St. Peter's gathers on the "birthday of the Church," Pentecost 2013. Photo by Tom Johnson.
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News from St. Peter's Episcopal Church | May 22, 2013

From the Rector

Almighty and everlasting God, you have given to us your servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of your divine Majesty to worship the Unity: Keep us steadfast in this faith and worship, and bring us at last to see you in your one and eternal glory, O Father; who with the Son and the Holy Spirit live and reign, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Collect for the First Sunday after Pentecost: Trinity Sunday)

Dancing with God. The first Sunday after the Day of Pentecost commemorates and embraces not an event, but the reality of the Holy Trinity. It is one of few celebrations of the Church Year that commemorates a reality and belief rather than a specific event or person. On this day, Christians remember and honor the eternal God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Symbolic of the unity of the Trinity, it lasts one day and continues to be a both fascinating and controversial dogma of the faith. The mystery of the Trinity does not mean a riddle, but rather that the Trinity is a reality above our human comprehension that we may begin to grasp, but ultimately must know through worship, symbol, and faith. It has been said that mystery is not a wall to run up against, but an ocean in which to swim. 

I offer that the Trinity is a three-person dance with God, whereby no partner of the dance can ever break away, loose step or fall out of sync. Instead, every partner remains perfectly in step and bound even as the music inevitably will change. The partnership circle cannot be broken. Every day, we are called to dance with God. Now, let us work on our dance moves and remember always to let God lead. 

– The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector

Sunday, 5/26

8:30-9:30 a.m. “Holy Chow” breakfast in the 2nd floor Community Room after 8:00 a.m. worship.

9:30 a.m. Sunday Scriptures Study Class in the Tower Room. Join a lively small group discussion of the Eucharistic lessons appointed for the day. Bring your bible and a friend.

After 10:45 worship, Coffee hour in the Parlor, hosted by St. Peter's baristas.

Worship Schedule

8:00 a.m.
Holy Eucharist, Rite I
10:45 a.m.
Holy Eucharist, Rite II
5:00 p.m.
Choral Evensong
(resumes September 29)
5:00 p.m.
(3rd Sundays)
"Service of Light & Holy Meal," a Communion service based on the music and rhythms of the Taizé community in France
Tuesdays and Thursdays
"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
The Choir School at St. Peter's

The Seal of St. Peter's Episcopal Church
"You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church."

A Message from the Rector

It is with mixed emotions that I share the news that Administration and Finance Manager Mary Ann Wexler-Danchess will be leaving the parish staff effective June 18 for new employment away from Charlotte. After twelve years of faithful service at St. Peter’s, she will relocate to serve as business manager of a large United Methodist Church in Florida. It has been a privilege to serve with such a talented colleague. On behalf of the Vestry, I ask that you join me in prayer for her transition and congratulations for this incredible career opportunity. Stay tuned for news about a leave-taking reception for Mary Ann. Meanwhile, I am working with the Executive Committee on the appropriate staffing situation to fulfill her current roles and responsibilities. I ask your prayers for that search process and will provide more information when appropriate. 

Regarding staff transitions shared by me at the Annual Meeting of the Parish in March: Executive Assistant to the Rector Mary Virginia Woodall will transition into the new staff position of Director of Ministry Development in early to mid-June. After nineteen years of dedicated service as the administrative assistant to the clergy, Mary Virginia will serve four days per week in the strategic role of working proactively with current and prospective members to connect them with the specific and broader parish ministries, provide them assistance with deeper engagement of parish life, and assist me with certain special projects. Currently, I am interviewing replacement candidates and together, we are working on the official date of when this change will occur. Her successor, when hired, will serve five days per week and undertake a variety of new duties to assist me. Mary Virginia will move into an office formerly occupied by a diocesan staff person around the corner from her current office. I am honored that she and I will continue to work together closely, albeit in a different role benefiting the parish in new ways. 

As follow-up to my early May announcement during worship and via the weekly eNews, I am pleased to announce that our new Associate Rector for Formation and Pastoral Care Joslyn Ogden Schaefer will begin service on June 20, following recent commencement from the Episcopal Divinity School at Cambridge, Mass. Joslyn will relocate to Charlotte from Morehead City, N.C. with her husband Brian and four-year old son Elias. According to diocesan custom for newly graduated seminarians, she will be ordained Transitional Deacon on Saturday, June 29, 11:00 a.m. at Church of the Good Shepherd in Raleigh and a St. Peter’s delegation is being organized to attend. Stay tuned for news about joining the road trip to Raleigh. Approximately six months later, Joslyn will be ordained Priest here at St. Peter’s. There will be welcome receptions on Sunday, July 7 for the Schaefer family after 8:00 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. worship and specific information about Joslyn’s roles and responsibilities is forthcoming.

