We are a small Episcopal Church in the village of Port Royal, Va., united in our love for God, for one another and our neighbor.
From Easter 2
Stained glass light on the pews, Magnolia has its new suit of green, The dogwood is out and the sycamore are just coming out, Sermon message-“Expansive love, deep trust, waiting on the Lord, and joy—are all the hallmarks of our life together as people of the resurrection.”
From left to right, top to bottom – Communion line, River setting for service, altar flowers from Cookie, Catherine’s sermon on scripture, acapella trio
April 18 – 11:00am, Holy Eucharist, Along the river
Sunday worship — Now available on Zoom at 11AM Meeting ID: 869 9926 3545 Passcode: 889278
April 18 – 7:00pm, Compline on Zoom – Join here at 6:30am for gathering – service starts at 7pm Meeting ID: 878 7167 9302 Passcode: 729195
April 19 – 6:30am – Be Still Meditation group in a 20 minute time of prayer Meeting ID: 879 8071 6417 Passcode: 790929
April 21 – 10:00am – Ecumenical Bible Study through Zoom
April 21 – 3:00pm – 5pm – Village Harvest
If you would like to volunteer, please email Catherine or call (540) 809-7489. Pack bags for distribution 1-3PM Deliver food to client’s cars 3-5PM.
April 25 – 11:00am, Third Sunday in Easter, Holy Eucharist
April 25 – 7:00pm, Compline on Zoom – Join here at 6:30am for gathering – service starts at 7pm Meeting ID 834 7356 6532 Password 748475
April 22 is Earth Day
Earth Day originated in 1970 after Sen. Gaylord Perry from Wisconsin witnessed the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. He hoped it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. It did leading to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, the passage of the Clean Air Act and a dialogue on a host of issues. In recent years it has taken up the climate change issue.
Churches have become involved in emphasizing the Biblical background for dialogue. We have celebrated the earth by planting trees in the yard and remembering the day through our liturgy and prayers.
Whether we agree on the effects of Climate change, there are things we can do to both conserve and save money. However, you first need to understand your energy usage as defined in your carbon footprint .
What’s your carbon footprint ? A carbon footprint is defined here as:
"The total amount of greenhouse gases produced to directly and indirectly support human activities, usually expressed in equivalent tons of carbon dioxide (CO2).
"In other words: When you drive a car, the engine burns fuel which creates a certain amount of CO2, depending on its fuel consumption and the driving distance. (CO2 is the chemical symbol for carbon dioxide). When you heat your house with oil, gas or coal, then you also generate CO2. Even if you heat your house with electricity, the generation of the electrical power may also have emitted a certain amount of CO2. When you buy food and goods, the production of the food and goods also emitted some quantities of CO2.
"Your carbon footprint is the sum of all emissions of CO2 (carbon dioxide), which were induced by your activities in a given time frame. Usually a carbon footprint is calculated for the time period of a year."
You can check calculate your carbon footprint here. Find out how to reduce emissions and save money.
Earth Day in 2021
“Any harm done to the environment, therefore, is harm done to humanity.” – Pope Francis
In our time Earth Day is also about climate change as well as Clean Air from the original Earth Day and what we have lost such as species and forests. Appropriately, the theme of 2021 is “Restore our Earth”
From earthday.org – “ The theme is based on the emerging concept that rejects the idea that our only options to save the planet are to mitigate or adapt to the impacts of climate change and other environmental damage. “ Taking a proactive approach, how can we remake our world restoring the world’s ecosystems and forests, conserve and rebuild soils, improve farming practices, restore wildlife populations and getting rid of the world’s oceans of plastics?
“ Restoration is pragmatic and necessary to reduce climate change. .. “Restoration also brings hope, itself an important ingredient in the age of COVID-19… Deforestation, wildlife trade, air and water pollution, human diets, climate change and other issues have all fed into a breakdown of our natural systems, leading to new and fatal diseases, such as the current pandemic, and a breakdown of the global economy. “
So what can we do in terms of restoration?
