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Giving With Gratitude: Support Life at St. Peter’s

One of my earliest memories from church was the Doxology, singing “Praise God from whom all blessings flow” to the tune of the Old 100th.  I remember the ushers approaching the altar, holding the highly polished collection plates as the nave filled with the sound of reverberating voices. This was also the first piece of church music I learned to play on the piano, and one I played dozens of times at church services when I grew older.  I have since forgotten how to play it, but I will never forget the feeling.

These memories and emotions quickly returned to me as the Stewardship Committee discussed the annual fund campaign, reflecting on the writings of Episcopal priest, writer, and poet, the Reverend Renée Miller:

Gratitude practice is beneficial for every spiritual personality. It is both an internal practice and a practice of ministry. We find our own soul expanding every time we feel and express gratitude, and when we’re grateful, we find that our lives expand as well. Those who are grateful bring grace into the lives of others. Gratitude builds on itself and when we grow in gratitude others grow in theirs. One moment of gratitude leads to another and in the end, we have hearts filled with joy.

This passage transformed my thoughts and feelings about how and why my family will be pledging this year and will continue to share our financial gifts with St. Peter’s. To me, pledges and donations are outward expressions of gratitude for the blessings we receive from God. My family and I feel blessed to belong to the community of St. Peter’s, as I hope you do too. Our response to God’s love and abundance in the form of a financial commitment will help us uphold and realize our Parish Vision.

Please join me, the Vestry and the Stewardship Committee in pledging for this year’s annual fund by Commitment Sunday, November 5.

In faith and with gratitude for life at St. Peter’s,

Jay Norton, Annual Fund Chairman

September 20, 2017

Worship and Formation

Life at St. Peter’s Fall 2017 is here. Our parish magazine and calendar of formation, worship, programs, and events is available in all public spaces at St. Peter’s. View the magazine online and the events calendar online.

Guest Preacher on September 24. The Reverend “Kahu” David Jackson, new Head Chaplain at Trinity Episcopal School, will offer the sermon at 8:00 and 10:45 a.m. Having taken degrees from Stanford University, Princeton Theological Seminary, and the University of Oxford in the U.K., Kahu Jackson served most recently as Chaplain and Religion Department Chair at Christ Church Episcopal School in Greenville, S.C. and Chaplain and Instructor in Religion at Seabury Hall in Maui, H.I. We welcome Father Jackson and give thanks for the presence of Trinity Episcopal School in Center City Charlotte.

Sunday Christian Formation for Adults, September 24, 9:30 a.m. The Parish Hall Forum will feature “Giving with Gratitude: Unpacking the Cost of Ministry and Operations” led by the Parish Treasurer and members of the Vestry. This will be a perfect way to learn about how the parish operating budget is set based on pledge monies and other income sources to support our mission, ministry, and vision. On Sunday, October 1, the Parish Hall Forum will feature parishioners Candace Armstrong, Sue Coonen, Toni Moore, and Ellison Clary as they share a history of St. Peter’s from the 1960s, entitled “A Great Cloud of Witnesses: Storytelling about St. Peter’s and the Civil Rights Movement.”

Sunday Christian Formation for Children and Youth, Weekly, 9:30 a.m. Catechesis of the Good Shepherd children, ages 2–12, meet on first floor in the Toddler Atrium and Levels 1–3 Atria (classrooms) in the Parish House. For more information, email Director of Children’s Formation, Anna Hurdle. Journey to Adulthood (J2A) youth, ages 13–18, meet in the Youth Suite (basement level, Parish House). For more information, email Director of Youth Formation, Lyn Holt.

New Fall Schedule for “Sunday Evenings at St. Peter’s” begins September 24. At 5:00 p.m., on most second and fourth Sundays, we offer the service of Choral Evensong (sung Evening Prayer) with Eucharist. The Clergy and Boys and Girls Choir of The Choir School at St. Peter’s will offer musical leadership on September 24. On the third Sunday of every month, a meditative service of Holy Eucharist is offered, patterned after the Taizé, France community. This offering includes music for piano, time for contemplative silence, and candle-lighting as a prayer form. The complete Fall 2017 schedule for Sunday Evenings at St. Peter’s is available online.

