This Week’s News

December 19, Wednesday
Advent Evening Prayer (Chapel) & Simple Dinner and Formation for all ages (Chapel & Library), 5:30 p.m.
Room in the Inn (Parish Hall and Community Room), 5:30 p.m.

December 22, Saturday
Nativity Pageant Rehearsal (Library and Nave), 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
Youth Christmas Outreach: White Beard Project & Lunch, 10:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

December 23, The Fourth Sunday of Advent
Holy Eucharist, Rite I, 8:00 a.m.
NO Holy Chow Breakfast
Fellowship with Clergy in the Parish House Lobby, 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Parents Connect Fellowship (Parents Connect Room), 9:30 a.m.
Journey to Adulthood (Classrooms) & Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (Atria), 9:30–10:30 a.m.
Holy Eucharist, Rite II, 10:45 a.m.
Greening of the Church, 12:30 p.m.

December 24, Monday, Christmas Eve
Nativity Pageant Rehearsal (Church), 2:30 p.m.
Christmas Eve Holy Eucharist and Children’s Pageant, 4:00 p.m.
Christmas Eve Holy Eucharist, 7:00 p.m. (6:45 p.m. Choral Prelude by the St. Peter’s Choir and chamber orchestra)
Christmas Eve Holy Eucharist, 10:30 p.m. (10:00 p.m. Choral Prelude by the St. Peter’s Choir and chamber orchestra)

December 25, Tuesday, Christmas Day
Christmas Day Holiday Eucharist (Church), 10:00 a.m.*

December 25-26, Tuesday and Wednesday
Parish offices closed in observance of Christmas Holiday

I Pledge… to the present and to the future – Annual Fund 2019. Following Commitment Sunday, when many members of St. Peter’s formalized their commitment to the 2019 Annual Fund, over 279 pledging units have now committed $870,198 toward our $1,200,000 goal. We are eager to reach 100% participation from an approximate 500 households. Each member’s pledge of support to this parish is still needed in 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 learn more about annual giving and to offer your pledge for 2019 visit www.st-peters.org/pledge.
Year-end Contributions. All pledges and financial contributions for the 2018 fiscal year must be received in the Financial Administration Office by Monday, December 31, in order to receive credit for 2018. Contributions may be paid online here or delivered to the attention of Parish Administrator, Leigh Dixon (ldixon@st-peters.org, 704-749-6142).
Marking your Home with Blessed Epiphany Chalk. “Epiphany” comes from the Greek word Epiphania, which means “to show, make known, or reveal.” Indeed, making known our faith in the world is a vital aspect of the Christian life. One place we spend much of our life is in our homes. There is an ancient custom practiced during the season of Epiphany of marking our homes with blessed chalk. On Sunday, January 6, chalk of all colors will be blessed and available for use in home blessings. Read more about this ancient custom here and join us on January 6 to receive blessed chalk and a simple liturgy for blessing your home. On this day, the annual Burning of the Christmas Greens will follow the 10:45 a.m. liturgy in the churchyard.

