Welcome to St. Peter’s Episcopal, Port Royal

November 29, 2020 – Advent 1

The Week Ahead…

Nov. 29 – First Sunday of Advent

Nov. 29 – 11:00am Morning Prayer – Join here at 10:30am for gathering – service starts at 10am Meeting ID 874 0903 2653 Password 699097

Nov. 29 – 7:00pm Compline – Join here at 6:30pm for gathering – service starts at 7pm Meeting ID: 871 1089 1688 Passcode: 097146

Dec. 2 – 10:00am – Ecumenical Bible Study through ZoomMeeting ID: 847 2545 3511 Passcode: 357194

Dec. 6 – Second Sunday of Advent

Dec. 6 – 10:00am Morning Prayer – Join here at 10:30am for gathering – service starts at 11am Meeting ID 834 7356 6532 Password 748475

Dec. 6 – 7:00pm Compline – Join here at 6:30pm for gathering – service starts at 7pm Meeting ID:871 1089 1688 Passcode: 097146

The ECW makes the most of 2020

The ECW (“Episcopal Church Women”) hosts the monthly Village Dinners for the Port Royal community, an outreach project to feed the community and take the profits earned and distribute them to a variety of charities.

This year was a challenge. 3 months were cancelled at the beginning of Covid as people could no longer congregate in our Parish house to eat.

During that time the ECW developed a procedure to reopen. They would prepare the food with masks, socially distanced and would deliver the food outside to cars driving up. People who ordered the dinners were also masked. That way people were fed in a safe manner.

See the rest of the article and the list of donations.

The ECM doubles their support for Port Royal in the holiday season

The ECM (Episcopal Church Men) made the following contributions to the Department of Social Services in support of families in the Port Royal jurisdiction:

• Thanksgiving Dinner/Groceries ($400) – $40 per family for ten (10) families.

• Christmas Children Gifts ($800) – $200 per family for four (4) families.

Thanks to Ken Pogue and Johnny Davis for organizing this project. The total of $1,200 was more than double last year’s $510 and covered more families. Stupendous!

Support the Village Harvest, Dec. 1, Giving Tuesday

Check out our Case statement – Village Harvest at 6

  • Food for those who are being challenged economically
  • Food for those who lack transportation to get it.

Our goal in #Giving Tuesday on Dec. 1 is to raise 25% or $450 representing 25% of our annual costs. It doesn’t take a large donation to make a difference:

A $10 donation feeds 6 people, 12 pounds each. It provides 72 pounds of food and $430 in total value!

A $20 donation feeds 12 people, 12 pounds each. It provides 144 pounds of food and $864 in total value!

How to Give ? Two ways:

1 Go online on Dec. 1 and use St. Peter’s secured PayPal account and donate via credit card using this link or churchsp.org/givingtuesday2020/

2 On or before Dec. 1 make out a check to St. Peter’s with “Giving Tuesday” in the memo line

St. Peter’s Church P. O. Box 399 Port Royal, Virginia 22535.

We thank you for your support.

It’s Advent!

The name “Advent” actually comes from the Latin word adventus which means “coming.” It is a reminder of how the Jewish nation waited for the Messiah and how Christians are now waiting for the return of Christ.

Advent which begins this Sunday Nov. 29 is like a breath of fresh air -a new church year, a new set of Gospel readings from Mark, and the anticipation of the birth of Christ.

The Advent season is a time of preparation that directs our hearts and minds to Christ’s second coming at the end of time and also to the anniversary of the Lord’s birth on Christmas. It blends together a penitential spirit, very similar to Lent, a liturgical theme of preparation for the Second and Final Coming of the Lord, called the Parousia, and a joyful theme of getting ready for the Bethlehem event.

The Advent wreath, four candles on a wreath of evergreen, is shaped in a perfect circle to symbolize the eternity of God. The Advent Wreath is beautiful and evocative reminder of the life-giving qualities of light. The evergreens used in the wreath are reminders of ongoing life, even in the face of death.

There are 4 candles, one for each week in Advent, are used with one larger white candle in the middle as the Christ candle. During each Sunday of the Advent season, we focus on one of the four virtues Jesus brings us: Hope, Love, Joy and Peace. Three of the candles are purple. This is the color of penitence and fasting as well as he color of royalty to welcome the Advent of the King.

The Third candle is pink, a color of joy, the joy that Jesus is almost here and fasting is almost order. Gaudete Sunday (from the Latin meaning “rejoice”) which is taken from Philippians 4:4-5, the Entrance Antiphon of the day.