Conversation follows Weekday Morning Prayer and Tuesday Noon Eucharist. Monday–Friday, 8:00–8:30 a.m. Morning Prayer in the Chapel is a quiet and beautiful offering for the start of the day. On Tuesdays at Noon, we offer a 30-minute celebration of the Holy Eucharist without music in the Chapel. Each liturgy is followed by an optional time to gather with the worship leader and fellow worshippers for a 30-minute informal conversation in the Parlor.

Events

Churches Partner for Ecumenical Service, Charlotte: One Year Later, Thursday, September 21. One year after the death of Keith Lamont Scott and the protests that rocked Charlotte, several pastors of area churches are collaborating on an ecumenical community worship service to be held at First Presbyterian Church on Thursday, September 21 at 7:00 p.m. The St. Peter’s parish community has been invited to attend. Contact First Presbyterian Church, 704-332-5123, with questions.

Giving with Gratitude: Support Life at St. Peter’s. On Sunday, September 24, we launch our annual fund-raising campaign, Giving with Gratitude, to receive pledges for the 2018 operating budget by Commitment Sunday, November 5. Each pledge will offer support of parish 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 in Center City Charlotte. To offer your pledge for the remainder of 2017 and learn about future pledging, visit www.st-peters.org

Coffee Hour in the Youth Suite on September 24. The community of youth, adult leaders, and Youth Advisory Committee will host Coffee Hour after the 10:45 a.m. service on the basement level of the Parish Hall. All are invited to fellowship, explore classrooms, and learn more about where and how our youth spend time as part of our common life.

Holy Conversation about Confederate Imagery at St. Peter’s, September 24 and 26. In response to the presence of the Confederate States of America seal in the one of the nave windows and in accordance with our parish commitment to the ministry of racial reconciliation, the Clergy and Wardens will facilitate two conversation opportunities: Sunday, September 24, 12:30–1:30 p.m. and Tuesday, September 26, 5:45–6:45 p.m. Each will be offered to reflect on all signs and symbols throughout our sacred space, including their history, significance, and ability to point worshippers to God. All ages are invited to attend one or both sessions.

Exploratory “Integrity” Meeting, Sunday, September 24. The face of Christianity often shared with people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities is one of condemnation and rejection. While many such persons have been fortunate to find St. Peter’s to know the radical love and welcome through which God and God’s people warmly embrace all of God’s diversity, there are many who have not heard this good news. Can we do more to share this welcome? If you are interested in this question, an exploratory meeting will be hosted after the 10:45 service on Sunday, September 24 at 12:30 p.m. in the Parlor for St. Peter’s to consider joining Integrity. If you have questions or are interested but cannot attend the meeting, contact John Hall (drjohnhall@gmail.com, 704-258-5553) or Logan Smith (logan_msmith@hotmail.com, 704-488-4436).

Social Justice Film and Discussion Night – America Divided: Democracy for Sale, September 27. The Social Justice Team is hosting a film and discussion on Wednesday, September 27, 6:30–8:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall. In the provocative, award winning documentary “America Divided: Democracy for Sale,” Zach Galifianakis, the comic star of “The Hangover” movies, travels back to his home state to investigate how North Carolina has become a bellwether for how the money of a few has come to dominate our democracy and influences those in power. Sponsored by our Social Justice Ministry, the free event will include a facilitated discussion of the issues and what ways we can bring about change. RSVPs are encouraged but not required through Paula Savich (paula.savich@gmail.com, 828-467-3188) or Lisa Wielunski (lisajan81@gmail.com, 631-988-4917).

Pub Theology on first Thursday of the month, 6:00 p.m. On first Thursdays through December, a member of the clergy will host Pub Theology. Pub snacks and both non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages are available for purchase at these casual, drop-in, formation events. On October 5, the Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector, will host a discussion about “Making Peace and Finding Hope in a Violent World.” Watch parish news and notices for the location as well as future topics and locations.

