This Week’s News

December 18, Wednesday
Morning Prayer (Chapel) and Fellowship (Parlor), 8:00 a.m.
Noonday Prayer & Meditation (Chapel)
Evening Prayer (Chapel), 5:30 p.m.
Room in the Inn (Community Room, Parish Hall, Kitchen), 5:30 p.m.

December 19, Thursday
Morning Prayer (Chapel) and Fellowship (Parlor), 8:00 a.m.
Pastoral Care Team Meeting (Tower Room), 9:30 a.m.
Noon Eucharist (Chapel) and Fellowship (Parlor)
Evening Prayer (Chapel), 5:30 p.m.
Adult Choir Rehearsal (Choir Room), 7:00 p.m.

December 20, Friday
Morning Prayer (Chapel) and Fellowship (Parlor), 8:00 a.m.

December 21, Saturday
Kanuga Fundraiser Baking Party (Kitchen), 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Youth Outreach Project: Youth Stocking Stuffing for Supportive Housing, 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.*

December 22, The Fourth Sunday of Advent
Holy Eucharist, Rite I, 8:00 a.m.
Holy Chow Breakfast, 8:30 a.m.
The Forum: “The Great Day of the Lord: Understanding the Second Coming of Christ” with Father Jacob (Town Choir Room), 9:30 a.m.
Journey to Adulthood (Basement) and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (Atria), 9:30–10:30 a.m.
Parents Connect Fellowship, (Parents Connect Room), 9:30 a.m.
Holy Eucharist, Rite II, 10:45 a.m.
Coffee Hour (Lobby), 12:00 p.m.
Sermon Talk-back (Parlor), 12:15 p.m.
Greening of the Church, 12:30 p.m.

December 23, Monday
Morning Prayer (Chapel) and Fellowship (Parlor), 8:00 a.m.
Evening Prayer (Chapel), 5:30 p.m.

December 24, Tuesday, Christmas Eve
Morning Prayer (Chapel) and Fellowship (Parlor), 8:00 a.m.
Nativity Pageant Rehearsal (Church), 2:30 p.m.
Christmas Eve Holy Eucharist and Children’s Pageant, 4:00 p.m.
Christmas Eve Holy Eucharist, 7:00 p.m. (6:30 p.m. Choral Prelude by the St. Peter’s Choir)
Christmas Eve Holy Eucharist, 10:30 p.m. (10:00 p.m. Choral Prelude by the St. Peter’s Choir and chamber orchestra)

December 25, Wednesday, Christmas Day
Christmas Day Holy Eucharist (Church), 10:00 a.m.
Room in the Inn (Community Room, Parish Hall, Kitchen), 5:30 p.m.

December 25-26, Wednesday and Thursday
Parish Offices Closed for Christmas holiday

Giving to Sustain an Unconditional Welcome – Annual Fund 2020. The 2020 Annual Fund update: 249 pledging units have committed $832,594 towards our $1,000,000 goal. Each pledge gift supports our worship, in-reach and outreach initiatives, formation programs for all ages, music, staff and clergy, operations and administration, and the care of our sacred facilities. To learn more about annual giving and to offer your pledge for 2020 visit www.st-peters.org/pledge. Your gift supports St. Peter’s vision to be a place of unconditional welcome and a beacon of God’s love in the heart of Charlotte.

Help Needed on December 22 to Green the Church. All parishioners are invited to help Green the Church on Sunday, December 22 after the 10:45 a.m. service. Work begins around 12:30 p.m. and continues until we’re done, so if you have plans for early in the afternoon but can help us around 3:00 p.m., that would be great. There is lots of work to do to get the church cleaned and polished for the spectacular Christmas services. Please let Mary Virginia Woodall (mava823@gmail.com, 704-351-1627) know if you can help. Come for an hour or two, or whatever your schedule permits.

Year-end Contributions. All pledges and financial contributions for the 2019 fiscal year must be received in the Financial Administration Office by Tuesday, December 31, in order to receive credit for 2019. If you need to know your pledge balance, please reach out to Parish Administrator Leigh Dixon for this information before year end. Contributions may be paid online here or delivered to the attention of Parish Administrator, Leigh Dixon (ldixon@st-peters.org, 704-749-6142).

Marking your Home with Blessed Epiphany Chalk. “Epiphany” comes from the Greek word Epiphania, which means “to show, make known, or reveal.” Indeed, making known our faith in the world is a vital aspect of the Christian life. One place we spend much of our life is in our homes. There is an ancient custom practiced during the season of Epiphany of marking our homes with blessed chalk. On Sunday, January 5, chalk of all colors will be blessed and available for use in home blessings. Read more about this ancient custom here and join us on January 5 to receive blessed chalk and a simple liturgy for blessing your home. On this day, the annual Burning of the Christmas Greens will follow the 10:45 a.m. liturgy in the churchyard.

