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News from St. Peter's Episcopal Church | July 15, 2015
Ubuntu. As you and I abide in, reflect on, wrestle with, and respond to the sin and state of racism within which we live, I receive great hope from the word “Ubuntu” (pronounced uu-Boon-too, derived from one of the Bantu dialects of Africa). The core of this African philosophy [Ubuntu] offers that all human beings, equally created in the image of God (imago Dei), must understand themselves in relation with the world in order to be whole persons. It means for each person that “I am because you are.” This I find to be both true and mysterious and definitely a “God thing.”

Ubuntu. Daily, I pray that all human beings will work on realizing that each of us actually is “un-whole” if the common bond with all human beings is ignored or minimized or broken. Regardless of what labels or histories we have received from family, society, choice, or force (like American slavery), how and with whom they identify, or what circles they have chosen to be social, study, travel, and play, we are because others are. The recent Charleston massacre and subsequent discussions about the Confederate flag have ignited something fierce throughout our region and nation; both point to reminders of the Ubuntu philosophy. We are because others are: when one dies or hurts, all die and hurt.

Ubuntu calls all Christians and non-Christians to do the hard, uncomfortable, and scary self-examination work of Ash Wednesday and Lent, every day of our lives. The God within each of us dares us to always be reconciling ourselves with God and one another and to “see the face of God in each other,” all so that we might be whole persons.

Life at St. Peter’s will always include collective and individual opportunities for us to do our “race work,” in the name of our parish vision to become bold followers of Jesus and a beacon of hope in Center City Charlotte. I look forward to praying and walking through this hard and holy journey with you by God’s grace and in the spirit of Ubuntu.

God’s blessings and peace to your journey,

–The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector

Sunday, July 19

Worship services at 8:00 a.m. and 10:45 a.m

"You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church."

Worship Schedule

8:00 a.m.
Holy Eucharist, Rite I
10:45 a.m.
Holy Eucharist, Rite II
5:00 p.m.
Evensong (resumes Fall 2015)
5:00 p.m.
Holy Eucharist
with Music (resumes Fall 2015)
Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m.
Morning Prayer in the Chapel
"Holy Food, Holy People," Holy Communion (about 30 minutes in the Chapel)



Sunday's Worship & Music Leaflets
The Rector's Blog
In our prayers this week
Online Calendar
The Choir School at St. Peter's
Center City Concerts at St. Peter's
Formation and Worship Offerings
Adult Formation: Join the Fellowship Ministry Team on Sunday, July 19, 9:30 a.m. in the Parish Hall for a focus group-style conversation about fellowship opportunities at St. Peter’s. We’ll explore questions such as: What types of fellowship would you like to see more of? What has been the most meaningful fellowship time for you? How might you offer your gifts in this important ministry?

Deadline for Vacation Bible School: The registration deadline for Vacation Bible School is July 25. The cost is $30.00 per child for the August 3-7 event. Children will need a sack lunch each day for the 8:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. experience. RSVP online or contact Laurie Burlington (, 704-749-6155) with questions.

Inquirers'/Confirmation Class: What really happens in the Eucharist? What is so special about The Book of Common Prayer? How can you get to know fellow parishioners better? Come explore these questions and more in our eight-week Inquirers'/Confirmation class, in preparation for the Bishop's visitation on Sunday, October 4. Our clergy, along with parishioners Michael Koppenal and Ruth Woodend, will lead the course, which begins August 2 at 9:30 a.m. To sign up or if you have questions, email The Reverend Joslyn Schaefer ( To learn more about confirmation, reaffirmation of faith, or reception into the Episcopal Church, check out the St. Peter’s website for more information.

Formation for 20s & 30s: We will offer a weekly Formation Class for 20s & 30s at 9:30 a.m. beginning September 13 through Pentecost. Cooper Morrison has agreed to help launch the weekly offering in September, followed by Dan Nelson in October. This weekly gathering will be a great touch-point for your week and enable our friendships and support for one another to deepen.

Sign Up for Kerygma: You can register now for Kerygma, the Bible study the Reverend Murdock Smith leads. Fourteen sessions on The Gospel of Luke will be offered Mondays at 6:00 p.m. September 14 through December 14. Text and materials cost $25.00. January 25 through May 2, the sessions will explore the Acts of the Apostles, also for $25.00. Reach out to Father Murdock by email ( to find out more or RSVP online.

Childcare during 8:00 a.m. Service Begins August 2: St. Peter's is blessed to have an abundance of families with young children. In order to meet the needs of parents with young children, childcare will be offered during both Sunday morning liturgies beginning August 2. Families are invited to attend whatever service best fits their needs, along with 9:30 a.m. formation (education) offerings for adults, youth, and children. Click here for a listing of upcoming events.

Special Events

Special Collection for Briar Creek Road Baptist Church Continues until Sunday, July 19. Since Sunday, July 12, St. Peter’s has collected more than $2,000 in response to the recent arson that affected our neighbor congregation, Briar Creek Road Baptist Church. We will receive any additional contributions until Sunday, July 19 before directing funds to the Metrolina Baptist Association. Checks should be payable to St. Peter’s Church with memo “BCRBC Arson Relief.” Online giving is available under the “Give” menu at and offering plates will be available at both liturgies this Sunday.

20s & 30s Cookout: On July 19, 5:30 p.m., join hosts Patricia and John Hoke for a cook-out at their home. Bring a side, drink, or dessert to complement the meal. Questions and RSVPs, contact Patricia at

Summer Film Series: On Sunday, July 19, 12:30 p.m. in the Youth area on the basement level of the Parish House, five families share how they have been affected by a loved one’s suicide in the 45-minute film Fierce Goodbye: Living in the Shadow of Suicide. The film also explores compassionate, ecumenical Christian responses to suicide, which is the tenth leading cause of death in our country. Clergy will facilitate a conversation after the film. RSVP to reserve a lunch for $6.00. Questions? Contact the Reverend Joslyn Schaefer (, 704-704-749-6150).

