March 2, 2016

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Jesus was asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” He answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:28, 30-31

Summer mission trips are an important component of our youth formation program. They provide rich opportunities for teens to learn who they are, whose they are, and what is required of them as practicing Christians.

Our youth happily spend hours in crowded 15-passenger vans, nights sleeping on air mattresses, and a week working in soup kitchens, pulling weeds, building handicap ramps, repairing or painting houses and more, deliberately putting themselves last. These trips are life-changing for most youth and their adult leaders: getting to know one another in deep and meaningful ways, learning the value of spreading God’s love in a broken world and learning how to incorporate these experiences into their own spiritual lives.

This is what Christian life is about; loving and caring for your neighbor as yourself, and getting to know Christ through service to His people and to each other.

We are excited about this summer’s mission trip and the added component of practicing racial reconciliation. Our destination—Ferguson, Missouri—will provide an unparalleled opportunity to challenge our youth to become leaders in reconciliation work. We will learn about systemic injustice and inequality from people who live with these issues daily. We will focus on becoming part of the solution to end these practices through professionally-led education and dialogue sessions, learning how to build bridges between ourselves and those who seem to be different from us. And, we will make connections that we can nourish beyond our week-long experience through continued dialogue and staying in touch with friends made in Ferguson.

All of St. Peter’s rising ninth graders through rising college freshmen are encouraged to be a part of this exciting mission opportunity June 25 – July 1. Contact me ( for registration forms.

We are grateful for the support of this parish that enables our youth to experience the gift of spreading the Gospel. We are excited about how this mission trip can empower our youth to be the change needed in the world.

