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

Videos, March 3, 2024

Before the serview – the riverbank is cut

01 Prelude -“Help us, O Lord to learn”

02 Opening Hymn “Bless the Lord, my soul”

03 Readings

04 Hymn-“Lift up your heads”

05 Gospel and Sermon

06 Prayers of the People

07 Announcements

08 Offertory- “We sing the praise of Him who died”

09 Communion

10 Closing Hymn-“I am thine, O Lord”

God’s Garden Explores Mark – “Let the Children Come to me”

God’s Garden took up Mark 10:13-15 – “Let the Children Come to Me”

“13 Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, 14 but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” 15 And he laid his hands on them and went away.”

This is one story they can identify with and see Jesus as a great friend!

The class featured a variety of activities – two directly involving the children and two directed by the teacher. First one child read it. Jan explained it. The children played a game getting them to Jesus. Finally, Jan read them another story expanding on the Gospel for our time.

1. Children read the story

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Sermon, Lent 3, March 3, 2024

Sermon, The Third Sunday in Lent, Year B 2024
John 2:13-22, Exodus 20: 1-17

The temple in today’s scripture was the temple that Ezra built after the Jewish people returned from exile in Babylon.  Six hundred years had passed and the temple had been central to Jewish worship all that time.   King Herod, appointed by the Romans as the King of the Jews, had been renovating the temple for forty-six years, hoping to gain the favor of the people.  

The Jewish people believed that the presence of God dwelt in the temple, in the Holy of Holies, that inner sanctum separated from the rest of this massive temple complex by an elaborately woven veil.  God was off limits and transcendent, an invisible force to be revered and feared. So people came to this temple, God’s home,  from all over Palestine to thank God, to bring God sacrifices, to pray, and to hope for God’s favor.  

Jesus shook up the status quo when he interrupted the temple economy with his disruptive actions and his statement to stop making his Father’s house a marketplace. These actions were a direct challenge to the temple authorities about temple worship and the economics of that worship.    

And when Jesus said, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up,” Jesus was speaking of the temple of his body, one of the most subversive and radical statements Jesus ever made about himself.    

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The Stations go up…

The Stations of the Cross were put up on Wed., Feb. 28. Thanks to Catherine and Larry for their labors:

These are Mary Peterman’s drawings from 2019 that we put on posters for Easter, 2023.

The Stations of the Cross began as the practice of pious pilgrims to Jerusalem who would retrace the final journey of Jesus Christ to Calvary.

Later, for the many who wanted to pass along the same route, but could not make the trip to Jerusalem, a practice developed that eventually took the form of the fourteen stations currently found in almost every church. This allowed people to follow the way in their hearts as they meditated on the last hours of Jesus’ life.

The stations can be walked in a small group or in solitude. Meditating on the words for each station, and on Mary’s watercolors, will be a spiritual experience that will deepen your relationship to Jesus and your faith.

Walking the stations of the cross also remind us that Jesus lived and died as one of us, and knew horrible suffering. As we travel with him through his last hours, we come to know that Jesus travels with us in our hours of greatest need.

Here is a gallery from last year of the complete set :

(full size gallery)

“Letting Go” – Diocese of Atlanta, Week 3

Jesus saw the gap between God’s word and what was being practiced in the Temple. For Jesus, the Temple was a “house of prayer,” for some others it was a “marketplace.” Jesus felt so strongly about that gap that he made a whip and drove animals and people out of the Temple. He also dumped coins on the floor, flipped over tables and shouted.

I’m sure those displaced merchants would defend themselves using words and phrases like tradition, practical and convenient. And, I’ll bet we would use some of those same words today to explain the gap between how we practice religion when we get together and what Jesus desires. The church/religion or if you prefer the term spirituality, are only most fully the gifts God intended when they boldly and clearly point to God.

Church are the people who follow Jesus wherever they find themselves showing forth in their living a living God. And, when we do get together in buildings, where Jesus’ name, likeness and Cross are venerated and commended, our calling is “not to conform to the patterns of the world but to be transformed by the renewing of our mind.” We followers of Jesus have to let go of some of the ways we practice church so we can recapture Jesus’ vision for the organization that bears his name.

