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. Check out our welcome.
Here we are on Sunday, June 6!
“The Sower – Van Gogh”. The Parable of the Mustard Seed in this week’s Gospel.
June 13 – 11:00am, Morning Prayer. In person in the church or on Zoom. – Join here at 10:45am for gathering – service starts at 11am Meeting ID: 869 9926 3545 Passcode: 889278
June 13 – 7:00pm, Compline on Zoom – Join here at 6:30am for gathering – service starts at 7pm Meeting ID 834 7356 6532 Password 748475
June 14 – 6:30am – Be Still Meditation group in a 20 minute time of prayer Meeting ID: 879 8071 6417 Passcode: 790929
Bible Study on Wednesday is taking a well deserved break!
June 16 – 3:00pm – 5pm – Village Harvest
If you would like to volunteer, please email Andrea or call (540) 847-9002. Pack bags for distribution 1-3PM Deliver food to client’s cars 3-5PM.
June 20 – 11:00am, , Holy Eucharist
June 20 – 7:00pm, Compline on Zoom – Join here at 6:30am for gathering – service starts at 7pm Meeting ID 834 7356 6532 Password 748475
Jamaica Project One more week to go – until June 20!
Juneteenth is June 19
“A 5,000-square-foot mural in Galveston, Texas, at the spot where Gen. Gordon Granger issued the orders that resulted in the freedom of more than 250,000 enslaved Black people in the state. Reginald C. Adams of Houston is the artist
From the NY Times
“On June 19, 1865, about two months after the Confederate general Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Va., Gordon Granger, a Union general, arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform enslaved African-Americans of their freedom and that the Civil War had ended. General Granger’s announcement put into effect the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been issued more than two and a half years earlier on Jan. 1, 1863, by President Abraham Lincoln.
“The holiday received its name by combining June and 19. The day is also sometimes called “Juneteenth Independence Day,” “Freedom Day” or “Emancipation Day.”
“The original celebration became an annual one, and it grew in popularity over the years with the addition of descendants, according to Juneteenth.com, which tracks celebrations. The day was celebrated by praying and bringing families together. In some celebrations on this day, men and women who had been enslaved, and their descendants, made an annual pilgrimage back to Galveston.
“Celebrations reached new heights in 1872 when a group of African-American ministers and businessmen in Houston purchased 10 acres of land and created Emancipation Park. The space was intended to hold the city’s annual Juneteenth celebration.
“Today, while some celebrations take place among families in backyards where food is an integral element, some cities, like Atlanta and Washington, hold larger events, like parades and festivals with residents, local businesses and more.
“In 1980, Texas became the first state to designate Juneteenth as a holiday, though the recognition is largely symbolic. Since then, at least 45 states and the District of Columbia have moved to officially recognize the day. Last October, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York and Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia, both Democrats, signed into law legislation declaring Juneteenth holidays in their respective states. Last month, Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington, also a Democrat, declared Juneteenth a state holiday starting in 2022, and legislators in Illinois approved a bill that would make it a paid day off for all state employees and a school holiday
“Juneteenth has become important since the killing of George Floyd.” It can become a day to rally to combat racism.
World Refugee Day is June 20
World Refugee Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2000 to honor the contributions of refugees throughout the world and to raise awareness about the growing refugee crisis in places like Syria and Central Africa,
What is a refugee ? "Refugee” is a legal term used to define an individual who: “…owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.” (1951 Geneva Refugee Convention.
Currently, there are over 79.5 million displaced persons around the world, and of those, 26 million are refugees and about half are under 18 (June 2020 figures). The Episcopal Church’s foremost response to the refugee crisis is through Episcopal Migration Ministries, the Church’s resettlement agency that partners with the federal government to resettle refugees and offer them new life in communities around the U.S. They also educate communities and equip advocates of their mission.
Since the United States created the current refugee resettlement program in 1980, EMM has resettled about 100,000 refugees, providing a range of services for these families upon their arrival in the United States, including English language and cultural orientation classes, employment services, school enrollment and initial assistance with housing and transportation.
