December 19, 2022
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TONIGHT

Join us this evening at 6pm for St. Peter’s own Hand Bell Choir’s Lessons and Carols.
Live stream on Facebook or our website: https://stpetersbytheseagulfport.com/lessons-and-carols-december-19-2022-600pm/

A LOOK BACK AT THE WALK THROUGH BETHLEHEM

 

CHRISTMAS WEEK SCHEDULE

WEDNESDAY

WEDNESDAY WAVE cropped

10:30 Bible Study (bring a treat to share)
12:05 Litany of Healing
12:45 Via Media Stream
5:30 Evening Compline

FRIDAY

Greening the Church*

SATURDAY

Christmas Eve

SUNDAY

Casual Christmas

Christmas Eve Readings: Isaiah 9:2-7Titus 2:11-14,
Luke 2:1-14(15-20)Psalm 96


The Collect: O God, you have caused this holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light: Grant that we, who have known the mystery of that Light on earth, may also enjoy him perfectly in heaven; where with you and the Holy Spirit he lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Lesser Feast Days and Fasts for this week
December

20 [Katharina von Bora, Church Reformer, 1552]
29 Thomas Becket,
Archbishop of Canterbury and Martyr, 1170
31 Frances Joseph Gaudet,
Educator and Prison Reformer, 1934

Lesser Feast Days and Fasts site

THURSDAY thru SUNDAY
COLD WEATHER SHELTER VOLUNTEERS NEEDED !

With the drop in temperatures this week, 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.
CONTACT JAN @ 228-860-4407
or, Call: Stacy Crandle @ 228-326-4353

*GREENING THE CHURCH !

The flower guild is looking for assistance with greening the church for Christmas. 
This usually takes about 2 hours, however the more able bodied persons we have for climbing, lifting, and hanging the quicker it goes.

 We will be creating wreaths, arrangements, swags and garlands throughout the week before Christmas.  All those interested in helping to make our church more beautiful are welcome.  Greening the church will occur on Friday, December 23rd at 10AM.  We will need some strong and agile persons to assist with hanging the finished decorations.

Our record is 1 hour and 40 minutes  – let’s beat that!

UPCOMING AND ONGOING


ELNO
Episcopal Ladies Night Out  December 27th at CHIMNEYS !
Join us at 5:30 for Meeting and Greeting We’ll Dine at 6pm
RSVP JAN SHOOK @ 860-4407
RESERVATIONS MUST BE MADE MONDAY THE 26TH





MEN’S GRILLIN GROUP
will NOT meet in December.

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.

There will be no Wednesday activities on the 28th

Weekly Worship Schedule 
Wednesday 

10:30 Bible Study
12:05 Litany of Healing
12:45 Via Media Stream
5:30 Compline

Sundays by-the-Sea
11am ONLY

 

RECENT STREAMS

December 14, 2022
VIA MEDIA

December 18, 2022
ADVENT IV



Sunday Rite I

December 18 – December 24
Birthdays
18th – Brett Nicholas
18th – Madysen VanZutphen
19th – Asher Sanders
20th – Lenny Sawyer
23rd – Donna Hutchings
24th – Christie Yoste

December 25 – December 31
Birthdays
25th – Marion Hood
26th -Bob Montgomery
27th – Hannah Black
30th – Libby Koch
30th – Ian Phillips
31st – Lamar Billups
31st – Stanley Hastings
Anniversaries
30th – Tim & Pam Barrineau

SAVE THE DATES

Chrismas Eve
December 24, 5PM – Rite II
December 24, 10PM
 – Choir Concert
December 24, 10:30PM
 – Rite II
Midnight Mass
Christmas Day
11AM Casual Worship

ECW News
Congratulations to Bubba Lang on winning our Tea Basket raffle !

Next Meeting in January

 

MISSISSIPPI DIOCESAN YOUTH

Youth Groups
@diomsyouth



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 !

Art in the Christian Tradition


Title: The Nativity
Print: Cara B. Hochhalter, The Nativity. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=58798

COMMENTARY BY THE ARTIST:
The Nativity
Luke 2:4-20
“It is a humble story of Jesus’ birth. He was not born out of wealth and riches. This story teaches all of us, and particularly children who act out the nativity every Christmas, that wealth does not matter. Jesus, who held God in his very being, came into the world as a person on the margins, a refugee whose family could find no home of their own and were later sent into exile. But that did not matter either. In this image, Jesus is surrounded by love; from Mary and Joseph, from animals—and soon shepherds would come. It is a story about how an infinite love can rise up from any place and move us all forward with a yearning for peace among all creation.”
The Rev. Cara B. Hochhalter is a United Church of Christ (UCC) minister. She received her Masters of Divinity from United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities in Minnesota, where she studied the intersections of art, theology and justice. She served the Charlemont Federated Church in Massachusetts for ten years and now lives in Hyde Park, New York.

