December 21, 2015

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Preparing for Christmas

Yesterday, the Gospel appointed for the Fourth and Last Sunday of Advent, Luke 1:39-55, recalled the “reason for the season.” Meanwhile, the holiday culture might have more of our attention than we may care to admit. In the Song of Mary, the Blessed Virgin Mary shared with Elizabeth about God’s never-failing promise to bless God’s people beyond measure. She offered a precursor to the modern day phrase, “God is good, all the time, God is good.”

I am stirred by the shameless sharing by the Holy Mother about her faith and how she joyfully tells of the goodness of our Creator. Our parish vision advocates that we are called to become bold followers of Jesus. Is there a better time than now to prepare for boldness? Mary’s song beseechs us to give thanks for God’s abundance, share our faith, and bring the light of Christ to this world, all because of Christmas for which we now prepare.

Mary said to Elizabeth, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

Celebrating the last days of Advent,

— The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector  
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Thank You for Your Generous Abundance – Annual Giving Campaign Update for December 18: With 2015 drawing to a close, we celebrate the generous abundance with which so many in our Parish family gave to St. Peter’s vision. Moving into an exciting 2016, we must acknowledge all those who make possible our rich life of Outreach and Social Justice, Formation (education) for all ages, pastoral care for all, the stewardship of our beautiful historic facility and more.