Worship and Music

St. Peter’s Holiday Office Hours. The Parish House will be closed for the holidays on Tuesday, December 25, Wednesday, December 26, and Tuesday, January 1. On Thursday, December 27, Friday, December 28, and Monday, December 31, the offices will be open for staff, but closed to the public. Normal office hours and coverage resume on Wednesday, January 2, 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Observing Weekly Worship at St. Peter’s. St. Peter’s takes the holy habit of daily prayer seriously by providing weekday worship opportunities in the morning and evening: Sunday, Holy Eucharist, 8:00 a.m. and 10:45 a.m., plus every third Sunday at 5:00 p.m.; Choral Evensong on second and fourth Sundays; Tuesday, Intercessory and Contemplative Prayer Group, 10:45 a.m., Holy Eucharist, Noon; Monday–Friday, Morning Prayer, 8:00 a.m. On Sundays, the Infant and Toddler Center hours are 7:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Spread the word and invite others to worship with us.
Children’s Christmas Pageant and Preparation. St. Peter’s annual children’s Nativity Pageant will be offered as the Liturgy of the Word for the 4:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist on Christmas Eve. All friendly beasts, rejoicing angels, vigilant shepherds and other participants in that holy night are invited to take part; parent volunteers are also needed. Rehearsal will take place on Saturday, December 22 at 9:30 a.m. A variety of costumes will be available or you may choose to provide your own. Please click here to join the cast!. For more information, contact Director of Children’s Formation, Anna Hurdle (ahurdle@st-peters.org).
If you love Choral Evensong, Charlotte Convocation choirmasters have a treat for you this program year. Area churches, including St. Peter’s, have coordinated a weekly series featuring the choirs and clergy of the host churches. Evensong services will resume on January 13, 2019 at St. Peter’s with The Burli Singers. Learn more online.
Donating Altar Flowers and Eucharistic Supplies. To honor or remember the life of loved ones or celebrate special occasions, you may donate to the Altar flowers and Eucharistic supplies fund. Altar flowers (two arrangements) are $150 per Sunday and Eucharistic supplies (bread, wine) are $35 for one month or $20 for two Sundays. Donate Altar flowers or Eucharistic supplies online or contact Parish Administrator, Leigh Dixon (ldixon@st-peters.org, 704-749-6142).
Incense will be burned on Christmas Eve and Epiphany. In keeping with the long-standing custom of the church, the ceremonial use of incense will be part of the 10:30 p.m. Christmas Eve and the 10:45 a.m. Epiphany liturgies. Those parishioners with allergies or respiratory issues are invited to attend other services offered on the same day.

Learning

Wednesdays in Advent Continue, December 19 . On Wednesdays, December 5, 12, and 19, beginning at 5:30 p.m., join the parish clergy and staff for Evening Prayer in the Chapel followed by a simple dinner and discussion in the Library. This seasonal Advent offering is for all ages and is a wonderful way to deepen personal Advent devotions.
Sunday Parish Hall Forum, 9:30 a.m. All adults are invited to weekly formation presentations offered by the parish clergy, lay leaders, and guests: January 6, Celebrating Epiphany in Church and at Home.
Resources and Ideas for Advent. The stories and images of Advent are about waiting. Waiting faithfully. Watching and waiting for God to appear. Mary waited faithfully when she should have been panicked. Joseph waited faithfully when he should have taken off. Shepherds waited and watched and noticed God doing something new. It’s completely counter-cultural to our multi-tasking, find a short-cut, busy-ness-centered lives. And yet, the quality of our Advent time prepares us for the depth and joy of Christmas. I invite you to set aside a little time, just a little, to wait and watch for God this Advent season. These resources were chosen specifically for those of us who think we only have a little time to spare but who share a longing for meaning deeper than what busy-ness brings. As Walter Brueggemann prays, “Outrageous God, outflank our weary Christmas with the Advent miracle of a power that lies beyond us….” Download a PDF of all the resources.
Parents Connect Sunday Gatherings. On Sunday mornings during the 9:30 a.m. formation hour, parents are invited to gather for fellowship in the Parents Connect Room. On first Sundays of the month, parents will gather in the Community Room for formation and discussion.
Book Study: “Falling Upward,” Sundays in January. Class participants who were in the most recent book study on “Let Your Life Speak” expressed interest in continuing this same theme of ‘Discernment.’ Beginning on the morning of Epiphany Sunday, January 6, we will lead a study on Richard Rohr’s “Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life.” The book is available on Amazon for about $13.00. Those interested are encouraged to read chapters one through three for discussion on January 6 in the Tower Room. To learn more, contact Mary Lynn Sepkowitz (mlsepkowitz@gmail.com).
Book Study with the Reverend Dr. Paul Hanneman, January 8. In “Putting on the Mind of Christ,” Jim Marion maps the nine stages of consciousness through which the Christian grows toward full spiritual maturity. Paul Hanneman invites you to join him in reading this powerful book in a deliberate, contemplative manner on second and fourth Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. through February 12 at St. Peter’s. To register, please contact Dr. Hanneman (mailto:phanneman@st-peters.org).
Mystical Food for Thought, January 9. Consider adding spiritual food for thought to your lunchtime. Resuming in January 2019, this group normally meets on second and fourth Wednesdays at Noon in the St. Peter’s Library to read and discuss the Christian mystics. Bring lunch if you like for this one-hour session. For more information, contact Formation Partner, the Reverend Dr. Paul Hanneman (phanneman@st-peters.org, 704-749-6143).

