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Fellowship and Taking Care of One’s Own
Taking care of one’s own—those who know and trust us—is easy. Expanding that circle of trust is hard.
Every week, during Prayers of the People, I try to imagine someone far away with a hungry child, or someone in prison, or someone scared half to death in a war-torn country, and I pray. Imagining myself in their place is difficult and I’m grateful for that. When the Saint Peter’s part comes around my ears perk up. Is that the Anne I know? I just saw her last week and she seemed as well put-together as ever. I make a mental note to check on her when I get home—but will she welcome my call?
In February, more than two hundred of us gathered for our annual Shrove Tuesday celebration to share Rector’s Gumbo and King Cake. Not only was it a boisterous good time, but also it provided a great opportunity for each of us to begin to expand our circles of trust. When you are one of two hundred people trying to find a place around a table, you will most likely end up sitting with some folks you don’t know very well. This is intimidating and even uncomfortable for some (if not most) of us, but by the end of the meal you will have naturally come away knowing your dining companions a little better than before. Through open conversations around the table we get to know the real person—not just the scrubbed-up parishioner sitting in the pew next to us, but the person who is facing a health crisis or has an aging parent or a child with an addiction problem.
As we get to know one another more deeply thorough fellowship, the more apt we’ll be to consider each other our collective “own,” and the easier it becomes to expand our love and support to include a much greater “own”—our own city, our own state, our own humanity. And in my mind, that’s what being a bold follower of Jesus, who commands us to love our neighbors as ourselves, is all about.
– Paige Ghareeb, Vestry Member, Fellowship
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Book Discussion: Conversations about the book Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates will be offered beginning Tuesday, April 12, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at St. Peter’s. To prepare for this discussion, you may want to read author James Baldwin’s letter to his nephew from his nonfiction collection The Fire Next Time. Other discussions will be offered on Tuesday, May 3, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, May 22, 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., concluding with a discussion panel on Tuesday, June 7, at 7:00 p.m. Each discussion will explore a different topic. All will be at St. Peter’s. Join us for as many as you can.
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Parish Hall Forum: Mell Hartsell, an organizer with Democracy N.C. who works in the Charlotte area, will lead a forum organized by the Social Justice Committee on Sunday, April 10, 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Ms. Hartsell will address how the recent N.C. voting law imposes serious barriers to voting for North Carolina’s most vulnerable citizens. “Accessing Democracy” is one of the Social Justice Committee’s primary focus areas for 2016.
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Liturgy of Light: Parents are welcome to join their children in the library at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, April 10, for this celebration of light taken from the Great Vigil of Easter. Contact Anna Hurdle (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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Solemn Communion Retreat for Children: Children will join catechists, Father Ollie, and Mother Joslyn in exploring the sacraments of Reconciliation, Holy Baptism, and Holy Eucharist. This experience is designed for children ages seven and older. The $20 suggested registration fee includes lunch and snacks. Parents should have received more details via email, but may contact Anna Hurdle (email@example.com) with additional questions. Saturday, April 16, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
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Good Shepherd Sunday: Children who have participated in the Saturday retreat make an intentional Communion together at the 10:45 a.m. service on Sunday, April 17, to honor their new insight and appreciation of the Holy Eucharist. Contact Anna Hurdle (firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions.
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Senior Class Luncheon: The April Senior Class luncheon will be Tuesday, April 19, at 11:30 a.m. at Carolina Prime Steakhouse on East Woodlawn Road. For further information, please contact Barbara or Jay Partington (704-523-1831) or Hannah Craighill (704-334-6276).
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20th Anniversary AIDS Walk Charlotte: Please plan to join others from St. Peter’s as we participate again this year in AIDS Walk Charlotte, which benefits our Servant Ministry Partner, RAIN (Regional AIDS Interfaith Network). The walk, which begins at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 7, is approximately two miles long and takes the average person about 30 minutes. You can register in the Parish House Lobby on Sunday April 24 or May 1. Money raised will be used to provide a comprehensive range of services to people who are HIV-positive. Contact Frank Steele (704-544-0609).
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Hope and Grief: This four-week program is open to all who have experienced a loss of any kind and are seeking solace and sustenance for the journey of healing. Hope and Grief will be held on Thursdays, April 7, 14, 21, and 28, with both morning and evening hours. At Holy Comforter Episcopal Church on Park Road, sessions will be 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. At St. Peter’s, sessions will be 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. This offering is an effort of Holy Comforter, Avondale Presbyterian, First Presbyterian, and Saint Peter’s. Members of all congregations as well as the wider community are invited to attend. Contact the Reverend Joslyn Ogden Schaefer (email@example.com) with questions or to sign up.
