St. Peter’s by-the-Sea, Gulfport, MS

Keeping close while keeping our distance.  A weekly guide for this journey. Our destination: Big Love BACK By the Sea.

April 5, 2021

the Good News

Alleluia !   Christ is Risen !   He is Risen Indeed !   Alleluia !


RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVE

April 13th from 11AM until 4PM in the parish hall. 
Visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS to make your appointment

COAST EYC

When:
Sunday April 18 @ 4pm
Where:
Trinity Episcopal Church, Pass Christian
Who:
All Youth 5th – 12th Grade

What: Our Coastwide EYC is slowly, but surely returning to in-person fun and fellowship.
This week’s event includes music from
our own Hutson Rollins’ band Lemon Pepper !
Refreshments TBA (There may be crawfish!)
 

MEN’S GRILLIN’ GROUP RETURNS !!!
  
 
April 27th
at 6PM in the Parish hall.   All Men of the parish are invited

Bring your entree’ to grill, beverage of choice and $15 dues.  Reservations are REQUIRED !
Please contact Mike at 228-326-6601 to make yours.

Could our ELNO or ELOTE be far behind ?
Stay tuned !

Inquirers’ Class
Every Sunday @ 9:30am
Between Two Services
 

You’ve got questions.
We have answers !

Inquirers’ Class will last several weeks. Anyone 15 and older wanting to be confirmed, re-affirmed or wanting to learn more about our church is invited to attend.
Once the classes conclude, we extend an invitation to Bishop Seage to visit and perform the confirmations and more. Looks like things are returning to a new normal in 2021

  • Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Group has resumed. Meetings are scheduled for the 4th Friday of each month at 2PM in the Parlor. Contact: Al Kirsh (228)383-5718 for more info

Upcoming Services

10:30am

Wednesday Bible Study

12:05pm

Wednesday
Litany of Healing*

11am

Thursday Centering Prayer *

8am

Sunday Rite I *

9:30am

Inquirers’ Class

9:30am

Sunday School
for Kids

10:30am

Sunday Rite II *
Children’s Church & Nursery

The Lessons Appointed for Use on The Third Sunday of Easter
Acts 3:12-19
1 John 3:1-7
Luke 24:36b-48
Psalm 4

The Collect
O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Amen.

  Please:
 
– Wear your mask
– Wash your hands  
– Maintain social distancing
 – Please sign -in upon arrival    
 

 Would you like to be a reader ?
 Interested in being an Usher?
 
Contact Susan at
stpetersbythesea@bellsouth.net
 be sure to include your contact info and time and date you can serve.
 

St. Peter’s Ornaments are back !


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 for Easter, Mother’s or Father’s Day and help support our ECW.
Ornaments are $20/each and may be purchased by contacting any ECW member or the church office.

April 11 – 17
 Birthdays

 11th – Dunny Green
 12th – Hannah Bell
 12th – Vanessa Vincent
 14th – Dottie Long
 15th – Dianne Poirier
 16th – Elizabeth Hurley
 17th – Suzie Patricks
 Anniversaries
 17th – Mike & Sue Cassady
 
 April 18 – 24
 Birthdays

 19th – Will Steiner
 20th – Julie Black
 21st – Lonnie Burch
 21st – Karen Crews
 21st – Earline Sawyer
 22nd – April Chewning

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Wednesday Bible Study

a story about Mary Magdalene

The Woman Caught in Adultery

53 Then each of them went home, while Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, they said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, sir.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.”
                       John 7:53-8:11

 

Inquirers’ Class begins
April 11 at 9:30am
Between Two Services
 

Have you ever wondered:

  • What do Episcopalians believe ?

  • What’s with the “aerobics” ?

  • What do the different colors mean ?

  • Where are the bibles ?

  • What are these “seasons” ?

  • Are we Protestant ? Anglican ? Orthodox ?

  • Who’s in charge? the Pope ? the Queen ? Bishop Curry ?

  • Why Rite I and Rite II ?

  • What’s a collect ?

  • Why the hand gestures ?

You’ve got questions.
We have answers !

Inquirers’ Class will last several weeks. Anyone 15 and older wanting to be confirmed, re-affirmed or wanting to learn more about our church is invited to attend. Once the classes conclude, we extend an invitation to Bishop Seage to visit and perform the confirmations and more. Looks like things are returning to a new normal in 2021 !

