27th June, 2024

"Invite, Support, Encounter"

New Friendships Being Made at Vacation Bible School!

LGBTQ+ Pride Month, is celebrated annually in June. It honors the LGBTQ+ community and commemorates the struggles, achievements, and ongoing fight for equality.

Pride Month serves as both a remembrance of past struggles and a celebration of the progress made in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights. It is a time to honor the diversity and resilience of the LGBTQ+ community, promote acceptance and equality, and continue advocating for a world where everyone can live authentically without fear of discrimination.

Pride Sunday Witness Talk

This Sunday a member will share from their journey of faith as an LGBTQIA family. Jann Hillenbrand and Teri Solinger have been a family since 1990, got married in 2013, and are among the generation that pioneered being "out," as a lesbian couple who formed a family and participated in churches. Together they were foster parents to 324, and they adopted seven of them. The two youngest, Talaya and Haven, are still at home and also members of St Peter's. Jann was the stay-home mom, and Teri was a career US Postal Service employee Jann will speak about their journey of faith as a family at all 5:00 pm, 7:45 am, and 10:00 am worship services this weekend during Pride Sunday. Pastor James will reflect on what he has heard in their story of faith that resonates with the scriptures for this Sunday. 

From the Rector...

Dear Ones,

This week and last have been intense and wonderful. It makes me wonder if we could get enough interest to have an "adult" version for a week of the kind of wonderful that happens at our Diocese of Arizona summer camp program for children and teens and, this week, our St Peter's Vacation Bible School.


This week I have been giving children a verse to memorize each day. Here they are:

Monday: Isaiah 43:1

Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine!

Tuesday: Romans 15:7

Accept one another, then, for the sake of God’s glory, as Christ accepts you

Wednesday: Matthew 25:40

Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it to me

Thursday:  Philippians 2:14

Do everything without complaining or arguing

Friday: 1 John 3:1

See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God, and that is what we are


I am excited about our first Pride Sunday, which many Episcopal congregations are now doing. We have chosen the Sunday closest both to the Stonewall Cafe Uprising, and the first ever Pride Parade in response, and Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. 644,a landmark decision of the Supreme Court of the United States which ruled that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution


Being open, affirming, and believing out loud in Christ's redemptive appreciation of LGBTQIA humans as humans like the rest of us, made in God image and in need of help, healing, and empowerment in God's love, is a blessing to celebrate and its absence in the past, a sin to repent of.

In Christ’s love,

Pastor James

*****Breaking News*****

Bishop Sean Rowe elected 28th presiding bishop, will begin nine-year term Nov. 1

The Rt. Rev. Sean Rowe, elected on the first ballot by the House of Bishops and confirmed by a near unanimous majority in the House of Deputies, said he looked forward to helping “usher this church into whatever it is being called into in this next phase and season of life.” Continue reading here

Warden’s Corner

It’s been a couple of busy weeks at St. Peter’s! With the newsletter being published every other week you’ll need to focus on the announcements in the bulletins for current events!


Your Vestry met 2 weeks ago and had a great meeting that included our new members Fisayo, Ian, and Sue. You can see all your Vestry members here. We approved actions for our Solar Committee to move forward in obtaining and approving bids for solar on the campus and to initiate fund-raising and financing steps that can hopefully turn on the solar energy by the end of the year. We also had an update from the Montessori School Board.  Our school is healthy and the board is making positive changes for the new school year.


I was happy to help Jackie Smith and her team set up and man the table for St. Peter’s at the City of Goodyear’s Juneteenth Celebration. We had a great group of people representing St. Peter’s at the event and many members attending to show support for our Church and the other participants. There was a good chance that they got to enjoy some culinary delights from the many food trucks that were lining the area outside of the building, view the historical pictures from Juneteenth events, or participate in cultural activities! Thanks to Jackie, Claudine, Angela, Martie, Paul, Michelle, Brenda and all the others who worked together for this successful event!


Family Promise week at St. Peter’s starts Sunday. Araceli Burr and her team has the coordination fine-tuned. Look for your Vestry helping to set up the rooms for our guests and serving up the first hot meal this Sunday. There will be a cook-out on the Fourth of July and you are invited – just let us know so we can get an estimate of how many burgers and dogs we might need.

Tyler Dixon

Sr. Warden

History of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church

Carter Wilson is updating the 'History of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church' for the Parish’s 60th anniversary this year. He is interested in hearing from anyone with stories that they believe should be included, especially current or former parishioners who joined the parish in 1976 or earlier, or anyone who knows the names of any who joined by 1976. Contact Carter at carter@stpetersaz.org or 623-536-5286.

Young Adult Group

Our group is open to anyone between 18-39 and our Instagram page is: SPYAGroup. Please share with anyone in our age demographic--friends, family, neighbors. All are welcome! There is no requirement (or expectation) that participants attend worship or hold any particular theological beliefs. We are a safe space for folks trying to figure out what they believe. We are here for anyone who would like to fellowship and build community with us. 


We have lots of events coming up--note that the first week in July, we have two events almost back to back:


  • July 4th Fireworks. On Thursday, July 4th at 8 p.m., we'll meet at the church parking lot and car pool to the eastern parking lot of Desert Edge High School where we will have a good view of the fireworks show at Goodyear Ball Park, which is scheduled to begin at 8:45 p.m. Afterwards, we'll go for ice cream at a location TBD by group consensus that evening. The fireworks are free but ice cream will be a Dutch treat. 


  • Family Promise. On Saturday, July 6th at 4 p.m., we will host dinner for guests staying at our parish campus for a week as part of the Family Promise interfaith ministry, which supports families experiencing homelessness. Our group will meet up at 4 p.m. in the kitchen of Celebration Hall to cook a meal for the families, which we will serve at 6 p.m. We will eat dinner and fellowship with the guests, then clean up the kitchen. 


