St. Peter's in the first snow of 2014. Photo by Aaron Goen.
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News from St. Peter's Episcopal Church | January 28, 2014

From the Rector

Commemorating the Presentation of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Temple: February 2. Almighty and everliving God, we humbly pray that, as your only-begotten Son was presented in the temple, so we may be presented to you with pure and clean hearts by Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. 

In his book Jesus: A Gospel, Henri Nouwen reflects on “why God came to us as a baby” and offers food for thought as the Church commemorates the Presentation. Nouwen, in the following passage, reminds that Jesus came to inform our faithful efforts to present pure and clean hearts to God. 

God says, “I love you with an everlasting love,” and Jesus came to tell us that. We are the Beloved, not because we did anything, not because we proved ourselves. Basically, God loves us whatever we do. If that’s true, these few years that we are in the world, we are sent to say, in the midst of our life, “Yes, God, I love you, too.” Just as God cares for us, it’s very important that we care for God in the world. If God is born like a little baby, God cannot walk or speak unless someone teaches God. That’s the story of Jesus, who needs human beings in order to grow. God is saying, “I want to be weak so you can love me. What better way to help you respond to my love than becoming weak so you can care for me?” God becomes a stumbling God who falls at the cross, who dies for us, and who is totally in need of love. God does this so that we get close. The God who loves us is a God who becomes vulnerable, dependent in the manger and dependent on the cross, a God who basically is saying, “Are you there for me?”

God invites us daily to present our broken and hopeful selves forward to be transformed and bless others along the way. As the season of Epiphany continues to unfold, may the light of Christ beam brightly within and from us through who we are and all that we offer to the glory of God.

The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector

Sunday, 2/2

8:30 a.m. in the Community Room, "Holy Chow" Breakfast until 9:25 a.m. $2 per child under 6, $4 per person, and $15 per household maximum.

9:30 a.m., for adults, the Parish Hall Forum concludes the 4-week topic, "Claiming our Vision."

9:30 a.m., for 20s/30s, in the Tower Room, a study of the book, Parker Palmer's "Let Your Life Speak." 

9:30 a.m. in the Parish House, Formation Classes for Youth and Children. The nursery is on Level 1 of the Parish House. Children ages 3-12 meet on Level 1 of the Parish House. Young people ages 13-18 meet on Level “B.”

After 10:45 a.m. worship, coffee hour hosted by the St. Peter's baristas.

2:00 p.m., "Jerusalem," in IMAX at Discovery Place.

Worship Schedule

8:00 a.m.
Holy Eucharist, Rite I
10:45 a.m.
Holy Eucharist, Rite II
5:00 p.m.
(2nd and 4th Sundays)
Choral Evensong
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

Give To The Vision 2014 Annual Fund Report and Invitation. The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector, extends his thanksgiving for all listed below and others who have participated in commitments to this year’s annual fund and to annual fund leadership team members, Bobby Beaird, Kristin Hills Bradberry, Sam Bowles, Cameron Holtz, Bill Krewson, Nelda Leon, Linda Raiford, Mike Restaino, Jim Shannonhouse, Bill Williamson, and Mike Wilson. Working with them to invite estimates of giving from all member households, in support of the 2014 parish operating budget, $745,334 of our $1,000,000 goal has been committed from 256 out of 400 potential households. While the Vestry has approved a budget to start the year based on estimates of giving received, they are hopeful that all will make their estimate of giving no later than Friday, January 31. 100% participation will allow for more financial support of programs for our children, youth, and adults, pressing facilities needs, special projects, and community engagement initiatives that are important for life at St. Peter’s. To make your estimate of giving online, click here or contact the parish bookkeeper, Leigh Dixon (704-749-6142 or 

Jerusalem: An IMAX Experience for the Entire Parish Family: Sunday, February 2, 2:00 p.m. Join fellow parishioners as we go next door to Discovery Place to watch the 40-minute film “Jerusalem” after a light lunch at St. Peter’s. Appropriate for all ages, the movie “will convey the story of Jerusalem in all its beauty and diversity, illuminating global public opinion and understanding about Jerusalem on a vast scale. We seek to present an exceptional vision of Jerusalem–as a city of universal historical, spiritual, cultural, and archaeological importance–and to promote, with unprecedented impact, tolerance and goodwill between Jews, Christians and Muslims.” Movie tickets (ages 0-2, free; ages 3-13, $6; ages 14 and older, $7) must be purchased in advance by Thursday, January 30. Click here to purchase for your ticket online or deliver a check to the church office with “Jerusalem Movie” on the memo line and click here by to RSVP for lunch and the movie. Lunch donations of $3/person with a maximum of $10/household will be accepted upon arrival. 