- Planting Trees is one of the best and cheapest ways of restoring the earth . Our planet is currently losing forests at a staggering rate: We’re losing more than 18 million acres of forests every year — that’s about 27 soccer fields of forest lost every minute. Trees take CO2 out of the atmosphere to tackle the climate crisis. Not only do forests act as carbon sinks, but they also provide vital habitat for animals and ecological services for humans, such as purifying the air we breathe and regulating local temperatures. They cool overheated places, benefit agriculture as well as reduce the risk of disease transmission
Take a look at your yard and get started. There are also local and national organizations you can support
Canopy project – $1=1 tree The Canopy Project partners with groups around the world to ensure that your donation sustainably plants trees for a greener future for everyone. https://donate.earthday.org/donate_to_the_canopy_project
Locally. Tree Fredericksburg has planted 7,500 trees in the city since its founding in 2008 https://treefredericksburg.org They have a donation project to donate free trees to individuals or business. They also look for volunteers in their project
- Cleanup your neighborhood and at home. This is something we can do during the pandemic. Cleanups outside reduce waste and plastic pollution, improve habitats, prevent harm to wildlife and humans and even lead to larger environmental action. It’s out there – let’s get rid of it!
Look also inside your home. For a day or more, compile all of your packaging and food waste, and then take a hard look at what you have: Is there a lot of plastic? Are any of your food scraps compostable? Are your leftovers stored in plastic or glass containers?
- Restore the soils. Kiss the Ground is a new film how about how regenerating the world’s soils has the potential to rapidly stabilize Earth’s climate, restore lost ecosystems, and create abundant food supplies. This film explains why transitioning to regenerative agriculture could be key in rehabilitating the planet, while simultaneously invigorating a new sense of hope and inspiration in viewers.
This film has been chosen as the featured film of Interfaith Power & Light’s Faith Climate Action Week, April 16-25, 2021. Their theme this year is Sacred Ground: Cultivating Connections between our Food, our Faith, and the Climate. Learn more about the week here. Here is a trailer to the film
10 years to transform the future of humanity — or destabilize the planet
A wonderful set of images produced by the Methodists in celebration of Earth Day. Well worth 3 minutes, particularly in full screen.
We are in Eastertide until Pentecost, May 23
Eastertide is the period of fifty days, seven Sundays from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday. Easter is not a day but a season and it is one to examine the Resurrection, more broadly and deeply. There are a number of questions.
Is Resurrection just about death has been swallowed up in victory (1 Corinthians 15:54-56) ? Is Resurrection of Jesus is a precursor to your own resurrection (1 Corinthians 15) ? Does it say something about our own ability to expect to see Jesus (Luke 24) ? How does the new Christian community begin to function making Christ the central part of daily life ? (Acts 2)
Jesus physically appears in Easter 2 and 3 making the Resurection tangible. The shepherding part of his ministry is explored in Easter 4. From Easter 5-7, Jesus must prepare the disciples for his departure. He is going to leave them. Jesus prepares his disciples for continuing his ministry without his physical presence. Themes explored include the holy spirit, the Prayer of Jesus and God’s glory through His Son and the church.
Christ ascends on the 40th day with his disciples watching (Thursday, May 14th). The weekdays after the Ascension until the Saturday before Pentecost inclusive are a preparation for the coming of the Holy Spirit. This fifty days comes to an end on Pentecost Sunday, which commemorates the giving of the Holy Spirit to the apostles, the beginnings of the Church and its mission to all peoples and nation. Note that the Old Testament lessons are replaced by selections from the Book of Acts, recognizing the important of the growth of the church.
Lectionary, April 18, Easter 3
I.Theme – The Good Shepherd
Mafa – I am the Good Shepherd
“Jesus said, ‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.’" – John 10:11,16
The lectionary readings are here or individually:
Easter 4 is traditionally called Good Shepherd Sunday. Today’s readings assure us of God’s constant, shepherd-like care. In his sermon in Acts, Peter preaches that salvation is to be found in Jesus Christ of Nazareth, crucified, but raised from death by God. The author of 1 John tells us that, because of God’s love shown in Jesus, we are now God’s children. In the gospel, Jesus explains how he, as our Good Shepherd, lays down his life because he cares for his sheep.
