Welcome to St. Peter's Episcopal, Port Royal
Block Print by Mike Newman
Link to the reports from Jan 15 Annual Meeting
Daily meditations in words and music.
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."
Saints of the Week, March 19 - March 26
|Thomas Ken, Bishop of Bath and Wells, 1711 (new date)|
|Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury and Martyr, 1556 [new date]|
|James De Koven, Priest, 1879|
|Gregory the Illuminator, Bishop and Missionary of Armenia, c. 332|
|Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, 1980|
|The Annunciation of Our Lord Jesus Christ to the Blessed Virgin Mary|
|[Richard Allen, First Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, 1831]|
On March 15, 2017, our Village Harvest food ministry served 123 people. Looking over the whole quarter, growth in people served has been 134% and food 127% in the first quarter of 2017 compared with the same period in 2016.
Today, the Five Marks of Love continued in Christian ed with the second mark of love - "tell". The class took dirty rocks and cleaned them, the sign of our transformation.
The sermon considered salvation and grace in relation to the texts in the readings.
We celebrated other turning points - two birthday widely separated in age but equally as important. See "From Last week" for the details...
From Last week...
The Week Ahead...
March 24 - 10:00am, Ecumenical Bible Study
March 26 - 9:00am, Holy Eucharist, Rite I
March 26 - 10:00am, Christian Ed - Godly Play (preschool through 2nd grade)
March 26 - 10:00am, Christian Ed - Five Marks of Love (children 3rd grade and up, adults
March 26 - 11:00am, Holy Eucharist, Rite II
March 26 -Readings and Servers
Village Harvest serves 123 on March 15
On March 15, 2017, we served 123 people, 1169 pounds of food which included chicken sausage cabbage, apples, tuna, canned fruit, and ritz crackers. Not counted are paper supplies contributed by parishioners.
The numbers have varied but the winter months tend to be slower with a pickup of activity in the spring.
Year to Date
Comparing the first quarter of 2017 with 2016, shows in 2017, 378 people served, 3,174 pounds of food provided compared with 283 people and 2,490 pounds of food for the comparable figures. Growth in people served has been 134% and food 127% in the first quarter of 2017 compared with the same period in 2016.
Last 6 months
The following are charts of the last 6 months of activity:
Make your reservation for the Shrine Mont retreat in May!
Once again Christ Episcopal has extended an invitiation to St. Peter's to join them on the mountain at Shrine Mont. It will be in the first week in May 5-7. Signups are due by next Sunday, March 26!
Catherine designed last year's program around the 2007 movie Lars and the Real Girl, the story of a shy young man in search for a real relationship and staring Ryan Gosling. 2016 was the third year we had one this. There were 10 from Christ Episcopal and 9 from St. Petere's. The retreat which typically has been the last weekend in April or first in May.
Save the Date! April 22, 2017 - 7pm. Our Second Spring Concert, Magical Strings!
We are pleased to welcome Magical Strings on tour from California to bring us a Celtic inspired concert. They are following last year's concert from the Portland Guitar Duo.
MAGICAL STRINGS centers around the Celtic harp and hammered dulcimer of Philip and Pam Boulding, at times augmented by violin, cello, pennywhistle, percussion and various instruments from around the world. Philip also designs and builds the harps and dulcimers, and has handcrafted more than 2,500 instruments since 1971
Together, Magical Strings has toured nationwide and abroad since 1978. They have recorded eighteen albums on four labels.
You can find selections of their music on Youtube.
Enjoy an outdoor reception and then hear this lovely music offered up in the acoustically wonderful space and light of St Peter's. An evening not to be missed.
The concert is free. We are accepting donations to help continue this concert series.
Help us advertise the show! Grab a poster and share it
Journeying through 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.
• 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 2017 which has the events listed. Highlights include:
- Introduction to Lent
- Our own Lenten Calendar
- Ash Wednesday- Wednesday, March 1, 7pm
- Sunday, March 5-April 9, Five Marks of Love", 10am intergenerational Christian Education
- Sunday, March 5, Lent 1 - Great Litany 11am
- Thursday, March 16, Lenten Quiet Day , ECW at Roslyn,
- Holy Week, April 10-16.