Seeing the Face of God in Each Other: An Anti-Racism Seminar at St. Peter’s. On Saturday, October 7, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., The Bishop’s Committee for Racial Justice and Reconciliation will offer a regional gathering at St. Peter’s for adult and youth parishioners and non-parishioners to learn skills and acquire the tools to dismantle systemic and institutional racism. Hosted several times per year throughout the diocese, the seminar provides an opportunity for honest and open communication, and an opportunity for personal growth, understanding, and healing. The registration fee is $15 including lunch. Childcare will be available upon request at registration. To register, click here or pick up a registration form at the Parish House reception desk. For more information, contact Martha Waters, Diocesan Coordinator (martha.wtrs@gmail.com, 919-469-5154).

Acolyte Training and Lunch, Sunday, October 8 after the 10:45 a.m. Eucharist. On Sunday, October 8, 12:30–2:00 p.m. all acolytes, new and returning, are invited to join the clergy and acolyte coordinators for lunch and training. High School students are invited to stay until 2:30pm for server and thurifer training. All fifth graders, and all new acolytes, sixth through twelfth grade, are invited to join us for this introductory training day. Fifth graders and new acolytes are welcome to join the new St. Peter’s Novice Acolyte program to begin this November after the October 8 training day.

Shrimp and Suds Fall Rooftop Benefit, October 14. Join fellow adult parishioners on Saturday, October 14, 6:30–9:00 p.m., on the rooftop of the Parish House for a delicious fellowship dinner, featuring low country shrimp boil, sides of grits and bread, dessert, and assorted refreshments including craft beers from Charlotte, all for $35 per person. Prepaid reservations required by Wednesday, October 11 online or pre-pay at the Parish House reception desk. All funds raised will benefit the 2019 youth pilgrimage. Our new Bishop Diocesan, The Right Reverend Sam Rodman plans to join us for this event, on the eve of his visitation to St. Peter’s. For questions or special dietary concerns, please call or text Director of Youth Formation, Lyn Holt (704-763-3564, lholt@st-peters.org.

Parish, Diocesan, and Beyond Our Doors

Have You Signed Up For Realm? Did you receive your invitation to join “Realm” in your email inbox? If not, first check your spam folder. If you didn’t get it at all, please contact Parish Administrator (ldixon@st-peters.org, 704-749-6142). Realm is a new church record-keeping solution that replaces Holy Faces, our parish directory of people. While it primarily serves the administrative needs of the Staff and Clergy, it offers exciting opportunities to support the ways that you are or can become involved in parish life. Not only will this improve the work life of those working at the Parish House, it will make it easier for our parish community to connect with each other, keep up with what’s going on, and facilitate member engagement.

Outreach and Social Justice: Servant Ministry Partners, Events, and News. Outreach and Social Justice ministries are integral to life at St. Peter’s. Now, more than ever, the world needs deeper engagement from the body of Christ, the Church. St. Peter’s Parish Vision is to become a community of bold followers of Jesus, a crowd that effects good change for the world, a place known for radical love and welcome, and a beacon of hope in Center City Charlotte. Check out the newly revised outreach and social justice section of our website and explore how you might engage, more.

Augustine Literacy Program (ALP) Volunteer Information and Training. ALP is recruiting for fall training classes; training sessions will be held on September 11–15, 19, and 20, October 23–27, 31, and November 2. Visit the ALP website for more information or an application. Mark your calendars for ALP’s second Get Rowdy for Reading Event on Saturday November 4 at NODA Brewery. It is a free and family-friendly event with live music, silent auction, and games!

Habitat For Humanity Build, Saturday, October 14. All adults and youth (age 16 and older) are invited to participate in a fun day of helping our neighbors by building a Habitat house from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. During a morning or evening shift, parish volunteers, through direction and supervision from building experts, will measure, cut, and install the vinyl siding along the exterior of a newly constructed house located at 2941 Coronet Way, Charlotte, 28208. For several years, St. Peter’s has joined Charlotte Church Partners in this life-changing ministry. Sign up for your shift, using Group 2717 and the “Search” button, by clicking here. For more information, contact parish coordinator, John Knip (jknip@carriff.com, 980-721-4850) or assistant coordinator, Alec Yale (alecyale@gmail.com, 281-723-6992). Check out a recent video from Habitat for Humanity about the impact of affordable housing.

