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News from St. Peter's Episcopal Church | August 13, 2013

From the Rector

Being Unpopular—in the Name of Jesus. Almighty God, you have given your only Son to be for us a sacrifice for sin, and also an example of godly life: Give us grace to receive thankfully the fruits of his redeeming work, and to follow daily in the blessed steps of his most holy life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (Collect for the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost)

The gospel appointed for August 18 (Luke 12:49–56) reminds us and other readers that in order to follow Jesus, one must understand that she or he will be (or be willing to become) unpopular at one time or another. To follow daily in the blessed steps of Jesus’s most holy life, unpopularity is inevitable. This holds true not only among coworkers, schoolmates, opponents, peers, and those who may not know us well, but also among family and other loved ones. Because we are called to partner with our Lord in his radical commitment to unconditional love, justice, reconciliation, and peace for all, there will be divisions. (“Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division!”)

Every day and in every opportunity, we are called to be like Christ to others. And when we do this, we undoubtedly will become unpopular and possibly even suffer. It strikes me that in our journey to becoming bold followers of Jesus, we should wrestle daily with the meaning of this and give it a try. Surely, life will become even more exciting and richer. In the name of Jesus, let’s become unpopular together and reflect along the way.

The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector

Sunday, 8/18

9:15 a.m. in the Church, Training for all youth involved in ministry around the altar takes place in the nave of the church. All novices and experienced youth are expected to attend, as we have refined some aspects of the liturgy.

After 10:45 a.m. worship, Coffee Hour hosted by the St. Peter's baristas (listen for an announcement regarding the location)

5:00 p.m. in the Church, A Service of Light and Holy Meal. A Communion service based on the music and rhythms of the Taizé community in France. In a setting of peaceful light, this unique service for adults, youth, and children offers simple, repetitive song and chant, scripture, silence, and Holy Communion.

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."

Looking Ahead

Charlotte Art Guild and St. Peter’s Partnership. The Charlotte Art Guild and St. Peter’s entered a partnership last fall that allows artwork to be shown for sale on the second floor of St. Peter’s Parish House. Thirty percent of each piece sold benefits various ministries of the church. If not already, please visit our art gallery on weekdays or Sundays and consider purchasing art to benefit St. Peter’s.

Young Adult Fellowship Kickoff Gathering: Thursday, August 15. By popular demand, our Rector (The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher) and Associate Rector (The Reverend Deacon Joslyn Ogden Schaefer) are calling together all persons in their 20s and 30s (single, married, with or without children) simply to meet one another and chat about an exciting future at St. Peter’s. This come-and-go event for visitors, newcomers, and members alike will be Thursday, August 15, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., at the Liberty Gastropub on South Boulevard. Spread the word and click here to let us know if you’ll be there or are interested in future gatherings.   

End-of-Summer Celebration Potluck-Picnic: Saturday, August 17. Bid goodbye to the heat and enjoy one of your last carefree summer nights before school starts: this coming Saturday, 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., on the St. Peter’s Parish House rooftop. Bring your children and a main dish to share. Chips, drinks, and child-friendly activities will be provided. Contact Director of Children’s Formation, Laurie Burlington (, 704-749-6155), for more information and click here to let Laurie and other organizers know you’ll be there.

Acolyte Training for Youth: Sunday, August 18. At 9:15 a.m. in the Church, St. Peter’s will offer acolyte training for all youth interested in this ministry around the altar. All novices and experienced youth are expected to attend this training, as we have refined several roles and responsibilities of those who serve. A makeup session will be scheduled for later in the fall. To confirm your attendance today, contact new Acolyte Master, Mike Hoffman (, 704-890-8508).

Blessing of the Backpacks: Sunday, August 18. All who carry a backpack, book bag, or even a computer case are asked to bring them to St. Peter’s to be blessed during our 10:45 a.m. liturgy. This blessing is a reminder that God is with us in our learning and working and that we are invited to serve God, wherever we spend our time.

Backpacks Needed for Children of Migrant Farmworkers. In addition to blessing our own backpacks, we seek to bless backpacks for donations to children beyond St. Peter’s. Consider bring backpacks filled with one pack of notebook paper, one pack of pencils, and one pack of colored markers to be donated to the Episcopal Farmworker’s Ministry in Newton Grove, N.C. Some of our youth recently returned from a mission trip there and learned of the great needs of the 5,000 migrant farmworkers who pick vegetables and tobacco in eastern North Carolina. Backpacks will be taken to the camp on August 20. Contact Director of Youth Formation, Lyn Holt (, 704-763-3564), for details.

Sunday Evening Worship at St. Peter’s: August 18. On Sunday, August 18, at 5:00 p.m., experience our monthly “Service of Light and Holy Meal,” worship based on the quieter music and rhythm of the Taizé community in France. In a setting of peaceful light, all ages can engage in simple song, silence, scripture, and Holy Communion. This service is offered the third Sunday of every month to broaden worship styles at St. Peter’s. You might consider changing your worship schedule on this day and worship in the evening.