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Spaghetti Dinner: An event to kick off fundraising for The Choir School at St. Peter’s Mastersingers’ England 2019 Tour will be a spaghetti dinner on Friday, April 8, in the Parish Hall. Tickets are $10; children three years and younger eat free. You’ll be able to pick your pasta (spaghetti or penne) and your sauce (marinara or marinara with meat, alfredo or alfredo with chicken, or either sauce with a veggie mix) along with a salad and drinks (water, tea, or lemonade). Wine and sangria will be available at additional cost. Seating begins at 5:30 p.m. and the last seating is at 8:00 p.m. Contact a chorister for tickets today.
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Nursery Focus Group: Join Director of Children’s Ministries Anna Hurdle and the Reverend Joslyn Ogden Schaefer on Sunday, April 10, to identify the strengths of our nursery and opportunities for improvement and growth. We will meet in the nursery directly after the 10:45 a.m., so that our children can continue playing. We aim to finish the conversation no later than 1:00 p.m., possibly sooner. Contact either Anna (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Joslyn (jschaefer @st-peters.org) with questions.
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Discover St. Peter’s: Whether you are very new to St. Peter’s or simply interested in refreshing or deepening your understanding of what it means to be part of the St. Peter’s family, you are welcome to participate in this two-session overview of life at St. Peter’s on Sundays, April 17 and 24, 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The April 17 session will explore the distinctly Anglican emphases found in the Christian faith. On April 24, our focus will be on how this faith is expressed at St. Peter’s through our various ministries, leadership structure, and liturgies. Both sessions are in the Parlor and will be co-facilitated by clergy and lay-leadership To sign up, please email the Reverend Joslyn Ogden Schaefer (jschaefer@st–peters.org) or go online at www.st-peters.org/rsvp.
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Racial Reconciliation at Pub Theology on April 7: All adults are invited to this casual weeknight gathering, which started in 2013. On April 7, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., as a continuation of last’s month’s rather provoking discussion, the Reverends Ollie V. Rencher and Joslyn Ogden Schaefer will co-host “Our Call to Racial Reconciliation” at The Liberty Restaurant, 1812 South Boulevard. Nonalcoholic beverages, snacks, and more are available. If you know or think you will attend, contact the Reverend Ollie Rencher (email@example.com) or the Reverend Joslyn Ogden Schaefer (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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Invitation to Contemplative Prayer: The Contemplative Prayer Group invites you to gather in the Town Choir Room each Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. The practice of contemplative prayer is a preparatory ritual that provides entrance into the unguarded moment in which the heart lies open and responsive to God’s love in us. With the unforced reverence of a child at play, we, by God’s grace, sit and walk together in fidelity to the Presence which names us as children of the Father. Join us as we seek to create a space within for God to fill as God so chooses. The Town Choir Room is located in the church basement. Contact the Reverend Paul Hanneman (email@example.com).
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Renowned Choir to Perform in Charlotte: The Choir of Men and Boys of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, New York, will perform on Tuesday, April 19, at 7:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church. The Men of the Choir are professional singers; the Boys attend Saint Thomas Choir School, the only church-related residential choir school in the United States, and one of only a few similar schools remaining in the world. “They are the epitome of the Anglican Choral tradition as it exists in the United States, and a foundational inspiration for The Choir School program at St. Peter’s,” according to Ben Outen, Artistic Director of The Choir School and Director of Music and Organist at St. Peter’s. Advance general admission tickets are $25.00 and can be purchased through CarolinaTix or at the door. Free parking is available at First United Methodist Church.
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The Bishop Search: A survey from the Nominating Committee for the Bishop of the Diocese of North Carolina is online and waiting for you to share your thoughts, suggestions, wishes and ideas for the XII Bishop Diocesan. The survey closes on April 15 and is available in English and Spanish online.
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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 (http://www.dionc.org/digital_faith/events/3166114). 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
- April 18: Center City Concert at Noon
- April 19: St. Thomas Choir of Men and Boys —7:30 p.m. at First Methodist Church
- April 24: Final Evensong of the Season – 5:00 p.m.
- May 7: 20th Anniversary AIDS Walk Charlotte – 10:00 a.m.