Pictured below is the "Gabriel" window from the chapel at St. Peter's.
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News from St. Peter's Episcopal Church | December 17, 2014
Singing Our Hope: Praying with Advent Hymns

The Advent lessons, prayers, meditations, and music of the Church Catholic (universal) offer images of hope to prepare us for Christmas. I especially have found pronounced reminders of the coming of Christ and solace in the abundant texts of the hymns suggested for this season. The variety of tunes that accompany the texts unfold melodies and create images to inform what we pray–by singing. Together, the texts and tunes point to our hope for years to come in the annual celebration of the birth of “Emmanuel, God with us.”
 
St. Francis of Assisi offered that “singing is praying twice.” The worship life of St. Peter’s Church during Advent definitely reinforces this notion, particularly for those who are able to attend services. Whenever we sing in worship, we are doing more than making music to the glory of God. We are praying words of deep wisdom, conviction, and refreshment to reaffirm our faith and what we believe. Between the words we sing and faithful sounds we make, we position ourselves to be blessed by what actually could be called another form of the “prayers of the people.”
 
I suggest that each of us is called to make a joyful noise to the Lord, regardless of what others might say about how we sound or what we say about ourselves. However, when either choosing not to sing or simply being unable to sing, we can pray the hymns. If you would like to learn more about what I suggest and explore how one can pray the hymns of Advent and others seasons as a form of spiritual practice, please attend the Parish Hall Forum on Sunday, December 21, 9:30 a.m.
 
Advent blessings and the peace of the Lord be always with you.
 
– The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector

Sunday, December 21

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., and 6:15 p.m.

Worship Schedule

SUNDAYS
8:00 a.m.
Holy Eucharist, Rite I
10:45 a.m.
Holy Eucharist, Rite II
5:00 p.m.
Evensong
6:15 p.m.
Holy Eucharist
with Music
WEEKDAYS
Monday through Friday
8:00 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
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

Adult Formation Offering at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, December 21. Join others in the Parish Hall for “Singing our Hope: Praying with Advent Hymns,” facilitated by the Reverend Ollie V. Rencher. This offering will focus on the abundant text of hymns suggested for Advent and how one can pray these and all hymns as a form of spiritual practice.
 
No Formation Offerings on December 28. While our customary Sunday worship schedule (8:00 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 6:15 p.m.) will continue, formation offerings for adults, youth, and children will be suspended on December 28 and resume on January 4. Stay tuned for the late December release of the 2015 Winter-Spring issue of our “Life at St. Peter’s” program and event guide.
 
Resources for Personal Meditation during Advent. The Society of St. John the Evangelist (SSJE), a monastic community of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada, has created a website with a number of resources for Advent devotions, http://www.ssje.org/adventwordresources.html. For a unique online experience, consider bookmarking and making a daily visit to the SSJE online Advent calendar on Instagram.

Celebrate The Twelve Days of Christmas at St. Peter’s: Christmas Eve (December 24) 4:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., and 10:30 p.m.; and Christmas Day (December 25) 10:00 a.m. On Christmas Eve at the 4:00 p.m. service, children from St. Peter’s will proclaim the Gospel in our Christmas Pageant. Preceding the 6:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. services, special music by the St. Peter’s Choir, soloists, and members of the Charlotte Symphony will be offered. On December 28, The First Sunday after Christmas and January 4, The Second Sunday after Christmas, we continue Christmastide with customary worship times (8:00 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 6:15 p.m.). For more about worship at St. Peter’s including weekday opportunities, check out www.st-peters.org.
 
Give To The Vision 2015: Connecting with St. Peter's
Weekly Update and Follow-up to November 2 Commitment Sunday


Since Commitment Sunday, November 2, pledges totaling $789,721 have been received as of December 16 toward our $1 million dollar goal. All members are asked to pledge to support the worship, programs, staff, outreach, and facilities of St. Peter’s in 2015. The budget for the upcoming year will be presented on December 16 to the Vestry for approval; we want to include responses from all who make their spiritual home at St. Peter’s. Newcomers are welcome to pledge; several already have done so, while in the process of becoming of members. The 2015 Stewardship Team extends a hearty thanks to all who have participated in this annual fundraising initiative and eagerly awaits responses from those who have not pledged yet. To pledge online today and help us reach our $1 million dollar goal, you may make your pledge online or pick up a pledge card at the Parish House.
 
