St. Peter’s by-the-Sea’s Weekly – December 13, 2021

A message from Father Patrick

Good People,

We started listening to Christmas music so early this year! So much earlier than usual. I started checking 93.7 sometime around early October and thank the baby Lord Jesus it started the day after Halloween! It’s been a yuletide party in my car since then. With zero exceptions. And I’m not super sure when and if I’ll go back to anything else. Easter maybe? Regardless, I need Christmas this year. My family needs Christmas. The WORLD needs Christmas. I can hear the universe crying out for light and joy and good news for all people. Crying out to be loved. To be thought of. To be healed. To be inspired. To be converted.

I feel the church filling back up in Advent Expectation. There’s a different, sacred energy. And I wanna tear into it like a thousand wrapped presents leaving a trail of the trash that has weighed us all down for too long. I wanna feel lighter. I get the feeling you do too.

That’s why I started listening to 93.7 three weeks before Thanksgiving. 85 degrees, humid, and still beginning to look alot like Christmas everywhere I drove.

And here we are as in olden days! Kids get outa school soon. The house smells like pine and cider. The last Sunday of Advent is upon us and then BOOM. Baby in a manger. Silent night. Joy to the World. Joy for me. Joy for you!

See y’all at church!


Father Patrick

2021 Christmas Service Schedule

Sunday, December 19th at 5:30PM

Lessons and Carols performed by the Handbell choir

Christmas Eve
Friday, December 24th at 5:30PM
Rite II with Children’s participation in
“Walk through Bethlehem”
followed by Apple Cider in the parish hall

Friday, December 24th at 10:00PM
Chorale Christmas Performance

Friday, December 24th at 10:30PM
Rite II service of Holy Eucharist, candles and special music

Christmas Morning
Saturday, December 25th at 11AM
Blessing of the Toys Service
Following the Blessing
A very special birthday celebration
in the Parish Hall !

Christmas 1
Sunday, December 26th at 8AM and 10:30 AM
Deacon’s Mass at both services
Celebrating the upcoming Feast Day of St. Stephen


Gifts for Life campaign continues

Advent is the season of  Episcopal Relief and Development.
St. Francis said,
“Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.”

The ERD giving campaign goes until Christmas and it’s never been easier to spread  Big Love from our church pews.
Our goal is $2500. For a family or village, that could provide the following:

Goats$80 each10$800
Flock of Chickens$135 each5$675
Pig$100 each5$500
Seeds, Tools and   






Shares in a well are $750/share. A well for entire village costs $5000.
Donations may be placed in the box provided in the back of the Nave’. Checks should be made out to St. Peter’s with ERD in the memo OR maybe made on-line through our website and choosing “Episcopal Relief and Development” under the Fund Menu.

To learn more about all of the good work performed by Episcopal Relief and Development, please see their website.

You gon-da give a great gift...

when you give an glass ornament or mug that helps raise funds for our 2022 mission to Uganda
(above) Ornaments made from our own recycled worship service bulletins and (below) commemorative Art for Africa mugs.


Tuesday’s ECW Christmas Gathering, Wednesday’s Casting Nets trip to the Aquarium, and Weekend Outreach, Saturday’s Biscuit Brigade and Sunday’s Sack Lunch Prep

Weekly Worship Schedule

 We are now offering bread AND wine during Holy Eucharist,
 but… Dip ! don’t Sip.

Wednesday People

10:30am Bible Study
in the Great Room
12:05 pm Litany of Healing
in the Chapel
~12:40 pm Via Media
on the Internet
2:00 pm Casting our Nets
End of the Session Celebration

Sundays by-the-Sea

8:00 am Rite I Service
~9 am Coffee in the Courtyard 
(weather permitting)

9:30 am Kids’ Sunday School
10:30 am Rite II Service*
In-Person and LIVE Streaming Service*
10:30 am Children’s Church
Child Care Available

Last Week’s Streaming Service

The First Sunday of Advent
Rite I  8:00am Streaming Link
Rite II  10:30am Streaming Link


December 12 – December 18
13th – Janet Dodd
16th – Michael Black
18th – Brett Nicholas
18th – Madysen VanZutphen