Sacred Ground meeting, Feb. 29, 2024

The meeting  started with a  Collect on the right use of God’s gifts 

Meeting with Chief Anne Richardson of the Rappahannock Indians

In 1998, the Rappahannock Indians elected the first woman Chief, G. Anne Richardson, to lead a Tribe in Virginia since the 1700s  as a fourth generation chief in her family. Also in 1998, the Tribe purchased 119.5 acres to establish a land trust, retreat center, and housing development. 

Catherine met with her on Feb. 29, 2024. She found her amazingly wise, charismatic but humble. Issues discussed:

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The Creeds Class, Part 2, Feb. 28, 2024

What the Creeds have to say about God and how that understanding influences our own relationships with God. There were 7 participants.

The session started with Psalm 134

A song of ascents.

Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord
    who minister by night in the house of the Lord.
Lift up your hands in the sanctuary
    and praise the Lord.

May the Lord bless you from Zion,
    he who is the Maker of heaven and earth. 

The catechism was reviewed (beginning on Page 845), Book of Common Prayer. It has 5 questions

Q. What do we learn about God as creator from the revelation to Israel?
A. We learn that there is one God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

Q. What does this mean?
A. This means that the universe is good, that it is the work of a single loving God who creates, sustains, and directs it.

Q. What does this mean about our place in the universe?
A. It means that the world belongs to its creator; and that we are called to enjoy it and to care for it in accordance with God’s purposes.

Q. What does this mean about human life?
A. It means that all people are worthy of respect and honor, because all are created in the image of God, and all can respond to the love of God.

Q. How was this revelation handed down to us?
A. This revelation was handed down to us through a community created by a covenant with God.

The Nicene Creed presents a more complete picture than the Apostles Creed:

“We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.  (Nicene Creed)  I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.  “

Let’s break it down:

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Sunday’s Links, March 3, 2024

Third 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
  • Wed., Feb. 28, Ecumenical Bible Study, Parish House, 10am-12pm  Reading Lectionary for the Third Sunday in Lent
  • Wed., Feb. 28, “The Creeds—a Guide to Deeper Faith”, 7pm. This week – God in the Creeds Zoom link Meeting ID: 833 7014 5820 Passcode: 528834
  • Thurs., Feb. 29, Sacred Ground, 7pm. Zoom link Meeting ID: 828 0444 2092, Passcode: 181934
  • Sun., March 3, “God’s Garden”, 10:00am.
  • Servers, Third Sunday in Lent, Eucharist, March 3, 11am
    Lector: Ben Hicks
    Acolyte: Chester Duke
    Bread and Wine :
    Chalice Bearer: Andrea Pogue
    Altar Cleanup: Jan Saylor
  • Wed., March 6, Ecumenical Bible Study, Parish House, 10am-12pm  Reading Lectionary for the Fourth Sunday in Lent
  • Wed., March 6, “The Creeds—a Guide to Deeper Faith”, 7pm. This week, Jesus in the Creeds Zoom link Meeting ID: 833 7014 5820 Passcode: 528834
  • Thurs., March 7, Confirmation Class begins, 7:30pm-8:15pm. Zoom link Meeting ID: 893 1712 7905 Passcode: 505603
  • Coming up!

