are a few things to read, a prayer to offer and then an invitation for you to make your own reflections on what it means to follow in the way of Christ. You don’t have to write anything down, but you may find it helpful.

4. Prayers from Ascension to Pentecost

The nine days from Ascension Day to the Eve of Pentecost are the original novena–nine days of prayer.

Before he ascended, Jesus ordered the disciples not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there to be baptized by the Holy Spirit. After his Ascension, they returned to the upper room in Jerusalem where they devoted themselves to prayer. These last days of the Great Fifty Days of Easter can be a time for us to prepare for the celebration of Pentecost. 

They have also published their 2023 Novena and exploration of 1st John

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Videos, Easter 7, May 21, 2023

1. Gospel and Sermon – The Rev. Thomas Hughes

Some of Tom’s themes in his sermon follow. Life is a process. Jesus leaves this before us and we are called to become one of the people to glorify God because we are one of God’s people. This means we are called to a deeper conscious awareness of God in our lives, sorting out God’s presense in my life and God’s presents to me.

We begin to have a deeper awareness of the meaning of things and presence of God. This is how we glorify God in how we live. People see God moving through our lives, we show it and this is how they come to know God as well.

We live a life where evil doesn’t dominate our lives since it has no ultimate power. We live in the love of God which is the ultimate power that is permanent and that all will be well. Presence of God in your life opens up of understanding of God and gives you a sense of purpose and direction in life that the world can’t give you. We should live a life process of becoming more we were. The purposes of God that are already within us will be unfolded

2. Prayers of the People

3 UTO Introduction

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Recent Articles, May 15

Praying Differently this Summer

1. With Clenched Hands

Close your eyes and clench your hands tightly.

Imagine all the pressures and worries and tensions you carry here today. We hold on to a lot of things.

Then, in your own time, turn your gripped hands over so that they are facing down. Imagine God’s hands underneath yours and slowly open your hands so that the things you are carrying fall into God’s hands.

You may wish to repeat this several times. Turn your hands face up, but this time with the palms open and ask God’s Spirit to fill you afresh everything.

2.Worry Knots

As you think about these things, tie a knot in the rope to represent each worry and how it ties you up inside.

Matthew 6:25-34 reminds us, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”.

Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.

As you untie each knot you made ask God to help you problem-solve when and how you can.

Ascension Week

  • Web site
  • YouTube St. Peter’s Page for viewing services
  • Facebook St. Peter’s Page

  • John Singleton Copley – “The Ascension”

  • The Psalms study Mon, May 15, 7:00pm Zoom link Meeting ID: 879 7169 4710 Passcode: 803192 Studying Psalms 19,20,21,24,25. Please join us for this hour’s discussion
  • Ecumenical Bible Study, Wed., May 17, 10am-12pm, Parish House Reading Lectionary for May 21,
  • Village Harvest, Wed., May 17, 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.
  • Thurs., May 18, The Ascension. Regional Ascension Service at St George’s, 7PM
  • Fri., May 19, Shred-It. Truck will be at St. Peter’s at 11am.
  • Sun. May 21, 2023, 11am Holy Eucharist, St. Peter’s Live and on YouTube 823 Water St. Port Royal, VA 22535
  • Lectionary for May 21, 2023, Seventh Sunday in Easter, Seventh Sunday in Easter, Rogation Sunday

  • Coming up!

  • Sun., May 14, UTO Boxes distribution
  • Mon., May 15, 187th Anniversary of St. Peter’s
  • Ecumenical Bible Study, Wed., May 17, 10am-12pm, Parish House Reading Lectionary for May 21,
  • Wed., May 17, Village Harvest, 3PM – 5pm
  • Thurs., May 18, Vestry, 2PM
  • Thurs., May 18, Regional Ascension Service at St George’s, 7PM
  • Shred-It. is scheduled for Fri. May 19, 10:40 AM.

    Dispose of sensitive documents safely and securely, and free up needed space at home or work.

  • May, 2023 Newsletter
  • All articles for Sunday, May 14, 2023
  • All articles for Rogation
  • All articles for Mother’s Day
  • All articles for Ascension
  • Ascension

    Ascension Mantegna

    The New Testament treats the Ascension as an integral part of the Easter event. 

