November 28, 2022
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A message from Father Patrick...

Good People,

Let’s do this all again, shall we! 

As I said yesterday, the Advent Season has a way of sneaking up on us. Just barely have we settled into our various fall routines and out of nowhere comes the call to prepare for Christmas. It can be as exhausting and stressful as it is reenergizing and comforting. To be fair, the Gospel is just like that. Relentless in its claim on our lives and the rhythms in which we live them. In this very same way, the stewardship season nearly always catches us unaware. So proud am I, and I should be, of our Kingdom pursuits that I am somehow shaken a little when it is time to ask you to consider doing it all again, and maybe this time even a little bigger. 

It would be a profound understatement to say I hope you will consider the mission and ministry of St. Peter’s by-the-Sea when you take stock of the giving you will do this season and beyond. Your commitments are the fuel to the fire of big love that radiates out from our altar, through us, and into the world. Your giving is powerful. Your giving is sacred. Your giving moves mountains and makes miracles. Those aren’t just words. That is simply my experience of this church and its people. 

In this Advent Season we will finalize a budget for 2023. This is no ordinary task. This is Kingdom work! The budget is not merely a financial construct and projection. At its core it is a Kingdom machine that is powered by your generosity. If you have already made your pledge for 2023, thank you! If you haven’t yet there are pledge cards at the church and also a link in this Traveling Mercies edition to fill out your pledge on line. 

Let’s do this all again, shall we! 

Big Love! 

Father Patrick




(Episcopal Ladies Night Out)
Tomorrow, November 29th
Join us at 5:30 for Meeting and Greeting
We’ll Dine at 6pm

December ELNO will be the 27th

will NOT meet in November or December.




10:30 Bible Study
12:05 Litany of Healing
12:45 Via Media Streaming
2:30 Casting Nets
5:30 Compline
6 Hand Bell choir Practice

This week’s Gospel Reading for Bible Study:  Matthew 3:1-12

In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said,

“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.'”

Now John wore clothing of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit worthy of repentance. Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

“I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

Feast Day of St. Andrew
Wednesday, November 30

Deuteronomy 30:11-14Romans 10:8b-18Matthew 4:18-22Psalm 19 or 19:1-6

The Collect
Almighty God, who gave such grace to your apostle Andrew that he readily obeyed the call of your Son Jesus Christ, and brought his brother with him: Give us, who are called by your Holy Word, grace to follow him without delay, and to bring those near to us into his gracious presence; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

SATURDAY, December 3rd

St. Peter’s will be providing
225 brown bag breakfasts for the Camping for Hope event
AND, Feed my Sheep at 7am
We need a few volunteers
Saturday morning, Dec 3rd
at 5:30 AM !
(that’s 450+ biscuits !!!)
CONTACT JAN @ 228-860-4407

We’re also helping gather supplies for Camping for Hope.
These supplies will prepare Coast homeless for winter:
Heavy coats (new or gently used)
Larger Blankets, 2 & 4 person and a few six person tents and tarps
Looking for hair stylists to help with free haircuts

Please deliver your donation to GCBFS 14484 Dedeaux Rd.
or call 228-831-1019 for a pick-up
before November 30th.


Christmons of Clay
“Chrismon” is a combination of the words “Christ” and “monogram,” and means “symbols of Christ.” Chrismons are traditioanally gold and white, representing majesty and purity.

1st and 2nd Saturdays,
December 3rd & 10th at 10am

David Wilson will bring a slab roller, stamp and cutters, and provide the clay for the initial forming of our Christmons (Saturady #1). After an initial “bisque” fire, he’ll return them for attendees to decorate (the 2nd Saturday)

Feel free to bring any pottery supplies you want to use.
For a suggested donation of $20, we’ll be providing all you need to make your own.
Interested in attending? Contact Gail @ 228-760-0179 (leave a message or text) to reserve your spot !