Community Life

Help Needed on December 23 to Green the Church. All parishioners are invited to help Green the Church on Sunday, December 23 after the 10:45 a.m. service. Work begins around 12:30 p.m. and continues until we’re done, so if you have plans for early in the afternoon but can help us around 3:00 p.m., that would be great. There is lots of work to do to get the church cleaned and polished for the spectacular Christmas services. Please let Mary Virginia Woodall (mava823@gmail.com know if you can help, 704-351-1627). Come for an hour or two or whatever your schedule permits.
Advent Tree/White Beard Project. The Advent Tree has arrived in the Parish Lobby for our annual White Beard Project. This ministry supports the formerly homeless men and women who are now residents with Supportive Housing Communities (formerly St. Peter’s Homes) which was initially founded here at St. Peter’s Episcopal in conjunction with St. Peter’s Catholic Church. Each “ornament” represents six full-size toiletry items and may be returned back to the tree by December 16. Our youth will be filling stockings in several sessions as a service project and the stockings will be delivered to residents on Christmas Eve. Due to exceptional growth, our St Peter’s goal this year is to fill 85 stockings of the 150 total needed. That is a lot of shampoo and toothpaste! Thank you for your generous support of this annual tradition. For questions and to volunteer to help coordinate, please contact Christa Lineberger (christa.lineberger@gmail.com).
St. Peter’s Winter/Spring 2019. Stay tuned to parish announcements in the Sunday leaflet and weekly eNews for the upcoming St. Peter’s Winter and Spring 2019 magazine to be released after the New Year. This seasonal magazine will include parish fellowship events, formation opportunities, and Holy Week, and Easter information.
New Vestry Class Elected at Annual Meeting. On Sunday, December 2 at 9:30 a.m., the Annual Meeting of the Parish included the election of four new Vestry members: John Buric, Erin Chantry, Vera Greene, and Harris Holt. Visit this link to read the 2018 Annual Meeting booklet.
St. Luke’s Guild, January 4. The next gathering of this first-Friday group will be Friday, January 4, 11:00 a.m. The Clergy 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. To learn more, contact the Reverend Keith C. Lane, Assisting Priest (klane@st-peters.org, 917-679-7285).
Young Adults Group to Join Burning of the Greens, January 6 . On Sunday, January 6, young adults are encouraged to attend St. Peter’s Annual Burning of the Greens in the church yard after the 10:45am service. This service of Epiphany falls on a Sunday this year, and celebrates the light of Christ being revealed in the wider world. For more information, contact Young Adult Coordinator, Jason Gingras (jason.gingras@gmail.com).
Pet Grief Support Group, January 10. The Pet Grief Support Group meets on Thursday, January 10 (and every second Thursday) at 7:00 p.m. in the Tower Room. For more information, contact Wes Sturgis (pwsturgis@gmail.com, 704-621-8613).
Pub Theology, January 10. On second Thursdays through May, 5:30–7:00 p.m., Pub Theology is hosted by a member of the parish clergy. On January 10, you are invited to join clergy for a discussion at a location to be announced. Pub snacks and both non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages are available for purchase at these casual holy conversation events.
Senior Class Luncheon, January 15. The next third-Tuesday luncheon will be on Tuesday, January 15 at 11:30 a.m. at a location to be announced. For more information, call Dan Woodall (704-351-2279), Hannah Craighill (704-334-6276), or Barbara Partington (704-523-1831).
Christmas Shopping with ERD Gifts for Life. Do your Christmas shopping online while helping people in need by making a purchase on Episcopal Relief and Development’s Gifts for Life catalog! If you would like a hard copy, please pick one up at the ERD table in the parish house lobby.
Holy Chow Breakfast. Please note that Holy Chow is on a holiday and resumes Sunday, January 6. On Sundays, 8:30–9:25 a.m., enjoy fellowship at Holy Chow, a hearty breakfast in the Community Room on the second floor of the Parish House, before Christian Formation classes begin at 9:30 a.m. Join all ages of parishioners for one of the best breakfasts in Charlotte. The cost for this great connection-making opportunity is $4 per person or a maximum of $15 per household.
Holy Chow Ministry Needs. Calling all Foodies! Holy Chow is looking for team members to serve breakfast on the second and fourth Sundays, as well as someone to assist with coordinating the teams. For more details, please contact Tate Sterrett (tsterrett@horacktalley.com) or Christa Lineberger (christa.lineberger@gmail.com).

