Download a card here–>https://stpetersbytheseagulfport.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/PLEDGE-CARD-2022-DL.pdf
CAMPING FOR HOPE
Every year we adopt children (and yes, Moms also) from the Gulf Coast shelter for nonviolence. These families are currently staying in the shelter or have passed through the shelter recently and are setting up their new households.
Please consider adopting an “Angel”.
Tags are located on our tree in the Narthex.
Be sure to sign for your angel and attach the tag to the new, unwrapped gifts when you return them to the church no later than Sunday, December 11th.
MEN’S GRILLIN GROUP
will NOT meet in November or December.
Stanley Hastings will provide us with some lovely Christmas tunes.
Bring a friend and join us!
ADVENT EPISCOPAL RELIEF and DEVELOPMENT
Each year, during the season of Advent, St. Peter’s by-the-Sea raises funds for ERD. This year our focus will be on supporting Episcopal Relief & Development in providing humanitarian aid in response to the crisis in Ukraine. By donating to the Ukraine Crisis Response Fund, you will help meet critical needs for people fleeing the violence including food, cash, blankets and hygiene supplies.
Our Deacon, Rev. Scott Williams will be setting up a donation point in the rear of our sanctuary. An on-line giving page will be set up within the week.
Spreading Big Love outside our four wallsWe invite those interested
in becoming a member of the
2023 Biscuit Brigade
to join a team !
brown bag breakfasts
for anywhere from 40 – 60 folks,
one Saturday each month,
sometimes the 5th Saturday
AND for Cold Weather
Shelter openings, then deliver to
Feed My Sheep or
Salvation Army for distribution.
And… The sunrises are amazing !
Call: Jan Shook @ 228-860-4407
A national holiday and day of thanks. Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday in Nov. This custom is based on the celebration of three days of prayer and feasting by the Plymouth, Massachusetts, colonists in 1621. There was also a Thanksgiving celebration with prayer by members of the Berkeley plantation, near what is now Charles City, Virginia, in 1619. The first national Thanksgiving Day was celebrated in 1789. Under President Abraham Lincoln, Thanksgiving Day came to be celebrated annually on the last Thursday of Nov. Thanksgiving Day was celebrated on the third Thursday of Nov. in the three years 1939-1941 under President Franklin D. Roosevelt. However, the Thanksgiving Day commemoration was moved back to the fourth Thursday in Nov. by Congress in 1941.
Thanksgiving Day is a major holy day and a national day in the Prayer Book calendar of the church year (pp. 16-17, 33). The Proposed Prayer Book of 1786 included “A Form of Prayer and Thanksgiving to Almighty God, for the Fruits of the Earth, and all the other Blessings of his merciful Providence.” The first American Prayer Book (1789) replaced the four national days of the 1662 English book with propers for Thanksgiving Day. The collect for Thanksgiving Day gives thanks to God the Father for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. It asks that we may be faithful stewards of God’s great bounty, providing for our own necessities and the relief of all who are in need (BCP, p. 246). Hymns for Thanksgiving Day in The Hymnal 1982 include “Praise to God, immortal praise” (Hymn 288), “Come, ye thankful people, come” (Hymn 290), and “We plow the fields, and scatter” (Hymn 291). The Hymnal 1982 Accompaniment Edition, Vol. 1, provides musical settings for a Litany of Thanksgiving for a Church (S 391; see BCP, pp. 578-579) and a Litany of Thanksgiving (S 392; see BCP, pp. 836-837). The Litany of Thanksgiving may be used on Thanksgiving Day in place of the prayers of the people at the eucharist, or at any time after the collects at Morning or Evening Prayer, or separately.
The last of the four services in the Daily Office (BCP, p. 127). It is descended from the night prayers said before bed at the end of the monastic round of daily prayer. Compline is a simple office including a confession of sins, one or more psalms, a short reading from scripture, versicles and responses, the Lord’s Prayer, collects which ask for God’s protection during the night to come, and the canticle Nunc dimittis. A hymn for the evening may follow the short reading from scripture. The collects may be followed by a time of silence, along with free intercessions and thanksgivings.