Advent begins in a season of darkness but using the Advent wreath we see light winning over darkness. Lighting candles is a way we can keep time in Church And as the season passes, and another candle is lit each week, light finally wins out over darkness with the turn of the solstice in the stars and the birth of Christ on the ground.

At the center of the wreath is a white candle, which is called the Christ Candle. This candle is lit on Christmas Eve as a reminder that Jesus, the light of the world, has been born and has come to dwell with us.

It is a season of waiting, of rest but also a time to find new beginnings. Since the 900s Advent has been considered the beginning of the Church year. It is antidote for our society’s frantic behavior during the holiday season. There is so much in the world that tells you, you are not enough or you haven’t do enough before Christmas but you have to find out during Advent that you are enough.

The first week of Advent is all about hope. Lamentations 3: 21-24: “Yet this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; “therefore I will wait for him.” (NIV).

The altar changes during Advent to represent the new season, particularly in the use of color. Today, many churches have begun to use blue instead of purple, as a means of distinguishing Advent from Lent. Blue also signifies the color of the night sky or the waters of the new creation in Genesis 1. Blue emphasizes the season is also about hope and anticipation of the coming of Christ. Christ is about transformation as the sky changes from dark to light filling our lives with grace.

Advent Traditions

Advent Wreath

A Family Advent

1. Make Your Own Advent Playdough Wreath at Home!

The link

2. Family Prayer for the lighting of the candle

Each week remember one of the virtues Jesus brings us – Hope, Love, Joy and Peace as you light the candle.

3. Antiphons for an Advent Calendar

An antiphon (“voice”) is a short chant in Christian ritual, sung like a refrain in a song. Antiphons were written with pieces of the Psalms and other verses from the Hebrew Scriptures. They also express deep theological convictions!

The singing of Antiphons (as sung by in early Christian communities by the end of the 5th century) had its root in the Synagogue. Early Christians borrowed the Jewish traditions of chanting psalms and of singing hymns together.

We have an Advent Calendar with one antiphon for each day


Advent 1

Advent in 2 minutes Check out this Youtube video

Advent in 1 minute– A 2015 video from St. Mary’s Cypress

Advent is about waiting – Advent waiting is expectant. Advent waiting requires making space. Advent waiting is hopeful.

Explore Advent, Part 1– Over the next 4 Sundays there will be a presentation each week focusing on that week’s scriptures, art and commentary and how they demonstrate the themes of advent. Let’s get started with Advent 1.

Advent is the time when we change to a different year in the Lectionary. This year we move from Year A to B and from a concentration on the Gospel of Matthew to the Gospel of Mark. There are several articles which are a general introduction to Mark 1. Shortest from christianity.about.com 2. Longer from the Catholic Bishops 3. Longest from a catholic source

Interested in the Church calendar ? Matthew’s interest about time in First Advent lends itself to understand how we measure time.

Collected Advent resources

1. Advent resources for 2019 from the Episcopal Church Foundation.

2. From the Episcopal Church

3. From the Diocese of California

4. Advent at home

5. Create your own Advent Calendar

The Season of Advent is alive with colors, candles, wreaths and song. David Bratcher has written a wonderful article on Advent traditions.

There are several articles/presentations about the infancy narratives 1. Brief summary between Matthew and Luke  2. Longer comparison

Advent is a time of music though many of the traditional services are not scheduled for 2020 due to COVID19. Earlier services are available. Here is a link to National Cathedral’s Advent Lessons and Carols on Dec. 1, 2019

Arts and Faith- Advent 1, relating art and scripture

From Art and Faith

The First Week of Advent, Year B, is based on Mark 13:33–37. The art is William Holman Hunt’s “The Light of the World.”

“Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn.”

At the start of Advent, the Gospel calls us to vigilance—to watch and be ready for the Lord of the house, awaiting his return. William Holman Hunt’s The Light of the World offers us one image of what this arrival might look like. The Light of the World is deeply symbolic, showing Christ arriving at a door at night. It’s an allegory for Christ seeking entry at the door of the human heart. His way to the door is lit by a lantern, casting a soft light on the door to show that it is overgrown with plants; it has not been opened in a while. The plants also show that it is not only a late hour, but late in the year—they are dry, past harvest, and ready to crumble away as winter comes.

Hunt’s image softens any apprehension about the coming of the Lord, as he presents, through the choice of colors and in the representation itself, a warmth and gentleness that shows Christ’s deep love for us as the reason for his coming. A crowned and robed stately sovereign, Christ the King ventures into the darkness and the mess of brambles to seek entry into our hearts. This majestic King whose arrival would be expected to be announced by fanfare instead taps gently at the door to request entry. Our humble King seeks encounter instead of fanfare, our conversion instead of our confinement to darkness.

