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Life at St. Peter’s

Worship, Programs, and Events at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Center City Charlotte

Fall 2017

Exploring Our Faith


The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector

t the start of all baptismal St. Peter’s Parish Vision is to become ceremonies of the parish, a community of bold followers of Jesus, worshippers recite, “There is one body and one Spirit; one hope in a crowd that effects good change for the world, God’s call to us; one Lord, one Faith, a place known for radical love and welcome, one Baptism; one God and Father of and a beacon of hope in Center City Charlotte. all.” We reclaim that we are connected, albeit mysteriously, to all members of the body of Christ, the Church, on the life journey of exploring our faith: an intentional commitment to ponder, see, and engage what it means to be a “Jesus people” in the world today. The world is full of a mixture of beauty, brokenness, and infinite chances for betterment. All who are drawn to the St. Peter’s community are invited to explore faith by embracing the God who lives within and around; seeing the face of God in the other; practicing forgiveness and reconciliation; and serving as we would want to be served. The life of our parish endeavors to provide all ages of members, non-members, and visitors with what is vital to explore faith. Our myriad offerings for worship, formation, service (“inreach” and outreach), fellowship, music, and sheer silence are fashioned to prepare those who engage for whatever might unfold in any given day or situation. Often it has been said, and I wholeheartedly agree, the more that Christians spend time in prayer, formation, and service, the more their faith is nurtured, is bound to increase, and will serve as foundational for life. I encourage you to learn more about this exciting community of faith named for St. Peter the Apostle, both through this seasonal magazine and in other ways. I pray that you will join the Clergy, Vestry, and Staff, hosts of dedicated lay leaders, and me on the quest to explore our faith, by using the “Calendar of Worship, Programs, and Events” and responding to additional notices associated with parish life. My prayer is that together we will practice being Christian people who live, love, and give generously of our time, talent, and treasure to build up the kingdom of God and better the lives of all people, all as part of exploring our faith. 2

Enhancing Our Ministry: From Vision to Action

Baptismal font in the church


ll members, non-members, and even visitors who call St. Peter’s their “church home” are invited to be a part of whatever is possible to enhance the mission and ministries of St. Peter’s. Why? Because many things and situations of this world can benefit from the justice, healing, and reconciliation of the Church, through communities like St. Peter’s. Now is a perfect season to engage our Parish Vision through action. The movement from vision to action is an ongoing process rooted in prayer and only possible with God’s help. The Clergy, Vestry, Staff, and dedicated Lay Leaders are committed to empowering the parish community, and sharing in whatever is necessary to make St. Peter’s an even more faithful mission station of God’s Church in and beyond the Charlotte region. Our purposeful call to action is foundational to the faith we share, beginning with what we receive from God’s Table at services of Holy Communion before being dismissed into the world at the end of the liturgy. 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. Imagine the difference that would come to our lives, the lives of others, and the world, if each parishioner were to act on this vision in one way or another. In addition to offerings listed in this issue of Life at St. Peter’s, stay tuned to parish news and notices posted online and in the Parish House lobby. Small and large group gatherings, special events, and community initiatives which support ways for actions to speak louder than words.

Membership Whether you are a visitor, a newcomer, or a longtime member, St. Peter’s strives to be a place of radical welcome. We want you to feel welcome and encourage you to extend welcome to others, so that they too will know how much they matter as a beloved child of God. Newcomers bless us regularly, and we find joy in weaving them into parish life. Occasional newcomer coffees and “Discover St. Peter’s” gatherings assist people with getting to know one another, and learning about our mission, ministries, and vision. Each autumn, we hold an inquirers/confirmation class called “Becoming Episcopalian” to provide additional resources for walking the Episcopal path of Christianity. On the St. Peter’s website (, click on Start Here, then Visit St. Peter’s, where you’ll find more information under About Membership as well as What We Believe and What to Expect. We encourage those who worship with us regularly to explore becoming baptized and/or confirmed members to participate fully in the spiritual life at St. Peter’s. Confirmation is required to serve in certain roles in the parish and the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. Interested in learning more about membership, baptism, or confirmation? Contact our Associate Rector, the Reverend Jacob E. Pierce (, 704-749-6150).

How to Get Involved Want to know more about getting involved at St. Peter’s? One way is to visit and click Start Here, About, and Ministry Areas. Another is through meeting with a member of the Staff, Clergy, or a ministry area leader. We believe that deeper engagement fosters deeper connection and belonging in a way that can make St. Peter’s the center of one’s faith journey. Contact Ministry Associate, Elaine Wood (, 704-749-6141).


