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News from St. Peter's Episcopal Church | April 29, 2015
I am…

I am the Good Shepherd

Last Sunday, we heard the parable of the Good Shepherd (John 10). This parable is one of the first parables given to the youngest children in the atrium, part of our Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program. Through repeated presentations and work with the materials, the children deepen their knowledge and love of Jesus Christ through the image of the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd knows the sheep by name; He cares for the sheep—feeding, protecting, and loving. The sheep respond by following. Often, the youngest children relate the Good Shepherd to their mother or father but over time, they come to discover even more about the Good Shepherd; his presence in the Eucharist that transcends time and space.

I am the True Vine

This coming Sunday’s Gospel reveals even greater mysteries about Jesus, the Father, and ourselves. In the parable of the True Vine (John 15), Jesus proclaims, “I am the true vine and my father is the vine grower... I am the vine you are the branches.”

With the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, we save this more abstract image of Jesus for the older child. Before, Jesus was comparing himself to a person but with this parable, a plant. We tell the children that the parable was so special that Jesus waited until near the end of his life to share. Using a live plant the children meditate on the verses of the parable. Presented in two different settings, the first meditation focuses on our union with Christ and one another and our call to remain or abide in Him with God’s help; the second study focuses on our personal obstacles to this union and God’s desire to work with us to remove those obstacles through the gift of absolution.

I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:10)
I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. (John 15:11)

–Anna Hurdle, Sunday Catechisis Coordinator

Sunday, May 3

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

"Holy Chow," community breakfast from 8:30 a.m. to 9:25 a.m. $4 per person; $15 household maximum.

Christian Formation for all ages beginning at 9:30 a.m.

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)
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
Two new series begin this week, 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. In the Parish Hall Forum, “Serving Faithfully: God and Your Budget” offers two practical sessions focusing on the nuts and bolts of the faithful stewardship of personal finance. The 20s/30s groups will be joining these sessions. In the Town Choir Room (basement level of the Parish House), the two-week Bible Study “The Bible and Immigration” takes place. As Christians, how are we to think about and respond to immigration issues? We hope you will join us for a two-part Adult Formation class, May 3 and May 10. First, through Scripture and guided discussion, we will consider how our faith calls us to treat the stranger and hear from immigrant members of our Parish. Then on May 10, we will learn about immigrant outreach and social justice initiatives in Charlotte and how you can help. A representative of the Latin American Coalition will speak about the Municipal ID initiative and the Reverend Deacon Rebecca Yarborough will talk about an exciting new immigrant ministry, Galilee Ministries of East Charlotte, housed in the former St. Andrews Episcopal Church. Join us for either or both sessions.

Newcomers’ Class with the Rector concludes this week. If you are new to St. Peter’s, new to the Episcopal tradition, or possibly a new member of St. Peter’s, join the Reverend Ollie V. Rencher at 9:30 a.m. in the Tower Room (second floor of the Parish House). Topics will include liturgy, Anglican/Episcopal theology, and ways to connect more deeply with the ministries of St. Peter’s. Register here so that we know you’re coming.

Hospitality Room Now Open on Sunday Mornings in St. Peter’s Parish House. From 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. the Parlor (first floor, nearest the Chapel) is set aside to provide a place for adults to savor coffee, engage in quiet conversation or read the paper, a book or magazine during the formation hour. If you are not attending a structured formation class, we hope you will enjoy this space.

LifeKeys: Connecting with your Gifts, Values, Passions, and Vocation. This eight-week course is ideal for people experiencing significant life-transitions (e.g., changes in employment or marital status) but is open to anyone wanting to engage questions about spiritual gifts, personality types, and purpose. The class will be held at Avondale Presbyterian Church on Tuesdays beginning May 5, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m. and is co-facilitated by the Reverend Joslyn Schaefer. To register or to learn more, contact

Parish News

St. Peter’s Photo Directory (“Holy Faces”) Update and Appeal. Our goal is to have the directory ready in time for the Day of Pentecost, May 24. In order to ensure that we have as many photos as possible of all member households and newcomers preparing for membership, please email an appropriate, casual or formal, clear, high-resolution picture (200 dpi or about 4 MB) of your household or you to If you are uncertain if members of your household were included in pictures taken last year, please send another picture as soon as possible. “Holy Faces” intends to reflect one photo per household, aligning with parish records and household information maintained by Director of Ministry Development Mary Virginia Woodall and the Reverend Joslyn Ogden Schaefer.

Parish Staff News from the Rector. Facilities Assistant Jon Sauzier and Communications Administrator Peg Robarchek joined the staff on April 17 and April 23, respectively, in part-time positions. Jon will work Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with Facilities Lead Kevin Nunnery and Parish Administrator Leigh Dixon, performing duties associated with the stewardship of buildings and grounds. Peg will work Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with fellow staff, offsite resources, and parishioners to manage the internal and external communication needs of the parish. Peg can be reached at or 704-749-6141. Your welcome, patience, and assistance with their transitions onto the staff team are appreciated.

Special Events

“God's Tapestry” Parish Family Breakfast and Conversation: Saturday, May 9, 8:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m. All members and newcomers are invited to attend an Eastertide occasion in the Parish Hall to continue the work begun during our March 6-8 Lenten Reconciliation Retreat. You are welcome whether or not you attended the retreat or have spent time with the book “God’s Tapestry: Understanding and Celebrating Differences.” You are also encouraged to invite others. A community leader and our parish clergy will facilitate holy conversation about differences, equality, and justice, including a deep look into Charlotte’s history of race and reconciliation. Childcare will be available for infants and toddlers. Registration is required no later than Thursday, May 7. Click here to register.

