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News from St. Peter's Episcopal Church | December 10, 2014
We at St. Peter’s are rich with musical opportunities during the seasons of Advent and Christmas.

Our Sunday liturgies change musically to help us prepare for Jesus’ coming.  In hymns we sing “Comfort, comfort ye my people,” “On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry announces that the Lord is nigh,” and “Come thou long expected Jesus.” We simplify our Psalm singing from Anglican Chant to plainsong hoping to refresh and focus our meditations. Service music becomes less exuberant to encourage reflection. Led by the St. Peter’s Choir, the annual service of Advent Lessons and Carols delved deeply into the scripture and music of Advent, the tone of which ran from pensive to grandly expectant as in the hymn “Lo! he comes, with clouds descending.”

Each year, The Choir School Christmas Concerts take place on the second weekend of December, a bit premature for the liturgical calendar, but a wonderful way to end the first half of the choir season. These concerts, December 12 and 13, feature music ranging from classical Christmas favorites to “Winter Wonderland.” There is no better way to enjoy this time of year than through the voices and faces of these fine young singers. (You may order tickets online.)

The Center City Concerts series is presenting a choral program on December 15 under the direction of Rob Burlington that will include anthems for Christmas sung by some of Charlotte’s finest singers. This noontime program welcomes the community to enjoy the beauty of our space, warmth of our hospitality, and inspiration of music.

All of these events lead to Christmas Eve when we celebrate Jesus’ birth with the songs of children at the 4:00 p.m. Christmas Pageant and with the St. Peter’s Choir at the two later services. The prelude to the 6:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. services will be Antonio Vivaldi’s GLORIA, a festive multi-movement baroque masterpiece accompanied by members of the Charlotte Symphony. At these services, the St. Peter’s Choir will also sing Thomas Weelkes’ “Gloria in excelsis” and Morten Lauridsen’s “O magnum mysterium.” Most importantly, however, on this night we open the Christmas carol treasure chest and all sing “O come all ye faithful,” “Hark! the herald angels sing,” “Silent Night,” and other favorites fulfilling our Advent preparations and responding to God’s gift to us, Jesus.

– Ben Outen, Director of Music and Organist

Sunday, December 14

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

8:00 a.m.
Holy Eucharist, Rite I
10:45 a.m.
Holy Eucharist, Rite II
5:00 p.m.
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

Adult Formation Offerings at 9:30 a.m. on Sundays, December 14 and 28. On December 14, the Parish Hall Forum will present “Advent Meditations: The Last Four Things (Death, Judgment, Heaven, Hell).” On December 21, join others in the Parish Hall for “Singing our Hope: Praying with Advent Hymns.” Both will be facilitated by our clergy. Note: Formation offerings for all ages will be suspended on December 28 and resume on January 4. Stay tuned for the late December release of the “Life at St. Peter’s” 2015 winter-spring program and event guide.
Resources for Personal Meditation during Advent. The Society of St. John the Evangelist (SSJE), a monastic community of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada, has created a website with a number of resources for Advent devotions, For a unique online experience, consider bookmarking and making a daily visit to the SSJE online Advent calendar on Instagram.
Celebrate The Twelve Days of Christmas at St. Peter’s: December 24, Christmas Eve 4:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., and 10:30 p.m.; December 25 and Christmas Day 10:00 a.m. On December 28, The First Sunday after Christmas and January 4, The Second Sunday after Christmas, we continue Christmastide with customary worship times (8:00 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 6:15 p.m.). For more about worship at St. Peter’s including weekday opportunities, check out

Give To The Vision 2015: Connecting with St. Peter's
Weekly Update and Follow-up to November 2 Commitment Sunday

As of December 9, 308 pledges totaling $779,472 have been received toward our $1 million dollar goal. Pledges from members and newcomers continue to arrive from adults, youth, and children for our fundraising initiative to support the worship, programs, staff, outreach, and facilities of St. Peter’s in 2015. On behalf of the Vestry, the 2015 Stewardship Team gives thanks to all those who have pledged. Before the Vestry meeting on Tuesday, December 16, stewardship leaders hope to receive pledges from every member household and welcome any that might come from newcomers. To pledge online today and help us reach our goal, you may make your pledge online or pick up a pledge card at the Parish House. Thanks for your gifts to benefit the financial welfare of St. Peter’s.

