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.

Portland Guitar, April 19 concert

They will be performing music written for two guitars at St. Peter’s, Friday, April 19 at 7pm as part of our annual concert series. (Reception 6:15pm in the Parish House.)

The concert is free but donations gratefully accepted for future concerts, held yearly since 2013. This is our 10th concert.

The Portland Guitar Duo are James Manuele and Foti Lycouridis and have been playing together since 1999.

Foti shared some of the details of the concert – “This time we will do a program of 19th century music on copies of period instruments. It will be mostly transcriptions of piano music of the period along with a few duets and solos written for guitar/guitars. We will also talk about the guitar history of that particular time. As performers and researchers we are very interested in music of other media that we can play on guitar, and piano music of that period has a very rich repertoire to draw from.”

Born in California, James Manuele began playing the guitar at age eleven. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree at Mansfield University, where he also studied voice and viola. Later, he earned his Masters of Music in Guitar Performance at Portland State University and has taught in colleges -Clark College in Vancouver and at Concordia in Portland.

Foti Lycouridis was born in Egypt of Greek parents. In 1981, he started his music education at the University of Portland. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Guitar Performance and a Master’s in Music Theory. He also can perform on a 10-string guitar and Baroque lute.

A. Here is a 3 minute summary of the Duo:
B. Live
1. Part 1 of a set for the Portland Community Media.
2. Part 2 of a set for the Portland Community Media.
3. “Miller’s Dance” by Manuel de Falla
4. At Oregon State University. “Spanish Dance no. 2 ‘Oriental'” by E. Granados”
5. “The Caprice” by Isaac Albeniz

Portland Guitar Duo – Web site

Sunday’s Links, March 17, 2024

Fifth Sunday in Lent, March 17. Remembering St. Patrick.

  • 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
  • Wed., March 13, Ecumenical Bible Study, Parish House, 10am-12pm  Reading Lectionary for the Fifth Sunday in Lent
  • Wed., March 13, “The Creeds—a Guide to Deeper Faith”, 7pm. This week, The Holy Spirit Zoom link Meeting ID: 833 7014 5820 Passcode: 528834
  • Thurs., March 14, Confirmation Class continues, 7:30pm-8:15pm. Zoom link Meeting ID: 893 1712 7905 Passcode: 505603
  • Sun., March 17, “God’s Garden”, 10:00am. They will be learning about Holy Week.
  • Servers, Fourth Sunday in Lent, Eucharist, March 17, 11am
    Lector Linda Kramer
    Acolyte Chester Duke
    Bread and Wine
    Chalice Bearer Johnny Davis
    Altar Clean up Linda Kramer
  • Wed., March 20, Ecumenical Bible Study, Parish House, 10am-12pm  Reading Lectionary for Palm Sunday
  • Wed., March 20 – Village Harvest, 3pm-5pm. Call Andrea (540) 847-9002 to volunteer 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., March 20, “The Creeds—a Guide to Deeper Faith”, 7pm. What does the Church have to say about The Holy Catholic Church, Baptism, Resurrection, Eternal Life Zoom link Meeting ID: 833 7014 5820 Passcode: 528834
  • Thurs., March 21, Confirmation Class continues, 7:30pm-8:15pm. Zoom link Meeting ID: 893 1712 7905 Passcode: 505603
  • Coming up!

  • Portland Guitar Duo, April 19, 7pm

    1. The concert
    2. Help us advertise

  • Lenten Page

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

  • March., 2024 newsletter
  • All articles for Sunday, March 17, 2024
  • Recent Articles, March 17, 2024

    Fifth Sunday in Lent, March 17
    Spring in the second week of March
    God’s Garden- “Resurrection Eggs”, March 17
    Irish elements in the service
    About St. Patrick
    What to remember about St. Patrick
    Lectionary, 11am service
    Visual Lectionary – Vanderbilt
    Lectionary, Lent 5
    Psalm 51
    SALT Commentary on the Gospel

    Lent began Feb. 14 (Ash Wednesday)
    Lent at St. Peter’s
    Lent Basics
    3 key points about Ash Wed
    Ash Wed. 2024, 7pm service