—Lyn Holt, Director of Youth Formation
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Evensong: The St. James School Choir will offer Evensong at St. Peter’s at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 6, followed by the Holy Eucharist. Affiliated with the Royal School of Church Music in England, this 40-student Saint James Choir leads the Episcopal school in daily chapel and twice-weekly services of Holy Eucharist. Choristers serve as School ambassadors, performing in concerts and services at local and regional churches and cathedrals. Last year, the Choir toured the United Kingdom where they sang services of Choral Evensong and concerts at the cathedrals of Winchester, Guildford, Christ Church Oxford, Bristol and Wells, and Tewkesbury Abbey. St. James School was founded in 1842 and is located in Maryland.
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St. Patrick’s Day Fellowship in the Lawn: Join others from St. Peter’s when we gather for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday, March 19. The parade is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.
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We Spring Forward Next Weekend: Our clocks will spring forward in the wee hours of the morning next weekend, on Sunday, March 13, when Daylight Saving Time goes into effect. Remember to set your clocks forward by one hour at bedtime on Saturday, March 12, so you’re on schedule for Sunday morning.
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Baptism Instruction: Thinking about baptism for yourself or for a child? Come join the Reverend Joslyn Ogden Schaefer on Sunday, March 13, in the Parlor from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. to explore the multiple significances of this Holy Sacrament.
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The Holy Sacrament of Baptism: St. Peter’s will be offering the sacrament of baptism at Easter Vigil and Easter Day. Learn more about baptism and/or register on the website. Questions? Contact the Reverend Joslyn Ogden Schaefer (
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Hosts Needed for Guest Choir: Hosts are still needed for members of the St. James School Choir, which will offer Evensong at St. Peter’s on Sunday, March 6. If you have questions about this opportunity to offer hospitality to no fewer than two students on Sunday and Monday, March 6 and 7, contact John Hoke (, 202-870-99625).
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Pub Theology: This casual weeknight gathering is coming up on Thursday, March 3, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Rock Bottom Brewery in the TransAmerica Building. St. Peter’s Rector, the Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, will discuss the history of “People of Color and Racial Reconciliation in The Episcopal Church.”
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Easter Flowers and Special Music: It’s time to plan for making donations for flowers and special music for Easter Day. Make your contributions online. Or you can write a check to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and mail it directly to Parish Administrator Leigh Dixon, with “Easter Memorial” in the memo line. Donation cards and envelopes will also be available on the new Parish House Lobby Information Table Sunday morning. Deadlines for memorials to be listed in the Easter leaflets is end of day on Monday, March 14.
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Red Boot Coalition: When this group meets in the Library at Noon on Wednesday, March 16, it will explore this step: “We came to see that, despite at times feeling fear in admitting so, we are imperfectly human. This means we are free to make mistakes and free to admit when we have done so. We are wonderfully human, each with our own story and our own experiences. We are transparent.” Red Boot Coalition is a nonprofit dedicated to the kind of dialogue that will diminish today’s “us versus them” dialogue around politics, religion, race, or gender.
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Check Out the Website: One way we’ve implemented to make the website easier to navigate is by locating three special links at the top right of the home page, just above the main navigation bar. I’m New is the page where visitors or newcomers can click to find out basic information about worship times, parking and membership. This Week’s News takes you directly to the most current issue of the weekly eNews. And Giving takes you directly to the page for making donations of various kinds.
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Parish Hall Forum: On Sunday, March 6, the Parish Hall Forum begins a two-week program on the topic What’s Going on in the Middle East. The first program will be led by Dr. Suzanne Henderson, Associate Professor in the Religion and Philosophy Department at Queens University from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Next week, What’s Going on in the Middle East concludes with a presentation by parishioners Josephine Hicks and Jan Keny reflecting on their recent trip to the Holy Land.
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Adult Formation: On Sunday, March 6, the study on Exploring Contemplative Prayer continues in the Town Choir Room on the lower level, 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Contact Paul Hanneman (
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Men’s Lenten Book Study: The study of Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams’ Being Christian: Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, Prayer for the men of St. Peter’s continues in the Parlor on Tuesdays, 7:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Email Rob Smith ( for details.
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Hours for Facilities Lead: St. Peter’s new Facilities Lead, Brian Whitley, will be onsite on Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. and most Sundays, 7:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. In addition, Facilities staff member Willis Truesdale is onsite Monday through Friday, 5:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. Bernard Rasco assists in the kitchen on Sundays, 7:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. and other hours as requested. This schedule is flexible, depending on events and holidays, and may change with the changing needs of the parish.
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Lobby Sign-Ups and Information: A designated space is now available for your group, guild, or activity to use on Sunday mornings during the Coffee Hour and between services. If you wish to be part of Parish House Lobby activities on Sunday mornings to provide information, encourage participation or sign-ups, or other activities of interest to parishioners, please contact Communications Administrator Peg Robarchek (, 704-749-6141) to reserve the space and arrange for your display.
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Community Garden: Turn out on Saturday, March 12 from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. if you’d like to help out in St. Peter’s Community Garden. The harvest from the garden is used for Charlotte’s Friendship Trays program. In 2015, St. Peter’s contributed 1400 pounds of food for these weekday meals to those who do not have easy access to healthy hot meals. Stop by the Parish House Lobby bulletin board on Sunday to learn more about the program or contact Nancy Duncan (
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Galilee Center Hosts Film on Refugee Experience: Salam (Hello) Neighbor is an independent film detailing the Syrian refugee experience. Galilee Center is hosting a dinner followed by a screening and discussion of the movie on Thursday, March 10. Dinner at 6:30 p.m. will be prepared by St. Peter’s own 20s & 30s group. There is no charge for admission, but you must reserve a spot online. Galilee Center is located at 3601 Central Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28205.
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Diocese Bicentennial History Day Events: The Bicentennial Planning Committee of the three Episcopal dioceses in North Carolina invite you to History Day 2016 on Saturday, April 9, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Gastonia. Entitled Hearts, Homes and the Holy Spirit: Mission & Ministry in North Carolina Mill Villages, 1890 – 1940, this event will feature keynote speaker Dr. Mary Sudman Donovan, historian and author of A Different Call: Women’s Ministries in the Episcopal Church, 1850-1920; a panel presentation; exhibits and tours of the Gaston County Museum and the recently restored Loray Mill. An optional Friday evening event at Chapel of Christ the King in Charlotte will highlight the history of this former mill mission, and conclude with dinner at a local restaurant. For registration and program details visit the Diocese website. History Day 2016 is the last in an annual series leading up to the statewide celebration of the Bicentennial of the Diocese of North Carolina next April 22, 2017, at Christ Church, New Bern, in the Diocese of East Carolina.
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Looking Ahead – Mark Your Calendars

March 20: Palm and Passion Sunday

March 21: Center City Concert – Lake Norman Choral Artists with NC Baroque Orchestra Chamber Players – Noon

March 21-March 27: Holy Week – Easter Day

March 28-April 1: Parish Offices Closed for Clergy and Staff Break

April 19: St. Thomas Choir of Men and Boys —7:30 p.m. at First Methodist Church
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