As of Monday, December 21, 275 units totaling $811,630 have been pledged toward the $950,000 goal. If you have not yet been able to make your own pledge, we invite you to join those who make all this abundance possible: Mrs. Jeanne Agan, Mr. Jim Amburn, Ms. J. Candace Armstrong, The Honorable John Arrowood, Mr. Robert Atkins, Mr. Michael Baker, Mrs. Susan Baldwin, Mrs. Robert Bandy, Ms. Adelaide Barringer, The Reverend and Mrs. James Bartos, Mr. and Mrs. Dale Bass, Mr. and Mrs. Bobby Beaird, Mr. Bob Beardsley and Mr. Frank Steele, Mr. Steven Bentley and Mr. David Deal, Mr. Timothy Bice, Ms. Donna Black, Ms. Sandra Blair, Mrs. Warren Leslie Bobbitt, Sr., Mr. and Mrs. Ovidio Bocanegra, Ms. Jen Bourne, Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Bossemeyer, Mr. and Mrs. Erskine Bowles, Mr. and Mrs. Sam Bowles, Mr. Mark Boyd and Mr. Andre Fleuriel, Mr. and Mrs. Johnny Boykin, Isabelle Bradberry, Mr. and Mrs. John Bradberry, Mr. Chase Branham, Mr. and Mrs. Keith Brent, Mr. and Mrs. John Brien, Mr. and Mrs. William Britton Jr., Ms. Elizabeth Brodie and Dr. Damian Bracy, Mr. Neil Broncaccio, Ms. Debra Brooks, Dr. Barbara Brown, Mr. Donald Brown, Mr. William Bryan and Ms. Mary Margaret Myers, Mr. and Mrs. John Budall, Mr. and Mrs. Steven Burke, Mr. Louis burkhead and Ms. Joan Graham, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Busch, Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Caldwell, Dr. Susan Campbell and Mr. Sean Casey, Ms. Carolyn Carlburg, Dr. and Mrs. Kent Carpenter, Kyle Cathey, Lelyand Cathey, Mr. and Mrs. Louis Chapin, Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Chapin, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Cheshire, Mr. Dumont Clarke and Ms. Shirley Linn, The Reverend Julie Clarkson, Ellison Clary and Linda Gallehugh, Robin Chochran, Ms. Tina Coelho, Mrs. Gina Columna, Ms. Jo Cooley, Mrs. Suzanne Coonen, Ms. Gloria Cooper, Mrs. Peggy Copeland, Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Corcoran, Mrs. Elizabeth Corzine, Ms. Chantalle Couba, Mr. Jack Cozean, Mrs. James B. Craighill, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Crayton, Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Cudabac, Mr. Rodney Currin, Mr. John Denti, Vince DiFrancesco and Nikki Scandalios, Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Dresser, Mr. Jeffrey Drum, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Dudley, Mrs. Nancy Dumbell, Ms. Nancy Duncan, Dr. John Dunn, Mr. and Mrs. Brian Ellsworth, Ms. Elsie Erneston, Ms. Roberta Farman Stein, Dr. and Mrs. Robert Ferguson, Ms. Joy Floyd, Mr. and Mrs. Quentin Fogan, Mrs. Kusawn Foster, Mr. Theodore Foster, Jr., Dr. John Frederick and Mr. Anthony Craghead, Mr. Brian Gallagher and Mr. Terry Prince, Mr. Samuel Gardner III and Mr. Jim DiMartino, Mr. Pendley Garrett, Callan Ghareeb, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Ghareeb, Diana Gibbs, Dr. Margaret Gibson, Mr. and Mrs. Lee Gilman, Ms. Lydia Gittens, The Right Reverend and Mrs. Gary Gloster, Ms. Mary Gotschall, Mr. and Mrs. Vernon G. Graves, Mr. and Mrs. James Green, Mr. and Mrs. Donald Greene, Ms. Lynn Griffin, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Gross, Evette Guine-Paige and Terry Paige, Mr. and Mrs. Brian Hacker, Mr. Randy Haith, The Reverend Dr. Paul Hanneman, Dr. John Hall and Mr. Robbie Howell, Mr. and Mrs. James Hardy, Ms. Ann Haskell, Ms. Josephine H. Hicks, Dr. Gwendolyn High, Mr. and Mrs. William Hinson, III, The Reverend and Mrs. William Hinson, Jr., Mrs. Irma Hoffman, Mr. Michael Hoffman, Mr. and Mrs. John Hoke, Mr. Horace Holmes, Lyn and Harris Holt, Eugenia Holtz, Katherine Hughes, Mr. and Mrs. Dandridge Hurdle, Mr. and Mrs. John Hurst, Jr., Ms. Kimberly Hurst, Douglas Hutto and Steve Thomas, Ms. Louise Im, Mr. Thomas Im and Mr. Michael Loose, Ms. Marie Irving, Dr. and Mrs. David Jacobs, Mrs. Nancy Jewell, Mrs. Edith Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. J. Michael Johnson, Ms. Elaine Jones, Mr. John Joslin, Mr. and Mrs. William Kalbas, Mr. Walter Kearns, Mr. and Mrs. Desmond Keller, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Keller, Jr., Dr. John Ketron and Mr. Michael Wright, Mr. Thomas Kiser, Ms. Maureen Kivney, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Knox, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Koppenal, Mr. and Mrs. William Krewson, Mr. and Mrs. Jan Kyle, Dr. and Mrs. Christopher Lakin, Ms. Lynn Lau, Mr. and Mrs. David Lavoie, Ms. Nelda Leon, Ms. Lynnette Lewis, Ms. Carol Lillard, Mr. and Mrs. Kent Lineberger, Mrs. Betty Little, Mr. and Mrs. Nevan Little, Mrs. Trissy Lomax, Dr. V. Alan Lombardi and Ms. Linda Trent, Mrs. Kathleen (Cash) Long, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Lopes, Abe Loven, Mr. and Mrs. Dean Loven, Mr. and Mrs. Brooks Luquire, Mr. and Mrs. Zach Luszcz, Lisa Lynn and Caren Akin, Mrs. Claudia Macauley, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Mandon, Mr. Elwood Manigault, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Markel, Mrs. Susanne Martin, Mr. Richard Mautz III and Ms. Emily Stolz, Ms. Janie Maybeck, Ms. Susan McConnell, Mr. James McEwen, Mrs. Dorothy McGavran, Ms. Patricia McGrath, Ms. Hulene McLean, Ms. Judy McLeod, Al McMillian and Sydney Burgess, Mr. and Mrs. Mac Meloy, Dr. and Mrs. Stephen Mercer, Ms. Wendy Merrill, Mr. Matthew Messer, Mr. and Mrs. Bert Miano, Ms. Stephanie Minter, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Mixter, Mr. and Mrs. Thayer Moeller, Mrs. Antonia Moore, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Moore, Mr. and Mrs. North Moore, III, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Morgan, Mr. and Mrs. Micah Morrison, Mr. and Mrs. Cooper Morrison, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. George Mundle, Mr. Todd Murphy, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Nelson, Ms. Kimberly Newman, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Nicholson, III, Mr. Charles Noe and Mr. Randy Peacock, Mr. and Mrs. John Norton II, Mr. and Mrs. C. J. O’Neill, Mr. Ben Outen, Mr. Trey Owen and Mr. Wes Thompson, Mr. and Mrs. James Owens, Mr. James Padgett, Dr. Leland Park, Mr. John Parker, III, Mr. and Mrs. James Partington, III, Michael Pawlyk and Elizabeth Richardson, Ms. Betty Payne, Miss Edith Pearson, Mr. and Mrs. Tim Pechar, Dr. Willian Pfischner, Dr. and Mrs. Daniel Raiford, Mr. Patrick Ratchford, Ms. Kristine Reid, The Reverend and Mrs. Ollie V. Rencher, Mr. and Ms. Michael Restaino, Ms. Rosalie Reynolds, Mr. Greg Robbins, Ms. Marie Robertson, Mr. and Mrs. Bill Roosa, Ms. Linda Sarazen, Ms. Nancy Sarazen, Ms. Callina Satterfield, The Reverend Joslyn and Dr. Brian Schaefer, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Schroeder, Mrs. Yvette Seaton, Mr. and Mrs. James Shannonhouse, Jr., Mr. Matthew Sharp, Mr. Harry Shaw, Mr. and Mrs. John Shumate, Mr. and Mrs. Ed Singletary, Ms. Anita Smith, The Reverend and Mrs. L. Murdock Smith, Miles Smith, Mr. Rob Smith and Ms. Maria Long, The Reverend and Mrs. Jonathan Soyars, Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Spinazzolla, Mr. Michael Spivey, Mr. David Starnes, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Stigall, Mr. Wesley Sturgis Jr., The Reverend Carl Synan, Avery and Will Teichman, Mrs. Norveline Thomas, Mr. Joel Thompson, Dr. John Thompson, Jr., Mr. Rob Thompson and Mrs. Ellen Thompson, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Tindle, Mr. and Mrs. James Tringas, Mrs. Mary Anna Turner, Choquette and Andrew Uglehus, Dr. and Mrs. Gerald Vanderpool, Ms. Amanda Vann and Ms. Sharon Roberts, Mr. and Mrs. Ruard Veltman, Ms. Kristine Wade, Dr. George Waterhouse, Mrs. Eulada Watt, Nathan Webb, Mr. and Mrs. J. McDonald Welch, Hope Westerfield and Marti Henderson, Mr. Bill Wheeler, Mrs. Teresa Whelan, Mrs. Cynthia White, Ms. Carole Whittington, Ms. Lisa Wielunski, Mrs. Mary Williams, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Williamson, Mr. and Mrs. William Williamson, III, Ms. Mary (Lindie) Wilson, Mr. and Mrs. Mike Wilson, Mary Virginia and Dan Woodall, Mrs. Ruth Woodend, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Young, Mr. and Mrs. John Zemaitis, and Mr. and Mrs. Philip Zulick.

