Advent: Waiting for Christmas

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 December 1st, 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 Celtic Advent Calendar

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.



Annual Giving for 2020

“Work, Wealth, and Wisdom”

Dear friends in Christ,
“All Israel passed by until all the people had completed the crossing on dry ground” (Joshua 3:17)

St. Peter’s is crossing over. After 100-years as a mission church in the Diocese of Virginia, in 2020, St. Peter’s will be a self-sustaining church. This is a significant moment in the life of our congregation, as we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, who invested themselves and their resources into this church that they loved.

Now is our opportunity to carry on their legacy and invest ourselves here. There is no other church in Richmond like St. Peter’s. Here, people from different races and socio-economic backgrounds gather to worship together in what has historically been called the nation’s most segregated hour. That is not true at St. Peter’s.

For this reason, our neighborhood needs St. Peter’s, as people from different backgrounds live near each other but may not have places to be together. And our nation needs St. Peter’s, as people with differing viewpoints and backgrounds are increasingly divided from each other. St. Peter’s is a place for all of us to learn to love God and love our neighbor together.

The rich legacy we have inherited and our mission in this neighborhood and nation will continue into the future through what we collectively give: work, wealth, and wisdom.

For us to reach our goal of self-sustainability in 2020 we need total pledges of $70,000. or more. Whether you live in the East End, greater Richmond or outside of Virginia please join us in prayerfully considering your contribution for 2020. More information is linked below. This includes a pledge card. Simply print it and mail it or bring it to the church.

Each Sunday, beginning on November 10, we will be highlighting how our pledges will translate into self-sustainability, culminating in Ingathering Sunday at worship on Sunday, November 24. Please plan to attend.

We are crossing over, St. Peter’s, all of us, together.
Andrew B. Terry , Pastor Ron Carey, Sr. Warden Janice Dean, Stewardship Chair

Additional information, including a printable pledge card, is available at these links:

Welcome to St. Peters (PDF)

Case Statement (PDF)

Pledge Card (PDF. Print and mail to the church)

Self-Sufficiency Projects (PDF)

Here is the calendar of events:

November 10 : “Wisdom” Sunday.  This is our opportunity to hear testimony from our elders on why Self-sufficiency matters for St. Peter’s.

Sunday, November 17.  “Work” Sunday.  We commit together to the “work” that God is calling each of us to do in 2020.  During the week, we will have opportunity to pray about where we feel God calling us and then we will join those callings together in an interactive sermon. 

Sunday, November 24. “Wealth” Sunday.  We will lay at the altar our financial pledges to God for 2020.

Mary Thompson: The History of Church Hill

Join Mary Thompson, long time resident of Church Hill and a member of St. Peters’s for an event focused on the history of Church Hill through her eyes and experiences. Mary will be sharing her personal story about a life built and fulfilled through love, contentment, and happiness. Snacks will be provided. Sponsored by the Church Hill Association.

Date: Wednesday, October 16

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Location: Market @ 25th in The Community Room

The St. Peter’s Banner

Our beautiful church banner hangs behind the altar and is one of the first things you see as you enter the church from the front door. What do the symbols mean? First it is important to know who Peter is. St. Peter’s is named for the apostle Peter, also known as Simon Peter. Jesus’ call to Peter is recorded in the Bible in Matthew and Luke. Here is what the Gospel of Luke tells us (Chapter 4):

1As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. 19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him.

There are numerous stories about Peter in the New Testament. The symbol of the rooster comes from the story of Peter denying Jesus three times prior to his crucifixion. Matthew (chapter 26) tells the story:

69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” 70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.” 71 And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72 And again he denied it with an oath: “I do not know the man.” 73 After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you.” 74 Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately the rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

The two keys represent the keys to the kingdom. In Matthew 16 (verse 18) Jesus says to Peter: And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it In some symbols of St. Peter you will see the two keys crossed.

Finally, the upside down cross represents Peter’s martyrdom. It is believed that Peter requested this type of crucifixion because he did not believe he was worthy to be crucified in the same manner as Jesus.

New Assistant Bishop

Bishop Susan Goff Announces Appointment of the Rt. Rev. Jennifer Brooke-Davidson as Assistant Bishop of Virginia The Rt. Rev. Susan E. Goff, Bishop Suffragan and Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese of Virginia, is honored to announce the appointment of the Rt. Rev. Jennifer Brooke-Davidson as Assistant Bishop of the Diocese of Virginia. Bishop Brooke-Davidson has been Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of West Texas since July, 2017.  

“Bishop Brooke-Davidson will bring tremendous gifts to our Diocese,” Bishop Goff said. “We will be strengthened by her clarity, commitment, and ability to ask good questions, along with her skill in helping a community seek faithful answers. Bishop Brooke-Davidson will take part in the full range of episcopal functions in the Diocese, including Sunday and other visitations, support of persons in the ordination process, congregational development, conflict transformation and work with diocesan committees and commissions. She will live in Richmond and have a primary office at Mayo Memorial Church House. Bishop Brooke-Davidson will begin her ministry in this Diocese on November 4. Please join Bishop Goff in welcoming her to the Diocese of Virginia.

Neighborhood Walks

Our Neighborhood Walks have moved to Tuesday afternoons. They’d previously been held on Monday afternoons. Join us at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesdays to walk through our neighborhood speaking to our neighbors. This is a great opportunity to meet our neighbors, enjoy our neighborhood, and get some exercise!

On the first and third Tuesday of each month stay and help prepare the bags of food for our Wednesday morning food distribution program. This food bagging begins at 4:00 p.m. and lasts about 1 hour.

Questions? Send us an email.