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.

Give to the ECM Christmas Outreach

From Ken Pogue. “Each year the Episcopal Church Men help St Peter’s provide support to those in need during the holidays.  The men coordinate with the Caroline County Department of Social Services to provide families in the area with gift cards

 “Your donations are greatly appreciated by the ECM and the recipients of the gifts in the Port Royal community, Thank you so very much in advance from a grateful community.”

If you’d like to donate for the Christmas offering, please make a check to St Peter’s with ECM in the memo line by Sunday, Nov. 12

Last year $750 was given at Christmas.

Donate to Giving Tuesday, 2023 for the Village Harvest

How we are meeting the challenge?


1. Donating online. Click the “Donate button” to donate to Giving Tuesday in honor of the Village Harvest on Giving Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023.

2. You can also send a check by mail or donate on Sunday in the plate:

St. Peter’s Church P. O. Box 399 Port Royal, Virginia 22535

We thank you for your donation to support our Village Harvest Food Ministry, now beginning its 10th year in November, 2023.!

Importance of the Village Harvest Food Ministry, 2023

A sermon by the Rev. Evan Garner highlighted why Church food ministries are so important in our time:

“Because feeding them is our job. As followers of Jesus, it is our calling to feed these people, indeed to feed all hungry people. The kind of people who left their homes to walk out into the wilderness and hike up a mountain to see Jesus are the kind of people who were desperate to be fed. Some of them may not have needed physical nourishment, but most of them did. For most of them, their spiritual crisis was born out of an economic crisis. We know that because usually the kind of people who had enough on their own weren’t very interested in Jesus. The rich and the powerful ignored him or laughed at him or, sometimes, plotted against him.”

“It is our job as the leaders of the church, as the stewards of the resources entrusted to us by God and by our parish, to count costs and estimate resources. But it is never our job as the people of God to allow an attitude of scarcity to overcome a theology of abundance. “

The Village Harvest addresses the Food Insecurity issue in surrounding counties and is one our key ministries. The definition of Food insecure is “those households who not have access, at all times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members.”

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Village Harvest 9th Anniversary, Nov., 2023

Psalm 107:37 “And sow fields and plant vineyards, And gather a fruitful harvest.”

The Village Harvest celebrated its 9th anniversary and began its 10th year in November. The October, 2014 newsletter read as follows “In an effort to make fresh food more available to those in our area in need of food, the ECW is going to head up a new project.” Credit goes to Eunice Key for conceiving the name “Village Harvest.”

St Peter’s provides an opportunity for people in the area to come get fresh produce, meat, and assorted non-perishable items on the third Wednesday of each month.   The offerings change from month to month, depending on what’s available at the food bank. 

Thanks to the generosity of St Peter’s, not only are we able to provide food, but Catherine has also been able to use her discretionary fund to help these people in other ways.  

Over the past 9 years, we have distributed 121,795 pounds of food  to 11,010 people which equates to 11.1 pounds per person. The earlier years were lower at under 9 pound per person with 2018 onward being over 12 pounds.

November, 2023 was a spectacular month serving 110 people, the largest number since Jan, 2022 with 115. The pounds provided were 1,270 second largest in 2023 behind April, 2023 at 1,365.

During the first  11 months of 2023, we fed 951 people compared to 970 in the previous year during the same period.  The amount of food provided is lower in 2023 than 2022 – 12,516 pounds for 2023 compared to 13,834 for 2022. Pounds per person, were also lower in 2023 at 13.16 compared with 14.26 in the previous year

2023 does not compare well with 2022 and other years due to the poor first quarter of 2023. In the first quarter of 2023 (Jan-March), we served 218 people compared to 296 in 2022 and 295 in 2021. Food available followed a similar pattern: 2,913 pounds in 2023 and 4,196 in 2022 and 4,342 in 2021.

The Mutual Ministry Review – “All work…”

St. Peter’s Vestry met on Tues Nov. 14 for a Mutual Ministry Review.

The Diocese of Michigan provides a good understanging of it – “Mutual Ministry Review is a discernment process in which the leaders of the congregation ask who God is calling this congregation to be, how this congregation is presently responding to God’s call, and how this congregation is going to respond to God’s call. The MMR is an effort to discern God’s will for the church and call for all ministers (lay and clergy) to be accountable for it.” St. Peter’s had not scheduled one for several years.

There is a facilitator who is trained for the process. In our case it was Salli Hartman, deacon for St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Colonial Beach who also served at St. Peter’s.

This type of exercise makes one think of the old saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. ” This phrase firt occurred in a proverbs book in 1659, just 3 years before the 1662 Book of Common Prayer was printed and had an enormous influence on our Episcopal church and many other churches.

Anyway the Vestry adhered to it, by making assorted foods to get through the process. Linda Upshaw make crepes with a wonderful strawberry topping. She was given a crepes kit by her sister in law a generation ago and has been making them ever since.

There were two different muffins on by Elizabeth Heimbach and one by Catherine, the latter a pumpkin muffin with cream cheese. Included in the snack were blueberries and oranges. Jan Saylor made a wonderful vegetable soup.

