Saint Peter's is a welcoming and progressive church, a Reconciling in Christ parish of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
We believe that God’s love comes freely and without merit to all people. Persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities are embraced, and their relationships are affirmed and blessed.
Our 9:00am Mass has been described as peaceful and intimate. The liturgy lasts approximately 45 minutes and includes organ music and hymn singing. We have members that are hardcore "9:00-ers" who find it to be the perfect start to a Sunday in the City.
The 11:00am Mass is where we tend to pull out all the stops. This liturgy often includes our full choir and orchestra, organ performance by Dr. Bálint Karosi, liturgical dance, guest preachers and more. The mood is vibrant and celebratory. The 11:00 Mass typically lasts an hour and fifteen minutes. In the summer months, the 11:00 is usually shorter, and takes on an international bent with visitors in attendance from all over the world.
After the 11:00 Mass many members have brunch together in the Saint Peter's living room, others have coffee and snacks and hang around and chat before going on with their typically packed New York City weekends.
The Spanish-language Mass has a joyous family atmosphere. Often our most heavily attended liturgy, the 1:30 Misa includes a world-class band playing traditional South American folk music, led by Cantor Guillermo Vaisman. There is usually a big meal in the Living Room after the Misa, starting at around 3:00 p.m.
6:00pm Jazz Vespers
Our uplifting and deeply spiritual Jazz Vespers service was founded in the late 1960s by the Rev. John Garcia Gensel, to whom Duke Ellington dedicated "The Shepherd (Who Watches Over the Night Flock)." Today, Jazz Vespers is directed by bassist and composer Ike Sturm, including readings, a sermon, congregational singing, and jazz from some of the finest working jazz musicians in the world. Jazz Vespers typically ends at 7:00 p.m., when some congregants gather for coffee, snacks and conversation before heading out into the New York City evening.
On Wednesday evenings we have an English-language liturgy at 6:00, and a Spanish-language liturgy at 7:15 p.m. (The four Wednesdays in February 2019 have a bilingual Mass/Misa at 6:00.) These are friendly and rejuvenating services. Many of our members have found Wednesday evening to be the best time to get some quality time with other members and our pastors.
Worship at Saint Peter's does not only take during liturgies. From our Sunday School, to Adult Education programs, to our social activism work, everything we engage in is an expression of our love of God and each other.