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.

Lenten Study, The Creeds, A Guide to Deeper Faith

When we say the Creeds (the Apostles’ Creed at baptisms and at Morning Prayer and the Nicene Creed when we celebrate the Eucharist), we are stating our belief in what the church believes, in faith, about God—that God is one being in three persons—that is, three “persons” within the one Godhead. 

It’s easy to say these words without much thought because they are so familiar.  And yet, they are the words that create community among Christian believers around the world, past, present, and future, the Apostles’ Creed being the most widely used of all of Christianity’s confessions of faith. These words are so important that they are permanently attached to our altar wall, along with the Ten Commandments and the Lord’s Prayer. The creeds not only bind us together in communities of faith,  but these words, if taken into our hearts, can lead us to a deeper faith. 

During this season of Lent, we will study these creeds, learning about how they came to be, what they mean to the Church, and we will also reflect on how they may help us grow in faith as Christians. 

The study is scheduled for five Wednesday nights of Lent—Weds Feb. 21st, 28th, and  March 6th, 13th, and 20th at 7PM on Zoom ID: 833 7014 5820 Passcode: 528834

Bingo Night, Feb 26, 6pm-7:30pm, Port Royal Fire house

Mon., Feb. 26th, Bingo Night 6-7:30PM at Port Royal Fire Department St Peter’s is serving as a Partner in Education with the Caroline County Public Schools.

We will be providing snacks for the Caroline County. If you would like to help, please bring granola bars, individually wrapped bags of trail mix, or small bottles of water and place them in the back pew by Sunday, Feb. 25.

Sermon, Feb. 18, the Rev. Tom Hughes – The Symbols of Lent


It’s nice to be here together as we begin Lent. These lessons that we have last Sunday and this Sunday are monumentally important because of what they teach us about the coming of the Kingdom, which is here, about the Messianic age which has now begun and how we are to live in it. The way I think to begin is to understand the importance of knowing symbols and what they mean because you can’t have a spiritual understanding of scripture if you don’t understand symbols and so that’s how we’re going to spend some time on this morning.

But I want to say to you first about Lent. I think sometimes we miss the point because I know people who are intent upon giving things up. I’m not going to have any popcorn or I’m going to give up wine. Some people take on things. I think both of those approaches are not quite what lent’s about and particularly the idea of giving up things. It’s not that you give up things that bring you pleasure or are good for you or make you happy, the idea is to give up things that are bad for you. The focus of what you give up is not the things that are lifegiving and happy that help you get along in this life and that you enjoy. You don’t give those things up. It’s not the idea for us to suffer. The idea is for us to grow spiritually and the way you grow spiritually is to make an intentional effort to give up those things that are not good for us

The lessons of last Sunday and this are just chocked full of powerful symbols for us to understand. The first one is that water – Jesus being baptized in the water. Remember the way to read scripture is to always look for the spiritual meaning in it. Don’t read it for what’s on the surface, read it for the spiritual meaning that is in it.

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Voices, Lent 1, Year B

1. Trinity –  Paying attention in Lent

In the sobering stillness of Lent, we surrender our busyness and preconceived ideas and open ourselves up to being surprised and changed by God’s love. We practice paying attention. We may find ourselves led down paths we didn’t expect — right to our own wildernesses. And as we are loved through our discomfort, we see the work God is doing in the world to bring about justice and peace, and we become part of that work. In letting go, we make room for new life, even in the most inhospitable of places.

Who knows where God will send us — beloved and driven by the Spirit — to help heal our broken world?

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“God’s Garden”, Learning the Lord’s Prayer

Do you remember when you learned the Lord’s Prayer ? I don’t and I bet you don’t either. “God’s Garden”, ages 5-9 began learning it during Lent on Feb. 18 to be ready by Easter.

Two techniques were used. A “signing” video was played and the children over the course of the session became adept in learning the Lord’s prayer in this manner by imitating the movements and text from the teacher. Moving hands and bodies almost reminded one of an exercise class.

The second technique was adding a cross to a piece of paper where the prayer written on the arms of the cross. The children used their fingers to trace the path of the prayer. Much less aerobic! You could also learn a segment at a time.

We have two videos showing how it went:

1. Signing

2. Tracing

“Letting Go” – Lent 1, Feb. 18, 2023

This is week 1 of Bishop Wright’s 5-part Lenten teaching series themed “Letting Go”. “Letting Go” is letting go of those things and ways that hold us back- weights, obstacles, and sin.

