Frontpage, Sept. 5, 2021

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. We welcome all people to our church.

From Season of Creation, 2018

Check out the Goodside book for this year’s Season of Creation which you can download. Your role in reducing, offsetting Climate Change

Pentecost 15 – Sept. 5, 2021

Sept 5 – 11:00am, Eucharist In person in the church or on Zoom. – Join here at 10:45am for gathering – service starts at 11am Meeting ID: 869 9926 3545 Passcode: 889278

Sept. 5 – 7:00pm, Compline on Zoom – Join here at 6:30am for gathering – service starts at 7pm Meeting ID 834 7356 6532 Password 748475

Sept. 6 – 6:30am – Be Still Meditation group in a 20 minute time of prayer Meeting ID: 879 8071 6417 Passcode: 790929

Bible Study on Wednesday 10am-12pm!

Sept. 12 – 11:00am, , Holy Eucharist, Pentecost 16

Sept. 12 – 7:00pm, Compline on Zoom – Join here at 6:30am for gathering – service starts at 7pm Meeting ID 834 7356 6532 Password 748475

The Jamaica Team in Jamaica

A collage and an article on St. Peter’s Jamaica Mission team in Jamaica distributing school supplies to 300 in late August. It went well despite Covid and provided ideas for future support.

Read the article


Bottom left – Mission Team of 7 with 2 missing
Top right – Packing the bookbags for the distribution
Top left – with a family who came to get a bookbag. We gave out 300
Bottom right – A rising sixth grader with his new bookbag.

Lectionary, Sept, 16th Sunday after Pentecost, Season of Creation 2 Year B

I. Theme –  Actions speak louder than words. We must match up our words and actions.

"Christ Carrying the Cross” – Lorenzo Lotto (1526)

"Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again."- Mark 8:31

The lectionary readings are here  or individually: 

Old Testament – Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm – Psalm 116:1-8 Page 759, BCP
Epistle – James 3:1-12
Gospel – Mark 8:27-38  

Today’s scriptures ask us to demonstrate our Christian beliefs through appropriate actions. In Isaiah, God’s servant remains obedient in the face of suffering and remains confident of God’s guidance and support. Proverbs invites us to begin the search for Wisdom. James reminds us of the destructive power of even a few evil words. In the gospel, after allowing himself to be identified as the Messiah, Jesus points out that sharing in his mission means embracing a life of sacrifice.

“Quick, now! Who do you say that I am?” Most of us, if caught flat-footed by the question, would fumble around and wish we had a handy catechism to consult. Quick-to-respond Peter blurts out, “You are the Messiah!”

In Echoing God’s Word, Jim Dunning calls Peter “one of the first Christians to mouth a doctrine without the foggiest idea of what it means.” Peter thought messiahship implied pomp, status, perks and power. Jesus interpreted it to mean “navigating stormy seas, eating with rejects, following down the road that leads to drinking the cup of suffering with our most broken and wounded sisters and brothers.”

Some of us, like Peter, dream of the perks that our association with Jesus might bring. But Jesus points instead to the suffering, the paradoxical loss of life, the hard road that leads to Calvary…a difficult journey indeed, ultimately continuing to Easter.

Consistency, congruency—this leads to authenticity. To be an authentic follower of Christ, we must match up our words and actions. We must remain faithful even in times of struggle. We must turn inward first to God before our words lead us astray—we must think before we speak. And we must remember that our lives and words are witnesses to Christ’s presence in our lives, and if we truly wish to walk with insight, to walk with Christ, we must remember that we can’t be focused on our own desires and need, but on the way of God, which is beyond ourselves and beyond our time.

Read more about the lectionary…

Season of Creation 2021 – Theme  

The Season of Creation is the annual Christian celebration of prayer and action for our common home.  Together, the ecumenical family around the world unites to pray and protect God’s creation. The season starts 1 September, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and ends 4 October, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology beloved by many Christian denominations.

