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Diocesan Convention Reflection

O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.  —from Evensong at Diocesan Convention, November 17, 2017

This year, I had the honor of serving as a delegate to the convention of the Diocese of North Carolina, joining the other parishes and ministries of our diocese to fellowship, worship, discuss and prioritize the way forward together. I’d like to share some snapshots of this year’s convention, entitled “Becoming Beloved Community.”

Thursday evening, our diocesan historiographer, the Reverend Dr. Brooks Graebner, and the Reverend Jemonde Taylor from St. Ambrose, Raleigh, presented “One Great Fellowship of Love?” which outlined the history of black people in our diocese. While our diocese appeared progressive in writings and speeches of the time, the reality of how they were treated was much less progressive.

On Friday, the Right Reverend Sam Rodman preached about “Becoming Beloved Community” in four steps: Tell the truth; Repair the breach; Proclaim the dream; Practice the way of love. Then, our own rector, the Reverend Ollie Rencher, moderated a panel of five (including Tony Craghead, also from St. Peter’s) who addressed questions about how prejudice touched their lives and how they responded in faith.

On Saturday, Bishop Rodman began his pastoral address by reminding us that “unity is very, very, very, very hard.” and then suggested five priorities to “Become Beloved Community.” 1) Engage in truth-telling; understanding that truth is messy. 2) Support vulnerable congregations. 3) Collaborate in mission—like our Galilee Ministries in East Charlotte. 4) Lifelong formation—intergenerational, relationship-based. 5) Reconnect to the land.

If you would like to read a more robust summary of this year’s convention, including videos, please go to the website of the Diocese of NC, by clicking here. You will also find details regarding resolutions passed by the body and committee members elected for various diocesan positions.

Thank you for honoring me with the privilege to represent St. Peter’s Episcopal Church this year.

Amy Dillon King, Convention Delegate

News: November 22, 2017

For the occasion of Thanksgiving Day, let us pray according to The Book of Common Prayer, A Litany for Thanksgiving:
Let us give thanks to God for all gifts so freely bestowed upon us.
For the beauty and wonder of your creation, in earth and sky and sea. We thank you, Lord.
For all that is gracious in the lives of men and women, revealing the image of Christ, We thank you, Lord.
For our daily food and drink, our homes and families, and our friends, We thank you, Lord.
For minds to think, and hearts to love, and hands to serve, We thank you, Lord.
For health and strength to work, and leisure to rest and play, We thank you, Lord.
For the brave and courageous, who are patient in suffering and faithful in adversity, We thank you, Lord.
For all valiant seekers after truth, liberty, and justice, We thank you, Lord.
For the communion of saints, in all times and places, We thank you, Lord.
Above all, we give you thanks for the great mercies and promises given to us in Christ Jesus our Lord;
To him be praise and glory, with you, O Father, and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.

Giving with Gratitude, 2018 Annual Fund Update. As of November 20, 228 pledges totaling $770,047 have been received toward the one-million-dollar goal of Giving with Gratitude. The Annual Fund Leadership is seeking 100% participation from all households between Thanksgiving Day and Christ the King Sunday, November 26. To pledge your support of the 2018 parish operating budget to be presented at the December 10 Annual Meeting of the Parish, visit or use the information available at St. Peter’s.

Worship and Music

Sunday Evenings at St. Peter’s, November 26 and December 10. On Christ the King Sunday and the Second Sunday of Advent, the clergy will officiate a seasonal service of Solemn Evening Prayer from The Book of Common Prayer in the Chapel. Learn more about Sunday Evenings at St. Peter’s here.

Holiday Concerts of The Choir School at St. Peter’s, December 8 and 9. Tickets are now available for the 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday performances by some of the most “talented young singers from every corner of Charlotte” among us. Learn more and purchase tickets here.

Center City Concerts presents The Burli Singers, Monday, December 18. Conducted by parishioner Rob Burlington, this ensemble will offer a free holiday concert at Noon featuring the glorious “Ceremony of Carols” by Benjamin Britten. Learn more about Center City Concerts here.


Sunday Formation for Adults, November 26, 9:30 a.m. The Parish Hall Forum presents a “Conversation with the Clergy – People Look East: Preparing for Advent and Christmas” hosted by the Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector. On December 3, parishioner Terry Prince and the Clergy will present “Advent: A Time to Stop, Look, and Listen – Fostering Individual Prayer Practices” before the Advent Lessons and Carols and Holy Eucharist liturgy at 10:45 a.m.

Study of “My Accidental Jihad” continues. The Reverend Keith C. Lane, Assisting Priest, will facilitate the last session of a three-week study of My Accidental Jihad on Wednesday, November 29, 6:30–7:30 p.m. in the Tower Room. Learn more and register to attend.

Advent Retreat: Stillness in Center City, Saturday, December 2. The Reverend Jacob E. Pierce and parishioner/spiritual director Ruth Woodend will facilitate an instructed time of quiet, exploration, and spiritual formation at St. Peter’s, 8:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m. Learn more and register here.

