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.

January 25, 2021

The Good News from St. Peter’s by-the-Sea

~ In-person worship has returned !     
       Sundays at 8am Rite I and 10:30am Rite II and, Wednesdays at 12:05pm
The Bishop’s guidelines are :  25% capacity, maintain social distancing and mask wearing should be observed. There will be no on-line reservations only a sign -up sheet upon arrival at each service.
       Let’s Spread the Love without spreading the Covid by spreading out !

~ All of our services will continue to be streamed LIVE on Facebook and on our website

Our beachside Moveable Feasts will resume in the near future !

~ We are still raising funds for the schoolhouse in Kasimire, Uganda. CLICK HERE and choose "Uganda" from the dropdown menu to donate.

~ New Website feature coming, Forums/Question and Answer page.  Check it out !
      Contact Gail at to give your feedback. Let us know what you think or what you’d like to see.

~ Do you have a green thumb ?    We have Poinsettias from our Christmas Services available for adoption outside the South church entrance  (the back ramp). No need to call. Pull up and procure your poinsettia !
Care and feeding of your new plant HERE.

Revised Worship Schedule
12:05 pm Wednesday In-person and LIVE Streaming Litany of Healing
11:00 am Thursday LIVE Streaming Centering Prayer with Rev. Liz
8:00 am Sunday Rite I In-person and LIVE Streaming Service
10:30 am Sunday Rite II In-Person and LIVE Streaming Service

         Today we celebrate

The Feast of the Conversion of Paul the Apostle

As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"

"Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked.

"I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. "Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."

The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Paul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.

— Acts 9:3–9, NIV

From Overview Bible .com
Who was Paul ?

Paul started more than a dozen churches, and he’s traditionally considered the author of 13 books of the Bible—more than any other biblical writer. For this reason, Saint Paul is often considered one of the most influential people in history. He had a greater impact on the world’s religious landscape than any other person besides Jesus, and perhaps Muhammad.

But before he was known as a tireless champion of Christianity, Paul was actually known for persecuting Christians. The Book of Acts tells us that Paul was even present at the death of the first Christian martyr—where he “approved the stoning of Stephen” (Acts 8:1).

Over the last two millennia, countless books have been written about Paul and his teachings. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll explore the basics of what we know—and don’t know—about this important biblical figure.
[ read more…]


Readings for the day:

O God, by the preaching of your apostle Paul you have caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world: Grant, we pray, that we, having his wonderful conversion in remembrance, may show ourselves thankful to you by following his holy teaching; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

From the Episcopal Church website
Saul was a zealous Pharisee and a persecutor of the Christian church (Gal 1:13, 1 Cor 15:9, Phil 3:6). He was present and approving when Stephen was martyred (Acts 7:58). After Stephen’s death, Saul “ravaged” the church, dragging off men and women whom he committed to prison (Acts 8:3). He went to Damascus with authority from the Sanhedrin to persecute the Christian church, but he was converted to Christ on the way (Acts 9:1-22). His conversion has been dated at about 34 A.D. A light from heaven flashed around Saul and he heard the voice of Jesus asking “Why do you persecute me?” He subsequently recalled that Jesus had appeared to him (1 Cor 9:1, 15:8), and he viewed this experience as authority for his apostolic ministry (Gal 1:15-17). Saul was without sight for a time after this vision, and he was led to Damascus by those who were with him. The disciple Ananias was directed by a vision to baptize him. Ananias was reluctant to baptize Saul, but the Lord told him that he had chosen Saul to bring his name “before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel.” The Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle is celebrated on Jan. 25 in the Episcopal calendar of the church year.

After baptism, Saul confounded the Jews in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Messiah. Saul attempted to join the disciples in Jerusalem, but they were afraid of him because they did not believe he was a disciple. Barnabas brought him to the apostles, and described Saul’s conversion experience (Acts 9:26-27). Saul was accepted as a Christian disciple. Saul and Barnabas were subsequently commissioned by the church at Antioch for missionary work. Barnabas and Saul set off upon what was to be the first of Paul’s three missionary journeys. It was from the time of this first missionary journey that Saul was known as Paul.
[ read more…]

From the Episcopal Cafe
Contributing author, Rev. Liz Jones

Another Ride
The Conversion of St. Paul

Acts 9:1-19

I was sitting at our kitchen table looking out the window, one day last week.As I gazed out the window, I was struck with the knowledge, suddenly new to me of what happened to Paul. God spoke and Paul fell off his horse, was blinded by a great light and got back on a different human being.

So I thought to put a question to you, dear reader, of your own conversion moments. Where were you? Did you fall off your “horse” and get up a new person? I know I did. This moment for me on my own “road to Damascus” happened in a small parish I was serving as its vicar. Here’s what happened.

I was new; this small acolyte was a young teen with an insatiable curiosity about everything. Everything. The questions would begin when I arrived, continued on in hushed voice during the service and following me out the door as I left.

Gradually my answers became more and more terse, until I detested seeing that she was to serve as acolyte. Perched on my high horse, I viewed her as a necessary nuisance to be tolerated.

That is, until the end of a particular Sunday service, where she stood at attention in front of the altar with processional cross at the ready and I stood on the side facing her. I happened to look down and as I looked back up my gaze swept that cross and her hands. They were shaking. Shaking with the effort to get it right; shaking from my high and mighty attitude.

As I fell from my perch, that lofty view, my eyesight blurred and my heart broke. I never quite got over it. From that moment she could do no wrong. I loved her with thankfulness and do still. As you can see, I still tell the story and it was 25 years and some several churches ago.