Refugee resettlement is a final option for refugees—it is a life-saving option for individuals who cannot return home or integrate into the country into which they fled. Refugees who are resettled to the U.S. undergo extensive & lengthy vetting and are partnered with one of nine resettlement agencies, such as Episcopal Migration Ministries, to receive tools to assist them as they integrate, thrive, and become self-sufficient.
On World Refugee Day, June 20, Episcopalians can join in celebration and in prayer to honor the dignity of each refugee. While refugees face often unimaginable situations and loss, refugees are individuals who bring untold skills and talents that reflect the indomitable human spirit. As people of faith, we must recognize those individual hopes and dreams as we answer the call to love as Jesus loved and welcome the stranger.
Here is a message from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry:
Lectionary, June 20 , 4th Sunday after Pentecost, Year B
I. Theme – God’s control over creation
"Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee" – Ludolf Backhuysen, 1695
The lectionary readings are here or individually:
Today’s readings remind and reaffirm God’s complete command over all creation. God’s reply to Job asserts the majesty of God as the Creator and Ruler of the world. Paul commends the ministry of reconciliation to all Christians. In the gospel, Jesus stills a storm at sea, revealing that he shares God’s power over creation.
Much as we would like to think otherwise, “the fear of the lord is the beginning of wisdom.” And how much better to fear God who saves than to fear the things that threaten to destroy us!
Unlike the world of ancient myth where the chaos waters rage and threaten the order that makes life possible — threatening — chaos, in our texts, has been or is being tamed by a benign God who, in the end, means all God’s creatures well. In the process, capital-C Chaos becomes merely "chaos" — a real power that retains a place in God’s world, but one now "fenced in," become part of God’s ordered creation.
A word of hope in the Gospel (and Job and the Psalm) is that God has the power to control the chaos. God may not always do it according to our schedule. Sometimes God may appear to be sleeping in the boat while our world is falling apart, but that doesn’t mean that God doesn’t have the power to calm the storm.
This theme can also lead to the idea that sometimes the storms in our lives are beyond our control. The chaos in our lives may be caused by people or situations or evil powers which we can do nothing about. Sometimes it is not our fault. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. Sometimes even the world of faithful Christians comes crashing down.
When the lord answers Job out of the whirlwind giving an awesome view of creative power and might, Job’s heart trembles before the one with whom he had contended so ignorantly and reproachfully. His fear is not only the beginning of wisdom, but also the beginning of real faith, as his ensuing humility leads to confession and acceptance by the lord. Job makes one of the greatest confessions of faith in the Bible: “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at last he will stand upon the earth; and after my skin has been thus destroyed, then from my flesh I shall see God” (Job. 19:25-26).
Job’s spiritual experience is repeated by the disciples’ experience on the Sea of Galilee. Putting out to sea in the evenings was a grave risk, since the sudden storms that come up on the sea often occur at sundown. In this scene, the disciples were obeying the lord’s command against the odds for security. We tend to think that having Jesus in the boat would have spared them any trouble.
The disciples are not prepared for the action Jesus takes. He stills the storm at sea in an exhibition of God’s power and control over creation. His question: “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” is meant to convey to the disciples that their security lay in a different realm. When God is in control, no forces of destruction can touch them. Not a bad lesson to learn, even if fear is the teacher.
The Politics of Chaos – Mark’s Gospel
Chaos is a real threat at any time and in Jesus time was seen often on the Sea. Today’s Gospel takes place on the Sea of Galilee crossing to the other side. Surrounded by hills and at a depth of 680 feet below sea level, the Sea of Galilee was a funnel for surprisingly sudden and dramatic storms. The sea itself was shaped like a wind tunnel at twelve and one-half miles long and anywhere from four to seven and one-half miles wide.
Mark Davis in this article provides a setting for the Gospel story. "And everybody lived with the risks of such dangers because the waters were the resources for work, food, portage, import, and export." He provides the setting for that ship on the water.