Upcoming Adult Formation Offerings on Sundays and Mondays: 
Reconciliation: God’s Mission, Our Opportunity (Parish Hall, Sundays at 9:30 a.m. February 2, 9, 16, 23). Last fall, the parish began conversations about the realities of racism that continue to mar our culture. The “Good News” is that the way to reconciliation is the way of Jesus Christ. Drawing upon the life and teachings of Jesus in the Gospels, this series will invite us into a deeper level of discipleship, especially as we face conflict, change, and challenge in our hearts, our homes, and our neighborhoods. Parish clergy and lay leaders, including participants in our Journey to Adulthood (J2A) program, will kick-off the series with a don’t-miss panel discussion. Spread the word and bring others for this important occasion. 
Do Justice, Love Kindness, Walk Humbly with God (Library, Monday, February 3 at 5:45 p.m.). “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8) Building on the momentum generated by last fall’s “The Call to Social Justice and Outreach” formation series, this class will explore the Scriptural and personal meaning of each of these “requirements” of the Lord. In addition to learning more about the Old Testament’s prophetic calls for justice, we will reflect on our personal experiences of seeking justice and loving our neighbors. This offering is the last in a three-week series.

Continuing our new commitment to help feed the hungry with Loaves & Fishes. Each month we will focus on a food item for donation to Loaves & Fishes. While all food donations are welcome, this month’s focus food is canned meat. If you would like to volunteer at the Sugar Creek food pantry on a Tuesday or Saturday, contact parishioner Lynn Lewis (704 332-4315 or

Epiphany Retreat: Saturday, February 8. “Discerning God's Call, Manifesting Christ's Light” is the retreat theme. Have you ever asked any of these questions: What did God put me on earth to be and do? How am I called to be Christ's hands and feet? How do I listen for God's voice? Where can I find divine guidance? Please join Leighton Ford and parishioner Elizabeth Richardson at St. Peter's on Saturday, February 8 from 9:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. to explore ways to discern God's call, to listen to God. This time will include prayer, Scripture, poetry, visio divina (gazing at holy images), music, and silence. RSVP by clicking here or call the parish reception desk at 704-332-7746. A suggested donation of $10.00 will cover costs associated with the retreat.

Moral March in Raleigh: Saturday, February 8. A group of Episcopalians from the Charlotte Episcopal Convocation will join others from around the state for a "Moral March" near our state capitol in Raleigh. The march is in support of quality children's education, livable wages, affordable housing and other pressing moral issues that will be addressed by the state's legislature in coming months. Parishioners Nelda Leon and Jim Dudley will be organizing a group from St. Peter's, which will meet at the church at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday February 8, carpool to Raleigh, and return to Charlotte mid-afternoon. Contact Nelda Leon ( or 704-375-4469) for additional information. 

Revival of the Episcopal Church Women (ECW) at St. Peter’s starts Sunday, February 9. The Associate Rector, Mother Joslyn Ogden Schaefer is working with several women of the parish who are in diverse places in life, to broaden fellowship connections among women of St. Peter’s who might be interested. Newcomers and members, regardless of stage, age or profession, non-mothers and mothers alike, are invited to participate in any and all that is to come. The first event will be a brown-bag lunch road trip to see the Art and Orchid Show at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. The group will leave from St. Peter’s Parish House Lobby after 10:45 worship on Sunday, February 9. Driving directions will be distributed or groups informally can organize to carpool. Bring: A bag lunch (cold drink and sweet treat will be provided; the group will picnic inside among the flowers); money for admission ($11 seniors, $12 others, and a reduced admission fee is available through Mother Joslyn); and adequate gas in car (the garden is 21 miles from St. Peter’s). Contact Sydney Burgess ( or 704-287-2120) and visit the DSBG website ( Stay tuned for information about a variety of monthly gatherings and how to get involved. Contact: Mother Joslyn Ogden Schaefer ( or 704-749-6150).

