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News from St. Peter's Episcopal Church | September 24, 2014
Since June 8, I have served as your Transitional Deacon. During the period before my priestly ordination, I am learning about what it means to serve as a deacon. Our vocation is reflected in the origin of the word deacon itself, which comes from the Greek word diakonos, meaning someone who administrates or serves. Since antiquity, deacons have discharged a ministry primarily of Christian service, within and beyond the church’s walls. At their ordinations, deacons are charged “to serve all people, particularly the poor, the weak, the sick, and the lonely… to make Christ and his redemptive love known, by your word and example, to those among whom you live, and work, and worship… to interpret to the Church the needs, concerns, and hopes of the world… to assist the bishop and priests in public worship and in the ministration of God’s Word and Sacraments” (Book of Common Prayer, 543).

Clearly, there is much work for deacons to do! By tradition, among the most visible liturgical duties a deacon discharges are proclaiming the Gospel and setting and serving at the Eucharistic table. Deacons work behind the scenes too, or at least in different settings. We visit the sick or shut-in at home or in the hospital. We advocate for and work in solidarity with society’s poor, outcast, and ignored. Some deacons serve the church full-time; others are “bi-vocational,” working in both the so-called secular and sacred worlds. As a PhD student, I am this latter kind of deacon. Indeed, in our diocese few deacons are compensated financially for their diaconal work, and most are employed outside the church. But wherever they find themselves, all deacons are called to lives of service. If you would like to learn more about the diaconate, please feel free to ask me about it.

–The Reverend Deacon Jonathan E. Soyars


Sunday, 9/28

Christian Formation classes for all ages in the Parish House,
9:30 a.m.

Coffee Hour in the Community Room, second floor of the Parish House immediately following the
10:45 a.m. service.

Worship services at 8:00 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 5:00 p.m., and 6:15 p.m.

Worship Schedule

8:00 a.m.
Holy Eucharist, Rite I
10:45 a.m.
Holy Eucharist, Rite II
5:00 p.m.
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
The Seal of St. Peter's Episcopal Church
"You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church."
Formation and Worship Offerings

The Parish Hall Forum continues a three-part series “For It Is Better to Give than to Receive: Giving Time, Talent, and Treasure in a World of Scarcity” on September 28 at 9:30 a.m., exploring the Christian call to give “ourselves, our souls and bodies” in response to God’s grace. This interactive series provides opportunities for deepening your self-understanding and spiritual expression.

Evensong Sunday at 5:00 p.m. Every second and fourth Sunday, St. Peter’s offers the beautiful service of Evensong, sung evening prayers. Lasting just under an hour before the 6:15 pm Holy Eucharist, this liturgical offering is considered by many to be the essence of the Anglican tradition. Sunday, the service will be led by St. Peter’s clergy and the Boys and Girls Choirs at St. Peter’s. A reception of light refreshments takes place immediately following the service.

Learning to Walk in the Dark is the title of a book by Barbara Brown Taylor and the focus of a book study at St. Peters beginning October 2. From 7:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. each Thursday through October 16, the group will gather in the Parlor to consider the latest book by one of our church’s most respected writers. In Learning to Walk in the Dark, Taylor asks us to put aside our fears and anxieties and to explore all that God has to teach us “in the dark.” She argues that we need to move away from our “solar spirituality” and ease our way into appreciating “lunar spirituality” (since, like the moon, our experience of the light waxes and wanes). Through darkness we find courage, we understand the world in new ways, and we feel God’s presence around us, guiding us through things seen and unseen. The Reverend Joslyn Ogden Schaefer ( will facilitate this group.

Parents of children and youth are invited to "Spiritual Roots of Loving Parenting," a three week formation series facilitated by fellow parent parishioners on October 12, 19, and 26 during the 9:30 a.m. Sunday morning formation hour. The course utilizes an online video format as introduction to each week's discussion. Signing up online is required. After signing up, you will receive an invitation to begin the online video class. The video portion of the class can be accessed anytime, anywhere once you have the invitation to attend. Preparation for each week should take less than 20 minutes online. The class is designed by Church Next, an online spiritual resource. Click here to register now.

The Life at St. Peter's fall program and events guide was mailed to households in August. It's also online at This new, comprehensive resource provides many ways to connect with the vibrant life of our faith community. If you did not receive a copy, pick one up at St. Peter’s in the Parish House Lobby or Narthex.

Special Events
Give To The Vision 2015: Connecting with St. Peter’s is the theme for the annual fundraising to support the financial life at St. Peter’s in the coming year. Co-chaired by the four-person team of Jay Norton, Kristine Reid, Aimee Wilson, and Mike Wilson, stay tuned for details about how to participate in the annual fund for 2015. To support the parish operating budget for the remainder of 2014, it is not too late to pledge or offer a one-time gift, click here to give. Thanks for all you do to support the Rector and Vestry in their financial management of life at St. Peter’s.