    It is the final appearance Jesus’ physical and resurrected presence on earth. It is the final component of the paschal mystery, which consists also of Jesus’ Passion, Crucifixion, Death, Burial, Descent Among the Dead, and Resurrection.

    Along with the resurrection, the ascension functioned as a proof of Jesus’ claim that he was the Messiah. The Ascension is also the event whereby humanity was taken into heaven.   There is a promise he will come back again.

    So when is it ? The Ascension in Luke 24 is on Easter Sunday evening or, at the latest, the next day; in John 20, sometime between the appearance to Mary Magdalene (who is told not to touch the risen One because he has not yet ascended) and the appearance to Thomas (who is invited to touch him); in Acts 1, after the forty days (which, however, are symbolic of the time of revelation; there may be no intention to suggest that the ascension actually “occurred” on the fortieth day).  We celebrate Ascension on the 40th day.

    The main scriptural references to the Ascension are Mark:16:19, Luke:24:51, and Acts:1:2 and vvs. 8-10. Luke 24 says  "While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven". In Acts " he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen." Jesus commissions his followers, rather than simply blessing them; and we have an appearance from two men in white robes.

    Mount Olivet, near Bethany, is designated as the place where Christ left the earth. The feast falls on this Thursday, May 18 and it is one of the most solemn in the calendar, ranking with the feasts of the Passion, Easter and Pentecost.

    In disappearing from their view "He was raised up and a cloud received Him out of their sight" (Acts 1:9), and entering into glory He dwells with the Father in the honur and power denoted by the scripture phrase."

    In a way, Jesus’ abandonment of the disciples upon the Mount of Olives is more profound than their abandonment on Calvary. After all, the disciples themselves predicted he would die. But no one could have imagined the Resurrection and the extraordinary forty days during which Jesus dwelled again with his friends. Forty days with the resurrected Jesus – appearing in the upper room, along the way to Emmaus, upon the beach at Galilee! Imagine their despair when this, the Jesus present to them in such an astonishing way, enters the Cloud on the Mount of Olives.

    The Rev. Suzanne Guthrie writes, "The Church gives us ten days to practice dwelling in the ambiguous time between the Resurrected-Christ-vanished, and the Holy Spirit not-yet-come. In the mystical life, Ascensiontide is the Dark Night of the Soul, the anguished sense of abandonment after a solid period of union. The soul can not cling even to this union. The last threads of attachment must be broken in the darkness of unknowing before the completion of the Christian transformation – being “sent” into the world as bearers of Love."

    Although no documentation of it exists prior to the beginning of the fifth century, St. Augustine says that it originated with the Apostles, and that it was observed by the Church long before his time. The Ascension is frequently mentioned in the writings of St. John Chrysostom, St. Gregory of Nyssa, and in the Constitution of the Apostles. Perhaps, prior to the fifth century it was commemorated in conjunction with the feasts of Easter or Pentecost.

    Connected with this feast were the customs of: the blessing of beans and grapes (after the Commemoration of the Dead in the Canon of the Mass), the blessing of first fruits, (afterwards done on Rogation Days), the blessing of a candle, the wearing of mitres by deacon and subdeacon, the extinguishment of the paschal candle, and processions with torches and banners outside the churches to commemorate the entry of Christ into heaven. In some churches, the Ascension was depicted by elevating the figure of Christ above the altar, through an opening in the roof. In others, the figure of Christ was made to ascend and that of the devil was made to descend.

    Ascension – Start of the Mission of the Church

    The Ascension is the beginning of the church’s mission.

      1. It is powered by the Spirit 

      2. It is a call to be witnesses 

      3. It is worldwide is scope  

    The Ascension holds the promise of Christ’s return.

    WHAT? What Happened to Jesus.

    A. He ascended to a place invisible to the mortal eye

    1. Acts 1:9 “A cloud received him out of their sight”

    2. He did not go up into some mountain that was covered with clouds as some men have speculated.

    B. Luke 24:51 “And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.”

    1. He is on the right hand of God

    2. I Peter 3:22 “Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto Him.”

    Where is heaven ? When the early church confessed that Jesus had ascended into heaven, the emphasis was not so much on a place – the emphasis was on God’s immediate presence. The church was confessing that Jesus had entered into the divine glory – that the risen Jesus now dwelt in the immediate presence of God. This may explain the meaning of the phrase, "a cloud took him out of their sight" (Acts 1:9). Oftentimes in scripture, a cloud represents the shekinah glory of God, the sign of God’s presence (cf. Exo. 33:7-11; Mark 9:7).

