Welcome to St. Peter's Episcopal, Port Royal

Top links

1. Newcomers - Welcome Page

2. Contact the Rev Catherine Hicks, Priest-in-Charge

3. St. Peter's Sunday News

4. Email Newsletter Oct. 26  

Subscribe to St. Peter's weekly email

5.  Nov., 2014 Server Schedule

6. Latest Newsletter-the Parish Post (November, 2014)

7. Calendar

8. Parish Ministries

9. What's new on the website (Oct. 30, 2014)

10. Latest Photo Galleries 

11. Latest  Bulletin (Oct. 26, 2014) 9am  Bulletin (Oct. 26, 2014) 11am and Sermon ( Oct. 26, 2014)


Pick up some gifts, donate to the church

Mike Newmans Block print of St. Peter's Christmas

 Block Print by Mike Newman



Season of Giving begins Nov 2

More details



Beginning Oct. 26 at 10am in the Parish House.

For more details

A New Food Initiative - "Village Harvest"


In an effort to make fresh food more available to those in our area in need of food, the ECW is going to head up a new project, titled "Village Harvest." This month beginning Oct. 1 we began gathering the names of those who would like to receive a bag of food, including fresh seasonal produce and a recipe providing information about how to cook the food. We solicited clients on Oct 1 when the Food Trucks visited Port Royal. 44 signed up, including 13 children. 

People can sign up by form, phone or online for a food distribution. The first pick-up would be on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 between 4:30 PM-5:30 PM and continuing the third Wednesday of each month thereafter.

Painting the Outside of the Church

The church is beginning a month long process to repaint the church as of Oct 1.

As of Sunday, Oct. 5 the coverings were being removed from the windows. By Sunday, Oct. 12, the paint had been removed from the windows on both sides of the church.

Johnny Davis, the junior warden, is heading up the project.  The church was last painted over 10 years ago but a specific date is not available.

Out of three quotes, they chose J. L. Clark of Warsaw whose name they received from a friend in Essex County. Clark uses a special chemical process to first remove older layers to get down to the wood and then specially treat it. He will be removing the lead based paint in the process.  

After then scraping, stripping and other preparations he will provide two coats of paint to the windows and one to the walls. He will sure up the glazing on the windows.  As part of the job he will plug the rust spots around the church.

Daily "Day by Day"

Follow the Star

Daily meditations in words and music.  

Saints of the Week, Oct. 26- Nov. 2

Alfred the Great, King of the West Saxons, 899
Saint Simon and Saint Jude, Apostles
James Hannington, Bishop of Eastern Equatorial Africa, and his Companions, Martyrs, 1885
[John Wyclif, Priest and Prophetic Witness, 1384]
  [Paul Shinji Sasaki, Bishop of Mid-Japan, and of Tokyo, 1946, and Philip Lindel Tsen, Bishop of Honan, China, 1954]


All Saints
Commemoration of All Faithful Departed

 Sunday, October 26, 2014   (full size gallery)

See the Sunday Review

November 2 - 10:00am, Godly Play, Biblical Miniseries 

November 2  - 11:00am, Holy Eucharist, Rite II, All Saints

November 2 - Season of Giving begins (Village Harvest, Men's Group, UTO, Samaritan's Purse)

November 2 -  Stewardship campaign begins

November 2  - 12:00pm - Coffee Hour


This Sunday at St. Peter's - Servers, Readings

Nov. 2, 2014 - 2am - Set your clocks back!   


Season of Giving begins Nov 2. Giving to the Village Harvest, the Men's ECM, UTO and Samaritan's Purse.

More details


Village Harvest - Nov. 16
Men's Group- Nov. 9
UTO - Dec. 7
Samaritan's Purse - Nov. 23

All Saints Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014

All Saints Sunday

 “Saints are those who by their life and work make it clear and plain that God lives.––Nathan Söderblom

In our Baptismal Covenant we, along with traditional Christians around the globe, profess in the ancient Baptismal Creed the words: “I believe in... the communion of saints, ... the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.” (Book of Common Prayer, page 304)

From its very beginning, the Church understood the Body of Christ to encompass all baptized persons, both the living and the dead. Christ’s kingdom transcends time and space; and not even death can sever the relationship that the faithful have in Christ.

All are united in a mystical communion with Christ by virtue of baptism (1 Corinthians 6:11). The term saint was used by Paul to designate all baptized Christians (Romans 1:7; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Ephesians 1:1), even the unruly ones (1 Corinthians 1:2)!

In the New Testament, all those who believe and were baptized were referred to as saints. The word saint originally meant "holy". 

On All Saints Day, we make celebrate this idea in the here and now by recognizing and celebrating our relationship, not only with those around us today, but also with all those who have gone before us in all times and place. They are connected in one communion.

All Saints is also a time for welcoming new members. Traditionally baptisms are held in the Episcopal Church at the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord,  Easter, Pentecost,  All Saints and when the Bishop visits.

It wasn’t until round about the third century that the church began using the word saint to refer to those who had been martyred for the faith

The early Church especially honored martyrs, those who had died for their faith. Praying for the dead is actually borrowed from Judaism, as recorded in 2 Maccabees 12:41-45 of the Apocrypha.

