Frontpage, May 22, 2022

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.

The Sixth Sunday of Easter , Year C

May 22 – 11:00am, Easter – Join here at 10:45am for gathering – service starts at 11am Meeting ID: 869 9926 3545 Passcode: 889278

May 25 – Bible Study 10am-12pm

May 26 – The Ascension

The First Nouvena

Read the 9 days of prayers.

The word “novena” means “nine” and is used to describe nine days of private or public devotion or focused and persistent prayer for a specific cause, usually as a form of petition or intercession but also as a prayer of thanksgiving for blessings received, devotion to a particular saint or feast day, as a period of mourning a loss, or anticipating a significant event.

The nine days of a novena come from the time that the Apostles and Mary waited in prayer between the Ascension of Jesus and the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. This was the period of time in which the Church prepared to go forth into the world to carry out Christ’s mission. These nine days, in essence, constituted the very first novena.

May 29 – UTO donations collected.

Sacred Ground milestone reached.

On Monday May 16, 2022, Andrea Pogue (left) and Johnny Davis (right) from the Sacred Ground group presented two $2,000 scholarships to Kaya Green and Alanna Gray. These Caroline High Schools graduates will be attending Germanna Community College in the fall. Elizabeth Heimbach, Cookie Davis and Catherine from the Sacred Ground group also attended the event. This was the culmination of study, discussion involving historic systematic racism and then a desire to make a contribution to toward combatting the effects of racism.

The group asked the Vestry to provide $500 to establish a scholarship allowing a Caroline County minority student to pay for education after high school. The $500 grew to $10,100 this year due to the donations of generous parishioners. The group then decided to distribute two scholarships and retain funds for the future .

Read more about the program

Understanding trends of the Village Harvest in May

We are close to the results of 2021 after 5 months in 2022. For the year (2022) we are at 447 clients compared to last year’s 465. Overall pounds for 2022 are at 6,343 pounds which is close to last year’s 6,364. Like the clients figure it is statistically the same.

Looking at just the last two months together (April and May), however, shows a variation from the two months before that (Feb and March). Basically, Feb and March offset the results of April and May to allow for a similar year to date in May, 2022 to May, 2021.

Read more about the May harvest

Bishop Michael Curry – Love as a commitment

This is from an interview of Michael Curry in the Harvard Business Review, May-June 2019

Easter 5 featured the following Gospel scripture from John.”I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.”

“How do you encourage people to bring love into their workplaces?”

“In the past couple years I’ve started thinking of love less as a sentiment and more as a commitment to a way of being with others. As a sentiment, love is more about what I’m getting out of it than what you’re getting out of it. But as a commitment, love means I’m seeking your self-interest as well as my own—and maybe above and beyond mine. That kind of unselfishness is actually how Jesus talked about love most of the time in the New Testament—the Greek word that’s used is agape. That’s the kind of love you see in a person who has done something selfless for you and affected your life for the good: a parent, teacher, Scout leader, or coach. Take that further and you realize that there has been no social good that’s been intentionally done apart from this kind of love. We don’t give people Nobel Peace prizes for selfishness. We recognize those people because they’ve given of themselves without counting the cost to themselves. So, I’ve been playing with the mantra: Is the action I’m contemplating selfish or selfless? I invite folks to just ask that question throughout the day: Selfish or selfless?”

Rogation Sunday, May 22, 2022

Rogation Sunday, a time of celebration and prayer, is a time set aside to appreciate and recognize our dependence upon the land for our food and most importantly upon our dependence of God for the miracles of sprouting seeds, growing plants, and maturing harvest.

The Rogation Days, the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before Ascension Day, originated in Vienne, France in 470 after a series of natural disasters had caused much suffering among the people.  Originally, the Christian observance of Rogation was taken over from Graeco-Roman  religion, where an annual procession invoked divine favour to protect crops against mildew.   Archbishop Mamertus proclaimed a fast and ordered that special litanies and prayers be said as the population processed around their fields, asking God’s protection and blessing on the crops that were just beginning to sprout.

The Latin word rogare means “to ask”, thus these were “rogation” processions. The tradition grew of using processional litanies, often around the parish boundaries, for the blessing of the land. These processions concluded with a mass. The Rogation procession was suppressed at the Reformation, but it was restored in 1559. The poet George Herbert interpreted the procession as a means of asking for God’s blessing on the land, of preserving boundaries, of encouraging fellowship between neighbours with the reconciling of differences, and of charitable giving to the poor. The tradition of ‘beating the bounds’ has been preserved in some communities. In the latter   a group of old and young members of the community would walk the boundaries of the parish, usually led by the parish priest and church officials, to share the knowledge of where they lay, and to pray for protection and blessings for the lands. Others maintain the traditional use of the Litany within worship. In more recent times, the scope of Rogation has been widened to include petition for the world of work and for accountable stewardship, and prayer for local communities, whether rural or urban.

