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. Feb., 2018 Server Schedule

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

6. Calendar

7. Parish Ministries

8. What's new on the website 

9. This past Sunday

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

Feb.18, 2018    
11. Recent Services: 

Jan. 28, Epiphany 4

Photos from Jan. 28

Feb. 4, Epiphany 5

Photos from Feb. 4

Feb. 11, Last Epiphany

Photos from Feb. 11

Mike Newmans Block print of St. Peter's Christmas

 Block Print by Mike Newman


Colors for Year B, 2017-18

Purple Lent Feb 18-Mar 10 Red Violet



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,  Feb 18- Feb. 25

Martin Luther, 1546
[Frederick Douglass, Prophetic Witness, 1895]
[John Henry Newman, Priest and Theologian, 1890]
[Eric Liddell, Missionary to China, 1945]
Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr of Smyrna, 156
Saint Matthias the Apostle
[John Roberts, Priest, 1949]

Links to the events, Clockwise from top 1. Thirteen Concert, Feb. 11  2. Ash Wednesday, Feb. 14  3. Shrove Tues. Feb. 13  4. Lent 1, Feb 18 .

Check out last Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018

The Week Ahead...

Feb. 19 - 3:00pm - Vestry

Feb. 21 - 10:00am - Ecumenical Bible Study

Feb. 21 - 3pm-5pm - Village Harvest food distribution

Feb. 21 - 6pm-7pm - Revelation Bible Study

Feb. 22 - 9:30- ECW Quiet Day, Roslyn

Feb. 25 - 9am - Lent 2, Holy Eucharist, Rite 1

Feb. 25 - 10am - Christian Education for children

Feb. 21 - 10am - "Thy Kingdom Come" Adult Lent Study

Feb. 25 - 11am - Lent 2, Holy Eucharist , Rite II

Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018  Readings and Servers

Taking on Lent

Lent is a 40 day Christian festival beginning Ash Wednesday and concluding on Easter (Sundays are not counted).  The 40 day fast of Jesus in the wilderness was responsible for the number 40 being chosen .  It was said by Athanasius in 339 AD to be celebrated the world over.  

The word "Lent" comes from the old Anglo-Saxon word lengten, which means "springtime," named so for the time of the year in which it occurs.   The five Lenten Sundays are followed by the Sunday of the Passion, Palm Sunday, which begins Holy Week, when we relive the events of Jesus Christ’s suffering and death.  

What we now call Lent was originally a period of fasting and study for catechumens who were to be baptized on the Saturday before Easter.  The purpose of this extended fast was to practice self-denial and humility. This was to prepare oneself for receiving God's grace and forgiveness in baptism, given on Easter Saturday or Easter Sunday.

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 


Enslaved Experience at Belle Grove- Feb. 28- 1pm, Lunch at Parish House, 2pm Tour Call Catherine to signup  (540) 809-7489 by Feb. 7. 


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. 


Lenten Quiet Day with Bishop Susan, Feb. 22, 2018. "Life of Faith in Four Songs" 9am 4pm  Roslyn Conference Center, 8727 River Road, Richmond.  Mary Bigelowe maryholly@verizon.net, 804-285-2598. 


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

Returning to the Sacred Presence

 "One of the greatest theologians the world has ever known, St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), wrote about his prolonged, drawn-out search for God and the revelation he finally had that God had been with him all along: 

"I have learnt to love you late, Beauty at once so ancient and so new! I have learnt to love you late! You were within me, and I was in the world outside myself. I searched for you outside myself.... You were with me, but I was not with you."

Confessions, Book X.27, St. Augustine

"Waking to the reality of this very present Eternal Life, this "Beauty ever ancient, ever new," is a transforming experience. This life-giving Presence is always with us and within us. The problem, of course, is that we are often distracted by many cares and occupations that keep us far away from God and from ourselves. It is as if we spend much of our lives wandering "in a land that is waste," while God constantly calls to us to return--to ourselves, to our true life in God.

"The forty days of Lent serve as a time for Christians to return to the Sacred Presence, to the God who has never left us, even though at times we have been far away. Lent is a time to renew classic disciplines of prayer and reflection, as well as ancient practices such as fasting and Bible study. All of this is designed to renew a right spirit within us and to prepare us for the events of Jesus' death and resurrection at Easter."

