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.

To Be a Church Rooted in Love

Grace and peace.

This is the month when we consider how we’ll support St Peter’s financially in the coming year. We have an opportunity to consider what being part of a church means, and where we are in our commitments not just to God, but to this body of Christ of which we are a part. Are we a church rooted in love? And if so, how do we continue to grow into God’s love for our own good and for the good of the world around us?

To be a church rooted in love is to be a church that does two things well. The first thing is to be a church that opens its doors to any person who comes. This person may simply be curious. Perhaps this person may desire community with others, and/or desire a deeper knowledge of God. These desires may surface only after the person walks through the open door and finds a loving, accepting community within those walls, a community of people who model the meaning of loving God and one another.

The second thing that a church that is rooted in love must do well is to grow strong, faithful disciples, those who will follow Jesus, no matter the cost, and will support one another in their life in Christ. We do this together through worshiping, praying, studying, giving in support of the church, sharing fellowship with one another, and reaching out into the world to share God’s love. These strong faithful disciples are the ones who throw open the doors and welcome others in, hoping that they too will decide to join fully and to become disciples themselves. These disciples are the ones who worship, pray, study, give, share together in one another’s joys and sorrows, hoping to deepen their relationships with God. These are the ones who reach out into the world on God’s behalf.

Our ongoing challenge as disciples is to grow stronger and ever more deeply in our love for God and in our desire to follow Jesus, more giving, and more compassionate toward one another and toward those who may never walk through our doors, but who are desperately in need of God’s love—our ongoing challenge is to be more complete and more loving in our welcome.

For those of us who are on the fence, and that’s all of us at some point or another, torn by so many things that keep us away from God and halfhearted toward one another: Jesus asks us to decide to move beyond seeking, or being halfway committed, and to commit to becoming a whole hearted disciple, one with a new heart and a new spirit of love, ready to follow wherever Jesus calls us to go as this community of faith. And Jesus calls us to be patient with one another in our varying levels of commitment, to have compassion for one another, to encourage one another, and to help one another to be rooted in love as we grow together, and welcome the stranger in.


Stewardship is….

“When I fill out my pledge card this year, I’m going to try to remember that all that I have is a gift—as Richard Rohr says, “It’s all a gift!” –and that I can share my financial gifts freely with not only St Peter’s, but with many other groups as well, the groups that are doing what I would consider to be God’s work out in the world.”

Stewardship is … Everything I do after I say, “I believe.” Stewardship is our thankful and intentional response to the question, “What is God calling me to do with the gifts God has entrusted to me?”

Why pledge ? The pledges are the major way to support what St. Peter’s values – food distribution and meals in our community, education, outreach to those in need, Christian education and fellowship for all.

We are stewards, caretakers of God’s gifts. Everything we have was a gift from God, and God asks us to use it all for God’s purposes. Generosity flows naturally out of our gratitude for the gift of love, family, and life itself.

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5 Principles of Stewardship

Here are some thoughts on giving and stewardship from From The Evangelist, Newsletter-letter of St. Mark’s Cathedral Shreveport, Louisiana, Nov. 2021

  • God owns everything. Everything means everything. The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it (Ps. 24:1) The Genesis creation record makes it clear that God is the sovereign Creator who owns and reigns over the earth. It is also clear that God appointed man to manage this creation (Gen. 2:15).

  • The people of God are God’s management company. If you are a Christian, remember that being part of God’s household gives you responsibilities to work for the house of God. You enter into a contract with God that requires you to be a steward of your part of his creation. It is a further obligation that although you are free to make your own choices, the choices you make must give God glory.

  • Stewardship is responsibility with accountability. God did not create a people to be servants but to be relatives, sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth (Is. 43:6). He receives little glory from having slaves; he receives tremendous glory from people who willingly serve him as a manifestation of their relationship to him. God wants to know if you truly love him, and he intends to test that love by seeing how you respond to the temptation of money.

  • Stewardship demands a commitment to others. It is a response to God’s goodness to you. Stewardship is not doing something for God with your money, but doing something for others with his money. You act on God’s behalf and in his name. The apostle Paul described himself as a slave to everyone (1 Car. 9:19) and always seeking the good of them. (1 Car. 10:24, 33). Further he told us to look not only to our own interest, but also the interests of others (Phil. 2:4). Your attitude, Paul wrote, should be the same as that of Christ Jesus, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness (Phil. 2:5-7). Stewardship is both an expression of your love for God and the realization of that love in your relationships to others.

  • Stewardship has eternal consequences. Underlying most of Jesus’ instruction is the assumption that your life on earth will prepare you for your future in heaven. Paul explained to the Philippian believers, I am [not] looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your [future, heavenly] account (Phil. 4:17). Stewardship builds heavenly treasure by transferring wealth from your bank account to your heavenly account. Because God is eternal, he operates in an eternal time frame. Likewise, the actions of God’s stewards will have eternal consequences

What Does Ministry Look Like ?

This is a PowerPoint comprising a list and description of St. Peter’s ministries under four headings – internal, local partners, state and national partners and international partners. The internal are distinguished by parishioner involvement and are generally active yearly. The others may not be active every year.