December 27th

Readings: Isaiah 11:1-10Romans 15:4-13Matthew 3:1-12Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19

The Collect: Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Lesser Feast Days and Fasts for this week
28 Kamehameha and Emma of Hawaii, King and Queen,
1863 and 1885

 1 Nicholas Ferrar, Deacon, 1637
   or [Charles de Foucauld, Monastic and Martyr, 1916]
 2 Channing Moore Williams, Bishop and Missionary, 1910
 3 [Francis Xavier, Priest and Missionary, 1552]
 4 John of Damascus, Priest and Theologian, c.760
 5 Clement of Alexandria, Priest and Theologian, c.210

Lesser Feast Days and Fasts site


It’s never been easier to make your pledge for 2023.
There are three ways…
1. Pick up a card at church, fill out and drop in the offertory
2. Download, print and mail your card here:
or, 3. Make your pledge on-line through our website:
It’s easy to make your pledge and schedule on-line giving all on one page.  

Please return your Pledge Card as soon as possible
as we continue to prepare our budget for 2023

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.

All of our Angels have been adopted

Be sure to attach the tag to the new, unwrapped gifts when you return them to the church no later than Sunday, December 11th.



December 6

Bring an Appetizer to share, your beverage of choice and
 No… it’s not Dirty Santa.
Bring a wrapped gift ($10-15) that would be
What Would You Want
One of your favorite things
(for example if you liked a wine that was $12
you would bring it wrapped for your Santa gift)

Stanley Hastings will provide us with some lovely Christmas tunes.
Bring a friend and join us!


Christmons of Clay finishing
December 10,



Saturday December 17

For a suggested donation of $20, we’ll be providing all you need to make your own.
Interested in attending? Contact Gail @ 228-760-0179 (leave a message or text) to reserve your spot !


Spreading Big Love outside our four wallsWe invite those interested
in becoming a member of the
2023 Biscuit Brigade
to join a team !

Teams make
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

Volunteers are needed for the Salvation Army’s
NEW cold weather shelter on 22nd St

Shifts are 6-10pm – 10pm-2am – 2am-7 am

First shift helps serve dinner.
Last shift includes helping prepare and serve breakfast.

Call: Stacy Crandle @ 228-326-4353

Weekly Worship Schedule 

10:30 Bible Study
12:05 Litany of Healing
12:45 Via Media Streaming
2:30 Casting Nets
5:30 Compline
6 Hand Bell choir Practice

Sundays by-the-Sea
8am Rite I
9:30am Coffee and Adult Sunday School in the Great Room

 Kids’ Sunday School
Rite II 
10:30am Children’s Church
Child Care Available



November 27, 2022
Sunday Rite I
Sunday Rite II


November 27 – December 3
27th – Donna Lishen
27th – Terry Tirrell
28th – Christie Daniels
1st – Jack Vincent
3rd – Judy Ownbey
27th – Lewis & Lottie Hastings
29th – Bob & Audrey Montgomery

December 4 – December 10
4th – Thomas Frederic
4th – Lisa Kersanac
5th – Sul Ozerden
7th – BillyWood
9th – Merritt Bell
9th – Nancy Hoppe
10th – Clark Seemann
10 – Deane Wood

4th – Fred & Donna Hutchings


December 3 – Chrismons of Clay
December 10 – Chrismons of Clay
December 17 – Rosary Making

Contact us at
 to reserve a spot in our Creative Classes

ECW News

December 6
ECW Christmas gathering Tea Basket Raffle
tickets $2/each
or 3 for $5


Youth Groups

Check out all of the upcoming events
for our youth and follow their
instagram page

Support our Local Non-Profits

Gulf Coast Community Ministries

Agency Logo

Support our ECW with the purchase of a St. Peter’s Ornament!

Commissioned in 2009, and the 4th in a series of Downtown Gulfport Landmarks, these cast pewter ornaments are the original work of artist Maurice Milleur. Measuring approximately 2 3/4″ tall.
These make great gifts and help support our ECW.
Ornaments are $20/each and may be purchased by contacting any ECW member or the church office.

