ALS walk April 22! CROP Walk on April 23! Please Support as You Can!

The 2017 CROP walk to raise funds and awareness for hunger in our community and our world is scheduled for Sunday, April 23. As usual, the Advocate is rallying a team and seeks donations of support. See here, to sign up or to support. If you have questions or want to connect with the Advocate Team, contactSallie Moore <>

This year, we are also rallying to support our sister of The Advocate, Katheryn Manginelli, in the ALS walk in Raleigh on Saturday, April 22. See more about that here.
CROP Hunger Walks supported more than 2,400 food banks, soup kitchen, homeless shelters and other local anti-hunger agencies last year.
The ALS walk is an important means of raising funds and awareness for ALS research. It’s also an important way to support one of our own.
Please walk and/or support the CROP walk and/or the ALS walk as you are able.

Holy Week and Easter at the Advocate

April 8                     Cultivating the Garden                   The Saturday before Palm Sunday
Gather at the Advocate Garden at 10 AM to tend to the existing patch and to begin to prepare the bed for expansion for future Pee Wee Homes residents. As you are able, bring newspapers, old leaves, and/or kitchen (vegetable or fruit) scraps.

IMG_3789 (1)Palm Sunday, April 9
+ Procession with Palms and Holy Eucharist. Gather at the Advocate Pond at 10:00 AM for the blessing of the palms, and flowers or branches brought from home. Procession followed by Holy Eucharist in the Chapel.

+ Tenebrae at 7 PM. We move into Holy Week with this service of growing darkness, readings and song. Music led by a visiting schola from Raleigh.

Monday of Holy Week, April 10
+ Holy Eucharist at 5:30 PM

Tuesday of Holy Week, April 11
+ Holy Eucharist at 5:30 PM

Wednesday of Holy Week, April 12
+ Holy Eucharist at 5:30 PM

IMG_0753Maundy Thursday, April 13
+ Dinner fellowship (food provided), Foot-washing and Table Eucharist. In the Fleming Lodge at Camp New Hope. 6:30 PM. (Camp New Hope is on NC86, 3 miles north of the I40 – NC86 interchange)

Good Friday, April 14
+ The Way of the Cross/ Via Dolorosa. In Spanish and English. Beginning at 12 noon. Acompáñenos en peregrinaje desde la Alcaldia de Carrboro hasta el Cementerio Viejo (Beginning at Carrboro Town Hall, winding through Carrboro, and ending at the Old Cemetery. Through downtown Carrboro. Meet at Carrboro Town Hall. (no dogs, please).
+ The Good Friday Liturgy, with hymns, prayers, and the Passion from the Gospel of John. 6 PM in the Advocate Chapel.

+ The Wake. 7 PM – 9 PM. Gather with other friends of Jesus for a simple supper and to reminisce about his life and the experiences you have shared with him. Supper 7-7:30 PM. Each half hour, 7:30 – 9 PM will include readings, contemplative prayer, and shared reflection. Come on the hour or on the half hour and stay for any, or all, of the Wake.

Holy Saturday, April 15
+The Holy Saturday Liturgy at 10AM in the Advocate Chapel. Gather in the Chapel for this brief liturgy of readings, reflection and prayers.

IMG_4811Saturday Night, April 15
+ The Great Vigil of Easter with Renewal of Baptismal Vows. This is our first liturgy of Easter, when we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord in the darkness of night. (As you are able, please bring a bell, horn or whistle to accompany the Paschal Shout). In the Advocate Chapel. Starting at 8 PM.

Easter Day, April 16
+ 9 AM          Holy Eucharist in the Chapel.

+ 10 AM        Festival Brunch (As you are able, bring a festive dish to share. Kids bring a basket for an Easter Egg hunt).

+ 11 AM        Holy Eucharist with Baptism, by the Pond. Bring your own chairs or blanket to sit upon.

Weather updates will be posted as needed.

$30,000 Challenge to Friends of the Advocate for Debt Relief


In 2013, The Advocate was at the peak of our campaign to worship on the land. We had raised the funds to buy the land and to move what would become The Advocate Chapel, and we still needed to restore the chapel and to get the site up to code for use by a church (parking lot, sewer, pond repair, etc. etc.). We had raised a bunch of money (over $1.5 million), but not enough. So we took out two loans:

  • A $150,000 loan from the North Carolina Episcopal Church Foundation. This loan is being paid at 2% interest over 10 years. The 10% payment and the 2% interest are both budgeted in the Advocate’s Annual Budget. About $90,000 remains to be paid on this loan.
  • A $180,000 loan from an anonymous individual loaner. This loan was without interest for one year, then a 1.5% interest rate and interest-only payments for 4 years. After five years, the entire $180,000 is due. This is what could be called “a balloon loan”. It comes due early in 2018.