Worship Strengthens Us to Change the World


orship calls us to set aside our everyday lives to come together as God’s people to pray, to read and hear the Holy Scriptures, to experience music, to be silent, and to share in the holy meal from God’s Table. In all these ways, worship affirms our relationship with our Creator, broadens our relationships with fellow worshippers, and carries us beyond ourselves into the world in which we live and move and have our being. Part of our Parish Vision is to be “a crowd that effects good change for the world.” This we know is a massive but possible challenge. Worship prepares us for that challenge by strengthening us to be a source of good change for the world as it nourishes and restores us. Central to worship at St. Peter’s is the service of Holy Communion (Holy Eucharist, The Supper of the Lord). By participating in this sacred feast, we receive the risen Christ into our bodies and bear his love and goodness into the world beyond St. Peter’s doors. Here at St. Peter’s, worship takes many forms: ƒƒHoly Communion on Sunday mornings, 8:00 am and 10:45 am; ƒƒChoral Evensong and Taizé-patterned services on Sunday evenings, 5:00 pm; ƒƒMorning Prayer on weekdays in the Chapel, 8:00 am; ƒƒHoly Communion on Tuesdays in the Chapel, noon; ƒƒPrivate prayer and meditation in the church, weekdays 8:00 am – 4:00 pm.


All are invited to experience worship in many forms at St. Peter’s as we celebrate what God has done and is doing to renew the world, to strengthen us, to effect good change for the world.

Sunday Evenings at St. Peter’s


unday morning is only one time among many to worship at St. Peter’s. In response to individual and household schedules, our worship life includes Sunday evenings and some feast (holy) days. Sunday Evenings at St. Peter’s provides alternative opportunities to feed the souls of those who may be seeking a different experience from our morning liturgies. From September through May at 5:00 pm, St. Peter’s offers a service of Choral Evensong with Holy Eucharist on most second and fourth Sundays. Throughout the year, the third Sunday of each month features a service of Holy Eucharist patterned after a contemplative religious community in Taizé, France. The contemplative services of Sunday Evenings at St. Peter’s offer distinctive ways to meditate on the Holy Scriptures, intentional periods of silence, stirring musical offerings, and candlelight. At the non-Evensong liturgies, music for piano is a popular addition to the experience. Sunday Evenings at St. Peter’s can be a perfect way to enter the week and keep the Sabbath holy. We hope that you will add evenings to your journey and invite others to join you.

Speaking the Language of Worship

Baptism is a sacrament of initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ’s Body, the Church.

The Book of Common Prayer (BCP) is the official book of worship of the Episcopal Church, providing liturgical forms, prayers and instructions so that all members of the Episcopal Church may share in common worship. Eucharist is the principal act of Christian worship, also known as Holy Communion. The term for this sacrament of partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ is from the Greek word for “thanksgiving.”

Liturgy is derived from the Greek words for “people” and “work.” So when we speak of the liturgy related to our services, we are indicating that public prayer and worship are the work of the people. Sacraments are outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace, given by Christ as a means for receiving God’s grace. In the Episcopal Church, Baptism and Eucharist are the two essential sacraments.

Worship with Us Sundays 8:00 am Holy Eucharist (Communion Service) in the traditional language of The Book of Common Prayer includes sermon, organ music, and hymns. 8:30–9:25 am “Holy Chow” Breakfast in the Community Room until 9:25 am (September–May, whenever Christian Formation classes are offered). 9:30–10:30 am Christian Formation (Education) for all ages in the Parish House, with additional offerings during the summer. 10:45 am Holy Eucharist (Communion Service) in the contemporary language of The Book of Common Prayer includes sermon, choral and organ music, and hymns. Coffee Hour follows the 10:45 am service. 5:00 pm Choral Evensong with Holy Eucharist (most second and fourth Sundays between September and May); Taizé-patterned Holy Eucharist (every third Sunday); and extra Sunday evenings as announced.

Monday through Friday 8:00 am Morning Prayer in the Chapel, a meditative, 30-minute service from The Book of Common Prayer for entering the day ahead.

Tuesdays Noon Holy Communion in the Chapel, a 30-minute service designed to re-center the spirit at lunchtime.

Church Doors Open for Prayer The North Tryon Street doors of the church are open every weekday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm (during parish office hours) for private prayer, reflection, and meditation. 5

Adult Formation: A Lifelong Journey


hristian formation (education) for adults, not unlike children and youth, is about growing in our faithfulness and discovering how faith is relevant to all aspects of our lives. At St. Peter’s, we offer a variety of learning choices on the “Calendar of Worship, Programs, and Events”— from simplifying one’s life, to closer studies of the Holy Scriptures, to conversations about reconciliation, to offerings that might inform ways to serve others. St. Peter’s creates opportunities to deepen one’s faith on Sundays, weekdays, and even online at Explore your faith by expanding your learning options with other adults at St. Peter’s. While individual formation can occur 365 days a year, most of our programs are scheduled September–May, with special summertime offerings between June and August. Classes and forums are held in various locations, including the Parish Hall, Community Room, Second Floor Conference Room, Parlor, Tower Room, and Town Choir Room. Specific locations are posted in the weekly eNews, worship service leaflet, online calendar, and on bulletin boards.

