The St. Peter's baptismal font. Photo by John Hall.
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News from St. Peter's Episcopal Church | January 28, 2015
Our Epiphany season will be bound by baptismal celebrations.  On January 11, we welcomed Sam and Reeves into the Household of God and on the last Sunday before Lent begins, February 15, we will witness the wonder of grace again as two more babies are joined into The Body of Christ. Epiphanytide is an appropriate season for us to reflect on the irrevocable identity bestowed upon us in baptism:  we are children of God. All of our other identities, like what we do for a living, who we’ve parented or been parented by, our roles as volunteers or supporters or taxpayers, etc., are secondary to our foundational identity as God’s children.

The World tells us the most important marker of our identity is the size of our bank accounts or the prestige we garner in social circles. But deep down most of us know, most of the time, that we are far more than what our bank statements proclaim or what social affiliations we have. Yet we need a community to remind us of the deeper truth of who we are, of God’s claim on our lives, and God’s unconditional love for us.  St. Peter’s strives to be that Beloved Community for everyone who walks into our red front door to worship or to serve or to be served.

What small things can you do every day during Epiphany to remind yourself that you are God’s beloved child? Maybe it is remembering God’s grace when you are hard on yourself or remembering your baptism when you wash your face in the morning or finding some time to be purposefully playful rejoicing in the wonder of creation. For you have been “sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked as Christ’s own forever” (BCP, 308).  Thanks be to God.

–The Reverend Joslyn Ogden Schaefer, Associate Rector

Sunday, February 1

Christian Formation classes for all ages in the Parish House,
9:30 a.m.

Coffee Hour in the Community Room, second floor of the Parish House immediately following the
10:45 a.m. service.

Worship services at 8:00 a.m., 10:45 a.m., and 6:15 p.m.

Worship Schedule

SUNDAYS
8:00 a.m.
Holy Eucharist, Rite I
10:45 a.m.
Holy Eucharist, Rite II
5:00 p.m.
Evensong (second and 4th Sundays, through March 22)
6:15 p.m.
Holy Eucharist
with Music
WEEKDAYS
Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m.
Morning Prayer in the Chapel
Tuesdays and Thursdays
Noon
"Holy Food, Holy People," Holy Communion (about 30 minutes in the Chapel)

 

Links

Sunday's Worship & Music Leaflets
The Rector's Blog
In our prayers this week
The Choir School at St. Peter's
Center City Concerts at St. Peter's
 
The Seal of St. Peter's Episcopal Church
"You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church."
Formation and Worship Offerings

February 1st Worship to Include The Girls and Boys Town Choirs of The Choir School at St. Peter’s. The youngest ensemble of The Choir School at St. Peter’s will join the St. Peter’s Choir to offer musical leadership during the 10:45 a.m. liturgy on Sunday, February 1. The liturgy will also feature guest preacher, The Reverend Ledlie Laughlin, Rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Philadelphia—another St. Peter’s Church blessed with a strong choral music program including choirs for children. Spread the word about the offerings of this exceptional Sunday.
 
The Parish Hall Forum at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, February 1 focuses on “Health and Faith: Dying with Dignity.” This session is the final offering in our “Healthcare and Social Justice Series,” begun last fall. Parishioners Dr. David Jacobs, Hope Westerfield, Wes Sturgis, as well as Carol Lawler from Hospice and Palliative Charlotte Region will serve on a panel discussing public policy and end of life care.
 
The Sunday Beatitudes Bible study continues at 9:30 a.m. and on February 1, convening in the Conference Room adjacent the Parish Hall this week only. Assisting Priest and New Testament scholar, the Reverend Jonathan Soyars, leads an in-depth study of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and its relevance for our contemporary context.
 
20s & 30s Fellowship Book Study, “Finding Peace in a Culture of Now” continues at 9:30 a.m. This four-week series, scheduled through February 15, will meet in the Tower Room on the second floor of the Parish House. Led by Ruth Wooded, the group will be discussing ideas from Walter Brueggemann’s book, Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now. Participants are responsible for purchasing their own books. Questions may be directed to Ruth Woodend (rwoodend@carolina.rr.com).
 
