Photo of the altar cross and reredos at St. Peter's by john Hall.
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News from St. Peter's Episcopal Church | November 26, 2014
Advent: The Church New Year. In preparation for the 12-day season of Christmas, the season of Advent invites the preparation of our hearts for the coming of “Emmanuel” and, believe it or not, to slow down. The demands, festivities, and varied meanings among us in this holiday season seem to encourage us to hurry up and tell us that there is not enough time. Instead, be still just enough, say five minutes, lest we miss the “long-expected Jesus” when he comes.
In 2003, I was introduced to the following poem. It hangs on the wall at one of my former parishes in the area where most worshipers entered the sacred space, and others and I gathered before the procession into the church. Beginning November 30, the first Sunday of Advent, I plan to start each day with this poem as my prayer and now share it with you as one of several resources for the season.
Slow me down, Lord
– Wilfred A. Peterson
Slow me down, Lord
Ease the pounding of my heart
by the quieting of my mind.
Steady my hurried pace
with a vision of the eternal march of time.
Give me amid the confusion of the day,
the calmness of the eternal hills.
Break the tension of my nerves and muscles
with the soothing music of the singing streams
that live in my memory.
Help me to know the magical restoring power of sleep.
Teach me the art of taking MINUTE vacations,
of slowing down to look at a flower,
to chat with a friend,
to pat a dog,
to read a few lines of a good book.
Slow me down, Lord
and inspire me to send my roots
deep into the soil of life's enduring values
that I may grow toward the stars of my greater destiny.
God’s peace and wishing you a blessed Advent.

The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector

Sunday, November 30

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

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
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

Liturgy of the Longest Night – A Thanksgiving Eucharist acknowledging Loss and Hope. This Wednesday, November 26, 5:30 p.m.  join the St. Peter’s community for a time of remembering, grieving, and celebrating the lives of loved ones no longer present in our household holiday gatherings.

Sunday, November 30, marks the First Sunday of Advent: The Church New Year. In preparation for the 12-day season of Christmas, Episcopal Christians join other traditions worldwide for the annual season of waiting for the birth of “God in Christ.” All are encouraged to pay close attention to the prayers, readings, hymns, and anthems during worship and elsewhere–all crafted to shift our attention and prepare our hearts for the coming of “Emmanuel.”

First Sunday of Advent Offerings at 9:30 a.m. for Adults. The Parish Hall Forum completes a two-week series, “Faith and Health.” Facilitated by local medical professionals and the Reverend Joslyn Ogden Schaefer, this session will explore Christian responses to the Gospel imperative to care for the sick. The Parlor on the first floor of the Parish House features “Sabbath-Keeping,” facilitated by the Reverend Ollie V Rencher. Join this conversation about the modern possibility of “24/6” as a personal goal to create more meaning and purpose in often overwhelmed and busy lives. Before both offerings, consider “Holy Chow” Breakfast (8:30 a.m.–9:25 a.m.) for a period of fellowship in the Community Room.

Resources for 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. For a unique online experience, consider bookmarking and visiting daily the SSJE online Advent calendar on Instagram (

To stay tuned and get involved, Life at St. Peter's fall program and events guide is a comprehensive resource providing many ways to connect with the vibrant life of our faith community. Pick one up at St. Peter’s in the Parish House Lobby or Narthex. It's also online at

Give To The Vision 2015: Connecting with St. Peter's
Weekly Update and Follow-up to November 2 Commitment Sunday

Pledges continue to arrive from adults, youth, and children for our annual fundraising initiative to support the worship, programs, staff, outreach, and facilities of St. Peter’s in the coming year. As of November 24, 295 pledges totaling $752,452 have been received toward our $1 million dollar goal. The 2015 Stewardship Team, Vestry, and Rector give thanks to all whose names are listed below and others unlisted who have pledged. They now hope for pledges from every member household before the December 1 Finance Committee meeting and stewardship report to be made at the December 7 Annual Meeting of the Parish. To pledge online today and help us reach our goal, you may make your pledge online or pick up a card at the church. Thanks for your return of gifts to God and to the financial welfare of St. Peter’s.