PART of the ARTS !
Advent 2022

Rest/ Chapel of St Mary the Virgin
oil on linen, 16″x20″
by Impressionist Artist Joy Jennings

Artist Statement: “If we could but realize the sureness around us, we would be much more courageous in our lives. The frames of anxiety that keep us caged would dissolve. We would live the life we love and in that way, day by day, free our future from the weight of regret.” ( John O’Donohue)

Joy is President and Exhibitions Director of ECVA (Episcopal Church Visual Arts)

Artists’ Prayer
O God, whom saints and angels delight to worship in heaven: Be ever present with your servants who seek through art and music to perfect the praises offered by your people on earth; and grant to them even now glimpses of your beauty, and make them worthy at length to behold it unveiled for evermore; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

words of the week

(what does it mean?)


The term is from the Old French for “throat” or “gullet” and related to the word for “gargle.” It was originally a projecting waterspout used in gothic architecture to throw water from the roof gutter or upper part of a building or tower. It protected the building by throwing water away from the walls or foundations. The spouts eventually became known by their decorative figures. By the thirteenth century they were made of stone instead of wood. Gargoyles were soon built for decoration only and not for drainage. These carvings are usually fanciful and often grotesque. Gargoyles may represent wildly imaginative animal or human-like forms. The largest gargoyles project as much as three feet from their building. Gargoyles are found on many gothic cathedrals throughout Europe and on neo-gothic cathedrals of the Episcopal Church such as the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City and the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul in Washington, D.C.


A style of piety associated with the eastern church and ascribed to the monks of Mt. Athos in the fourteenth century. The word means “quiet.” The monks of Mt. Athos developed a method of prayer and contemplation which included a continuous repetition of the “Jesus Prayer” while controlling the breath, resting the chin upon the chest, and focusing the eyes upon the navel. These practices were believed to lead the participant to perceive the Divine Light with the senses. This light was identified with God and with the light that surrounded Jesus at the Transfiguration. Hesychasm was controversial. Gregory Palamas was a principal defender of hesychasm in the fourteenth century, and its supporters have been known as “Palamites.” Hesychasm has been a point of division between eastern and western churches. It led to the expression “navel gazing.” See Jesus Prayer, The.

Jesus Prayer, The

” Repetitive prayer, often in the form “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me, a sinner,” or variations of that form. It is associated with the spirituality of the eastern church. Early ascetics prayed the name “Jesus” and added to it the prayer of the publican, “God be merciful to me, a sinner” (Lk 18:13). The fourteenth-century hesychasts of Mt. Athos sought to follow literally St. Paul’s injunction to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thes 5:17), praying the Jesus Prayer continuously. These monks developed the use of the Jesus Prayer as we know it. See Hesychasm.


The Feast Day of St. Andrew
From Britannica on-line

St. Andrew, also called Saint Andrew the Apostle, (died 60/70 CE, Patras, Achaia [Greece]; feast day November 30), one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus and the brother of St. Peter. He is the patron saint of Scotland and of Russia.

In the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), Peter and Andrew – whose Greek name means “manly” – were called from their fishing by Jesus to follow him, promising that he would make them “fishers of men.” With Saints Peter, James, and John, Andrew asked Jesus on the Mount of Olives for signs of the earth’s end, which inspired the eschatological discourse in Mark 13. In The Gospel According to John, Andrew is the first Apostle named, and he was a disciple of St. John the Baptist before Jesus’ call.

Early Byzantine tradition (dependent on John 1:40) calls Andrew protokletos, “first called.” Early church legends recount his missionary activity in the area about the Black Sea. Apocryphal writings centred on him include the Acts of Andrew, Acts of Andrew and Matthias, and Acts of Peter and Andrew. A 4th-century account reports his death by crucifixion, and late medieval accretions describe the cross as X-shaped. He is iconographically represented with an X-shaped cross (like that depicted on the Scottish flag).

St. Jerome records that Andrew’s relics were taken from Patras (modern Patrai) to Constantinople (modern Istanbul) by command of the Roman emperor Constantius II in 357. From there, the body was taken to Amalfi, Italy (church of Sant’Andrea), in 1208, and in the 15th century the head was taken to Rome (St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City). In September 1964 Pope Paul VI returned Andrew’s head to Patrai as a gesture of goodwill toward the separated Christians of Greece.

