A Note Regarding Public Worship from the Rector

We are closely monitoring the spread of the Omicron COVID variant. Cases are rising in many parts of the country and public health officials expect cases to rise in Mecklenburg County in the near future. 

We wish to reiterate some important points as they pertain to public worship, and as many of us prepare to gather for Christmas observances at St. Peter’s:

  • We believe our protocols for public worship are safe. Masks work very well, but the kind of mask is important. Please consider wearing a N95, KN95, or a KF94 mask while attending worship. If you cannot acquire such a mask, double masking with a standard surgical mask and a cloth mask works very well.
  • When deciding whether to attend public worship, each individual and household should make the decision that is best for them and their family. No public gathering is without risk, though we believe our worship services pose very little risk. 
  • Should you choose to worship virtually this Christmas, the 10:00 p.m. Musical Prelude and the 10:30 p.m. Holy Eucharist “Midnight Mass” will be livestreamed from the St. Peter’s website and will be available for playback.

Early next week, we expect to receive more information from the Diocese regarding next steps to mitigate the spread of this new variant. 

As Mother Amanda reminded our Vestry on Tuesday evening, God does some of God’s most important work in the dark. The angel visited Joseph while he slept, in the dark. Christ was born overnight, in the dark. Christ rose before Easter morning, in the dark. Jesus was not born into a perfect world, but in a world much like our own, full of anxiety and uncertainty. 

This Christmas may we remember the words of the hymn “O Little Town of Bethlehem” as it so beautifully reminds us, “the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.” 

The Reverend Jacob E. Pierce, Rector 

This Week

Christmas at St. Peter’s. During the season of Christmas, St. Peter’s will offer a broad array of liturgies and music in celebration of this major feast of the Church year. 

Christmas Eve, Friday, December 24*: 
4:00 p.m. – Children’s Christmas Pageant with Holy Eucharist
7:00 p.m. – Holy Eucharist, Rite II, Choral Prelude at 6:30 p.m.
10:30 p.m. – Holy Eucharist, Rite II, “Midnight Mass,” Choral Prelude at 10:00 p.m.

Christmas Day, Saturday, December 25
10:00 a.m. – Holy Eucharist, Rite I. 

The First Sunday after Christmas, Sunday, December 26*
10:00 a.m. – Holy Eucharist, Rite II. 

On the Second Sunday after Christmas, January 2, our regular Sunday schedule of Holy Eucharist at 7:45 a.m., 9:00 a.m., and 11:15 a.m. resumes. Formation for all ages resumes January 9. 

*The nursery is open on Christmas Eve for the 7:00 p.m. service only. The nursery is not open on Christmas Day or December 26. 

Greening of the Church, Thursday, December 23, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. Anyone may join the altar guild in the annual greening of the church in preparation for Christmas celebrations. Cleaners and polishers, along with folks to help hang garlands and wreaths, and volunteers to place poinsettias, are needed. Cleaning will begin at 10:00 a.m. and end by 2:00 p.m. No experience is required. Drop-ins are welcome and parishioners of all ages and abilities are invited to attend. For questions, please contact Mary Virginia Woodall (704-351-1627, mava823@gmail.com).

Parish House Offices closed until the New Year Beginning December 24. In observance of Christmastide, the Parish Offices will be closed beginning December 24 through January 2. Morning Prayer will be offered by Zoom and the Weekday Holy Eucharist will resume January 5. For pastoral emergencies, please dial the clergy-on-call line, 704-749-6175.

Join us for Worship. Our safety procedures at each service allow us to welcome all those who feel that in-person worship is safe for them at this time. Many COVID-19 protocols, including mask-wearing, are in effect. Socially distanced seating is available in the chapel. Diocesan guidelines require masks indoors at St. Peter’s for all services and other gatherings, regardless of vaccination status. 

2022 Annual Giving Campaign

How will we answer God’s call in 2022? Guided by a strategic plan to care for our faith, our community, our home, and our world, our new vestry will begin to envision the answer to that question in early January. Your individual response to God’s call—through worship, prayer, service, and giving – will have a very big impact.

If you have not yet made your pledge of financial support for 2022, please make it today. Together, we have committed $851,300 toward our goal of $960,000. You can make a secure pledge online at st-peters.org/pledge, or by contacting Director of Stewardship Allison Elrod (aelrod@st-peters.org).

Learn more from your fellow parishioners about why pledging is important on the Giving page: st-peters.org/giving/stories-of-stewardship.