St. Mark the Evangelist and The Third Sunday in Easter
We were doubly blessed this Sunday as both Fr. Dennis and Fr. Scott were with us for Holy Communion Services.
Thank you Daryl for this beautiful picture (along with many others) from before the service!
Fr. Dennis delivered the sermon this Sunday. He pointed out the Gospels for both the Third Sunday in Easter and St. Mark the Evangelist are from the Farewell Discourses in the Gospel of John. He chose to focus on the Gospel lesson (John 15:1-11) for St. Mark the Evangelist. These verses describe the character of the true Christian life. Fr. Dennis chose to focus on three of these characteristics. First, Christ is the vine and we, his followers, are the branches. Old Testament imagery used the vine to describe the people of Israel, often unruly, wild, and fruitless vines. Jesus Christ transforms the image of the vine and applies it to himself. Any branch not connected to Him is not truly alive and will not bear fruit. Any branch connected to Him will continue to grow and bear fruit. Fr. Dennis then reviewed Jesus's words that without Him we can do nothing. Every faithful follower of Christ has good and faithful results which grow out of Christ's nature and life. The third characteristic of a true Christian life is the joy Christ brings into our lives. The true and great joy of knowing the presence of the living, risen Jesus Christ can be with us during happy times, average times, working times, ordinary times and thru all the difficult times. Thank you, Fr. Dennis for that beautiful and thoughtful sermon. His compete sermon may be found at the 24:15 mark at the following link:
After services we held a 'Thank You Very Much' luncheon for Fr. Dennis. For many, many months, starting in September of 2019, Fr. Dennis drove over from NC, across the mountains to celebrate Holy Communion with St. Peters. He also taught Sunday School lessons and wrote magazine articles for us! As a Thank You gift, we gave Fr. Dennis an icon featuring both St. Peter and St. Paul with a message from St. Peter's on the reverse side along with a cash gift.
Fr. Dennis, thank you so much for all your help and support! We hope to see you often - weather and mountain roads permitting!
Fr. Dennis sent this note this morning:
Good Monday morning to all at St. Peter's- Kingsport,
Yesterday was a glorious day of worship, fellowship and feasting together. I want to thank all of you for the many kind words and other expressions of appreciation. In particular, I wish to mention the card with personal comments and the icon of St Peter and St. Paul. The personal comments are cherished. The icon is beautiful and meaningful, both devotionally and as a remembrance of our times together since St. Michael's Day 2019. These two saints also represent many of the sermons delivered.
Although my trips over the hills and through the woods will be less frequent. I look forward to seeing all of you again on future occasions. May our Lord continue to bless St. Peter's Anglican Church!
Thank you and blessings to each of you.
In Christ's service,
Thank you to everyone who brought all the wonderful food! We had quite a feast!
Adrienne's sister, Sydni, was visiting from Colorado. Sydni is a painter and photographer. I learned that Sydni and Adrienne are the granddaughters of Navajo artist Charles Lee, also known by his Navajo name Yel Ha Yah. Mr. Lee was also an ordained minister and a missionary to the Navajo people. Thank you, Adrienne and Sydni, for sharing your fascinating family history. Many of Charles Lee's paintings are featured on Sydni's website linked below:
Before services, Fr. Scott started the first of a series of Sunday School lessons about the Seven Sacraments in the Anglican Church. He defined a sacrament as an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace. The form (specific spoken words) and the matter (water/ bread/ wine) are vital. God gave the sacraments for use by humans while on earth with the assurance He will act in a guaranteed way if we say and do things as He instructed. The validity of the sacrament is not based on the merits of the priest.
The Seven Sacraments are:
Baptism (entrance into the faith)
Confirmation (Strengthening of the faith)
Holy Communion (growing in the faith)
Confession (correction of the faith)
Annointing (finishing of the faith as used in the last rites)
Marriage (station of life)
Ordination (station of life)
Fr. Scott then discussed in depth the Sacrament of Baptism starting with some of the Biblical references including: Matt 28:19-20, Acts 16:31, Acts 22:16, Col 2:12, & Mark 16:16. The matter is the water. The form is the words "I baptize thee in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." The grace includes dying to sin, born again into a new life, cleansed from original sin & actual sin, becoming acceptable to the Father, and becoming members of His body (the Church). Baptism is a fundamental building block of Christianity and leaves an indelible mark on a soul. Baptism is a free gift of God but is not a get out of H*ll free card. Thank you Fr. Scott for that very interesting lesson.
Next Sunday Fr. Scott will be in Blacksburg at St. Phillips for his final mentoring service as part of his transition to the APA. Mike will be leading our Morning Prayer service and Scott will lead our Sunday School lesson on Confirmation.
On Saturday, May 15 at 10 am we are scheduling a yard work day at the church. We hope many are able to help with picking up trash around the property, digging out some weeds, trimming bushes, etc. More information to come on work to be done and tools to bring. Please join us!
Sue continues to lead our weekly online prayer group on Tuesday at 11:30. Thank you so much Sue for taking the time each week to lead our prayers! If you have a special prayer request but cannot join us, please send your request to Sue. Please contact Rosalind if you would like to join us on Discord.
Fr. Scott also wanted to share the following message:
I am amazed at how much St. Peters is growing and I love seeing all the new faces. God is blessing our Church. As this growth continues, the preparation work that goes into each week increases. Right now, a small group of people are doing the work for everyone else. I thank God they have been so faithful and now I want to encourage the rest of our Church family to get involved. Please pray about helping out the Church.
Please let Fr. Scott or me know if you are interested in joining one of our cleaning and/or Sunday refreshment teams! These are a once every four weeks commitment.
Daryl captured this beautiful moment between grandfather and granddaughter (Jon & Amber)! Thank you again Daryl for all the beautiful pictures this week!
Sun., May 2 10 am Christian Education
11 am Morning Prayer
Tues., May 4 11:30 am Online Prayer Group
Sun., May 9 10 am Christian Education Fr. Scott
11 am Holy Communion, Fr. Scott
Tues., May 11 11:30 Online Prayer Group
Sat., May 15 10 am Yard maintenance and clean up day