Welcome to St. Peter's Episcopal, Port Royal

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1. Newcomers - Welcome Page

2. Contact the Rev Catherine Hicks, Rector

3. St. Peter's Sunday News

4. March, 2018 Server Schedule

5. Latest Newsletter-the Parish Post (March, 2018)

6. Calendar

7. Parish Ministries

8. What's new on the website 

9. This past Sunday

10. Latest Bulletin (March 18, 2018 11:00am),  and Sermon (March 11, 2017)

March 18, 2018    
11. Recent Services: 

Feb. 18, First Lent

Photos from Feb. 18

Feb. 25, Lent 2

Photos from Feb. 25

March 4, Lent 3

Photos from March 4

Mike Newmans Block print of St. Peter's Christmas

 Block Print by Mike Newman


Colors for Year B, 2017-18

Rose* [Laetere Sunday]
(Lent 4)
[March 11]
Purple Palm Sunday Mar 25-28
Purple Maundy Thursday Mar 29
Purple Black Good Friday Mar 30
Black Holy Saturday Mar 31



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,  March 11- March 18

Gregory the Great, Bishop of Rome, 604
James Theodore Holly, bishop of Haiti and Dominican Republic
Patrick, Bishop and Missionary of Ireland, 461
Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem, 386

Cookie Davis recognized as the Distinguished Woman of the Diocese of Virginia for the 2018 Triennial General Convention of The Episcopal Church

Check out last Sunday, Lent 4, March 11 2018

The Week Ahead...

March 14 - 6pm-7pm - Revelation Bible Study

March 18 - 10am - Christian Education for children

March 18 - 10am - "Thy Kingdom Come" Adult Lent Study

March 18th--#Offer—What is prayer of Oblation?

Oblation is an offering of ourselves, our lives and labors, in union with Christ for the purpose of God. 

March 18 - 11am  - Lent 5, Holy Eucharist , Rite II

Sunday, March 18, 2018  Readings and Servers

Lent is:

• A time for looking at the things we do that are wrong or that tempt us, asking God’s and other people’s forgiveness;
• A time for giving up things that keep us from being loving people;
• A time for doing extra things that will help us grow closer to God;
• A time to be more aware of what it means to love as God loves us;
• A time to ask God to help us to be more loving, remembering
that God is always ready to strengthen us.

We have a dedicated Lenten part of the website - Lent at St. Peter's 2018  which a number of resources. Here is Lent at a Glance:  



Lent,  -Feb 14 – March 31 

Holy Week
,  March 25- 31

April 1 


Typically, Lent involves fasting and abstinence of some sort, inspired by the 40 days and nights Jesus fasted in the wilderness, according to several Bible passages, including Luke 4:1-13. Christians are invited “to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word,” according to page 265 of the Book of Common Prayer. There are more ways than ever to accomplish these aspirations. Consider these educational opportunities:

"Thy Kingdom Come" - Sundays in Lent, 10am in the Parish House- Feb 18, 25; March 4, 11, 18, 25. 

Revelation Bible Study in Lent - Wed. in Lent in the Parish House – Feb. 21, Feb. 28, March 7, 14, 21. Bring a sandwich and discuss Revelation in the Parish House from 6pm – 7pm. Call Catherine  (540) 809-7489 to sign up. 


Lent At St. Peter's – Includes the background of Lent, the Lenten calendar with readings, resources, Lenten events, etc.

Diocese of Virginia to Elect Bishop Suffragan in November 2018 

A Search Committee has been appointed by the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Virginia, and it is hard at work. A number of listening sessions were held around the Diocese and a survey has been distributed, in order to learn what the people of the Diocese are thinking. A profile will be published soon and, beginning on April 2, applications will begin being received. As we undertake this process, it is important to highlight what Bishops are called to do. 


  St. Patrick, Saint, March 17

St. Patrick, apostle of Ireland, was born in England, circa 386. Surprisingly, he was not raised with a strong emphasis on religion.

