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

Volume 2, Issue 1, October 5, 2020

Missions and Mercy - From Healed to Helpers

As I considered what to include in this week’s TM, the “change of seasons” as a theme occurred to me. With all the expected things that this change brings: pumpkin spice on everything nice, turning leaves, falling temps, football, sweaters and more… that’s an easy one. Even though many a Southerner has thought, “What is this ‘Fall’ you speak of?”
How could we get into that spirit ? Toilet paper roll crafts for the kids to do at home? A special spiced beverage recipe ? Wasn’t yesterday St. Francis of Assisi day ?

But wait, this is 2020, turning everything back-upside-wards!
My azaleas have been blooming! Classes are cancelled, football games forfeited or postponed, weather reports of a new storm heading into the Gulf (I excepted snow), and sadly, so much more.
When will it end ?
What, indeed, IS this Fall you speak of?

Healed to Healers2


Then, I remember the wisdom of Mr. Rogers:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news,” Rogers said to his television neighbors, “my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping. ‘”

Members of St. Peter’s have continued to be those “Helpers” throughout this year’s pandemic shut downs and social distancing; whether it be providing meals for school children and staples for the local food bank, to traveling to disaster stricken areas to help with clean-up efforts. Need knows no pandemic and we continue to help wherever, and when ever we can.

As I watch our in-person service attendance increase, book club, bible study and the bell choir return, and EYC begins (all very carefully) I began to think about ways we can get back to the work we do as a congregation. As the internet/social media person, I try to keep us connected while we keep our distance, but how can we start to shorten that distance while staying safe?
It hit me!  The Guide to Missions and Ministries! We are quite a creative congregation; why can’t we begin to return to those missions in the safest ways possible? Let us get together, while apart, and be the helpers others look to within our parish and throughout the community.

To get us started, I have included a list of our Missions and Ministries:
Did we miss anything ?
What are some creative ways can we reimagine these missions?
Send your ideas to Let’s get collaboratin’ !

If you would like to download the booklet in it’s entirety as a pdf, use this LINK.
( Would you believe I thought this file had been created in 2019 or even, 2018, then discovered we had put it together in January of THIS year! )
Then check our website in the coming week for more info on these missions and your ideas.

Big Love, Y’all !
~ Gail ~

In the wake of our trip to help Camp Beckwith in Alabama, our fundraising efforts will be on-going with the goal of increasing the resources in our discretionary fund. As we all know, hurricane season is not over and these storms can spin up overnight with the predictability of a toddler. In order to act quickly, grab more supplies, gas, groceries, etc. if you can, please consider continuing to give! Generosity is always the right response.
Donations can be made through our giving portal and choosing the beckwith option.


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 Drop off at the church office


A special Sunday School project for kids and adults to participate in and help our neighbors to the West affected by Hurricane Laura

 St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church, Lake Charles, LA

Worship Services
(in-person and 
Sundays @ 8:00 am
Sundays @ 10:30 am
Wednesdays @ 12:05 pm

Centering Prayer
(streaming only)
Thursdays @ 5:30 pm

Moveable Feasts
Wednesdays @ 6pm on the beach


Looking ahead:
October 11, 2020

Exodus 32:1-14
Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23
Philippians 4:1-9
Matthew 22:1-14

October 4 – October 11

Oct 7 – Scott Williams
Oct 9 – Ruthie Murdock

Oct 10 – Justin & April Chewning

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:

getting social

Do you have some good news to share ?   Would you like to contribute a column ?
Submit your story to 


View our latest streaming offerings…

Returning to Worship

While there is a seat at God’s table for everyone,
St. Peter’s requests you let us know you’ll be in attendance.

Sign up is easy through the forms on our website. Just choose a service from the dropdown menu.

Rite I (8am) or Rite II (10:30am) Services on Sundays
or, Litany of Healing (12:05pm) on Wednesdays

Having trouble? email
In a hurry? text Fr. Patrick at 901-849-0400 or, Gail at 228-760-0179
As always, Safe Worship Guidelines will be observed, including the ability to contact attendees if needed.