Advent Lessons and Carols, Sunday, December 3. The 10:45 a.m. liturgy will be a service of Advent Lessons and Carols with The Holy Eucharist to commence the Church New Year. This ancient liturgy provides a time to reflect on the gift of creation and humanity, the promise of the Messiah, and the birth of Jesus. Spread the word about this extraordinary occasion.

Monday Evenings in Advent: December 4, 11, 18. The Clergy will facilitate a study of the “Advent Gospels and the Significance of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” 6:15–7:15 p.m. at St. Peter’s. Learn more and register here.

Sunday Formation Offerings Break, December 24 and 31. Our customary formation offerings for all ages will be suspended on December 24 and 31, and resume on January 7. The Catechists look forward to worship and fellowship time with their classes, class households, and the wider parish community on these Sundays.

Community Life

Senior Class Luncheon, Today. This 55+ fellowship group will gather today, 11:30 a.m. at Zen Asian Fusion in Kenilworth Commons on East Boulevard for lunch. The next monthly luncheon will be on December 19 at a location to be announced soon. For more information, call Hannah Craighill (704-334-6276) or Barbara and Jay Partington (704-523-1831). Learn more about this fellowship opportunity.

Annual Meeting and Parish Life Day: Sunday, December 10. All members and newcomers are invited and encouraged to attend the Annual Meeting at 9:30 a.m. in the Parish Hall. This one-hour occasion will undertake key business matters, including the election of the 2018-2020 Class of Vestry members, review of a 2018 parish budget draft from the Finance Committee and Vestry, and a state-of-the-parish address from the Rector. For information about Vestry nominees (Marcus Clarke, Ellison Clary, Mike Hoffman, John Hurst, Perry Mixter, Mary Lynn Sepkowitz, and Amanda Wommack), voting, and the events of this extraordinary parish life day, Learn more online or see information available in all public spaces at St. Peter’s.

Special Music Fund Gifts for December. A restricted music fund is available to enrich our worship of God through the enhancement of music and additional instrumentalists made. All may offer gifts of any amount in honor or memory of loved ones to support the special music to be offered during Advent and Christmas. You may give online or make checks payable to “St. Peter’s Ben Outen Music Fund” for delivery to the parish office.

Recap of Annual Diocesan Convention, November 16-18. St. Peter’s delegation attended Convention in Winston-Salem, and parishioner Tony Craghead served on a brilliant panel, “Toward Becoming Beloved Community”. Explore RECAP: The 202nd Annual Convention here. Beginning with resources for Advent, the Diocese and St. Peter’s will engage The Episcopal Church’s “Becoming Beloved Community” initiative.

Annual Youth Advent Fair: November 26, December 3 and 10. Prepare for the season by purchasing items at St. Peter’s to benefit our next youth pilgrimage. Advent candles and wreaths, Christmas ornaments, Anglican prayer beads, St. Peter’s recycled glass ornaments, “Chico” reusable grocery bags, St. Peter’s long and short-sleeve t-shirts, and AutoBell tickets will be available.

A Charlotte Conversation with Culinary Historian and Cultural Lightning Rod, Michael Twitty: Monday, November 27. Parishioners Susan and Des Keller and The Dunhill Hotel + Asbury Restaurant will host a Charlotte community conversation with Michael W. Twitty at 6:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall. Park Road Books will be onsite with copies of Twitty’s book, The Cooking Gene. Learn more about this unique event and RSVP here.

Pub Theology, Thursday, December 7. The Reverend Keith C. Lane will host a discussion about “Practicing Advent in a Christmas World” on December 7 at a location to be announced soon. Watch the eNews and notices about 2018 plans for Pub Theology. Learn more about Pub Theology.

Prepare: Festive Advent Parish Community Potluck, December 10. As part of Parish Life Day, prepare for an all-ages celebration of the season after the Second Sunday of Advent 10:45 a.m. liturgy. Each household is asked to offer a provision for the spread and details about what to bring and how to sign-up will be announced soon by the Vestry and Fellowship leadership.

“Holy Chow” Break, December 24 and 31. Our Sunday fellowship breakfast will not be offered on December 24 and 31 to provide a holiday break for the dedicated cooking and hospitality teams. Breakfast will resume on January 7. If you would like to serve on a Holy Chow team in the new year, contact Tate Sterrett (, 704-365-3438).

St. Peter’s Episcopal Church: A Comprehensive History, 1834-2017. Co-authored by parishioners, Sue Coonen and Ellison Clary, this impressive resource for is available for purchase at the Parish House Reception Desk. Members of the Vestry, Clergy, Staff, Parish House Volunteer Team, and 1834 Legacy Society will receive a complimentary copy from The Rector.

Outreach and Social Justice

MeckMin Interfaith Thanksgiving Service, Tonight. All are invited to the 42nd Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving gathering hosted by MeckMin tonight, 7:30 p.m. at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church located at 3400 Beatties Ford Road. Learn more here.