Special Events
Making Spirits Bright: The Choir School at St. Peter’s Holiday Choral Performance, December 12 and 13. The Choir School’s annual Christmas concerts will take place Friday and Saturday, December 12 and 13, at 7:30 p.m. at St. Peter’s Church. The concerts will feature traditional and contemporary holiday selections, including Gloria from Keble Missa Brevis by the contemporary British composer Philip Stopford, What Sweeter Music Can We Bring? by Canadian composer Eleanor Daley, Winter Wonderland in the style of Ella Fitzgerald, and O Come, All Ye Faithful as arranged by Sir David Willcocks. The choirs will be accompanied on harp, strings, flute, and percussion and our wonderful C. B. Fisk Opus 136 organ. Tickets begin at $15 and are available at the door or online. Reserved blocks of 4 tickets are $100. For more information contact Kay Johnson, Managing Director (704-749-6146,
Leaving St. Peter’s on Monday, December 15: Episcopal Relief & Development's 75th Anniversary Photo Exhibition. Our privilege to host this breathtaking exhibit in the Martha Bowles Parish Hall will end on Sunday, December 14. Open to the public whenever the Parish House reception desk is staffed, take a moment to view moving imagery from 75 years of work around the world. In the morning of Monday, December 15, the exhibit will move to its next location. Visit to learn more about the exhibit and ways to give to this ministry especially during the holiday season.
Center City Concerts at St. Peter’s presents A Choral Christmas at St. Peter’s, December 15. This non-profit organization celebrates its second season of offering free Noon concerts on third Mondays with a diverse program of Advent and Christmas favorites performed by a new ensemble of St. Peter’s singers. Robert Burlington, Director of Music at Cannon School and Bass Section Leader in The St. Peter’s Choir will conduct the ensemble, which will include our Rector, the Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, St. Peter’s musicians, Ben Outen and Elizabeth Lenti, members of the St. Peter’s Choir, and friends from the community. In the finest tradition of holiday season celebrations, the audience will be invited to sing along on well-known carols. Learn more about Center City Concerts’ mission to provide monthly free concerts at and contribute online to this new outreach and community engagement program. Next Concert: January 19, A Multicultural Celebration: Civil and Human Rights through Music and Poetry.

Parish News

Support Group Meeting:  The Support Group for those living with chronic illnesses will meet this Thursday at 3:00 p.m. in the Parlor focusing on the topic, “Faithful Waiting.”  Please direct any questions to The Reverend Joslyn Ogden Schaefer (

The Vestry Class of 2017 was elected at the Annual Meeting of the Parish on December 7. Candace Armstrong, Abigail Cudabac, Paul Keller, and Kristine Reid will follow the service of William Bellamy, Ellison Clary, Harris Holt, and Cindy White and begin their new ministry at the January Vestry Retreat. More than 200 people gathered in the Martha Bowles Parish Hall for this annual occasion, which included prayers, the singing of the hymn “I love thy kingdom, Lord,” introduction of Vestry members, nominees, and parish staff, and various reports. To access a brief report from our various ministry areas and programs, click here.
Valet Parking Service on Sundays: St. Peter’s offers free valet parking for people with mobility challenges, those who drive them, and those with DMV-issued handicapped parking decals from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Sundays. Those in need of this service should arrive at the 7th Street Parish House entrance where professional valet personnel are present to park cars at no charge. Note: Persons without DMV-issued handicapped parking decals will be directed to the TransAmerica parking garage designated for St. Peter’s. 
The Next Senior Class Lunch is Tuesday, December 16 at 11:30 a.m. This month’s meeting place is Shun Lee Palace (4340 Colwick Road, across from Cotswold Shopping Center).
Greening of the Church: Tuesday, December 23. All ages are invited to share in this wonderful time from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. of preparing our sacred space with lush greenery, candles, and a good seasonal special cleaning. Contact organizer Mary Virginia Woodall (, 704-749-6151) to serve and enjoy fellowship with others.

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

"White Beard Project” Advent Tree supports Supportive Housing Communities. The Advent tree in the Parish House Lobby is an outreach opportunity to provide holiday stockings filled with basic toiletries for the more than 100 men and women residents of SHC, formerly McCreesh Place. Coordinators Christa Lineberger and Lyn Holt (Director of Youth Formation) are organizing our support of this ministry that began four years ago at Christmastime. Stop by the Advent tree to collect your ornament and obtain instructions about where to return your items for youth to prepare for delivery.
Food Pantry Partnership with Loaves and Fishes. Collection of groceries for neighbors in need continues in December. This month’s focus is fruit. (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.
To learn more about and get involved with outreach and social justice ministries at St. Peter’s, click here.

Art for Advent from Catechesis of the Good Shepherd artist Esther Burlington.

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