When St. Patrick was 16 years old, he was captured by Irish pirates and brought to Ireland where he was sold into slavery. His job was to tend sheep. He came to view his enslavement of six years as God’s test of his faith, during which he became deeply devoted to Christianity through constant prayer. In a vision, he saw the children of Pagan Ireland reaching out their hands to him, which only increased his determination to free the Irish from Druidism by converting them to Christianity.

The idea of escaping enslavement came to St. Patrick in a dream, where a voice promised him he would find his way home to England. Eager to see the dream materialize, St. Patrick convinced some sailors to let him board their ship. After three days of sailing, he and the crew abandoned the ship in France and wandered, lost, for 28 days—covering 200 miles of territory in the process. At last, St. Patrick was reunited with his family in England.

Now a free man, he went to France where he studied and entered the priesthood. He never lost sight of his vision: he was determined to convert Ireland to Christianity. In 431, St. Patrick was Consecrated Bishop of the Irish, and went to Ireland to spread "The Good News" to the Pagans there. Patrick made his headquarters at Armagh in the North, where he built a school, and had the protection of the local monarch. From this base he made extensive missionary journeys, with considerable success. To say that he single-handedly turned Ireland from a pagan to a Christian country is an exaggeration, but is not far from the truth.

Continue reading about St. Patrick

Lectionary, Lent 5, Year B, March 22, 2015  

I.Theme -   The new covenant

Wheat Fields Near Arles 

"Sunset: Wheat Fields Near Arles"  (1888)- Vincent Van Gogh

“Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.” – John 12:24

The lectionary readings are here  or individually: 

Old Testament - Jeremiah 31:31-34
Psalm - Psalm 51:1-13 Page 656, BCP
Psalm - Psalm 119:9-16 Page 764, BCP
Epistle -Hebrews 5:5-10
Gospel - John 12:20-33 

In this Sunday before Palm Sunday, we prepare for the New Covenant. We have been reflecting back upon God’s covenants throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, from Noah to Moses, and now we recognize a new covenant that God has written upon our hearts, where we know God, where God forgives our sins and remembers them no more.  The prophet Jeremiah tells us that God looks forward to a new relationship with God’s people—a relationship of intimacy, forgiveness and faithfulness. The author of Hebrews describes the action of God that makes this relationship possible: through his suffering and submission, Jesus becomes the source of our salvation. In today’s gospel, the final chapter in Jesus’ suffering and submission begins as Jesus faces his crucifixion.

Jeremiah began his prophetic ministry to Judah about 627 BCE and ended it around 580 BCE. He thus spans the period leading up to Judah’s final defeat by the Babylonians (587 BCE), the destruction of the temple and the exile of much of the population. Today’s lesson comes from a section, chapters 30–31, called the “book of consolation.” In it are gathered Jeremiah’s oracles of hope for an eventual renewal and restoration for Israel. 

In today’s passage, Jeremiah looks forward to a “new covenant” (v. 31). Unlike the old, this one will be written on the heart, which in Hebrew thought is the seat not of the emotions but of the will. This covenant is not new in content, for the Torah, the written law, is not replaced. It is new, however, in the means of its realization. The internalization of the covenant will enable people to keep it. The will of the individual shall become one with the will of God. There will be no need of teachers, for all will know the lord, not just in intellectual terms but in the Hebrew sense of a close, intense and intimate personal relationship.

Jeremiah, speaking to a people who have continually failed to remember God and their part in the covenant, brings this message of hope, where God’s covenant cannot be forgotten because it is within one’s own heart. No longer will it appear that God has failed them when their leaders fail them, because God is bypassing the religious leaders and entering one’s own heart.

Psalm 51:1-12   is one of the great penitential psalms. The hope and goal of the covenant was to live in right relationship with God and one another. The psalmist seeks not merely the removal of guilt, but the restoration of a right relationship to God. Tthe psalmist confesses their sins and desires for God to show mercy and to be restored. The psalmist asks God to create a clean heart, where the writer can be fully restored to God. In reflection with the Jeremiah passage, we remember that God will forgive us and remember our sins no more by writing God’s covenant on our hearts.