Latin Language Study Group begins Sunday, February 9. A study group for learning to read classical Latin is forming at St. Peter's. The group will meet monthly after the 10:45 a.m. Sunday Eucharist beginning on February 9 and will proceed at a moderate pace. For more information or to join the group, contact parishioner Terry Prince ( or 704-733-9151).

Free Noon Concerts return to Center City at St. Peter's. On Monday, February 10, Center City Concerts at St. Peter’s will host The Music House Players in a celebration of C. P. E. Bach’s 300th birthday. Hear favorite chamber works, including his unique and engaging quartets for forte piano, flute, viola, and cello. After the concert, consider staying for a satisfying box lunch of quiche, salad, and fruit. The cost for lunch is $10 and must be reserved by Noon on Friday, February 7. Call 704-332-7746 or reserve online at

The Community of Hope…a School for God's Service: St. Peter's is joining with Holy Comforter (and possibly other Charlotte parishes) to offer the Community of Hope lay pastoral care-giving program. The Community of Hope organization supports churches in training, equipping, and deploying a Christian community of lay volunteer pastoral care givers united in prayer, shaped by Benedictine spirituality, and equipped for and serving in pastoral care ministries. The Community of Hope structure creates a deeper awareness of God's presence in our lives and our communities, as care-givers come together regularly to listen to God through Scripture, prayer, and one another's stories. The group setting enables the discovery and affirmation of the spiritual gifts of each member and empowers their ministry of presence to those whom they are called to serve. St. Peter’s aims to start the 14-week, 42-hour training curriculum in late winter and commission those who complete it in late October 2014. While skill-building is an essential component of the program, the spiritual community that forms and that will continue to meet monthly after the training will sustain the ministers into the future. Each person who participates is expected to actively engage in some sort of ministry—be it visits with sick or homebound parishioners, tutoring children, volunteering for various local non-profits, bereavement ministry, etc. Contact Mother Joslyn ( or Phyllis Ferguson ( if you are interested in learning more and discerning whether this ministry is for you. 

Shrove Tuesday is March 4. Mark your calendars now for an intergenerational Shrove Tuesday Festival featuring a return of the Rector’s Gumbo, pancakes, and other treats including live music. Stay tuned for more information about this big event and how you might get involved in hosting and attending. 

Ash Wednesday is March 5. We have four more weeks of Epiphanytide to experience the season of Christ made manifest in our lives. Then on Wednesday, March 5 the holy season of Lent begins. St. Peter’s will offer four services that day: 7:00 a.m., Noon, 5:00 p.m., and 7:00 p.m. The services at Noon and 7:00 p.m. include special music by the St. Peter’s Choir. By popular demand, we will offer “Ashes To Go” again this year at various times throughout the day to mark its solemnity for persons who are on-the-go. 