In Thanksgiving for Fall Cottage Meeting Hosts. We give thanks for those who either hosted or offered to host cottage meetings and served as facilitators or organizers of these fellowship events before the launch of Give To The Vision 2015: Susan Baldwin, Carol and Jim Bartos, Judy and Bobby Beaird, Bob Beardsley and Frank Steele, William Bellamy, Sam Bowles, Mark Boyd, Barbara Brown, Brian Burden and Greg Robbins, Sydney Burgess and Al McMillian, Mary and Kent Carpenter, Sarah and Geoffrey Curme, Jim DiMartino and Sam Gardner, Elsie Erneston, Phyllis and Bobby Ferguson, Carolyn Fitzgerald, Linda Gallehugh and Ellison Clary, Diana Gibbs, Merrill and Brian Hacker, Irma and Ed Hoffman, Harris Holt, Des Keller, John Ketron and Michael Wright, Amy Dillon King, Kathie and John Knip, Nelda Leon and Jim McEwen, Alan Lombardi and Linda Trent, Maria Long and Rob Smith, Pat and Dick Markel, Toni Moore, Kate and Jay Norton, Evette Paige, Kristine Reid, The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Diane and Mike Restaino, Jennifer and Manley Roberts, The Reverend and Mrs. Murdock Smith, Cindy White, and Ruth Woodend, and the Parish Staff.

Special Events
Annual Meeting of the Parish: Sunday, December 7. Mark your calendar for the Annual Meeting of the Parish on Sunday, December 7, from 9:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. in the Martha Bowles Parish Hall. (Note: In accordance with the parish by-laws, the Rector will open the meeting on Sunday, November 30 after the 8:00 a.m. liturgy for the purpose of permitting eligible members to cast votes for Vestry nominees on that day as well as Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the Parish House.) All able-bodied adults and youth are asked to attend the December 7 occasion not only to elect four new Vestry members but also to receive ministry area reports, review the proposed 2015 operating budget, and hear the Rector’s “State of St. Peter’s” address–all within one hour. “Holy Chow” breakfast will be available from 8:30 a.m. until 9:15 a.m. Vestry Nominees for the 2015-2017 term are Candace Armstrong, Abigail Cudabac, Paige Ghareeb, Merrill Boykin Hacker, Magen Atkinson Hung, Paul Keller, Bert Miano, Daniel Oller, and Kristine Reid. More information about the nominees is available online or in leaflets in the public spaces of the Parish House.

Advent Lessons and Carols and Parish Party: December 7. On the Second Sunday of Advent and the beginning of a new church year, the St. Peter’s Choir, clergy, and readers from all ages and walks of parish life present our annual festival of Advent Lessons and Carols. The 5:00 p.m. service will be followed by a festive parish party at 6:00 p.m. in the Martha Bowles Parish Hall. Childcare will be available during the service but not for the party, which will include food and crafts for children. To make your reservation, visit Please bring some food to share and let us know what you will bring by visiting and input username “Knip” followed by password “9792.” Spread the word about this annual great time.

Parish News

Room in the Inn 2014-2015 begins December 3. St. Peter’s, along with dozens of other area churches, will help house and feed our homeless neighbors during the coldest months of the year as part of the Room in the Inn (RITI) program of Urban Ministry Center. RITI at St. Peter’s will operate for four months, every Wednesday, from December 3 to March 25. For these four months, the Martha Bowles Parish Hall is temporarily transformed into a safe, warm place to sleep. Our neighbors will be fed dinner and breakfast while here and leave early Thursday morning with a sack lunch. As many as 80 of our parishioners of all ages participate in this ministry every year; most volunteers serve on one of four teams that cook, serve, and eat dinner with our guests. Additional volunteers cook breakfasts, make lunches, set up beds, check supplies, do laundry, and stay at the church overnight as chaperones. Please consider volunteering for RITI. Signup at the RITI table available in the Parish House Gallery after Sunday worship services or contact St. Peter’s RITI co-coordinators Des Keller (, 205-243-6989) or Bert Miano (

Our Annual Advent Fair continues November 30, and December 7, 8:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. The Youth Program will sell items for Advent observance for the benefit of our pilgrims as they work toward growing in their spiritual journeys.