Worship and Music

St. Peter’s Holiday Office Hours. The Parish House will be closed for the holidays on Wednesday, December 25; Thursday, December 26; and Wednesday, January 1. On Thursday, December 26; Friday, December 27; Monday, December 30; and Tuesday, December 31, the offices will be open for staff, but closed to the public. Normal office hours and coverage resume on Thursday, January 2, 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Daily Worship. Morning and Evening Prayer are offered daily in the Chapel. Morning Prayer begins at 8:00 a.m., Monday–Friday, and Evening Prayer is offered at 5:30 p.m., Monday–Thursday. This 30-minute liturgy is a wonderful way to mark the beginning or end of your day. A mid-week Holy Eucharist is offered at noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Noonday Prayer with a guided meditation is offered each Wednesday in the Chapel.

Children’s Christmas Pageant and Preparation. St. Peter’s annual children’s Nativity Pageant will be offered as the Liturgy of the Word for the 4:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist on Christmas Eve. All friendly beasts, rejoicing angels, vigilant shepherds and other participants in that holy night are invited to take part; parent volunteers are also needed. Rehearsal will take place before the pageant, beginning at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 24. A variety of costumes will be available or you may choose to provide your own. Please click here to join the cast! For more information, contact Director of Children’s Formation, Anna Hurdle (ahurdle@st-peters.org).

Tuesday Centering and Intercessory Prayer, Holiday Schedule. On most Tuesday mornings from 10:45–11:45 a.m., a quiet time of intercession and centering prayer is offered on the 2nd floor in the St. Benedict Room (between the elevator and Tower Room). The last offering of 2019 will be on Tuesday, December 17 and sessions will resume on Tuesday, January 7. For more information, contact Judith Johnson (judithrayjohnson@hotmail.com, 704-596-6167) or Ruth Woodend (rbwoodend@gmail.com, 704-661-4687).

Sung Compline. On most first Sundays, St. Peter’s offers Sung Compline at 7:00 p.m. The Office of Compline marks the end of the day, with incense, candlelight, and ancient prayers. Join us for this quiet and meditative worship opportunity sure to feed the senses and soothe the soul. The next service of Compline will be held on Sunday, February 2, 2020.

Choral Evensong at St. Peter’s Resumes January 12. Most second and fourth Sundays at 5:00 p.m., St. Peter’s offers a service of Choral Evensong, a contemplative and uniquely Anglican worship service for the evening including readings from scripture, psalm singing, hymns, and time for prayer. For the next service of Choral Evensong, the St. Peter’s Choir serves as the choir in residence. Other Charlotte Convocation parishes offer Choral Evensong on first and third Sundays. Learn more online at www.choralevensongclt.org.

Donating Altar Flowers and Eucharistic Supplies. To honor or remember the life of loved ones or celebrate special occasions, you may donate to the Altar flowers and Eucharistic supplies fund. Altar flowers (two arrangements) are $150 per Sunday and Eucharistic supplies (bread, wine) are $35 for one month or $20 for two Sundays. Donate Altar flowers or Eucharistic supplies online or contact Parish Administrator, Leigh Dixon (ldixon@st-peters.org, 704-749-6142).

Incense will be burned on Christmas Eve and The First Sunday after the Epiphany. In keeping with the long-standing custom of the church, the ceremonial use of incense will be part of the 10:30 p.m. Christmas Eve and the 10:45 a.m. Holy Eucharist on January 12. Those parishioners with allergies or respiratory issues are invited to attend other services offered on the same day.

The Ordination of Wendy Merrill. All are invited to attend the ordination of St. Peter’s parishioner Wendy Merrill, on Saturday, January 4, at Holy Comforter Episcopal Church on Park Road. The service will begin at 11:00 a.m., with Bishop Anne Hodges-Copple ordaining. For several years, Wendy has been engaged in the diocesan discernment and formation program in preparation for ordination to the sacred order of deacons. Please join us as we celebrate the work of the Holy Spirit in calling Wendy to the diaconate.

Learning

The Sunday Forum: “The Great Day of the Lord: Understanding the Second Coming of Christ,” with Father Jacob. On Sunday, December 22, the presentation will be from 9:30–10:30 a.m. in the Town Choir Room on the basement level of the Parish House.

