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News from St. Peter's Episcopal Church | March 18, 2015
Worship and Music for Holy Week

As we approach Holy Week, I am reminded of Jesus’ words to his disciples in Gethsemane, “Stay here and watch with me.” Holy Week sets aside a time to do that focusing fully on Jesus’ sacrifice and victory. Through liturgies, sermons, and music we are able to experience and reflect on these events for ourselves.

Holy Week begins with trumpet fanfares announcing, “All glory laud and honor” and the joy of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem is recreated with Orlando Gibbons’ “Hosanna to the Son of David.” As the Gospel is sung, however, we hear the horrifying words “Crucify him” and there is a dramatic change. This year the choir will sing Felix Anerio’s poignant Christus factus est—“Christ became obedient even unto death on the cross.”

On Maundy Thursday, we celebrate the institution of the Holy Eucharist and participate in the washing of feet. Hymns and anthems including “Were you there when they crucified my Lord” and the contemporary composer, Eriks Esenvald’s, O salutaris hostia—“O saving victim opening wide the gate of heaven to us below,” will be sung. (Listen to it on YouTube here.)

This year the Good Friday service of preaching and music, a long held tradition at St. Peter’s, will include multiple preachers, priests, and lay people. “The Reproaches” by John Sanders, an intensely moving musical meditation on the cross will be sung.

St. Peter’s celebrates Christ’s resurrection beginning with the Easter Vigil. This service reviews salvation history through word and song, celebrates entrance into Christian life through baptism, and welcomes us anew into communion. Easter Day at St. Peter’s resounds with brass fanfares bringing us full circle from Palm Sunday through Holy Week into Christ’s resurrection. With “Jesus Christ is risen today” and “He is risen” we set aside our Lenten austerity and sing fully the good news of our salvation. The St. Peter’s Choir will sing the exuberant anthem “Ye choirs of new Jerusalem” accompanied by organ and trumpet to mark this most festive day.

–Ben Outen, Director of Music and Organist

Sunday, March 22

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

Coffee Hour in the Parish House Lobby immediately following the
10:45 a.m. service.

Worship services at 8:00 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 5:00 p.m., and 6:15 p.m.

Worship Schedule

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
Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m.
Morning Prayer in the Chapel
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
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

Parish Hall Forum on Sunday, March 22 for Adults. At 9:30 a.m. the five-week Lenten series focusing on the power of forgiveness and reconciliation concludes. The three practical goals of the series are to 1) deepen our ability to live in the reality of God’s love; 2) forgive others and release resentment; and 3) forgive oneself. Facilitated by the Reverend Ollie Rencher, all adults are invited to attend regardless of whether or not they have attended prior offerings in this series.
Choral Evensong this Sunday, March 22 at 5:00 p.m. The Evensong Choir at St. Peter’s and the clergy lead Evensong, considered to be one of the most beautiful of the traditional Anglican liturgies and offered regularly at St. Peter’s. While this service is the last of the season, look for a special, “pre-England” Evensong with the MasterSingers, to be scheduled soon. If your Sunday schedule does not permit attending one of our morning worship services, consider trying this service and/or the 6:15 p.m. Holy Eucharist to begin your week with spiritual food for the journey.

St. Peter’s Pub Theology, Thursday, March 26. Spend some time with St. Peter’s Rector, the Reverend Ollie V. Rencher on Thursday, February 26, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. for holy conversation at Sir Edmond Halley’s Pub (4151 Park Rd.) in Park Road Shopping Center. This month’s topic will be: “Racial Inequality and Justice.” Drop-in for as long as possible and bring a guest. Nonalcoholic beverages and food are also available.

Newcomers’ Class with the Rector: If you are a newcomer to St. Peter’s, including new member, and want to learn more about the Episcopal tradition, please join the Reverend Ollie Rencher on Sundays, April 19, 26, and May 3 in the Tower Room (second floor) at 9:30 a.m. for a three-week series. Class topics include liturgy, theology, and ways to connect more deeply with the ministries of St. Peter’s. Register via e-mail to or call 704-749-6140.

Special Events
Parish-Wide Dinner, “The Agape Meal,” on Palm Sunday, March 29, at 5:00 p.m. Begin Holy Week recalling Jesus’ last supper with his disciples by joining other parishioners for a simple but hearty meal of Mediterranean food, blessings before the food and drink, and closing with a reading of Jesus’ farewell discourse in John and Psalm 69. We encourage all households, especially those with children, to participate in this ritual meal together. Reservations, including what simple item you will contribute to this free meal, are required online (click here to RSVP) or at the reception desk. Fellowship Team Leader Kathie Knip (, 704-947-5645) is collaborating with the Reverend Joslyn Ogden Schaefer in offering this event.

Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday, The Sunday of the Passion, on March 29 with services at 8:00 a.m., 10:45 a.m., and 6:15 p.m. and continues throughout the week. Observances for Maundy Thursday take place at Noon and 7:00 p.m. The St. Peter’s Choir will provide special music for the 7:00 p.m. service. On Good Friday, the service begins as usual at Noon. A special Stations of the Cross experience geared towards children takes place at 4:00 p.m. The Easter celebrations begin Saturday evening with The Great Vigil of Easter at 8:00 p.m., followed Sunday with Easter services at 7:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 6:15 p.m. Read full descriptions, times, and more online.

Parish News

Parish Life Pictures to Tell Our Story: March 22. On Sunday, March 22, candid and staged pictures will be taken by talented professional photographers during worship, formation time, fellowship, preparation for ministry, and as people come and go from the builds and grounds of St. Peter’s. Minimal intrusion will be the approach of this initiative, requested by The Rector, to capture a variety of pictures that will help to better tell our parish life story through pictures and enhance our website and other communications efforts.

Easter Memorials Enhance Flowers and Music: If you would like to make a monetary contribution in memory of, honor of, or thanksgiving for loved ones at Easter, you may send your payment and the list of honorees to Leigh Dixon, Parish Administrator ( or you may make your payment online at These contributions offset the cost of the Easter flowers and special music that will enhance our celebrations during Eastertide.

St. Peter’s needs your service. Did you know it takes about 100 parishioners to support a “regular Sunday” at St. Peter’s? Assisting with our liturgies or other ministries is more than volunteering – it is ministry, one of the ways we “serve Christ in one another.” We need additional persons to serve to enhance support of worship, programs, and parish administration. Whether behind-the-scenes as a Coffee Hour Barista, on the Altar or Flower Guild, as an Usher, a Welcome Host, or a weekday Volunteer Receptionist at the Parish House, we need you. To learn more, please contact Director of Ministry Development Mary Virginia Woodall (, 704-749-6151). Join the crowd. Share the privilege. Make a difference.

Advanced Planning for Funerals: Lent has been a season when many Christians acknowledge the reality of death and look to the promise of resurrection. The clergy of St. Peter’s recommend that parishioners complete an Advanced Planning for Funerals worksheet for our files. Many families find funeral planning easier when their loved ones have indicated their wishes beforehand. You can download a copy of the worksheet here and return it to the Parish House reception desk. Please contact clergy with any questions or to request a meeting about this topic.

A Personal Message on behalf of The Associate Rector. The Rev. Joslyn and Dr. Brian Schaefer are excited to share that they are expecting a child. They and their six-year old son Elias look forward to welcoming new life to their home in mid-August 2015. Like all families anticipating new life, they would appreciate your prayers.

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

Feed My Sheep: Volunteers Needed to Reopen Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry on Central Ave. A new ministry center is evolving on the grounds of the former St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, “Galilee Ministries of East Charlotte.” One of the first tasks is to recruit volunteers to reopen the Loaves & Fishes food pantry located at the site. The pantry will be open 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and roughly 5 or 6 volunteers are needed per three-hour shift. Volunteers will welcome clients, help them chose a week’s worth of groceries, and stock pantry shelves. Volunteer training will be provided. Volunteers can choose to work once a month or once a week. If you are interested, please contact Pantry Coordinator, Linda Smith ( For more information about Loaves & Fishes, visit
Morning Prayer Outside the Church and Throughout the City. In addition to our regular offering of Morning Prayer (8:00 a.m. Monday through Friday), you can attend Morning Prayer throughout the city six days a week. Sites include Southminster, Nova’s Bakery, Wells Fargo Atrium, and others. To learn more visit

Statewide Summit on Immigration & Faith: Saturday, March 21, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, Durham, N.C. Registration is free but required. To RSVP visit Workshops include “Children and Mother in Detention at the Border,” “Unaccompanied Minors in N.C.,” and “Children in the Fields of N.C.”

Food Pantry Partnership with Loaves and Fishes. Collection of groceries for neighbors in need continues in March. This month’s focus is cereal. (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.
Creation Care: Charlotte’s Challenge: Myers Park Baptist Church is sponsoring a panel featuring local environmental experts on March 25 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. A photo exhibit running through May 10 will also open that night. For more information visit: . The weekend of April 17–19, Duke professor Ellen Davis will offer a lecture and workshops on “Creation Care: Our Divine Calling.” Visit for more information.
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