In 2016, the people of the Advocate received a challenge to raise $40,000 toward the retirement of this second debt. With significant stretch, Advocates stepped up. In November 2016 our $40,000 plus the challenge gift allowed us to pay of $80,000 of that $180,000 loan. $100,000 remains.

We have now been offered a generous $30,000 match for any gifts given by friends of the Advocate in 2017.  

Any gift given by a friend of the Advocate – or by a friend or family member of a member of the Advocate — towards the Advocate’s debt retirement in 2016 will be matched up to $30,000 this year.

If we can meet this challenge, we will reduce the $100,000 remaining on this debt by $60,000.

That’s huge for us.

Checks should be designated for “Debt Relief” and written to The Episcopal Church of the Advocate (or ECOTA) and sent to 8410 Merin Road, Chapel Hill, NC, 27516.

Thank you!

Church as Usual Despite Water Shutdown

Residences and businesses in Chapel Hill and Carrboro are without access to water lines due to a breakdown in a water main.
First, I bid your prayers for those whose lives are truly inconvenienced and your consideration of solidarity with those who live where the availability of fresh, potable water is always in doubt, particularly for those who labor in the tobacco fields of North Carolina, the people of Flint Michigan, the people of Haiti, and the people of Israeli occupied Palestine.
Second, The Vicar’s home in Durham is available for those who need water or showers. Call or text  919-219-4437 for directions.
Third, The Advocate has one spigot that is on well water. It is unfiltered water and highly rich in iron (so it is orange). But this is water that can be used in toilets at least. This is the spigot on the side of the house facing the chapel. (All other spigots and faucets at the Advocate are on OWASA)
Fourth: There will be Church tomorrow, February 5. With access to our well water we will be able to use our toilets, and with so many PotA who live in Durham, we will have water to drink! So whatever happens with OWASA, we will have church as usual, (more or less), tomorrow!

Acceptance as a Spiritual Discipline

acceptance-jpgJan 25, Feb 1, Feb 8, 7:00-8:30 PM: Acceptance as a Spiritual Discipline

Radical Acceptance can be defined as the compassionate acceptance of reality as it is in the present moment. A practice that is an important and effective skill for navigating the small and large challenges of life.

But it is one thing to define Radical Acceptance, and quite another thing to understand and practice it.  How do you do it?  What are its real benefits?  Why might it even be thought of as an important spiritual discipline?

Janice Bainbridge and Paul Marvin will lead three discussion, practice and Q&A sessions tackling these questions.  Janice is a practicing counselor with experience teaching and mentoring people in Radical Acceptance practice, and Paul has worked with teens and adults over the years as a catechist, spiritual director, retreat leader, and prayer counselor.

Some basic information about Radical Acceptance:

Paul B. Marvin <>
Janice Bainbridge <>

The Piedmont Patch Project — Saturday, January 28 @10AM

img_7929The Piedmont Patch Project: Building Sanctuaries One Patch of Piedmont at a Time

Introductory Presentation and Conversation
Led by Cathy Bollinger and the Vicar
Saturday, January 28
10 AM at the Advocate

The People of the Advocate know how much our commitment to maintain the Advocate Pond means to the surrounding community; it welcomes and encourages them to continue to use this special spot. But from an ecological perspective, the pond’s setting is less welcoming to non-human natives. We can change that.

Imagine the Advocate Pond and grounds enriched with diverse well-adapted native plants that will attract and nurture an array of wildlife, including butterflies, bees, birds, frogs, turtles, and small mammals. Surrounded by rapid urbanization, the Church of the Advocate’s acreage can serve as a sanctuary for homeless wildlife increasingly displaced by bulldozers, asphalt, and concrete. Over time, such native plantings require less maintenance than traditional ornamental plantings, most of which do not meet the needs of native wildlife.

The project has an educative component, engaging school children and graduate students and inviting all who are responsible for patches of Piedmont land to learn how to create vibrant native sanctuaries that serve rather than harm God’s creation. Ideally, we can lead other congregations and other neighborhoods to adopt this concept of native sanctuaries, building refuges of hope for native wildlife and havens of peace and beauty for humans one patch of piedmont (and beyond!) at a time. The Project will also include education on invasive exotic species and their removal — why it is important, how it contributes to sustainability.

The Piedmont Patch Project is grounded in a belief that the environment and our natural resources will be better sustained, and even thrive, as organizations and individuals work to cultivate one patch at a time. The Project is envisioned as a collaborative effort of the church, the town, the NC Botanical Gardens, and individuals with knowledge and skills to share.