Local churches kept a record of their own martyrs and each year celebrated their “birthdays,” the dates of death when they were “born” into eternal life.

By the fourth century many parts of the Church had set a day of observance for their martyrs, their confessors (those who had been punished for their faith but did not die), and their virgins, all of those known by name and unknown.

The celebration of All Saints’ Day on November 1 began as a feast day commemorating all martyrs, confessors and virgin, including those whose names were not known. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV officially established All Saints' Day in order to honor all the saints at one time.

...

All Saints Sunday - A Time of Baptism

Baptism of Alexander Long VI, Nov. 4, 2012. Baptism is one of the sacraments of the Episcopal Church and is one of the times of the year appointed for baptism. . Read about the other sacraments.

"For all the Saints" - Background of an All Saints hymn 

Words- William How (1823-1897 )

Music - Ralph Vaughn Williams (1872-1958)

Vaughn Williams in 1900


"For All the Saints" has become one of the most popular hymns of the 20th century and used almost universally for All Saints Sunday.


"The Saints Song"

Here’s a fun romp through history, with a little inspiration from Gilbert & Sullivan.

How many of these saints are you familiar with? 

Reformation Day (Oct. 31)

Reformation Day is a religious holiday celebrated on October 31, alongside All Hallows' Eve, in remembrance of the Reformation, particularly by Lutheran and some Reformed church communities. It is a civic holiday in some German states.

It celebrates Martin Luther’s posting of the 95 theses on the church door at Wittenberg in Germany on Oct. 31, 1517. The event is seen as sparking the Protestant Reformation. There are some questions of fact. The event was not publicized until 1546 by Philipp Melanchthon and no contemporaneous evidence exists for Luther's posting of the theses. 

The liturgical color of the day is red, which represents the Holy Spirit and the Martyrs of the Christian Church. Luther's hymn, "A Mighty Fortress is our God" is traditionally sung on this day. 

...

All Saints (Nov 1.) and All Souls (Nov 2)

All Souls began with the emphasis on remembering those who had died, broader than just the martyrs. In addition it was cast wide into Catholic theology. In that tradition , the church commemorated all of those who have died and now are in Purgatory, being cleansed of their venial (forgiven) sins and the temporal punishments for the mortal sins that they had confessed and atoning before entering fully into Heaven.

 Read more about the connection

Check out the link above for a "Soul Cake" recipe and a song by "Sting" about it.

All Souls (Nov. 2) and Halloween (Oct. 31)

Halloween originated in Celtic cultures and  spread to Christian.

The word Halloween is a contracted form for All Hallows’ (holy persons or saints) Evening- the day before All Saints.  

Halloween has been on Oct 31 because of the Celtic traditions.   Halloween also not only focused on death but on the  concept of death blending in the supernatural.    The Church scheduled All Saints and All Souls after Halloween.   The emphasis on All Soul's  focused on those who had died only and did not dwell on stories surrounding death.

 Read more about the connection

Lectionary, Pentecost 21, All Saints, Nov. 2

I.Theme - Experience of God’s salvation allows to consider life with the perspective of faith and to celebrate all the saints. The way of life should be based on the Gospel reading, the Beatitudes.

 "Sermon on the Mount"- Henrik Olrik (1860) Denmark

The lectionary readings are here  or individually: 

First Reading - Revelation 7:9-17
Psalm - Psalm 34:1-10, 22 Page 627, BCP
Epistle -1 John 3:1-3
Gospel - Matthew 5:1-12

The readings this week provide guidelines how saints should live their lives - in the present based on the Beatitudes while mindful that life isn't easy, persecution abounds but that we live in God's presence and that the hope of salvation remains.

The larger context of Revelation 7:9-17 is the opening of the seven seals (Revelation 6:1-8:5), which describe apocalyptic catastrophes that will accompany the close of this age. Revelation 7 is often described as an interlude between the sixth (Revelation 6:12-17) and seventh (Revelation 8:1-5) seals.

The chapter separates between a description of the Church being persecuted at the close of the present age (vv. 1-8), and a picture of the Church in heaven in the new age after the saints have passed through the period of persecution (vv. 9-17). These portraits of the Church have been contrasted by past interpreters as the Church militant in the present age and the Church triumphant in the age to come. The lectionary lesson for All Saints Day is the latter half of chapter 7, the picture of the Church triumphant in the age

The passage presents a vision of God’s eternal presence which is both profoundly Christ-centered and universal in its scope. It consists of a conversation between “one of the elders” and John, the author of the Revelation, giving details of what John saw in his vision and why the vast multitude from every nation is to gather before the throne of God.

At the close of the age they were the ones who were persecuted (v. 14), and they now live in the eschatological age (vv. 15-17). The power of this text lies precisely in this discontinuity, for it states that our experience in this world cannot be a reliable indicator of the character of God or even of the quality of our salvation.