Save The Date: Adult Formation Offerings

October 1 “A Great Cloud of Witnesses: Storytelling about St. Peter’s and the Civil Rights Movement,” featuring Parish Lay Sunday Parish Hall Forums meet on the second floor of the Leaders and conversation facilitated by the Clergy. Parish House, 9:30–10:30 am over a variety of topics, including an occasional multi-week series, as planned by the Clergy and October 8 “Bible Study: The Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount,” facilitated by the Reverend Jacob E. Pierce, Associate Rector. Adult Formation Advisory Committee. August 20 “St. Peter’s Parish Celebration: Rally Day and Minis- October 15 “Conversation with the Bishop,” featuring the Right try Fair,” all ages gather for a special assembly led by the Clergy, Reverend Samuel Sewall Rodman III who was consecrated on July Vestry, and Lay Leaders between the Parish Hall and Commu- 15, 2017 as the XII Bishop, Diocese of North Carolina. October 22 “Becoming a Jesus People: Episcopalians as Agents nity Room areas. “Becoming Episcopalian” class participants and Instruments of God’s Reconciliation,” conversation hosted begin their series here. by St. Peter’s Social Justice Ministry Team, Sabbatical Program August 27 “Respecting the Dignity of Every Human Being,” discussion with the Reverend Jacob E. Pierce, Associate Rector, Committee, and the Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector. October 29 “Becoming a Jesus People: Servant Ministry Opportuand special guests. September 3 “Conversation with the Clergy: What Does it Mean nities through St. Peters,” facilitated by St. Peter’s Outreach Team and the Clergy. to Participate in the Faith of Christ,” hosted by the Reverend November 5 “Summer 2017 Youth Pilgrimage to Italy,” presentaJacob E. Pierce, Associate Rector. September 10 “The Ministry of Healing in a Polarized Culture: Life tion by Youth, Adult Leaders, and the Reverend Jacob E. Pierce, after 9/11,” presentation by the Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector. Associate Rector. November 12 “Introduction and Conversation with 2018–2020 September 17 “Engaging Our Time, Talent, and Treasure,” Vestry Candidates,” hosted by the Parish Wardens and the Reverconversation with St. Peter’s Congregational Development end Ollie V. Rencher, Rector. and Stewardship ministry leaders, and the Reverend Ollie V. November 19 “All Things Come of Thee, O Lord: Practicing GratRencher, Rector. itude in a Thankless World,” discussion with Parish Lay Leaders September 24 “Giving with Gratitude, 2018 Annual Fund and the Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector, and will also include Launch and Unpacking the Financial Cost of Ministry and highlights from the November 17–18 Annual Convention of the Operations at St. Peter’s,” presentation by the Parish Vestry, Diocese of North Carolina. Treasurer, and the Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector. 6

November 26 “Conversation with the Clergy - People Look East: Preparing for Advent and Christmas,” hosted by the Clergy. December 3 “Advent: A Time to Stop, Look, and Listen – Fostering Individual Prayer Practices,” presentation by parishioner Terry Prince and the Clergy. December 10 “Annual Meeting of the Parish,” facilitated by the Rector, Wardens, and Vestry. December 17 “Praying Through the 12 Days of Christmas,” reflection and conversation with Parish Lay Leaders and the Clergy. December 24 All Christian Formation classes are suspended until January 7. January 7 “New Year Reflections on Who We Are: Baptismal Identity and Mission,” conversation led by the Clergy. “Becoming Episcopalian” Inquirers/Confirmation Class, August 20–October 8, 9:30–10:30 am. In preparation for the Visitation of our Bishop Diocesan, the Right Reverend Samuel Sewall Rodman III, on Sunday, October 15, an 8-week “Becoming Episcopalian” class will be led by a team of Clergy and Lay Leaders. Adults who wish to learn more about, have a refresher, or reaffirm their faith as Episcopalians; those who are not confirmed Episcopalians; or those who wish to be received into the Episcopal Church from another Christian tradition should consider this class series. Bishop Rodman will administer confirmations, receptions, and reaffirmations. For more information, contact Ministry Associate, Elaine Wood (, 704-749-6141). Fall Book Study “The Woman Next Door.” On Sundays, September 24, October 1, and October 8, 9:30-10:30 am, parishioner Rob Smith will facilitate a study of The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso. Excerpt: For decades, two strong-willed women were committed enemies. One is black, one is white, both are widows, and they are next door neighbors in an affluent section of Cape Town, South Africa. To sign up, visit www. For Newcomers. On Sunday, November 12, join the Clergy and Congregational Development Team for a Newcomers’ Coffee in the Parlor from 9:30–10:30 am “Discover St. Peter’s,” a twoweek overview of the Episcopal faith and ministries of St. Peter’s Parish, will be offered on Sundays, January 21 and 28 from 9:3010:30 am. Watch for additional newcomer offerings throughout the year. God’s Tapestry Potluck and Conversation On Sunday, October 22, 6:00 pm, the Sabbatical Congregational Program Committee will host a formation and fellowship event for all to become better acquainted through storytelling over an eclectic spread of food. Childcare will be provided. Consider attending 5:00 pm Choral Evensong before attending the Potluck. Watch parish news and notices for more information.

