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News from St. Peter's Episcopal Church | June 24, 2014
“How Long, O Lord?” Psalm 13:1
 
“How long?” is the most frequently asked question of God in the Psalter. In the last week alone, I can think of over a dozen pastoral encounters where the underlying question asked of God is “How long?” Taking cue from the Psalmist, I have learned that there aren’t easy answers to explain why suffering happens or easy solutions to make it go away. Sometimes the most faithful thing we can do when we encounter hardship is to ask God, “How long?”
 
Psalm 13, our appointed Psalm for Sunday, is a paragon of lament psalms. Lament psalms compose one-third of the Psalter, with the next largest category being psalms of thanksgiving and praise, followed by hymns, royal psalms often celebrating David and historic psalms that re-tell significant events in the Hebrew people’s journey with God. Given today’s Old Testament reading of Abraham’s near sacrifice of his son Isaac, I can imagine these words being uttered by Abraham on this way up the mountain to kill Isaac.
 
But this could also be the psalm of a mother estranged from her adult children; or a woman diagnosed with cancer in the middle of her life; or a partner praying for his spouse’s deliverance from the grip of addiction; or a mid-level executive whose performance is being unfairly evaluated. The Psalm draws us into deeper realms of authentic prayer with God by modeling the faithfulness of acknowledging our lived experience of God’s absence, even in the midst of big-picture assurances of God’s presence and providence for us and all God’s creatures.
 
In the weeks to come, I invite you to pray Psalm 13 or another lament Psalm each day. You might pray it for yourself, or you might pray it on someone else’s behalf. And if you can’t think of whom you might pray for, simply look at the news. Praying our laments makes our experience of thanksgiving even deeper. For one day, the most authentic prayer any of us will have to offer will be of joy to the God who “deals bountifully” with us.
 
— The Reverend Joslyn Ogden Schaefer, Associate Rector

Sunday, 6/29


Special Coffee Hour. This festive coffee hour in the Parish Hall after the 10:45 a.m. liturgy will include a celebration of all June birthdays including the 100th birthday of Miss Edith Pearson who regularly attends this liturgy.  If you are able and would like to add your favorite tray of finger sandwiches or desserts to the spread, deliver it to the Second Floor Kitchen before worship. 


 

Worship Schedule

SUNDAYS
8:00 a.m.
Holy Eucharist, Rite I
10:45 a.m.
Holy Eucharist, Rite II
6:15 p.m.
Holy Eucharist
with Music
WEEKDAYS
Monday through Friday
7:30 a.m.
Morning Prayer in the Chapel
Tuesdays and Thursdays
Noon
"Holy Food, Holy People," Holy Communion (about 30 minutes in the Chapel)

 

Links

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 Offerings
  • Sunday, July 6 Parish Hall Forum presents Independence and Inter-Dependence: Christian Perspectives on Liberty.  On the Sunday after Independence Day, join the Reverends Ollie V. Rencher (Rector) and L. Murdock Smith (Assisting Priest) from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. for a holy conversation about Christian perspectives on liberty.  For our community of Episcopalian Americans, this gathering will include reflections on the Holy Scriptures, The Declaration of Independence, The Book of Common Prayer, and time for Q&A.  All ages are welcome.
  • Newcomers’ Café on Sundays July 20 and August 3. The clergy and lay leaders will host a monthly Newcomers’ Café from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. in the Parish Hall. All are invited to “make new friends and keep old ones,” as we continue to get to know one another and learn about the worship, ministries and deeper life of St. Peter’s. If you are new among us and likely are finding your way around, these offerings are for you. Feel free to attend one or both of the remaining two cafés (Sunday, July 20 and Sunday, August 3).  For more information, contact Mother Joslyn (jschaefer@st-peters.org).
  • Vacation Bible School. St. Peter’s will host a Holy Pilgrimage Vacation Bible School, Monday, August 4 through Friday, August 8 from 8:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This year, children as well as youth and adults are invited to participate in this holy journey where pilgrims will discover God’s Kingdom in England, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Scotland, within themselves and in each other. Click here to register online. For more information, contact Director of Children’s Formation Laurie Burlington (lburlington@st-peters.org). The cost is $20 per participant, $40 maximum per family. 
     
  • During summertime, St. Peter’s is offering a variety of Formation (Education) programs and Special Events. Click here for the calendar.

Special Events

Virginia Girls Choir in Concert: Tuesday, June 24.  The Choir School at St. Peter’s will host the Virginia Girls Choir tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the church.  The community-wide, auditioned choir of girls in grades 3-12 is touring June 20-26 through Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. They will present a varied program of sacred and secular music including music by Schubert, Bach and favorite contemporary composer Harold Arlen, just to name a few. They rehearse weekly, perform in concerts, special appearances and tours, and participate in worship services at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Richmond where they are in residence.  St. Stephen’s is the current parish of our former rector, The Reverend Gary D. Jones. This free concert is open to the community. 

Support Group Event: The Caregiver’s Support Group will meet on Thursday, June 26 at noon at First Presbyterian Church in the Frances Browne Dining Room. Feel free to bring your own lunch. (Lunch is not provided during the summer.) For more information, contact Mother Joslyn Schaefer (jschaefer@st-peters.org).
 