Cathy Bollinger has a life-long passion for the natural world, especially in her home state of North Carolina. With a Masters in Environmental Management,  she has been a student of the ecology of especially her home Piedmont region all her life. These days, she volunteers at the NC Botanical Garden in several roles, continues to write her blog, The Piedmont Gardener, which she began in 2011, and recently began writing a bi-monthly gardening column for a small weekly paper in Virginia. 

Christmas at the Advocate: December 24 – January 6


And the Word became flesh and dwelled among us….

In this Season of Christmas, the most important gift you have to bring to God at the Advocate, or whatever church you visit, is your self, your presence, with open heart and mind. Whether or not you have a critter*, a gift, a dish to share, or branches from a tree, all are welcome and invited to join the celebration of the Incarnation — come and be present with the God who is with us in Jesus.

Saturday, December 24
Christmas Eve Service at 5 PM. Holy Eucharist with carols and candles. As you are able, please bring a critter for the creche*.img_6518-1

Sunday, December 25      Christmas Day
10 AM      Holy Eucharist with Carols

Sunday, January 1     The First Sunday After Christmas
10 AM      Holy Eucharist with Carols

IMG_9339Friday, January 6      The Feast of the Epiphany!

7 PM     Burning of the Greens, Informal Eucharist and Kings Cake! Bring branches from your Christmas tree to burn and celebrate the light in the darkness and the arrival of the sages from afar.

Other News

Feed the Hungry — Support the InterFaith Council Food Pantry and Holiday Meals Program
As you do your weekly shopping, why not pick up an item or two to give to those who can’t afford it and add it to your offering on Sunday?
Also, to find out how to provide a holiday meal for a family in need, click here.

*Critters for the Creche
While we have figures for our Advocate creche, carved of wood in Haiti, we still invite kids of all ages to bring critters from home to visit the baby Jesus in our creche in front of the altar for any or all of our Christmas liturgies. For Christmas Eve, the cow, Mary, Joseph and the critters all  join the creche before the Baby Jesus arrives in the processional. In subsequent liturgies, critters can be placed in the creche any time before or during the liturgy.IMG_9348

Calendar for Advent and Christmas at the Advocate

advent-photoIn these weeks of anticipation, contemplation, and celebration, please join us in the Advocate Chapel. 

December 4, 11, and 18: Our regular Sunday schedule, with Holy Eucharist at 9 and 11, and Godly Play and A Teachable Moment at 10(ish), all followed by lunch.

Sunday, December 11: Bishop’s Visitation at both liturgies and A Teachable Moment, with the Rt. Rev. Peter James Lee, Assisting Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina.

Wednesday, December 15: After the 5:30 PM Eucharist and the 6:15 Contemplative Prayer, all are welcome to join in an Open Meeting to determine the Advocate Tithe for 2016. See more here. 7 PM.

Sunday, December 18: Liturgical furniture play. After lunch, all are welcome to move chairs around the chapel and consider different set-up possibilities for the Season of Epiphany.
Also, our friends of the NC Jazz Ensemble (they play at our Autumn Unplugged) hold their annual holiday concert at the Hayti Heritage Center in Durham this afternoon at 4 PM. Tickets are $15 and are available from Lamar Bland at church Sunday morning, or at the door)
Monday, December 19: Annual Advocate Christmas Party with the Residents of the Community House.  1315 MLK Blvd. (adjacent to the United Church of Chapel Hill). 6-7 PM. As you are able, please bring sweet or savory snacks to share. The Monday night jammers will return to provide songs of the season. For more information, contact Sallie Moore <>.
Wednesday, December 21. Longest Night liturgy. Acknowledging the sorrow and the pain that the season holds for many. See more here 7 PM.
Saturday, December 24. Christmas Eve. Holy Eucharist with candles and carols. 5 PM. Kids of all ages are encouraged to bring critters from home to visit the baby Jesus in the creche.
Sunday, December 25. Christmas Day. Simple Eucharist with carols. 10 AM.
Sunday, January 1. The First Sunday After Christmas. Holy Eucharist with carols. 10 AM.
Friday, January 6. The Feast of the Epiphany! With Informal Eucharist, Kings Cake, and Burning of the Greens (weather conditions permitting). 7 PM.
All are welcome to all.

The Longest Night, December 21

darkest night graphicOn Wednesday, December 21, the longest night of the year,  the Advocate will host a service of prayer, readings, candles, song and sacrament, acknowledging that for many, the season of Christmas is dark, difficult and sorrowful. We will remember those near and those far away.

All are welcome to join us in the The Chapel at 7 PM.

God of mercy, hear our prayer in this Advent season for ourselves and for our loved ones who live with painful feelings and memories. We ask for strength for today, courage for tomorrow and peace for the past. We ask these things in the name of Jesus the Christ, who shares our life in joy and sorrow, death and new birth, despair and promise. Amen.