Room in the Inn: Volunteer Call and Pre-Season Event, November 29. On each Wednesday evening from December 6 through March 28, St. Peter’s will participate in Room in the Inn (RITI) by providing a warm, welcoming place where twelve neighbors can share a meal and sleep in our Parish Hall. To get involved, contact RITI Parish Coordinator, Bert Miano (, 205-222-7527). Learn more and sign-up for the kickoff dinner here.

Looking Ahead

December 23: Greening of the Church, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

December 24 and 25: Fourth Sunday of Advent, one service at 10:00 a.m.; Christmas Eve services: 4:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist with Pageant; 7:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist (6:45 p.m. Choral Prelude; 10:30 p.m. Holy Eucharist (10:00 p.m. Choral Prelude).

December 25: Christmas Day Holy Eucharist, 10:00 a.m.

January 5: Eve of The Epiphany Holy Eucharist and Burning of the Greens, 6:00 p.m. and Commencement of January 5-6 Vestry Retreat at St. Peter’s.

January 6: Epiphany Retreat: Stillness in Center City, 8:30 a.m.

January 7: Feast of the Baptism of our Lord and Baptisms; Vestry Commissioning.

Tune into Life at St. Peter’s Fall 2017 and Prepare for 2018: Read our parish magazine online and explore the calendar of formation, worship, programs, and events. Watch for St. Peter’s 2018 Winter-Spring-Summer Calendar of Events being finalized by the Clergy, Staff, and Vestry. Copies are and will be available in all public spaces at St. Peter’s.

Room in the Inn: Call for Volunteers

RITI Volunteer Teams provide and serve meals, make sack lunches, set up beds, cook and serve breakfast, stay overnight, and do laundry. To learn more, gather with parishioners who have served before, and celebrate the privilege of offering this ministry, RSVP online or contact Bert Miano and come to the RITI Pre-Season Kickoff Dinner on Wednesday, November 29 at 6:00 p.m. RITI is a program of Urban Ministry Center, located at 945 North College Street.

Choir School Concerts, December 8 and 9

Talented young singers from every corner of Charlotte will come together to share the spirit of the season on December 8th and 9th, when The Choir School at St. Peter’s presents its 2017 Christmas concert series. This year’s concerts will once again take place in the sanctuary of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, beginning at 7:30 p.m. each evening, and will feature traditional and contemporary Christmas selections including It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Ding Dong Merrily on High, and John Rutter’s beautiful What Sweeter Music. Audience members will be invited to join the choirs in singing traditional favorites including O Come, All Ye Faithful and Hark, The Herald Angels Sing.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $8 for children under 12. Reserved blocks of 4 tickets are available for $125. Tickets are available at the door or on the school’s website:

Now in its 25th season, The Choir School at St. Peter’s is a rigorous youth choral education program dedicated to helping young musicians explore, achieve, develop and mature against the back¬drop of a world-class music education. St. Peter’s choristers come from every background and neighborhoods all across the region.

Auditions for Spring admission to the Boys Town Choir are now underway. Contact Kay Johnson at 704-749-6146 or for more information.

Annual Meeting and Parish Life Day, December 10

Annual Meeting of the Parish

The Rector, Wardens, and Vestry invite all members and newcomers to attend the December 10 Annual Meeting at 9:30 a.m. in the Parish Hall, an important one-hour occasion to undertake key business matters. The meeting will include the election of the 2018-2020 Class of Vestry members, ministry area reports, a 2018 operating budget draft from the Finance Committee and the Vestry, remarks from the Wardens, and a state-of-the-parish address from the Rector.

Vestry nominees for 2018-2020 are Marcus Clarke, Ellison Clary, Mike Hoffman, John Hurst, Perry Mixter, Mary Lynn Sepkowitz, and Amanda Wommack, presented by the Vestry Nominating Committee/Class of 2017 (Candace Armstrong, Abigail Cudabac, Paul Keller, Kristine Reid). All communicants in good standing may vote for Vestry nominees and on other business concerns. Communicants in good standing are baptized members, at least sixteen years of age, who for the previous year have been faithful in corporate worship, unless for good cause prevented, and have been faithful in working, praying, and giving for the spread of the Kingdom of God. Read nominee profiles.

In addition to voting for Vestry nominees on Sunday, December 10 at the voting table located at the entrance to the Parish Hall before the start of the 9:30 a.m. meeting, early voting will be available on Sundays, November 26 and December 3; and during parish office hours, Monday–Friday, November 27–December 4. Please note: To allow for early voting and in accordance with the Parish By-laws, the Annual Meeting will be opened by The Rector of Sunday, November 26 after the 8:00 a.m. service.

Spread the word about this important parish life day and its modified schedule.

8:00-8:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist: Rite One without music
10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Holy Eucharist: Rite Two with choral and organ music
5:00 p.m. Evening Prayer: Rite Two without music

8:00-9:30 a.m. Parish Community Breakfast (free for all ages)
9:30 a.m. Annual Meeting of the Parish in the Parish Hall
12:15 p.m. Festive Advent Parish Community Potluck
12:15 p.m. Children, Youth & Families Advent Card-making Project