    “Letting Go”-Diocese of Atlanta March 17
    “Letting Go”-Diocese of Atlanta March 10
    “Letting Go”-Diocese of Atlanta March 3
    “Letting Go”-Diocese of Atlanta. Feb. 25
    “Letting Go” series, Diocese of Atlanta

    Conversation about Ash Wed
    Lent Stations:Vices & Virtues

    Chancellor’s Village sermon March 12

    Portland Guitar Duo at St. Peter’s
    Help us advertise the concert!
    Past Concerts at St. Peter’s

    Village Harvest, Feb., 2024

    Creed Class, March 20 – Conclusion
    Creeds class, March 13 – Holy Spirit
    Creeds class, March 6 – Jesus
    Creeds class, Feb. 28- God
    Creeds class, Feb. 21
    Lenten Study – The Creeds

    God’s Garden- “Resurrection Eggs”
    God’s Garden – Holy Week
    God’s Garden – “Let the Children come to me”
    God’s Garden – Making pretzels
    God’s Garden- Learning the Lord’s Prayer
    God’s Garden – The Alleluia Banner, Part 2
    The Alleluia Banner, Part 1

    Discretionary Fund donations Feb. 11

    Sacred Ground, Jan., 2024
    Sacred Ground, Feb., 2024

    Irish Elements in our service, March 17, 2024

    On St. Patrick’s day we give thanks for our Irish Heritage. The Irish are the second largest nationality, behind the Germans.

    The day is marked with the accomplishments of St. Patrick. Patrick while not Irish was determined to convert Ireland to Christianity from the Druids. In 431, St. Patrick was consecrated Bishop of the Irish and went to Ireland to spread “the Good news” there. He baptized thousands and ordained many priests to lead new communities of Christians.

    Patrick is said to have used the shamrock to explain the Trinity, demonstrating that God is both three (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), yet one, as the shamrock is both three-leafed, yet a single plant. Shamrocks were sacred plants for the Druids, symbolizing eternal life. So he re-interpreted known symbols.

    While this day is considered a festive, party day in America, it is a religious celebration in Ireland. (In fact until 1961 you could not buy drink in Dublin, Ireland on this day.) We are celebrating with the following Irish elements in our service:

    1. The opening hymn, “Be thou my vision,” is a traditional Irish hymn.

    It was on Slane Hill in County Meath around 433 CE that St. Patrick risked his life by climbing to the tallest hill in the area and lighting a huge fire. King Logaire of Tara proclaimed no one could light a fire before the king signaled the beginning of the pagan Druid spring festival.

    As the ancient Irish people woke up, they could all see Patrick’s defiance of the king. Patrick wanted to show the world that God’s light shines in darkness, and that only He deserves praise.  King Logaire was so impressed by Patrick’s devotion that, despite his defiance, he was permitted to continue his work as Ireland’s first Christian missionary.

    Read more

    Sermon, Rev. Tom Hughes, March 17, 2024 – “in him [Jesus] all things hold together”

    “We have today to consider  quite a few things that are presented as revolutionary things, things that have changed the world and things that should have changed  the world. They begin with the idea of the coming of the Greeks. Now it’s not obvious exactly on the surface of that what that means but if you look back in in in Greek history starting with the early days of the philosophers Plato, what they did was they developed a way of thinking that we now call rationalism. Being rational is something that everybody aspires to. If  you’re not acting rational that’s seen as some sort of aberration so that the Greeks then depended upon a kind of thinking that was rational. Now that’s good under many circumstances and we certainly can’t go through our life without that but it’s very limiting because the Greeks did not perceive anything that we would call spiritual. It was all the way you thought about life and the way you lived life through what you thought that mattered. They had no consideration of  deeper things we might call spiritual things.

    “Now contrast with that we also have another character in this play,  Caiaphas the high priest was bound to the law. His role  as a high priest was to make sure everybody followed the law. The law was very clear. It had been passed down from God and you didn’t deviate from it. Now, the problem with that is the law  also requires some spiritual insight in order to know it and to live it. It’s not just what the words are on the paper but how God speaks to your heart so those are two considerations that are real in our present day to day. We are rational people and often we’re law-bound people. I want to suggest to you that neither one of those lead us to a spiritual understanding of Life. The spiritual understanding of life comes from an entirely different source – in scripture.