 

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?)

Christmas, or Christ’s Mass

Christmas (in old English, Cristes maesse) is a festival celebrated on Dec. 25, commemorating the Incarnation of the Word of God in the birth of Jesus Christ. In the BCP it is also called The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. In the United States it is also a popular secular holiday.

According to the Philocalian calendar, Christmas was first celebrated in Rome in the year 336. It gradually spread to the churches of the east, which already had a festival on Jan. 6 commemorating the manifestation of God in both the birth and baptism of Jesus. The date, Dec. 25, rests on no historical foundation. It was probably chosen to oppose the feast Natalis Solis Invicti, the birthday of the “Unconquerable Sun God” (Saturn), which took place at the winter solstice to celebrate the birth of “the Sun of Righteousness.”

The customs associated with Christmas have developed from many sources. From early days the popular observance of Christmas was marked by the joy and celebration characteristic of the Roman Saturnalia and the pagan festivals which it replaced. It came to include the decoration of houses with greenery and the giving of gifts to children and the poor. In Britain other observances were added including the Yule log and Yule cakes, fir trees, gifts, and greetings. Fires and lights (symbols of warmth and lasting life) and evergreens (symbols of survival) were traditionally associated with both pagan and Christian festivals. Their use developed considerably in England with the importation of German customs and through the influence of the writings of Charles Dickens

In the BCP, Christmas Day is one of the seven principal feasts. The Christmas season lasts twelve days, from Christmas Day until Jan. 5, the day before the Epiphany. The season includes Christmas Day, the First Sunday after Christmas Day, the Holy Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and may include the Second Sunday after Christmas Day. In many parishes, the main liturgical celebrations of Christmas take place on Christmas Eve. The BOS includes a variety of resources for use during Christmas, including a form for a Station at a Christmas Creche, a form for a Christmas Festival of Lessons and Music, and seasonal blessings for use during the Christmas season.




Lesson

A selection of scripture that serves as a reading for a church service. It is also known as a lection or a reading. The BCP appoints lessons for the eucharist in the Lectionary (pp. 889-931), and it appoints lessons for Morning and Evening Prayer in the Daily Office Lectionary (pp. 936-1001). Appropriate lessons for other services, such as An Order of Service for Noonday and Compline, are provided in those services. The gospel at the eucharist is to be read by a deacon, or by a priest or bishop if a deacon is unavailable. All other lessons may be read by lay people. The NT lesson at the eucharist is also known as the epistle. A lay person who reads a lesson is known as a lector. Lessons may be said or sung. Lessons have been announced since the twelfth century. The 1549 Prayer Book required the announcement of the lesson to include the citation of the chapter from scripture, and the 1662 BCP required citation of the verse. The 1979 BCP makes citation of the chapter and verse optional. The lector need only say “A reading (or lesson) from _________,” and name the scriptural book which is the source of the lesson. Similarly, the deacon who announces the gospel need only say “The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to _________.” After each lesson at Morning and Evening Prayer and after the lessons other than the gospel at the eucharist, the lector may say “The Word of the Lord,” to which the congregation responds “Thanks be to God.” Alternatively, the lector may also conclude the lesson by saying “Here ends the lesson (reading).” No congregational response follows this statement. Silence may follow each lesson at Morning and Evening Prayer. Silence may also follow each lesson at the eucharist other than the gospel. See Lectionary.

INSPIRATION

Participating in God’s Plan, Advent IV (A)

December 18, 2022

Frank S. Logue

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 7:10-16; Psalm 80:1-7, 16-18; Romans 1:1-7; Matthew 1:18-25

God breaks into human history bringing divine plans to fruition through ordinary people. We see this pattern all through scripture, from the patriarch Abraham to the persecutor of Christians, Saul, who becomes the Apostle Paul. And from Deborah and Esther, who bring hope to their people, to Mary Magdalene, who was a witness to the Resurrection sent as the “apostle to the apostles” with the Good News.

This pattern of God working through people is no less true in the most important divine plan in history, as the Word became flesh in Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us. God used Mary and Joseph in a plan to turn the world upside-down, which was really setting everything right once more, in Jesus. Knowing them as St. Mary and St. Joseph can hide the fact that, though this couple was amazing, unique in all history even, they were also very much human.

In our Gospel reading, we see that Joseph is a person with hopes and dreams for his own life, who found himself taking this critical role in history. When we meet Joseph, he is engaged to Mary and learns that she is pregnant. God uses a dream to get Joseph’s attention. Joseph hearing from an angel in his sleep is not so different from what you and I can experience. Sure, we can sometimes have dreams that get our attention, but we can also find the Holy Spirit breaking into our imagination. More often, God uses messengers to get our attention, like Mary’s relative Elizabeth, who confirmed what Mary had already heard from the angel. God often uses other people to assist us in seeing what God is doing in our lives. A godly friend can be very important as we test out whether our great idea is something the Holy Spirit is prompting us to do.

