Welcome to St. Peter's Episcopal, Port Royal
Block Print by Mike Newman
Port Royal Tutoring! (June 13- Aug. 29)
Ken Pogue is reviving the tutoring program for the summer. It will cover PSAT and ACT Test preparation for junior and seniors. It will be held in the Parish house on Monday's nights except for July 4 and 11.
Details are here
Lessons in how to read music from the weekly bulletin.
Current Lesson, Part 12, July 3, 2016 - National hymns
Link to the reports from Jan 17 Annual Meeting
Daily meditations in words and music.
Your daily prayer online, since 1999
"We invite you to make a 'Sacred Space' in your day, praying here and now, as you visit our website, with the help of scripture chosen every day and on-screen guidance."
Saints of the Week, July 24 - July 31
|Thomas a Kempis, Priest, 1471|
|Saint James the Apostle|
|[Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary]; also [Charles Raymond Barnes, Priest, 1939]|
|William Reed Huntington, Priest, 1909|
|[Johann Sebastian Bach, 1750, George Frederick Handel, 1759, and Henry Purcell, 1695, Composers]|
|Mary, Martha, [and Lazarus] of Bethany; also [First Ordination of Women to the Priesthood in The
Episcopal Church, 1974]
|William Wilberforce, 1833, [and Anthony Ashley Cooper, Lord Shaftesbury, 1885, Prophetic Witnesses]|
|Ignatius of Loyola, Priest and Monastic, 1556|
July 24, 2016 (full size gallery)
July 27 - 10:00am- Ecumenical Bible Study
July 27 - 1:30pm - Village Harvest luncheon
July 31 - 9:00am, Holy Eucharist, Rite I.
July 31 - 11:00am, Morning Prayer, Rite II
Once again we're the host -Come join us at our Village Harvest luncheon on July 27
We had 20 at the last luncheon, including 11 from the Village Harvest food distribution and 9 from the church. We have a different group for this second luncheon. Please consider sharing a meal with the people who come to our food distribution. The second one comes up on July 27at 1:30pm.
This lunch provides an opportunity for the people who attend the food distribution to come to St Peter’s for lunch and to talk about the food distribution and what has worked for them, and what would be helpful as we plan to expand our food ministry.
The metaphor of us being the innkeeper from the Samaritan story is appropriate. "And so we innkeepers wait. Our job is to keep the doors of the inn open and welcome in the people that Jesus brings to us for care. Our job is to continue the healing work that Jesus has already begun. We can do this work faithfully and prayerfully, with patience and in hope as we wait—because we know the Good Samaritan, and we know that he will return."
Please let Catherine know if you can attend and /or if you’d like to help prepare food for the lunch or simply attend on the 27th.
Lectionary, July 31, 2016
I. Theme - Finding True Riches to Enjoy a Happy Life
"St. Lawrence Delivering the Riches of the Church" - Master of the Osservanza (1440)
The lectionary readings are here or individually:
Today’s readings encourage us to discover true riches in order to live a happy life. In Ecclesiastes (Track 2), a Jewish wisdom teacher ponders the vanity of human life. The psalmist invites us to bow in worship and praise before God our Maker. The second reading encourages followers of Christ to focus on the things that are above. In the gospel, Jesus tells the parable of the rich fool.
God suffers or celebrates, depending on how we live our lives. Injustice is an affront to God; it literally pains God and leaves in its wake divine sorrow and anger. God is not an amoral force, but God’s energy encompasses us all – believer and atheist, pacifist and terrorist, humankind and the non-human world.
To live for earthly things “is vanity and a striving after wind,” and work that is driven by such vanity “is an unhappy business” (Eccl. 1:13–14). The man who lives like that has nothing to show for “all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun … all his days are full of sorrow” (Eccl. 2:22–23). We can’t take it with us. So why do we worry so much about it?
The foolish live their lives solely for their own pleasures on earth and ignore the poor, the oppressed, the marginalized. The Wisdom Tradition of the Bible tells us this is vanity, a chasing after wind, something that will never be fully realized or satisfied. Life is empty. On the other hand, the foolish also live their lives focused solely on heaven and not caring about this life or the people in this world.
So, too, your “covetousness, which is idolatry” (Col. 3:5), makes a god out of that which cannot give you life or happiness. For “one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15)
The wise look to living their lives for God, which means living for others. But “Christ who is your life” (Col. 3:4), in giving you Himself, gives you all the wealth of heaven. Instead of striving to lay up treasures for yourself, be “rich toward God” in Him (Luke 12:21). We are called to love and care for others, but especially the ones in need. With that, we live with the hope of resurrection, knowing that life continues after death, though we may not know what that looks like, we hold on to that hope. We live our lives on earth with the same hope for eternity—to live into God’s ways of love and justice that restores and heals and brings wholeness.
Sunday Focus on "attitudes toward stuff" in the Kingdom
The four lectionary texts assigned for this Sunday have a common theme: "wealth". More specifically, the texts are concerned with attitudes toward wealth. The theme is considered in a variety of literary types: a parable, a piece of wisdom literature, a letter, and a psalm.
Background- Parable of the Rich Fool -Luke 12:13-21
Jesus is on the road to Jerusalem. People seek him out – the Centurion that wants him who servant was on the road to death; in other cases with the widow of Nain he wonders into situations. Some might come to challenge him or justify themselves, like the lawyer who provided the context for the parable of the Good Samaritan (10:25-37). Others came to Jesus with a complaint. We saw this in a previous exposition of the Mary/Martha story (10:38-42). Actually for this story we don’t know the motivation but it leads to another teaching moment. The gospel reading is here.