Beyond Sundays Morning Prayer and Conversation. Join Morning Prayer Officiants (service leaders) and fellow worshippers, Monday through Friday at 8:00 am, in the Chapel for the Daily Office (The Book of Common Prayer) followed by an optional time for conversation and coffee in the Parlor (8:30–9:00 am). Holy Communion and Conversation. Join a member of the Clergy and fellow worshippers Tuesdays at Noon in the Chapel for a

service of Holy Communion, followed by optional 12:30–1:00 pm small group conversation with the Clergy in the Parlor. The new 12:30 pm offering begins August 22. “Mystical Food for Thought.” This formation group studies the works of classical and contemporary Christian spiritual writers and seeks to open themselves to the deeper world of the Spirit. Beginning Wednesday, September 27 at Noon, this group meets every second and fourth Wednesday in the Tower Room. For more information and to join, contact Dr. Paul Hanneman (, 704-222-6015). Social Justice Film and Discussion Series. The Parish Social Justice Team will host a film and discussion series of two offerings on Wednesday nights at 6:30 pm during Fall 2017: September 27, “America Divided: Democracy for Sale” and October 25, “The Road to Brown.” Enneagram Courses. St. Peter’s Formation Partner, the Reverend Dr. Paul Hanneman will facilitate two Enneagram-related offerings: “Beyond Personality towards Soul” Course on Thursdays, September 14 through November 16, 6:30–8:30 pm in the Community Room. The Enneagram is a personality typing method that conveys a system of knowledge about nine distinct but interrelated personality types. For more information, contact Dr. Paul Hanneman (, 704-222-6015). Pub Theology. All adults are welcome to join a member of the Clergy for fellowship and holy conversation. On most first Thursdays of the month, September–May, 6:00–8:00 pm, Pub Theology takes place at locations throughout Charlotte. Pub snacks and both non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages are available for purchase at these casual, drop-in gatherings. Watch for dates and topics. Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Level II Course for Adults. Parents, catechists, religious educators, clergy, and other interested adults are drawn to the rich, retreat-like courses in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Through this course, adults have the opportunity to see presentations and materials given to the children from the Bible and liturgy. Director of Children’s Formation and Catechist, Anna Hurdle, will offer this course from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at St. Peter’s on Saturdays, September 30, October 14, October 28, November 18, December 2, January 27, February 10, March 10, March 24, April 14, May 5, and May 26. For more information, contact Anna Hurdle ( Spiritual Direction. Spiritual Direction is a time-honored practice that enables deep listening for the movement of the Spirit in the particular circumstances of a person’s life. A spiritual director is someone called and equipped to help others with the work of listening and responding to God. St. Peter’s is fortunate to have four spiritual directors within the parish community, Jim Dudley, the Reverend Dr. Paul Hanneman, Elizabeth Richardson, and Ruth Woodend. To learn more and be connected with a spiritual director, contact a member of the Clergy. Pastoral Counseling. The Parish Clergy are available to offer spiritual counsel and support for various aspects of one’s formation journey. In situations that may require therapy, clergy referrals can be made to local professionals, trained in a certain discipline to better support one’s needs. To make an appointment, contact a member of the clergy at 704-332-7746. 7

Youth – Journey to Adulthood: Preparing for Holy Living


t. Peter’s youth in grades 6–12 participate in the transformative Journey to Adulthood (J2A) program, in addition to worshipping from the pews and serving as acolytes (altar servers), lectors (readers), and Eucharistic ministers.

J2A focuses on celebrating the transition into adulthood, learning skills for living in the world as faithful followers of Christ, exploring the mystery of our faith heritage, experiencing the strength of community, and engaging outreach to our community and beyond. Central to J2A is the gathering of younger and older teens on Sunday mornings with trained and dedicated adult leaders from the parish, as well as for overnight experiences, such as retreats, mission trips and Diocesan events. The program also features, in the summer before Confirmation (during a young person’s junior or senior year in high school), a special Pilgrimage, usually to a site of spiritual importance decided upon by the class. J2A classes and activities are usually held on the lower level of the Parish House.

Youth Events – Save the Date! September 1–4, Labor Day Beach Trip. A celebration of the start of the new formation year. Opportunities for fellowship, worship and learning more about being God’s hands and feet in the world. September 24, Coffee Hour at Noon in the Youth Suite. An “open house” for the wider parish community to visit the classrooms and lobby area occupied by the youth and their leaders. October 14, Shrimp and Suds on the Parish House rooftop. This adults-only fundraiser to support the 2019 Youth Pilgrimage is for parishioners and guests. 8

October 21, Trip to SCarowinds. Carowinds is transformed from a “theme park” to a “scream park” at SCarowinds, making for a fun annual event for parish youth and friends. November 26, December 3 and 10, Advent Fair Fundraiser. Items are available for purchase, some of which are made by our youth and their parents, to raise funds for the next J2A pilgrimage. For more information about youth formation, including enrollment for your child, and to sign up for events or volunteer opportunities, contact Director of Youth Formation, Lyn Holt (, 704-749-6148). Watch the weekly eNews, worship service bulletins, website, and Parish House bulletin boards for more about offerings for youth.

