Advent: Learning to Wait

Once Thanksgiving and Black Friday are over the retail culture moves us frenetically into Christmas.  BUT WAIT! Something happens before Christmas.  It’s called Advent and it is well worth are attention.

The Church tells time differently from the culture. The Church’s year is more like a circle than a straight line. As the Rev. Jerome Berryman explains in his book Young Children and Worship, the Church “tells time by celebrating the events of Jesus’ birth, life, death, resurrection, and his ascension and the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

advent wreath

The season of Advent is the beginning of a new church year.  Not Year’s Day like our secular calendars, but the first Sunday of Advent.  This year that is November 29th, which happens to be a Sunday.

The last day of Advent is always Christmas Eve, December 24th.  In church, the liturgical color is purple or a royal blue. The word advent comes from a Latin word meaning “coming” or “arrival.” In Advent we are waiting for the coming of the birth of Christ. In our own lives, Advent can be a special time of learning to wait, slowing down, and preparing for the birth of Christ.

How are you at waiting?  Our culture is not a particularly adept teacher at this. It seems to teach us to hurry, be impatient, and want instant gratification. Some of the traditions of Advent such as the Advent calendar and Advent wreath are about the opposite – about slowing down and learning to wait.

Advent is a gift of time if we will only grasp it. It is a time to move more slowly, spend more time with family, friends, and God. Where is Christ trying to break into your life, but you might be too busy and anxious to notice?

Here are some online resources to help you and your family celebrate Advent and learn to wait and anticipate the birth of Christ.

Advent calendars are a fun teaching tool.  These are PDF’s and you can simply print them for use at home.  Journey the Way of Love Advent Calendar and the online #Advent Word.

MasonJarAdvent.Mockup2.pngThis Mason Jar Advent Calendar is also a PDF and you can print the tags that go in the jar.

Making your own Advent wreath doesn’t have to be expensive or hard.  Read this article and adapt it to fit your family and what you have on hand.

Pray in Color also has some downloadable PDF Advent calendars that you color – one shape each day.  These are especially nice with children. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see these.

 

 

Sermon and Announcements for Nov. 29, 2020

Here is the link to the sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dorothy White for this 1st Sunday of Advent.

Here is the link to the Lessons and Discussion Questions.

ST. PETER’S WEEKLY ANNOUNCEMENTS

For more information on our programs, to get a program link, and to volunteer please email us.

LEGACY HOSPICE CARE is in need of volunteers to provide companionship and services for their hospice patients. These are some of the things that volunteers can do:

Window visits with facility patients.

  • Window visits with facility patients.
  • Telephone calls to patients that are in need of companionship
  • Making lap blankets for those that are in a wheelchair
  • Making prayer shawls or a prayer beads
  • Lawn care for patients and families that are not physically able
  • Making cards for the facility patients that have no family or families that are not local.

If you are interested in helping or need more information please contact us and we’ll put you in touch with the volunteer coordinator at Legacy Hospice.

FOOD DISTRIBUTION and the FOOD BANK take place on the first and third Wednesday of each month. Food is available for pick up at 8:30 am on the Wednesdays.

BIBLE STUDY via Zoom each Wednesday at 7:00 PM.

INTERCESSORY PRAYER is offered on the second and fourth Saturday at 3:00 PM.

PLEDGE: you can keep up on your pledge to the church in two ways during this time:  1. By sending a check to the church at 1719 N. 22nd St., Richmond Virginia, 23223 or our post office box at St. Peters, Church Hill PO Box 38754 Henrico, Virginia. 23231–9998.  2. Or giving online through the donor dash box on this website.

THE SHARING CIRCLE is an opportunity for us to share our resources in needs with each other during this pandemic. Olivia Brown is the contact person for the sharing circle.

What is the SHARING CIRCLE?
St. Peters has started a sharing circle during this time of the coronavirus where we can connect parishioners who need things with those who can make them available. For example, if you need transportation, someone to run an errand for you, toilet paper, or advice on how to get something, we can connect you with someone in the parish who will provide those things. If you are in threat of eviction from your home or rental habitat,we would like to know and may be able to provide some assistance. Likewise, if you have something to offer like you can give a ride to someone, pick up groceries, want to host a zoom meeting for a craft activity that can be done while we are shut in, like cooking, baking or book club, feel free to let us know. Deacon Karla Hunt is available for pastoral needs if you would like a phone call to stay in touch, prayers by telephone, or something else. The sharing circle is open to all parishioners. If you’d like to participate with a request or with an offer, please contact Olivia Brown. All REQUESTS ARE CONFIDENTIAL.