“Liturgical Colors” in Episcopal worship signify our place in the Church Year:
WHITE, the color of Jesus’ burial garments, for Christmas, Easter, and other ‘feasts’ or festival days, as well as marriages and funerals.
PURPLE/VIOLET for Advent (or ROYAL BLUE) & Lent (or UNBLEACHED LINEN).
RED is used in Holy Week, the Day of Pentecost, and at ordinations.
GREEN is used during Epiphany and the ‘Ordinary Time’ after Pentecost Sunday.
Few authors of fantasy literature are as beloved as C.S. Lewis, born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on November 29, 1898. Time magazine has listed the first of his Chronicles of Narnia, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, as one of the top 100 English language novels written in the twentieth century. Time had earlier confirmed Lewis’s stature as a writer of international renown when it featured him on its cover in September 1947.
But then, Time was merely affirming what millions of readers then and now understood: Lewis was a writer whose gifts gave his books an enduring appeal. Unforgettable characters, places and prose that stir the imagination and heart. The world of Narnia is one to which readers return again and again. It evokes a magic all its own.
At first glance Lewis was, perhaps, an unlikely person to have crafted such highly regarded works of fantasy. A brilliant academic, he was educated at Oxford University, and returned there following service in World War I to become a Fellow and Tutor of English Literature at Magdalen College. Later, in 1954, he was appointed to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Magdalene College, Cambridge University.
But Lewis had loved fantasy literature since his early years, and was then deeply influenced by his reading of George MacDonald’s great imaginative tale Phantastes. “I knew that I had crossed a great frontier,” he would later write.
Still earlier, as a boy, he had created Boxen – an imaginary world where animals talked and had adventures. As an adult, Lewis’s scholarly studies were steeped in chivalric literature and medieval legends. Lastly, he was highly favored in that he had a decades-long friendship with J.R.R. Tolkien, the creator of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. There were other influences upon him, but these aspects of his life proved crucial catalysts for him to pen the Chronicles of Narnia.
Lewis and Tolkien were both members of a celebrated literary circle, The Inklings, which met at Oxford. And as Lewis’s fame grew, many people wrote to him. This opened an unexpected door of ministry, for many of his correspondents were Christians, as he was, or were interested in the truth claims of Christianity. Lewis’s correspondence also led to his meeting with the woman who would become his wife, Joy Davidman Gresham, whom he married in 1956. Their love story formed the basis of the celebrated film, Shadowlands, directed by Sir Richard Attenborough.
There are many more things that could be said about C.S. Lewis, but it is enough to say that the wonder does not end here. Visitors to his Oxford home, The Kilns, can sojourn and study in the same setting where he wrote his books. And most recently of all, in America, Lewis’s life and books have served as the inspiration for the creation of new college of the great books that bears his name. Lewis’s legacy endures, and will endure, so long as stories can capture the imagination of readers.
From the CS Lewis .org website: https://www.cslewis.org/resource/cslewis/
The Feast day of Clive Staples Lewis
Apologist and Spiritual Writer, 1963
Readings: 1 Peter 1:3-9, Psalm 139:1-9, John 16:7-15
O God of searing truth and surpassing beauty, we give you thanks for Clive Staples Lewis, whose sanctified imagination lit fires of faith in young and old alike. Surprise us also with your joy and draw us into that new and abundant life which is ours in Christ Jesus, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
November 20, 2022
Today, as we celebrate Christ the King, we witness strong-man authoritarians who aspire to be kings espousing nationalist, white-supremacist, anti-immigration, anti-LGBTQ, and anti-democratic policies rise up across the world and right here in the United States. In 1925, as the world was being gripped by similar nationalist, secularist, anti-Semitic, authoritarian, fascist dictators, Pope Pius XI instituted Christ the King Sunday to refocus us on why we are here – to be icons of God’s love in this world. Originally set as the last Sunday of October, Pope Paul VI moved it to the Last Sunday before Advent and called it, “The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.”
