Update from the Priest-in-Charge

The Reverend Jacob E. Pierce, Priest-in-Charge

Dear People of St. Peter’s,

Thank you for your kind notes, for your enthusiastic participation in online worship, for your loving care of one another, and for your generosity in giving to support the ministry of St. Peter’s. I am reminded each day how blessed I am to serve this community. Your creativity and your support have meant so much to me and to our staff in this season of uncertainty.

We are blessed with a talented and creative staff. Each have found ways to continue their ministry and I am grateful for their work:

Lyn Holt, Director of Youth Formation, is offering weekly youth classes by Zoom, along with times for fellowship and games. She has been a valuable pastoral presence for our graduating seniors who are preparing to finish high school without the usual celebrations.

Anna Hurdle, Director of Children’s Formation, is offering a nightly bedtime story through Facebook Live in addition to online Catechesis lessons. Recently, Anna organized a recording of our youngest members reciting the Lord’s Prayer from home. Check out the parish Facebook page for this special gift!

Mother Amanda Stephenson, Associate Rector, is working to ensure that Adult Formation offerings continue as they are able. She is also working with me and others to come up with creative ways to offer more formation and fellowship online.

Elizabeth Lenti, Director of Music and Organist, and Garrett Law, Assistant Organist, meet weekly with the adult choir for fellowship and Compline by Zoom, while also maintaining connection with choristers in The Choir School.

Leigh Dixon, Parish Administrator, supports the staff in countless ways, all while ensuring good stewardship of our financial resources. Brian Whitley, Facilities Manager, continues to ensure our property is well-maintained and cared for.

Deacon Robin Sands, Father Keith Lane, and Mother Sally Johnston continue to assist with pastoral care and special projects. Robin has also been a vocal advocate for the poor in our community during this public health crisis. Stay tuned to the eNews for ways to support our vulnerable neighbors.

Father Murdock Smith, though currently serving as Interim Rector at Christ Church in Albemarle, continues to co-mentor and lead our Education for Ministry group alongside Doug Hutto.

Kristie Lauderbaugh, Ministry Associate, has begun her transition to The Choir School at St. Peter’s, effective this week. Given the unusual circumstance, Kristie has offered to remain on the St. Peter’s staff in a part-time capacity until we are able to return to normal operations. I am grateful to Abigail Cudabac, Chair of The Choir School board, and to Kay Johnson, Managing Director of The Choir School, for their flexibility and generosity.

We are also blessed with amazing volunteers and vestry leadership. Their dedication ensures our weekday worship offerings continue and that members of the parish stay connected to one another.

We are closely following Governor Roy Cooper’s plan to gradually lift the stay-at-home order in multiple phases. Our bishops will offer guidance as to how we will gather for in-person worship when the time comes. It is likely our worship offerings will need to take a different shape to ensure social distancing for a season. Mother Amanda and I have been in conversation with the Vestry regarding several scenarios for Sunday morning worship. Once we know more from the bishops and from public health officials, we will communicate with the larger parish.

While I am enjoying the connections by email and phone, I miss seeing you all in person. We will gather again but until then please know you remain in our prayers. Though we are physically distant, our spiritual connection as the Body of Christ remains strong.

Faithfully,

The Reverend Jacob E. Pierce

Priest-in-Charge