All Saints is a celebration of the same mysterious, sovereign power of God, for in commemorating the dead we are in fact celebrating life. This feast is in many ways an affront to our everyday experience, because in celebrating it, we share in John's end-time vision

The good news of Revelation 7:9-17 was that God's salvation is better than anything that we might experience in our everyday lives. The central metaphor used to convey this message was that God can make white from red, salvation from blood and persecution.

The Psalm is a response to the Revelation reading. The main purpose of the psalm is to celebrate with gratitude the saving power of Yahweh. It expresses great confidence and trust in Yahweh’s special care for the righteous. 

Viewed from a wider perspective, the psalm points to the constant mercy and love with which Yahweh watched over and delivered Israel from innumerable disasters. At the same time it draws more attention to the individual believer who trusts in Yahweh than to the nation as a whole. This too has been the attitude of saintly Christians through many generations.

The psalm has been chosen for All Saints Sunday because of the reference to the "saints" in v. 9 (NRSV translates the Hebrew "you his holy ones"). The reference to the people of God as saints is unusual in the Old Testament, because this term usually refers to supernatural beings. This is probably the only reference where the people of God are identified as the saints.

The psalm is concerned with the experience of God's salvation. The exploration of salvation is done in the first person in v. 4, when the psalmist recounts an experience of deliverance, and it is repeated in v. 8 when the other worshipers are encouraged to taste and to see that the Lord is good.

With a deep understanding of God’s ultimate purpose for the end of history, the Epistle of John attempts to describe just what we shall be like and how that will come about. He declares the simple faith that because God loves us and because we are the children of God, in the end we shall be like God. He spoke in spiritual terms, of course, which means that we shall be spiritual as God is Spirit. 

The 1st Epistle of John contains many references to a congregation of Christians being under severe threat by a dissident group. These dissidents may have been either Greeks who rejected Jesus as a truly human person or Hebrews who rejected Jesus as the divine Messiah; or both. The epistle came from a time near the end of the 1st century CE, when those who believed in Jesus Christ and followed the Christian way had to be both clear about their faith and strong in their commitment.

Because of the challenges they encountered every day from both imperial authorities and public hostility, they could never know when their faith would bring them face to face with death.

The dissident members of their own congregation proclaimed a false teaching which sought to undermine the true understanding of the person and redemptive work of Christ. The dissidents broadcast far and wide that Jesus was not the Christ and therefore could not be the Saviour. How was it possible for them to maintain their commitment under such circumstances?

They could be certain of only one thing: that they were loved by God; they were God’s holy children. A life rooted and grounded in love would bring them to the only worthwhile end. Whatever fate might bring upon them, and in particular rejection or even martyrdom for their faithfulness, they were constantly reassured that they would not only be with God, but would be like God.

The Gospel reading is Matthew's account of the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes set forth how Jesus saw those who are to inherit the reign of God’s gracious, redemptive love. While this description may seem to project beyond current reality into a far distant future, it also set forth a value system on the basis of which we can live from day to day because that reign of God has already begun. This is the way of life lived by the saints now and eternally. 

The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7 is a collection of sayings Jesus may have uttered at different times and places, rather than delivered all at once in a single discourse.  These have been influential over time. Dr. King often pointed out that it was Jesus' Sermon on the Mount that inspired the "dignified social action" of the civil rights movement. His notion of "creative suffering" – borne by civil rights activists who endured persecution and police brutality – came from his Christian faith in the redemptive suffering of Jesus.

The Beatitudes summarize the revolutionary values intended to guide those seeking to follow Jesus. Each one is a sermon in itself, and the whole passage has generated many a sermon series from pulpits of yesteryear. Those who would have a little variation from the lectionary would do well to select this passage for such a continuum.

Beatitudes appear in the OT according to a single pattern beginning with the Hebrew word for blessed or happy) after which they usually described someone worthy of praise. Matthew quoted Jesus using the same method and adding the reason for this happy state.

The main difference from OT beatitudes, however, is their stress on eschatological joy of sharing in the reign of God as opposed to receiving rewards for living righteously here and now. The reign of God comes, the beatitudes insist, not by implementing human schemes of moral and social improvement, but by the gracious gift of God.

Another feature to be noted is the paradoxical quality of the Matthean beatitudes. They contradict the normal expectations of ordinary people and their reactions to human experience. The people Matthew identifies are not supposed to be happy – the poor, the mourners, the persecuted. Many martyred witnesses to the faith went to their death believing that a vastly better life awaited them in the heavenly realm.

Yet the message of the Matthean beatitudes is not exclusively for a distant future. Rather, it is for the present. The words were spoken to generate trust in God in difficult circumstances, not simply to enable us to endure hard times.

The beatitudes define the way that Jesus himself lived to the point of death as a rejected religious revolutionary and unjustly condemned criminal. Such spiritual power comes not through our most noble human efforts, but through the gift of grace the Spirit gives us.

Read more about the Lectionary...


St. Peter's Church 823 Water Street  P. O. Box 399 Port Royal, Virginia 22535  804-742-5908.  Reverend Catherine D. Hicks, Priest-in-Charge, stpetersrev@gmail.com;    Site Map