    Read more

    God’s Garden makes “Resurrection Eggs”

    On the week before Palm Sunday, the children created “Resurrection Eggs”. There were 12 numbered plastic eggs each with an object, a symbol of the events on that day of Holy Week. The children numbered the eggs, put an object in the eggs and heard a story. For example, the first was a palm branch for Palm Sunday. The story is taken through Holy Week to the Resurrection.

    Here are the two handouts followed by the video segments:

    Read more

    St. Patrick, March 17

    St. Patrick, apostle of Ireland, was born in England, circa 386. Surprisingly, he was not raised with a strong emphasis on religion.  

    When St. Patrick was 16 years old, he was captured by Irish pirates and brought to Ireland where he was sold into slavery. His job was to tend sheep. He came to view his enslavement of six years as God’s test of his faith, during which he became deeply devoted to Christianity through constant prayer. In a vision, he saw the children of Pagan Ireland reaching out their hands to him, which only increased his determination to free the Irish from Druidism by converting them to Christianity. 

    The idea of escaping enslavement came to St. Patrick in a dream, where a voice promised him he would find his way home to England. Eager to see the dream materialize, St. Patrick convinced some sailors to let him board their ship. After three days of sailing, he and the crew abandoned the ship in France and wandered, lost, for 28 days—covering 200 miles of territory in the process. At last, St. Patrick was reunited with his family in England. 

    Now a free man, he went to France where he studied and entered the priesthood. He never lost sight of his vision: he was determined to convert Ireland to Christianity. In 431, St. Patrick was Consecrated Bishop of the Irish, and went to Ireland to spread “The Good News” to the Pagans there. Patrick made his headquarters at Armagh in the North, where he built a school, and had the protection of the local monarch. From this base he made extensive missionary journeys, with considerable success.

    To say that he single-handedly turned Ireland from a pagan to a Christian country is an exaggeration, but is not far from the truth. He baptized thousands and ordained many priests to lead new communities of Christians. His explanations of God was so simple that he was criticized during his lifetime for his lack of learning. However, he was known for his passion and zeal.

    “Patrick was really a first—the first missionary to barbarians beyond the reach of Roman law,” Thomas Cahill writes in How the Irish Saved Civilization. “The step he took was in its way as bold as Columbus’s, and a thousand times more humane.”

    Through preaching, writing and performing countless baptisms, he convinced Pagan Druids that they were worshiping idols under a belief system that kept them enslaved. By accepting Christianity, he told them, they would be elevated to “the people of the Lord and the sons of God.” 

    Patrick is said to have used the shamrock to explain the Trinity, demonstrating that God is both three (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), yet one, as the shamrock is both three-leafed, yet a single plant. While no hard data proves that Patrick actually went around teaching via plant life, it was a brilliant move if he did. Shamrocks were sacred plants for the Druids, symbolizing eternal life. There is a consistent record of Celtic Christianity’s reinterpreting the culture into Christian forms, and this is a profound example of that.

    St. Patrick died in 461 in Saul, Ireland. Though he was never formally canonized by a pope, St. Patrick is on the List of Saints, and was declared a Saint in Heaven by many Catholic churches. 

    The Episcopal Church annually honors St. Patrick with the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day on March 17, the date of his death, which falls during the Christian season of Lent. 

    Read more

    What to remember about St. Patrick on March 17?

    Today is March 17, 2023, St. Patrick’s day. Among all the saints, St. Patrick’s day is easily remembered. You can’t forget it with all the celebrations. In our time it is connected with parades, wearing green, and drinking green beer among others.

    Many things may be surprising about his life. No, he didn’t wear green. He wasn’t Irish but British. His original name wasn’t Patrick. Plus there may be parts of his original story made up by him to promote his cause. British professor Philip Freeman, author of a biography on St. Patrick has tried to strip away the legends – That he was “kidnapped from Britain, forced to work as a slave, but managed to escape and reclaim his status, is likely to be fiction/” Were the stories a way to escape his place in England?

    So what is left and what’s in it for us in 2023? Plenty! Subtitle – how to succeed in the world? First, you must have a mission. Then you must pursue it with all of your talents. You must have a unique angle, different from others. Call it creativity and add in some luck. Let’s take each one.