Together in faith, the parish family can continue to support all that God calls us to do and to be in Center City Charlotte. To learn more about Give to the Vision 2016: Generous Abundance and pledge online today, click here.
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Holy Chow Resumes in Epiphany:  Join us on Sunday, January 10 for Holy Chow breakfast, served from 8:30 – 9:25 AM in the Community Room on the Second Floor of the Parish House. Volunteers are needed to keep this ministry afloat.  Volunteers agree to serve monthly on a team that prepares a delicious breakfast for our parish family from September to May.  Contact Tate Sterrett to volunteer ( or 704-293-8551).   Until we build up the volunteer teams, a hearty continental breakfast will be served most Sundays.
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Life at St. Peter’s Winter and Spring 2016: Watch for the Life at St. Peter’s calendar of events and activities for winter and spring, 2016, available by mail and at various locations around the Parish House after Christmas.
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Christmas Week Services: Join your St. Peter’s Parish family for one of several Christmas week services:

  • Christmas Eve Service and Pageant, 4:00 p.m.
  • Christmas Eve Service, 7:00 p.m. (Prelude begins at 6:45 p.m.)
  • Christmas Eve Service, 10:30 p.m. (Prelude begins at 10:00 p.m.)
  • Christmas Day Service, 10:00 a.m.

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Greening of the Church: Wednesday, December 23 beginning at 10:00 a.m., all ages are invited to share in this time of cleaning the church, polishing the brass and silver, and preparing our sacred space for Christmas with candles, wreaths, garlands and poinsettias. Come for the entire time (approximately 2:00 p.m. or until we are finished) or come when your schedule permits. Bring a bag lunch if you would like. Contact Mary Virginia Woodall ( or 704-749-6151) if you have questions or want to participate.
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Poinsettia Delivery to Homebound Parishioners: The Pastoral Care Team seeks volunteers to deliver poinsettias to our homebound parishioners during Christmas week. This ministry truly shares our Christmas joy. If you are interested in this ministry, contact Magen Hung ( or call 704-749-6150.
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Room In The Inn Supplies: The Room in the Inn program welcomes a dozen homeless neighbors to overnight at St. Peter’s every Wednesday, December through March. We help to supply the neighbors with some personal toiletry items while they are here and to take with them if need be. Generally, we do not need donations of travel size shampoo, conditioner or bar soaps. Below are listed some of the items you can donate that we can use immediately. There will be a donation bin in the parish house lobby for the next several weeks.

  • Personal size or travel size deodorants for men and/or women.
  • Personal-size or travel -size hand lotion.
  • Lip balm or chapstick
  • Travel size toothpaste
  • 15 each, washcloths and small hand towels

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No Formation on Sunday, December 27: No Formation for adults, youth or children will be offered on Sunday, December 27. On Sunday, January 3, the Parish Hall Adult Forum topic will be Thinking About Epiphany.
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Baptisms on January 10: We will be celebrating the sacrament of Holy Baptism on January 10.  Please contact The Rev. Joslyn Ogden Schaefer (, 704-749-6150) if you are interested in being baptized or having a child baptized.  To learn more online, visit:
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Holiday Office Closing: The Parish offices will close at noon on Christmas Eve and will re-open on Tuesday, December 29, from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.