Give To The Vision 2014. Commitments from the following and others have been made as of January 27. 
Mr. Jason Abner; Dr. Monique Abner; Mrs. Jeanne Agan; Mr. Jim Amburn; Ms. Candace Armstrong; The Honorable John Arrowood; Mr. Robert Atkins; Mr. Michael Baker; Mr. and Mrs. Justin Baldwin; Mrs. Veronica Bandy; Mr. and Mrs. Dale Bass; The Reverend and Mrs. James Bartos; Mr. and Mrs. C. Robert Beaird; Mr. Robert Beardsley and Mr. Frank Steele; Mr. and Mrs. William Bellamy; Mr. Steve Bentley and Mr. David Deal; Mr. Earl Bernard; Mrs. Jacquelyn Berry; Mr. Michael Berry; Mr. Timothy Bice; Ms. Donna Black; Mrs. Jane Neal Bobbitt; Ms. Annie Bowles and Mr. Eric Wilkins; Mr. & Mrs. Erskine Bowles; Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Bowles; Mr. Mark Boyd and Mr. Andre Fleuriel; Mr. and Mrs. John Bradberry; Mr. and Mrs. John Brien; Mr. and Mrs. William Britton; Mr. Neil Broncaccio; Ms. Debbie Brooks; Dr. Barbara Brown; Mr. and Mrs. John Budall; Ms. Sydney Burgess and Mr. Al McMillian; Mr. and Mrs. Steven Burke; Mr. Neil Burkhead; Mr. and Mrs. Robert Burlington; Mr. John Nicholas Burnett; Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Busch; Mr. and Mrs. Charles Caldwell; Dr. and Mrs. Kent Carpenter; Mr. Rob Carpenter; Mrs. Elise Cathey; Mr. Earl Chance; Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Chapin; Mrs. Frances Chapman; Mr. and Mrs. Tom Cheshire; The Reverend Julie Clarkson; Ms. Tina Coelho; Mrs. Gina Columna; Mrs. Sue Coonen; Ms. Gloria N. Cooper; Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Corcoran; Mrs. Elizabeth Corzine; Ms. Lisa Cox; Mr. Jack Cozean; Mrs. James B. Craighill; Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Crayton; Mrs. Kathleen Cress; Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Cudabac; Mr. John Denti; Mr. James DiMartino; Ms. Mebane Dowd; Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Dresser; Mr. and Mrs. Jim Dudley; Mr. Daniel Duggan, Jr.; Mrs. Nancy Dumbell; Ms. Nancy Duncan; Dr. John Dunn; Mr. and Mrs. Kwang Edeker; Ms. Elsie Erneston; Ms. Roberta Farman; Dr. and Mrs. Robert Ferguson; Ms. Carolyn Fitzgerald; Ms. Joy Floyd; Mr. and Mrs. Charles Ford; Mr. James Gabbert, Jr.; Mr. Brian Gallagher and Mr. Terry Prince; Ms. Linda Gallehugh and Mr. Ellison Clary; Mr. Samuel Gardner, III; Mr. and Mrs. Michael Gardner; Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Ghareeb; Mr. and Mrs. Lee Gilman; Ms. Diana Gibbs; Ms. Lydia Gittens; The Right Reverend and Mrs. Gary Gloster; Ms. Mary Gotschall; Mr. and Mrs. Vernon G. Graves; Mr. and Mrs. James Green; Mr. and Mrs. Donald Greene; Ms. Mary Griffin; Mr. and Mrs. Malcolm Griggs; Mr. and Mrs. Brian Hacker; Mr. Randy Haith; Ms. Ann Haskell; Mr. Robert Headley and Mr. Robert Pinkston; Mr. Calvin Hefner; Ms. Marti Henderson and Ms. Hope Westerfield; Mr. Jim Hicks; Ms. Josephine Hicks; Mr. and Mrs. William Hinson, III; Mrs. Irma Hoffman; Mr. Michael Hoffman, Mr. and Mrs. Harris Holt; Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Holtz; Ms. Katherine Jane Hughes; Mrs. and Mr. Andy Hung; Mrs. Beth Hunt; Mr. and Mrs. Dan Hurdle; Mr. Daniel Hurley; Mr. and Mrs. John Hurst, Jr.; Mr. Doug Hutto; Mr. Thomas Im and Mr. Michael Loose; Ms. Marie Irving; Ms. Bette Jacobs; Dr. & Mrs. David Jacobs; Mrs. Nancy Jewell; Ms. Elaine Jones; Mrs. James Johnson; Mrs. Judith Johnson; Mr. John Joslin; Mr. and Mrs. William Kalbas; Mr. Walter Kearns; Dr. and Mrs. Joseph Keith; Mr. and Mrs. Desmond Keller; Mr. and Mrs. Paul Keller, Jr.; Mr. and Mrs. William Kelly; Mr. and