Caregivers’ Support Group: The next caregivers’ support group will meet Thursday, September 25 at 1:00 p.m. in the Frances Browne Dining at First Presbyterian Church. Contact Mother Joslyn ( with any questions.

Pub Theology for September. On Thursday, September 25 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. join Mother Joslyn Schaefer and fellow parishioners at Sir Edmond Halley’s Pub (4151 Park Rd. Charlotte, NC 28209). This month’s topic will be important but difficult: Suicide. How do we think about suicide theologically? How might we be called, as Christians, to respond to this epidemic that is the eleventh leading cause of death? Drop-in and stay as long as possible for the conversation. Nonalcoholic beverages and food are also available.

Make Your Reservation: Shrimp and Suds Fellowship Dinner. The fourth annual youth pilgrimage fundraiser will be held Saturday, September 27 at 6:30 p.m. on the rooftop of St. Peter’s Parish House. This event is open to all adults and will feature a cooked-on-site Low Country Boil of shrimp, corn on the cob, and andouille sausage. Sides include coleslaw, French bread, cheese grits, and peach cobbler for dessert. All items will be served with a choice of local brews, wine, or iced tea. The cost for this all-you-can-eat event is $35. Proceeds will benefit the 2015 Youth Pilgrimage and summer mission trips. Click here to make your reservation.

The Choir School at St. Peter’s will present its 2014 Cabaret Night Concert at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, October 10 in the church. The choirs will sing musical selections from around the world, including the Scottish folk song “Loch Lomond” and “Dwijavanthi,” an Indian Raga. The program will also include French Café Music by special guest David DiGiuseppe and a dance performance by Kinetic Works. Advance tickets for this popular fundraising event are $30–$50 and are available online at $50 patron tickets include a catered pre-concert reception and premium reserved seats.

Pet Blessing and Pet Food Drive. St. Peter's will be having a "Blessing of the Animals" liturgy during our 6:15 p.m. service of Holy Eucharist on Sunday October 5 to commemorate St. Francis. Pets are welcome to join us and will receive a special blessing. We will also have a time in the service to name pets who have died. At the same time, please consider donating pet food for our neighbors in need on Sundays, September 28 and October 5. Barrels for the "Fill the Bowl" pet food drive will be adjacent to our regular "human" food collection barrels in the gallery.

A Conversation about Domestic Violence: Surprised by the uproar about Domestic Violence (DV) in the NFL? Want to learn more about the dynamics of DV, how it persists, and what we can do to help? Join St. Peter’s Women’s Ministry for “A Conversation about Domestic Violence,” featuring DV Survivor Alceen Megget and Community Advocate Michael Sexton on Tuesday, October 14, 6:15 p.m.–7:30 p.m. This event is open to men and women throughout Charlotte. RSVP at Questions? Call 704-332-7746.

Parish News

Collecting Items for Youth Yard Sale: The Journey to Adulthood (J2A) Yard Sale to help raise funds for the 2015 Pilgrimage will be held on October 3 and 4, 7:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. at the South Charlotte home of Ann and Bert Miano. Clean out your closets and donate anything you don’t want or need to our youth. We will take anything—clothing, furniture, knick-knacks, kitchen appliances and equipment, dishes, yard tools, bicycles, jewelry—anything! Thursday, September 25, 6:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. is the last chance to drop off items at the Miano home (10601 Bryony Court, 28277, off Ballantyne Commons Parkway). For more information, contact Director of Youth Formation Lyn Holt (

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

Habitat for Humanity and St. Peter’s Partner through Build Day. We are responsible for 16 to 24 adult and supervised youth volunteers to help build two houses with Habitat for Humanity on Saturday, September 27 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tom Im will be the leader for the day. No experience is necessary. To register, send your name, address, date of birth, and e-mail address to John Knip ( The day will be a rewarding way to serve beyond our doors with one of our servant ministry partners.

Food Pantry Partnership with Loaves and Fishes. Collection of groceries for neighbors in need continues in September. This month’s focus is canned meats. (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.

The Cooperative Christian Ministry at UNC Charlotte, which includes the Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian, and United Methodist campus ministries, invites you to a celebration in honor of Dr. Loy Witherspoon, a member of St. Peter’s. The reception, which also marks 50 years of campus ministry at the university, will be held on Thursday October 2, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at St. Peter’s in the Parish Hall. RSVP to 704-549-8291 or

Learning to Walk in the Dark: Episcopal priest and celebrated spiritual writer Barbara Brown Taylor will be presenting various programs based on her most recent book Learning to Walk in the Dark on October 17–19 at Myers Park Baptist Church. The Saturday workshop requires tickets, which are selling out quickly. To reserve your spot on Saturday See the information above about St. Peter’s book discussion group on Thursday evenings, beginning October 2.
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