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.

It’s Pentecost!

In the Christian tradition, Pentecost marks the end of the 50 Days of Easter. In Acts 2, the apostles and friends are gathered together in Jerusalem. Suddenly there is a great rushing of wind, and tongues of fire rest on each of the apostles. They begin to speak in different languages, and the crowds around them, Jews from across the diaspora, having come to Jerusalem for the Festival of Weeks, understand them, although some disparaged them as drunks. It was at this moment that Peter stood up and preached, revealing the will of God in Jesus Christ, as prophesied by Joel, and affirming a continual outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon repentance and baptism. 

There are at least three reasons to start with:  

1. It marks the birthday of the church. Pentecost was a turning point. Before the rushing wind, the flames, and the speaking in tongues, the apostles were a group of followers who listened to Jesus and assisted as he helped those who came to him for healing and grace. Without Jesus, they were aimless and confused. After the Holy Spirit enters that room, after Peter preaches repentance and baptism, they no longer look inward. The end of Acts 2 records that they devoted themselves to the teaching and to fellowship, they performed wonders and signs, they gave to others in need…and the Lord added to their number daily those who were saved. 

The Holy Spirit gave the disciples direction and power to form the Christian community, which would become “the church.” So, Pentecost is a birthday, and some churches today celebrate with cake! 

2. Pentecost completes the Trinity. Christian theology is grounded in a doctrine of three in one, and Christians often pray in the “name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” Pentecost was the first and definitive moment in which we can say that the Father sent the Holy Spirit to make the Son present. No Pentecost, no Trinity. 

3. Jesus kept his promise. In Matthew 28:20 Jesus told his followers, “I will be with you always, even until the end of the age.” He promptly ascended and was seen no more. What gives? Well, in John 15:26 he says, “I will send you the Advocate-the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me” (NLT). The point is: Jesus is present through the Holy Spirit. Pentecost marks the fulfillment of Christ’s promised presence. 

from buildfaith.org

The Holy Spirit came down at Pentecost

We know what did the Holy Spirit did in Jesus time at Pentecost. It energized them, bound them together gave them a mission to extend the Gospel into foreign lands

Pentecost is a season, not just one day. We have a long time in the church year to work with it ( Pentecost is the longest season until Advent. The celebration should be and is a  part of Pentecost Sunday.

And after that?

We have to know who we are. Based on that what is our mission?

Who are we ?

Luke casts the church as a spirited community of bridge-builders, visionaries, and dreamers, male and female, slave and free (Acts 2:17)

Hopefully, our churches have “visionaries and dreamers” but also those that  can organize to implement the change, work for funding if necessary and report back what we done. (Thank goodness we have no slaves.)

What is our mission? 

Read more

Pentecost, an Ancient Festival

Pentecost meaning

Pentecost was the second of the three great annual festivals of Israel, the others being Passover and the feast of Tabernacles. The festival was often called the feast of Weeks  because it took place seven complete weeks, or 50 days, after the Passover. Jews from all   over the world came to Jerusalem for this festival, more than for any other. The day  was one of solemn convocation when no work was to be done. The people offered the first loaves of fine flour made from the justharvested late grain crops. Other sacrifices were offered in the temple and a meal was prepared with freewill offerings from the people. To this meal the widows, orphans, the poor and the stranger were invited.   

On this festive day, in the year of Jesus’ death and resurrection, the Holy Spirit was bestowed upon the apostles. In Acts, Luke describes the sound of a mighty rushing wind and the sight of tongues of flame resting on the head of each apostle. What a transformation took place in these men and women! They were truly “clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:29). Out into the crowd they went, boldly proclaiming the “mighty works of God”  (Acts 2:11). One of the gifts of the Spirit— the gift of tongues—enabled the polyglot crowd to hear the apostles speaking, each in his or her own language.  

Peter, no longer afraid, boldly proclaimed the event to be a fulfillment of the promise of God made through the prophet Joel: “I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh… whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall  be saved.” Acts 2:17a, 21). Then he preached the first Christian sermon, witnessing to the resurrection of the Messiah “this Jesus whom you crucified” (Acts 2:36). From the crowd of Jews and converts, three thousand heard his message, were baptized, and became followers of Jesus.

Acts, which is often called the gospel of the Holy Spirit, is full of stories that show the power of the Holy Spirit working in the early Church. It was the Spirit who gave life to the early Church; that same Spirit gives life to us in these latter days.

Pentecost is a time of renewal for Christian believers. Through studying the story of Pentecost, many seek and pray for spiritual gifts for the church during this time of holy celebration. There is a renewed focus on evangelism, empowerment from the Holy Spirit, deeper intimacy with God, and fellowship. For Christians, the celebration of Pentecost imparts faith, hope, a sharing of community, and an awareness of a purpose much greater than ourselves.


Special Pentecost videos

Pentecost represents the end of the Easter Season and a time of transition. Besides being the “Birthday of the church” and the arrival of the Holy Spirit, it is a feast day. Yes a day to have fun!

Over the years we have had special events on Pentecost such as Prayer Walks, picnics, receptions and special music. Some guests have appeared as well. We have also had some pictures and videos. Some videos just take stock of who are while others record part of the Pentecost services

Here are 5 videos through the years beginning in 2016

1. 2016 Church with with front piece replacement and 3 priests! A wild gathering at Pentecost!

2. Prayer Walk 2018

3. “Sweet, Sweet, Spirit”, 2019

4. Pentecost People 2011-2015 created in 2021

5. 2022 Day of Radiant Gladness

Sunday links, Pentecost, May 28, 2023

  • 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

  • Celebrate Pentecost!”

  • Ecumenical Bible Study, Wed., May 24, 10am-12pm, Parish House Reading Lectionary for May 28,
  • Sun. May 28, 2023, 11am Holy Eucharist, St. Peter’s Live and on YouTube 823 Water St. Port Royal, VA 22535
  • Lectionary for May 28, 2023, Pentecost, Pentecost
  • Sun. May 28, 2023, 12am Pentecost picnic
  • Sun., May 28, UTO Boxes reception
  • The Psalms study Tues, May 30, 7:00pm Zoom link Meeting ID: 879 7169 4710 Passcode: 803192 Participants, choose one Psalm to share with the group (starting with Psalm 24-41 for Book 1 and 42-72 for Book 2)
  • Jamaica Fundraiser until mid-June
  • May, 2023 Newsletter
  • All articles for Sunday, May 28, 2023
  • Little Falls Bluegrass Band at Pentecost – A Treat

    We were entertained during our Pentecost picnic by the Little Falls Bluegrass Band from Stafford. The gentlemen have played bluegrass music for many years in many bands, including this one. They comprise all ages – the banjo player celebrated his 18th birthday on Pentecost. They have played for weddings, social and church services. They are tight both in music and friendship – and it shows! Their acapella numbers were especially wonderful.

    Several attend Community Baptist Church in Stafford. (They attended an early service there to get to St. Peter’s for our picnic). Their pastor also came.

    Keith, the bass player, has a side grass-cutting business and has cut Catherine and Ben’s rental property in Fredericksburg for many years. He was our contact.

    Videos, Pentecost, May 28, 2023

    Larry Saylor, guitar – Prelude

    Hymn of praise- Glory to You – John Rutter

    Gospel and Sermon – the Rev Catherine Hicks

    Affirmation of Faith

    Prayers of the People

    Larry Saylor, guitar – Offertory

    Holy Communion

    Blessing and Extinguishing of the Paschal Candle

    Sweet, Sweet, Spirit

    The one with the “Tongues of Fire”!