An Invitation to Holy Week and Easter

Dear People of St. Peter’s,

This Holy Week and Easter will be our first full in-person celebration in three years. I am overjoyed that we will be together to celebrate our Lord’s Resurrection. I invite you to worship at St. Peter’s for the Triduum liturgies, that is, the three holy days of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil. These three liturgies are actually one liturgy in three separate acts.​​ They are a powerful journey into the Paschal mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection. 

On Maundy Thursday we join Christ at the table, we journey to the garden, and we witness his betrayal and arrest. On Good Friday we find ourselves at the foot of the cross, as we behold his cruel death. In perhaps the most dramatic and most beautiful liturgies of the Church year, on Saturday night, in the darkness just before dawn, we celebrate the Great Vigil of Easter. At the candlelit Vigil we read lessons from scripture, recalling God’s saving acts throughout history, we renew our baptismal vows, and we ring bells as we sing with great fanfare to celebrate Christ’s defeat of death and the tomb. 

Some years ago, at a former parish, I recalled the Baptist camp revivals of my childhood as I remarked, “Baptists have revivals but Episcopalians have Holy Week.” While I was attempting to bring some levity to a serious sermon, the sentiment is true. Holy Week and Easter are the very center of our faith. They are an opportunity to recall the promises of baptism, to recommit to the faith within us. If you’ve never attended the three liturgies of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil, now is the perfect time to do so. You will not regret the powerful journey through which this three part liturgy will lead you. 

My prayer this Easter is whether you approach this holy season with joy or with grief, you will know the hope and peace that surpasses all understanding. Because at the very heart of Easter is this timeless truth: God is with us and God’s love will never fail. 

Easter Blessings,

The Reverend Jacob E. Pierce, Rector

Holy Week and Easter

Holy Wednesday, April 13 – Noon Eucharist, Chapel
Holy Thursday, April 14 – Morning Prayer at 8:00 a.m., Chapel
Maundy Thursday Liturgy, April 14 – 7:00 p.m.
Good Friday, April 15 – Confessions at 10:00 a.m., Solemn Liturgy at Noon
Good Friday – Stations of the Cross, 3:00 p.m., Church
Great Vigil of Easter, April 16 – 8:00 p.m.
Easter Day, April 17 – 7:45, 9:00, 11:15 a.m.; Flowering of the Easter Cross, 8:30–11:00 a.m., Church Yard

Parking validation now requires a “chaser” ticket to exit without paying. Be sure to get one before leaving the Church or Parish House.

In Gratitude

Easter is always a time of great celebration, and this year in particular as we gather fully in-person for the first time since Easter 2019. Whatever your experiences have been over the past two years, your faithful generosity has made it possible for St. Peter’s to continue to carry out our vision. We remain a place of unconditional welcome and a beacon of God’s love in the heart of Charlotte.

If you would like to make a special contribution during the season of Eastertide, you can use the envelope provided in your leaflet OR you can make your donation online at st-peters.org/easter-gratitude. Thank you for your generosity.

Worship and Music

An invitation to Holy Week and Easter from our Bishops. The Right Reverend Samuel Rodman and the Right Reverend Anne Hodges-Copple released a statement this week encouraging the faithful throughout the Diocese to gather in worship for Holy Week and Easter. “While there are no limits to where God is present, there is nothing that completely replaces the palpable power of gathering in person for worship when possible and safe to do so. There are certainly many who have very legitimate health reasons to continue to participate in worship through a digital platform. There are certainly times and circumstances where worshiping online is a practical necessity. We are grateful that technology now makes alternatives to in-person worship available. We believe, however, that being physically together for worship and fellowship builds the bonds of affection necessary for building the beloved community of Jesus.” You can read the full letter at tinyurl.com/3uey5hxx.

The Common Cup returns on Maundy Thursday. Just in time for our Holy Week and Easter observance, Communion will be available in both kinds: consecrated bread and sacramental wine from a common cup. A Priest or Eucharistic Minister will place the consecrated bread in your open palms. Non-wheat communion wafers are available upon request. We ask that communicants only receive the wine by drinking directly from the chalice. “Intinction,” that is dipping the bread in the wine, will return at a later time. Reception of sacramental wine is not a requirement for full communion. 

Daily Office. Parishioners lead Morning and Evening Prayer most weekdays. Morning Prayer takes place every day on Zoom (st-peters.org/morningprayer) and in the St. Peter’s Chapel on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:00 a.m., with coffee and fellowship in the Parlor immediately following the office. Evening Prayer takes place every day online at 5:30 p.m. on Zoom (st-peters.org/eveningprayer).

Weekday Holy Eucharist on Wednesdays at Noon. Each Wednesday at Noon, St. Peter’s clergy offer a service of Holy Eucharist in the Chapel. This brief service of Holy Communion is a great way to spend the lunch hour in Uptown and to worship alongside a smaller congregation of parishioners. There will be no Holy Eucharist on Wednesday, April 20. The Noonday Eucharist will resume on April 27. 

