The Gospel is proclaimed during the annual Christmas pageant during St. Peter's 4:00 p.m. Christmas Eve service.
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News from St. Peter's Episcopal Church | December 24, 2014
A Christmas Message from The Rector

The beloved community is on the horizon. In the twelve-day season of Christmas, we celebrate how God came as flesh into the world in the person of Jesus the Christ from the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This great mystery is a bold reminder that there is more about God, creation, the world, and our lives that we will never understand. Thus, the magnificent story of Christmas summons the faith within us to empower our abilities to join God in co-creating the beloved community. This community is one in which all people are reconciled with God and one another, because all are made in the image of God.

The beloved community is on the horizon. Our faith can be supported in many ways through life at St. Peter’s. Opportunities for worship, formation, outreach and social justice, fellowship, music, and community engagement are offered to equip us for the ebb and flow of life. The Christmas season is a perfect time for us to respond to the gift of “God with us” by making intentional commitments to holy things that will create a more compassionate, loving, and just society. The broken, sinful, desperate, and unbelievable world in which we live needs the Church, the body of Christ, composed of countless others and us.

The beloved community is on the horizon. The vision of St. Peter’s Church seeks to share in taking us there. Our vision is to become a community of bold followers of Jesus, a crowd that effects good change for the world, a place known for radical love and welcome, and a beacon of hope in Center City Charlotte. May our participation in this vision bless us with new lives, make us foolish, and inform a new world—the beloved community.

In peace and thanksgiving for Christmas, I am
 
– The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector

Christmas Eve, December 24

4:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist, with the Gospel proclaimed during the annual Christmas pageant.
6:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist, Rite I. The St. Peter's Choir sings selections from Vivalid's Gloria beginning at 5:45 p.m.
10:30 p.m. Holy Eucharist, Rite II (with incense). The St. Peter's Choir and members of the Charlotte Symphony present Vivalid's Gloria beginning at 10:00 p.m.
 

Christmas Day, December 25

10:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist, Rite II including organ music and Christmas carols.
 

Sunday, December 28

Services of Holy Eucharist at 8:00 a.m., 10:45 a.m., and 6:15 p.m. There will be no Holy Chow breakfast or Christian Formation.

Worship Schedule

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

Celebrate The Twelve Days of Christmas at St. Peter’s: Christmas Eve (December 24) 4:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., and 10:30 p.m.; and Christmas Day (December 25) 10:00 a.m. On Christmas Eve at the 4:00 p.m. service, children from St. Peter’s will proclaim the Gospel in our Christmas Pageant. Preceding the 6:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. services, special music by the St. Peter’s Choir, soloists, and members of the Charlotte Symphony will be offered. 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 www.st-peters.org.
 
No Formation Offerings or Holy Chow on December 28. While our customary Sunday worship schedule (8:00 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 6:15 p.m.) will continue, formation offerings and Holy Chow (breakfast) for adults, youth, and children will be suspended on December 28. On January 4 and 11, adults will have two options: a two-session program “Unpacking The Lord’s Prayer” ("Thy Will Be Done" and  "As It Is In Heaven") in the Parish Hall and a two-session program “Navigating People” (exploring how to get along and manage conflict) in the basement’s Town Choir Room. January 4 also will mark the opening of the Parlor as a new “Hospitality Room” that provides a place to savor coffee, quiet conversation, or the paper during the 9:30 a.m. formation hour.
 
Give To The Vision 2015: Connecting with St. Peter's
Every Member Canvass Follow-up to Commitment Sunday
Calling for New Pledges by Sunday, December 28


Since Commitment Sunday, November 2, pledges totaling $792,722 have been received from 310 households and individuals of December 22 toward our $1 million dollar goal. Before or on December 28, all members are asked to pledge financially to support the worship, programs, staff, outreach, and facilities of St. Peter’s in 2015. The 2015 Stewardship Team extends a hearty thanks to all who have participated in this annual fundraising initiative and eagerly awaits responses from those who have not pledged yet. To pledge online today and help us reach our $1 million dollar goal, make your pledge online or pick up a pledge card at the Parish House.

Why Give to St. Peter’s? Our Christian vows to support the mission of God’s Church as well as the vision for St. Peter’s include a holy giving that is both priceless and beneficial to all. Despite what we may think, every pledge matters. Every Sunday at St. Peter’s, it costs more than $8,500 to operate the church and provide our necessary offerings: $1,740 to operate our worship space, parish house, and grounds including personnel and utilities; $1,353 to fund worship supplies and music ministry services including personnel; and $2,067 to support the clergy responsible for officiating three services, teaching classes, performing pastoral duties, and more that comes with their ministries. Sundays are followed by the Monday-Saturday cycle when it costs more than $3,500 for basic church operations including administration, supplies, and utilities. To support St. Peter’s today, click here to pledge or make a one-time contribution online.