Psalm 119:9-16 is from a different perspective, the desire of someone wishing to avoid sin and one who wants to stay close in relationship to God. The psalmist’s heart is open to seek God, the heart of where God’s covenant is written.

The epistle to the Hebrews is a tightly-woven theological essay that stresses that Christianity has fulfilled the promises of Judaism. The author’s purpose is to show the superiority of: Jesus to the prophets, the angels and Moses (1:3–4:13), Jesus’ priesthood to the Levitical priesthood (4:14–7:28) and Jesus’ sacrifice to Levitical sacrifices (8:1–10:18).

According to Jewish tradition, Jesus could not be a priest because he was from the tribe of Judah not Levi. But the author of Hebrews argues that in fact Jesus is the real High Priest because he, like Aaron and Melchizedek, was chosen by God for his priestly ministry on our behalf.  His unique priesthood is modeled upon that of Melchizedek, whom the author later claims to be superior to Abraham and thus to Abraham’s descendant Levi and the Levitical priests. 

For his lifelong submission to God, Jesus was saved not from death but through death. Whereas human beings learn to be obedient because they suffer for disobedience, Jesus, through his suffering, learned that obedience itself exacts a price in human life. Through his obedient suffering, Jesus is “made perfect” (v. 9) and becomes our source of salvation.

John 12:20-33 speaks of the way of the Cross, which is to die to this world. Those who seek to save their life will lose it, and Jesus says those who are willing to lose (in John’s Gospel the word is "hate") their life will keep it.

The appearance of “some Greeks” (v. 20, probably “God-fearers”—those who were attracted to Judaism but did not fully keep the law) indicates that Jesus’ public ministry is now complete. Jesus’ response is to announce that his “hour has come” (v. 23), the time for his glorification in death, resurrection and ascension. As Jesus’ mission bore fruit only through his death, so Christians bear fruit only through death to self.

Jesus models this in his life by glorifying God (Abba) and not himself. Throughout the Gospels, whenever Jesus performs a miracle, Jesus does so to show the glory of Abba God, not of himself. 

The new covenant with God is to give our lives over to Christ, to lose our lives, and even to use the strong language of Jesus, hate our lives. We must be willing to die to the things of this world, the sin that separates us, the greed and desire of worldly ways. We need a new heart to be open to God, and in order to have a new heart, we must be willing to follow Jesus, love others and love God, and put aside our own worldly desires and greed.

As we prepare for the journey to the Cross of Holy Week, we recognize that our hearts are made new with God. The desires of this world have been replaced with the desire to intimately know God and to love our neighbors as ourselves, and God’s covenant is written on our hearts, to forgive our iniquity, and remember our sin no more.

Psalm 51 - The Essence of Lent

By Rev. Marek Zabriskie, Center of Biblical Studies from the Bible Challenge

It’s Lent, and if you are looking for a spiritual practice, you could not do better than to spend Lent reading Psalm 51 each day and memorizing it. Ponder and let these words penetrate you. They embody the spirit of Lent as well if not better than any other words in the Bible.

Psalm 51 is the ultimate penitential psalm. It is attributed to King David. The Bible notes that David composed this psalm after the prophet Nathan told him a parable about a rich man who took his poor neighbor’s one ewe lamb and cooked and served it for his guests. Nathan was alluding to David’s snatching Bathsheba and dispatching her husband Uriah the Hittite was killed in battle.

Psalm 51 is often read or sung on Ash Wednesday or while the altar is being stripped on Maundy Thursday. Nothing so captures human sin and the wrong that we humans did to Jesus. The author knows that there can be no sacrifice offered in the Temple can absolve his sin. The only thing that God make a difference is for God to transform his heart, to break it and give him a penitent heart in place of the arrogant and sinful heart that led him to do evil.