Senior Class Luncheon: The monthly Senior Class Luncheon on Tuesday, July 21, 11:30 a.m. has been moved to the Greek Isles Restaurant, 200 East Bland Street in South End. Hannah Craighill (704-334-6276) and Barbara and Jay Partington (704-523-1831) coordinate these gatherings of those 55 and up.

Parish News

Registration Deadline Moved to July 26 for Parish Retreat Weekend: As registrations for all-ages are filling up for August 21-23, interested persons now have until Sunday, July 26 to register for our parish retreat weekend. “Celebrate Prayer!” is this year’s theme at Kanuga Conference Center in the mountains of North Carolina. Expect to be fed spiritually, participate in a program facilitated by the Reverend Ollie V. Rencher and Director of Youth Formation Lyn Holt, as well as to rest or enjoy activities, including hiking, tennis, canoeing, fishing, and apple-picking. Pricing includes meals, lodging, and refreshments. Look online or for postcards in the Parish House lobby for one or two-night pricing. Scholarships are still available through the parish clergy. Click here to sign up today.

Servant Ministry: How to Get Involved. To assist parishioners with getting involved in servant ministry through parish and non-parish outreach and social justice initiatives, the Rector has appointed parishioner Michael Koppenal to the volunteer staff role of Servant Ministries Coordinator and the Reverend Murdock Smith (Assisting Priest) as the clergy resource for Outreach and Social Justice Ministry. Contact Michael Koppenal (, 201-674-1191) to learn more. Visit the "Servant Ministry" tab under "Explore" at for a listing of our servant ministry partners and more.
St. Peter’s Calendar Online: Everything that’s happening at St. Peter’s is now available online 24/7. Check out the new, easy-to-use calendar—updated daily—for the latest events and happenings. You can see the month at a glance, plus click on a specific event for more details. Check the St. Peter’s home page for the News & Events, then click on Calendar.

Caregiver’s Support Group: If you are a caregiver, give yourself the simple gift of support—essential for the well-being of those who give and receive care. The support group meets on the third Thursday of the month from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, a few blocks from St. Peter’s. The Reverend Joslyn Schaefer (, 704-704-749-6150) will facilitate the group this month on July 16. Contact her with questions or just drop by for the meeting.

Mission Trip Support: A big “thank you” to all who supported the mission trip to visit Episcopal Farmworker’s Ministry. More than 15 youth and adults ventured to Dunn, N.C., to learn more about how farmworkers contribute to our well-being and how to support them. Donations to support this vital diocesan ministry are always welcome. Just write “Farmworkers” in the memo line.

Staying in touch: The Reverend Joslyn Schaefer is working on making the Facebook group for 20s & 30s more robust. If you'd like to share in maintaining that page, please email her (, 704-704-749-6150). Look for us at St. Peter's Charlotte: 20s and 30s. 

Service Opportunities for 20s & 30s: Amanda Seitler has agreed to be the point person to rally interest and participation in St. Peter’s Outreach and Social Justice Ministries among the 20s & 30s group. Stay tuned for more details but mark your calendars now for a Habitat for Humanity build on Saturday, October 3; the CROP Walk to raise money for anti-hunger organizations locally and elsewhere.

General Convention 2015 Report from Episcopal News Service: Click here to read a debrief from June 25–July 3 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Parishioners Josephine Hicks and Chuck Wynder, Jr. were among those present for this triennial gathering of The Episcopal Church. If you see them around, ask them about the experience.

Clergy On Call Protocol for Emergencies: In the event of a hospital or pastoral emergency concerning a parish member or newcomer, contact the Clergy On Call at 704-332-7746. Callers will be directed to a confidential voicemail box that will notify the designated clergy on call for response. This protocol is especially important outside of normal Parish Office Hours, which are Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Parish Clergy limit email correspondence to Parish Office Hours and receive all pastoral phone calls via their publicized direct lines at the Parish House.

Beyond our Doors: Learning and Serving Beyond St. Peter's

Centering Prayer Retreat Day: Father Tom Ward will share his insights on living a contemplative life during a retreat for the Centering Prayer community on Saturday, August 29, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Myers Park Presbyterian Church. The day will include two periods of Centering Prayer and lunch is included in the $50.00 fee. Register online.

We Need to Talk: This weekly discussion sponsored by MeckMin was launched in the wake of the Charleston tragedy, but will continue Monday nights at 7:00 p.m. The location will alternate between Johnson C. Smith University and Myers Park Presbyterian Church. About a dozen faith traditions are represented in MeckMin, with its mission of promoting interfaith dialogue.

Next Cursillo Scheduled: An Episcopal weekend retreat consisting of reflection, worship, prayer and music led by laypersons and guided by priests, Cursillo will be held Thursday evening, July 30, through Sunday, August 2. For questions, contact Fran or Manning Huske (, 704-362-4107).

Looking Ahead: Mark Your Calendars
  • Recovery Eucharist: August 9, 5:00 p.m.
  • Pride Parade: August 16, 1:00 p.m. – Walkers and hospitality helpers needed. Sign-up begins soon.
  • Formation Celebration and Fall Launch: September 13, 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
  • Afternoon at the Whitewater Center: Fellowship for 20s & 30s in September.
  • Pumpkin Carving Party: Fellowship for 20s & 30s in October.
Visit for more details and news.
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