If this is not enough, we have other links to various Lenten resources
Lectionary, March 26, Lent 4
I.Theme - The emphasis this week is on the themes of light, vision and insight. Samuel is given insight to anoint a shepherd boy to be king. Paul urges the church to be people of light. In the Gospel the "man born blind" is given sight to see Jesus the Messiah.
"The Miracle of Christ Healing the Blind" - El Greco (1560) . The man in the foreground with his wife may be the blind man's parents
The lectionary readings are here or individually:
In the Old Testament , The problem was, who shall succeed King Saul who was rejected by Yahweh The Lord sends Samuel to Jesse's home where there were eight sons. One of them Yahweh wants as the new king. One by one seven sons are passed by. David is called home from caring for his father's sheep. At once Samuel is given insight that David is God's choice. Here is a case similar to the Gospel's account of Jesus' giving the healed man the insight that he was the Messiah
Psalm 23 is the Psalm of the Day. It harmonizes with the miracle's account of Jesus' compassion for a blind person. He becomes one of Jesus sheep. Like the sheep, the blind man hears Jesus' voice. Like the shepherd, Jesus finds the blind man when he has been cast out (9:35). Jesus provides for the man born blind much more than sight--he provides for him what he, as the good shepherd, gives all of his sheep--the protection of his fold (10:16), the blessing of needed pasture (10:9), and the gift of abundant life (10:10).
In Ephesians, the Epistle reacing, Christians are people of the light according to Paul. Before accepting Christ they lived in the darkness of sin. Christians are to shun the works of darkness and to live in the light of goodness and truth. In the Gospel miracle account Jesus, the light of the world, brings light to a blind man both physically and spiritually.
The Gospel account of the "Man Born Blind" is one of not one but two miracles. The first miracle is told in the first seven verses. The rest of the chapter deals with human reactions to the miracle: the healed man, his parents, the Pharisees and Jesus. The second miracle is the insight the healed man was given enabling him to confess Jesus as the Son of man, Messiah. The chapter begins and ends with blindness. At the beginning a man was physically blind. At the end, the Pharisees were spiritually blind because of their sin. The healed man experienced a double miracle: sight and insight.
Confronted by the blindness of the world, a blindness encapsulated in the man born blind, Jesus said to his disciples, "we must work the works of him who sent me while it is day." This scripture can be seen as a call to us to practice evangelism, providing light to others. It is there, through faith, that they will find life eternal.
The "Man Born Blind" in our time
1. Seeing the story as a progression of faith. At first the man born blind had no idea who had cured him. His faith gets clearer as he is questioned. Jesus is at first just a man, then a prophet, and finally he is his Lord, the one he worships.
He is able to stand up against the enemies of Jesus certain that he has been healed and saved from darkness. He is willing to stand up for his new faith.
How have you shared your faith with others ? Consider your impact on the community around you.
2. "Seeing others in terms of their shortcomings, challenges, or perceived deficits." (David Lose writing this week in WorkingPreacher). Have we been guilty of this ?
"We seem to have such a penchant for defining others – and ourselves – in terms of problems rather than possibilities that we aren’t sure what to do when the situation changes. And so the friends of the man born blind have defined him – and even their relationships with him – so fully in terms of his disability that they can’t recognize him when he regains his sight."
3. Lent should be a time we can really see so we know where we are going. We can avoid paths that have no value or that we have already traveled unsuccessfully. "When I see Jesus more clearly I bond with him and become whole in his love and grace."
Tommy! Deaf, Dumb and Blind
You may remember (or have heard about) the Rock opera "Tommy" by the rock group the Who in the late 1960's about a deaf, dumb and blind kid.