 This year’s Lent discussion concludes at St. Peter’s by-the-Sea 
 Join us Wednesday at 6pm, In-person, on Facebook and through Zoom meetings.

Lenten Program
“Will you strive for justice and peace among all people,
and respect the dignity of every human being?
I will, with God’s help.”
[BCP Baptismal Covenant]

This week’s topic for Lenten discussion will cover Political Dignity.
Check our Facebook page or our website for updates.

Inspiration

Week 1 of Inquirers’ Class

 All the Impossible Things we believe.
Walking through the Creed: The Difficult and Challenging things we believe.


What inspires doubt ?
What inspires Faith ?


Coincident, or not, our first week of Inquirers’ Class began on Thomas Sunday. Yeah, that Thomas! The doubting one.

doubt   noun: a feeling of uncertainty or lack of conviction.
“some doubt has been cast upon the authenticity of this account”
Similar:  uncertainty, indecision, suspicion, wavering, lack of conviction, skepticism, disbelief, and many more.
verb: 1. feel uncertain about.
“I doubt my ability to do the job”
2. ARCHAIC fear; be afraid.
“I doubt not your contradictions”



There is so much in our lives that can generate doubt, and fear, and worry. Whether in ourselves, or the world around us, we all know, doubt, fear, worry and more can have many detrimental effects upon our lives; physically and spiritually
.
As a newly “recovering” worrier, I’ve always known these thoughts and feelings were antithetical to faith, so, this year, I gave up worry for Lent. I cannot count the number of times my mother has told me (and, I paraphrase here), “I never worry. If I can do something about it, I do; if I can’t, I let God take care of it”. (She is the smartest woman, or man, I know.)

After 40 days, and more, of Lent, I really do feel better!
Did I slip? You bet I did.
What helped? There were a lot of things. I try to remember: FAITH > FEAR (Faith is greater than fear). And, a few short verses…

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own insight.

                                       Proverbs 3:5
“So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
                                      
Matthew 6:34

Enough about doubt. Let us delve into Faith and what we believe.

What DO we believe ?
From the Episcopal Church website:

“Episcopalians believe in a loving, liberating, and life-giving God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We believe in following the teachings of Jesus Christ, whose life, death, and resurrection saved the world.
We believe that God loves you – no exceptions.”
                                               read more…

The Latin word for “I believe” is credo. The Creeds (Apostles and Nicene) are statements of our basic beliefs about God. Our discussion is focused on the latter.

Where did the Nicene Creed come from?
In order to define the basic tenets of Christianity, Emperor Constantine called  the First Ecumenical Council in Nicaea in A.D. 325. A basic statement of faith was needed to define what made a person a Christian and the original Nicene Creed was created. A shorter version of what we recite today, additions and revisions were made as
theological questions arose from both outside and within the Church. The version we use today, is almost the exact text found in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer and nearly identical to the second version expanded at the First Council of Constantinople, in A.D. 381.

Each line of the Creed address a specific segment of our beliefs and faith, and answers any questions or doubts.
 

We believe in one God,
    the Father, the Almighty,
    maker of heaven and earth,
    of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
    the only Son of God,
    eternally begotten of the Father,
    God from God, Light from Light,
    true God from true God,
    begotten, not made,
    of one Being with the Father.
    Through him all things were made.
 
For us and for our salvation
        he came down from heaven:
    by the power of the Holy Spirit
        he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
        and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
        he suffered death and was buried.
        On the third day he rose again
            in accordance with the Scriptures;
        he ascended into heaven
            and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
   He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, 
    who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
    With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
    We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
    We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
    We look for the resurrection of the dead,
        and the life of the world to come. Amen.

For more on the Nicene Creed:
Anglican Compass
The history of Christianity contained in those handful of lines.
Why it still matters and (Platonism)


HOMEWORK FOR NEXT WEEK:
The liturgy: Questions about worship.