Children – Introducing Children to God’s Love and Grace


ne of our primary beliefs is that children have a unique relationship with God, and that the growth of this relationship should be assisted by a caring, trained adult catechist (teacher) and directed by the Spirit of God within the child.

We do this through Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, a Montessori-based program where children ages 3–12 come into contact with Scripture and the liturgy of the church. In specially-prepared rooms called atria, trained catechists create an environment where work and study spontaneously become meditation, contemplation, and prayer. A toddler atrium located adjacent to the nursery serves children ages 2–3.

Parents Connect Beginning in the Fall of 2017, a new fellowship opportunity for parents of children and youth will gather occasionally to foster community and offer encouragement. Sundays, 9:30–10:30 am, in the “St. Peter’s Café,” located on the entrance floor of the Parish House. For more information, contact the Reverend Jacob E. Pierce (, 704-749-6150).

Infant and Toddler Care Care for infants and toddlers up to age two is available 7:30 am– 12:30 pm in the Infant and Toddler Center, near the entrance to the Chapel and next to the transitional Toddler Atrium. Childcare also is made available for most special classes and events.

Atrium Schedule Catechesis of the Good Shepherd classrooms (“atria”) are located on the main floor of the Parish House, along hallways closest to the lobby. Catechesis begins at 9:30 am and ends at the exchange of the Peace during the 10:45 am service. The children from the Toddler Atrium have the option of staying in the nursery for the remainder of the worship service. For more about children’s information, including enrollment for your child, contact Director of Children’s Formation, Anna Hurdle (, 704-749-6156). Watch the weekly eNews, worship service bulletins, website, and Parish House bulletin boards for more about offerings for children. 9

Outreach and Social Justice Beyond Our Doors


erving the community is a long-standing tradition of the people of St. Peter’s, one that grows and changes in response to needs. We take seriously Christ’s words, “just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” As part of our Baptismal Covenant, we seek and serve Christ in all persons, striving for justice as part of honoring the dignity of all people. This is one way we seek to achieve our vision of being a beacon of hope in Center City Charlotte and beyond. Outreach is reaching beyond our internal parish life to serve God’s people and the wider community through acts of charity and volunteer opportunities to further the mission of a particular ministry, agency, or organization. Frequent opportunities are available to effect the work of our Servant Ministry Partners and our 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. Both acts of charity and policy-making are necessary for followers of Jesus. For information, including how to serve, visit, pick up a Servant Ministry through St. Peter’s booklet, or contact the Parish House Receptionist (704-332-7746) to be directed to the appropriate person.

Pastoral Care (“Inreach”)


You are invited to serve as well as receive practical and spiritual care with other parishioners. The Parish Clergy and Pastoral Care Ministry Team Leader collaborate with other appointed lay ministers to offer a care support system to parishioners in need. Together, they provide or connect persons with resources related to: Addiction and Therapy Bereavement and Grief Support Calls and Cards to the sick and shut-in Counseling Services

Guild of the Christ Child for households with infants Healing and Intercessory Prayer Ministry Home Communion to the sick and shut-in Lay Pastoral Visits to the sick and shut-in Community of Hope Servant Ministers Prayer Shawl Knitting Group Ministry Support Group for the Sick and Caregivers To serve through or learn more about support from these ministries, contact the Reverend Ollie V. Rencher (, 704-749-6140).

Servant Ministry Partners We encourage everyone at St. Peter’s to find a place to love and serve our neighbors, and we offer a wide range of ways for one to do so. We are involved in fighting hunger and homelessness, strengthening at-risk families, and more, both by offering Outreach and Social Justice Grants to organizations in our community and by giving of our time and talent. For information, including how to serve, visit www., pick up a Servant Ministry through St. Peter’s booklet at St. Peter’s, or contact the Parish House Receptionist at 704332-7746 to be directed to the appropriate person. Augustine Literacy Project Charlotte Family Housing CROP Hunger Walk Crisis Assistance Ministry Episcopal Farmworker Ministry Episcopal Relief and Development Florence Crittenton Services Galilee Ministries of East Charlotte Habitat for Humanity HUGS Camp Latin American Coalition (La Coalición) Loaves and Fishes RAIN (Regional AIDS Interfaith Network) Samaritan House St. Peter’s Community Garden email: Supportive Housing Communities (McCreesh Place, White Beard Project) Thompson Child and Family Focus Time Out Youth Urban Ministry Center (Room in the Inn and St. Peter’s Soup Kitchen)

Giving with Gratitude: The Spirituality of Stewardship “Gratitude practice is beneficial for every spiritual personality. One moment of gratitude leads to another, and in the end, we have hearts filled with joy.” –The Reverend Renee Miller