Easter Week Parish Office Schedule. The parish offices will be closed on Monday, April 18. The clergy and music staff will be away from the office Monday, April 18–Friday, April 22 for annual respite following Holy Week and Easter services. To reach the clergy-on-call for emergency pastoral care dial 704-749-6175.

Learning

Formation for all ages resumes April 24. Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for children and Journey to Adulthood classes for youth will not meet on Easter Sunday. Classes will resume on April 24. 

Children’s formation and nursery care. Catechesis of the Good Shepherd will be offered in-person for children ages 3–12 in the atria, 10:00 a.m.–Noon. Child care for young children through age 3 is offered in the nursery, 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. For more information, please contact Anna Hurdle (ahurdle@st-peters.org). Masking remains in effect for these two programs.

The Adult Forum, Resuming April 24. The Adult Forum will not meet Easter Day. In honor of Earth Day, the Eco-Justice Committee will present a two part forum series “Advocating with your Pen and Purse.” On April 24, Jennifer Roberts will provide information on how best to advocate locally for climate justice and Lyn Holt will discuss how best to make food purchases that minimize climate impact. On May 22, we will have speakers from Self-Help Credit Union and Earth Equity Advisors advise us on how to manage our personal finances to promote all social justice goals, including climate justice.  The financial management information will be relevant for individuals of all income levels.

Monday Night Bible Study, 6:30–8:00 p.m. We will study the Gospel According to Luke  using N. T. Wright’s Study Guide, which is available from Amazon. There is weekly preparation and everyone is invited to attend. For more information, contact Ruth Woodend (rbwoodend@gmail.com). Note: This class will not meet Monday, April 11.

Wednesday Afternoon Book Group, 1:00–2:00 p.m. The book group is reading Sacred Earth Sacred Soul by John Philip Newell. Contact Ruth Woodend (rbwoodend@gmail.com, 704-661-4687) for further details.

Wednesday Night Bible Study, 7:00–8:00 p.m. Wednesday night Bible Study will not meet on Wednesday, April 20. We will resume on April 27. We are studying several of Paul’s letters this spring; we are now on Ephesians. No preparation is needed, but contact Mother Amanda (astephenson@st-peters.org) with any questions or if you would like to read ahead. Join online at st-peters.org/biblestudy-wednesday.

The Sunday Party of Readers. On Sunday, April 24, at 2:00 p.m. on Zoom (st-peters.org/bookclub-sunday) we will meet to wrap up Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse and to make plans for our next in-person meeting. Contact Deje McGavran (dhmcgavran@gmail.com) for information.

Community Life

Coffee Hour Volunteers Needed. Coffee Hour will return on April 24 after the 11:15 a.m. service, but we need your help. The Coffee Hour ministry is working to rebuild our Coffee Hour Teams. Volunteering would include helping to set up and/or clean up, our hope being each volunteer would only be asked to work one Sunday per month. If you are interested in volunteering to help out with this wonderful ministry please contact Harris Holt (harrisholt3@gmail.com) or Mother Amanda (astephenson@st-peters.org).

Next Senior Class Luncheon, April 19, 11:30 a.m. The Senior Class will meet at Sir Edmond Halley’s Pub (4151A Park Road, Park Road Shopping Center back lot). Respond to Sue Martin  (suewmartin123@gmail.com, 704-364-9061).

Charlotte Writers Club Event at St. Peter’s, Thursday, April 21,  7:00 p.m. “Seeking Refuge; How Stories Can Save Us,” is the theme for an evening with Charlotte Writers Club and conversation about the power of story in the lives of refugees and immigrants. Panelists include: Diya Abdo, the Lincoln Financial Professor of English at Guilford College, and founder of Every Campus a Refuge, which advocates for housing refugee families on college campuses; Banu Valladares, Executive Director of the Charlotte Bilingual Preschool and former Administrator with the North Carolina Humanities Council; and Joseph Bathanti, the McFarlane Family Distinguished Professor in Interdisciplinary Education at Appalachian State University and North Carolina’s Poet Laureate from 2012 – 2014. The panel will be moderated by Charlotte memoirist, poet, and educator Gilda Morina Syverson. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. For more information and to register, please visit the Charlotte Writers Club website (charlottewriters39club35.wildapricot.org/event-4689830).

Sunday, May 15 is “Legacy Sunday,” when we’ll celebrate the members of our 1834 Legacy Society. Join us at the 9:00 a.m. or 11:15 a.m. service and afterward for a reception and very special announcement.

All Together Now: Charlotte Earth Day, Saturday, April 23. Please attend and help out with this wonderful learning celebration at First Ward Park for the whole family. There will be many fun activities, performances, puppets, parades, music, dancing, food trucks, and exhibitors. The centerpiece of the event is a playful, child-centered treasure hunt to learn about the Earth and become an Earth Kid. For information about the event visit charlotteearthday.com. On the same website you can also volunteer and make a donation. 

Sunday Welcome Desk Volunteers Needed. Every Sunday a parishioner assists in welcoming  people to the Parish House. Staffed in four one-hour shifts between 8:00 a.m. and Noon, we are seeking enough volunteers so that this is just a one-hour per month commitment. If you are interested, contact Leigh Dixon (ldixon@st-peters.org, 704-749-6142). 