Would you like to be a Barista? Our Fellowship Ministry is seeking more people to share in the ministry of hosting refreshments after the 10:45 a.m. service. You can be part of a three-person team to serve once a month, or you can serve on the 5th Sunday a few times a year. As a barista (an Italian word for coffee house server), you would bring your choice of refreshments and prepare coffee and lemonade. Contact Kristine Reid ( for details or to sign up.

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

Holiday Greenery Sale by The Choir School is ending soon. While the sale of shipped wreaths has ended, you can still order your wreath and garland for local pickup. Deadline for ordering wreaths and garland was Sunday, November 23. Wreath pickup at St. Peter’s is December 2 – 7. Trees can continue to be ordered throughout the season. Purchase online or after the service and help The Choir School. Enjoy picking out your own tree at the lot on East Blvd.

Making Spirits Bright: Join the choirs of the Choir School at St. Peter’s for a holiday choral performance. The Choir School’s annual Christmas concerts will take place Friday and Saturday, December 12 and 13, at 7:30 p.m. in the Church. The concerts will feature traditional and contemporary holiday selections, including Gloria from Keble Missa Brevis by the contemporary British composer Philip Stopford, What Sweeter Music Can We Bring? by Canadian composer Eleanor Daley, Winter Wonderland in the style of Ella Fitzgerald, and O Come All Ye Faithful as arranged by Sir David Willcocks. The choirs will be accompanied on harp, strings, flute, and percussion and of course our wonderful C. B. Fisk Opus 136 organ. Tickets begin at $15 and are available at the door or online at Reserved blocks of 4 tickets are $100. For more information contact Kay Johnson; 704-749-6146.

Food Pantry Partnership with Loaves and Fishes. Collection of groceries for neighbors in need continues in November. This month’s focus is cereal. (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 this agency, click here.

As of November 24, the following and other unlisted pledges have been offered online or by paper pledge card to support the vision of and life at St. Peter’s in 2015.  Click here to give today.