Meet Our Interim Vicar

St. Peter’s is honored to welcome the Rev. Dr. Dorothy White as our Interim Vicar.

Dorothy is the fourth of five children born to Oscar N. and Dorothy D. White of Knoxville, Tennessee.  She was raised in a Christian home and came to love the LORD at an early age.

Dorothy received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.  She went on to earn a Master of Arts in Theology from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  She has also earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University in Richmond. 

Most recently Dorothy served as School Chaplain at St. Catherine’s School in Richmond. Additional duties included serving as a Teacher of Religion and Philosophy.  Currently she serves as Interim Vicar at St. Peter’s Episcopal as well as an Associate at St. John’s and St. Mark’s Episcopal Churches in Richmond. 

226th Annual Convention of the Diocese of Virginia

For the first time in 226 years, the Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia gathered not in person, but online. More than 450 delegates attended the November 14 Convention via Zoom. The Convention was also broadcast simultaneously in Spanish and Korean allowing our Spanish- and Korean-speaking delegates to participate more fully.

Highlights

Delegates to Convention have several responsibilities including the election of leaders to governing bodies, passing a budget for the upcoming year, and voting on any resolutions that come before the Convention.

Elections to Standing Committee: The following people were elected to the Diocesan Standing Committee, which, among other responsibilities, serves as the council of advice to the Bishop:
Clergy Delegates The Rev. Laura Minnich Lockey, James Madison University Campus Ministry and The Rev. B. Cayce Ramey, All Saints Sharon Chapel, Alexandria. Lay Delegates Jessica Atkinson, St. George’s, Fredericksburg and Margaret Arnette Woody, St. Thomas, Richmond

Budget: The Convention delegates considered a budget presented by the Executive Board which reflected cuts necessary to balance the budget anticipating receipts of approximately 15% less giving by parishes to the Diocese. The budget featured increased funding for the work of race and reconciliation but also numerous cuts in virtually all other areas due to anticipated reduced giving to the Diocese. Budget amendments were proposed to restore funding for campus ministries to be funded by a hardship waiver of giving to The Episcopal Church. After an extended discussion the Convention declined to approve the budget and thereby referred the budget back to the Executive Board.

Resourcing God’s Mission: The Task Force on Resourcing God’s Mission in the Diocese of Virginia, led by the Rev. Sven vanBaars, addressed the gap between opportunities and funding of God’s mission by naming the patterns of giving in our diocese while comparing those patterns to other dioceses, learning about giving from our congregations, and exploring ways to increase giving. Ultimately the task force sought to determine and implement the practices that will help our diocese better utilize our giving plan to support our shared ministries. The new giving plan would ask all congregations to commit to a covenant of giving that dedicates 10% of pledge and plate income to the ministry of the Diocese of Virginia. Those congregations that are not giving at this covenantal level would engage in a process of conversation about congregational growth and possibly a waiver. The task force suggests putting forward a resolution at the 227th Annual Convention in November 2021 that would replace the Virginia Plan for Proportional Giving with what we are currently calling the “Virginia Covenantal Giving Plan”. A 3-year phase-in period may be needed but we believe that most congregations could easily adopt the giving plan. 

Resolutions and Other Actions of Convention: Delegates to Convention passed the following resolutions:

R-1 Updating Rules to Assure Fairness In Virtual Church Governance Meetings: R-1 will create a task force to review diocesan canons, rules of order, and administrative practices and recommend changes as needed to help address issues of equitable access for all people to online church governance meetings. These issues include internet accessibility, cost, digital training, accommodations for hearing impaired, and translation into other languages. The task force will report recommendations to the 227th Annual Convention.

R-2 Stipendiary Clergy Parental Leave Equity: The proposed resolution calls on the Diocese of Virginia to recommend as a guideline that vestries provide parental leave of eight weeks with full compensation for full-time parochial and diocesan clergy and lay employees with full compensation based on their employment status, within one year of the birth or adoption of a child. After several amendments were discussed and the level of complexity requiring further study became evident, the proposed resolution was tabled for further consideration at the next Convention.  