But there is another meaning that he explores because the Gospel of Mark was written in a time of Chaos in the 60’s. In the Spring of 66 A.D., the Jews of Judea began a full scale rebellion against Rome. In 69 A.D., Vespasian was made emperor of Rome and gave his son Titus the honor of delivering the final death blows to the rebellious Jews and their capital city. The Romans brutally slaughtered an estimated 600,000 people in Jerusalem including many of the Passover visitors who had been trapped there for the 143 days during the Roman siege. The temple was burned in 70AD. By the year 73 A.D., all traces of a self-ruling Jewish nation had seemingly disappeared. Out of these ruins, Christianity reappeared in Antioch in Turkey, in Greece and other parts of the Mediterranean world. As Davis writes "Jesus’ word is more powerful than Rome’s storm."
Voices of Pentecost 4 – Mark’s Gospel
The Storm on the Sea of Galilee– Rembrandt (1633)
This is Rembrandt’s only seascape picture and dramatically depicts Mark’s Gospel. Being lost at sea was a constant threat at the time. Rembrandt did not try to capture historical accuracy but used boats of his time. Ironically, this painting is now lost. On the morning of March 18, 1990, thieves disguised as police officers broke into the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum in Boston and stole The Storm on the Sea of Galilee and 12 other works. It is considered the biggest art theft in US history and remains unsolved. The museum still displays the paintings’ empty frames in their original locations.
The museum describes the painting- "The detailed rendering of the scene, the figures’ varied expressions, the relatively polished brushwork, and the bright coloring are characteristic of Rembrandt’s early style…The panic-stricken disciples struggle against a sudden storm, and fight to regain control of their fishing boat as a huge wave crashes over its bow, ripping the sail and drawing the craft perilously close to the rocks in the left foreground. One of the disciples succumbs to the sea’s violence by vomiting over the side. Amidst this chaos, only Christ, at the right, remains calm, like the eye of the storm. Awakened by the disciples’ desperate pleas for help, he rebukes them: “Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?” and then rises to calm the fury of wind and waves."
"Set me alight
We’ll punch a hole right through the night
Everyday the dreamers die
See what’s on the other side "
-U2 "In God’s Country"
“People fear miracles because they fear being changed.” Which is the source, I think, of this other kind of fear that stands somewhere between a holy awe and mighty terror: the fear of being changed. And make no mistake, Jesus is asking the disciples to change. In this very moment he is drawing them from the familiar territory of Capernaum to the strange and foreign land of the Garasenes. And he is moving them from being fishermen to disciples. And he is preparing them to welcome a kingdom so very different from the one they’d either expected or wanted."
"The change they are facing is real, and hard, and inevitable, and all of this becomes crystal clear as they realize the one who is asking them to change has mastery over the wind and see and is, indeed, the Holy One of God. That change, of course, will also and ultimately be transformative, but I doubt if they see that yet."
– David Lose, President of Luther Seminary
"No amount of word-making will ever make a single soul to know these mountains. As well seek to warm the naked and frost bitten by lectures on caloric and pictures of flame. One day’s exposure to mountains is better than carloads of books. See how willingly Nature poses herself upon photographer’s plates. No earthly chemicals are so sensitive as those of the human soul. All that is required is exposure, and purity of material. The pure in heart shall see God! … Come to the woods, for here is rest. … The galling harness of civilization drops off, and we are healed ere we are aware."
–John Muir 1838-1914
"However, the progression of the crossing stories demonstrates a much greater message. Although Jesus continued to use his power to still storms, in each crossing Mark recounts that Jesus grew increasingly impatient with the presumption of his disciples that he would simply perform a divine act and in every instance relieve them of their fear. They seemed to completely ignore that they also had responsibilities. They had an obligation to endure and to find inner calm through faith. By the final crossing, Jesus was totally exasperated and demanded to know if his disciples had yet learned anything whatsoever"
– Alexander Shaia – The Hidden Power of the Gospels
"I don’t really think the miracle in this story is about Jesus calming the storm and taking control. The miracle in this story is that Jesus was with the disciples in the water-logged and weatherbeaten boat, experiencing the same terrible storm, the same terrible waves, the same terrible danger.
"And that alone should have been enough.