The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit:
a broken and contrite heart, O God,
you will not despise. (Ps. 51:17)

Read more about Psalm 51...

Ferguson and Forgiveness (Jeremiah 31:31-34) Odyssey Networks

By Dr. Walter Brueggemann

Lent is our season of honesty. It is a time when we may break out of our illusions to face the reality of our life in preparation for Easter, a radical new beginning.

When, through this illusion breaking homework, we connect with reality we see that in our society the fabric of human community is almost totally broken and one glaring evidence of such brokenness is the current unrelieved tension between police and citizens in Ferguson, Missouri . That tension is rooted in very old racism; it also reflects the deep and growing gap between “the ownership class” that employs the police and those who have no serious access to ownership who become victims of legalized violence. This is one frontal manifestation of “the covenant that they broke,” as referred to in the Jeremiah text for this week: a refusal of neighborly solidarity that leads, with seeming certitude, to disastrous social consequences.

Of course the issue is not limited to Ferguson but is massively systemic in US society. The brokenness consists not so much in the actual street violence prsquo; mission bore fruit only through his death, so Christians bear fruit only through death to self.erpetrated in that unequal contest. The brokenness is that such brutalizing force is accepted as conventional, necessary, and routine. It is a policy and a practice of violence acted out as “ordinary” that indicates a complete failure of neighborly imagination.

Lent is a time for honesty that may disrupt the illusion of well-being that is fostered by the advocates of indulgent privilege and strident exceptionalism that disregards the facts on the ground. Against such ideological self-sufficiency, the prophetic tradition speaks of the brokenness of the covenant that makes healthy life possible.

As long as there is denial and illusion, nothing genuinely new can happen. But when reality is faced—in this case the reality of a failed covenant between legal power and vulnerable citizens—new possibility becomes imaginable.

Read more...  

John's Gospel, an interpretation from St Stephens, Richmond

This Gospel reading is set during Jesus’ third and last visit to Jerusalem in the Gospel of John. He and his disciples have come for the festival of Passover. This passage follows those in which Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead, Mary anoints Jesus’ feet with perfume, and Jesus makes the entry into Jerusalem that we remember on Palm Sunday.

The dramatic intensity is increasing. The raising of Lazarus has set Jesus on a collision course with the Jewish leadership in Jerusalem. His triumphal procession into Jerusalem as the “Kings of the Jews” has put him at odds with the Roman rulers. As we read these passages we feel the wonder and excitement of the crowd, but also the foreboding that lurks between the lines.

Then we are confronted with this curious passage. What is the point of the Greeks asking to see Jesus? Why does this set Jesus saying “The hour has come…”?

It seems that the approach of Greeks (i.e., non-Jews) wanting to meet Jesus is an indication of an important development. In John 10:16 during his discourse about “The Good Shepherd,” Jesus says, “I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice.” The Greeks seeking Jesus are the signal that his message is reaching beyond the Jewish community and that the other sheep are being drawn in.

As for the significance of his statement, “The hour has come…,” earlier in the Gospel, at the wedding in Cana, Jesus said to his mother, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” (John 2:4) Now 10 chapters and some three years later, he says his hour has come. That hour is for the glorification of the Father, and through the Father, the glorification of the Son of Man.

Jesus follows this with the curious analogy of his life to that of a grain of wheat. His death/glorification will bear much fruit. Apparently his death will bear even more fruit than his life, for from it more life will spring. Jesus further tells his listeners that it is not he who will be glorified, but that it has been Jesus’ work to glorify the Father.

Once again, as in last Sunday’s reading, Jesus speaks of being lifted up from the earth. In the previous reading the lifting up was so “that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” This time he states that the lifting up, the crucifixion, “will draw all people to [him].” Jesus’ encounter with the cross is close at hand, but, at least in John, that encounter is in his hands. Jesus’ death is not ignoble, but a glorious raising up of the Son of Man that draws all people to him and thus to the Father, and brings salvation to all who believe. 

Read more voices on the Gospel from Lent 5  


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