Week 1, Lent – “The Spirit “drove”Jesus into the wilderness and away from the familiar for a season. Spirit herded/hearted him away from home and routine, placing him among “wild beasts” and in the hands of attentive “angels.” He was at the same time, vulnerable and cared for.

“Adventures with God are always like that, God subtracts and then God multiplies. That’s fine for Jesus and his adventure, you might say, but who wants to leave the familiar, really? Remember whether we’re talking work, marriage, learning or life with God, the familiar should come with a warning label! The familiar can become a rut and a rut can become a grave. If we’re not careful we can adventure-proof our lives and make them memorials to who we and God formerly were rather than living testimonies to who we and God are right now. ”

Sunday’s Links, Feb. 18, 2024

First Sunday in Lent

  • 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., Feb. 18, “God’s Garden”, 10:00am. Learning the Lord’s Prayer.
  • Servers, First Sunday in Lent, Eucharist, Feb. 18, 11am
    Lector: Johnny Davis
    Chalice Bearer: Alice Hughes
    Altar Cleanup: BJ Anderson
  • Coming up

  • Sun., Feb. 18 – Funeral, Susan Linne von Berg, 2pm, Parish House
  • Wed., Feb. 21 – Ecumenical Bible Study, Parish House, 10am-12pm  Reading Lectionary for Second Sunday in Lent
  • Wed., Feb. 21 – Village Harvest, 3pm-5pm All help is welcome for this vital St Peter’s ministry. Time of food pick up and unloading of food to be announced for earlier in the week and help will be needed
  • Wed., Feb. 21 – Lenten Study, The Creeds, A Guide to Deeper Faith, 7pm”
  • Lenten Page

    Quick link to Feb, 2024 Lent Calendar
    Quick link to March, 2024 Lent Calendar

  • Feb., 2024 newsletter
  • All articles for Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024
  • Recent Articles, Feb. 18, 2024

    First Sunday in Lent, Feb 18
    God’s Garden, 10:00-11am
    Commentary First Sunday in Lent
    Visual Lectionary – Vanderbilt
    Voices, Lent 1, Year B
    Arts and Faith, Lent 1
    “Letting Go”, Feb. 18, Diocese of Atlanta
    Returning to the Sacred Presdence
    A Prayer for Entering Lent

    Lent began Feb. 14 (Ash Wednesday)
    The Prelude – Shrove Tuesday pancake supper
    Lent Basics
    3 key points about Ash Wed
    Ash Wed. 2024, 7pm service
    Photographs – Ash Wed
    Videos – Ash Wed
    The Ash Wed service
    Art for Ash Wed
    “Letting Go”, Diocese of Atlanta
    Conversation about Ash Wed
    Lent Stations:Vices & Virtues
    Lent at St. Peter’s

    God’s Garden- Learning the Lord’s Prayer
    God’s Garden – The Alleluia Banner, Part 2
    The Alleluia Banner, Part 1
    Souper Bowl Sunday results
    Discretionary Fund donations Feb. 11
    Lenten Study – The Creeds
    Village Harvest Jan., 2024
    Bingo Night Jan 26, 6pm-7:30pm
    Sacred Ground, Jan., 2024

    Black History Month, Feb., 2024
    Black History month
    Absalom Jones remembered Feb. 13
    Rosa Parks birthday Feb. 4
    Visit to Belle Grove, Feb. 2018

    A Case for Love
    Case for Love Journal – After the Movie
    The Way of Love – a summary
    How can we walk in the Way of Love?

    Lectionary Lent 1, Year B , Feb. 18, 2024

    Lent 1, Year B Lectionary Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024 

    I.Theme –   Developing covenant relationships

     "The Peaceable Kingdom" – Edward Hicks, 1834

    The lectionary readings are here  or individually: 

    Old Testament – Genesis 9:8-17
    Psalm – Psalm 25:1-9 Page 614, BCP
    Epistle –1 Peter 3:18-22
    Gospel – Mark 1:9-15 

    Connections between the readings – Noah enters the waters in the ark, sojourns for a time adrift, and emerges with a new covenant of co-creative transformation;  In 1 Peter, the covenantal relationship of co-creative transformation that emerges from the Flood is now taken up and extended in the covenant of new life in Christ that is marked and sealed in baptism. The saving power of baptism lies in its role as “an appeal to God for a good conscience,” an active connection to God that brings an intensive and intimate knowing of God’s aims and intentions for our actions. In the Gospel reading, Jesus enters into John’s baptism, sojourns for a time in the wilderness, and emerges with a new proclamation of the reign of God.