R-3 Resolution to Authorize an Election of a Bishop Diocesan: R-3 authorizes the Diocese to commence a process to elect the next Bishop Diocesan. It authorizes the Standing Committee to appoint Search and Transition Committees. The dates for the election and consecration of the next Bishop Diocesan will be set by the Standing Committee in consultation with the Office of the Presiding Bishop.   Bishop Goff said in her Pastoral Address that the Diocese anticipates an election and consecration some time in 2022, depending upon the schedule of the Presiding Bishop. Until that time, Bishop Goff will continue to serve as the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese.

Amendments to the Diocesan Constitution and Canons: C-1 The Convention passed c-1 on first reading. C-1 is an amendment to the Constitution to confirm that the official name of the Diocese is the Diocese of Virginia. This constitutes the second reading.

C-2 The Convention passed a canonical amendment to expand the membership of the diocesan Executive Board to include three at-large members (lay or clerical) appointed by the Bishop. The Canons previously provided for geographical diversity on the Executive Board, but there are other important kinds of diversity that have not always been represented, including diversity of race, ethnicity, cultural background, gender, age, parish size, skillsets, professional expertise, and work status. With this option of appointed members, the bishop could draw on the strengths and richness of talent within the Diocese, while also tailoring the appointments to the needs and tasks anticipated for the coming year. 

Highlights of Bishop Goff’s Pastoral Address: In her pastoral address, the Rt. Rev. Susan Goff, Bishop Suffragan and Ecclesiastical Authority, illuminated the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on church life and diocesan ministry this year. “We suspended in-person worship and activities in our church buildings until it is safe for everyone to regather, and we developed guidelines, protocols and processes for protecting each other. Our Regathering Task Force has worked long and hard to provide needed information and support to congregations.” The Bishop’s office directed all of its energies into providing support and resources to clergy and vestries as they worked to lead congregations through the dual pandemics of COVID and nationwide racial crisis. “Even as these new priorities demand our focus, we have not abandoned the four priorities we named last year,” said Bishop Goff. The four priorities remain: healing across differences; resourcing God’s mission, care of God’s creation and evangelism. Bishop Goff said she is working with the new diocesan Ministry for Racial Justice and Healing to articulate a strategy for this work, including hiring a new full-time staff person to coordinate the work of racial justice and healing across the Diocese. She reported that the Task Force on Resourcing God’s Mission has identified a plan to strengthen giving from congregations to the diocesan budget. At the same time, the Diocese is “actively at work to find ways to un-restrict some funds and to sell undeveloped land where we don’t anticipate planting a new congregation. These efforts, along with strengthening giving from congregations, will put us in stronger financial health in years to come. “On a personal note, Bishop Goff announced that she is now cancer free. The Bishop was diagnosed with breast cancer in February and underwent surgery, months of chemotherapy and radiation. She said she felt blessed to have been able to work full-time through the course of treatment.

The full text of her Pastoral Address can be found here.

Sermon and Announcements for November 22, 2020

We continue to gather spiritually and in community via Zoom on Sundays at noon. We would love t have you join us. If you’d like to do so, please email us and we’ll send you the link.

The link to the sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dorothy White is here.

Here is the link to the lessons and discussion questions.

ST. PETER’S WEEKLY ANNOUNCEMENTS

For more information on our programs, to get a program link, and to volunteer please email us.

LEGACY HOSPICE CARE is in need of volunteers to provide companionship and services for their hospice patients. These are some of the things that volunteers can do:

Window visits with facility patients.

  • Window visits with facility patients.
  • Telephone calls to patients that are in need of companionship
  • Making lap blankets for those that are in a wheelchair
  • Making prayer shawls or a prayer beads
  • Lawn care for patients and families that are not physically able
  • Making cards for the facility patients that have no family or families that are not local.

If you are interested in helping or need more information please contact us and we’ll put you in touch with the volunteer coordinator at Legacy Hospice.

FOOD DISTRIBUTION and the FOOD BANK take place on the first and third Wednesday of each month. Food is available for pick up at 8:30 am on the Wednesdays.

BIBLE STUDY via Zoom each Wednesday at 7:00 PM.

INTERCESSORY PRAYER is offered on the second and fourth Saturday at 3:00 PM.