In 2021, the  theme is “A HOME FOR ALL? RENEWING THE OIKOS OF GOD.” Oikos is the Greek word for “home,” or “household.” By rooting our theme in the concept of oikos, we celebrate the integral web of relationships that sustain the well-being of the Earth.

This year’s symbol, Abraham’s tent,  signifies our commitment to safeguard a place for all who share our common home, just as Abraham did in the Book of Genesis. Abraham and Sarah opened their tent as a home for three strangers, who turned out to be God’s angels (Gen 18). By creating a home for all, their act of radical hospitality became a source of great blessing.

Abraham’s tent is a symbol of our ecumenical call to practice creation care as an act of radical hospitality, safeguarding a place for all creatures, human and more human, in our common home, the household (oikos) of God.

In Genesis God set a dome over the Earth. The word ”dome“  is where we get words such as ‘domicile’ and ’domestic’ — in other words, God puts us all is — all people, all life — under the same domed roof — we are all in the house, the oikos of God. God gave humans the ministry to take care and cultivate this oikos of God. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others have called the oikos of God ”the Beloved Community,”  a community in which all of life are equally members, though each has a different role. We need to renew our world as an interconnected and interdependent global beloved community.

The Psalmist proclaims “the Earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it.” There are two statements of faith at the heart of this song. The first is that every creature belongs to the Earth community. The second is that the entire community belongs to the Creator. A Greek word for this Earth community is oikos

By faith, we join the Psalmist in remembering that we are not stewards of an inanimate creation, but caretakers within a dynamic and living community of creation. The Earth and all that is not a given, but a gift, held in trust. We are called not to dominate, but to safeguard. By reason, we discern how best to safeguard conditions for life, and create economic, technological and political architectures that are rooted in the ecological limits of our common home. Through wisdom we pay careful attention to natural systems and processes, to inherited and indigenous traditions, and to God’s revelation in word and Spirit.

Faith gives us trust that God’s Spirit is constantly renewing the face of the Earth. Within this horizon of hope, our baptismal call frees us to return to our human vocation to till and keep God’s garden. In Christ, God calls us to participate in renewing the whole inhabited Earth, safeguarding a place for every creature, and reform just relationships among all creation.

Keys to the Season of Creation  

For centuries, our theology our theology has focused on relationship with God and our human relationships with one another. The Season of Creation focuses God’s relationship with all creation and with our relationship with creation (and with God through creation). It highlights our role in understanding and addressing address the ecological problems we face today as a part of God’s creation.

We are going to look at 6 keys to the Season of Creation:

1. God as Creator The Spirit of God moving over the face of the water created the earth. Creation is also on a journey,  it is ongoing and constantly in a process of being made new.

The Bible speaks of a God who is not passive or distant, but active and involved.  God here exercises divine power through peaceful means. God creates by the word “In the beginning, God designed a home, a home in which God dwells, a home in which God delights, a home which God calls good. The earth is God’s home…”Nothing goes to waste in this creation. All this creation has a purpose, and every bit of this creation depends on every other bit of creation.”

The goal in worship then is to deepen our understanding of God as Creator, to celebrate God’s role as Creator, and to examine and deepen and widen our own relationships with God, creation, and with one another. How are we impacting creation which God said was “good.”

2. Jesus brings us Abundant Life –The Word Jesus was always with God even before creation began.

Jesus is the source of truth and understanding of God’s will.  All of creation, including planet Earth, is the result of the impulse of the Word (Christ) from God.  The Word is the supreme creative force through Whom all things were made.  Jesus is the source of life by which men have a relationship with God and hope of eternal life.  Christ reconciles all things in heaven and Earth

The Word is also divine wisdom, the principle of reason that gives order to the universe. Jesus dwelling in nature as one of us to bring us abundant life

As one of the Collects says  “Things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Take a walk through the woods and you’ll see fallen trees and decay, and yet new birth is everywhere with seeds and new life Volcanoes give birth to lava.  When the lava cools into rock, lichens grow on this rock, helping to erode it into soil in which plants can take root

3. Role of the spirit. As the “Giver of life” and the “Sustainer of life,” the Holy Spirit is the source of our empowerment, inspiration, and guidance as we seek to live in a way sustainable for all God’s creation. Being “in the unity of the Holy Spirit” encompasses our relationship with all of life. This is foundational for our worship.

