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, and we respect and honor with gratitude the land itself, the legacy of the ancestors, 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.

October is the month to plan your financial giving to the church for 2024

Toward the end of each year, the Vestry asks you to consider what you plan to give for the mission and ministry of St Peter’s in the coming year.

This year the process begins on Sunday, October 8, when Elizabeth Heimbach, Stewardship Chairperson and also our Senior Warden, gives you a letter from me, Catherine, which explains where your money goes and how the church uses it, and asking you to support this work in the coming year.

Included with this letter is a card on which you can list what you plan to give to St Peter’s in 2024. You may also pledge online this year. Your online pledge goes directly to Jim Heimbach, the St Peter’s Treasurer, as do the pledge cards that you fill out and turn in. Your financial commitment is something to consider prayerfully.

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Walk in Love Planning Help Needed!

The new church year starts on the first Sunday in Advent, this year on Sunday, December 3rd. The Vestry has decided that the coming year’s theme will be Walk in Love.

Each season will have a particular focus. The focus of the Advent and Christmas season will be Walk to the Manger. The season after The Epiphany will be Walk in the Light. The seasons of Lent and Holy Week will be Walk to the Cross. The Season of Easter will be Walk in New Life. The season after Pentecost will be Walk in the Way. Catherine and the Vestry will be working on what we do together as the church with these themes in mind. We need a planning committee!

If you are interested in helping with the fun of planning the new year, please complete contact Catherine at (540) 809-7489 or complete this form. Thanks for willingness to help plan!

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The new church year starts on the first Sunday in Advent, this year on Sunday, December 3rd. The Vestry has decided that the coming year’s theme will be Walk in Love. Each season will have a particular focus.

If you are interested in helping with the fun of planning the new year, please complete this form:

Sunday Links, Oct. 8, Pentecost 19,

The focus this Sunday is on our stewardship campaign . A number of articles explore this topic this week.

  • 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. 8, 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. 8 2023, 11am Church service – Eucharist Live or YouTube St. Peter’s Page
  • Lectionary link for Oct. 8, 19th Sunday after Pentecost

  • Serving
    Lector: : Elizabeth Heimbach
    Chalice Bearer: Alice Hughes
    Altar Cleanup: BJ Anderson
  • Sun. Oct. 8 2023, Stewardship Campaign begins, cards distributed
  • Mon., Oct. 9, 2023, Vestry. Parish House, 2PM
  • Sacred Ground visit to the Meyer Gallery Tues, Oct. 10, 10AM. Location – 1015 Caroline St, Fredericksburg Article, interview and PowerPoint about the Gallery
  • Ecumenical Bible Study, Wed., Oct 11 10am-12pm, Parish House Reading Lectionary for Oct 15, Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
  • All articles for Sunday, Oct. 8, 2023
  • Oct. newsletter
  • Meyer Gallery trip for Sacred Ground

    Sacred Ground will be going to the Meyer gallery in Fredericksburg on Tues Oct. 10, 10am to see the art works on display. Here is a video interview with Meyer.

    The interest in Sacred Ground is Meyer’s resarch in connection with mid-19th century Afro-American artist Robert Duncanson, one of the leading landscape painters. The Free Lance-Star published a recent article on Mayer and Duncanson. Free Lance-Star article

    Meyer believes “Duncanson’s works can be viewed as instruction manuals for enslaved Blacks attempting to escape north.” It might be a path and features to mark the path or obstacles to avoid. Meyer will have 40 of Duncanson’s paintings representing “the path to freedom” at his gallery at 1015 Caroline St. through Oct. 28.

    Here is a Powerpoint of Duncanson’s life as well as 16 of his paintings as a warmup for the tour:

    To see a full screen version, press right button to open in a new window or Click here

    More about the Sacred Ground Group

    The Sacred Ground group was formed in 2020 to watch and discuss Sacred Ground: A Film Based Dialogue Series on Race and Faith in 2020. The 10 week study session was created by the Episcopal Church to explore the roots of racial conflict in the United States through the effects of race and racism throughout American history.

    After completing the series, the group has continued reading various books to learn more about the impact of racism in the United States.  The group is currently reading  How we can win:  Race, History and Changing the Money Game that’s Rigged, by Kimberly Jones. 

    The group has also set up a Sacred Ground Scholarship, a fund available to Black and Native American students,  as a way to combat the historical inequities in education caused by racism. 

    In 2022, two young women from Caroline County High School received scholarships to attend Germanna Community College.  For the coming year, the group will be working with Germanna to help students who want to enter the various trade trainings, but do not have the downpayments to get started.  The cost for getting educated for a specific trade can be anywhere from $500 to $800.  Some of the programs have higher costs.  The group hopes to help several students during the school year. 

    The group also hopes to visit the  Patawomeck Museum and Cultural Center in Stafford, which has recently opened.  This visit may take place in November. 

    Consider joining the St Peter’s Sacred Ground Group.  All are welcome!

    Lectionary, Pentecost 19, Proper 22, Year A

    I.Theme –   Look carefully at the vineyard you are cultivating!

     "Vineyards with view of Auvers" – Van Gogh (1890)

    The lectionary readings are here or individually:

    Old Testament – Isaiah 5:1-7
    Psalm – Psalm 80:7-14 Page 703, BCP
    Epistle –Philippians 3:4b-14
    Gospel – Matthew 21:33-46

    The main motif in 3 of the 4 readings is about the vineyard which beginning in the Old Testament refers to Israel and by the Gospel to those tending it. Corruption is evident in Israel in the 8th Century BC and in 30AD with Christ. In Christ time the vineyard represents all places where we have been called by God to produce the fruits of the kingdom.  The real villains move from Israel as a country to specific groups cited by Matthew.

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