Hope and Grief: A grief group open to those who have experienced a loss of any kind and are seeking solace and sustenance for the journey of healing. The four-week program will be held on Thursdays, April 30, May 7, 14 and 21 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. at Avondale Presbyterian Church, 2821 Park Road. Once you arrive on the Avondale Campus, signs will leading the way to the meeting. Contact the Reverend Joslyn Schaefer ( with questions or to indicate a desire to attend. This group is a collaborative ministry of several area churches. The Reverend Amanda K. Robertson of Holy Comforter will facilitate these sessions and members of all congregations as well as the wider community are invited to participate.

Join The Choir School at St. Peter’s for Choir Discovery Night. The Choir School will host its annual open house on Monday, May 18, for girls and Tuesday, May 19, for boys, beginning at 6:00 p.m. Prospective choristers can experience an open rehearsal, learn about Choir Camp and Summer Tours, and audition. Most important, they will meet our staff and other young people who love to sing. For more information, contact Kay Johnson (, 704-749-6146) or visit The Choir School website,

All St. Peter’s Youth (grades 6-12) are encouraged to come on the Journey to Adulthood Beach Trip, May 15–17. Join your St. Peter’s friends at the beach for fellowship, worship, a little bit of learning, and lots of fun. Cost for this adventure is $65 (scholarships available). We will ride to the beach together in 15-passenger vans and will stay in a rented beach house. Please direct questions to Director of Youth Formation Lyn Holt ( Sign up and payment by May 1 are required.

You can help send The Choir School at St. Peter’s Mastersingers to England. Youth choristers are selling tickets to Belk Charity Day, Saturday, May 2 from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. The Charity Day Sale offers the deepest discounts of the year with few exclusions. Belk cardholders can reserve items up to one week in advance for pickup on the day of the sale or any time the following week. (You don’t have to get up early!) Each $5 ticket benefits The Choir School 100% (entire donation comes back to The Choir School) and ticket holders receive the full $5 off their first purchase.

Sacramental Preparation and Solemn Communion for Children on May 2. Intended for children ages 7+, sacramental preparation is meant to assist the older child’s moral development. The Sacramental Rite of Reconciliation is explored and availed to the children. Additionally, the children reaffirm their Baptismal vows and gain a further appreciation of the Holy Eucharist. The daylong retreat will be co-led by the Reverend Ollie V. Rencher and Catechesis Coordinator Anna Hurdle on Saturday, May 2 and followed with Solemn Communion on May 3, "True Vine Sunday." Suggested fee for the retreat is $25. Contact Anna Hurdle ( for information and registration.

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Level I course for adults to be held at St. Peter's this summer, June 15-20, 2015. Parents, catechists, religious educators, clergy, and other interested adults are drawn to the rich, retreat-like courses in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Through this course, adults have the opportunity to see all age-appropriate presentations and materials given to children from the Bible and liturgy. Each course focuses on a specific development age group of the child. Level I prepares adults working with children aged three to six. The foundation for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is in the Level I formation course, as it is in this course that a catechist becomes attuned to the religious life of the child. The course includes preparation in giving presentations (lessons) to children and provides solid background in the theological and pedagogical underpinnings of this work. One does not have to commit to working with children as a prerequisite for participation in the course. Download a brochure and registration form here. Contact Sunday Catechesis Coordinator Anna Hurdle ( for more information.

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

During the Great 50 Days of Easter churches throughout the Diocese of North Carolina and the Diocese of East Carolina will support 50 in 50, a concentrated fundraising effort capping off Harvest for Hospitality. Each household is challenged to donate $1.00 for each of the Great 50 Days of Easter to benefit N.C. farmworkers. Harvest for Hospitality is a joint effort by the two dioceses to support the Episcopal Farmworker Ministry. Your donations will provide sacramental services, food, clothing, pesticide education, ESL classes, and a sense of dignity to the people whose labor puts food on our tables. “Mite boxes” (donation boxes) are available at the Reception Desk.

Join St. Peter’s Team for AIDS Walk 2015: Saturday, May 2. Our team participates this week in the annual AIDS Walk to benefit one of our servant ministry partners, RAIN (Regional AIDS Interfaith Network). All are welcome to join in this powerful community-building initiative, which includes a two-mile walk through Center City Charlotte. It’s not too late to consider walking and getting people to sponsor you, sponsoring a walker, or making a donation. To sign up and learn more about our parish team, contact St. Peter’s Team Captain Frank Steele (704-544-0609, or visit St. Peter’s team page.

Food Pantry Partnership with Loaves and Fishes. Collection of groceries for neighbors in need continues in May. This month’s focus is 100% fruit juice. (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.

Looking Ahead - Mark Your Calendars
  • Choir School Spring Concert: May 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m. Buy tickets now.
  • “God's Tapestry” Breakfast and Conversation: May 9, 8:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m. RSVP online.
  • The Day of Pentecost, Baptisms, and Last Day of Spring Formation Offerings: May 24.
  • Annual Parish Picnic at Independence Park: May 31 (moved from May 24), 12:30 p.m.
  • Parish Retreat at Kanuga Conference Center: August 21-23, Friday to Sunday.
Visit for more details and news and click here for to read the most recent issue of “Life at St. Peter’s” online.

Submitting Items for Communication. To submit items for communication via Wednesday eNews, Sunday worship service leaflet, and website, visit the online submission form at under News/Events. Items are published on a joint Wednesday eNews/Sunday worship leaflet cycle and must be submitted no later than the Friday before the Wednesday eNews. Items received after the Friday deadline will appear during the next eNews/worship leaflet cycle. To ensure good, advance notice of items, submissions may be sent as early as three months ahead. If you do not use the Internet, contact Peg Robarchek (704-749-6141) to submit items.
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