“Just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” – Matthew 25:45
In response to the words of Jesus, Outreach and Social Justice ministries are integral to life at St. Peter’s. Our 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.
Outreach is reaching beyond our internal parish life to serve God’s people and the wider community through acts of charity and volunteerism opportunities to further the mission of a particular ministry, agency, or organization. Daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal opportunities are available to effect the work of our Servant Ministry Partners and our own journeys with Christ. Social Justice is our commitment to measures and laws as well as engagement of systemic and policy reforms that move persons in need from dependency to greater self-sufficiency; from privileges to rights; from lower to higher quality of life; and from shame to dignity. This continuum involves initiatives that move an individual from temporary to more permanent solutions; from one-time assistance to extended help; and changing our ministry focus from individual responsibility to that of a systemic change, often through policy-making. Outreach and Social Justice are not mutually exclusive. We believe that both acts of charity and policy-making are necessary to co-create the kingdom of God on earth as it is heaven.
To learn more and serve others through outreach opportunities, contact Vestry Coordinator for Outreach Elsie Erneston who collaborates with Outreach Team Leader Kathleen Zemaitis. Vestry Coordinator for Social Justice John Frederick collaborates with Social Justice Team Leaders Lisa Wielunski and Jeanne Agan to focus on advocacy initiatives and special events to improve our community.
Fall 2016: A Very Busy—and Wonderful—Outreach Weekend, October 2016
St. Peter’s parishioners and friends pulled out all the stops this past weekend to participate in or lend support to three very worthy causes all happening within 48 hours of each other.
First off, the festive Cabaret Night kicked off the weekend in St. Peter’s church itself Friday evening. All five choirs that make up The Choir School at St. Peter’s performed along with special guest appearances by The Burlie Singers and choir school alumnus, Derrick Goff, accompanied by Rachelle Jonck.
Cabaret Night is one the choir school’s major annual fundraising events. Young men and women from across Charlotte (not just from St. Peter’s) audition for the opportunity to practice and perform with these choirs. The choirs perform throughout the region and each summer the tour choirs sing at destinations throughout the United States. The Master Singers served in residency at Salisbury Cathedral in England in 2015.
All day Saturday St. Peter’s volunteers worked in northwest Charlotte building one of two homes as part of a Habitat For Humanity project. Habitat works to provide housing for deserving low-income residents by arranging for the recipients to work with numerous volunteers—and building experts—to provide a house.
About 30 St. Peter’s volunteers participated Saturday with some working all day while others worked either the morning or afternoon. The two houses under construction Saturday are among the more than 1,500 that have been built since 1983 in Charlotte.
On Sunday following church services, more than a dozen volunteers provided lunch at the church for about 25 St. Peter’s parishioners (youth, children and adults) who were participated in the Charlotte Crop Hunger Walk, the organization that works to alleviate hunger locally and abroad. St. Peter’s walkers have exceeded their goal of $3,500 with a total of $4183. They continue to collect donations this Sunday after church.
The 3.6 mile walk began at Independence Park and the local organizations receiving the donations this year were Crisis Assistance Ministry, Loaves & Fishes and Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. You can still donate at charlottecropwalk.org.
Thank you to everyone for working to make Christ’s love known in this world.
Servant Ministry Partners – St. Peter’s has supported the following organizations between 2015 and 2016 through a mix of grants, parish operating and clergy discretionary funds, and volunteerism to further their respective mission, which aligns with our Parish Vision 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. ‘Click’ on the following partners to learn more about each. To serve others through regular or seasonal parish involvement with each partner, contact Vestry Coordinator for Outreach Elsie Erneston.
- Augustine Literacy Project
- Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice
- Charlotte Family Housing
- The Choir School at St. Peter’s
- Crisis Assistance Ministry
- CROP Hunger Walk
- Democracy North Carolina
- Eighth Street Community Garden (of St. Peter’s and Trinity Episcopal School)
- Episcopal Farmworker Ministry
- Episcopal Relief and Development
- Florence Crittenton Services
- Galillee Ministries of East Charlotte
- Habitat for Humanity
- Housing First Charlotte-Mecklenburg
- HUGS Camp (Young People of Diverse Abilities)
- Latin American Coalition (La Coalición)
- Loaves and Fishes
- North Carolina Justice Center
- R.A.I.N. (Regional AIDS Interfaith Network)
- Samaritan House
- Supportive Housing Communities (McCreesh Place)
- Thompson Child and Family Focus
- Time Out Youth
- Urban Ministry Center (Room in the Inn at St. Peter’s, seasonal: December – March; St. Peter’s Soup Kitchen Weekly Serving Teams; SABER – Substance Abuse Education and Recovery)
- Your Vote Matters (Episcopal Church Election Engagement 2016)
- YWCA – Women in Transition (WIT)