Mrs. Jeanne Agan; Mr. Jim Amburn; Ms. Candace Armstrong; The Honorable John Arrowood; Mr. Robert Atkins; Mrs. Susan Baldwin; Mrs. Veronica Bandy; Ms. Adelaide Barringer; The Rev. & Mrs. James Bartos; Mr. & Mrs. Dale Bass; Mr. & Mrs. C. Robert Beaird; Bob Beardsley and Frank Steele; Mr. & Mrs. William Bellamy; Steve Bentley & David Deal; Mr. Michael Berry; Mr. Timothy Bice; Mrs. Donna Black; Stephen Blythe & Kimberly Johnson; Jillian and Matt Bossemeyer; Mark Boyd & Andre Fleuriel; Mr. & Mrs. John Bradberry; Isabelle Bradberry; Mr. & Mrs. John Brien; Mr. and Mrs. William Britton, Jr.; Ms. Debra Brooks; Mr. Neil Broncaccio; Dr. Barbara Brown; Mr. Donald Brown; Mr. William Bryan; Mr. & Mrs. John Budall; Anneliese Budall; Mr. & Mrs. Steven Burke; Mr. Neil Burkhead & Ms. Joan Graham; Laurie and Rob Burlington; Robert Burlington, III; Mr. & Mrs. Daniel Busch; Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Caldwell; Mr. & Mrs. Michael Campbell; Ms. Carolyn Carlburg; Dr. & Mrs. Kent Carpenter; Mrs. Elise Cathey; Kyle Cathey; Lelyand Cathey; Josh Caudle; Mr. & Mrs. Tom Cheshire; Dumont Clarke and Shirley Linn; The Rev. Julie Clarkson; Ellison Clary & Linda Gallehugh; Ms. Tina Coelho; Mrs. Gina Columna; Mrs. Suzanne Coonen; Mrs. Gloria Cooper; Mrs. Margaret Copeland; Mr. & Mrs. Christopher Corcoran; Mrs. Elizabeth Corzine; Ms. Chantalle Couba; Mrs. James B. Craighill; Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Crayton; Mrs. Kathleen Cress; Mr. & Mrs. Christopher Cudabac; Mr. & Mrs. Geoffrey Curme; Lillian Curme; Mr. Rodney Currin; Mr. John Denti; Vince DiFrancesco and Nikki Scandalios; Mr. James DiMartino; Mrs. Clara Dodd; Mr. & Mrs. Jonathan Dresser; Mr. Jeffrey Drum; Mr. and Mrs. Jim Dudley; Mr. David Duggan, Jr; Mrs. Nancy Dumbell; Ms. Nancy Duncan; Dr. John Dunn; Ms. Carmencita Elijah; Mr. and Mrs. Brian Ellsworth; Ms. Elsie Erneston; Mr. & Mrs. Stephen Ezzo; Ms. Roberta Farman Stein; Mrs. Minta Jane Ferguson; Dr. & Mrs. Robert Ferguson; Ms. Carolyn Fitzgerald; Mr. & Mrs. Charles Ford, Jr.; Mr. Tommy Forte; Brian Gallagher &  Terry Prince; Mr. Samuel Gardner, III; Mr. Pendley Garrett; Mr. & Mrs. Tom Ghareeb; Roland Ghareeb; Callan Ghareeb; Ms. Diana Gibbs; Mr. & Mrs. Lee Gilman; Ms. Lydia Gittens; Mr. Kenneth Goodwin; Ms. Mary Gotschall; Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Graves; Mr. and Mrs. James Green; Mr. & Mrs. Donald Greene; Ms. Lynn Griffin; Ms. Mary Griffin; Mr. & Mrs. Richard Gross; Evette Guine-Paige & Terry Paige; Mr. & Mrs. Brian Hacker; Mr. and Mrs. John Hackler; Mr. Randy Haith; James & Marguerite Hardy; Ms. Ann Haskell; Ms. Josephine Hicks; The Rev. & Mrs. William Hinson, Jr.; Mr. & Mrs. William Hinson, III; Mrs. Irma Hoffman; Mr. Michael Hoffman; Patricia and John Hoke; Mr. & Mrs. Harris Holt, III; Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Holtz; Eugenia Holtz; Suzanna and Webster Hubbell; Katherine Hughes; Mr. and Mrs. Andy Hung; Mrs. Beth Hunt; Mr. Dan Hurley; Mr. & Mrs. John Hurst, Jr.; Douglas Hutto & Steve Thomas; Thomas Im & Michael Loose; Ms. Marie Irving; Dr. and Mrs. David Jacobs ; Mrs. Lucy Jarrett; Mrs. Nancy Jewell; Mrs. Edith Johnson; Mr. & Mrs. J. Michael Johnson; Ms. Elaine Jones; Mr. John Joslin; Mr. & Mrs. William Kalbas; Mr. Walter Kearns; Mr. & Mrs. Paul Keller, Jr; Mr. & Mrs. William Kelly; Mr. and Mrs. Keith Kepley; Dr. John Ketron & Mr. Michael Wright; Carl and Amy Dillon King; Mr. Tom Kiser; Ms. Maureen Kivney; Mr. & Mrs. John Knip; Mr. Michael Koppenal; Mr. & Mrs. William Krewson; Mr. Gregory Kudasz; Mrs. Judith Kyle; Dr. & Mrs. Christopher Lakin; Ms. Lynn