Jesus is in the middle of encouraging his disciples to confess even when they are under duress, when he is interrupted by one of the crowd who wants Jesus to settle a financial dispute between siblings. Jesus, however, refuses to enter into the family squabble and instead uses the situation as an opportunity to teach about the seduction of wealth.
The problem the man faced was a common and significant one--how to divide the property between siblings. At that time the older son received twice the inheritance of youngers ones – maybe this is a younger. It may be natural to come to Jesus - Rabbi's were expected to arbitrate on matters of law, but Jesus is unwilling to play this role.
If Jesus had taken up the man's challenge and entered into his life, he faced two problems: the first is that his intervention might provide the occasion for the brothers both to turn on Jesus; the second is that Jesus' intervention would just open a Pandora's box of more questions until Jesus had actually become the man's attorney. Jesus may be a healer or teacher or proclaimer of the message of the kingdom, but he isn't a judge in domestic disputes. . He knows his task and his limitations. Thus, Jesus really isn't a "problem solver."
Do you have a clear sense of what you are about it in life? Jesus has an instinctive sense of what he ought to be doing; of when he ought to enter in and when he ought to keep his distance. Jesus' explanation is "who made me a judge or arbitrator over you? Jesus doesn't give an explanation for why he doesn't want to intervene but finds the heart of the matter (abudance, greed) and throws it back to the questioner. Jesus reframes the question and it becomes a parable.
So how is your barn ? Parable of the Rich Fool
The second part of this scripture is the reframing of the man’s question and the parable -"Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one's life does not consist in the abundance of possessions." Since there is stuff to be divided there could be “abundance of possessions” and the next step beyond that – greed.
The Greek word used here for greed means “yearning for more”. It is a form of idolatry. If greed is a desire to get more -- then there is never a point where a greedy person has enough. Greed can never be satisfied. It is always looking to get more. In other places, there are writings against greed. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and Ephesians 5:3-5. The greedy will not inherit the kingdom of God. It brings God’s wrath. greed can take many forms: the greed for attention, the greed for control, the greed for security.
Luke, by situating the parable of the rich fool right in the middle of Jesus’ predictions of his own death and the plots to kill him, connects this universal human desire for more with universal human insecurity and fear of death.
The parable is about a farmer who does well – he has produced abundantly and has no place to store his crops so he will build larger barns. So what’s wrong with this ? David Lose causes us to assess the situation “He is not portrayed as wicked - that is, he has not gained his wealth illegally or by taking advantage of others. Further, he is not portrayed as particularly greedy. Indeed, he seems to be somewhat surprised by his good fortune as he makes what appears to be reasonable plans to reap the abundance of the harvest. What is wrong, we might therefore ask, about building larger barns to store away some of today's bounty for a potentially leaner tomorrow?
Lose goes on. “Except for two things. First, notice the farmer's consistent focus throughout the conversation he has with himself: "What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?" Then he said, "I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul...."
The relentless use of the first person pronouns "I" and "my" betray a preoccupation with self. There is no thought to using the abundance to help others, no expression of gratitude for his good fortune, no recognition of God at all. The farmer has fallen prey to worshiping the most popular of gods: the Unholy Trinity of "me, myself, and I." This leads to, and is most likely caused by, a second mistake. He is not foolish because he makes provision for the future; he is foolish because he believes that by his wealth he can secure his future: "Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry."
Wealth is not the problem but how we use it – wealth for its own enjoyment or own end. It’s thinking that possessions lead to a satisfied life. Bigger barns do not necessarily bring happiness and contentment. They rob us of the person who builds the barns. People retire and set them up to separate themselves from a world they help to build. The man in this story does not have the vision and/or imagination to see beyond his own walls. He is his own prisoner.
The text says that the man decided to gather in these new barns not just the grain from the harvest but "my goods" (v. 18). He is thinking of barns not just for the grain but also for his "goods." He can kill two birds with one stone, but in Jesus' parable, it is as if he is killing his soul by the expansion project. Then he has thoughts that he has made it and can kick back. The idea of celebrate goes back to the parable of the prodigal son to describe the festive atmosphere at the return of the prodigal.” In the end the grim reaper may be coming for him.
The story ends: "So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.”
The parable tells us about two different kinds of riches--those toward oneself and those toward God.
St. James the Apostle, July 25
"St. James, the Apostle" - Peter Paul Rubens (1612-13)
"James, the brother of John, is often known as James the Greater, to distinguish him from the other Apostle of the same name, commemorated in the calendar with Philip, and also from James, “the brother of our Lord.” He was the son of a prosperous Galilean fisherman, Zebedee, and with his brother John left his home and his trade in obedience to the call of Christ. With Peter and John, he seems to have belonged to an especially privileged group, who Jesus chose to be witnesses of the Transfiguration, the raising of Jairus’ daughter, and the agony in the garden.
"Apparently, James shared John’s hot-headed disposition, and Jesus nicknamed the brothers “Boanerges” (Sons of Thunder”). James’ expressed willingness to share the cup of Christ was realized in his being the first of the Apostles to die for him. As the Acts of the Apostles records, “About that time Herod the King laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the Church. He killed James the brother of John with the sword (Acts 12:1-2).
"According to an old tradition, the body of James was taken to Compostela, Spain, which has been a shrine for pilgrims for centuries. Among the Spaniards, James is one of the most popular saints. In the Middle Ages, under the title of Santiago [which means “Saint James” in Spanish] de Compostela, his aid was especially invoked in the battle against the Moors.
From “Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints” (New York: Church Publishing Corporation, 2010).