PLEDGE: you can keep up on your pledge to the church in two ways during this time:  1. By sending a check to the church at 1719 N. 22nd St., Richmond Virginia, 23223 or our post office box at St. Peters, Church Hill PO Box 38754 Henrico, Virginia. 23231–9998.  2. Or giving online through the donor dash box on this website.

THE SHARING CIRCLE is an opportunity for us to share our resources in needs with each other during this pandemic. Olivia Brown is the contact person for the sharing circle.

What is the SHARING CIRCLE?
St. Peters has started a sharing circle during this time of the coronavirus where we can connect parishioners who need things with those who can make them available. For example, if you need transportation, someone to run an errand for you, toilet paper, or advice on how to get something, we can connect you with someone in the parish who will provide those things. If you are in threat of eviction from your home or rental habitat,we would like to know and may be able to provide some assistance. Likewise, if you have something to offer like you can give a ride to someone, pick up groceries, want to host a zoom meeting for a craft activity that can be done while we are shut in, like cooking, baking or book club, feel free to let us know. Deacon Karla Hunt is available for pastoral needs if you would like a phone call to stay in touch, prayers by telephone, or something else. The sharing circle is open to all parishioners. If you’d like to participate with a request or with an offer, please contact Olivia Brown. All REQUESTS ARE CONFIDENTIAL.

Worship for Sunday, November 15, 2020

On Sunday, 15 November, we have another opportunity to gather online with our larger Episcopal family for a Diocesan-wide service led by our bishops.

The sermon will be offered by The Right Reverend Phoebe Roaf, Bishop of West Tennessee. Many of us knew her when she was the Rector of St. Phillips, an historically Black Episcopal church in Northside – a close friend and a neighbor to St. Peter’s. She will be giving this sermon live on Saturday at the worship service held during the 226th Annual Convention of our diocese.

The service, including Bishop Roaf’s sermon, will be available starting at 8AM on Sunday, Nov. 15, at these links on YouTube or Facebook.

Annual Convention, attended by clergy and lay leaders from all 179 churches in our diocese, is an opportunity for attendees to worship together and to conduct the annual business of the diocese, such as reviewing and approving the annual budgets, electing and appointing leadership to diocesan committees – and meeting up with old friends.

Convention is normally open to anyone wanting to attend but due to the pandemic, this year’s convention will be conducted virtually via Zoom and so is limited to delegates only. Senior Warden Dr. Ron Carey will have a report for us at a later date.

Please note – there will be no Zoom Coffee Hour this Sunday, Nov. 15. We look forward to resuming our Zoom coffee hour on Sunday, 22 November.

Sermon and Announcements for Nov. 8, 2020

The link to the sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dorothy White can be found here on YouTube.

The Lessons and Discussion Questions (PDF) for our Zoom Coffee hour are here.

We meet on Sundays at 12 noon on Zoom. We would love to have you join us. Send us an email and we’ll send you the zoom link!

ST. PETER’S WEEKLY ANNOUNCEMENTS

For more information on our programs, to get a program link, and to volunteer please email us.

LEGACY HOSPICE CARE is in need of volunteers to provide companionship and services for their hospice patients. These are some of the things that volunteers can do:

Window visits with facility patients.

  • Window visits with facility patients.
  • Telephone calls to patients that are in need of companionship
  • Making lap blankets for those that are in a wheelchair
  • Making prayer shawls or a prayer beads
  • Lawn care for patients and families that are not physically able
  • Making cards for the facility patients that have no family or families that are not local.

If you are interested in helping or need more information please contact us and we’ll put you in touch with the volunteer coordinator at Legacy Hospice.

FOOD DISTRIBUTION and the FOOD BANK take place on the first and third Wednesday of each month. Food is available for pick up at 8:30 am on the Wednesdays.

BIBLE STUDY via Zoom each Wednesday at 7:00 PM.

INTERCESSORY PRAYER is offered on the second and fourth Saturday at 3:00 PM.

PLEDGE: you can keep up on your pledge to the church in two ways during this time:  1. By sending a check to the church at 1719 N. 22nd St., Richmond Virginia, 23223 or our post office box at St. Peters, Church Hill PO Box 38754 Henrico, Virginia. 23231–9998.  2. Or giving online through the donor dash box on this website.