God does not make anyone act but rather invites us to take part in what God is doing in the world. In Luke’s Gospel, we read of how the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, with Mary later responding, “Let it be with me according to your word.”

Here in Matthew’s Gospel, we find Joseph wanting to do the right thing. Breaking an engagement took a divorce decree, and divorce had to be requested by either party and witnessed by three others to be legal, so it was not as easy a matter as it might be today to end an engagement. Joseph wants to handle this in a way that would not harm Mary. Then an angel comes to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

Joseph believes the dream and Matthew tells us, “When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife.” Joseph accepted the invitation to participate in God’s plan of salvation, just as Mary had already done.

So, Joseph marries Mary. She has a child whom Joseph names Jesus, which means “God saves.” God will save and God will do it through Jesus, but Mary and Joseph were essential to the plan. Mary had to consent to the pregnancy and Joseph to the marriage.

God rarely acts in history with this sort of intervention. Jesus will anger a hometown crowd with this assertion years later, saying, “The truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up for three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”

Through the Incarnation, we see how God acts, even in the extraordinary case of the birth of Jesus. While God becoming human in Jesus is a once-in-all-history event, God does regularly prompt people like you and me to take part in God’s hopes and dreams for our world. We are invited to participate in what God is doing through serving others, as though we are serving Jesus.

Jesus describes this in the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, describing the actions of the faithful: “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” Those who cared for others will be surprised, not knowing that they cared for Jesus, who will then explain, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”

This parable is all the more poignant when we see Jesus’ humble origins. The King of Creation was not born in a palace to a life of luxury. After Jesus is born, Mary and Joseph will take him to the Temple to offer two turtledoves; the Torah required a lamb together with either a turtledove or a pigeon to be offered for the birth of a son or daughter. However, Leviticus 12:8 noted that poor families could offer two birds instead, as a lamb would present a financial hardship. The Holy Family qualifies for what amounts to a hardship discount. Jesus will later serve others on the road where he is frequently a guest who relies on the hospitality of others, as a stranger welcomed by others. Jesus sees the needs around him everywhere among the members of his human family.

God will find a way to care for those in need, using someone else if we fail to respond. God will work out God’s purposes through whoever is willing to listen to the promptings of their hearts. While you and I will not be invited to such a momentous task as Joseph, we no less can take part in what God is doing. Jesus makes it clear that small acts of providing food for the hungry and drink for the thirsty are of eternal significance. In these small yet meaningful ways, we get to participate in the coming Reign of God by being God’s hands and feet in the world. This is part of how God breaks into human history, bringing divine plans to fruition through ordinary people.

As we journey these last days to our celebration of Jesus’ birth, our eyes should be open anew to how God is giving us the opportunity to respond to a divine invitation. For in caring for those in need, we are serving the Emmanuel, the God who is with us, in Jesus. When we show care for those who would otherwise be lost and left out, we are doing so for the one whose First Advent we celebrate, even as we await Jesus’ coming again in glory.

The Rt. Rev. Frank Logue is the Bishop of Georgia. He previously served on the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church and was the church planter for King of Peace Episcopal Church in Kingsland, Georgia.

Word – Advent 4 (A) SermonDownload

PDF – Advent 4 (A) SermonDownload

BIBLE STUDY

Bible Study: Advent III (A)

See Above
During Advent, 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 2022 at www.sermonsthatwork.org.

1. Share a story about a time you felt that God was using you and your talents to accomplish something in the world.

2. What are some ministries your congregation undertakes to serve the hungry, thirsty, naked, incarcerated, or strangers in your midst? Can you articulate the connection between your faith and that work?

 

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, December 19, 20221 Samuel 2:1-10; Genesis 17:15-22; Galatians 4:8-20

Tuesday, December 20, 20221 Samuel 2:1-10; Genesis 21:1-21; Galatians 4:21-5:1

Wednesday, December 21, 20221 Samuel 2:1-10; Genesis 37:2-11; Matthew 1:1-17

Thursday, December 22, 2022Luke 1:46b-55; Isaiah 33:17-22; Revelation 22:6-7, 18-20

Friday, December 23, 2022Luke 1:46b-55; 2 Samuel 7:18, 23-29; Galatians 3:6-14

Saturday, December 24 & 25, 2022Nativity of the Lord – Proper I

Saturday, December 24 & 25, 2022Nativity of the Lord – Proper II

Saturday, December 24 & 25, 2022Nativity of the Lord – Proper III

Monday, December 26, 2022Psalm 148; Wisdom 4:7-15; Acts 7:59-8:8

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.

Contact Us

email: stpetersbythesea@bellsouth.net 
         phone: 228.863.2611    
   address: 1909 15th Street  Gulfport, Ms 39501
See much more: stpetersbytheseagulfport.com

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