4  Humans have a role in Creation Care as caretakers and to be healers because we were created with the rest of nature . The breath of life is the created spirit that God gives all living creatures so they can live. In Genesis 2:7, it says that God “breathed into [Adam’s] nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul

We came from Earth and we cannot survive without all that Earth provides. Just as Earth has creative powers, so Earth itself has restorative powers. Unless we have centered opportunities to express awareness of and gratitude for our  dependence upon Earth and our relationship with other creatures, we will not be whole as human beings.

Dr. William P. Brown of Columbia Theological seminary has written “The fundamental mandate for creation care comes from Genesis 2:15, where God places Adam in the garden to “till it and keep it…” Human “dominion” as intended in Genesis is best practiced in care for creation, The root of the word “dominion” is the Latin word “domus,” the word for home.  To have dominion over the earth is to be a housekeeper of the home of all creation.  Our task, as the people of the earth, is to encourage the earth’s fruitfulness rather than to strip it of every life-giving resource. The world is a gift and we need to nurture it as such to make is prosper.

5. What must we do ? First, open our eyes to the beauty of creation and see life as connected.

In his letter to the Romans, right up front, Paul makes this statement.  “Ever since the creation of the world, God’s eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things that God has made.”

This healing and care cannot even begin until we take the time to open our eyes and truly see what is around us; to know that even in the midst of the degraded condition of the earth, glimpses of the goodness that God had in mind at creation are still visible.

When we truly look at our home in creation, the original goodness and perfection of God’s plan for all of creation and for all of us gets revealed to us, and in that perfection, we can see the promise of the kingdom of God that will someday come  to earth.

We tend to get lost in the big picture as we miss the details.

That’s why we must first, before we do anything else, take the time to appreciate the natural world in its beauty and sometimes terrible magnificence, to see it as the dwelling God has given us rather than an object to be used up for our own benefit.  As the Pope has said many times, “We are the guardians of Creation” and “everything is connected.” We must be the stewards of our earth and be on guard for its exploitation.

We were created with the rest of nature. We came from Earth and we cannot survive without all that Earth provides. Just as Earth has creative powers, so Earth itself has restorative powers. Unless we have centered opportunities to express awareness of and gratitude for our  dependence upon Earth and our relationship with other creatures, we will not be whole as human beings.<

So Jesus says, don’t just walk past a lily in the field.  Stop and consider it!

To dwell on the beauty of a flower is to peer into the perfection of God’s creation.  And to dwell on the beauty of creation can be a hopeful act, one that sustains people in the face of the most unimaginable disasters.

This act of seeing is a prayerful activity.

This act of prayerful seeing gives us hope and gives us an undying longing for  the kingdom of God to come on earth, which is why Jesus taught us to pray, that God’s kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven.  In God’s kingdom on earth all of creation will be restored.

6. The Season of Creation emphasizes the creative role of humans. After opening our eyes to the beauty of creation, we must look at the darker side of our relationship to the earth. We must act to heal our earth and restore creation that was a gift to us.

Our baptisms in living water help us claim our place in God’s harmonious creation. When that baptismal water pours over our heads, we are given the opportunity to open our eyes to God’s creating powers throughout our lives. We have the desire to seek that new creation even when all around us has grown old and hope seems to have vanished.

The world is filled with creativity because it was created by a creative God whose art and talent are inexhaustible. In recent years, much of humanity has viewed creation as a resource to be exploited rather than a mystery to be celebrated and sustained. The time has come not only to celebrate creation but to transform our human relationship to creation by worshiping in solidarity with creation

Through the Season of Creation and worship  we have an opportunity to come to terms with the current ecological crises in a spiritual way so as to empathize with a groaning creation. Worship provides a viable and meaningful way not only to include creation’s praise of God but also to engender a deep relationship with the suffering of a groaning creation.