CROP Hunger Walk, Saturday October 14, 2017 Our team is helping to end hunger one step at a time by participating in this year’s CROP Hunger Walk which St. Peter’s has been participating in for many years. Registration starts at 8:00 a.m., and the Walk begins at 9:00 a.m. Last year, we raised over $5,000, so help us meet our goal again this year. The easiest way to join or donate is to visit our team online at the following link: To register, click here or stop by our information table after the 10:45 a.m. service starting Sunday, September 24 through Sunday, October 8. If you have any questions or registration needs, please contact Logan Smith (logan_msmith@hotmail.com, 704-488-4436).

Weekly Fellowship Breakfast and Coffee Hour on Sundays. On Sundays, experience fellowship during “Holy Chow,” a hearty breakfast for all ages in the Community Room on the second floor of the Parish House from 8:30 to 9:25 a.m., before the 9:30 a.m. Christian formation classes begin. The cost is $4 per person or a maximum of $15 per household. Sundays in our common life also offer Coffee Hour in the Parish House lobby after the 10:45 a.m. service. Everyone is encouraged to attend these community-building and connection-making offerings.

Young Adults Fellowship. On September 3, a group gathered for brunch at in Uptown after the 10:45 a.m. liturgy. More events, in addition to the weekly Sunday Parish Hall Forum, will be announced in the coming weeks. The scope of this fellowship for parishioners ages 21 and older who are single, married, partnered, parents or non-parents, will be to foster connections through seasonal social events, promote outreach opportunities, and gather for occasional formation classes. If you are interested in getting involved with the Young Adults Fellowship, contact Mary Gotschall (marygotschall@gmail.com) or Julia Hughes (jhughesfm@gmail.com).

Give Altar Flowers and Eucharistic Supplies: In Honor or Memory of People and Occasions. In order to honor or memorialize loved ones or celebrate special occasions in meaningful ways, consider giving Altar flowers and Eucharistic supplies. Altar flowers (2 large arrangements) are $150 per Sunday; more than one person or household can share in giving. Eucharistic supplies (bread, wine) are $30 for one month or $15 for two Sundays. To schedule your giving of either, contact Parish Administrator, Leigh Dixon (ldixon@st-peters.org, 704-749-6142).

St. Peter’s Financial Updates. To keep parishioners aware of how we are doing versus the operating budget, a financial summary is being posted monthly on the website. We hope this resource will answer most questions about our progress. If you have more detailed inquiries, contact Parish Treasurer, Dave Lavoie. The financial summaries can be found by clicking here.

Looking Ahead

October 13: Choir School Cabaret Night, 7:30 p.m.

October 15: Bishop’s Visitation for Confirmation, Reception, and Reaffirmation.

November 17-18: 202nd Annual Convention of the Diocese, Winston-Salem.

Give Thanks For What God Gives

Welcome to the new program year! This is always an exciting time, gearing up for Adult and Children’s Formation, Holy Chow, and preparing for the Annual Fund. The St. Peter’s staff has worked diligently over the summer to get the building and grounds ready and to plan the Fall 2017 schedule.

I walked through the Church at 7:15 a.m. last Friday on my way to open the front door in preparation for Morning Prayer. It was peaceful and still, so I decided to sit. Memories came flooding back from when I was a little girl sitting on the second row in between my Mom and Dad during the service at Midway United Methodist Church. The preacher, Joe Warner, was a big man and at times it was though I could feel his breath on me when he stood in front of us. He liked to step down from the pulpit to get close to the pews and take long pauses while looking intently at us, or maybe placing his hand on someone’s shoulder. As a little girl, I didn’t always know what he was talking about but I knew it was important and that the space was sacred to all who came through the doors.

As an adult, I still look forward to Sundays of because of what they represent to me and my life. It’s a time to slow down, spend time together, and give thanks for what God has given me.

One way to make the most of this program year is to sign up for Realm, www.onrealm.org, the new program that will help you communicate with your groups, RSVP for events, manage your giving, update your profile information, view the Church directory, “Holy Faces,” and more.

Please contact me if you need assistance (ldixon@st-peters.org, 704-749-6142).

Leigh Dixon, Parish Administrator