I also am recruiting a part-time Director of Children’s Formation for strategic support of part-time Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Coordinator Anna Hurdle. (Anna serves ten hours per week, primarily on Sunday.) This new staff person will develop formation, fellowship, and incorporation programs for parents of households with children and collaborate with the soon-coming Associate Rector for Formation and Pastoral Care, Director of Youth Formation Lyn Holt, and me to provide a rich continuum of offerings for and connections among our growing community of children, youth, and adults. 

I am honored to serve as your Rector and grateful to all who have pledged at any giving level to the 2013 operating budget of St. Peter’s. If you have not pledged yet as a member or newcomer among us, your financial support would be a priceless gift to empower the Vestry and me to continue development of staff and programs necessary to undertake the work of God’s Church through this beacon of hope in center city Charlotte.

Looking Ahead

2013 Vestry class celebrated and new officers elected at the May 21 Vestry Meeting. We give thanks for the service of the 2013 Vestry Class Steve Bentley, John Knip, Bill Krewson, and Judy McLeod as well as the election of new officers: Senior Warden - Mark Boyd, Junior Warden - William Bellamy, Secretary - Cindy White, and Treasurer - Dave Lavoie. Newly elected Vestry members Irma Hoffman, Des Keller, Dave Lavoie, and Nelda Leon also have joined returning members Sam Bowles, Ellison Clary, Sam Gardner, Harris Holt and Amy Dillon King. On Sunday, June 2 at 8:00 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. worship, we will install new Vestry members and officers and give thanks for the ministry of the class of 2013.

Today is the deadline for tickets to Consecration of Bishop Suffragan on June 15. The Reverend Anne Elliott Hodges-Copple will be consecrated bishop suffragan of the Diocese of North Carolina on Saturday, June 15, 2013, 10:30 a.m. in Duke Chapel in Durham. A reception will take place immediately following the service. St. Peter’s must indicate desired individual attendance for the both the consecration and the reception. Our ticket request is a request only, so the number of tickets for parishioners that we receive may vary based on demand across the Diocese. If you wish to attend, e-mail the Reverend Ollie Rencher ( no later than Wednesday, May 22. Tickets will be received by early June. The charge of $10 per reception ticket will be invoiced to the church at the time the tickets are mailed.

“Pub Theology,” Thursday, May 23, 5:00-7:00 p.m. Drop-in at Leroy Fox in Cotswold and stay as long as possible for St. Peter’s Pub Theology hosted by the Reverend Ollie Rencher. This month we will discuss “Prayer: Our Primary Speech and Its Variety.” Spread the word and bring a guest to this unique way to gather for relaxed holy conversation; non-alcoholic beverages equally are available. Let us know you’re coming by registering online. Next month, we’ll be at Heist Brewery in NoDa.

“Holy Chow” breakfast will be offered May 26 and suspended for summertime until August 25. 

The MasterSingers and Boys and Girls Tour Choirs will sing for the 10:45 a.m. service next Sunday, June 2. This is the kick- off of their summer activities. The annual tour, including stops in Atlanta, GA, Birmingham, AL, Jackson, MS, Baton Rouge, LA, and New Orleans will run June 13 through 20. The choirs will sing concerts and services along the way. You can follow their progress on the choir website: Please keep the Choir School staff, choristers, and parents in your prayers.

St. Peter’s Youth will end the program year with a splash on June 2. All youth, grades rising 6th through 12th are invited to a lake party with hamburger, hot dogs and BBQ cookout at the High Rock Lake home of Wesley Thompson and Trey Owen. Following the 10:45 a.m. service on Sunday, June 2, we will carpool to the lake for fun swimming, sunning, boating and fellowship, returning to St. Peter’s for pick up at 6:00 p.m. RSVP to Lyn Holt ( by May 28. We are limited to 30 people. Bring a bathing suit, towel, and chips or cookies to share. There is no charge for this event.

Samaritan House Wine and Cheese Tasting and Silent Auction, Tuesday, June 4, 6:00-8:30 p.m. at Blue Restaurant. Tickets for this third annual event are $30/person and available for purchase online at Samaritan House is a St. Peter’s outreach partner and continues to provide recuperative care for homeless people in need of short-term care after a hospital stay. Check out auction items (beach getaways, an in-home wine tasting, restaurant gift certificates and more) at

St. Peter’s Seminarian Linda Griggs enjoyed celebrating Pentecost Sunday at St. Peter’s and is preparing for her senior year at the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. As part of summer continuing education, Linda will spend May 26-31 at the Preaching Excellence Program at Roslyn Episcopal Center in Richmond, V.A. Sponsored by the twenty-five year old Episcopal Preaching Foundation, this opportunity to enhance preaching skills will be guided by experienced preachers, including Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, Albert Cutie, Gregory Ellison, and Lauren Winner. 

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