What a 175th! May 15, 2011

Title:What a 175th! May 15, 2011

Clergy for the 175th - Amy Turner, Charles Sydnor, Catherine Hicks
The 175th Anniversary Committee chaired by Cookie Davis and Nancy Long worked long hours over the last year planning events leading up to today’s festivities. These included the Thomas Marshall organ concert in Oct., 2010, Rev. Robert Pritchard’s visit in November, the ECW cookbook to be delivered by July 4th and of course  the many details of May 15th. It was a wonderful coincidence that May 15, 1836 and May 15, 2011 were both on a  Sunday. A photo gallery of the day’s activities can be viewed here.  Alex Long has also contributed a gallery of photos of the 2pm Service Honoring our Ancestors

Attendance 175th anniversary St. Peter's May 15, 2011We had 85 people in the 11am service as visitors swarmed into St. Peter’s. The Bulletin is printed here. Notably the Rev. Charles Sydnor and Rev. Amy Turner assisted Catherine in the service, reading the confession and the Gospel as well as assisting with communion.  The Rev Jim May from King George was there on his day off. Music included  the choir under Brad Volland’s direction and Paige Martindale playing a piece by Vierne as well as Mary Lawrence Hicks adding trumpet accompaniment to the hymns. The Prayers of the People were written espcially for the service. We were honored that Charles Pratt came from Charlotte, NC to represent the many contributions of the Pratt family to St. Peter’s. Over the last week we received a number of messages about the anniversary which have been published 

The sermon based on John’s passage that described Christ as the Good Shephard augmented the historical theme but sounded a warning – "We are an aging congregation… Will this church’s doors still be open 175 years from now?…   The answer to that question is up to us…in 1937, the Vestry minutes show that the Robb family provided the money to erect a fence to replace a fence  that must have been installed at an earlier time.  Who is the gatekeeper of this gate?  If we claim that our gatekeeper here at St Peter’s is God, then God has opened the gate for the shepherd of the sheep, Jesus himself."  We have to eliminate the divisions between us and "share the love that we have received from Jesus with the world outside our gates". "If  God is our gatekeeper here at St Peter’s,  and if we listen to and follow the voice of the Good Shepherd who calls us into a life of abundant love for one another and for those outside our fence, because we are all children of God– Then our gate and the doors to this church, this 175 year old church, St Peter’s Episcopal Church, here in this little village of Port Royal, will be like the gates of that heavenly city- Always Open."  The complete sermon is published here.

Food preparation - Cookie Davis, Eunice Key, Betty Kunstmann

A wonderful lunch followed the service with chicken, ham biscuits, numerous vegetables and cakes awaited us after the service. Cookie, Eunice and Betty helped to prepare the feast. Fellowship has always been a wonderful ministry here.  

Laura Long, Bettie Brezie

Then at 2pm the Service Honoring our Ancestors was presented and was a reminder of our rich history over 175 years. Here is the bulletin from the service. 46 stayed for the service which included presentations from historical figures from the Rev. Jonathan Boucher in the 18th century to living personalisties, the Rev. Karen Woodruff, priest 1994-2003 and Helmut Linne von Berg. We thank Charles Sydnor for staying the afternoon to play the Rev. William Friend, our first minister from 1837-70.  Most of all we thank Nancy Long for authoring the scripts read by the historic personalities.  You can read some of them here. The stories they presented were coordinated appropriately with scripture and hymns depicting the period.  Our oldest parishioner Genevieve Davis was in attendance in her 90th year and seemed to enjoy her daughter Cookie playing her!

You can review a summary of all of the 175th anniversary stories over the last year through these links.

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