The Sunday before the Rogation Days came to be considered a part of Rogationtide (or “Rogantide”) and was known as Rogation Sunday. The Gospel formerly appointed for that day was from John 16, where Jesus tells his disciples to ask, and ye shall receive.

A Rogation Treat – OnBeing interview with author Robin Wall Kimmerer.

Listen to the interview

She is the author of the Braiding Sweetgrass. From “As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take us on “a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise” (Elizabeth Gilbert).

“Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings–asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass–offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices. In reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return. ”

“Thy Kingdom Come” is celebrating its 6 year anniversary in 2022. Since May 2016, The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the people of Thy Kingdom Come have been bringing the world together in prayer. St Peter’s has been part of this international prayer initiative for several years. Here is the website.

Here is their new trailer

In the gospel according to Luke, before Jesus ascended, he told the disciples to go to back to Jerusalem and await the coming of the Holy Spirit. They did as he asked, spent ten days absorbed in prayer as they waited, and the Holy Spirit came upon them at Pentecost.

Through these prayerful disciples, the Holy Spirit brought the Church to birth. Following the example of these disciples, we can spend time in intentional prayer praying for people around the world to be filled with the Spirit and to come to know Jesus more fully.

So What we can do to participate?

Ascension, May 26

Ascension Mantegna

Biblical scholar Ronald Coleman wanted to be clear on Ascension -"We do not, as a matter of fact, believe that Jesus ended his earthly ministry with the equivalent of a rocket launch, rising a few hundred miles above the earth. Nor do we think Jesus was the first to be “beamed up,” to use the term made so familiar by the television series Star Trek."

The New Testament treats the Ascension as an integral part of the Easter event. 

It is the final appearance Jesus’ physical and resurrected presence on earth. It is the final component of the paschal mystery, which consists also of Jesus’ Passion, Crucifixion, Death, Burial, Descent Among the Dead, and Resurrection.

Along with the resurrection, the ascension functioned as a proof of Jesus’ claim that he was the Messiah. The Ascension is also the event whereby humanity was taken into heaven.  There is a promise he will come again.

So when is it ? The Ascension in Luke 24 is on Easter Sunday evening or, at the latest, the next day; in John 20, sometime between the appearance to Mary Magdalene (who is told not to touch the risen One because he has not yet ascended) and the appearance to Thomas (who is invited to touch him); in Acts 1, after the forty days (which, however, are symbolic of the time of revelation; there may be no intention to suggest that the ascension actually “occurred” on the fortieth day). We celebrate Ascension on the 40th day, this year Thursday May 13 or the closest Sunday, May 16. 

The main scriptural references to the Ascension are Mark:16:19, Luke:24:51, and Acts:1:2 and vvs. 8-10. Luke 24 says  "While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven". In Acts " he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen." Jesus commissions his followers, rather than simply blessing them; and we have an appearance from two men in white robes.

Mount Olivet, near Bethany, is designated as the place where Christ left the earth. The feast falls on  Thursday, May 13 and it is one of the most solemn in the calendar, ranking with the feasts of the Passion, Easter and Pentecost.

In disappearing from their view "He was raised up and a cloud received Him out of their sight" (Acts 1:9), and entering into glory He dwells with the Father in the honur and power denoted by the scripture phrase."

In a way, Jesus’ abandonment of the disciples upon the Mount of Olives is more profound than their abandonment on Calvary. After all, the disciples themselves predicted he would die. But no one could have imagined the Resurrection and the extraordinary forty days during which Jesus dwelled again with his friends. Forty days with the resurrected Jesus – appearing in the upper room, along the way to Emmaus, upon the beach at Galilee! Imagine their despair when this, the Jesus present to them in such an astonishing way, enters the Cloud on the Mount of Olives.

Read more…

Ascension as the beginning of the Church’s mission

The Ascension is the beginning of the church’s mission.

  1. It is powered by the Spirit 

  2. It is a call to be witnesses 

  3. It is worldwide is scope  

The Ascension holds the promise of Christ’s return.

The Purpose of the Ascension:

A.  For Man’s Redemption

B.  For Jesus to be our Advocate

C.  So The Spirit Could Come

D.  To Prepare a place for Us

Read the details …

The Ascension is about direction

1. Looking upwards

Where is heaven ? When the early church confessed that Jesus had ascended into heaven, the emphasis was not so much on a place – the emphasis was on God’s immediate presence. The church was confessing that Jesus had entered into the divine glory – that the risen Jesus now dwelt in the immediate presence of God. This may explain the meaning of the phrase, "a cloud took him out of their sight" (Acts 1:9). Oftentimes in scripture, a cloud represents the shekinah glory of God, the sign of God’s presence (cf. Exo. 33:7-11; Mark 9:7).

This day reminds us that Jesus, our Risen Lord and Savior, is “beyond the bounds of time and space and free of their confinement, so he is able to be present everywhere at once.”