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    Returning to the Sacred Presence

     "One of the greatest theologians the world has ever known, St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), wrote about his prolonged, drawn-out search for God and the revelation he finally had that God had been with him all along: 

    "I have learnt to love you late, Beauty at once so ancient and so new! I have learnt to love you late! You were within me, and I was in the world outside myself. I searched for you outside myself…. You were with me, but I was not with you."

    Confessions, Book X.27, St. Augustine

    "Waking to the reality of this very present Eternal Life, this "Beauty ever ancient, ever new," is a transforming experience. This life-giving Presence is always with us and within us. The problem, of course, is that we are often distracted by many cares and occupations that keep us far away from God and from ourselves. It is as if we spend much of our lives wandering "in a land that is waste," while God constantly calls to us to return–to ourselves, to our true life in God.

    "The forty days of Lent serve as a time for Christians to return to the Sacred Presence, to the God who has never left us, even though at times we have been far away. Lent is a time to renew classic disciplines of prayer and reflection, as well as ancient practices such as fasting and Bible study. All of this is designed to renew a right spirit within us and to prepare us for the events of Jesus’ death and resurrection at Easter."

    ‐The Rev. Gary Jones

    A Prayer for Entering Lent

    By Kimberly Knowle-Zeller

    God of mystery and wisdom, be with us this Lenten season. It’s been a long way, already sickness, worry, isolation, fear, waiting our hearts are heavy our souls are weary our bodies are hurting our hope is wavering yet, you are with us.

    God of mystery and wisdom, be with us this Lenten season. Show us your grace in the small moments of silence the prayers offered in person or virtually the kindness of a stranger the lighting of a candle the listening to a friend the care of neighbors, you are with us.

    God of mystery and wisdom, be with us this Lenten season. Settle our hearts revive our spirits increase our faith spread our love.

    God of mystery and wisdom, be with us this Lenten season. In ashes and dust reading and listening wandering and walking praying and singing eating and fasting show us the way forward.

    God of mystery and wisdom, be with us this Lenten season. As we walk to the cross keep our eyes fixed on you and your love – caring for others crossing boundaries reaching out to the poor taking our pain transforming death into life over and over again.

    God of mystery and wisdom, be with us this Lenten season.

    Arts and Faith – Lent 1, Year

    Commentary is by Daniella Zsupan-Jerome, assistant professor of liturgy, catechesis, and evangelization at Loyola University New Orleans.

    This scene of The Temptation of Christ is a 12th–century detail of the magnificent mosaic program of St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice. In its full context, it is situated in the barrel vault of the south arm of the transept. The temptation scene is right above the scene of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.

    On a golden background depicting the heavenly realm, the mosaic tells the story of Jesus’ temptation through a series of symbols. Moving from left to right, the figures of Christ and the devil repeat in a pattern. Each set evokes one of the temptations of Christ through key images: bread, the pinnacle of the Temple, and the mountain top with all riches of the world. The angels on the right who come to minister to Christ close the visual narrative, as the devil flees downward under them to escape the scene.

    This presentation of the temptation story assumes that the viewer is familiar with it. Each of the symbols serves to jog our memory and help us recall the story we already know. In this sense, the mosaic relies on the viewer to be the real storyteller, while the artwork simply summarizes the highlights as reminders along the way. By casting the viewer as storyteller, the artwork invites us into the story in a special way, challenging us to share the Good News of it with others.

    The figure of Christ in this mosaic sequence is unique—it is not the man who endured the desert for 40 days among wild animals, but Christ the Lawgiver, holding a scroll in one hand, strong, steady, and wearing dignified robes. Christ the Lawgiver reminds us that each time he rebuked the devil, he did so by referring to the written Word, the truth of God manifest in the Scriptures. Each time the hunger for food, for assurance from God, and for an easier way tempted him, Jesus found steady ground again recalling the Word of God—the source of where he came from and who he was called to be.

    For people of faith encountering this mosaic within St. Mark’s Basilica, worship in this space was an occasion to find steady ground again, to become more fully who they were as Christians in Word and in sacrament. This mosaic spoke to them of this steady ground, but also invited them to be storytellers so that through them, others could find this steady ground as well.