While it may be considered a diversion, it made the review more easy going and productive with these delights.

Sermon, Nov. 19, 2023, Pentecost 25

In last Wednesday’s comics, the comic strip “Pearls before Swine” focused on Judgement Day.  Goat says to Rat, “Do you believe that if you do bad things, you’ll be judged after you die and go to hell?  Rat responds, “I do.”  Goat says, “But everything you do is bad.” Rat says, “I plan on pleading ‘oopsies.’ “ Goat says, “Not sure that’s a defense.”  Rat says, “OK, now I’m worried.” 

Today’s scriptures are worrisome.  The prophet Zephaniah describes the day of judgment in dreadful terms, a day of wrath, distress and anguish for those who have been complacent, and who say in their hearts that “The Lord will not do good, nor will he do harm.”  The complacent people who heard Zephaniah’s oracle, and we who give in to the modern day temptation to dismiss any thoughts of God’s judgement and to focus only on God’s goodness and mercy, or believe deep down inside that God is just looking the other way about most things may feel like Rat—“Now I’m worried ”  or at least shaken up a bit after hearing from Zehaniah.  Or, we can just dismiss the Day of Judgement as the raging of a crazy prophet. 

But let’s take these passages to heart.  The Nicene Creed, which is an outline of our Christian core beliefs, states that that Jesus will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.”  That statement challenges our thoughts like—“Jesus hasn’t come back yet, and it’s been over 2000 years,” or “We believe in Jesus, so we will be judged on faith alone.”  God’s assessment of how we try to carry out God’s will on this earth matters now, and will always matter, for God has entrusted us, the followers of Jesus, to carry out the work of Jesus until he returns.  And when we decide to follow Jesus, we accept that trust, and take on the challenge.

Today’s scriptures make clear that there is a finish line and a day of reckoning, and then gives us ways to reach the finish line as winners.    

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Village Harvest, Beginning 10th Year, Nov. 15, 2023

1,270 pounds of food goodness, second highest pounds in 2023!

We need both food and leadership to make the Harvest work. Saluting some of our leaders who come monthly – Johnny (and Cookie) Davis transporting the food 60 minutes away (Johnny with the potatoes), Andrea Pogue (with the apples), Jan Saylor (made the sign), and Linneth Feliciano (organizing, packing). Many of these people have been involved since 2014. Many thanks to all!

Some of the food we have today – potatoes, beets, meats, sweets, diced tomatoes, celery, macaroni, apples and Food Lion Feeds boxes (green beans, spaghetta, macaroni, corn, tomato sauce, white rice).

Sunday Links, Nov. 19, 2023

Scriptures about Judgment in November. This Sunday is the Parable of the Talents

  • 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
  • Sun. Nov. 19, 2023, 10:15am God’s Garden, children ages 5-9. They will be making cards for the grandparents.
  • Stewardship pledges for 2024 are due by Sun., Nov 19th. By pledge (Estimate of Giving) card or online
  • Sun. Nov. 19, 2023, 11am Church service – Eucharist Live or YouTube St. Peter’s Page
  • Lectionary link for Nov. 19, Pentecost 25

  • Art Auction for Mary Peterman’s paintings – Round 1 Nov 12-Nov. 18 (6pm). Bid here.
  • Serving – Holy Eucharist
    Lector: Elizabeth Heimbach
    Chalice Bearer: Elizabeth Heimbach
    Altar Cleanup: Linda Kramer
  • Ecumenical Bible Study, Wed., Nov. 22 10am-12pm, Parish House Reading Lectionary for Nov 26, Pentecost 26

  • Sun., Nov 26, 3:30 PM Advent workshop. Families, come make a family Advent wreath. The cost will be covered by the ECW. Kids can make nativity scenes, pinecone bird feeders and decorate cookies
  • ECM Christmas Donations due Dec. 3
  • Write a check to “ECM Christmas”

  • All articles for Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023
  • Nov., 2023 newsletter
  • Looking ahead…

  • Advent begins, Sunday, Dec. 3
  • Recent Articles, Sun., Nov. 19, 2023

    Pentecost 25, Nov. 19, 2023
    Lectionary for Pentecost 25, Nov. 19
    Lectionary commentary
    Thessalonians – Should I Fear?
    November’s lectionary – JUDGMENT!
    Vanderbilt visual commentary
    Gospel – We had better get to work!
    Parable of the Talents fully alive

    God’s Garden, Nov 19
    Advent Workshop, Nov. 26
    Art Auction for Mary Peterman’s, Round 1
    Donate to Giving Tues, Nov. 28
    The Village Harvest, Oct. 2023, the end of 9 years
    Importance of the Village Harvest
    ECM Christmas donations due Dec. 3
    Mutual Ministry Review, Nov. 14

    Stewardship 2024
    To be a Church Rooted in Love
    Planning your financial giving
    Options for estimating your giving
    Ministry Connections

    About Stewardship
    5 Principles of Stewardship
    Stewardship is…
    Stewardship FAQ

    Fall photos
    Autumnal Tints
    Photos Mid-Nov
    Golden Days of early Nov.