$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: http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2015/10/04/what-it-really-means-to-practice-radical-acceptance/

Paul B. Marvin <pmarvin@nc.rr.com>
Janice Bainbridge <janicebainbridgelcsw@gmail.com>

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

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.

The Divine Dance — a webcast with Richard Rohr and William Paul Young — October 26


Come and join us, Wednesday evening, October 26th, as we watch and discuss The Divine Dance, a live webcast with Richard Rohr and William Paul Young (author of the best-selling novel, The Shack).

Rohr and Young bring the transcendent doctrine of the Trinity down to earth and into your life.

Be prepared to have your basic notion of God, reality, salvation, and prayer challenged and filled with hope.

For more information about the webcast, check out https://cac.org/events/webcasts/upcoming-webcasts/webcast-the-divine-dance/.

Autumn at the Advocate!

signHere’s some of what’s ahead at the Advocate. Check back for updates as the season goes along!

Wed, Sept 7      (and all Wednesdays after)
Simple Holy Eucharist with readings from Holy
Women; Holy Men. 5:30-6:15 PM
Contemplative Prayer. 6:15-7 PM

Sunday September 11  (note: this will be our last Sunday with the Summer Service schedule. New Schedule begins September 18)
8:30 AM    Said Prayer Book Eucharist, followed by coffee and conversation.
2-4 PM    
Pounding Party for the 2016-2017 Johnson Service Corps.
       A 75-minute liturgy of Holy Eucharist, sermon and song.(Child Care offered during the first part of the service). Followed by a simple supper (provided). Commissioning the 2016-2017 Johnson Service Corps  in the context of the 5 PM liturgy.

Wednesday, Sept 14     Bridging The Political Divide: An Evening Video Course
featuring Parker Palmer. 7 – 8:15 PM

Thursday, September 15  Orange Justice United Assembly for Affordable Housing on land owned by faith organizations (like the Advocate!) and for reduced fines from random traffic stops. At St. Thomas More Church. 6:30-8:30 PM.

Sunday, September 18       New Fall Schedule Begins!
8:15 AM     Morning Prayer from the Book of Common Prayer
9 AM
 Classic TEC (Holy Eucharist from the BCP and songs from the Hymnal 1982
9:45-10:45 AM  Coffee, A Teachable Moment, and Godly Play for the kids
11 AM    Traditioned Innovation (TI) Liturgy: Holy Eucharist with Sermon, featuring prayers and songs from across the Church, and an emphasis on participation and formation/transformation) Child care provided. This week: A Celtic Mass                                                                                                                     
12:20 PM  
  Lunch fellowship (food provided)
After Church, all are welcome to join the Vicar and head to The  Episcopal Farmworker   Ministry in Newton Grove for the annual Farmworker Festival

Sunday, September 25 (Regular Sunday schedule as noted above on September 18).  
TI (Traditioned Innovation)
 this week: A Blue Grass Mass

Sunday October 2            Regular Sunday Schedule
Then….. Square Dance with Kathy Anderson & The Hushpuppies. In the Advocate Chapel. 7:00PM – 10:00 PM

Sunday, October 16          Regular Sunday Schedule
Then…. Autumn Unplugged Returns! Join us for an afternoon filled with food, fun and music on the Advocate grounds. 1-6 PM

Saturday, October 29        A Salon with author Barbara Claypole White
 presenting her book, Echoes of Family. 6:30-8:30 PM
(note: this is the first of an Advocate series, “Let’s Talk About It: Conversations About Our Invisible                                                                                                             Diversity”)                 

Sunday, November 6       All Saints Sunday with Litany of the Saints, Holy Eucharist, and Baptism
(one liturgy time tba)

Wednesday, November 23   A Thanksgiving Eve Eucharist (time tba)

Looking ahead!     Sunday, December 11    Advent III       The Rt. Rev. Peter James Lee will be providing our annual Bishop’s visitation.