Lau; Mr. & Mrs. David Lavoie; Ms. Lynnette Lewis; Ms. Carol Lillard; Christa and Kent Lineberger; Mrs. Betty Little; Mr. David Little; Mr. & Mrs. Nevan Little; Mrs. Trissy Lomax; Alan Lombardi & Linda Trent; Mr. Henry London, II; Mrs. Kathleen Long; Abraham Loven; Mr. & Mrs. Brooks Luquire; Mr. & Mrs. Samuel Lyons; Ms. Lisa Lynn; Mrs. Claudia Macauley; Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Mandon; Mr. Elwood Manigault; Mr. & Mrs. Richard Markel; Mrs. Susanne Martin; Ms. Janie Maybeck; Ms. Susan McConnell; James McEwen and Nelda Leon; Mr. & Mrs. James McGavran, Jr.; Ms. Hulene McLean; ; Judy McLeod and Richard Pierce; Al McMillian & Sydney Burgess; Rebekah McMillian; Tait McMillian; Josh Meloy; Mr. Steve Mercer; Mr. & Mrs. Bert Miano; Lena Miano; Samuel Miano; Sarah Minter; Mr. George Monroe; Mrs. Antonia Moore; Mr. & Mrs. Daniel Moore; Mr. and Mrs. North Moore; Mr. & Mrs. Peter Morgan; Mr. and Mrs. Cooper Morrison; Mr. & Mrs. Micah Morrison; Mr. & Mrs. George Mundle; Mr. Todd Murphy; Mrs. Mary Margaret Myers; Dan Nelson and Katie Semmler; Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Nicholson, III; Charles Noe & Randy Peacock; Mr. & Mrs. John Norton, II; Daniel Oller & Julie Viveros; Mr. & Mrs. C.J. O'Neill; Mr. Ben Outen; Trey Owen & Wes Thompson; Mr. & Mrs. James Owens; Mr. James Padgett; Mr. T. Haughton Pardee; Dr. Leland Park; Mr. & Mrs. James Partington, III; Michael Pawlyk & Elizabeth Richardson; Ms. Betty Payne; Miss Edith Pearson; Mr. & Mrs. Tim Pechar; Mr. Donald Peeler; Mr. Randy Penninger; Dr. William Pfischner; Mr. Donald Philemon; Mr. Robert Pinkston, Jr.; Mr. Adam Popkowski; Dr. & Mrs. William Pritchard; Dr. and Mrs. Dan Raiford; Mr. Patrick Ratchford; Ms. Kristine Reid; Maximillian Reid; The Rev. & Mrs. Ollie Rencher; Mr. & Mrs. Michael Restaino; Mr. & Mrs. Adam Reynolds; Ms. Rosalie Reynolds; Mr. & Mrs. Kevin Ringley; Mr. Greg Robbins; Mr. & Mrs. Manley Roberts; Mr. and Mrs. Terry Roche; Mr. and Mrs. Bill Roosa; Oneisha Sanders; Shianece Sanders; Linda Sarazen & Patrick Hickert; Ms. Nancy Sarazen; The Rev. Joslyn and Dr. Brian Schaefer; Mr. & Mrs. Richard Schroeder; Mrs. Yvette Seaton; Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Sepko, IV; Mr. and Mrs. Jim Shannonhouse; Mr. Matthew Sharp; Mr. & Mrs. John Shumate; Mr. Larry Skipper; Ms. Anita Smith; Mr. & Mrs. Edward Smith, II; Edward Smith, III; Mr. Logan Smith; The Rev. & Mrs. Murdock Smith; Mason Smith; Miles Smith; Mr. Nathan Smith; Rob Smith & Maria Long; The Rev. & Mrs. Jonathan Soyars; Mr. & Mrs. Jeffrey Spinazzolla; Mr. Michael Spivey; Mr. & Mrs. Tate Sterrett; Mr. & Mrs. Robert Stigall; Jan Keny and Wesley Sturgis; The Rev. Carl Synan; Mrs. Avery Teichman; Mrs. Norveline Thomas; Gabriella Thomas; Mr. & Mrs. Willie Thomas; Dr. John Thompson, Jr.; Mr. & Mrs. Robert Tindle; Mrs. Mary Anna Turner; Mr. Andrew Uglehus; John Vandiver &  James  Baker; Amanda Vann & Sharon Roberts; Ms. Kristine Wade; Ms. Grazia Walker; Dr. George Waterhouse; Mrs. Eulada Watt; Nathan Webb; Mr. & Mrs. J. McDonald Welch; Mr. & Mrs. Edward Wellman, Jr.; Hope Westerfield & Marti Henderson; Mr. Bill Wheeler; Mrs. Cynthia White; Catherine White; Ms. Carole Whittington; Mrs. Hunt Williams; Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Williamson; Mr. & Mrs. William Williamson, III; Mr. & Mrs. Mike Wilson; Ms. Lindie Wilson; Mary Virginia and Dan Woodall; Mrs. Ruth Woodend; Mrs. Chrys Woodson; Mr. Alec Yale; Mr. & Mrs. Peter Young; Mr. & Mrs. Philip Zulick; Children of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.

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