“Imagine a great circle. God encircles everything else in this circle.

Inside the circle is a second circle, and that circle is us. We human beings encircle the rest of creation, at the center of the circle. Look at the word, earth. If you move the letter “h” from the back of this word to the front, the word “earth” becomes the word “heart.”

The current ecological crisis affects most of 6 days of creation – 2nd Day the sky , 3rd day – dry land, seas, plants and trees were created, 5th days creatures that live in the sea and creatures that fly were created 6th day animals that live on the land and finally humans

There are 5 areas of the environmental crisis:

  1. Burning of fossil fuels (oil, coal, and natural gas are adding more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere that will cause temperatures to exceed 1.5C, most simulations suggest.  The three major fossil fuels—petroleum, natural gas, and coal—combined accounted for about 77.6% of the U.S. primary energy production in 2017:  However, fossil fuel emissions represent the greatest cause of air pollution
  2. Rising temperatures causes rise of sea levels though warming of water and melting of glacier
  3. Severe water shortages can be expected when there will be no or only very little ice left to melt in the summer. This will affect food supplies
  4. Water supplies are affected by pollution
  5. The global benefits provided by trees are being threatened by deforestation and forest degradation. Deforestation is a major cause of global warming. When trees are burned, their stored carbon is released back into the atmosphere. The most important factors are clearance for agriculture (including cattle ranching), poor governance (illegal logging, corruption, and ineffective law and order), insecurity of land tenure, the system of international trade, poor planning (e.g.building of major trunk roads in forest areas), and unsustainable logging

Season of Creation focus in 2021 – Your role in reducing climate change 

Goodside’s M.O.R.E. Model for Effective Climate Action

Download it!

Fighting climate change needs to be our life’s work” “We’re not going to fix this overnight. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, as they say-and that means we need to train for it. “

The above is from Goodside’s M.O.R.E. Model for Effective Climate Action, a short, concise book on climate change in our time which emphasizes the ordinary person’s role in understanding and dealing climate change, the central issue dealing with the future of the earth. We will review this book over the next 4 weeks online.

“Our goal with this book is to arm you with the know-how to easily adopt lifestyle changes, habits and actions that will aid in your efforts against the climate crisis”.

Educate – Learn Everything you need to understand climate change. We start with this topic today. We want to act in relationship to the best knowledge available.

Measure – Measure Your Carbon Footprint (How to Do It, and Why It Matters)

Reduce – Reduce Your Carbon Footprint: 26 Ways to Live More Sustainably

Offset – Offset Your Carbon Emissions (Yes, It Really Makes a Difference)

Let’s take a look at Educate. Turn the pages using the top navigation bar


The Season of Creation – at home

The scriptures begin with God’s affirmation that all of creation is “very good” (Genesis 1:31). As caretakers of God’s creation, human beings are called to protect and nurture its goodness. (Genesis 2:15, Jeremiah 29:5-7).

One way to protect and nurture creation is to decrease carbon emissions.

As Sara Kaplan writes in The Washington Post, If we manage to reach “net zero” emissions in the next few decades, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 6th report (released in August 2021) finds, we have a good shot at limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) over preindustrial levels — just a few tenths of a degree hotter than the world is now. The world would still have to cope with longer heat waves, more frequent droughts and more intense rainfall during storms. But the scale of those changes would likely be within our capacity to adapt.”

Our efforts to limit the ways we create carbon emissions can make a difference. And we can do other things as well that are beneficial for the environment. Here are some ideas about how to protect and nurture God’s creation.

1. Plant native trees and flowers. As trees grow, they help stop climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the air, storing carbon, and sending carbon into the soil, and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. Trees help us breathe clean air. Trees absorb odors and pollutant gases (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone) and filter particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark. Native trees, like oaks, are the most beneficial for planting since they provide food and shelter for native insects and birds.