What exactly does liturgy mean? To put it quite simply, liturgy means “public work,” or “the work of the people.”[2] This liturgy of the Episcopal Church is a set service that contains many elements of historic Christian practice that developed very shortly after the time of Jesus Christ. Because the Episcopal Church patterns itself after the earliest Christian Church, the practices in the liturgy are going to have many prayers, actions, and symbolism that will closely reflect many different aspects of the Bible. In fact, most of the prayers that are said in the service are derived directly from various passages in the Bible.
      from A Short Field Guide to the Episcopal Church

Check our our most recent service bulletins here:
Rite I                   Rite II

BCP ON-LINE

Embracing the Season of Eastertide:Easter week NDN

  • Read through the Acts of the Apostles the Church’s the most ancient lectionary tradition and vitally important to the Church’s understanding of the resurrection.
  • Fifty Days of Easter Music the music in Easter should be jubilant and joyous. In Eastertide, a whole season of Easter music is a feast for the soul. The 1982 Hymnal contains a wealth of Eastertide hymns in numbers 174-213.
  • Easter Collects the first week of Eastertide offers a wealth of collects. The collects for Sundays in Easter continue to teach the resurrection message. Use the Easter Week collects for devotions at home. [BCP pp. 222-226]
  • Paschal Candle lit for the first time at the Easter Vigil, is a visual reminder of the light of Christ in us and  reminds us of our new baptismal life. After Eastertide the Pascal candle is put away, but used for baptisms and funerals.
  • Furnishings in the Church The liturgical color for the entire season of Eastertide is white or gold. The pure white garments of baptism and the gold of royalty as a sign of Christ the King.
  • Feasting Together Celebrate together with picnics and parties. Invite the neighborhood to join in! It’s the perfect season to invite newcomers to experience the beauty of the resurrection and celebrate the joy of the living Christ.

 

From Father Ezra and
the Kasemire Church of Uganda Community

 

Happy Easter to you and to all our St. Peter’s Friends.
The Christians of Kasemire Church Of Uganda have failed to get the unique right words to express their sincere gratitude to St. Peter’s Church for the big love. With great joy, the Kasemire Church Congregation has received the $5000 you donated towards the cement for plastering the walls and the floor of the dusty class rooms. As soon as they received the donation, the Church Choir master composed a new song by the chorus ‘ No more dust in our classrooms, God bless St. Peter’s Church for the big love for us’. The song was so lively that made every one dance till sweat all over the bodies

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you very much and God bless you all abundantly.


Peace to you all.
Fr. Ezra,
For Kasemire Church of Uganda Community

Bible Study

Bulletin Insert: Easter 3 (B)
Meet Our Religious Communities: What’s in It for Me?
April 18, 2021

How can a religious order help me in my spiritual journey?

Connection with a religious order can include spiritual guidance and friendship, resources, connection with other friends of the community, and retreat opportunities. Religious communities offer prayers for the world and individuals as requested.

How can I learn about a religious order?

Religious orders are listed on the CAROA website (www.caroa.net) and The Episcopal Church website, with a short description of each community and link to each community’s website. You might consider which community is most convenient for you to visit and which seems to speak to you. You could ask to be added to their mailing list for email and newsletters and also check out their social media presence.

Attending a retreat or a short visit or watching a video could be first steps in getting to know the community and to see if it is a good fit for you. Retreats may include a speaker, spiritual direction, periods of silence, or may be a self-directed retreat in which you decide how to spend your time. It is a good idea to check out what is offered and consider what will best meet your needs at this time. Some retreatants find that they need a lot of rest and sleep; some want opportunities to talk with members of the religious order and other retreatants; some yearn for extended periods of silence, prayer, reflection, and journaling.

How can I engage with a religious order?

After the pandemic, taking retreats on a regular basis can be nourishing and supportive, and can offer opportunity to build your relationship with a community. Some religious orders offer on-going spiritual direction, usually for a donation. Communities sometimes have volunteer opportunities and welcome financial support. 

Once you have made a connection with a community, you might want to develop a closer relationship and establish a deeper commitment. Most communities have associate and/or oblate programs which usually begin with a discernment process and preparation, followed by formal service of commitment. Associates and oblates usually promise to pray for the members of the community and other associates and oblates, to offer financial and other support, to commit to a rule of life, and to attend retreats for associates and oblates on a regular basis.

It may make sense to become an associate first before considering becoming an oblate. Oblates usually have a more extensive period of discernment and preparation, and may take vows. Some oblates receive a habit. Often oblates promise to attend regular meetings or programs specifically for them at the convent or monastery and to support the community in specific ways.

While contacting a religious order may seem daunting at first, you will likely receive a warm welcome and gain spiritual friendship which can sustain you and nourish your soul for years to come. We look forward to hearing from you!

