This Week’s News

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

December 27, Friday
Morning Prayer (Chapel) and Fellowship (Parlor), 8:00 a.m.
Noonday Prayer & Meditation (Chapel)

December 29, The First Sunday after Christmas
Holy Eucharist, Rite I, 8:00 a.m.
NO Holy Chow Breakfast or Formation
Holy Eucharist, Rite II, 10:45 a.m.
Coffee Hour (Lobby), 12:00 p.m.
Sermon Talk-back (Parlor), 12:15 p.m.

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

December 31, Tuesday
Morning Prayer (Chapel) and Fellowship (Parlor), 8:00 a.m.
Noon Eucharist (Chapel) and Fellowship (Parlor)
Evening Prayer (Chapel), 5:30 p.m.

January 1, Wednesday, New Year’s Day
Parish Offices Closed for New Year’s Day
Room in the Inn (Community Room, Parish Hall, Kitchen), 5:30 p.m.

January 2, Thursday
Morning Prayer (Chapel) and Fellowship (Parlor), 8:00 a.m.
Noon Eucharist (Chapel) and Fellowship (Parlor)
Evening Prayer (Chapel), 5:30 p.m.
Adult Choir Rehearsal (Choir Room), 7:00 p.m.

January 3, Friday
Morning Prayer (Chapel) and Fellowship (Parlor), 8:00 a.m.
St. Luke’s Guild (Parlor), 11:00 a.m.

Giving to Sustain an Unconditional Welcome – Annual Fund 2020. The 2020 Annual Fund update: 252 pledging units have committed $847,994 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.

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 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.

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). This offering resumes 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 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 10:45 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

No Formation on Sunday, December 29. There will be no formation offered on Sunday, December 29. The next Sunday Forum will take place on Sunday, January 5 and the presentation will be from 9:30–10:30 a.m. in the Parish Hall. All other formation resumes on Sunday, January 5.

Census 2020 Sunday Forum, January 12. St. Peter’s, like the National Episcopal Church, is a Faith Partner with Census 2020. Join us on Sunday, January 12 in the Town Choir Room (Basement Level) at 9:30 a.m. for an informative presentation by Dr. Wilhelmenia Rembert on why it is so important for you to be counted.

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

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).

Prayer Shawl Knitting Group Meets Monthly. This fellowship and pastoral care ministry circle will meet every first and third Tuesday at St. Peter’s in the Parlor from 10:00–11:30 a.m. The Clergy, Pastoral Care Team, and Guild of the Christ Child share prayer shawls with parish adults, youth, and children on various occasions as well as baby blankets for newborns in the parish. In addition, hats and scarves are distributed during the month of December through the Room in the Inn program. We recently joined a nationwide effort to provide blankets for refugees at our southern border. For more information or to attend, contact Linda Smith (lvsmithnc@gmail.com).

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.

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).

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

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.

Are you “Handy”? The Galilee Ministry is creating a committee of volunteers from area Episcopal parishes who have experience as some type of “handy person” (i.e. electrical, plumbing, mechanical, general building maintenance, etc.). The hope is that the volunteers would work on a rotating schedule to donate a couple of hours a week to the Center. If you think you would be able to join this committee, contact Wendy Merrill at (ww.merrill@yahoo.com).

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 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 and Holy Eucharist.
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.