"God’s power isn’t in the control of creation or of people, but in being in covenant and relationship with them. It isn’t in imposing the divine will or insisting on its own way but in sojourning with us as we fumble around and make our way in the world. God’s power is not in miraculous interventions, pre-emptive strikes in the cosmic war against suffering and evil, but in inviting us to build a kingdom out of love, peace and justice with God. God’s power is not in the obliterating of what is bad in the world, but in empowering us to build something good in this world.
"And isn’t this true power? Instead of enforcing control and solutions onto the world, God’s power is revealed in coming alongside us, journeying with us, suffering with us, and even staying with us in the boat when the storms come. "
– David Henson "When God Sleeps through Storms"
"There is a poignant scene in the otherwise very violent film Pulp Fiction, when two hitmen, Jules and Vincent, are trying to come to terms with their narrow escape from death. Jules describes their experience as a miracle; Vincent disagrees. After defining a miracle as “God making the impossible possible,” Vincent argues that their escape from death earlier that day doesn’t qualify. Which prompts Jules to say, “Don’t you see, Vincent, that…doesn’t matter. You’re judging this thing the wrong way. It’s not about what. It could be God stopped the bullets, he changed Coke into Pepsi, he found my…car keys. You don’t judge [stuff] like this on merit. Whether or not what we experienced was an according-to-Hoyle miracle is insignificant. What is significant is I felt God’s touch. God got involved.”
"“I felt God’s touch. God got involved.” Something similar, I think, is happening in today’s story. The shift in the disciples’ reaction – from “do you not care we are perishing” to “who is this” – signifies a shift from what, the miracle, to who, Jesus. Which leads me to conclude that perhaps the answer to our question – What moves us from fear to faith? – is relationship. It’s the move from what to who, from event to person, from ambiguous miracle to the actual person of Jesus.
"And that, Dear Partner, is something we can preach on Sunday. Faith, in the end, isn’t believing certain cognitive propositions about when or how God created the earth, whether or not Jonah lived in the belly of a whale, the nature of Scripture’s authority, or even Mary’s marital status when Jesus was born.
"Rather, faith is about a relationship, a relationship with the God revealed by the ministry and words and actions of Jesus. And in Mark’s Gospel, the Jesus we meet is relentless in his pursuit of caring for all of God’s children. This very crossing of a rough sea is prompted by Jesus’ determination to get to the other side, to the land of the Gerasenes, a place few rabbis would venture. There he will meet and heal a man possessed by a demon and return him to the community from which he has been ostracized. And then he will come back to more familiar haunts to heal again, this time restoring life to a young girl and healing a woman who has been suffering for more than a decade.
" These early chapters of Mark describe again and again Jesus’ determination to free people from all the things that keep them from the abundant life God promises: demon possession, disease, social exclusion, hunger, even death itself. Jesus reveals a God who cares passionately for the wellbeing of all God’s people. This is the One we invite people to trust. And trust, in the end, is the only thing that overcomes fear. Ultimately, you see, it’s the question isn’t what moves us from fear to faith, but who. And the answer is Jesus, the one who will not rest until we see and hear and experience and trust God’s passionate love for us and all the world.
"There is a second “who” involved as well, for when we have a hard time trusting, a hard time believing that, in spite of our shortcomings God still loves us or, for that matter, in spite of those times of loneliness or struggle God is still present in our lives, at those times we gather as a community to read again these stories and remind each other of God’s promises. "
– David Lose "Moving from Fear to Faith"
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4. Server Schedule June, 2021
10. Recent Services:
Block Print by Mike Newman
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, June 13, 2021 – June 20, 2021
|Basil the Great, Bishop of Caesarea, 379
Gilbert Keith Chesterton, Apologist and Writer, 1936
|Evelyn Underhill, Mystic & Writer, 1941|
|Joseph Butler, 1752, and George Berkeley, 1753, Bishops and Theologians|
|[Marina the Monk], Monastic, 5th c.|
|Bernard Mizeki, Catechist and Martyr in Mashonaland, 1896|
|[Adelaide Tegue Case], Educator, 1948|