Bible Study

Bible Study: Easter 2 (B) – April 11, 2021

RCL: Acts 4:32-35; Psalm 133; 1 John 1:1-2:2; John 20:19-31

Acts 4:32-35

Several years ago, I was in a church where the preacher decided to conduct an experiment. He told the congregation that he was taking up an offering for those who needed it. And with no other explanation, the offering plates were passed, and people gave. After asking people to raise their hands if they knew of a single parent who had a need, he then had ushers count the money and divide it up into envelopes. Those who raised their hands were asked to come up to the front, pick up an envelope, and were told to give it to whomever in the church they had determined had a need. The people were encouraged to give the envelope to the recipient in private. This is what is happening in our scripture lesson, and we see the practicality of the Gospel in action: The believers in this assembly were in agreement. They agreed to share their possessions – and there was not a needy person among them.

The people of this assembly were no doubt impacted by the unselfish acts they experienced or witnessed, just like those of us in the church I spoke of earlier. On that Sunday, I was one of the recipients of an envelope. I remember someone coming up to my car window, she smiled and said, “Here Rita, this is yours,” as she handed me the envelope. I was stunned because I was not expecting this. But someone did see this widow with young children and saw that I had needs. I have never forgotten that experience because I saw the Gospel in action.

  • If you are part of an assembly, in what ways are you of “one heart and soul” with the other believers?
  • What are some practical ways we can share our possessions with others?

read more…


Bible Study

Bible Study: Easter 3 (B) – April 18, 2021

RCL: Acts 3:12-19; Psalm 4; 1 John 3:1-7; Luke 24:36b-48

Acts 3:12-19

Today’s passage from Acts is a tricky text that has contributed to Christianity’s unfortunate anti-Jewish and antisemitic history of violence. From the crusades to the Holocaust to today’s rise of neo-Nazism, misunderstandings of passages such as this one from Acts have led to horrific beliefs about Jewish people. In today’s text, we encounter Peter and John entering the Temple to pray (notice they are two Jewish men going to pray in a sacred Jewish place) when they see a man at the gate unable to walk. After healing the man “in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth” the man jumps up and walks, praising God. Today’s passage picks up with Peter’s response to the shocked worshipers who recognized the man from the gate. Peter uses it as an opportunity to preach the good news of Christ, but in doing so, he seems to blame the Israelites to whom he is speaking: “You rejected the Holy and Righteous One,” “You killed the Author of life.” It’s easy to see why Christians through the centuries might have looked at their Jewish neighbors suspiciously, but it is no excuse.

At issue here is not Judaism, but a certain kind of religiosity that exists in all religious traditions – a kind of religiosity that wraps itself up in piety and tradition and strangles the movement of God in the community. “Why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we made him walk?” Peter asks. Peter is speaking to some of the most pious, religious people of his day in one of the holiest places in the world, and yet the people still seem surprised when God shows up and does something miraculous, just as they were tuned out to the work God was doing in and through Jesus.

Our Jewish siblings are no more guilty of this kind of thinking than are we Christians. How often do we faithfully attend our churches each week, reciting our prayers from memory, and yet completely unaware of how God is moving? How often are we surprised when we see God working? Our tradition and piety should always point to where God is moving. We must be careful not to become so attached to them we miss out on what God is doing. So, keep praying in the temple! Keep going to church! But don’t be surprised when the God you are worshipping shows up.

  • What are some other passages from Scripture which have been used in anti-Jewish ways?
  • Think about your own prayer practices. Have they ever become obstacles to seeing God’s movement in your life?

read more…

For the Kids

Joseph - Free printable at home Bible lesson for under 5s

This week we will look at the story of Joseph. You can point out that Joseph is the grandson of Isaac and Rebekah and the son of Jacob. His story is found in Genesis 37-45.

Some of the key points that we will examine are—

  • God has a wonderful plan for our lives and can turn a bad situation into good. Romans 8:28
  • Even if people forget us, God will never forget us.
  • Forgiveness. Joseph forgave his brothers even though they hurt him.

