Dear People of St. Peter’s,
This is perhaps one of the strangest beginnings to a new program year in the history of our parish. Yet, unprecedented moments provide new opportunities! I am thrilled that our staff and ministry leaders have crafted such a creative and fulsome fall calendar (https://st-peters.org/events/). Our focus this fall is worship, connection, and continuing our work in social justice and anti-racism. You’ll see these themes repeated throughout our formation offerings, in our fellowship, and in our weekly worship.
We have planned a fall calendar through the Feast of Christ the King, the Sunday before Thanksgiving Day, to allow for any changes to our schedule as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold.
This Sunday, September 13, is our annual Celebration Sunday when we observe our parish feast, the Confession of St. Peter. On this day we begin a new virtual (and temporary) worship schedule:
Morning Prayer, Rite I – 8:00 a.m. (Zoom)
Formation for all ages – 9:00 a.m. (Zoom)
Holy Eucharist, Rite II – 10:30 (YouTube)
Virtual Coffee Hour & Fellowship – 11:30 a.m. (Zoom)
Evensong (2nd & 4th Sundays) – 5:00 p.m. (Zoom)
Sung Compline (1st Sundays) – 7:00 p.m. (Zoom)
Our weekday schedule of Morning and Evening Prayer by Zoom at 8:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. will remain unchanged. We will also offer new weekday and weekend formation offerings for adults at a variety of times accessible to all, as published in the fall calendar and the weekly eNews.
To maintain connection during this time, we have a three-pronged approach to fall, in addition to our regular offerings of fellowship, formation, outreach, and social justice events:
Virtual Worship through Morning Prayer on Zoom, Holy Eucharist on YouTube, and Evensong and Compline on Zoom, as scheduled.
Communion from the Reserved Sacrament on special occasions. (This Sunday!)
Community without the Commute, neighborhood-based worship gatherings (information and survey in the eNews).
Communion from the Reserved Sacrament — this Sunday!
This Sunday, and on other special occasions as announced, the clergy will offer Communion from the Reserved Sacrament in the churchyard, 12:30–2:30 p.m. After viewing the livestream Holy Eucharist, simply come to the churchyard wearing your mask, maintain distance from others, and receive the sacrament (bread only) in your hand. The clergy will wear masks and gloves. Hand sanitizing stations will also be available. The gates to the parking garage will be open during this time to eliminate the need for parking ticket validation. Please enter the church yard through the Tryon Street gate and exit the 7th Street gate. After you receive the bread in your hand, walk to a designated area near the 7th Street gate, remove your mask only long enough to consume the bread, and then return to your car. Once in your vehicle, you may wish to say the Lord’s Prayer as an act of thanksgiving. Those at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19, those who have recently travelled, or those who are not feeling well should refrain from coming to the church. Exercise your best judgement and know that we will do all in our power to provide Communion in a safe, sanitary, and holy manner.
As we begin the 2020–2021 program year, I could not be more hopeful and energized by the depth of your faith and measure of your commitment to St. Peter’s. This is a strange season indeed, but it is also a season of new opportunities and new beginnings. This is a season to maintain our connections to one another, to be a community of courageous followers of Jesus, and to be a beacon of God’s love in the heart of Charlotte.
The Reverend Jacob E. Pierce, Rector