    1. He succeeded in his mission which is his objective and also includes his methods. He was determined to convert Ireland to Christianity from the Druids. In 431, St. Patrick was consecrated Bishop of the Irish and went to Ireland to spread “the Good news” there. He baptized thousands and ordained many priests to lead new communities of Christians. Patrick made his headquarters at Armagh in the North, where he built a school, and had the protection of the local monarch. He had a stable base! From this base, he made extensive missionary journeys, with considerable success.

    2. He was known for his passion and zeal and was creative at the same time. He was totally dedicated as a priest for 40 years. Patrick is said to have used the shamrock to explain the Trinity, demonstrating that God is both three (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), yet one, as the shamrock is both three-leafed, yet a single plant. Shamrocks were sacred plants for the Druids, symbolizing eternal life. So he re-interpreted known symbols.

    3. He is considered the first writer in Irish history. He has left us an autobiography (called the Confessio), a Letter to Coroticus (cruel ruler who persecuted Christians) in which he denounces the slave trade and rebukes the British chieftain Coroticus for taking part in it, and the Lorica (or “Breastplate” a poem of disputed authorship traditionally attributed to Patrick), a work that has been called “part prayer, part anthem, and part incantation.”Breastplate” is in the Episcopal Hymnbook. The version tune we sing was written by Mrs. Cecil F. Alexander, for St. Patrick’s Day, 1889, and sung generally throughout Ireland on that day

    “Christ be within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ inquired, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.”

    A possible 4. Tell your own story which he did!

    Lectionary, Lent 5, Year B

    I.Theme –   The new covenant

    Wheat Fields Near Arles

     "Sunset: Wheat Fields Near Arles 1888"- Vincent Van Gogh

    “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.” – John 12:24

    The lectionary readings are here  or individually: 

    Old Testament – Jeremiah 31:31-34
    Psalm – Psalm 51:1-13 Page 656, BCP
    Psalm – Psalm 119:9-16 Page 764, BCP
    Epistle –Hebrews 5:5-10
    Gospel – John 12:20-33 

    In this Sunday before Palm Sunday, we prepare for the New Covenant. We have been reflecting back upon God’s covenants throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, from Noah to Moses, and now we recognize a new covenant that God has written upon our hearts, where we know God, where God forgives our sins and remembers them no more. Jeremiah, speaking to a people who have continually failed to remember God and their part in the covenant, brings this message of hope, where God’s covenant cannot be forgotten because it is within one’s own heart. No longer will it appear that God has failed them when their leaders fail them, because God is bypassing the religious leaders and entering one’s own heart.

    Psalm 51:1-12 is a song seeking forgiveness, where the psalmist confesses their sins and desires for God to show mercy and to be restored. The psalmist asks God to create a clean heart, where the writer can be fully restored to God. In reflection with the Jeremiah passage, we remember that God will forgive us and remember our sins no more by writing God’s covenant on our hearts.

    Psalm 119:9-16 is from a different perspective, the desire of someone wishing to avoid sin and one who wants to stay close in relationship to God. The psalmist’s heart is open to seek God, the heart of where God’s covenant is written.

    John 12:20-33 speaks of the way of the Cross, which is to die to this world. Those who seek to save their life will lose it, and Jesus says those who are willing to lose (in John’s Gospel the word is hate) their life will keep it. We must be willing to die to the things of this world, the sin that separates us, the greed and desire of worldly ways. We need a new heart to be open to God, and in order to have a new heart, we must be willing to follow Jesus, love others and love God, and put aside our own worldly desires and greed. Jesus models this in his life by glorifying God (Abba) and not himself. Throughout the Gospels, whenever Jesus performs a miracle, Jesus does so to show the glory of Abba God, not of himself. In this strange passage, where Jesus calls upon Abba God to glorify God’s name, God’s voice echoes back like thunder. Jesus says this was for the sake of the people, not for his own–that they might turn to Abba God, Creator God, God above–and recognize that in order to truly live, they must be willing to die to the world.

    The new covenant with God is to give our lives over to Christ, to lose our lives, and even to use the strong language of Jesus, hate our lives. We need to be willing to put aside our own desires for our life to look to the needs of others–to love other and love God, not the success and ways of this world. As we prepare for the journey to the Cross of Holy Week, we recognize that our hearts are made new with God. The desires of this world have been replaced with the desire to intimately know God and to love our neighbors as ourselves, and God’s covenant is written on our hearts, to forgive our iniquity, and remember our sin no more.