    WHY ?

    A For Man’s Redemption

    1. Christ died on the Cross on Golgotha. But he had to ascend to heaven before that death would be accepted as final payment for sin.

    2. God required that there be a sacrifice made for our sin.

    3. Under the Law of Moses the high priest went into the Most Holy Place of the tabernacle or temple, with the blood of animals for the sins of the people.

    4. But under the priesthood of Christ, we have a superior system:

    a. The blood of Christ is better, it has the power to completely remit sin

    b. That blood was taken into the holy place called heaven

    Heb 9:11-12 “But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.”

    B. To be our Advocate

    1. Christ went back to heaven to assist in keeping Christians saved

    2. We are not sinless and perfect as Christians

    a. I John 1:8 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

    b. I Jn. 2:1 “My little children, these things write I unto you, that you not sin.”

    3. But we are not all lost and without hope if we sin as a Christian.

    a. I Jn.2:1-2 “if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”

    b. Advocate = intercessor – propitiation

    c. Propitiation = atonement or to cover over and from the sight

    d. Our sins are covered over and from God’s sight by the blood of Christ

    e. I Jn. 1:7 “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

    4. Jesus paid the price for sin. He went to heaven as one who had paid that price and now since He is in heaven, he serves as an advocate for the Christian.

    C. So The Spirit Could Come

    1. Jn. 16:7 “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”

    a. Expedient = better, profitable “to your advantage”

    b. Comforter = Holy Spirit

    2. The Holy Spirit was to come and guide these apostles into all truth – but not as long as Jesus was on the earth

    3. So the only way man could receive the full revelation of God’s truth was for Jesus to ascend back to the Father, which would allow the Holy Spirit to come in order to provide us with God’s perfect Word

    The Holy Spirit had to come to reveal and confirm God’s word which enables men to understand what God in love, mercy, and grace has done to ransom our souls from sin, and what men must do in order to be saved from sin by God’s son.

    It was a divine power to be received by faith to motivate the witness of believers.

    "How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?" (Hebrews 2:3-4)

    “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.” ( John 15:26-27)

    Jn. 16:13 “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”

    D. To Prepare a place for Us

    1. Jesus left earth to go and prepare a place for those who by faithful obedience prepare for that place.

    2. Jn. 14:2-3 “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

    SALT Commentary Lectionary Ascension

    Ascension Sunday (Year A): Luke 24:44-53 and Acts 1:1-11

    Big Picture:

    1) This is the seventh of the seven weeks of Eastertide (poetically one more week than the six weeks of Lent), and the fourth of four weeks exploring Jesus’ teachings about faith, discipleship, and living in intimacy with God. This Sunday is often celebrated as “Ascension Sunday,” marking the risen Jesus’ departure after 40 days of dwelling with the community of disciples. Next week is Pentecost, the birth of the church!

    2) Bethany was a village about two miles east of Jerusalem, on the lower slopes of the Mount of Olives — and the Mount of Olives was the place God was expected to appear on “the day of the LORD” to reign “over all the earth” (Zech 14:4-9). It’s the same place from which Jesus begins his Palm Sunday procession into Jerusalem (Luke 19:29-40).

    3) For Luke, who also wrote Acts, the bookends of Jesus’ ministry are baptism and ascension, “the baptism of John until the day he was taken up from us,” and Acts is about the birth and early work of the church (Acts 1:22). Thus the Ascension serves as a key turning point in the overall two-volume story, the hinge between Part One and Part Two. Indeed, the Book of Acts could be subtitled, “Jesus Ascends, the Holy Spirit Descends, and the Church is Born.”

    4) Many in Luke’s audience would have understood the details of Jesus’ ascension to mirror Elijah’s (2 Kings 2) — though here there are no chariots or horses of fire, but rather simply an enveloping cloud, the ancient symbol of divine presence (for example, see Exodus 24:15-18). Elijah’s departure includes a succession (his protege, Elisha, takes up his mantle), and Jesus follows the same pattern: he bequeaths his mantle to the church. The figures in white robes add to the atmosphere of heaven-on-earth, recalling the “two men in dazzling clothes” the women encounter at Jesus’ tomb (Luke 24:4).

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