December 19 – December 25th
19th – Asher Sanders
20th – Lenny Sawyer
23rd- Donna Hutchings
24th – Christie Yoste
25th – Marion Hood


The Fourth Sunday of Advent
December 19th

Readings: Micah 5:2-5aHebrews 10:5-10Luke 1:39-45 (46-55), Canticle 15 (or 3) or Psalm 80:1-7

Collect:   Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

  Lesser Feast Days and Fasts for this week

December 13
[Lucy of Syracuse, Martyr, 304]

December 14
[John of the Cross, Mystic and Monastic Reformer, 1591]

December 15
[Nino of Georgia, Missionary, c.332]

December 17
 [Dorothy L Sayers, Apologist and Spiritual Writer, 1957]

Lesser Feast Days and Fasts site

The Fourth Sunday of Advent

The fourth and final Sunday of Advent in 2021 will be this Sunday, December 19th. Advent is the season in which we eagerly anticipate the celebration of Christ’s birth. On this Sunday, we celebrate the peace that Jesus brings to our hearts and our world.
This week, we focus our hearts on the “Lord of peace” who came down from heaven in the form of a baby. We live lives lived with fear, anxiety and worry, all trying to steal the joy we have just celebrated. God gives us the gift of peace so we can live joy-filled lives!
This year, we have all faced so much chaos and uncertainty, so much to fear, and to worry about. God’s peace is something we need to grab onto tightly. Let the Spirit of this Season transform the days leading up to Christmas into a time to joyfully await the birth of our Lord.

Meaning and Symbolism

The fourth candle of Advent is called the “Angel Candle” and symbolizes peace. This name comes from the fact that the angels announced that Jesus came to bring peace (Luke 2:14). This week we are reminded that Jesus came to bring peace to our hearts and to our world!

Advent is the first season of the church year, beginning with the fourth Sunday before Christmas and continuing through the day before Christmas. The name is derived from a Latin word for “coming.” The season is a time of preparation and expectation for the coming celebration of our Lord’s nativity, and for the final coming of Christ “in power and glory.”

Advent invites us all to choose to set aside the fear and uncertainty that defined 2020. It’s a chance to be intentional about taking our focus off of the hustle of the Christmas season. We can also give to God the sadness that many may be feeling as many of us will need to observe the holiday season differently this year. This fourth Advent Sunday we are reminded that Jesus offers us peace in every season and nothing is impossible with him!

Prayers for Peace for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

A Personal Prayer for Peace
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”  Colossians 3:15 

Lord, I invite your peace to rule my heart! As I end this year and reflect on your many gifts you have given me; let my heart be encouraged with the truth that you are a good God. I thank you for sending your Son to die for me. I thank you for the peace I have through you. May my words and actions be ones that glorify you. Amen.

A Prayer for Peace for Our World
“The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.”
 Psalm 29:11

Lord, would you bring your strength and peace to your people! Would your presence be felt by all who seek you in a powerful way in this Advent season. Turn the hearts of mankind towards you. We pray that the lost turn to you and find an unshakable peace that nothing else in this world can offer. Amen.

For the Kids !

Advent 3 Lesson:
The Shepherds

This week’s lesson is the fourth in the Christmas lesson series. We will look at the shepherds who were the first to visit baby Jesus. Some of the key points we will study are:

  • They were not important people in society, but they were important to God.

  • They told everyone about Jesus. We should tell everyone, too.

  • They brought what they had to Jesus.

  • Jesus is a great shepherd.

Download The Shepherds Christmas lesson

Advent 4 Lesson: 
Jesus is Born

Welcome to week three in our Christmas lesson series. (If you missed any of the past Christmas lessons click here). This week, we focus on Luke 2. We will look at the trip to Bethlehem and Jesus’ birth in a stable, because of the lack of room in the inn.  Some of the key points we will study are:

  • We need to make room in our lives for Jesus.

  • Jesus fulfilled the prophecies in the Old Testament with His birth.

  • Jesus came for a purpose.

  • God is in control.

Download Jesus is born lesson

Youth Groups

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

FAMILY FUN – 12 Crafts of Christmas
Day 1 – Ringing the Bells
Day 2 – Two Turtle Doves
Day 3 – God’s Eye Snowflakes
Day 4 – Pinecone Gnomes
Day 5 – Gold Crown Tea Lights
Day 6 – Origami Stars

View more…

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.


