On Sunday, October 28, St. Peter’s will welcome the Right Reverend Anne Hodges-Copple, Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of North Carolina. Bishop Hodges-Copple will celebrate and preach at the 10:45 a.m. Holy Eucharist where she will confirm, receive, and reaffirm those who are recommitting themselves to a life of faith. Afterwards a special coffee hour reception will take place in the Parish Hall. During the formation hour at 9:30 a.m., all adults and youth are invited to a special Bishop’s Forum in the Parish Hall.
It has been our practice at St. Peter’s to observe our patronal feast annually, the Confession of Saint Peter the Apostle. Normally celebrated in January, we are transferring our parish feast to this Sunday, as we celebrate with those who have chosen to publicly commit themselves to following the way of Jesus in the Episcopal tradition.
The Feast of the Confession of Saint Peter commemorates the moment when Peter proclaims Jesus as Messiah, and in turn Jesus confirms Peter to his favored place among the disciples. “Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven…’” (Matthew 16:13-19a). Until that moment Peter had been known simply as Simon, but Jesus gave him a new name: Peter. In Greek, the name is Cephas, which means “rock,” becoming Petra in Latin and Peter in English. Jesus calls him Simon the Rock, the rock on which he will build his church.
I believe it is no coincidence our parish is named for St. Peter. We are the inheritors of a solid foundation, a rock which has been a beacon of hope in Charlotte for 184 years. As we celebrate this Sunday, may we be inspired to join those who are recommitting themselves to following Jesus in this great Episcopal tradition, and may we, like Peter and those before us, continue to boldly proclaim Christ’s love in Center City Charlotte and in all the world.
The Reverend Jacob E. Pierce, Priest-in-Charge