The image of the shepherd can be difficult to understand. The metaphor of the shepherd has at times been sentimentalized and at other times abused.
Given that tension, what can we learn from today’s gospel? One of its most heartening aspects is the utter commitment of the Shepherd. Some of us might resent being diminished by the comparison to witless sheep. Yet all of us can respond with gratitude to a committed friend. The special people in our lives who know when we need a joke or a nudge, a compliment or a challenge; those who can both laugh and cry with us; those who give us perspective when we’ve lost ours: they are gift. To have as guide One who is the source and inspiration of all those gifts is blessing indeed.
We have been fortunate in our own day to see models lay down their lives for others. Martyrs in Central America and Africa are dramatic examples. Yet in unspectacular ways, ordinary people sacrifice daily for their children, their coworkers, their friends and relatives. Laying down one’s own life may be as simple as pausing to hear the leisurely unfolding of another person’s story when time pressures mount. Or it may be as complex as financing another’s education. But the surrenders we can observe so often around us prove that giving one’s life is both possible and practical.
A second noteworthy element is the lack of coercion exerted by the Shepherd. His voice is all, and it is enough. We often meet with resistance when we try to persuade another. We also witness the remarkable change that inner motivation can produce. Jesus knows well the drawing power of love and the strength of people driven by love.
For all the Sheep…
From "Exhaling Judgment: A Personal Journey Toward Radical Welcome (John 10:11-18)"- Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis
"In this Eastertide, here is what love looks like to me: Jesus lays down his life for the sheep. For all of the sheep. For all of the people. This is about relationship and intimacy. Between God and Jesus, and among God’s people. I believe there are no outsiders in the Reign of God. Jesus leads the way to abundant life because he is the life. For all of the sheep. All of the sheep hear Jesus’ voice and recognize it. It is spoken in the ethic of love. It is spoken in acts of justice and compassion. It is spoken in healing and restoration. It is spoken in connection and community. It is spoken in forgiveness and reconciliation.
Good Shepherd.. in the movies
In the Old Testament, Shepherds are used to represent leaders of God’s people (see Isaiah 63:11; Jeremiah 23:2). Shepherds watch for enemies who might attack the sheep, and they defend them when necessary. They tend to sick or wounded sheep and search for and rescue lost or trapped ones.
In Christ’s teachings, shepherds love their sheep and try to earn their trust. The sheep know, love, and trust the shepherd above all others. A good shepherd will even die for his sheep. Christ contrasts the shepherd with the hireling, who deserts the sheep in times of danger because he does not love them.
There are movies where the main character exhibit this behavior.
One of Jack Nicholson’s early films was "One Flew over the Cukoo Nest" (1975). Randall McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) is sent from the state penitentiary to a mental hospital in order to be evaluated. McMurphy is promptly situated as the deviant who will challenge the establishment, embodied principally by the villainous Nurse Ratched. Randall demands to know what medication is being administered to him, attempts to teach fellow patients basketball and black jack, and instigates a futile campaign to have the schedule altered so that everyone may watch the World Series. His threat to the stability of the institution is finally acknowledged by the Board after he commandeers the hospital bus in order to take his disciples on a fishing expedition. The group gradually questions the hospital’s procedures. A violent uproar ensues, causing Randall’s beloved disciple "Chief" (Will Samson) to physically assault a ward who attempts to subdue McMurphy.
After the administration of corrective shock treatment to the dissenters, McMurphy begins to persuade the others to leave the institution, a premise they resist due to a lack of faith in their own capabilities to function on the outside. In the concluding sequence, it is obvious that McMurphy has empowered at least one of his disciples to do what was once unthinkable. "Chief" hurls a limestone bathroom fixture through the window and escapes the hospital. The rush of water at the beginning of the scene can be linked to baptism.
You can watch this sequence here.
