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News from St. Peter's Episcopal Church | February 18, 2014

From the Rector

Without Love. The Collect appointed for this coming Sunday, the Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany, states that “without love whatever we do is worth nothing.” In no uncertain terms, it makes clear what God expects of us. Even when we naturally might reserve our love or extend it with excessive levels of condition, our choice to love is the same as our choice to live.

In all things and all times, just as God the Creator loves us, it is with love that we are to do whatever we do. While the broken world in which we live and move and have our being might tempt us to think otherwise, God is clear about our need to love.

During my meditation in the quietness of one of our recent snow days, something “clicked” about the notion of how we either do or do not employ the gift of love. While pondering the words of this collect, it became overwhelmingly clear that our varied and often full days are bursting with opportunities for allowing love to be employed. In thought, word, and deed; in professional, academic, and social circles; in all that we offer in the way of time and energy, love is essential. Love is the answer.
Our interactions with all sorts and conditions of God’s people, our doings that often are quick and can be less intentional, require the presence of love. Because God is love, we can do nothing good without God. Whatever we do throughout any given day–if it is to be good–must include love. Our choice and exercise to love undoubtedly will bring great worth to everything we do. 

O Lord, you have taught us that without love whatever we do is worth nothing: Send your Holy Spirit and pour into our hearts your greatest gift, which is love, the true bond of peace and of all virtue, without which whoever lives is accounted dead before you. Grant this for the sake of your only Son Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. 

– The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector

Sunday, 2/23

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 continues the 4-week topic, "Reconciliation: God’s Mission, Our Opportunity."

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.

5:00 p.m., Choral Evensong, sung evening prayers. The St. Peter's clergy and the Evensong Choir, lead a moving service of worship and song. A reception of light refreshments follows in the Parlor.

Worship Schedule

SUNDAYS
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
WEEKDAYS
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."

Looking Ahead

Upcoming Adult Formation Offerings on Sundays, Mondays, and Wednesdays:
Reconciliation: God’s Mission, Our Opportunity (Parish Hall, Sunday at 9:30 a.m. February 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, the concluding week of the series invites us into a deeper level of discipleship, especially as we face conflict, change, and challenge in our hearts, our homes, and our neighborhoods. Join others for the last Sunday of this four-week conversation about race using “Good News: A Congregational Resource for Reconciliation” by the Right Reverend Steven Charleston.
A Sacred Walk: Dispelling the Fear of Death and Dying & Caring for the Dying (Library, Mondays at 5:45 p.m. and Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m., through March 4). This series provides spiritual and practical tools as we attend to the reality of death as a force that gives shape to our lives. Also included is helpful information about living wills and advanced directives and funeral planning. Primarily, though, it the focus is spiritual aspects of preparing for our own deaths and accompanying others through the dying process.

Augustine Literacy Project-Charlotte: Tutor One Child, Change Two Lives. Are you interested in effecting positive change in the world by teaching a child to read? If so, please attend the Augustine Project informational coffee on Thursday, February 20 at 10:30 a.m. at Randolph Middle School. Augustine tutors are trained in the Orton-Gillingham approach and use Wilson Reading System® materials. Tutors work one-on-one with low-income children who are struggling with literacy. The Augustine Project appreciates the generous support it receives from the Outreach Commission and Vestry. Many St. Peter's members have served as Augustine tutors, and we'd love to have additional members join us in helping struggling children learn to read. Visit http://augustine.st-peters.org to learn more or call Alison S. Houser, Director (704-749-6162).

Chronic Illness Support Group meetings. The next two meetings for the Chronic Illness support group have been scheduled for Sunday, February 23 and Sunday, March 30 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Parish House Library. All who come give and receive spiritual support through practices of listening, prayer, conversation, and silence. If you have questions about this group, contact Mother Joslyn (jschaefer@st-peters.org or 704-749-6150).

Sunday Evening Worship at St. Peter’s on February 23. On the second and fourth Sundays at 5:00 p.m. St. Peter’s offers evening worship with choral evensong, “sung evening prayers.” For this liturgy, the St. Peter’s clergy and the Evensong Choir at St. Peter’s (a community-based, auditioned choir) will lead this time of prayer and reflection. A reception, which includes light refreshments, will follow in the Parlor. Click here for more about Choral Evensong from the archives of Episcopal Life.

Pub Theology is Thursday, February 27 at our “permanent” home, Sir Edmond Halley’s Restaurant and Freehouse in Park Road Shopping Center. Drop in any time between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. for the monthly gathering that includes the availability of food and non-alcoholic beverages, alongside normal pub fare. This month’s topic: Ash Wednesday and A Holy Lent. Let us know you’re coming by registering online.

Shrove Tuesday is March 4. Mark your calendars now for an intergenerational Shrove Tuesday Festival featuring the return of the Rector’s Gumbo, pancakes, and other treats including live piano music by Manley Roberts. Note: festival tickets are now on sale ($4/child, $6/youth-adults, $25/household max) both online and at the church office. If you would like to get involved with hosting this grand event before Lent, email Fellowship Ministry Team Leader, Kathie Knip (kathie@datasuppliessource.com or 704-947-5645). Last year’s event was a blast!

Ash Wednesday is March 5. We have just two 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” at various times throughout the day to mark Ash Wednesday’s solemnity for persons who are on-the-go. 

Samaritan House 2014 Annual Luncheon: Thursday, March 6. Charlotte’s Samaritan House will welcome Roger A. Ray, MD as keynote speaker on March 6, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Covenant Presbyterian Church (1000 East Morehead Street) for its annual luncheon. Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Carolinas Healthcare System, Dr. Ray’s topic is “Connecting the Dots: From Treatment to Hospice.” Tickets are $40 tickets for online purchase at http://thesamaritanhouse.org or checks to Samaritan House (611 Fortune Street, Charlotte, N.C. 28205). For more information, contact Executive Director Brad Goforth (bgoforth@thesamaritanhouse.org or 704-333-0110). Samaritan House, an outreach partner of St. Peter’s, is a short-term recuperative care facility for homeless men and women.

New Sunday Evening Worship Service begins March 9. To respond to the growing need for alternative worship times and to experiment with how such might be received by our residential neighbors in Center City, St. Peter’s will begin offering a weekly 6:15 p.m. Holy Eucharist on the first Sunday of Lent, March 9. This liturgy will include music and a slight variation of our other offerings of the Holy Eucharist. If you would like to assist the clergy with the offering and evolution of this new service through liturgical or hospitality roles, email Father Ollie Rencher

Lenten Wednesday Nights at St. Peter’s. Mark your calendar for Wednesdays, March 12, 19, 26, April 2, and 9, when all ages are invited to a 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. time of food, fellowship, and prayer. The evening will include 6:00 p.m. dinner followed by 6:45 p.m. Evening Prayer using a variety of liturgical styles and music from around the Anglican Communion. Dinner is $4 per person and $10 per household maximum. All proceeds will benefit St. Peter’s new partnership with Harvest for Hospitality, a campaign to benefit the Episcopal Farmworker Ministry. Stay tuned for RSVP details for Lenten Wednesday Nights. 

Continuing our 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. Note: For safety reasons, glass containers of food items cannot be accepted. 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 tekeweni@gmail.com).
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