THE SHARING CIRCLE is an opportunity for us to share our resources in needs with each other during this pandemic. Olivia Brown is the contact person for the sharing circle.

What is the SHARING CIRCLE?
St. Peters has started a sharing circle during this time of the coronavirus where we can connect parishioners who need things with those who can make them available. For example, if you need transportation, someone to run an errand for you, toilet paper, or advice on how to get something, we can connect you with someone in the parish who will provide those things. If you are in threat of eviction from your home or rental habitat,we would like to know and may be able to provide some assistance. Likewise, if you have something to offer like you can give a ride to someone, pick up groceries, want to host a zoom meeting for a craft activity that can be done while we are shut in, like cooking, baking or book club, feel free to let us know. Deacon Karla Hunt is available for pastoral needs if you would like a phone call to stay in touch, prayers by telephone, or something else. The sharing circle is open to all parishioners. If you’d like to participate with a request or with an offer, please contact Olivia Brown. All REQUESTS ARE CONFIDENTIAL.

Volunteer Opportunity

Legacy Hospice Care Unit is in need of volunteers to provide companionship and services for their hospice patients. These are some of the things that volunteers can do:

Window visits with facility patients.

  • Window visits with facility patients.
  • Telephone calls to patients that are in need of companionship
  • Making lap blankets for those that are in a wheelchair
  • Making prayer shawls or a prayer beads
  • Lawn care for patients and families that are not physically able
  • Making cards for the facility patients that have no family or families that are not local.

If you are interested in helping or need more information please contact us and we’ll put you in touch with the volunteer coordinator at Legacy Hospice.

Sermon and Announcements for November 1, 2020

The sermon, from the Rev. Dr. Dorothy White, can be found on YouTube at this link.

The lessons and discussion questions for our Zoom Coffee Hour can be found here (PDF).

We meet on Sundays at 12 noon on Zoom. We would love to have you join us. Send us an email and we’ll send you the zoom link!

FALL BACK: Remember to turn your clocks back 1 hour Saturday night!

ST. PETER’S WEEKLY ANNOUNCEMENTS

For more information on our programs, to get a program link, and to volunteer please email us.

FOOD DISTRIBUTION and the FOOD BANK take place on the first and third Wednesday of each month. Food is available for pick up at 8:30 am on the Wednesdays.

BIBLE STUDY via Zoom each Wednesday at 7:00 PM hosted by Daniel and Lindsay.

INTERCESSORY PRAYER is offered on the second and fourth Saturday at 3:00 PM.

PLEDGE: you can keep up on your pledge to the church in two ways during this time:  1. By sending a check to the church at 1719 N. 22nd St., Richmond Virginia, 23223 or our post office box at St. Peters, Church Hill PO Box 38754 Henrico, Virginia. 23231–9998.  2. Or giving online through the donor dash box on this website.

VOTING: SOULS TO THE POLLS. St. Peter’s is providing updates on voting for the November election. This information is posted here on our website and our Facebook page. We strongly encourage you to vote early either in-person at your local registrar’s office or by mail-in absentee ballot. Mail-ballots should be dropped off at your registrar’s office or polling place to ensure safe arrival by election day.

EVERGREEN CEMETERY CLEANUP: Volunteers from St. Peter’s participate in cleanup at this historic East End cemetery one Saturday a month. Dates and times are posted on our Facebook page.

THE SHARING CIRCLE is an opportunity for us to share our resources in needs with each other during this pandemic. Olivia Brown is the contact person for the sharing circle.

What is the SHARING CIRCLE?
St. Peters has started a sharing circle during this time of the coronavirus where we can connect parishioners who need things with those who can make them available. For example, if you need transportation, someone to run an errand for you, toilet paper, or advice on how to get something, we can connect you with someone in the parish who will provide those things. If you are in threat of eviction from your home or rental habitat,we would like to know and may be able to provide some assistance. Likewise, if you have something to offer like you can give a ride to someone, pick up groceries, want to host a zoom meeting for a craft activity that can be done while we are shut in, like cooking, baking or book club, feel free to let us know. Deacon Karla Hunt is available for pastoral needs if you would like a phone call to stay in touch, prayers by telephone, or something else. The sharing circle is open to all parishioners. If you’d like to participate with a request or with an offer, please contact Olivia Brown. All REQUESTS ARE CONFIDENTIAL.