Life at St. Peter’s includes an open invitation for all members, non-members, and visitors to practice giving with gratitude in the offering of a combination of their time, talent, and treasure to the glory of God, and in support of the mission, ministry, and vision of the parish. The practice of gratitude makes it possible for St. Peter’s to maintain and prosper in God’s work, within and beyond our doors. Throughout the year, all individuals and households are encouraged to engage in the ministry of giving alms (money) whenever an offering plate is passed, and to prayerfully offer a pledge to support St. Peter’s Annual Fund. Giving with gratitude provides for the worship, outreach, programs, clergy, staff, administration, and facilities of the parish in ways that further the business of God’s Church, and that cannot be imagined in the moment. On Sundays, September 17 and 24, and November 19, several Parish Leaders and The Rector will lead Parish Hall Forum discussions about the spirituality of giving, our relationships with money, and the cultural challenge of giving to the Church from places of scarcity versus abundance. Giving at St. Peter’s also includes the St. Peter’s Episcopal Church Endowment Fund, Inc., established in 1955 to provide a means for people to leave a legacy to the Parish through planned gifts during and after their lifetime. St. Peter’s Planned Giving ministry was established in 2002 to increase support of the Endowment by increasing the number of planned gifts offered to the Endowment. The Endowment provides generous resources to the Parish by funding outreach grants for Charlotte area service agencies from Endowment income and by helping the Parish to meet extraordinary needs. Those who pledge gifts to the Endowment are members of the 1834 Legacy Society, named for the year Episcopalians first organized for worship in Charlotte. To learn more about the ministry of giving at St. Peter’s, visit or contact Parish Administrator, Leigh Dixon (, 704-749-6142).

Save the Date The following are a few parish community events associated with the giving of time, talent, and treasure beyond and within our doors. Saturday, October 7 “Seeing the Face of God in Each Other,” anti-racism Seminar, 9:00 am–4:30 pm hosted for the Charlotte region by the Diocese of N.C. Saturday, October 14 St. Peter’s Habitat for Humanity House Build. Sunday, October 15 CROP Hunger Walk at Independence Park. Sunday, October 22 God’s Tapestry Potluck and Conversation. Sunday, October 29 “Becoming a Jesus People: Servant Ministry Opportunities through St. Peter’s,” Parish Hall Forum. Sunday, November 5 2018 Annual Fund Pledge Commitment Sunday to support Outreach, “Inreach,” and Operations. Wednesday, December 6 through March 28 Room in the Inn, a program of Urban Ministry Center, partners with St. Peter’s to offer weekly overnight housing of unhoused neighbors in our Parish Hall. Sunday, December 10 Children, youth, and families make Advent cards for parishioners and Christmas cards for the “White Beard Project” of Supportive Housing Communities.


The Transcendent Power of Music


e believe that music has a unique capacity to heal brokenness, enliven hearts, and connect people with God and one another. Throughout history, it is described as a universal language.

The gift of music is readily available at the corner of North Tryon and West Seventh streets in Center City Charlotte. We offer inspiring music during multiple worship services each week as well as performances by the young singers of The Choir School at St. Peter’s and seasonal offerings sponsored by Center City Concerts at St. Peter’s. Both are separate, nonprofit organizations based at St. Peter’s and governed by respective boards of directors. The St. Peter’s Choir leads worship weekly, making use of early music as well as music from the modern era, including music composed especially for St. Peter’s Church. The St. Peter’s Choir also provides music for special feast days, such as Advent Lessons and Carols, Christmas Eve, Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, the Great Vigil of Easter, and Easter Day. The St. Peter’s Choir consists of approximately 40 volunteer choristers and four section leaders. Rehearsals are demanding and the repertoire is serious and challenging. Prospective choristers need a good command of music reading and interpretation. In the Summer of 2017, the St. Peter’s Choir made a first-ever pilgrimage to St. Albans Cathedral in the U.K. to serve for one week as the choir-in-residence at the Cathedral, a perfect example of the gift that these ministers are to life at St. Peter’s. St. Peter’s Evensong Choir provides an opportunity for highly skilled musicians to participate with a minimum of rehearsal time. To schedule an interview or discuss an audition for any of the choirs, contact Director of Music and Organist Elizabeth Lenti (, 704-749-6147).


Center City Concerts at St. Peter’s will offer occasional performances between September and Spring 2018. Concerts are free and open to the public. Center City Concerts at St. Peter’s is a separate nonprofit funded by donations and other support. For more information, visit and watch the parish news and notices for concert dates and times.

The Choir School at St. Peter’s is an auditioned community choir with a mission to enrich young lives through excellent, rigorous music education and choral performance. Founded in 1993, The Choir School serves dozens of talented young people ages seven to 18 and includes 5 ensembles: Boys Town Choir, Girls Town Choir, Boys Tour Choir, Girls Tour Choir, and MasterSingers Choir for high school students.

as educators, therapists, business and nonprofit professionals, scholars, and volunteer leaders. The choirs perform in concert at St. Peter’s and throughout Charlotte, as well as with partner arts organizations, including Opera Carolina and Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. They perform for audiences throughout the U.S. each summer, and the MasterSingers travel to England to perform every four years. To arrange an audition or for more information, contact The Choir School Managing Director, Kay Johnson (kjohnson@, 704-7496146). The Choir School at St. Peter’s is a separate nonprofit funded by donations and other support. For more information, visit and watch the parish news and notices.