 

May be an image of flower and text that says '오 Great 50 Days ofEaster with your Household' From the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi Second Sunday of Easter   April 11-17

Night Prayers – Reflecting on the Day To be used after work or at bedtime The Table – Sharing Our Sacred Stories To be used during a meal, preferably at a table

Produced by Whitney Robinson, the Missioner for Children & Youth Formation of the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi. Free to be used widely, but please be sure to give credit to outside authors/creators of sections if cited. Questions? Contact Whitney Robinson

email stpetersbythesea@bellsouth.net
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Donations and Offerings for 2021 can be made on our website or by mailing your check to the church


NEEDED:
plastic grocery bags
Drop off at the church office

From the Episcopal church website: Way of Love Practices

Turn        Learn        Pray        Worship        Bless        Go Rest

Explore the Way of Love: GO
As we discover the Way of Love and the practices through which we can follow Jesus more closely, we realize that Jesus did not stay in one place very often. The pursuit of Jesus can often mean moving out of our circles of comfort and going to other places – geographically, culturally, economically, spiritually. Because if there is one thing Jesus did, it is that he went – out of his home, out of his town, out of his community – to engage with other cultures and people, to listen and dignify their stories, no matter their culture or station in life. Jesus was a listener and witness to outcasts and sinners, drinkers and tax collectors, strangers and foreigners, the rich and the poor. He uplifted women who were considered unequal to men. He dignified people of other faiths or no faith at all, and showed them the values of the Kingdom of God, through his teaching, through his healing, through his listening, and through his meeting them where they were and putting love into action.
read more…

Explore the Way of Love: REST
When the scriptures tell us that we should love others as we love ourselves, there is an underlying message that we are allowed to love ourselves. The Way of Love recognizes that one way to love ourselves and to maintain ourselves as useful instruments of God is through the practice of rest.
As Jesus tells us in the Gospel of Matthew, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Part of the work of a Christian is to take time to put the work aside and be restored. After God created the heavens and the earth and everything in them, God rested. In doing so, God created a sacred pattern of work and rest, realizing that making dedicated time – to allow our minds to unwind, for our souls to be comforted and healed, for our bodies to be rejuvenated – ensures we can continue in this divine stream.
Rest is a gift and we are allowed to take it.
read more…

Explore the Way of Love – Bulletin Insert Series

View the entire Way of Love in Lent Curriculum here:
https://www.episcopalchurch.org/life-transformed-the-way-of-love-in-lent/

The Empty Tomb

Download
the PDF

 

 

Palm Sunday and Holy week Bible lesson for kids - FREE printable
 

This week, we are learning about Palm Sunday, sometimes called the triumphant entry. It the day when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. The account is found in all four gospels.

We will also reflect on some of the Holy Week events such as:

  • The washing the disciple’s feet,

  • The last supper

  • and praying in the garden.

May be an illustration of text that says '奇所 Holy Week with your household'
From the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi

All about Lent — the 40 days before Easter

Lenten Activities For Children
 

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

 

 

 

Bible Study

Palm Sunday (B) – March 28, 2021

RCL: Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 31:9-16; Philippians 2:5-11; Mark 14:1-15:47 or Mark 15:1-39, [40-47]

Isaiah 50:4-9a

This passage is from what scholars call “Second Isaiah,” written while the people of Israel were living in exile in Babylon. This text is one of the “servant songs,” speaking of God’s servant, called to gather the exiled people back together and restore Zion. In these songs, sometimes the servant seems to stand for all of Israel, and sometimes the servant seems to be describing an individual person. Christians have long read these texts as pointing toward Christ, but this is certainly not the only way to approach them, even for us as Christians.

The speaker in this passage talks about God who “wakens my ear” and “has given me the tongue of a teacher,” allowing the speaker to listen to God’s word and tell it to others. But servanthood has consequences – the servant has to endure violence, insults, and disgrace for telling God’s truth. This is what Dietrich Bonhoeffer has called the “cost of discipleship,” and it continues to ring true in our present times, where fighting inequality and injustice is incredibly hard, and can lead to painful divisions.

  • Where are the servants you look to in these times, who set their “face like flint” and do the hard work of truth-telling and justice-making?
  • What are the difficult truths to which you are being called to waken your ear? And where are you being called to speak out?

read more…


Bible Study    Holy Week

 

Take a look back at this year’s Lent discussion

Lenten Program
“Will you strive for justice and peace among all people,
and respect the dignity of every human being?
I will, with God’s help.”
[BCP Baptismal Covenant]
 

 

“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
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