One of the boldest symbols of the image is the lantern Christ holds in his left hand, which shows Christ as the One that disperses the dark and illuminates the dead places within our hearts. A subtle detail is the fruit on the ground—a symbol of Original Sin, of our fall into the darkness of deception. Yet Christ does not leave us out in the darkness but comes for us, as our Light, into the dead of night.

Finally, a significant detail of the door is its lack of a handle or knob. This is Hunt’s way of showing that the door can only be opened from the inside, through our faithful response to Christ’s steadfast invitation. Watching and waiting for his coming calls us to attentiveness to encountering the Lord above all, even as this busy and frantic season gets underway.

Advent 2

Explore Advent, Part 2

“Advent is a time to look for “desert places”: the place of solitude, the place of true silence in which we can become fully awake to our sin and God’s forgiving grace which alone can heal it.”-Br. Robert L’Esperance

This week we focus on John the Baptist through scripture, art and commentary. Let’s move to  Advent 2.

John the Baptist      

John the Baptist presentation.

John the Baptist in art


St. Nicholas      

St Nicholas Day is December 6. 

Here is a presentation that provides the background of this saint who has had a colorful and varied history over 1800 years.


Bishop of Dover, Trevor Willmott, has this message about St. Nicholas and Christmas at the annual Canterbury St Nicholas parade in 2013

Arts and Faith- Advent 2, relating art and scripture

From Art and Faith

The voice of John the Baptist crying out in the wilderness and gathering great crowds invites us into the Second Sunday of Advent. Pieter Brueghel the Younger’s St. John the Baptist Preaching captures this moment as he presents a wooded wilderness embracing a colorful crowd. Left of center is John the Baptist, clad in camelhair, though we have to search the scene to find him. Instead of standing as a dominating figure, John is one of the crowd, one of the people who serves his peers with prophetic passion.

For Brueghel, the crowd itself seems to be the dominant figure. It fully saturates the landscape as one body that reveals its diversity only upon closer inspection. A chief way Brueghel shows that diversity is through hats, hoods, and headdresses—each signifying a different culture, vocation, or profession. Brueghel shows not only the mix of people that might have been present in the region, but the great diversity of all of humankind as the intended recipients of the Good News that John is heralding. John prepares the way of the Lord to go beyond boundaries, starting with the colorful cavalcade of people who come to hear the prophetic message.

The body of the crowd becomes vertical, as people all around the perimeter climb the trees to get a better view. Sitting on branches, they foreshadow the story of Zacchaeus the Tax Collector, a figure of conversion and repentance from the Gospel of Luke. Thus, the tree climbers also underscore the message of conversion that John is preaching. Ascending the trees also foreshadows the cross itself as the ultimate place of reconciliation.

In the background, we see a clearing in the woods that presents a vista of a river, a walled castle, and misty mountains. This is an invitation to see beyond the immediate message to the possibilities of God’s ultimate home for us. The river, evocative of Baptism, is especially important as it winds like a road into the mysterious beyond.

We too are called to look beyond and see ourselves as part of a body of people who are gathered by the Good News. Like John, we are also sent to share the Good News so as to help open the horizon of possibilities that lead us all into God’s eternal love.

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1. Newcomers – Welcome Page

2. Contact the Rev Catherine Hicks, Rector

3. St. Peter’s Sunday News

4. Server Schedule December, 2020

5. Latest Newsletter-the Parish Post (December, 2020)

6. Calendar

7. Parish Ministries

8. This past Sunday

9. Latest Sunday Bulletin (Nov. 29, 2020 10:00am),  and Sermon (Nov. 29, 2020)

10. Recent Services: 

Pentecost 23, Nov. 8, 2020 Readings and Prayers, Pentecost 23, Nov. 8, 2020

Pentecost 24, Nov. 15, 2020 Readings and Prayers, Pentecost 24, Nov. 15, 2020

Christ the King, Nov. 22, 2020 Readings and Prayers, Christ the King, Nov. 22, 2020

Mike Newmans Block print of St. Peter's

Block Print by Mike Newman


Colors for Year B, 2020-21


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,  – Nov. 29 – Dec. 6, 2020

Saint Andrew the Apostle
Nicholas Ferrar, Deacon, 1637
[Charles de Foucauld], Monastic and Martyr, 1916
Channing Moore Williams, Bishop & Missionary, 1910
[Francis Xavier], Missionary to the Far East, 1552
John of Damascus, Priest & Theologian, c. 760
Clement of Alexandria, Priest & Theologian, c. 210
Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, c. 342