Many Catholics participate in an Advent devotion known as the St. Andrew Novena, or the St. Andrew Christmas Novena, in which a specific prayer is recited 15 times a day from his feast day on November 30 until Christmas. 

A Real Joy, Advent I (A)

November 27, 2022

Bertie Pearson

This sermon is also available as part of Sermons for Advent and Christmas 2022, a compilation for download here. Each sermon includes questions for reflection with your small group, congregation, or personal devotions.

[RCL] Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 122; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:36-44

Today we enter a transformational, even magical time of year: for this is… the weekend between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and there are only 26 shopping days left until Christmas! It is time to spread sweetness and light among your loved ones by making all the right purchases. Deck the halls! Contemplate Rudolph! Be overwhelmed by the magic and joy of the season – at any cost!

But I’m afraid I have some disappointing news: This year’s Christmas party is going to be exactly like the one last year, at the big family dinner, political differences are going to lie tensely below the surface, and the kids will be obsessed with their new toys for a day or two, before they get lost in the back of a closet, never to be seen again. The new bracelet is going to be put in the jewelry box with the others, the new golf clubs are going to work a lot like the old ones did, and December will turn into January. We are promised so much at this time of year, but it’s usually a little disappointing.

That being said, it does seem like a profound marketing mistake on the part of the church to refuse to play into all of this. Why doesn’t Jingle Bells appear in our Hymnal? Couldn’t we get an inflatable Santa for the church lawn? Christmas is really a church thing, so why shouldn’t we draw in the holiday crowds by selling a little Christmas magic, too?

Instead, we miss the holiday boat yet again this year, as we begin Advent with this decidedly unfestive passage from Romans. This is the season for reveling, for an extra cocktail, for coveting and bragging about our presents, but here comes bah-humbug St. Paul, saying, “Let us live… not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy.” What a grinch!

And yet, this is not because the Church is so puritanical that it can’t sully its hands with the extra eggnog or Cyber Monday deal; it’s not because the Church doesn’t have a sense of joy that we keep a holy Advent. Instead, we as a Church keep the season of Advent because we are not interested in buying fake joy at 40% off, we only care about the real thing.

The world’s idea of pleasure is really just getting to a point at which our cravings leave us alone. You can wolf down three helpings of ham and four pieces of pie, but this rarely imparts actual joy – instead, you end up feeling ill – and in the longed-for gift, the joy is, at best, only momentary and fleeting.

St. Paul doesn’t tell us that this isn’t really the season to be jolly, instead, he tells us to, “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”

For St. Paul, the desires of the flesh are not only sensual desires, but all of the impulsive desires that rule us: the desire for revenge, the desire for wealth, the desire to prove others wrong, the desire to be seen as important by others – make no provision to gratify any of these, says St. Paul, but instead, put on the armor of light, put on the Lord Jesus Christ.

In the desires of the flesh, joy is only a glimpse, a passing moment, if it’s experienced at all. The only lasting joy is found in the source of all goodness, all peace, all love – in God. Advent is the season in which we look past Christmas and await the day on which we will meet God face-to-face.

In today’s Gospel, we read about the Second Coming of Jesus; the great, awe-inspiring day, when the Son of Man returns. There is a modern “left behind” theology that paints the Second Coming of Christ as the worst thing ever to happen to humanity, but for the Apostles and all of the Mothers and Fathers of the Early Church, the second coming of Christ was seen as the best thing ever to happen to the world.

Instead of praying to be raptured away and not have to face Christ’s return, the early Church prayed daily “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” and one of the oldest Christian prayers that has come down to us is so ancient that it wasn’t written in Greek, but in Aramaic, the native language of the Apostles: this prayer is Maranatha – Come, O Lord! It is a prayer literally begging Christ to return ASAP!

The end of time is not the terrible destruction of the world, but its restoration, its healing, its perfection. In this life, we catch only fleeting glimpses of the nature of God: in an embrace, in a joyous conversation, in a beautiful object, in a delicious meal – in these, we have intimations of what pure goodness is, what pure love or beauty is.