Special Events
 
Greening of the Church: Tuesday, December 23, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. All ages are invited to share in this wonderful time of preparing our sacred space with lush greenery, candles, and a good seasonal special cleaning. Contact organizer Mary Virginia Woodall (mvwoodall@st-peters.org, 704-749-6151) to serve and enjoy fellowship with others.
 
Incense for Worship: Incense has been used in religious traditions for hundreds of years especially at the Holy Eucharist and Evening Prayer in Anglican/Episcopal congregations and religious communities. At St. Peter’s, the custom is for hypoallergenic, monastery-provided incense to be used occasionally on solemn and festival Sundays at the 10:45 a.m. liturgy and certain evening liturgies, including the 10:30 p.m. service on Christmas Eve. Incense is always included at our services of Choral Evensong. Worshippers affected by hypoallergenic incense may wish to attend other liturgies of the week where incense will not be present.

Parish News

Death in Our Parish Family.  On Saturday, December 20, parishioner James “Jim” Holt McGavran, Jr. died. The liturgy for the Burial of the Dead will take place at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 27 at St. Peter's followed by a reception in the Parish House Parlor.  On Friday, December 26, a visitation will be offered from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Hankins & Whittington Funeral Service on East Boulevard. Into your hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your servant Jim.
Acknowledge, we humbly beseech you,
a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock,
a sinner of your own redeeming.
Receive him into the arms of your mercy,
into the blessed rest of everlasting peace,
and into the glorious company of the saints in light. Amen.

Holiday Office Hours. The parish offices will be closed and no regular weekday services (Morning Prayer, Noon Eucharist) will be offered from Noon on Wednesday, December 24 until 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 29 and again on Thursday, January 1.
 
Christmas Memorials support flowers and music for the season. If you would like to make a monetary contribution in memory of, honor of, or thanksgiving for loved ones during the holiday season, one way would be to offset the parish cost of flowers, greenery, and special music for Christmas at St. Peter’s. Christmas Memorial envelopes are available in the public spaces at St. Peter’s or you may pay online at web.st-peters.org/payonline. Your gifts are appreciated.
 
Regarding Year-end Contributions. All financial contributions for the 2014 fiscal year, including annual fund pledges for the year, must be received in the Financial Administration Office by Noon on Wednesday, December 31, in order to receive credit for 2014. Any contributions received after that date will be applied to 2015. If you would like to make a gift of stock, contact Director of Finance and Human Resources Leigh Dixon (ldixon@st-peters.org, 704-749-6142) to get the information you will need to process the transfer. 2014 year-end statements will be mailed out by January 10, 2015.
 
Check out the Why Church? Video Series on St. Peter’s Facebook Page: The Formation Team has created over 30 short videos of parishioners (youth, children, adults) sharing about why they come to St. Peter’s. Celebrate the blessings of our community by enjoying these short videos and invite others to join you for life at St. Peter’s.
 
The Vestry Class of 2017 was elected at the Annual Meeting of the Parish on December 7 and officially will begin their service at the January 30-31 Vestry Retreat. Candace Armstrong, Abigail Cudabac, Paul Keller, and Kristine Reid will follow the Vestry service of William Bellamy, Ellison Clary, Harris Holt, and Cindy White. To access a brief report from our various ministry areas and programs as submitted on December 7, click here.

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

Double your donation dollars to Episcopal Relief and Development. St. Peter's has been honored to host the powerful photo exhibit celebrating 75 years of healing a hurting world through the work of Episcopal Relief & Development. In honor of the 75th anniversary, a group of generous donors have offered to match every gift to Episcopal Relief & Development—up to $750,000—between now and December 31. All donations will double immediately, thanks to the match. Together, each dollar will enable us to reach and transform the lives of three million people in nearly 40 countries around the world. Shop in the Gifts for Life catalogue or make a donation today at https://www.episcopalrelief.org.
 
January 11 Gathering to Start Plants for St. Peter’s Community Garden. All are invited to celebrate the hope and renewal of Epiphany by starting new plants for St. Peter’s Community Garden. On Sunday, January 11, we will gather in the Parish Hall after the 10:45 a.m. service to start early spring crops by planting seeds in flats with step-by-step instruction. Younger children are invited to attend and will have assistance. All will be invited to take a couple of flats to grow at home and be provided with necessary equipment including plant lights, complete instructions, and fertilizer. A light lunch will be served and planting will begin at 1:00 p.m. RSVP to Nancy Duncan (innercitygardens4@gmail.com) by Wednesday, January 7. It will be like Christmas morning all over again when the seeds come up!

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.
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