2. Heading downwards

Apostles are grouped together in Jerusalem awaiting their next step. "Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying…these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer. "

3. Setting outwards.   

This is an opportunity to reflect on the mission imperative of the church, the dangers of the church looking inward and the strength we gain from a Jesus now in the heavens who equips us for service 

The Ascension marks the exact moment when Jesus, Son of God, commissioned his disciples to begin the gigantic task of converting the whole world. As recorded in St Mark’s Gospel, Jesus said: "Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned." This day reminds us that Jesus, our Risen Lord and Savior, is “beyond the bounds of time and space and free of their confinement, so he is able to be present everywhere at once.”

Ascension Art: trying to make it visual.."

The Ascension has always been a challenge to understand through the scriptures. Artists have played a role in giving us a visual depiction of the event. They have been doing this for over a 1000 years.

Read more about Ascension art with a collection of 17 works …

Our own Ascension art – St. George’s Ascension window

These are earliest windows produced for the church in 1885 and dedicated to Rev. Edward McGuire who served as rector her for 45 years from 1813-1858 and was the rector when the current Church was built in 1849. It was produced in Germany but we do not know the maker. There are three panels increasing the drama and focus. The window is the front of the church directly in front of parishioners.

The Ascension took place 40 days after the Resurrection when Jesus led the disciples to the Mount of Olives. He raised his hands, blessed them and then was lifted up until a cloud took him out of their sight. This is shown in the middle window. He is shown, arms raised, disappearing into a cloud with his feet and the hem of his clothes visible. His feet still show scars of the crucifixion.

Continue with the article and a photo gallery …

Lectionary Easter 7, Year C

I.Theme –   Forging the glorious unity of God’s people.

 " Christ the Redeemer Statue, Rio de Janeiro" – Paul Landowski, 1931

The lectionary readings are here  or individually:

Old Testament – Acts 16:16-34
Psalm – Psalm 97 
Epistle – Revelation 22:12-14,16-17,20-21
Gospel – John 17:20-26  

We were in the middle between Ascension, last Thursday and Easter 7 which looks a week ahead to Pentecost. Easter 7 is a Sunday of Christian unity in the face of the disciples in their uncertainty. This is a result of the events of the recent past, the Resurrection and Ascension.

After his resurrection 40+ days ago, Jesus has appeared to three followers on the road to Emmaus, to Peter, and to those gathered in Jerusalem. When they have thought that they were seeing a ghost, he has invited them to touch his wounds and eats in their presence. The community is not sure of the outcome of all this. Will he stay ? They feel terrified both as to their own safety.

Today’s readings give us a sense of comfort. In today’s readings, we catch a glimpse of the glorious unity of God’s people. Paul and Silas show their concern even for their Gentile jailer, who becomes a believer through their example. John, in his Revelation, describes the believers’ urgent longing for final union with Jesus. In the gospel, Jesus prays for us, who have come to faith and unity in him through the testimony of the disciples

On the night when He was betrayed, Jesus interceded for His Church — for His apostles and all who believe in Him through their word — that all of His disciples “may become perfectly one” in the Father and the Son (John 17:21–23). For Jesus became flesh and dwells among us in order to reveal the Father and His name, to share with us the glory of His righteousness, and to bring us to the Father in Himself. As the Father loved the Son from “before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24), so He loves the whole world (John 17:23, 26). Through the apostolic witness to the baptism, cross and resurrection of Jesus (Acts 1:21–22), the Lord gathers His disciples throughout the world “with one accord, as one body in Christ (Acts 1:14). And so with one voice and by one Spirit, His Bride prays, “Come!” (Rev. 22:17). And He comes to us. He gives us“the water of life without price” to wash our robes and quench our thirst (Rev. 22:17); and He feeds us from “the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit” (Rev. 22:2).

This Sunday, we are reminded that the world-view we hold now is not the same as the ancient Israelites, nor is it the same as the people of Jesus’ day and of the first century, nor will it be the same in the future. We must be prepared for new understandings and insights, new ways of thinking about and understanding God and God’s works in the world

Read more from the lectionary 

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5. Latest Newsletter-the Parish Post (May, 2022)

6. Calendar

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9. Latest Sunday Bulletin (May 22, 11:00am),  and Sermon (May 22, 2022)

10. Recent Services: 

Easter 2, April 24

Readings and Prayers, April 24

Easter 3, May 1

Readings and Prayers, May 1

Easter 4, May 8

Readings and Prayers, May 8

Mike Newmans Block print of St. Peter's

Block Print by Mike Newman


Colors for Year C, 2021-22

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, May 15 – May 22, 2022

[Pachomius of Tabenissi], Monastic, 348
Junia and Andronicus
Martyrs of Sudan & South Sudan
William Hobart Hare, Bishop, 1909
Thurgood Marshall, Public Servant, 1993
Dunstan, Archbishop
of Canterbury, 988
Alcuin of York, Deacon &
Abbot, 804
[Lydia of Thyatira], Coworker of the Apostle Paul
John Eliot, Missionary among the Algonquin, 1690
[Helena of Constantinople], Protector of the Holy Places, 330