Tuesday Nights at St. Peter’s offer “Reading Holy Books: A Comparative Look at Scriptures.” In light of the need for increased compassion and understanding across faith traditions, parishioners Kate Norton and Jim Dudley lead a five-week course comparing the scriptures of other traditions with our own. Come explore Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic, and Jewish texts for five Tuesday nights through February 10 in the Parlor from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Note: This offering began Tuesday, January 13; you may still reserve a spot (email jschaefer@st-peters.org) for the remaining sessions.
 
20s & 30s Fellowship: Friday, February 6, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the home of parishioner Chantalle Couba. Children are welcome. Bring a game and snacks to share. Watch for an evite to RSVP, or email Mother Joslyn (jschaefer@st-peters.org). Get ready for some crazy yahtzee, monopoly, chess, and more.
 
Ash Wednesday is February 18 and the holy season of Lent begins. St. Peter’s will offer four traditional services of the Imposition of Ashes with Holy Eucharist: 7:00 a.m., Noon, 5:00 p.m., and 7:00 p.m. The services at Noon and 7:00 p.m. include special music by the St. Peter’s Choir. By popular demand, we also will offer “Ashes To Go” throughout the day to mark the day’s solemnity for persons who are on-the-go in and around Center City Charlotte. Our multiple offerings are scheduled to accommodate the lives of all ages of the parish, especially children and youth.

Give To The Vision 2015: Connecting with St. Peter's

As of yesterday, January 27, $816,362 in pledges has been made by 321 individuals and households toward our $1 million dollar goal for this year’s annual fundraising campaign. The Vestry and 2015 Stewardship give thanks for members, newcomers, and friends of the parish who have participated in this essential initiative to financially support the worship, programs, staff, outreach, and facilities of St. Peter’s. Every pledge amount matters; our goal is on the horizon. To help us reach our $1 million dollar goal, make your pledge online to the glory of God and learn more about the parish vision.

Special Events
 
Vestry Retreat, Commissioning, and Sunday’s Guest Preacher: January 30-February 1. The Vestry and Clergy will gather for an annual retreat on January 30-31 at the Levine Museum of the New South followed by a Commissioning of the Vestry on February 1 at the 10:45 a.m. liturgy. The retreat will be facilitated by the Reverend Ledlie Laughlin, Rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Philadelphia and Leadership Development Faculty of Episcopal CREDO, Inc. Laughlin will also preach at the 8:00 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. liturgies on February 1.
 
Evening with Audra McDonald to Benefit The Choir School at St. Peter’s: Sunday, February 8. Benefit. Purchase tickets today to join The Choir School community at the Knight Theatre in Uptown Charlotte at 6:30 p.m. on February 8 for a performance by McDonald, who has musical roots in The Episcopal Church. A limited number of premium (gold, silver, and bronze) and general seating tickets are available and going fast! Thanks to Little Hardware and Neiman Marcus for helping make this event possible. Click here to learn more and purchase tickets.
 
Annual Shrove Tuesday Festival is February 17. Don’t miss this year’s intergenerational Shrove Tuesday Festival featuring the annual return of the Rector’s Gumbo, pancakes, and other treats including live music. Advanced purchase is required and available online or at the parish office: $5/child (6-12); $8/youth and adult (age 13+); $25/household maximum; children under six attend for free. Click here to reserve your place today. Stay tuned for how to get involved with hosting this annual grand event. If you would like to assist the Rector and others with cooking on Sunday, February 15 after the 10:45 a.m. liturgy or on Shrove Tuesday beginning at 2:00 p.m., contact the Reverend Ollie V. Rencher (orencher@st-peters.org, 704-749-6140).
 
Episcopal Church Women’s Retreat: “Finding God’s Peace Within” will be offered on Saturday, February 21, 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. at St. Peter’s. Led by Elizabeth Richardson, this retreat will explore how to seek rest and peace in God, by identifying barriers that keep us from that peace and offering practices that may help us overcome them. RSVP here to register. You also may call the Parish Office at 704-332-7746 with any questions.
 