‐The Rev. Gary Jones, St. Stephens, Richmond

Lent 2, Year B Lectionary Sunday, February 25, 2018 

I. Theme -   Justification by Grace

 "Get Behind Me Satan"- James Tissot - between 1886 and 1894

The lectionary readings are here  or individually: 

Old Testament - Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16
Psalm - Psalm 22:22-30 Page 611, BCP
Epistle -Romans 4:13-25
Gospel - Mark 8:31-38 

As Suzanne Guthrie writes this week 

All the scripture readings for Sunday reference faith in some way. God initiates a reciprocal pact of faith with Abraham. The Psalmist remembers God’s former faithfulness in order to find faith in present distress despite the jeering of companions. Paul considers how Abraham’s irrational faith blessed him. Jesus asks his followers to follow him in faith to the Cross.

Commentary by Rev. Mindi Welton-Mitchell:

Continuing our journey of Lent, we are reminded of the covenants of God and God’s faithfulness.

Last week we remembered the covenant with Noah; this week, we remember God’s covenant with Abraham and Sarah. Abram and Sarai were old, too old to have children as they had always wanted, yet God promised them there would be a great nation descended from them. Abraham and Sarah did live to see their son Isaac; they did not live to see their grandchildren or great-grandchildren, did not live to see the wondrous family of Israel. But in their lifetime, they saw the beginning of God’s great covenant being fulfilled, and we have yet to see the end. God’s faithfulness endures forever.

Psalm 22 begins with lament, abandonment and loss, but by the time we get to verse 23 where we begin, there is hope, there is remembrance of God’s covenant, especially for the poor and the lost–there is good news. God does not abandon or forget, but it may be that God’s covenant comes to fulfillment in “a people yet unborn” (vs. 31). Wait for the Lord.

Mark 8:31-38 tells of where Peter misunderstands who Jesus is and what the Messiah is about. Just before this, Peter had declared Jesus to be the Christ, the son of the living God. The Living God is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as Jesus reminds the Sadducees in chapter 12 when they attempt to trap Jesus in a question about the resurrection. God is the God of the Covenant, which has begun but has not been fulfilled. Peter saw Jesus as his Messiah, and Peter’s view of the Messiah was not one who went to the cross, rejected, and died. Peter did not understand how God’s covenant would be fulfilled in this way, because Peter had his own version of who the Messiah was. Perhaps Peter though Jesus would be an earthly king, with an earthly kingdom. Being rejected and killed was not part of an earthly messiah plan. Peter rebukes Jesus, because Jesus does not fulfill the image of messiah that Peter believed in. How often do we set our minds on human things? How often do we want to see God’s covenant, God’s promises, fulfilled now and to our benefit? Or do we understand from the Scriptures, the story of our faith, that God’s covenant has been revealed, that promises have been made, but that what we see is a glimpse, and there is so much more to come. Even our understanding of Jesus is not full. But the disciples, who were with Jesus for so long, who were raised with the Hebrew scriptures, still did not understand. So we still only understand in part.

Romans 4:13-25 is Paul’s reflection on the covenant of God with Abraham, and that it all depends on faith. Faith supersedes understanding. To paraphrase Anselm, “I do not understand in order to believe; I believe so that I may understand.” Paul looks at Abraham, who in Paul’s opinion did not waver in his faith but trusted in God’s promises. So we, too, are to trust in God, and trust in Jesus the Christ and understand that what we see is not fulfilled yet.

As we journey through Lent to the cross, we know also that the Resurrection lies beyond the cross. We have yet to experience it though we believe it, and we know we have this promise in Christ. But we need to remember that at times we will be like Peter and get it wrong. We will get impatient, we will struggle, we will doubt. We are human, just like the disciples, and we will make false assumptions and jump to conclusions. But we need to be patient, we need to wait, and we need to know that we do not see the full picture yet. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13, now we see in a mirror dimly, but then we will see face to face. Hold on. Wait for the Lord. We will see a glimpse in our lifetime, but know that we hope for so much more to come.

Voices this week on the Lectionary and Lent

1. David Lose - "The Gospel of Everything"

Yes, I have the Academy Awards on my mind. Actually, I only watched a bit of the program this past Sunday evening and have not seen all the contenders for best film yet. But of the various moments of the show I did catch, one helped me articulate what I think is the heart of not just this week’s passage but the whole of the Gospel. It was the song “Glory” from Ava DuVernay’s film Selma, and what struck me was how the song writers John Legend and Common described the march to Selma in the terms of glory. 