“Music at St. Peter’s is one form of community outreach. It continues to be that gift in the world that connects all sorts and conditions of people.”

Save the Date Sunday, September 10 Center City Concert: Music for Organ and Orchestra, with Nicolas Haigh, organist and conducted by William Osborne, 7:00 pm. Sunday, September 24 Choral Evensong begins, offered most second and fourth Sundays into Spring 2018, 5:00 pm. Friday, October 14 Choir School Cabaret Night, 7:30 pm. Sunday, December 3 Advent Lessons and Carols, 10:45 am. Friday–Saturday, December 8–9 Holiday Concerts of The Choir School, 7:30 pm. Sunday, December 24 Christmas Eve at St. Peters: 4:00 pm with Pageant; 7:00 pm and 10:30 pm, both preceded by a Choral Prelude.

– The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher

Choristers represent more than 30 ZIP codes in the Charlotte area and attend public, charter, private, and home schools. What they hold in common are talent, commitment, and a love of singing. Distinguished alumni include organists, composers, choirmasters, and performers as well 13

Celebrating Holy Connections Through Fellowship


e believe that sharing intentional time with others who make up the body of Christ—through fellowship and fun and joyful celebration of the seasons of life—is important to a life in faith. Through weekly and seasonal fellowship offerings, we celebrate and strengthen our holy interconnections as people of God. When we laugh together or break bread together, each gathering reminds us how much we need each other. Through groups, guilds, and events of various sorts, we experience the opportunity to exchange stories, learn from each other and share time, which brings refreshment and restoration to those who come together. Fostering holy friendship supports our individual and collective journeys of faith.

Save the Date Sundays August 13, September 10, October 8, November 12, December 10 Parish Community Potlucks. Offered to increase community among newcomers and members. Watch parish news and notices for more information. 12:15 pm, just after 10:45 am service. Sunday, August 20 St. Peter’s Parish Celebration: Rally Day and Ministry Fair. All-ages gathering between the Parish Hall and Community Room. 9:30–10:30 am. Friday–Sunday, September 15–17 Parish Retreat Weekend at Kanuga. Annual getaway for fellowship, rejuvenation, and recreation. Register online or call 704-332-7746. Saturday, October 14 Shrimp and Suds on the Parish House Rooftop Patio. This adults-only fundraiser to support the 2019 Youth Pilgrimage is for parishioners and guests. 6:30–9:30 pm. Sunday, October 22 God’s Tapestry Storytelling and Potluck Dinner. All ages gathering to become better acquainted through storytelling. 6:00 pm. Thursdays, September 7, October 5, November 2, December 7 Pub Theology – All adults are welcome to join a member of the clergy and others for fellowship and holy conversation on the first Thursday of the month, locations to be announced. 6:00–8:00 pm. Sunday, December 10 Festive Advent Parish Community Potluck. On the day of the 9:30 am Annual Meeting of the Parish, plan to join others at the 10:45 am liturgy for an 14 all-ages celebration of the season.

Sunday Morning Fellowship Holy Chow Breakfast From Sundays during the program year, all ages join in the Community Room, second floor of the Parish House, 8:30–9:25 am, for one of the “best breakfasts in Charlotte.” The cost is $4 per person or a maximum of $15 per household. You can also volunteer to help once a month by contacting Tate Sterrett ( Parish Lobby Hospitality Need a place to have a quiet conversation, read, or informally connect with others? Visit the Parish House lobby where you’ll find coffee and places to sit. Parents Connect Beginning in the Fall of 2017, a new fellowship opportunity for parents of children and youth will gather occasionally to foster community and offer encouragement. Sundays, 9:30–10:30 am, in the “St. Peter’s Café,” located on the entrance floor of the Parish House. For more information, contact the Reverend Jacob E. Pierce (, 704-749-6150). Coffee Hour Gather in the Parish House Lobby following the Sunday 10:45 am service for coffee, conversation, and light refreshments.

Groups and Guilds Connect with others through the groups and guilds at St. Peter’s. Young Adults Fellowship Parishioners (21+, single, married, partnered, parent, non-parent): learn and serve through seasonal fellowship and formation events. Contact Mary Gotschall ( Senior Class Fellowship Parishioners (55+) who meet monthly for an informal lunch on the third Tuesday of every month at 11:30 am, location announced monthly, and twice a year for a party. Contact Hannah Craighill (704-3346276) or Barbara and Jay Partington (704-523-1831). St. Mary’s Guild Women’s group meets the first Monday morning of each month (excluding July and August), in a member’s home for fellowship, Bible study, and service projects benefitting the parish and community. For more information, contact Lynn Lakin (704-996-5838, Prayer Shawl Knitting Group Meets every first and third Tuesday at St. Peter’s in the parlor from 10:00–11:30 am to create shawls for parishioners on various occasions in their lives. For more information, contact Jim Amburn ( Linda Smith (

Connecting at St. Peter’s through Communication

Our Seal “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church.” These words of Jesus, found in Matthew 16:16–19, appear on the official seal of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Latin: Tu es Petrus et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam. At the center of the seal are two keys, symbolizing more of Jesus’ words: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” The year, 1834, signifies the year in which St. Peter’s was organized for worship before recognition as a parish church in the Diocese of North Carolina in 1844. It was the first Episcopal Church in Charlotte. To learn more about the history of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, visit our website,, or obtain a copy from the Parish House lobby.