Outreach and Social Justice

Outreach & Social Justice Grants 2018. Each year the Outreach and Social Justice Grant Committee meets to review and approve applications for outreach grant monies provided by the St. Peter’s Endowment. This year the committee approved a total of $45,000 dispersed among the following 14 local organizations: Urban Ministry Center, Crisis Assistance Ministries, Samaritan House, Augustine Literacy Project, Charlotte Family Housing, Loaves and Fishes, Supportive Housing Communities, Galilee Center of East Charlotte Community Kitchen, Time Out Youth, RAIN, Thompson Child & Family Focus, Florence Crittenton Ministries, Latin American Coalition, Habitat for Humanity.
Are you “Handy”? The Galilee Ministry is creating a committee of volunteers from area Episcopal parishes who have experience as some type of “handy person” (i.e. electrical, plumbing, mechanical, general building maintenance, etc.). The hope is that the volunteers would work on a rotating schedule to donate a couple of hours a week to the Center. If you think you would be able to join this committee, please contact Wendy Merrill at (ww.merrill@yahoo.com).
Volunteer through Servant Ministry Partners. Our parish has a long custom of partnering with community social service agencies whose programs benefit the welfare of our neighbors. Learn more online and pick up a copy of a Servant Ministry through St. Peter’s resource from the public spaces at St. Peter’s.
Room in the Inn on Wednesday nights. On each Wednesday evening from December 5 through March 27, 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 learn more and serve, contact RITI Parish Coordinator, Bert Miano (bmiano@mianolaw.com, 205-222-7527).
Room in the Inn Supplies Needed. On each Wednesday evening, December through March, St. Peter’s participates in Urban Ministry Center’s Room in the Inn (RITI) program. Right now and on an ongoing basis through March, we need help with stocking our dwindling supply closet. We are running short on some necessities, such small bars of soap, hand towels, and deodorant (men and women)‎. We would also accept other donations, such as socks, hand-warmers, and bus passes. We cannot use haircare products. Please leave any donations in the RITI basket in the Parish House lobby. For questions or more information, contact RITI Parish Coordinator, Bert Miano (bmiano@mianolaw.com, 205-222-7527).

About the eNews

The weekly news for the St. Peter’s community is published on our website, on Facebook, and via email each Wednesday 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. Items may be edited for content, length, and style. Information should be sent to communications@st-peters.org.

Looking Ahead

January 1: Parish offices closed in observance of New Years Day.
January 2: Social Justice Ministry Team Meeting (Library), 6:00 p.m.
January 4-5: Wisdom School Retreat with Paul Hanneman (Library).
January 5: Ordination of Robin Sands to Sacred Order of Deacons, 11:00 a.m., St. John’s Episcopal Church
January 6: Formation resumes, Vestry Commissioning, Blessing of the Epiphany Chalk for Home Blessings.
January 6: Burning of the Greens (Church yard), 12:30 p.m.
January 8: Congregational Development Team Meeting (Community Room), 6:00 p.m.
January 11-13: Youth Winter Sabbath Retreat.
January 19: Diocesan Youth Civil Rights Museum Tour, Greensboro.
January 21: CCC MLK Day Concert (Church), Noon.
January 22: Strategic Planning Committee Meeting (Community Room), 6:00 p.m.
January 26: Vestry Retreat (Offsite, TBD).
January 27: Parents Connect Family Social Event (Rescheduled), Blue Blaze Brewing.
January 30: Social Justice Film Night (Church), 6:00 p.m.
January 31: Pastoral Care Team Meeting (Tower Room), 9:30 a.m.