2. When you go for a walk, take a trash bag with you. By removing trash, we can protect the Rappahannock River and its watershed. Typical items you will find as you walk along and pick up trash include straws, plastic bottles, take out trash, cigarette buts, plastic packing straps, Styrofoam containers and other take out trash, and discarded masks. Much of the waste on roadsides and in neighborhoods has been created by manufacturing that creates greenhouse gases. Don’t let this trash go on to pollute the waterways as well.

3. Create a buffer zone. Leave a border of land along the edge of your garden, walkways or car park that you do not mow or landscape so that wild grasses, local plants and wildflowers can grow. Or conserve a natural area around existing trees or bushes where you allow undergrowth to develop and let leaves and tree limbs fall and decompose naturally. Proper mulching that leaves the root flares of trees exposed helps the trees by killing off grass that is growing around the trees. Grass roots emit a substance that kills off competitive tree roots. Creating a proper mulched space around trees will contribute to the health of the tree, as well as to provide space for caterpillars and insects that then provide food for birds.

Natural buffer-zones promote the diversity of flora, which hold topsoil, and water. Wild plants and flowers will attract a variety of pollinators such as butterflies or bees, which increases the health and fruitfulness of the plants, which attract local birds. The roots, leaves, and fallen limbs of undisturbed plants provide shelter for insects and small mammals. The animal waste, along with fallen and decomposing limbs and leaves return nutrients to the soil, which nourishes the health of the entire ecosystem beyond the buffer zone

4. Ways to do your part to reduce climate change.
A. Recycle more. You can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide per year by recycling just half of your household waste.
B. Turn off electronic devices. Simply turning electronic devices off when you are not using them can save thousands of pounds of CO2 a year.
C. Shift your practices – Choose whole wheat over white bread, tap water over bottled water, reusable bags over single use bags, reduce the meat in our diet and buy more vegetables from the farmers market . By doing these things you can easily save the same amount of carbon that 40 trees absorb in a year.
D. Reduce single use plastics – Single-use plastics are plastic items that are only intended to be used once, such as soft-drink bottles. The most common items include disposable cups, bottles, non-recyclable packaging, plastic cutlery, straws and many take out containers.
E. Reduce energy use – Develop a plan to reduce daily electricity use around your home. Run the dishwasher less frequently, check your water heater temperature and lower it if possible. Adjust your thermostat.

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9. Latest Sunday Bulletin (Sept. 5, 2021 11:00am),  and Sermon (Sept. 5, 2021)

10. Recent Services: 

Pentecost 12, Aug. 15

Readings and Prayers, Pentecost 12, Aug. 15 2021

Pentecost 13, Aug. 22

Readings and Prayers, Pentecost 13, Aug. 22 2021

Pentecost 14, Aug. 22

Readings and Prayers, Pentecost 14, Aug. 29 2021

Mike Newmans Block print of St. Peter's

Block Print by Mike Newman


Colors for Year B, 2020-21

Daily “Day by Day”

3-Minute Retreats invite you to take a short prayer break right at your computer. Spend some quiet time reflecting on a Scripture passage.

Knowing that not everyone prays at the same pace, you have control over the pace of the retreat. After each screen, a Continue button will appear. Click it when you are ready to move on. If you are new to online prayer, the basic timing of the screens will guide you through the experience.

Follow the Star

Daily meditations in words and music.

Sacred Space

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.”

Daily C. S. Lewis thoughts

Saints of the Week, Sept. 5, 2021 – Sept. 12, 2021

[Katharina Zell], Church Reformer & Writer, 1562
Gregorio Aglipay, Priest, 1940
[Hannah More], Religious Writer & Philanthropist, 1833
[Kassiani], Poet & Hymnographer, 865
Elie Naud, Catechist, 1722
[Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary] Søren Kierkegaard, Philosopher, 1855
Nikolai Grundtvig, Bishop and Hymnwriter, 1872
Constance and her Companions, Martyrs, 1878
, 1898
Harry Thacker Burleigh, Composer, 1949
Henry Hobart
, Bishop of New York, 1830