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News from St. Peter's Episcopal Church | July 8, 2015
Augustine of Hippo wrote, “The Holy Scriptures are our letters from home.” Mark Twain wrote, “It ain’t the parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it’s the parts that I do understand.” Somewhere between these two is what might be described as truth about the Bible. This collection of law, history, prophecy, poetry, letters, and God’s love for us does contain wisdom from the source of our being. This collection also gives us those boundaries, guides for how we are to live with ourselves, with our neighbors, and with God.

The challenge, though, is that the letters are often left unread or, at best, just subjected to a quick or indifferent skim. The challenge, too, is that we sometimes go into the Bible to find what we already have decided, rather than opening heart and mind to transformation. Perhaps you come from a tradition that told you what to believe, one that did not ask much so you learned little, or maybe no tradition at all.

We are people of the Bible. We are people of the word of God. Not a word to be taken literally or inerrantly, but one that invites our searches, questions, and transformed understandings. How does this happen? Take the time, make the time to enter into the journey of the study of our story–the Bible. In the fall, we will explore the Gospel of Luke and, in the spring, the Acts of the Apostles. Think about it, pray about, drop me a line, check out online information but stretch your intellect and your soul.

The Reverend L. Murdock Smith, Assisting Priest

Sunday, July 12

Worship services at 8:00 a.m. and 10:45 a.m

"You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church."

Worship Schedule

8:00 a.m.
Holy Eucharist, Rite I
10:45 a.m.
Holy Eucharist, Rite II
5:00 p.m.
Evensong (resumes Fall 2015)
5:00 p.m.
Holy Eucharist
with Music (resumes Fall 2015)
Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m.
Morning Prayer in the Chapel
"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
Online Calendar
The Choir School at St. Peter's
Center City Concerts at St. Peter's
Formation and Worship Offerings
A Message from the Clergy: Every Day Worship and Formation. Every day Episcopal Christians are called, by virtue of The Baptismal Covenant (Prayer Book, page 304) and An Outline of the Faith commonly called the Catechism (Prayer Book, page 845), to worship God with their whole heart, soul, mind, and body. Each is called to be formed daily, as faithful and bold disciples who partner with God and fellow Christians, to co-create God’s kingdom on earth as it is heaven. During summertime, our life in this world and this community of faith is about traveling together. The ministry to which we have been called as bold followers of Jesus is both communal and mutual. Worship life at St. Peter’s is richer when all ages gather in our sacred space: Sundays 8:00 a.m. and 10:45 a.m., Tuesdays 12:00 p.m., and Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. for Morning Prayer. Households with children are especially encouraged to be present and when not, the parish family is incomplete. If you’re in town, we look forward to worshipping God with you.

Plan for Kerygma: Registration opens soon for Kerygma, the Bible study led by The Reverend Murdock Smith that returns this fall. Fourteen sessions on The Gospel of Luke will be offered Mondays at 6:00 p.m. Text and materials cost $25.00. September 14 through December 14; and January 25 through May 2, the sessions will explore the Acts of the Apostles, also for $25.00. Father Murdock talks a bit about Kerygma in this week’s reflection, and will also be available after the service this Sunday if you have questions. Or reach out to him by email:

Befriending Jesus: Offered through St. Peter’s Online School through August 15, this summer program is an opportunity for you learn from some of the top New Testament scholars across the country in four “classes,” one on each Gospel. Each class takes about 45 minutes and includes videos, a chance to reflect spiritually, and the space to interact with St. Peter’s clergy and fellow parishioners. These classes can be taken anywhere—airport lobbies, on the beach, in the mountains, at home! Contact The Reverend Joslyn Schaefer (, and she'll send you a personal link to access to classes. "See" you online.

Enroll Now for Vacation Bible School: Have your children ages four and older enrolled for Pilgrimage 2: Still Seeking the Kingdom of God, our VBS the week of August 3-7? Hours are 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m., with the theme of a medieval pilgrimage. RSVP online or contact Laurie Burlington ( with questions.

Baptism on July 19: St. Peter's will offer the sacrament of Holy Baptism at the 8:00 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. services on Sunday, July 19. Any person, regardless of age, wishing to explore this rite of initiation into the Household of God, the Church, is invited to contact The Reverend Joslyn Schaefer ( by July 13. St. Peter's will also offer baptisms on November 1, All Saint's Sunday.

Formation for 20s & 30s: We will be offering a weekly Formation Class for 20s & 30s at 9:30 a.m. beginning September 13 through Pentecost. Cooper Morrison has agreed to help launch the weekly offering in September, followed by Dan Nelson in October. This weekly gathering will be a great touch-point for your week and enable our friendships and support of one another to deepen.

Inquirers'/Confirmation Class: What really happens in the Eucharist? What is so special about The Book of Common Prayer? How can you get to know fellow parishioners better? Come explore these questions and more in our eight-week Inquirers'/Confirmation class, in preparation for the Bishop's visitation on Sunday, October 4. Our clergy, along with parishioners Michael Koppenal and Ruth Woodend, will be leading the course, which begins August 2 at 9:30 a.m. To sign up or if you have questions, please email The Reverend Joslyn Schaefer ( To learn more about confirmation, reaffirmation of faith, or reception into the Episcopal Church, check out the website at Explore / Visit St. Peter’s / About Membership.