Name Buttons. We encourage everyone to wear their name buttons so that we can welcome all those who have joined us over the last two years. Current buttons are located on a wall in the lobby outside of the library. If you need a button made, please sign up at the welcome desk in the lobby. Once buttons are completed, they will be added to the button boards in the lobby. 

Upcoming 20s30s Fellowship Events. Please mark your calendar for the following 20s30s fellowship opportunities. More details of each event will follow closer to the date. If you need to be added to the 20s30s email list, please contact Mother Amanda Stephenson (astephenson@st-peters.org). April 22, 6:00 p.m. – Brewery Hangout with Food Trucks @ Resident Culture (Plaza Midwood) residentculturebrewing.com; April 30, 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – White Water Center (whitewater.org); May 1, 12:30 p.m. – First Sunday Brunch (Location TBD). 

Prayer Requests. As a community, we offer support to one another through prayer. Requests may be made in two ways: Submit your request online at st-peters.org/make-a-prayer-request or contact Clergy Assistant, Michael Talbert (mtalbert@st-peters.org, 704-749-6141). Persons who have given consent for their names to be printed will be read aloud and listed for four Sundays unless a more extended 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, send an email to Father Jacob (jpierce@st-peters.org) or Mother Amanda (astephenson@st-peters.org). For pastoral emergencies such as hospitalizations, dial the Clergy On-Call Phone at 704-749-6175. This process is the best way to communicate pastoral needs and ensure a response from a member of the clergy or pastoral care team.

St. Luke’s Guild: Chronic Care Support Group. Father Keith Lane and parishioner Dan Busch, LCSW (retired), facilitate this fellowship for persons with chronic illnesses of any sort and those who are caregivers of family and friends. St. Luke’s Guild meets regularly on the second Thursday of the month in the St. Peter’s Parlor. To learn more, contact the Reverend Keith C. Lane, Assisting Priest (klane@st-peters.org, 917-679-7285) or Dan Busch (danwbusch@gmail.com, 704-519-7417).

Seeds for a Greener Earth

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if your money was well taken care of and not being used to harm the Earth or vulnerable populations? Wouldn’t it be great if your money was being used to do good in the world? Check out this website with step by step instructions on how to make this happen (www.rivers-mountains-greenfaith.org/divestment-individual).  Shift your accounts to nonprofit Self Help Credit Union (www.self-help.org), the gold standard for credit unions supporting positive community development.  Make microloans (minimum of $100, earning 4.5%) to regenerative farmers at gosteward.com.

Outreach & Social Justice

From Episcopal Relief and Development Regarding the Situation in Ukraine. As we pray for an end to violence and for those fleeing Ukraine, please also pray for Episcopal Relief & Development and other ecumenical agencies working to respond to the current crisis. Specific needs will change as the crisis evolves. As of right now, there is a need for food, water and shelter. Please consider partnering with Episcopal Relief & Development in this response. Visit episcopalrelief.org/ukraine-crisis for more information.

Assuring Democracy: Volunteers Needed to Protect the Vote. Changing election law and court decisions are posing unique challenges to voters this election cycle. Democracy North Carolina’s nonpartisan Voter Protection program works to ensure that every voter can successfully cast a ballot. Volunteer Vote Protectors are the “eyes and ears on the ground” at voting sites across N.C., assisting those having trouble voting and reporting issues to the 888-OUR-VOTE hotline. Volunteers will be responsible for visiting one or more voting sites in their community on at least one of the following days: Thursday, April 28; Saturday, May 14; and Election Day, Tuesday, May 17. (April 28 will only be an option for veteran Vote Protectors.). RSVP now (tinyurl.com/2p9f2f8r) for the Western Piedmont virtual training on Saturday, April 16 at 10:00 a.m. An alternate training date is April 23.

Assuring Democracy: Voter Registration. Volunteers from St. Peter’s will assist with voter registration for senior residents who live at Parktowne Terrace, a public housing property of INLIVIAN, formerly known as the Charlotte Housing Authority. St. Peters will be onsite on April 14, 10:30 a.m.–Noon to assist with voter registration during the same time that Atrium Health will present their health and wellness outreach program focused on “Food as Medicine.” The St. Peter’s team will visit a seniors site in June for a similar event. If you would like to volunteer for Thursday’s event or at a later one, email Jeanne Agan (jeanne.agan@icloud.com). 

Samaritan’s Feet and the growing refugee crisis in eastern Europe. Over 2 million people have fled Ukraine in search of safety. They’ve left everything behind and are entering neighboring countries with just the clothes they are wearing. St. Peter’s ministry partner, Samaritan’s Feet, is helping the people of Ukraine by sending thousands of pairs of athletic shoes, work boots, rain boots, and socks: first with Convoy of Hope to the border crossing in Medyka, Poland, and then with CANDLES Holocaust Museum & Education Center to Krakow, Poland. Visit www.samaritansfeet.org/ukraine/donate for more information on how you can assist in sending shoes to additional Poland border crossings.

About the eNewsThe 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. While we welcome submissions from across the parish community, items will be edited for content, length, and style. Send submissions to communications@st-peters.org.