But at the end of time, God, who is the actual source of all joy, all peace, all light, all love, will permeate every fiber of creation. St. John tells us that on that day there will be no light from the sun nor moon, because they will be as nothing compared to the light radiating from the face of Christ, from the throne of the Father, from the presence of the Holy Spirit. The fire of the glory of God will radiate from all things and fill the New Creation.

In one episode of The Simpsons, Homer is sitting on the couch, throwing peanuts into his mouth. On his last throw, he misses, the peanut rolls under the couch, and he gets down on his hands and knees to reach blindly under the sofa. His hand touches something which he grasps and pulls out, and he opens his fist to reveal a hundred-dollar bill. His response is, “A hundred dollars!? But I wanted a peanut!”

Jesus tells us to be ready, to keep watch, so that on the last day, at the return of our Lord, we don’t respond, “A new creation full of pure joy? But I wanted a Rolex! I wanted pie! I wanted pornography! I wanted revenge! I wanted a peanut!” And then turn our backs on the greatest gift ever given: the gift of absolute joy, absolute peace, absolute love, the gift of perfect unity with God.

So how do you go about waking up this Advent? How do you prepare for the end of time? First of all, love God: make your relationship with Him your top priority, putting God above wealth, health, status, safety, and everything else; remember that worshiping God in church, praying, and reading Scripture each day are the most profoundly important things that you can do. And then love your neighbor, love every living icon of God, as you love yourself: overcoming selfishness in giving freely to those in need, overcoming pride through acts of kindness and humility, overcoming sin with love.

Not because God, like Santa, will reward us for being good little boys and girls, but so that you can detach yourself from these impulses, so that you can forget the peanut and accept the fullness of God instead. And then, on the final day of the resurrection of the dead, when you awake from death and stand before the great judgment seat of Christ, you won’t be filled with horror, disappointment, and dread – you won’t be filled with materialist peanut longing – but instead will see in Him the fullness of eternal joy.

Fr. Bertie Pearson serves as Rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Georgetown, Texas, and as Dean of the Austin Area Convocation of Clergy. He also produces the popular podcast The History of Christianity with Bertie Pearson. This podcast is an exploration of the ideas and themes which continue to shape the Christian faith, and is available on Spotify, iTunes, and wherever fine podcasts are distributed. Before his current parish, Bertie served both Spanish and English-language churches in Austin and San Francisco, played drums in the band Poolside, and toured as a DJ. He now lives a much more sedate life with his wife, Dr. Rahel Pearson, their two children, a small room full of dusty records, and a very goodhearted Australian Shepard named Ida.

Word – Advent 1 (A) SermonDownload

PDF – Advent 1 (A) SermonDownload


Bible Study: Advent I (A)
See Above
Fr. Bertie Pearson

1. Is there a time in your life when, like Homer Simpson, you sought a thing of lesser value than a real treasure? What was it?

2. Pray the Maranatha prayer for 10 minutes today. You can break the syllables apart in the Aramaic by saying, “Ma-ra-na-tha” or say in English, “Come, Lord Jesus.”

Did you know there are RCL (Revised Common Lectionary) Readings for each day ? 
While there is a little overlap each day, they are posted on-line as a service of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library:
Daily Readings

Daily Readings for this week

Monday, November 28, 2022: Psalm 124; Genesis 8:1-19; Romans 6:1-11

Tuesday, November 29, 2022: Psalm 124; Genesis 9:1-17; Hebrews 11:32-40

Wednesday, November 30, 2022: Psalm 124; Isaiah 54:1-10; Matthew 24:23-35

Thursday, December 1, 2022: Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19; Isaiah 4:2-6; Acts 1:12-17, 21-26

Friday, December 2, 2022: Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19; Isaiah 30:19-26; Acts 13:16-25

Saturday, December 3, 2022: Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19; Isaiah 40:1-11; John 1:19-28

Sunday, December 4, 2022: Second Sunday of Advent

Monday, December 5, 2022: Psalm 21; Isaiah 24:1-16a; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12

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. 

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   address: 1909 15th Street  Gulfport, Ms 39501
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