Think about that for a moment. That march, along with the larger struggle for civil rights, was filled with confrontation and suffering and sacrifice. And yet they sing of glory. Why? Precisely because we find glory – and for that matter power and strength and security – only in those moments when we surrender our claims to power and strength and security and glory in order to serve others.

Because each and every time we make ourselves vulnerable to the needs of those around us, each time we give ourselves in love to another, each time we get out of our own way and seek not what we want but what the world needs, we come alive, we are uplifted, we experience the glory of God made manifest. That’s what Jesus means when he invites his disciples – then and now – to take up their cross and follow him because only those who are willing to lose their life out of love will save it.

This, I think, is the Gospel’s theory of everything – that the more we give, the more we receive; the more we seek to be a friend, the more friends we discover; and the move we love, the more we are loved.

Read more.  Here are the words to "Glory" and  a video.

2. Lawrence - from "Disclosing New Worlds" - "A New Call"

Now Jesus is changing direction and focus. He is beginning a new journey whose destination is Jerusalem. The journey towards Jerusalem is the narrative symbol for the new emphasis – the Way of the Cross.

This narrative journey will disclose increasingly who Jesus is (the one who must suffer) and intensifying conflict and direct confrontation with the powers ranged against him. Yet the focus is on the disciples. How will they react to “The Way”? Will they understand? Will they “see” and “hear” what Jesus is telling them? Most importantly, will they follow, or will the Way of the Cross prove (literally) a step too far?

There is a clear narrative pattern to “the way”. It occurs again in 9:31 and 10: 32-34, and in each case – as here – the pattern is repeated: Jesus tells the disciples that “the way” is the way of suffering and death; the disciples resist this; Jesus then teaches them further about discipleship and what it means to follow him.

That is why the change of direction results immediately in Jesus’ question: “Who do you say that I am?” This is not only the midpoint of the story, but also the narrative fulcrum around which the whole gospel pivots. Who do you believe Jesus is? Which Jesus will you follow – the Jesus who travels the Way of the Cross, or the glorious, triumphant Jesus whom the disciples desperately want him to be? Or will it be a Jesus of your own making?

Jesus goes on to spell out what the Way of the Cross means for any would-be followers. It requires three things: denying self, taking up the cross, and following. There is no other way. If the Lenten journey means anything, it means discovering what this entails – just as it did for the disciples. It is not about giving up something that we like, or coping with a difficult situation at work, home or at church. That is to spiritualise and trivialise Jesus's address and Kings' call. The gospel was written for a community that understood at first hand what persecution meant. It meant being hauled up before the courts and, like Peter, being asked, under threat of death, “Aren’t you one of his disciples?” The temptation is to deny Jesus in order to save our own lives. Jesus tells the disciples, “If you confess me, you deny yourself – because you will be put to death for it! And yet that is actually the way to find (save) your life!”

To “take up the cross” means literally that! The journey Jesus has just begun is the journey of political confrontation. Ched Meyers suggests that the phrase “Take up your cross!” was in all likelihood a recruitment slogan for revolutionary groups – effectively “suicide squads” who were being asked to risk almost certain capture and crucifixion. There is nothing spiritualised or trivialised about Jesus’ call to discipleship here. The message of the Kingdom that he proclaims is necessarily the Way of the Cross because it is the promise and announcement and enactment of a new world order – God’s.

Note that this is a new call. In 1:16ff Jesus calls the first disciples, saying simply, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people”. In other words, there are people who want to hear Jesus’ message, and he invites them to follow and be part of spreading Good News that is eagerly received. Now the direction changes. This is a new journey – a journey of confrontation. It bears a deadly cost. And as Jesus enters this new phase of his ministry, he does not say, “Follow me”, but warns the disciples about what is entailed and gives them the opportunity to back out. Lent is about facing the seriousness of discipleship, and wrestling seriously with the question about whether or not we are “up for it”

Read more

3.  The Gospel Context  - St. Stephens, Richmond

Remembering the context for the Gospel lesson (Mark 8:31-38) is helpful. Jesus has just asked the disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” and “Who do you say that I am?” Peter answers correctly, when he says, “You are the Messiah.” (8:27-30) Just before this passage, Jesus cures a blind man (8:22-26), and before that, he miraculously feeds 4,000 people (8:1-10). Back in chapter 6 of this Gospel, Jesus fed 5,000 people, and between chapters 6 and 8, Jesus has performed a number of miracles and walked on water.