Advent 3 (C) – Third Week of Advent: Journeying with Family and Friends – December 12, 2021

As we continue our Advent walk, we invite you to see the Way of Love as a journey that includes the community. The witness of Zechariah and Elizabeth who bring infant John to the Temple to be circumcised reminds us of the importance of our faith community to sustaining the Way of Love. Just as the community did for John’s family, communities provide a place for discernment, sometimes challenging us and other times affirming us. Communities celebrate and mark important moments along the journey.

For more Advent resources related to the Way of Love, visit There, you’ll find links to the full Advent curriculum Journeying the Way of Love, as well as Living the Way of Love in Community, a nine-session curriculum for use anytime.

Sunday, December 12
Imagine the faces you’d like to see at church – an all-star list of folks you want to worship with. This could be people you know from summer camp when you were a kid, people who might have already died, people you work with – all your favorites. Commit to pray for those folks this week. And make a commitment to ask one of your all-stars to come to church with you in the next month.

Monday, December 13
Take a new or different route to work, or school, or out to run errands. See how using a different route requires you to see the world differently – to pay a different kind of attention. What do you notice along the way that makes you stop and take a second look? Does anything on this new route inspire your faith journey or remind you of lessons learned?

Tuesday, December 14
Read Luke 1:59-80. When Zechariah’s speech returns, he praises God. If you lost the power to speak for nine months like Zechariah did, what would be your first word of praise? Share this with your family, friends, and on social media.

Wednesday, December 15
Pray along with the Collect for Advent 3, found on page 212 in The Book of Common Prayer. How will prayer guide you through the rest of the week? Set aside special time today to focus your intentions on stirring up peace and spreading joy.

Thursday, December 16
Spend a significant amount of time today discerning if there is a special blessing or gift you can share with your church, a local ministry, or with your community. Ask God to inspire and equip you with the fortitude and tools to make this gift something truly memorable and heartfelt.

Friday, December 17
Turn away from the busyness of the world right now. Turn your heart and mind toward giving thanks for this time of reflection, refreshment, and renewal. Turn your attention toward how you will be resting tomorrow, and put things in place so you can make the most of your sabbath time.

Saturday, December 18
Spend at least 45 minutes outside today, without doing yard work or fixing lights or redoing bows on the garland. Take some time to just sit outside and let the air wash over you, taking away the stress and worry of the moment. Read Psalm 100 before and after your outside time. See how this psalm may help you rest and recharge your spirit.

Advent 4 (C) 

Sunday, December 19
Linger before leaving your worship time today. How is God calling you to hear and sing along with Mary’s Song? Read Luke 1: 39-55.

Monday, December 20
Go out into your neighborhood today. Where is God at work? Ask God to show you how you can celebrate that good work and name God’s presence in your community.


Bible Study Advent 3 (C) – December 12, 2021

RCL: Zephaniah 3:14-20; Canticle 9; Philippians 4:4-7; Luke 3:7-18

During Advent and Christmas, we will be using study prompts and other activities tied to the sermon for the week. Read the sermon aloud and follow-up with spoken responses to the two questions at the end. Find our full sermon compilation for individual, small group, or congregational use, Sermons for Advent and Christmas 2021 at

Advent Joy
by the Rev. Marcea Paul

The Third Sunday of Advent is traditionally known as Gaudete Sunday. “Gaudete,” when translated from Latin, means “rejoice”. We know that Advent is a season of waiting and today we are called to be joyful as we await the coming of Jesus Christ.

God, through Zephaniah, offers us glimpses of a hopeful future and calls us to “Rejoice and exult with all our heart.” Isaiah reminds us of the ways God has delivered us, is delivering us, and will deliver us. He invites us to shout aloud and sing for joy because we shall “draw water with rejoicing from the springs of salvation.” And our cheerleader, St. Paul, strongly urges us to “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.”

We have been experiencing tough times these last few years. With the suffering, loss, uncertainty, and state of our beautiful and broken world, how can we hear these words and rejoice?