Mrs. George Kennedy; Ms. Janet Keny and Mr. Wesley Sturgis, Jr.; Mr. & Mrs. Keith Kepley; Ms. Ann King and Mr. Brooks Keith; Mr. Carl and Amy Dillon King; Mr. Tom Kiser; Ms. Maureen Kivney; Mr. and Mrs. John Knip; Mr. and Mrs. William Krewson; Dr. and Mrs. Chris Lakin; Ms. Letitia Landers-King; Mr. and Mrs. Owen Laracuente; Ms. Lynn Lau; Mr. and Mrs. David Lavoie; Mr. Scott Lawrence; Ms. Denise Lawton; Ms. Nelda Leon and Mr. James McEwen; Ms. Allison McMurry and Mr. Jake Cordell; Ms. Lynnette Lewis; Ms. Carol Lillard; Ms. Shirley Linn and Mr. Dumont Clarke; Mrs. Betty Little; Mr. and Mrs. Nevan Little; Mrs. Trissy Lomax; Mr. Henry London, II; Mrs. Kathleen Long; Ms. Maria Long and Mr. Rob Smith; Mr. and Mrs. Dean Loven; Mr. Brooks Luquire; Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Lyons; Mrs. Claudia Macauley; Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Mandon; Mr. Elwood Manigault; Mr. and Mrs. Michael Mann; Mr. and Mrs. Richard Markel; Mrs. Susanne Martin; Ms. Janie Maybeck; Ms. Susan McConnell; Ms. Judy McLeod and Mr. Richard Pierce; Mrs. Antonia Moore; Mr. and Ms. Daniel Moore; Mr. and Mrs. Micah Morrison; Mr. and Mrs. George Mundle; Ms. Mary Margaret Myers and Mr. Bill Bryan; Mr. and Mrs. Drew Nicholson; Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Nicholson, III; Mr. Charles Noe; Mr. and Mrs. Jay Norton; Ms. Jillian Nunn and Mr. Matt Bossemeyer; Mr. and Mrs. C.J. O'Neill; Mr. and Mrs. Dieter Olsen; The Reverend and Mrs. Thomas Osgood; Mr. Ben Outen; Mr. Trey Owen and Mr. Wes Thompson; Mr. and Mrs. James Owens; Mr. James Henderson Padgett; Thomas Haughton Pardee; Dr. Leland Park; Mr. and Mrs. James Partington, III; Miss Edith Pearson; Mr. and Mrs. Tim Pechar; Mr. and Mrs. Don Peeler; Dr. William Pfischner; Mr. Terry Prince; Dr. and Mrs. William Pritchard; Dr. and Mrs. Daniel Raiford; Ms. Kristine Reid; The Reverend and Mrs. Ollie V. Rencher; Mr. and Mrs. Michael Restaino; Mr. and Mrs. Adam Reynolds; Ms. Rosalie Reynolds; Ms. Elizabeth Richardson and Mr. Michael Pawlyk; Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Ringley; Mr. Greg Robbins; Ms. Sharon Roberts and Ms. Amanda Vann; Mr. and Mrs. Terence Roche; Mr. and Mrs. Bill Roosa; Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Ruff Jr.; Ms. Linda Sarazen and Mr. Patrick Hickert; Ms. Nancy Sarazen; Ms. Nikki Scandalios and Mr. Vince DiFrancesco; The Reverend Joslyn and Dr. Brian Schaefer; Mr. and Mrs. Richard Schroeder; Mrs. Yvette Seaton; Ms. Katherine Semmler; Mr. and Mrs. James Shannonhouse, Jr.; Mr. Matthew Sharp; Mr. and Mrs. John Shumate; Mr. Larry Skipper; Ms. Anita Smith; Mr. and Mrs. Edward Smith, II; Mr. Logan Smith; The Reverend and Mrs. Murdock Smith; Mr. Michael Spivey; Mrs. Jackie Stanley; Mr. Robert Steppe; Mr. & Mrs. Tate Sterrett; Mr. and Mrs. Robert Stigall; Mrs. Norveline Thomas; Mr. and Mrs. Robert Tindle; Ms. Linda Trent and Mr. Alan Lombardi; Mrs. Mary Anna Turner; Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Uglehus; Mr. and Mrs. Ruard Veltman; Ms. Julie Viveros and Mr. Daniel Oller; Ms. Kristine Wade; Mr. and Mrs. J. McDonald Welch; Mr. and Mrs. Edward W. Wellman; Ms. Mary Ann Wexler; Mrs. Cynthia White; Mrs. Hunt Williams, Jr.; Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Williamson; Mr. and Mrs. William Williamson, III; Mr. and Mrs. J. Michael Wilson; Ms. Mary Wilson; Mr. and Mrs. Dan Woodall; Ms. Ruth Woodend; Mr. and Mrs. William Wygand; Mr. and Mrs. Peter Young; Mr. and Mrs. Phil Zulick.
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