  • July Game Night. On Saturday, July 13th at 6:30 p.m., we will have our July game night. Ian will be our July host. You are welcome to bring games and/or snacks to share. We will meet in the church library.


  • Trivia & Treats. On Saturday, August 3rd at 6:30 p.m., we will have a trivia night event with yummy snacks to munch on. Claudine will be our host and we will meet in the library. No prior knowledge will be necessary. We'll play in teams and phones can be used! 


  • Baby Shower for Meghan! On Sunday, August 4th at 11:30 a.m., we'll have our first baby shower for a member of the group. Come help us celebrate Meghan and her growing family. We'll have games and snacks. The festivities will take place in Celebration Hall.  


  • T-shirt Decorating. On Saturday, August 24th at 6:30 p.m., we'll have a t-shirt decorating night in Celebration Hall! Riv will be our host. Please bring a shirt you want to decorate. Decorative supplies will be provided. 

  • Cupcake Decorating. On September 7th at 6:30 p.m., we're going to have a cupcake decorating event! Jossie will be the host. No artistic talent or prior experience is needed. Just for fun and then we get to eat our creations. We will meet in Celebration Hall. 

  • September Game Night. On Saturday, September 21st beginning at 6:30 p.m. we will have a very special game night in the library hosted by our rector. James will be teaching the young adults one of his favorite games: euchre. No experience is necessary. Come and learn this fun card game and spend some quality time with our awesome rector! Feel free to bring a snack to share if you would like.

  • Sailing Field Trip. On Saturday, October 5th, we'll be meeting at the church then carpooling to Lake Roosevelt (or possibly Lake Pleasant depending on several factors) to go sailing. Our rector is an experienced sailor and has invited us to go out in his boat, so James will be hosting this event. We'll take a picnic lunch to enjoy during the outing. More details will be available as we get closer to the date, but mark your calendar! This will be an all day outing. We'll leave in the morning early and get back in the evening.
Community Outreach Ministry Advisory Panel (COMAP)
Facilitator: Carolyn Beougher
Volunteer Coordinator: Martie Polk 

Family Promise June 30-July 7

“A Hand Up—not a Hand Out”

We welcome guests from the Family Promise Ministry to our campus this week. Thank you to all who are volunteering with us this week to provide a memorable week for these adults and children who are in transition to stability. You are welcome to join our guests for a Fourth of July BBQ and fireworks hosted by Rich and Uyen Crabb on Thursday evening. If you plan to attend that evening, please let the ministry team know so we can have plenty of food for all. 

Ministry Lead: Araceli Burr

Contact: outreach@stpetersaz.org 


St Peter’s has added another date this summer to host our I-Help guests overnight with safe and clean accommodations. We are in need of volunteers to provide a homestyle evening meal Saturday August 31 and donate breakfast items for the weekend. Juice, fruit, breakfast sandwiches or bars, and pastries are very welcome ‘grab n go’ breakfast foods. We’d love to have your servant heart and hands join us in this ministry opportunity. 

Ministry Lead: Mike Ketcham

Contact: outreach@stpetersaz.org  

COMAP Opportunity


Community Outreach Ministry Advisory Panel (COMAP) has two volunteer opportunities to support the community building of St Peter’s Church and Montessori School. We are needing an administrator for Telecare Ministry and a Liaison to the Montessori School Parent Committee. Both roles have a minimal time commitment of twice a year planning and execution of ministry. Descriptions of ministry history and needs are available in the church office or here

Ministry Lead: Carolyn Beougher

Contact: outreach@stpetersaz.org 


Recycling containers have been placed near the church office and in Celebration Hall. The following are acceptable items for recycling:


o  No coated paper, i.e. butcher paper with coating

o  Please flatten cardboard boxes

o  It’s OK to flatten plastic bottles and jugs to save space.

·      No food or liquid in recycling containers.

·      No plastic bags and no bagged recyclables.

·      No plastic or metal food containers.

·      No foil or plastic wrap.


With your help we can make recycling work at St. Peter’s.

Thanks to Carter for initiating this project!

Diocesan Cycle of Prayer

This week we pray for St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Nogales

We also pray for our companion Diocese: The Diocese of Western Mexico, Bishop Ricardo Gomez Osnaya.

Read the weekly email newsletter for the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona here. This newsletter includes reflections from The Rt. Rev. Bishop Jennifer Reddall, news, events, and updates throughout the diocese.

From the Editor...

Starting in June (i.e. now), Pete's Epistle Newsletter will be changing to the summer schedule and be sent out fortnightly. We will resume our regular weekly schedule at the end of August.
Wishing everyone a wonderful summer vacation season!
Submit Announcements

If you have an announcement that you would like to be included in our weekly Pete's Epistle Newsletter, please send us an email here.


Wednesday - 10am

Lay Led Worship Service on Zoom

(adapted from Celtic books and prayers)

Contact Deacon Gary

Saturday - 5pm

Holy Eucharist with the Primetime Band.

Sunday - 7:45am

Traditional Holy Eucharist

Sunday - 9:00am

Meditative Service

Sunday - 10am

Holy Eucharist

Children's Nursery Care Available

The Lectionary for the Sixth Sunday After Pentecost

Sermon for the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost (watch this SNL Skit First)

Church Office Hours
The church office is staffed from 9:30-12:30 Tuesday-Thursday, and Friday 9:30 - 2:30 pm.
Prior or after you can usually find Diane in the office across the patio, and James may be here except on Thursdays and Fridays.
Mission & Vision
Church Calendar
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