Christ the King is a title that strikes a peculiar tension since any and all descriptions of Jesus thankfully bear little or no resemblance to the kinds of earthly leaders and kings Jeremiah condemns in no uncertain terms: “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:1-6). Jesus has none of the trappings of these wicked shepherds; Christ does not destroy, scatter and divide. Rather, our Jesus heals, repairs, gathers, and unites everyone and everything.
We look at him today, as he hangs on a Roman cross, condemned by the authoritarian regime of Caesar, still offering God’s love and compassion to another so condemned. Mocked by the empire as a so-called king, Jesus exhibits the characteristics of a true king anointed by God. When asked by another so condemned, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:42-43).
Writing in the aftermath of World War I, Pius noted that while there had been a cessation of hostilities, there was no true peace. He deplored the rise of class divisions and unbridled nationalism and held that true peace can only be found under the Kingship of Christ as “Prince of Peace”. He wrote, “Jesus Christ reigns over the minds of individuals by His teachings, in their hearts by His love, in each one’s life by the living according to His law and the imitating of His example.” Pius XI wanted this feast to inspire the laity, saying, “The faithful, moreover, by meditating upon these truths, will gain much strength and courage, enabling them to form their lives after the true Christian ideal… He must reign in our minds… in our wills… in our hearts… in our bodies and in our members, which should serve as instruments for the interior sanctification of our souls, or to use the words of the Apostle Paul, as instruments of justice unto God.”
Given the state of the world today, it still seems like a justifiable feast to observe and to ponder just what sort of king Jesus is – “is” being the operant word as the Christ was, is, and ever shall be. When one enters the Bath Abbey in Bath, England, one can find a simple brochure that offers this answer to this central question of faith – “What kind of king is Jesus?”
“esus was born in an obscure Middle Eastern town called Bethlehem, over 2000 years ago. During his first 30 years, he shared the daily life and work of an ordinary home. For the next three years, he went about teaching people about God and healing sick people by the shores of Lake Galilee. He called 12 ordinary men to be his helpers.
“He had no money. He wrote no books. He commanded no army. He wielded no political power. During his life, he never travelled more than 200 miles in any direction. He was executed by being nailed to a cross at the age of 33.
“Today, nearly 2 billion people throughout the world worship Jesus as divine – the Son of God. Their experience has convinced them that in the wonders of nature we see God as our loving Father; in the person of Jesus, we discover God as Son; and in our daily lives, we encounter this same God as Spirit. Jesus is our way to finding God: we learn about Jesus by reading the Bible, particularly the New Testament and we meet him directly in our spiritual experience.
“Jesus taught us to trust in a loving and merciful Father and to pray to him in faith for all our needs. He taught that we are all infinitely precious, children of one heavenly Father, and that we should therefore treat one another with love, respect, and forgiveness. He lived out what he taught by caring for those he met; by healing the sick – a sign of God’s love at work; and by forgiving those who put him to death.
“Jesus’ actions alone would not have led him to a criminal’s death on the cross: but his teaching challenged the religious and moral beliefs of his day. People believed, and do to this day, that he can lead us to a full experience of God’s love and compassion. Above all, he pointed to his death as God’s appointed means of bringing self-centered people back to God. Jesus also foretold that he would be raised to life again three days after his death. When, three days after he had died on the cross, his followers did indeed meet him alive again; frightened and defeated women and men became fearless and joyful messengers.
“Their message of the Good News about Jesus is the reason Bath Abbey exists. More importantly, it is the reason why all over the world there are Christians who know what it means to meet the living Jesus, and believe that He can lead us all to heal and repair a broken world. May your time in Bath Abbey be a blessing to you, and also to us in the church.”
This is why the Church is here at all: to follow Jesus; to heal, gather, repair, restore, and unite everyone and everything. To be a blessing to all the earth, and everything therein.