Sermon Talk-back. On Sunday mornings at 12:15 p.m., parishioners are invited to the Parlor to discuss the sermon with the preacher. This informal formation is a great time of gathering to ask questions, reflect on the readings of the day, and engage in a dialogue with the preacher.

Parents Connect Fellowship and Formation. This year we are invited to join the Parish Forum on the first Sunday of every month. Parents Connect formation will take place on the third Sunday of every month in the Parents Connect Room and will include coffee, fellowship, and great conversation. Our next event: “Religions and Atheism: Speaking to Our Children About Different Beliefs” is on Sunday, January 19.

Intentional Discernment Group with Mother Sally, Beginning January 5. An Intentional Discernment Group is starting in January, appropriate for people who are facing significant life decisions (career change, retirement, relocation, etc.) and want to approach those decisions prayerfully, supported by others equally committed to spiritual discernment. The program begins Sunday, January 5 at 1:30 p.m. and will continue twice a month on Sunday afternoons through May. You will learn a variety of discernment practices to use on your own and enter into a holy listening process with others. Contact Mother Sally directly (sjohnston@st-peters.org) to learn more. Space is limited to 12 participants.

Community Life

Annual Meeting Update. The 175th Annual Meeting of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church took place on Sunday, December 8, when attendees elected four new vestry members, heard reports from the Priest-in-Charge and parish officers and staff members, and received the annual report of the parish. Newly elected vestry members are: Chase Branham, Tony Craghead, Chris Cudabac, and Patricia Massey Hoke. You can view or download a copy of the 2019 Annual Report online.

Kanuga Scholarship Cookie Sale Orders. If you ordered cookies from our Kanuga Scholarship Cookie Sale, those cookies will be available for pickup after both services this Sunday, December 22. There will also be a limited number of cookies for sale that day on a first come, first served basis.

Christmas gifts that make a lasting impact. Honor everyone on your Christmas list with a gift that will transform a life. Purchase a Gift for Life from Episcopal Relief & Development. Click here and let the transformation begin.

20s/30s Group to Join Burning of the Greens, January 5. On Sunday, January 5, all parishioners in their 20s or 30s are encouraged to attend St. Peter’s Annual Burning of the Greens in the church yard after the 10:45 a.m. service. This service of Epiphany celebrates the light of Christ being revealed in the wider world. For more information, contact 20s/30s Coordinator, Jason Gingras (jason.gingras@gmail.com).

Adult Pilgrimage to Greece and Rome, May 2020. Mother Amanda, Associate Rector, and Lyn Holt, Youth Program Director, invite active adults to consider joining them for an adult pilgrimage scheduled for May of 2020, when they plan to walk in the footsteps of St. Paul in Greece and Rome. They will visit Athens and Corinth, cruise the Greek Isles, and eventually make their way to Rome, where tradition says that Paul was martyred. Pick up a brochure or go to: https://www.st-peters.org/2020-pilgrimage for a full itinerary and registration information. Contact the Reverend Amanda C. Stephenson (astephenson@st-peters.org, 704-749-6150).

Holy Chow Ministry Needs. Calling all Foodies. Holy Chow is looking for team members to serve breakfast on the second and fourth Sundays, as well as someone to assist with coordinating the teams. For more details, contact Harris Holt (harrisholt3@gmail.com).

Join the Flower Guild. The St. Peter’s Flower Guild is an opportunity to beautify our worship experience through serving as a once-monthly flower volunteer. Flower arranging expertise is not required. For more information, and if you are interested in this ministry, contact Ministry Associate, Kristie Lauderbaugh (klauderbaugh@st-peters.org, 704-749-6141) or Flower Guild Coordinator, Todd Murphy (todd@toddmurphyevents.com, 704-904-0545).

Prayer Requests. As a community, we offer support to one another through prayer. Requests may be made in several ways: complete a “Prayer Request” card located in the pew rack, submit your request online at www.st-peters.org/make-a-prayer-request, or contact Ministry Associate, Kristie Lauderbaugh (klauderbaugh@st-peters.org, 704-749-6141). Names of persons who have given consent for their names to be printed will be read aloud and listed for two Sundays, unless a longer period is requested. Intercessions are offered during Sunday and weekday worship, and daily by the Clergy and Pastoral Care Team.

December Creation Care Tips. Following the Episcopal Diocese’s environmental leadership, St. Peter’s offers “Creation Care Tips” for December. Food Waste Fact: 1/3 of all food produced ends up in the trash. Nearly 95% of discarded food ends up in landfills where it produces methane, a significant contributor to climate change. Here are tips for personal action:
– Plan your meals; buy just what you need.
– Eat leftovers; for example, make soup or stew out of the week’s leftovers.
– Leave skins on potatoes, carrots, and cucumbers: more nutrients, less waste.