Save The Date: March 6-8, God’s Tapestry: A Lenten Weekend of Reconciliation. Adults, youth, and children will be offered an à la carte menu of sessions on March 6 to 8 to choose from among: “Sharing A Meal and Our Cultural Identities,” “Reconciling Our Minds, Our Hearts, and Our Relationships to Others,” and “Connecting to Our Ancestors in Faith as A Means of Reconciliation.” Charlotte-based Episcopal Church Missioner for Social Justice and Advocacy Engagement, Chuck Wynder, Jr., The Reverend Dr. William Kondrath, author of the book, God’s Tapestry: Understanding and Celebrating Differences, and St. Peter’s Clergy will facilitate the events of the weekend. Stay tuned for ways to register and obtain more information. Note: During Lent, a parish wide reading of God’s Tapestry will offered to all; book copies will be available for purchase at the parish office, a local book store, or your favorite bookseller.

Parish News

Hospitality Room Now Open on Sunday Mornings in St. Peter’s Parish House. From 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The Parlor (first floor, nearest the Chapel) is set aside to provide a place for adults to savor coffee or quiet conversation, or to read the paper, a book, or magazine during the formation hour.
 
Life at St. Peter’s 2015 program guide is available now. The Winter, Spring, and Beyond edition of Life at St. Peter’s is available and contains detailed information about programs and events from January through May, plus known offerings for summertime. View it online at web.st-peters.org/life or pickup a paper copy from the public spaces at St. Peter’s.
 
Fellowship Group for Adults 55+: St. Peter’s “Senior Class.” This group has a lot of fun, enjoying a dutch-treat lunch every third Tuesday of the month and throwing two parties each year, in August and December. If you would like to get more information about this open group, please call one of its leaders: Hannah Craighill (704-334-6276), Mary Griffin (704-364-5268), or Barbara and Jay Partington (704-523-1831).
 
St. Peter’s is growing and in need of additional volunteers to support worship offerings. Are you interested in serving behind-the-scenes on the Altar Guild, as an Usher, or a Welcome Host? If so, contact Director of Ministry Development Mary Virginia Woodall (mvwoodall@st-peters.org, 704-749-6151). Over 100 volunteers contribute to our worship, formation, and musical offerings on Sundays and weekdays. Join the crowd and share the privilege!
 
Offering Memorials and Honoraria for Loved Ones. St. Peter’s has two easy yet powerful ways to remember a loved one (family or friend), in thanksgiving or in memory: altar flowers and Eucharistic supplies. Flowers are $150 per Sunday and more than one person can share in their giving. Eucharistic supplies (bread, wine) are $30 for an entire month or $15 for two Sundays. To give flowers or Eucharistic supplies, contact Mary Virginia Woodall in the Parish Office (mvwoodall@st-peters.org, 704-749-6151).
 
Contributions to Center City Concerts at St. Peter’s (CCCSP). During the summer of 2014, what started as a partnership in 2013 with Music at St. Alban’s in Davidson, Center City Concerts at St. Peter’s achieved non-profit status. Last year, the Board of Directors, the Rector, and others from within and beyond the parish made contributions to launch this community engagement initiative. This month, please consider matching or exceeding the Rector’s recent leadership gift of $250 and click here to donate now. All donations are greatly appreciated.
 
Beyond our Doors: Learning and Serving Beyond St. Peter's

Help us Tackle Hunger on “Souper Bowl” Sunday, February 1. Please bring a donation of cash or check for our Souper Bowl of Caring collection on Sunday, February 1. To benefit the Urban Ministry Center, our youth will be holding soup pots before and after each worship service to receive your donations. The St. Peter’s Soup Kitchen at the Urban Ministry Center was started at St. Peter's and feeds Charlotte’s homeless, every day. Last year, the Urban Ministry Center served 98,469 lunches and several St. Peter’s parishioners are regular volunteers.

Food Pantry Partnership with Loaves and Fishes. Collection of groceries for neighbors in need continues in January. This month’s focus is 100% fruit juice. (Note: for safety reasons, glass jars cannot be accepted.) We look forward to filling the big red barrels in the Gallery of the Parish House with your contributions.
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