Unlike the man born blind, Tommy is propelled into that state by his father’s murder of his mother’s lover after World War II. His mother and stepfather told him to forget everything he had seen and heard, and to never talk about it; but Tommy carried it to the extreme, turned inward, and stopped seeing, hearing or speaking at all.
He suffered much while growing up, abused by family members. First up, Cousin Kevin who tortures him. Then Uncle Ernie, who rapes him. Then they decide to leave him by the mirror, which he curiously stares into almost all day. He sees himself beckoning him, and Tommy follows, straight to a junkyard where he finds a device that will change his life, a pinball machine.
He becomes the world's greatest player, which makes his family rich. They go to see a doctor, that tells them they need to find some kind of shock to bring Tommy back into our world. The shock comes in the breaking of the mirror, that frees his soul. He believes that he is the new messiah, and a religious cult is formed around him. Eventually he is elevated to prophet status and then turned on by his followers. He is tempted to reach too far (unlike with the Gospel reading). Without his major senses, Tommy is left to feel everything through rhythms and vibrations. Here is part of the Who's performance at Woodstock with the "See Me, Feel Me" sequence.
The man born blind and Tommy both live a life in the shadows and being put down and misinterpreted. The opening monologue in the Gospel assumes the man is wrapped in sin. Instead "he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him."
The only person who really sees what's going on is the blind man. The Jews don't believe in what Jesus has done since they don't where he came from. The parents are clueless. The pharisees never get beyond the idea that blindness equaled sin. In the end he is the only one who believes in Jesus and really sees unlike the Pharisees who are the blind ones.
"For the Benefit of Those Who See" -Rosemary Mahoney
Background -"In 2005, Rosemary Mahoney was assigned to write a magazine profile of the woman who started Tibet's first school for the blind, Braille Without Borders...When Mahoney took the assignment to write a profile of Tenberken, she was apprehensive. She knew very little about blindness and had always been terrified of losing her own sight. But after just a few days at the school, Mahoney was drawn into the story of the school and the lives of the people she met there...She realized she had to rethink everything she thought she knew about vision. Mahoney's experience led her to write a book, For the Benefit of Those Who See: Dispatches from the World of the Blind. "
On living with blindness
"When sighted people cover their eyes or find themselves in a dark place, this is something that's very terrifying for us. And so in general we assume that this is what blindness means. But of course it isn't. For people who are born blind or who go blind at a very young age, that's not at all what blindness means. And even people who lose vision at an older age, yes, they go through a period of depression and utter despair, but eventually most blind people learn how to live in the world and the world doesn't feel black to them. I've rarely met a miserable, self-pitying blind person."
On the way blind people are perceived
"It's pretty much unanimous the way blind people have been perceived in all cultures and for millennia. The first is: If they can't see, they must be stupid. The second one is — and this is a very old one — that blindness is such a terrible thing that it must be a curse from God for some evil you committed. When Jesus and his disciples meet a blind man in the road and the disciples say to him, 'Master, why was this man born blind? Who did sin, he or his parents?' because there was no other conception of why a person would be blind. It was a punishment from God, so the blind person must be evil and must be avoided"
Read/or hear the story -Lessons on Blindess: For the Benefit of Those Who See"
Excerpt from the book.
Blindness in metaphor - Desmond Tutu
Bishop Tutu was a guest on the NPR show "On Being" and was describing the time after the end of Apartheid in South Africa. South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) held public sessions from 1996 to 1998, and concluded its work in 2004. In an attempt to rebuild its society without retribution, the Commission created a new model for grappling with a history of extreme violence. The basic premise of the Commission was that any individual, whatever he or she had done, was eligible for amnesty if they would fully disclose and confess their crimes. Victims also came to tell their stories.
"We had a black young man who had been blinded by police action in his township and he came to tell his story. When he finished, one of the TRC panel asked him, "hey how do you feel" and a broad smile broke over his face and he was still blind but he said "you have given me back my eyes." And you felt so humbled that people could feel how the healing for him would have taken place"
Hear an interview with Bishop Tutu from the show "On Being" with Krista Tippett entitled a "A God of Surprises."