    Read more

    Voices from Lent 5, Year B

    1. St. Stephens, Richmond 

    This Gospel reading is set during Jesus’ third and last visit to Jerusalem in the Gospel of John. He and his disciples have come for the festival of Passover. This passage follows those in which Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead, Mary anoints Jesus’ feet with perfume, and Jesus makes the entry into Jerusalem that we remember on Palm Sunday.

    The dramatic intensity is increasing. The raising of Lazarus has set Jesus on a collision course with the Jewish leadership in Jerusalem. His triumphal procession into Jerusalem as the “Kings of the Jews” has put him at odds with the Roman rulers. As we read these passages we feel the wonder and excitement of the crowd, but also the foreboding that lurks between the lines.

    Then we are confronted with this curious passage. What is the point of the Greeks asking to see Jesus? Why does this set Jesus saying “The hour has come…”?

    It seems that the approach of Greeks (i.e., non-Jews) wanting to meet Jesus is an indication of an important development. In John 10:16 during his discourse about “The Good Shepherd,” Jesus says, “I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice.” The Greeks seeking Jesus are the signal that his message is reaching beyond the Jewish community and that the other sheep are being drawn in.

    As for the significance of his statement, “The hour has come…,” earlier in the Gospel, at the wedding in Cana, Jesus said to his mother, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” (John 2:4) Now 10 chapters and some three years later, he says his hour has come. That hour is for the glorification of the Father, and through the Father, the glorification of the Son of Man.

    Jesus follows this with the curious analogy of his life to that of a grain of wheat. His death/glorification will bear much fruit. Apparently his death will bear even more fruit than his life, for from it more life will spring. Jesus further tells his listeners that it is not he who will be glorified, but that it has been Jesus’ work to glorify the Father.

    Once again, as in last Sunday’s reading, Jesus speaks of being lifted up from the earth. In the previous reading the lifting up was so “that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” This time he states that the lifting up, the crucifixion, “will draw all people to [him].” Jesus’ encounter with the cross is close at hand, but, at least in John, that encounter is in his hands. Jesus’ death is not ignoble, but a glorious raising up of the Son of Man that draws all people to him and thus to the Father, and brings salvation to all who believe.

    Read more

    Psalm 51

    By Rev. Marek Zabriskie, Center of Biblical Studies from the Bible Challenge

    It’s Lent, and if you are looking for a spiritual practice, you could not do better than to spend Lent reading Psalm 51 each day and memorizing it. Ponder and let these words penetrate you. They embody the spirit of Lent as well if not better than any other words in the Bible.

    Psalm 51 is the ultimate penitential psalm. It is attributed to King David. The Bible notes that David composed this psalm after the prophet Nathan told him a parable about a rich man who took his poor neighbor’s one ewe lamb and cooked and served it for his guests. Nathan was alluding to David’s snatching Bathsheba and dispatching her husband Uriah the Hittite was killed in battle.

    Read more

    “Letting Go” – Diocese of Atlanta, Week 5

    Letting Go of the Fear of Death

    “Rather than a face-to-face meeting with some spiritual seekers at a festival, Jesus sent them faith-to-faith words, “…Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies it remains just a single grain; but if it dies it bears much fruit.”

    “Singer Stevie Wonder expresses that idea this way,“… today I know I’m living, but tomorrow could make me the past for that I mustn’t fear. For I know deep in my mind the love of me I’ve left behind.” Take your pick or choose both, the big idea is the same, let go of your fear of death!

    “Both Jesus and Wonder accept the biological inevitability of death but both agree that death is spiritually surmountable! Each sees the blessing of life clearly enough to understand the necessity of death. Both know the blustery cold of the winter intensifies the gratitude for the sunny summer day- both seasons being part of a genius, unified whole.

    “Jesus and Wonder want us to see ourselves as participants in a vast parade of humanity, here for a season to share and prove the power of love before returning to the close company of God who is love. Rather than providing anxiety management techniques about death, Jesus and Wonder both imply a fear shrinking question with their words,What must I do to die a good death?

    “You see, the great irony is that those of us who struggle with the fear of death also really struggle with the fear of living life abundantly. And yet, living life abundantly is precisely the medicine that will set our fear of death to flight.”