In our minds, joy tends to overlap with happiness. Happiness is often connected with what is happening to us and around us. Happiness usually lasts for just a season. When we are discouraged and afraid, rejoicing in the Lord can be a hard sell. But the truth is that joy is not usually inspired by happy circumstances. Poet and author David Whyte writes, “To feel a full and untrammeled joy is to have become fully generous; to allow our selves to be joyful is to have walked through the doorway of fear.” And joy, unlike happiness, lasts – no matter what the challenges.

The prophets looked forward to the day of the Lord’s coming as a time of great joy. Even Zephaniah, who has been called the most despondent of the prophets, kept the last word for joy – joy over the Lord’s presence, joy over renewal and restoration, and joy over coming home. While Isaiah also speaks of doom and gloom, he looks forward to the Lord’s coming as a time for shouting joyfully, “Surely God is my salvation.” Isaiah looks forward to the Lord’s coming as a day when the people would drink their fill of salvation like someone drawing fresh water from a well – certainly a day of great rejoicing….

read more…

Bible Study Advent 4 (C) – December 19, 2021

Phil Hooper

RCL: Micah 5:2-5a; Canticle 15 (or 3) or Psalm 80:1-7; Hebrews 10:5-10; Luke 1:39-45, (46-55)

During Advent and Christmas, we will be using study prompts and other activities tied to the sermon for the week. Read the sermon aloud and follow-up with spoken responses to the two questions at the end. Find our full sermon compilation for individual, small group, or congregational use, Sermons for Advent and Christmas 2021 at

The Hope-Song
by the Rev. Phil Hooper

The Rev. Pauli Murray once wrote that “hope is a song in a weary throat,” and amid this hopeful season, amid this weary age, we would do well to consider what such a song sounds like. It’s easy to miss sometimes, the hope-song, because it doesn’t always sound the way we might expect. We are too easily distracted by the proud aria or the ironic riff to listen for the soft, tremulous music that hope makes.

Hope is the song of empty karaoke bars, of late nights and of last dances, of a husky voice crying out a melody to defy the encroaching night. It is the song one sings under the breath, an insistent memory, perhaps, or a reassurance on the lonely walk home. It is the warbling note that has no obvious splendor other than its defiant insistence to be heard. The hope-song is not elegant, but it is faithful. It is honest. It is the song one offers up when the song is all that’s left to offer.

Consider this music, then, as we travel with Mary to Elizabeth’s house. Forget for a moment the lush choral arrangements of the Magnificat. Don’t be fooled by the prophetic boldness of the words alone. Remember that there is a fearful precariousness to her position. She is a young woman walking uphill in every sense of the word, seeking the comfort of a familiar face when everything else has suddenly become so very unfamiliar. We might wonder: did Mary sing to herself on the dusty road to the hill country? Was it a song that her own parents once taught her that she practiced on parched lips? Or did she call it up from somewhere deeper within, from the Spirit-infused cells of her very depths, determined to give voice to what was true, even when her life seemed to be caught in uncertainty?

Regardless, she sings, and it is indeed hope in a weary throat, reverberating into eternity: “My soul magnifies the Lord.”

Like any hope-song, there is defiance here, along with the joy and the fear. Yes, Mary says, yes, my soul, my very self magnifies the inexpressible holy name of God. The soul that belongs to this body in all its frailty and in all its fecundity – this is a place where God is revealed. Obscure, vulnerable, enmeshed in the tragic history of my people – I may be all of those things, but God is disclosed in them, not despite them, and God has chosen to take part in this world through me. 

And so, I will sing!

I will sing though I am weary, though I am frightened, because in the singing I place myself within a story, not just a circumstance. I sing a song of victory, not of victim hood. I am a teller of hard truths and I am the bearer of hard hope, the type that survives – it is my people’s hope, and my own.
read more…

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

Being Episcopalian

The Mississippi Episcopal Diocese

The Episcopal Church

National Cathedral

Episcopal Cafe


Check out our neighboring
Coast Churches

St. Mark’s Gulfport

Trinity Pass Christian

Christ Church Bay St. Louis

St. Patrick’s Long Beach

St. Thomas Diamondhead

Church of the Redeemer Biloxi

St. John’s Ocean Springs

First United Methodist Church


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. 

Contact Us
         phone: 228.863.2611    
   address: 1909 15th Street  Gulfport, Ms 39501
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