This Month’s Pub Theology: Thursday, August 22, at Sir Edmond Halley's at Park Road Shopping Center. Drop in any time from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. for our monthly Pub Theology, hosted this month by The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher. “What Makes Us Episcopalian?” will be the topic. In response to frequently asked questions by Episcopalians and non-Episcopalians, a lively discussion awaits those who will attend, and it will be a great lead into the fall Inquirers/Confirmation class. Come with your questions and a guest. Both nonalcoholic  and alcoholic beverages will be available. Let us know you’re coming by registering online.

Senior Class (Adults 55+) End-of-Summer Cocktail Party: Friday, August 23, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Celebrate summertime at the home of Ann and Bill Hinson at 2216 Colony Road. Bring an hors d’oeuvre on its own plate or dish; finger foods only. RSVP to Hannah Craighill (704-334-6276) by Monday, August 19.

Formation Celebration and Kickoff for All Ages: Sunday, August 25. The time has come for us to resume the Sunday formation classes, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., for children (Catechesis of the Good Shepherd), youth (Journey to Adulthood), and adults (Parish Hall Forum, Small Group Bible Study, and seasonal offerings). On this extraordinary day, all ages are asked to gather for a celebration at 9:30 a.m. sharp in the Parish Hall after “Holy Chow” breakfast (8:30 a.m. to 9:25 a.m.) in the Community Room. The Rector will start things with a brief welcome and commissioning of new formation staff members, other formation staff, and the talented host of persons who will lead our range of classes. We’ll announce several new offerings and programs, including ways to engage ministry at St. Peter’s—all before being dismissed into age-specific classes. Get ready for a fall full of formation!  NOTE: Holy Chow returns on this day, for $4/person or $15/household, as a time of great food and fellowship. 

Formal Welcome of Joslyn, Brian, and Elias Schaefer: Sunday, August 25. Although the Reverend Deacon Joslyn Ogden Schaefer (“Mother Joslyn”) joined the staff on June 20 as Associate Rector for Formation and Pastoral Care and hit the ground running, we decided to welcome her formally when more parishioners could be present. Mark your calendar for “Formation Celebration” Sunday, August 25, when she and family will be introduced at various points throughout the morning and during Coffee Hour after 10:45 a.m. worship. Name tags will be available in all the public spaces to help Mother Joslyn and each of us with introductions.

Fall Inquirers/Confirmation Class Kickoff: Sunday, September 1, or Monday, September 9. Father Ollie Rencher, Mother Joslyn Ogden Schaefer, and lay leaders will host seven sessions for inquiring minds and in preparation for the October 27 Visitation of The Right Reverend Michael Curry, Bishop of North Carolina. Want to understand why some people cross themselves and others don't? Curious about how The Episcopal Church is governed? Wondering what philosophy guides our interpretation of Scripture? This series (Sundays, 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., or Mondays, 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.) will provide an overview of the Episcopal practice of the Christian faith and prepare a variety of persons to be confirmed, reaffirmed, or received by The Episcopal Church from other Christian traditions or religions. Contact Mother Joslyn (, 704-749-6150) with questions or to sign up for the journey.

Save the Date: Shrimp & Suds, Saturday, September 7. Join us for this popular fun and fellowship event for adults on St. Peter’s Parish House rooftop from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. This event is a fundraiser for our Journey to Adulthood (J2A) youth program; the cost is $25 per person for all-you- care-to-eat Low-Country shrimp boil, cheese grits, dessert, and a sampling of local beers, wine for non-beer drinkers, and delectable nonalcoholic beverages. (No childcare will be provided.)

Homecoming Sunday: September 8. You and yours are invited to reengage or further experience the fullest sense of life at St. Peter’s by being present for festive worship offerings on Sunday, September 8. Homecoming Sunday at St. Peter’s, much like what families and places of learning do annually, will be a day of thanksgiving for the mission and ministry to which we are called. Bring your church home spirit and friends to celebrate our life together as people of faith, hope, and love. It should be an incredible day!

Habitat for Humanity 2013 starts in September. It is seeking volunteers for this year's Habitat build beginning Saturday, September 14, with framing. St. Peter’s will be Site Managers on October 12 and 13 and needs several volunteers for those days and others. This year marks the 15th year that St. Peter’s has been involved with the City Center Church Partners in building for Habitat and marks the 30th anniversary of Habitat for Humanity in Charlotte. For more information, contact St. Peter’s Habitat coordinator John Knip (

Contemplative Outreach of Charlotte Retreat: September 21. This organization is sponsoring a one-day retreat titled "The Gift of Life: Death & Dying, Life & Living" on Saturday, September 21, with Fr. Carl Arico. Based on conversations between Fr. Arico and Fr. Thomas Keating, the gathering will engage how the stages of dying lead to the transformation, the dance between judgment and mercy, the meaning of the Cross, and the mystery of God in our lives. Location: St. Gabriel Roman Catholic Church. Time: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Cost: $45. Register online at or contact St. Peter’s parishioner Judith Johnson (, 704-596-6167). Registration closes on September 13.

Announcing a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Course for Adults. All adults are invited to participate in 11 sessions, one Saturday per month, beginning in October, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Catechesis is based on two profound mysteries: the mystery of God and the mystery of the child. Parents, clergy, and other interested adults are drawn to the very rich, retreat-like courses in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, where these mysteries are explored. Contact Anna Hurdle ( with your questions and for more information on this opportunity, including a complete schedule and registration information.

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