  • Holy Week Workshop, March 24, 2:30pm The following donated items needed by March 17: egg cartons (12 egg size), terra cotta 2 1/2″ pots, and 6″ terra cotta drip trays (used is fine), and any leftover potting soil you might like to share. Place items on the back pew. Thank you!!
  • Lenten Page

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

  • Feb., 2024 newsletter
  • All articles for Sunday, March 3, 2024
  • Recent Articles, March 3, 2024, Lent 3

    Third Sunday in Lent, March 3
    Photos from Sunday
    Photos leading to Lent 3
    God’s Garden, 10:00-11am
    Lectionary, 11am service
    Commentary Third Sunday in Lent
    Visual Lectionary – Vanderbilt
    Exploring the Temple Incident
    Art with the Temple Incident

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

    Conversation about Ash Wed
    Lent Stations:Vices & Virtues

    Holy Week Workshop, March 26
    Stations of the Cross
    Village Harvest, Feb., 2024

    Lenten Study – The Creeds
    Creeds class, Feb. 21
    Creeds class, Feb. 28- God

    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

    Lent 3, Year B – March 3, 2024

    I.Theme –  Old and new covenants

    "Moses with the Ten Commandments" – Rembrandt, 1659

    The lectionary readings are here or individually:

    Old Testament – Exodus 20:1-17
    Psalm – Psalm 19 Page 606, BCP
    Epistle –1 Corinthians 1:18-25
    Gospel – John 2:13-22

    Commentary by Rev. Mindi Welton-Mitchell:

    We continue to recall the covenants of God with the people, remembering the promises of old. We have remembered the covenants of God with Noah and all of creation, between God and Abraham and Sarah and their family, and now God’s new covenant with the people journeying out of Egypt to be their God in Exodus. God’s covenant requires that the people live in community, and these “ten best ways” (a phrase I borrow from the curriculum Godly Play) are part of that covenant, what the people have to do on their end to uphold the covenant. As we know, the covenant is larger than this, and there are over 600 law codes in Exodus and Leviticus on how the people of Moses’ day were required to live in community with each other, but these ten are the ones that have stood the test of time and have become a part of even our secular society. We remember most of all that to be part of God’s family, we have to be in community with each other.

    Psalm 19 is a song of praise about creation and God’s covenant. The writer delights in the law of the Lord–in following God’s law, the psalmist knows he is part of the faithful community, part of God’s family–this is beautiful to the psalmist. The writer desires to be in the company of the faithful to God, and sings the beauty of the laws and ordinances.

    John 2:13-22 extends the idea of the faithful community to within and beyond the walls of the Temple. When Jesus enters the temple and sees all sorts of animals being sold for the sacrifices, the temple priests making money off of those coming to exchange for the temple currency, his anger is kindled. In the other three Gospels Jesus turns over the tables, but in John’s Gospel (in which this event happens much earlier, on a first trip to Jerusalem, not the week Jesus is killed as it is in the other Gospels), Jesus makes a whip of cords and drives out the moneychangers and sellers. Jesus desires to end all boundaries to relationship with God. No longer will the poor, who do not have the money for the temple currency or to afford the clean animals for the sacrifice, be turned away, and no longer will those in the temple appear to have special access to God. The temple of God will no longer be in stone, but in Christ, and in our very selves, the body of Christ. No longer will there be arbitrary separation based on human standards, but all who believe will be in relationship with God.

    1 Corinthians 1:18-25 is the famous discourse of Paul, that we proclaim Christ crucified. The new covenant in Christ is not written on tablets of stone or seen in a bow in the clouds, but is written in our hearts, as the prophet Jeremiah proclaimed. But more importantly, the new covenant is one in which death is no more. The cross is a stumbling block to those for whom the Messiah was supposed to avoid death. The cross is foolish to those who have had gods defy death. Instead, the cross calls us to put to death the sin within us, and to work to end sin in the world. But death itself is not something to be feared, because death has no power over us. The new covenant is new life–here and to come.

    The new covenant, which is emerging in the Lenten passages this season, ends all separation from God. The covenant with Noah and all creation ensures that days and seasons, the passing of years, will never cease. The covenant with Abraham and Sarah promises a family of God that will endure for generations. The covenant with Moses and the people at Sinai ensures a community of faith, the family of God, participation with each other and relationship with God. But Christ calls forth a greater covenant, one in which there are no boundaries that can be drawn on earth or by any power to separate us from God’s love, and that by being the body of Christ, we are the temple for God, that cannot be destroyed because we have the promise of eternal life in Christ.

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