We live in a world of instant and continuous connection—and life at St. Peter’s is no different. We’ve developed multiple ways for you to connect with and stay in touch with our lively community. Website. offers almost everything you need to participate in parish life and includes details about programs, our history, and more. You can see the faces of the Clergy and Staff and click on email addresses for immediate communication. A calendar of events and activities is updated regularly, includes the month at-a-glance and ability to click on specific listings for more details. You can RSVP for events that require payment or registration. eNews. You can sign up on the website to receive our weekly eNews, a way to stay informed of scheduled offerings as well as parish-related emergencies or special notices. If you don’t receive email, contact Ministry Associate, Elaine Wood (704-749-6141) for a copy to be mailed to you weekly. Social Media. Join the conversation about life at St. Peter’s on Facebook, where we have both the main “St. Peter’s Episcopal Church – Charlotte, NC” page as well as pages for youth, young adults, and families with young children. Telephone. We are intentional about reaching out, sharing news and communicating events by telephone, so we never lose our ability to connect in that way. If you would like to assist the Clergy and Staff with communicating news to others by telephone or join a “Telephone Tree,” contact Ministry Associate, Elaine Wood (704-749-6141). Around the Parish House. To help you stay on top of what’s happening at St. Peter’s, we have headline news boards in the Parish House lobby and in the Narthex as you enter from Tryon Street, highlighting key events. A few copies of the eNews can be found on the Information Table in the lobby. New Faces. To get to know new faces among us, check in regularly at the Welcome bulletin board in the Parish House lobby. Photos of many recent new members are added and a list of new members from recent months is updated frequently, too. Life at St. Peter’s Bulletin Board in the Parish House lobby is where you’ll find news and highlights from all areas of our parish life. You can see everything from photos taken at fellowship activities to posters alerting you to upcoming activities and handouts about taking part in Servant Ministry opportunities and Formation classes. This bulletin board changes weekly, so stayed tuned for updates about life at St. Peter’s. Staying connected and informed is an important way to build relationships, become “a crowd that effects good change for the world,” and live into our call to become “a community of bold followers of Jesus.”

Pick up your copy of St. Peter’s “Calendar or Worship, Programs, and Events” from any public spaces, access it online at, and or read this magazine online at 15

St. Peter’s Episcopal Church 115 West Seventh Street Charlotte, NC 28202 704-332-7746

Life at St. Peter’s

Worship, Programs, and Events at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Center City Charlotte    Fall 2017

Parish Clergy and Staff The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher Rector 704-749-6140

Anna Hurdle Director of Children’s Formation 704-749-6156

The Reverend Jacob E. Pierce Associate Rector 704-749-6150

Elizabeth Lenti Director of Music and Organist 704-749-6147

The Reverend Keith C. Lane Assisting Priest (part-time) 704-332-7746 x355

Dishawn Muldrow After-hours Receptionist 704-332-7746

The Reverend L. Murdock Smith, PhD Assisting Priest (retired) 704-332-7746 x350

Marty Reep After-hours Receptionist 704-332-7746

The Reverend Dr. Paul Hanneman Formation Partner (non-stipendiary) 704-749-6143

Willis Truesdale Facilities Assistant 704-332-7746

Leigh Dixon Parish Administrator 704-749-6142 Lyn Holt Director of Youth Formation 704-749-6148

Volunteer Receptionists and Administrative Support Candace Armstrong, Bob Atkins, Tina Coelho, Sue Coonen, Alice Dresser, Diana Gibbs, Kitty Hughes, Pat Markel, Sue Martin, Hulene McLean, Wendy Merrill, Nancy Sarazen, Carole Whittington.

The Vestry

(Lay Leadership Council) Class of 2017 Candace Armstrong Abigail Cudabac Paul Keller Kristine Reid Class of 2018 Paige Ghareeb John Hall (Clerk) Carolyn Carlburg Bert Miano (Senior Warden) Class of 2019 Elsie Erneston John Frederick Maria Long (Junior Warden) Cooper Morrison Treasurer David Lavoie (non-Vestry member)

Brian Whitley Facilities Manager 704-749-6155

Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina The Right Reverend Samuel Sewall Rodman III, Bishop Diocesan The Right Reverend Anne Hodges-Copple, Bishop Suffragan Visit Diocesan House in Raleigh.

Elaine Wood Ministry Associate 704-749-6141

The Episcopal Church The Most Reverend Michael Bruce Curry, Presiding Bishop Visit Episcopal Church Center in New York City. Anglican Communion The Most Reverend and Right Honorable Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury Visit Anglican Communion Office in London.

Profile for St. Peter's Episcopal Church Charlotte

Life at St. Peter's Fall 2017  

Life at St. Peter's Fall 2017