For more info:


Bible Study Returns !!!

To maintain Social Distance we will gather in the Nave, Wednesdays at 10:30am for Bible Study.
Let us know you will be joining us by emailing

Study will be followed by
the Healing Service at 12:05pm
Sign up is requested at the above link.

Moveable feasts are in full swing !

Wednesdays at 6pm* on the beach
across from the church by the fire pit
Bring your blanket, or chair. Don your flip-flops.

Sign-up HERE 

#biglovebythesea (literally)

*Worship times will be adjusted for the earlier Autumn sunsets.

Bible Study: Pentecost 19 (A) – October 11, 2020
Sr. Kate Maxwell, OSB


Exodus 32:1-14

This is a story of memory and lack of memory. The Israelites become impatient waiting for Moses to come down off the mountain, so they complain to Aaron. They are ready to move on from the mountain and ask Aaron to make it happen. They remember enough to know that they need a god to lead them, but not enough to remember the Lord. Aaron foolishly gives in to them, collects gold from among them, and makes a calf from it. He then proclaims a feast of the Lord, but they take the day as a feast of the new god, the calf.

The Lord God sees all this, gets angry, and tells Moses that although God will destroy the people, the promise made to Abraham will be fulfilled in him. Moses reminds the Lord of his mercy and promise, and adds for good measure, “What will the Egyptians think?” So, God remembers and changes his mind.

This is one of several stories in the Hebrew Scriptures where the argument of one faithful person leads God to change his mind about the destruction of a people. Arguing with God in the Scriptures can give us warrant to do the same in our own lives. However, the notion that God changes – his mind or any other way – is a challenge to the Greco-Roman idea that God is immutable. Much scholarly ink has been spilled trying to reconcile these things!

  • How do you see the role of memory in the life of faith?

  • Do you argue with God? What do you do in prayer when you are angry?

  • How does the idea of divine immutability square with your personal theology?

Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23

This psalm begins with a verse of thanksgiving for the goodness of God and moves into remembrance of God’s past favor for Israel and a benediction for the righteous. The fourth and fifth verses ask for the Lord to remember the psalmist, standing for the people, as God remembers the ancient people of Israel, in order that they will see prosperity, be glad, and partake of the glory of God’s people in the present.

The sixth verse is a hinge in which we learn why the psalmist needs God to remember them: the people have sinned as their forebears did in the desert. Verses 19-23 recount the story we have heard in the first lesson today. Moses interceded for the people after their infidelity and God did not destroy them for it.

This whole psalm is a kind of anamnesis: the psalmist recalls and makes real again in this time what happened in that ancient time. The psalmist is in the place of Moses, interceding for the people. The hope is that God, who is merciful, will forgive the present sin of the people.

  • What are the “mighty acts of the Lord” that you would recount if this psalm were your own?

  • What idols challenge the reign of God today?

  • How does this act of anamnesis resemble that of the Great Thanksgiving in the Eucharist?

Philippians 4:1-9

This section of the letter to the Philippians comes just after Paul has said that he considers all that he once had as rubbish compared to life in Christ. That’s the immediate context for “stand firm in this way,” that is, follow Paul’s example. The section is an exhortation to living in God’s peace.

It seems from the second and third verses that there is some contention in the community and that mediation may be needed between two of the leaders, Euodia and Syntyche. Peace may need to be restored, not just enjoyed. It is interesting that Paul commends these two women to his “loyal companion,” since they have worked alongside Paul in spreading the Gospel. It is evidence that women had a significant place in the church at Philippi – and possibly elsewhere – since they are named along with men whom Paul names as coworkers.

Verses 4-9 are instructions on how to experience God and God’s peace in the community. Here, Paul urges the community, not individuals, to rejoice always, to be unworried, and to pray constantly so that God’s peace may rest on them. In these verses, Paul returns to exhorting the entire community to live in Christ Jesus, a life worthy of the Gospel (and like that of Paul).