May God for us, whom we call Father, God alongside us, whom we call Son, and God within us, whom we call Spirit, hold and enliven us to a full experience of God’s love and compassion; that in all that is, seen and unseen, we may testify to Your Truth as a community of Love, Justice, and Freedom for all peoples, all creatures, and all the Earth, which You have given us to tend and preserve as Your Creation. Amen.
November 25, 2019
In Ancient Near Eastern societies, “shepherds” was also a term used to refer to kings or leaders. Today, our readings look specifically at the kings of Judah who are subject to the judgments given in Jeremiah 23:1.
The shepherd metaphor is used for God (Psalm 23), humans (Ezekiel 34), and, in Christian tradition, Jesus (Mark 6:34). We see this metaphor inside our standard designation of clergy as pastors who tend to their congregational flocks.
Here, we see God announcing a regime change in Judah. One might say the region is “Under New Management”. For the prophet Jeremiah, this was an incredibly turbulent time. The seats of power in the Ancient Near East had shifted, Assyrian dominance of the past millennia was fading, and the Babylonian empire was an ever-present threat.
A shepherd brings sheep – or, in this case, people – together and protects them, tends to them. The shepherds we see in Judah however, made a policy decision that placed the people in peril, and ultimately exile. However, God promises to “bring them back to their fold”.
The chaos of injustice under the shepherds who only cared for their own interests will be removed; God will be their shepherd and promises to raise up shepherds who will care for the people.
What we see so potently here is that the judgment of leadership is tied to the work of shepherding. How have you provided for protection, peace, and gathering of your people? There is no special DNA that is needed to be a good shepherd; it is ordinary men and women who make bold choices to be good shepherds. It is also up to ordinary men and women to flock to those shepherds whose hearts are turned toward justice, protection, and mercy – those who imitate God’s shepherding.
Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my! Well, not quite. Instead, we have cosmic disorder, political calamity, and militaristic strife. Psalm 46 reminds us that we are both in the desert and the promised land. We are reminded to trust in God in even the most troublesome situations. The recurring refrain “The Lord of hosts is with us” serves as reinforcement to God’s presence and God’s protection, even in the midst of chaos. This refrain highlights God’s protecting presence but also emphasizes God’s identity.
Amid utter disarray, in churning waters that threaten to overwhelm the order of creation, we are reminded: “God is with us.” God commands us to “be still, then, and know”. This verse is often plastered on coffee mugs and Christian t-shirts as a command that only we receive. A more faithful reading would understand that the audience for God’s command was both the faithful and the forces of chaos that threaten them. We are reminded of Jesus’ ability to calm the raging sea in Mark 4:39.
We are people that prefer to trust in the things we can see, a strong military, a booming economy, a solid resume, or a full savings account make us feel secure. The truth is: these sure defenses are not so sure.
God is the only sure defense. On Christ the King Sunday, the final Sunday of the liturgical year, the Church once again reminds itself of God’s ultimate power over all. We are not saved by a strategic military defense, the NASDAQ, or our accumulation of wealth and achievements. We are saved through the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
From the Episcopal Church website: https://www.episcopalchurch.org/bible_study/bible-study-christ-the-king-c-2019/
Thursday, November 24, 2022: Thanksgiving Day, USA
Thursday, November 24, 2022: Psalm 122; Daniel 9:15-19; James 4:1-10
Friday, November 25, 2022: Psalm 122; Genesis 6:1-10; Hebrews 11:1-7
Saturday, November 26, 2022: Psalm 122; Genesis 6:11-22; Matthew 24:1-22
Sunday, November 27, 2022: First Sunday of Advent
Monday, November 28, 2022: Psalm 124; Genesis 8:1-19; Romans 6:1-11
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“O God, our heavenly Father, whose glory fills the whole creation, and whose presence we find wherever we go:
preserve those who travel; surround them with your loving care; protect them from every danger;
and bring them in safety to their journey’s end; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.