Like Paul I had a mighty high horse to fall from. Thankfully, we both got up different human beings.

The Reverend Liz Goodyear Jones and her husband Dave are living the retired good life, on the Mississippi Gulf Coast just outside New Orleans. Liz is retired after 36 years in ministry and Dave is a jazz musician.

Readings for January 31
the Forth Sunday after the Epiphany

Deuteronomy 18:15-20
1 Corinthians 8:1-13
Mark 1:21-28
Psalm 111

The Collect
Almighty and everlasting God, you govern all things both in heaven and on earth: Mercifully hear the supplications of your people, and in our time grant us your peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

For the KidsSaul becomes Paul. Free printable Bible lesson on the story of his conversion is found in Acts 9. Coloring pages, story, lesson guide, games and activities, crafts and more

After Jesus returned to heaven, his followers preached His message of salvation. Saul hated the message they preached, but God changed his heart. The story of his conversion is found in Acts 9.
Key Points:
God can change people.
God forgives those who do wrong.
We should forgive others who wrong us.


More about Paul:

View our latest streaming  offerings…

Sunday Worship Service, January 24, 9:00 am Rite II

Centering Prayer with Rev. Liz January 21, 11am

Litany of Healing, Wednesday January 20, 2021 12:05 pm

View any of our services, anytime

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Donations and Offerings for 2021 can be made on our website or by mailing your check to the church

plastic grocery bags
Drop off at the church office

January 24 – January 30

27 – Jody Bailey
27- Kerry Hudson
29 – Alane Young
31 – Liz Young

January 31 – February 6
31 – Anderson Dulaney
31 – Jackson Dulaney
31 – Harty Ozerden
1 – Jane Ann Doucet
2 – Frank Downey
2 – Lee Hood
6 – Gail Hendrickson

From the Diocese of Mississippi



Ugandan Mission

While our in-person mission to Uganda had to be cancelled this year, the need continues, and past Senior Warden and missionary to Uganda, Jane Glenn received this message from Fr. Ezra:
"The May floods affected the Kasemire Community income, hence the Christians have failed to complete the construction of the school which you built for their children. The walls of the school building which you started at the foundation need to be plastered. The classrooms’ floor need to be cemented. Currently, the classrooms are dusty and they are infecting the children with flue and cough. Constructing the classrooms floor and plastering the walls need 630 bags of cement ; and each bag costs $9 (9 dollars) We therefore humbly request you to mobilize Christians, friends and well wishers to generously contribute some bags of cement for a strong Church founded School building.
God bless you abundantly.
Peace and good health to you all.
Your friend in Christ’s service, Fr Ezra.
Uganda "

We will be accepting donations to help, though our website
choose "UGANDA" from the fund dropdown menu

Support our local non-profits:

Gulf Coast Community Ministries

Agency Logo

Grace at the Greenlight

Our church office is temporarily CLOSED !

Please call ahead for drop-offs as there is no secure way leave anything
Offerings made by check
should be mailed to:
St. Peter’s by-the-Sea
1909 15th street
Gulfport, MS 39501

Or, made on-line at:

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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: Epiphany 3 (B)
January 24, 2021
Daniela Lee

RCL: Jonah 3:1-5, 10; Psalm 62:6-14; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31; Mark 1:14-20

Jonah 3:1-5, 10
The shortest prophecy of the Bible and the most effective. One sentence and the whole great city repents! We see in this text that Jonah does not want to do this, and he puts in the barest minimum effort to honor his commission as a prophet to this city that he hates. And yet the Ninevites hear what he is saying and they immediately start their fast and don the sackcloth. Even the cattle!

Our plans are not God’s plans and we are foolish to believe that God would not offer salvation even to people we despise. Our judgment is not the judgment of God and we are not as capable of mercy as God is. But sometimes, we find ourselves desiring God’s mercy for ourselves and God’s judgment for others.

How would you react if you had to bring the Good News of Jesus to the people you despise the most?
Have you ever been upset about someone receiving forgiveness when it seemed to you that they did not deserve it?
read more…

Bible Study: Epiphany 4 (B) – January 31, 2021
January 31, 2021

RCL: Deuteronomy 18:15-20; Psalm 111; 1 Corinthians 8:1-13; Mark 1:21-28

Deuteronomy 18:15-20

Epiphanytide is a meditation on God’s announcing and disclosing of himself in the varying activities of Jesus’ life. The Mysteries the Church explores on these Sundays following the feast (the visit of the Magi, Jesus’ Baptism, the Transfiguration, the Wedding at Cana, etc.) are concerned with Jesus showing just who he is and how he fulfills the promises God has made throughout salvation history. This includes the Lord’s promise to raise up a prophet like Moses in our reading from Deuteronomy.

But what is it that makes Moses a prophet and Jesus the fulfillment of this prophecy? Moses’ privilege was not solely that he was the custodian of God’s power of deliverance from bondage in Egypt and in the delivering of the Law to the People. Moses’ identity instead stems from that the Lord would “speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.” But even this had its limits. On Sinai, Moses had to be protected like every other mortal from seeing the Lord’s glory, or he would die. Not so with Jesus. As St. John tells us, “No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.”

Throughout the Gospels, we will find further parallels between the lives of Moses and Jesus. This is intentional on the part of the Evangelists. Recall the Massacre of the Innocents, the Sermon on the Mount, and the Transfiguration on Tabor. But more importantly, recall the repeated references to Jesus going away to pray and converse with God “face to face” like Moses in the Tabernacle.

  • What does this passage teach us about a theology of Scripture? Of Jesus’s identity as a “new” Moses?

read more…


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