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  • Rev. Barbara Ballenger

Rector’s Note: A Look at Things to Come- 6.22.2023


Last Saturday a group of parish ministry leaders met with Charlese Freeman and myself to plot out many of the dates for programming starting next September. While Saturday morning meetings aren’t anybody’s favorite way to spend a weekend day, this one was pretty exciting as we saw the work of the church unfold before us, flip chart page by flip chart page.


Here’s a sampling of what to expect starting in fall of 2023. (And there’s more where that came from! Dates are tentative and times and details are still developing, so stay tuned…)


Rally Day will become a Community Open House on Sunday, Sept. 10.

On Rally Day we traditionally celebrate the start of our program year with a sense of homecoming and return after the summer lull. This year we’re inviting the community to come experience St. Peter’s with food, activities, games and information about our partners and programs. A few weeks ahead we’ll hit the streets with Mary Rivera to personally invite our neighbors to the event.


Preparing to be confirmed or received.

The bishop will be coming to St Peter’s on Pentecost, May 19 of 2024, to perform Confirmations and Receptions. To prepare for that, starting in September we’ll have monthly preparation classes for youth/teens and adults who would like to discern whether they would like to receive these sacraments. Let me know if you’d like to learn more about that.


Fall fun events:

Look for a Blue Grass concert with Terita and Mike Reeve on Sept. 30 and the return of the Trivia Night with an added Silent Auction on October 28. Proceeds will benefit the Warm Regards Campaign.

Pies and pierogies on election day:

Parishioner, Suzanne Teleha, will be organizing the assembly and sale of pies and pierogies at St Peter’s, during polling on Nov. 7. Suzanne will teach us how to make these treats and we’ll assemble them together in a group gathering the week before.


How many clergy and parishioners does it take to install a rector?

A whole bunch apparently, and we’ll do it on Saturday, Nov. 11, when the bishop will lead the service officially installing me as rector of St. Peter’s. There will be a Eucharist and a reception.


Family learning about the Eucharist:

On October 7, we plan to have a Bread Day retreat where families can make bread, tell stories and learn about the sacrament of Eucharist. Then on Oct. 22, Come 4th Sunday, we’ll plan to have a Solemn Eucharist celebration for children who would like to dress up to celebrate this special sacrament of Jesus’ love and sacrifice.


Advent anticipation:

Christmas Eve falls on the fourth Sunday of Advent, which means we’ll have a tight Advent season. We’ll make Advent wreaths on Nov. 26 the Sunday before Advent begins, as part of an intergenerational SPLASH (St Peter’s Learning and Sharing) event. Karen Sayer will coordinate the return of Soup, Salad and Song on Saturday Dec. 2, featuring a meal and hymn singing. Leave some room for the Christmas Pageant, Mary Pat’s cookie baking and distribution, and other excitement as well.


Lent and Easter preview:

The Shrove Tuesday Talent Show will return Feb. 13 the day before Ash Wednesday (and Valentine’s Day). Wednesday evenings of reflection will include a Taizé service. After Easter, Debbie DeKalb is planning to host a Seder Meal inviting us to learn more about her Jewish tradition on April 6 ahead of Passover.

And that’s not all:

Look to the events calendar for rummage sales (Oct 20-21, 2023, and April 20-21, 2024), as well as blood drives, flu shot clinics, Learning in Faith Together (LIFT) book groups, Lunch Clubs, scarf cutting and hat making with Community Partnerships and more.


It’s just a taste of what’s to come.

Do you have a ministry idea that is tugging at your heart, or a desire to support or learn more about parish life at St Peter’s? Let me know and we’ll talk. It’s just the start of summer, after all. Plenty of time….

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