The tension between the individual and the communal experience of the church was as real for the early Christian communities as it is today in our culture of individualism.

  • How do you go about dealing with individuals who are at odds in the community?

  • What do you think is the best way to explore the tension between the individual and communal dimensions of Christian life in community?

  • What in today’s culture would meet the qualifications that Paul sets out in verses 8 and 9?

Matthew 22:1-14

This is one of a series of teachings about the Kingdom of God in Matthew. Most commentators agree about one thing: this parable is perplexing. On the one hand, after refusals by the initial guests, the king commands that everyone in the streets be invited to the banquet. On the other hand, someone who isn’t dressed properly for the feast is harshly excluded by the king. There is no one “takeaway” that wraps it up. The passage ends with the enigmatic, “Many are called, but few are chosen.”

Reading the parable as an allegory is typical, seeing the king as God, the first invited guests as Israel, and the guests recruited from the streets as the Gentiles. While this may be a reasonable approach, the interpretation runs the risk of supersessionism and anti-Semitism by portraying God as rejecting Israel.

An alternative approach to this parable is to emphasize the universality of invitation; everyone is invited to the Kingdom of God. We are not accepted on the basis of merit or good works. The invitation is free, not dependent on worthiness. God continues to invite, even when we make excuses about not going and turn away from God. That’s Good News.

  • How do you understand the reign of God? What metaphor would you use for it?

  • “Many are called, but few are chosen.” What does this saying mean to you?

  • Do you often read the parables as allegories? Why or why not?

Sr. Kate Maxwell is an Episcopal Benedictine monastic, a member of the Companions of St Luke – OSB, and serves her community as Dean of Formation and Safe Church administrator. She is currently in her second year in the Episcopal Church in Minnesota’s School for Formation as a postulant for holy orders. She lives in St. Paul, where her feline companion allows her to share an apartment.

Sunday School Lessons
for the kids (and the young at heart):

Proper 23, Year A
Scripture: Matthew 22:1-14

This is the final parable that Jesus gives in the temple, and it is especially a difficult one for children and youth to understand. To explain the parable briefly, many sight it as being an allegory of salvation history. The wedding banquet is given by the king (God) for the son (Jesus). Many guests are invited ahead of time and say they will come, but on the day of the wedding, no one will come and some, in fact, abuse the slaves he sent to gather them. The king (God) is furious and sends troops to punish them.

The wedding banquet is still ready, so the king (God) tells the slaves to go and gather all who are in the streets, good and bad, to the banquet. They come, ready for the banquet – all except one, who is singled out and taken away. This final piece is said to be not about a physically being ready, but about leaving behind the old and being ready for the feast, being ready for God, presenting yourself to God in such a way as to say, I have prepared myself and am here. It is also good to note that in Jesus’ culture, when one was invited to a wedding, there were robes given to the guests to wear and this man chose not to – he chose to keep his own clothes, thus not giving himself fully to God and to the feast.

This is a difficult parable that has been used to exclude people and bully people into being a certain way to get into the feast. This is really about God inviting us to come, choosing to come, and welcoming us to be ready when we are invited. Jesus is urging us to come to the feast when we are invited and to put on the “clothes” that God has provided for us. We are all invited into the kingdom of heaven, it is our choice to accept and prepare ourselves or not.

Download the Lesson Plans for Proper 23

LPTW Proper 23, Year A, Younger Children
LPTW Proper 23, Year A, Older Children
LPTW Proper 23, Year A, Adult
LPTW Proper 23, Year A, All

*Crafts and Videos soon


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

Christmas will be here in:

Has your Big Love tee become thread bare?
not quite white anymore ?

We have had some requests for a “re-issue” and after a re-design we have a lot more styles, colors and items to choose from.

Big Love Collection
Micah 6:8 Collection

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Kids and Teens join us each Sunday Afternoon for EYC