Outreach and Social Justice

Advent Tree/White Beard Project. Our annual White Beard Project supports the formerly homeless men and women who are now residents with Supportive Housing Communities (formerly St. Peter’s Homes) which was initially founded here at St. Peter’s Episcopal in conjunction with St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church. Each “ornament” represents six full-size toiletry items. Our youth will be filling stockings as a service project on Saturday, December 21 and the stockings will be delivered to residents on Christmas Eve. Our St Peter’s goal this year is to fill 75 stockings of the 150 total needed–a lot of shampoo and toothpaste! For questions and to volunteer to help coordinate, please contact Christa Lineberger (christa.lineberger@gmail.com).

Room in the Inn Supplies Needed. On each Wednesday evening, December through March, St. Peter’s participates in Urban Ministry Center’s Room in the Inn (RITI) program. Right now and through March, we need help with stocking our supply closet. We can use travel size toiletries, such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant (men and women)‎. We would also accept other donations, such as socks, hand-warmers, small hand towels, and bus passes. We cannot use shampoo or similar items and we have plenty of soap. Leave any donations in the RITI basket in the Parish House lobby. For questions or more information, contact RITI Parish Coordinator, Bert Miano (miano204@gmail.com, 205-222-7527).

Volunteer through Servant Ministry Partners. Our parish has a long custom of partnering with community social service agencies whose programs benefit the welfare of our neighbors. Learn more online and pick up a copy of a Servant Ministry through St. Peter’s resource from the public spaces at St. Peter’s.

Augustine Literacy Project: Information Sessions and Training Classes. The mission of Augustine Literacy Project is to improve the reading, spelling, and writing skills of children in Title I schools who struggle with literacy. Join us for an Information Session to learn more about becoming a volunteer literacy tutor, and bring a friend (January 7 at Christ Episcopal Church, 1412 Providence Road). Winter Training Classes will be held January 13–17 and February 10–14. For more information and to RSVP, contact (jheath@alpcharlotte.org).

Advocates for Immigration Rights, Opportunity to Serve. “Advocates for Immigration Rights” is a new organization in Charlotte which, among other things, sponsors court observations to ensure that judges and attorneys provide due process during removal (deportation) hearings. This is an excellent opportunity to serve members of our immigrant community who are seeking asylum. The training is minimal and reporting consists only of inappropriate or unusual conduct. The presence of the observer alone in the courtroom seems to be what has created the most impact. If anyone is interested, the contact information is (air.4charlotte@gmail.com), or email Win Murray (winifredmurray@yahoo.com) for further details .

Subscribe to Take Action. The Episcopal Church’s Office of Government Relations identifies important current legislation and policy issues impacting Social Justice. You can sign up to receive alerts about these issues so you can take action by going to this link: https://www.episcopalchurch.org/OGR/action-alerts.

About the eNews

The weekly news for the St. Peter’s community is published on our website, on Facebook, and via email each Thursday morning. The same information is also printed in the Sunday leaflets and mailed to those who request it. The deadline for submissions is the preceding Friday by Noon. Items may be edited for content, length, and style. Information should be sent to communications@st-peters.org.

Looking Ahead

January 1: Parish offices closed for New Year’s Day.
January 3: St. Luke’s Guild, 11:00 a.m.
January 4: Ordination of Wendy Merrill to the Diaconate, Holy Comforter, 11:00 a.m.
January 5: Formation resumes, Vestry Commissioning, Blessing of the Chalk for Home Blessings
January 5: Burning of the Greens (Church yard), 12:45 p.m.
January 6: Feast of the Epiphany Morning Prayer (8:00 a.m.) followed by Holy Eucharist
(8:30 a.m.).
January 7: Congregational Engagement Team Meeting, 6:00 p.m.
January 8: Social Justice Ministry Team Meeting, 6:00 p.m.
January 9: Pet Grief Support Group, 7:00 p.m.
January 9: Pub Theology (Offsite: Sir Edmond Halley’s), 5:30 p.m.
January 18: MLK Day Parade and After-March Lunch.
January 20: Parish offices closed for MLK holiday.
January 20: Center City Concert, Jazz Quintet from Jazz Arts Charlotte, Noon.
January 28: Social Justice Film Night, “Selma.”
March 13–15: Annual Parish Retreat at Kanuga.