Many of these ministries represent the day to day work of the church, both outreach into the world and inreach for those within the church. The church is more than just Sunday and the St. Peter’s building but is working in the world! They involve the both the clergy and parishioners in the church as well as others. Many of these ministries are historic (Bible Study is 20 years old) but some, like Sacred Ground were created in the last five years.

To see a full screen version, press right button in the bottom windows   to open in a new window

Your giving for 2024 is crucial to making these ministries thrive. Also, consider joining these ministries and contribute toward their successes. We are always on the lookout for new ministries. An example is Andrea Pogue’s work with Shred-it which originated with her.

Sermon, Oct. 15, 2023, Pentecost 20

“Parable of the Great Banquet” (between 1525 and 1545) – Brunswick Monogrammist

After his death and resurrection,  Jesus returns to the shore of the Sea of Galilee at dawn one morning, sees the disciples, who have gone back to fishing but have caught nothing, provides a catch for them, and then prepares breakfast for this unworthy bunch, invites them to bring some of the fish they have just caught and to come and have breakfast.  Jesus is still choosing them, this time to gather around another meal with their Lord and Savior.    

And this part—Peter, when he realizes that it is the Lord on the shore calling to them, he throws on some clothes, for he is naked.  Now fully clothed, he jumps into the sea, and swims to shore, to join Jesus for breakfast.    

When Peter hurries to put on clothes to swim to Jesus, he is putting on the new life that he suddenly realizes is waiting for him. He is putting on his wedding garment to wear to the banquet.  

And so Jesus still invites us today to put on new life and to come to his table.  He invites all of us. 

As the invitation to the Eucharist says in the Celtic Eucharistic prayer that we will pray again on All Saint’s Day,

“For this is the table where God intends us to be nourished; this is the time when Christ can make us new.  So come, you who hunger and thirst for a deeper faith, for a better life, for a fairer world.  Jesus Christ, who has sat at our tables, now invites us to be guests at his.”

Imagine the times in  your life when you’ve felt like you’ve been fishing all night and you haven’t caught a thing.   Remember how Jesus has filled up your boat over and over with blessings, too many to count. 

And now, at his invitation, bring what he has so graciously blessed you with, and  even if you feel like you don’t have much to bring, even if all you can bring is weariness, bring what you’ve got.   

Put on your wedding garment of new life, and come to the table, rejoicing in the Lord.    

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Church open Oct. 17, 2023, 12 pm-2 pm for prayer

St Peter’s Episcopal, Port Royal, will be open Tues, Oct. 17 for prayer. Please plan to come to the church tomorrow anytime between noon and 2PM to pray for peace in the Middle East. Feel free to come for a short time, or to stay for the whole time. People are welcome to come and go throughout the two hours. We will be praying along with people around the world who are joining the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem who have called for this day of prayer.

Our time together will include a short prayer service at noon, which will include spoken prayers and some meditative music.

After this opening, people are invited to use the various resources that will be available in the church as we pray silently in solidarity with one another and with others around the world who will also be praying for peace.

A short prayer service at 1:50PM will conclude our time of prayer together.

Sunday Links, Oct. 15, 2023

The focus this Sunday continues to be the stewardship campaign. We also are looking ahead to All Saints Sunday, Nov 5 in 3 weeks

  • 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. Oct. 15, 2023, 10:30, God’s Garden — A gathering of children ages 5-9. Sunday School activities and fun, led by Elizabeth Heimbach, Jan Saylor in the Parish House
  • Sun. Oct. 15 2023, 11am Church service – Eucharist Live or YouTube St. Peter’s Page
  • Lectionary link for Oct. 15, 20th Sunday after Pentecost

  • Serving
    Lector: Ben Hicks
    Chalice Bearer: Johnny Davis
    Altar Cleanup: Jan Saylor
  • Church open to pray for peace in the Middle East, Tues, Oct 17 12pm-2pm
  • Ecumenical Bible Study, Wed., Oct 18 10am-12pm, Parish House Reading Lectionary for Oct 22, Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost
  • Village Harvest, Wed., Oct. 18, 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.
  • All articles for Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023
  • Oct. newsletter
  • Looking ahead…

  • All Saints Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023
  • All Saints Sunday, Nov. 5. Please email Catherine by Monday, Oct. 30 with the names of those who have died in the past year that you would like to have remembered on All Saints’ Sunday.
  • ECM Thanksgiving Donations due Nov. 5
  • Episcopal Church Men (ECM) will team up with the County Department of Social Services to provide families in the area with Thanksgiving gift cards. If you’d like to donate, please make a check to St Peter’s with ECM in the memo line, by Nov 5th

    Recent Articles, Oct. 15, 2023

    Pentecost 20, Oct. 15, 2023
    Lectionary for Pentecost 20
    Commentary Oct. 15
    Vanderbilt visual commentary
    Gospel reflection
    Background to the Gospel’s Wedding Banquet
    Paul was no stranger to divisiveness
    What’s so “Domestic” About Violence? (Philippians 4:1-9)
    Stewardship Commentary

    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

    2024 Planning
    Walk in Love planning help

    Sacred Ground meets with Germanna