So, lots of amazing things have been happening, and Peter has just affirmed Jesus as the Messiah. Now, in this passage, we seem to get a dramatic change in tone and substance. With everything going so well, it must have come as a shock to the disciples when Jesus began talking about his having to undergo great sufferings, be rejected, and be killed. Peter expresses his shock by rebuking Jesus for talking this way, and Jesus turns right around and rebukes Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” Pretty strong words.

4. "Heart of Faith"

Have mercy
Upon us.
Have mercy
Upon our efforts,

That we
Before Thee,
In love and in faith,
Righteousness and humillity,
May follow Thee,
With self-denial, steadfastness, and courage,
And meet Thee
In the silence. 

Give us
A pure heart
That we may see Thee,
A humble heart
That we may hear Thee,
A heart of love
That we may serve Thee,
A heart of faith
That we may live Thee, 

Whom I do not know
But Whose I am. 

Whom I do not comprehend
But Who hast dedicated me
To my fate.
Thou - 

- Dag Hammarskjöld 1905-1961

5. "Overview Effect" for Lent - Dawn Hutchings

But with the explosion of information about the nature, beauty and complexity of the cosmos, perhaps we can achieve the humility that the ritual of confession offers in ways that do not require us to adopt the attitude that human’s are unworthy creatures in need of a god who would demand satisfaction at the expense of a blood sacrifice.

Each time I look up into a starlit sky I am overcome with a sense of awe and wonder that is in and of itself a prayer that inspires humility in me. A sense of awe and wonder at that which is beyond ourselves is the beginning of a prayer that always leads me to a sense of ONENESS with all that IS.

This morning, my Lenten devotion came to me in the form of this splendid video The Overview, which describes the awe and wonder of those who have had the privilege of looking at the earth from the perspective of space.

They describe their awe and wonder, their prayer if you will, as the “overview effect”. The overview effect serves to connect these space travellers to the earth itself and moves them to the kind of humility that helps me to realize that awe and wonder can serve as nourishment for my own Lenten journey.

As we gaze in awe at our marvellous planet perhaps we can be moved to tread more lightly upon her. Perhaps awestruck by the beauty and wonder of creation, we can look to all the inhabitants of the earth and see that they too are fearfully and wonderfully made. I trust that a humility based not on a belief that we are wicked, unworthy creatures, but rather on a experience of awe and wonder, will lead us on a Lenten journey to a place where we will have the courage to gaze upon the cross and see beyond the violence to the hope of resurrection. Read more

6. "The Paradox of Prayer" - Suzanne Guthrie from Grace's Window

I know that the prayers of those other parents and children were not less worthy than mine. I am not ungrateful, but I can’t forget the children who were left behind and I do not know what my prayer or my love or my ministry would be like had I not carried my children out of the hospital corridors alive and whole. Yet I sensed at the time that God was present in death as well as if life. It was not a sense of comfort of assurance that I experienced, but a love that did not depend on life or death.

A hospital corridor can be a mysterious place, a terrible and holy threshold upon the boundary of the soul. Here you will find an opening through which you might apprehend and embrace unexperienced aspects of God. Uprooted from your ordinary days, the hospital confounds the peaceful soul with the realization that the God of daily living is also the God of sudden dying. The God of the comforting parish sanctuary is also the God of the Intensive Care Unit. The God of beeswax candle and incense is the God of vomit and pus; the God of white linen and embroidered chasuble is the God of plastic curtain and sweaty sheet; the God of organ and flute is the God of squeaky gurney wheels and crying children; the God of deep port wine and delicately embossed communion bread is the God of infected blood and wounded flesh.

The God of all those corridor smells and sights and sounds is also the God of profound silence. When despair has obliterated ordinary prayer, when the psalms fail and all words are stupid and meaningless, the mantle of loneliness surrounding me becomes a mantle of dark and wordless love. This darkness reveals the paradox of prayer: in the absence of God, all there is, is God.


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