Why Give to St. Peter’s? Our Christian vows to support the mission of God’s Church as well as the vision for St. Peter’s include a holy giving that is both priceless and beneficial to all. Despite what we may think, every pledge matters. Every Sunday at St. Peter’s, it costs more than $8,500 to operate the church and provide our necessary offerings: $1,740 to operate our worship space, parish house, and grounds including personnel and utilities; $1,353 to fund worship supplies and music ministry services including personnel; and $2,067 to support the clergy responsible for officiating three services, teaching classes, performing pastoral duties, and more that comes with their ministries. Sundays are followed by the Monday-Saturday cycle when it costs more than $3,500 for basic church operations including administration, supplies, and utilities. To support St. Peter’s today, click here to pledge or make a one-time contribution online.

Special Events
 
Caregiver’s Support Group: This multi-church group will meet on Thursday, December 18 at 1:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church (200 W. Trade St.). Contact the Reverend Joslyn Ogdgen Schaefer (jschaefer@st-peters.org) with any questions.
 
Greening of the Church: Tuesday, December 23, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. All ages are invited to share in this wonderful time of preparing our sacred space with lush greenery, candles, and a good seasonal special cleaning. Contact organizer Mary Virginia Woodall (mvwoodall@st-peters.org, 704-749-6151) to serve and enjoy fellowship with others.

Parish News

Christmas Memorials support flowers and music for the season. If you would like to make a monetary contribution in memory of, honor of, or thanksgiving for loved ones during the holiday season, one way would be to offset the parish cost of flowers, greenery, and special music for Christmas at St. Peter’s. Christmas Memorial envelopes are available in the public spaces at St. Peter’s or you may pay online. Your gifts are appreciated.
 
The Vestry Class of 2017 was elected at the Annual Meeting of the Parish on December 7 and officially will begin their service at the January 30-31 Vestry Retreat. Candace Armstrong, Abigail Cudabac, Paul Keller, and Kristine Reid will follow the service of William Bellamy, Ellison Clary, Harris Holt, and Cindy White and begin their new ministry at the January Vestry Retreat. More than 200 people gathered in the Martha Bowles Parish Hall for this annual occasion, which included prayers, the singing of the hymn “I love thy kingdom, Lord,” introduction of Vestry members, nominees, and parish staff, and various reports. To access a brief report from our various ministry areas and programs, click here.

Valet Parking Service on Sundays: St. Peter’s offers free valet parking for people with mobility challenges, those who drive them, and those with DMV-issued handicapped parking decals from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Sundays. Those in need of this service should arrive at the 7th Street Parish House entrance where professional valet personnel are present to park cars at no charge. Note: Persons without DMV-issued handicapped parking decals will be directed to the TransAmerica parking garage designated for St. Peter’s.

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

"White Beard Project” Advent Tree supports Supportive Housing Communities. The Advent tree in the Parish House Lobby is an outreach opportunity to provide holiday stockings filled with basic toiletries for the more than 100 men and women residents of SHC, formerly McCreesh Place. Coordinators Christa Lineberger and Lyn Holt (Director of Youth Formation) are organizing our support of this ministry that began four years ago at Christmastime. Stop by the Advent tree to collect your ornament naming the toiletries to be purchased and return them by Saturday 12/20 to be assembled by our Rite 13 youth class.
 
Double your donation dollars to Episcopal Relief and Development. St. Peter's has been honored to host the powerful photo exhibit celebrating 75 years of healing a hurting world through the work of Episcopal Relief & Development. In honor of the 75th anniversary, a group of generous donors have offered to match every gift to Episcopal Relief & Development—up to $750,000—between now and December 31. All donations will double immediately, thanks to the match. Together, each dollar will enable us to reach and transform the lives of three million people in nearly 40 countries around the world. Shop in the Gifts for Life catalogue or make a donation today at https://www.episcopalrelief.org.

 
Food Pantry Partnership with Loaves and Fishes. Collection of groceries for neighbors in need continues in December. This month’s focus is fruit. (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.
 
To learn more about and get involved with outreach and social justice ministries at St. Peter’s, click here.
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