“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.” – Matthew 16:17-18
A portion of this exchange from Matthew’s Gospel appears on our parish seal. I believe it is no coincidence that our forebears chose the name of St. Peter. Peter has long been a symbol of Church unity, the chief apostle who stands on the sure foundation that is Jesus Christ.
A friend recently visited St. Peter’s on a Sunday morning. When I asked her about her experience of the service she responded, “I was astounded by the diversity! Your church really looks like the Kingdom of God.” I am so proud of our diversity, of how many people from different walks of life find unity and community in our shared mission.
This Sunday is the annual observance of our “feast of title,” when we celebrate our parish, our many ministries, and our patron saint. It is a full day at St. Peter’s:
Holy Eucharist, Rite I – 8:00 a.m.
Holy Chow Breakfast (Community Room) – 8:30 a.m.
All Ages Gathering, blessing of choir, youth leaders, and catechists (Parish Hall) – 9:30 a.m.
Sharing of the 2019-2022 Strategic Plan (Parish Hall) – 9:45 a.m.
Holy Eucharist, Rite II and Blessing of the Backpacks – 10:45 a.m.
Stewardship Potluck and Ministry Fair (Parish Hall) – 12:30 p.m.
During the Forum at 9:45 a.m. in the Parish Hall, we will reveal our recently completed 2019–2022 Strategic Plan. In the plan you will notice many of the focal points that make this parish such an inspiring place. You will also notice many of the areas on which we wish to build to expand our ministry and impact. What is most inspiring to me is that all of this came from you! This plan was not crafted out of thin air but shaped by many voices who participated in parish listening circles last fall, in staff and vestry surveys, and in conversations with our external partners in the wider community. It reflects the hard work of a diverse team of parishioners who listened intently to you and to the Holy Spirit.
I am grateful to the vestry for supporting this plan, and to Carolyn Carlburg and Ellison Clary for their tireless efforts in 2018 to prepare us for this work. I am also grateful to each member of the Strategic Planning Team, to our consultant Andi Stevenson, and to Maria Long and Tony Craghead, who spent many hours over many months to get us to this point.
This parish is a rock and a steady beacon of God’s love in the heart of Charlotte. Like Peter, we are a symbol of unity and a sign of what is possible in God’s kingdom. I hope you’ll join me in celebrating the bright future of our shared mission and ministry.
The Reverend Jacob E. Pierce, Priest-in-Charge