This Week’s News

January 1, Wednesday, New Year’s Day
Church and Parish Offices Closed for New Year’s Day holiday
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.

January 4, Saturday
Ordination of Wendy Merrill to the Diaconate (Offsite: Holy Comforter), 11:00 a.m. (open to all)

January 5, The Second Sunday after Christmas
Formation resumes, Vestry Commissioning, Blessing of the Chalk for Home Blessings
Holy Eucharist, Rite I, 8:00 a.m.
Holy Chow Breakfast, 8:30 a.m.
The Forum: “A Little Child Shall Lead Them,” featuring Josephine Hicks, Vice President, Episcopal Church Programs at Episcopal Relief & Development” (Parish Hall), 9:30 a.m.
Journey to Adulthood (Basement) and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (Atria), 9:30–10:30 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.
Burning of the Greens (Church yard), 12:45 p.m.
20s/30s, Burning of the Greens (Church yard), 12:45 a.m.
Intentional Discernment Group with Mother Sally (Parlor), 1:30 p.m.

January 6, Monday, The Epiphany
Feast of the Epiphany Morning Prayer and Holy Eucharist, 8:00 a.m.
Evening Prayer (Chapel), 5:30 p.m.

January 7, Tuesday
Morning Prayer (Chapel) and Fellowship (Parlor), 8:00 a.m.
Prayer Shawl Knitting Group (Parlor), 10:00 a.m.
Centering and Intercessory Prayer (St. Benedict Room), 10:45 a.m.
Noon Eucharist (Chapel) and Fellowship (Parlor)
Evening Prayer (Chapel), 5:30 p.m.
Congregational Engagement Team Meeting (Tower Room), 6:00 p.m.

January 8, 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.
Social Justice Ministry Team Meeting (Library), 6:00 p.m.

January 9, Thursday
Morning Prayer (Chapel) and Fellowship (Parlor), 8:00 a.m.
Noon Eucharist (Chapel) and Fellowship (Parlor)
Evening Prayer (Chapel), 5:30 p.m.
Pub Theology (Offsite: Sir Edmond Halley’s), 5:30 p.m.
Pet Grief Support Group (Tower Room), 7:00 p.m.
Adult Choir Rehearsal (Choir Room), 7:00 p.m.

Giving to Sustain an Unconditional Welcome – Annual Fund 2020. The 2020 Annual Fund update: 254 pledging units have committed $857,994 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.

The Sunday Forum: “A Little Child Shall Lead Them,” 9:30–10:30 a.m. in the Parish Hall. As we follow the wisemen to see the holy child, we know that too many of God’s children around the world are not reaching their full potential, because inadequate nutrition and healthcare stunts growth and brain development in ways that are difficult to overcome. On Sunday, January 5, join Josephine Hicks, Vice President, Episcopal Church Programs at Episcopal Relief & Development, to hear how Episcopal Relief & Development empowers communities to provide children with access to nutritious food, clean water, and quality healthcare. And learn how you can be part of this transformative work.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Learning

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.

Sunday Morning Spring Book Discussions. Spring Book Discussions will focus on the short fiction of Flannery O’Connor using the collection, The Complete Stories. Beginning on January 12 with the story “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” we will meet and discuss one story on each of the following Sundays during the 9:30 a.m. formation hour: January 19, February 23, March 8, March 22, April 26, and May 10. Find out why O’Connor said that the South “is hardly Christ-centered, [but] it is most certainly Christ-haunted. The Southerner, who isn’t convinced of it, is very much afraid that he may have been formed in the image and likeness of God.” Contact Deje McGavran (dhmcgavran@gmail.com) for more information.

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).