Maximilian Kolbe – a caring shepherd among his people
From a sermon by Rev. William D. Oldland, "Jesus is the Shepherd and the Gate" about Maximiliam Kolbe
"His life exemplifies the role of a caring shepherd for his flock. His life is also a gate or perhaps a gateway through which we can see the effect of the incredible love of God.
"The priest’s name was Maximilian Kolbe. He was born in 1894 in Poland. His parents were poor. His father was a weaver. At an early age he had a vision. He had prayed to Mary and asked what was to become of him. In response Mary came to him in this vision holding two crowns. One was red and the other was white. The white one symbolized perseverance in purity and the red one meant martyrdom. She asked which one he would choose. He said he would accept them both. This decision shaped his future actions and would one day come true.
" In 1910, he entered the Franciscan order and he was ordained a priest in 1919 in Rome. On his return to Poland he was a teacher of church history and he built a friary outside of Warsaw. The friary grew until it housed 762 Franciscans. He went to Japan and India and started friaries there as well. In 1936, he returned to supervise the friary in Warsaw. When Germany invaded he sent the friars home to protect them. He was a good shepherd to his flock. He was imprisoned for a while. But when he was released he went back to the friary where he took in three thousand refugees. 2,000 of these refugees were Jewish. Those friars who worked with him shared all they had with the refugees. They shared their clothing, the little food that they had, and anything else that was useful.
" As you can imagine the Germans became suspicious and in 1941 they closed the friary arresting Maximilian and four other brothers. They were all transported to Auschwitz. At the camp Maximilian endured many hardships. No one had enough food. Clothing was inadequate for the cold. Shelter was not much help from the cold either. Maximilian was known to move among the prisoners with gentleness. At night he did not rest. He moved from bunk to bunk identifying himself as a priest and asking if they needed anything from him. He listened to confessions and heard their pleas for consolation. He continued to be a shepherd to his flock.
" Father Kolbe also endured personal pain. An SS officer saw him one day. He chose the heaviest boards he could find. He loaded them on Father Kolbe’s back and made him run with the load. When he fell the officer kicked him in the stomach and face. He ordered the soldiers to give him fifty lashes. Father Kolbe lost consciousness and the soldiers left him in the mud for dead. Some prisoners snuck him into the infirmary.
Voices on Good Shepherd Sunday
1. David Lose – "God is Not Done Yet"
Amid Jesus’ discourse on being “the good shepherd,” what jumped out to me this time was Jesus’ simply but bold assertion that, “I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.” Have you ever noticed that before? Or, more than notice it, have you ever given much thought to its theological and homiletical implications?
What strikes me is that, quite simply, Jesus isn’t done yet. Despite his healings, despite his preaching, despite all that he had already done and planned to do, Jesus isn’t done yet. He still has more sheep to reach, sheep that are not in this fold. By extension, I’d suggest that God isn’t done yet, either. And this matters for at least three reasons.
First, God continues to call people from all walks of life, from every nation on the face of the earth, and from each and every generation across the nearly two thousand years since Jesus first uttered those words until today. If that were not true, you and I would not have come to faith and we certainly would not be giving our lives to the task and joy of proclaiming the Gospel.
Second, God is at work in our midst and through us and our congregations to extend the invitation to abundant life offered by the Good Shepherd. We probably know that, but do our people? Do they imagine, that is, that God is using their lives and words to invite others to faith? Can they imagine that simply by praying for someone or inviting someone to church they might be the vessel by which God continues to reach out and embrace God’s beloved sheep from beyond this fold? Perhaps kindling their imagination might prepare them to be equipped to do just that.
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4. Server Schedule April, 2021
10. Recent Services:
Block Print by Mike Newman
Follow Tucker’s travels through his Instagram site, main_adventure_life. The link is here
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.
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, April 18, 2021 – April 25, 2021
|Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Martyr, 1012|
|Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1109|
|[Hadewijch of Brabant], Poet & Mystic, 13th c.
John Muir, Naturalist and Writer, 1914, and Hudson Stuck, Priest and Environmentalist, 1920
|[Toyohiko Kagawa], Prophetic Witness in Japan, 1960
George, Martyr, 304
|Saint Mark the Evangelist|