Special Coffee Hour on Sunday, June 29. This festive coffee hour in the Parish Hall after the 10:45 a.m. liturgy will include a celebration of all June birthdays including the 100th birthday of Miss Edith Pearson who regularly attends this liturgy.  If you are able and would like to add your favorite tray of finger sandwiches or desserts to the spread, deliver it to the Second Floor Kitchen before worship.

The 20s/30s Fellowship will gather on Sunday, June 29 for the Summer Pops series at Symphony Park, 4400 Sharon Road, at 5:00 p.m. RSVP for this event with Cathy and Micah Morrison (cathymorrison11@gmail.com).  On Thursday, July 10, we will hit the lanes for some bowling at TEN Park Lanes (Montford Drive) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.  Cost is about $15 / person. RSVP here to indicate you are coming so that we can reserve the right number of lanes.  

Lobster Dinner and Silent Auction celebrating the feast day of Saints Peter and Paul on Sunday, June 29 from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. in the Parish Hall. This is a pilgrimage fundraiser for our Journey to Adulthood (J2A) program.  Costs are $35 for adults, $20 for teens and $5 for ages 10 and younger (a dinner of chicken nuggets will be offered for children). Click here to RSVP because payment is required in advance. All reservations must be made by Wednesday, June 25. For more information, contact Director of Youth Formation Lyn Holt (lholt@st-peters.org, 704-763-3564).  

Reconciliation Movie Series on Summertime Sundays. St. Peter’s Episcopal Church will continue its Summer Documentary Movie Series on Sunday, July 13 at 4:00 p.m. in the Parish Hall with As We Forgive. The film focuses on Rosaria and Chantal, two Rwandan women coming face-to-face with the men who murdered their families during the 1994 genocide. The women speak for a nation still dealing with the genocide that killed one in eight Rwandans. The government, overwhelmed by the cases of more than 50,000 perpetrators, has turned the men back to the communities they tried to destroy. But the question remains — can reconciliation be achieved? Can the survivors forgive the killers and can the church, which failed at moral leadership during the genocide, fit into the process? The film will be followed by a facilitated discussion with various community leaders. This series is free and open to the public. A variety of adult and children’s beverages and snacks will be available, and the discussion will wrap up before the 6:15 p.m. Holy Eucharist. Click here to register and learn about past and future movies.


Parish News

A Message from Linda Griggs, St. Peter’s Former Seminarian.  Click here to read more

St. Peter’s Photo Directory Project: Last Call for Pictures. While many have had individual or household photos taken on Sundays for “Holy Faces,” the Congregational Ministry Team and Staff want to collect as many photos as possible no later than Sunday, July 6. Photographer Mike Wilson will be available on Sundays, June 29 and July 6 in the Parish House Lobby after the 10:45 a.m. liturgy. You also can e-mail an appropriate, casual or formal, clear, high-resolution picture (200 ppi or about 4 MB) of your household or you to holyfaces@st-peters.org. If you did not include other members of your household in pictures taken of you at St. Peter’s, bring them for a retake or simply e-mail a favorite picture. “Holy Faces” intends to reflect one photo per household.  Members and newcomers are encouraged to participate in this project.
 
Pub Theology will meet at Sir Edmund Halley’s Restaurant in the Park Road Shopping Center on Thursday, June 26 at 6:00 p.m. This relaxed monthly fellowship includes the availability of food and non-alcoholic beverages, alongside normal pub fare. Hosted by Father Ollie Rencher, this month’s topic “Holy Ordinary” will be a reflection on how we might find God in all settings of our lives. Pub Theology is a perfect place to expose others to the variety of life at St. Peter’s. Mark your calendar, bring a guest, and drop-in for as long as possible.
 
Food Pantry Partnership with Loaves and Fishes: Groceries for Neighbors in Need continues in June. This month’s focus is 100 percent fruit juice, although donations of all types are welcome. For safety reasons, glass jars cannot be accepted. We look forward to filling the big red barrels on the gallery of the Parish House with your contributions. 

Ministry Refresher for all Liturgical Ministers: Sunday, July 13: All lay ministers who serve in our Sunday liturgies (Eucharistic Ministers, Lectors and Acolytes) are asked to attend a time of fellowship and a "ministry refresher" on Sunday, July 13 from 9:30 to 10:25 a.m. in the Parlor and Church.  Our leaders will be on-hand to answer questions and provide clarification about various roles as our liturgies continue to evolve.  RSVP to Mother Joslyn (jschaefer@st-peters.org).  This session will be important for our ongoing work together.  

Calling All Casserole Cooks: We know that St. Peter’s has wonderful cooks who love to make casseroles as an offering from the heart.  Occasionally, the Pastoral Care Ministry Team is asked to provide a meal or two for our sick and shut-in and would like to maintain a small inventory of casseroles/meals.  Some will be kept in the freezer at St. Peter's and cooks could keep some in their freezers. If interested, contact Pat Markel at markelhouse@aol.com or 704-365-9374.

Parish Retreat Weekend at Kanuga: September 12-14.  We will gather at Kanuga Conference Center near Asheville from suppertime on Friday, September 12 until lunchtime on Sunday, September 14. Cost of this all-inclusive getaway time is $175 (adults), $95 (youth 10-18 years), $56 (children 5-9 years) and free for children under 5. Lodging, meals, activities for all ages, worship, special music and more are included in the cost. Click here  to let us know if you either might or will attend. Stay tuned for date when payment will be required to reserve your space.  
 
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