Youth Winter Retreat, January 17–19. The Journey to Adulthood Program leaders invite all sixth through twelfth grade youth (friends are welcome to join us) on the J2A Winter Retreat at the Blowing Rock Conference Center, Friday, January 17 through Sunday, January 19. The purpose of the youth retreat is to spend time together, away from the rush and stress of normal life, to reconnect with God and each other and to take time to relax, worship, hike, and learn. The all-inclusive cost for this retreat is $50 per person. Scholarships are available to make this retreat affordable for all (please contact Lyn Holt). We will leave St. Peter’s in our new(!) 15-passenger van at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, January 17 and return to St. Peter’s for pick-up around 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 19. Please RSVP as soon as possible to Lyn Holt at (lholt@st-peters.org, 704-763-3564).

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).

Pet Grief Support Group, January 9. The Pet Grief Support Group meets on January 9 (and every second Thursday) at 7:00 p.m. in the Tower Room. For more information, contact Wes Sturgis (pwsturgis@gmail.com, 704-621-8613).

Pub Theology, January 9. Typically offered on second Thursdays, 5:30–7:00 p.m. during the program year, the next Pub Theology will be on Thursday, January 9 at Sir Edmond Halley’s (4151 Park Rd). Mother Amanda will lead a discussion on “Marking Time.” As we enter a new year, and a new decade, we will examine the various ways that we mark time–religiously, secularly, environmentally, and in our own lives. These all overlap, but how we perceive them can influence the way that we understand the rhythms of life. Pub snacks and both non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages are available for purchase at these casual, holy conversation events.

Senior Class Luncheon, January 21. The next third-Tuesday luncheon is January 21, 11:30 a.m. at Portofino’s (5126 Park Rd). For more information, to RSVP, or to be added to the email distribution list, call Dan Woodall (704-351-2279), Hannah Craighill (704-334-6276), or Barbara Partington (704-523-1831).

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.

Pastoral Care: Sharing and Responding to Concerns. To alert the clergy regarding a pastoral concern, telephone the Parish House during office hours (Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.) and after-hours, dial the Clergy On Call Phone at 704-749-6175 for pastoral emergencies such as hospitalizations. This protocol is the best way to communicate pastoral needs and ensure a response from a member of the clergy or pastoral care team.

Join the Ushers. The St. Peter’s Usher Ministry is seeking more volunteers to serve on a once-monthly basis at the 8:00 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. Sunday Holy Eucharists. There are also needs for 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. service ushers each month. If you are interested in this ministry, contact Ministry Associate, Kristie Lauderbaugh (klauderbaugh@st-peters.org, 704-749-6141).

Planned Giving at St. Peter’s. The St. Peter’s community of faith is supported in part by the vision and generosity of generations of parishioners who came before us. Like them, we can also help to ensure that the programs and facilities we love will continue to exist far into the future. Planned gifts have a large impact on St. Peter’s, providing resources for our highly acclaimed music programs, funding for our internal non-profits including The Choir School at St. Peter’s, and enrichment of the lives of our young people during the important years when their faith is being formed. You can learn more about planned giving, the St. Peter’s Endowment, and how legacy giving supports the future of our faith community by contacting Steve Bentley (stevebentley24@gmail.com, 704-562-3830). For more information, pick up a copy of “A Common Legacy: Planned Giving at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church,” available in the Lobby.

January Creation Care Tips. Following the Episcopal Diocese’s environmental leadership, St. Peter’s offers “Creation Care Tips” for January. In icy conditions, rather than scattering deicing salt, which irritates animal paws and damages lawns and concrete, try a product like EcoTraction. These volcanic mineral products do not melt the ice but rather provide traction on top of the ice (The granules can be messy inside a home, so have a plan to contain them at the door.)

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. Through March, we need help stocking our supply closet: travel size toiletries, such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant (men and women)‎; socks, hand-warmers, small hand towels, and bus passes. We cannot use shampoo or similar items and we have enough 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 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.”
February 8, Liturgical Retreat and Training Day.
February 26, Shrove Tuesday.
February 27, Ash Wednesday.
March 13–15: Annual Parish Retreat at Kanuga.