Special Events

Special Collection for Briar Creek Road Baptist Church: Sunday, July 12. In response to the recent arson that affected our neighbor congregation, the Charlotte Episcopal Convocation clergy are urging their parishioners to contribute any amount possible to a special collection to be directed through each parish to the Metrolina Baptist Association. Checks should be payable to St. Peter’s Church with memo “BCRBC Arson Relief.” Offering plates will be available at both liturgies on Sunday, July 12; and an online giving option is be available under the “Give” menu at
Parish Hall Forum: On July 12, 9:30 a.m., adults and teens returning from this week’s mission trip to farmworker camps in Eastern N.C. will share reflections and photographs of their trip. Many thanks to all who donated generously to the farmworker's needs. Our mission team took about two trunks-full of supplies. Financial donations to support the Episcopal Farmworker's Ministry are welcome, too. Make out a check to St. Peter's and put "Farmworkers" in the memo line.

20s & 30s Cookout: On July 19, 5:30 p.m., join hosts Patricia and John Hoke for a cook-out at their home. Bring a side, drink, or dessert to complement the meal. Questions and RSVPs: contact Patricia at

Summer Film Series: On Sunday, July 19, 12:30 p.m. in the Youth area on the basement level of the Parish House, five families share how they have been affected by a loved one’s suicide in the 45-minute film Fierce Goodbye: Living in the Shadow of Suicide. The film also explores compassionate, ecumenical Christian responses to suicide, which is the tenth leading cause of death in our country. Come learn more as clergy facilitate a conversation after the film. RSVP to reserve a lunch for $6.00. Questions? Contact The Reverend Joslyn Schaefer (

Parish Hall Forum: On July 19 at 9:30 a.m., join parishioner Chantalle Couba, members of the Fellowship Ministry Team, and clergy for an open conversation about fellowship at St. Peter's. What is going well? What could we do better?

Senior Class Luncheon: The July Senior Class Luncheon on Tuesday, July 21, 11:30 a.m. has been moved to the Greek Isles Restaurant, 200 East Bland Street in South End. Hanna Craighill (704-334-6276) and Barbara and Jay Partingtron (704-523-1831) coordinate these monthly meetings.
20s & 30s at Kanuga: Cabins will be reserved for 20s & 30s at the parish retreat weekend at Kanuga, August 21–23. Click here to RSVP.  On the registration form, you can indicate names of people with whom you’d like to share a cabin or simply write “20s & 30s,” and we’ll get everyone together. Plan to join Cooper, Marion, Kristin, and Daniel for this great weekend getaway.

Parish News

St. Peter’s Calendar Online: Everything that’s happening at St. Peter’s is now available online 24/7. Check out the new, easy-to-use calendar—updated daily—for the latest events and happenings. You can see the month at a glance, plus click on a specific event for more details. Check the St. Peter’s home page for the News & Events, then click on Calendar.

Gardening: There’s plenty to do in the garden Saturday July 11 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Last week, the crew carefully dug 68 pounds of potatoes, reworked the bed, and planted the bean seeds that had sprouted. We’ll be picking those beans in August. Also on Saturday, more donations will be taken for migrant farmworkers. Contact Nancy Duncan (

Can You Help with Vacation Bible School? A few people are still needed to serve as Mastercraftspeople to lead groups of pilgrims from activity to activity during the week of VBS (August 3-7). This role includes some lesson preparation and physical presence while VBS is in session (8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.). If you’re looking for a memorable experience in creating a memorable experience for St. Peter’s children, contact Laurie Burlington (

Deadline nears for Parish Retreat Registration: You still have until Wednesday, July 15 to register for the all-ages parish retreat weekend, August 21-23. “Celebrate Prayer!” is this year’s theme at Kanuga Conference Center in the mountains of North Carolina. Plan now to be fed spiritually as well as to rest or enjoy activities, including hiking, tennis, canoeing, fishing, and apple-picking. Pricing includes meals, lodging, and refreshments. Look online or for postcards in the Parish House lobby for one or two-night pricing. Scholarships are available. Click here to sign up today. Questions? Contact the Reverend Ollie V. Rencher via <<e-mail>> ( or call 704-749-6140.
Staying in touch: The Reverend Joslyn Schaefer is working on making the Facebook group for 20s & 30s more robust. If you'd like to share in maintaining that page, please email her ( Look for us at St. Peter's Charlotte: 20s and 30s. 

General Convention 2015 Report from Episcopal News Service: Click here to read a debrief from June 25–July 3 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Parishioners Josephine Hicks and Chuck Wynder, Jr. were among those present for this triennial gathering of The Episcopal Church. If you see them around, ask them about the experience.

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

We Need to Talk: This weekly discussion sponsored by MeckMin was launched in the wake of the Charleston tragedy, but will continue Monday nights at 7:00 p.m. The location will alternate between Johnson C. Smith University and Myers Park Presbyterian Church. About a dozen faith traditions are represented in MeckMin, with its mission of promoting interfaith dialogue.

Service Opportunities for 20s & 30s: Amanda Seitler has agreed to be the point person to rally interest and participation in St. Peter’s Outreach and Social Justice Ministries among the 20s & 30s group. Stay tuned for more details but mark your calendars now for a Habitat for Humanity build on Saturday, October 3; the CROP Walk to raise money for anti-hunger organizations locally and elsewhere.

Next Cursillo Scheduled: An Episcopal weekend retreat consisting of reflection, worship, prayer and music led by laypersons and guided by priests, Cursillo will be held Thursday evening, July 30, through Sunday, August 2. For questions, contact Fran or Manning Huske (, 704-362-4107).

Looking Ahead: Mark Your Calendars
  • Recovery Eucharist: August 9, 5:00 p.m.
  • Pride Parade: August 16, 1:00 p.m. – Walkers and hospitality helpers needed. Sign-up begins soon.
  • Formation Celebration and Fall Launch: September 13, 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
  • Afternoon at the Whitewater Center: Fellowship for 20s & 30s in September.
  • Pumpkin Carving Party: Fellowship for 20s & 30s in October.
Visit for more details and news and click here for to read the most recent issue of “Life at St. Peter’s” online.
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