News and Events

Native Grass Plugging: A Piedmont Patch Project July 29

IMG_0430Grass-Plugging for the Kingdom of God
A Piedmont Patch Project
Saturday, July 29, 8 AM – 10 AM.


The Church of the Advocate has received a gift of almost 500 native grass “plugs” for the area around the dam. This significant gift is an important next step in our Piedmont Patch Project, “to restore native flora and fauna, one patch of the Piedmont at a time. Previous steps have been to expand our vegetable garden and to stock the Advocate Pond with hundreds of fingerling bass, catfish and brim. The grasses owe have received will not only bring back native flora to the site, they will also serve an important role in maintaining the structural integrity of the dam.

However, the plugs need to be planted soon. So we’re looking for volunteers to come to the Pond,  Saturday, July 29, 8:00 AM-10 AM (hoping to beat the heat!) to plug and learn!

Planting logistics which will involve electric drills with bulb-planting augers, and teams of folks doing drilling, planting (“plugging”), and watering.

IMG_0431Project botanical consultant, Cathy Bollinger, and her associates have already begun to prepare the site for us. Cathy will be with us on Saturday morning, and, as always, will teach as we go. 
All are welcome!

Please contact Day Smith Pritchartt to sign up for the morning.
Here are links to photos of the beautiful grasses we have been given. Our dam will be singing its own Alleluia by next summer!

Andropogon gerardii (http://hoffmannursery.com/plants/details/andropogon-gerardii) — “Big Bluestem”

Panicum virgatum ‘North Wind’ (http://hoffmannursery.com/plants/details/panicum-virgatum-northwind) — “Upright Switchgrass”

Sporobolus heterolepsis (http://hoffmannursery.com/plants/details/sporobolus-heterolepis) — “Prairie Dropseed”


Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Blue Heaven’ (http://hoffmannursery.com/plants/details/schizachyrium-scoparium-minnbluea-blue-heaven-pp17310) — “Little Bluestem”

Readers Roundtable 2nd Wednesdays at 7

IMG_0382The Readers Roundtable gathers the second Wednesday of each month to talk about a book selected by those who participated in the Roundtable the previous month. Books are largely fiction, but are not limited to fiction.
Books so far have included Toni Morrison’s Beloved and Mary Doris Russell’s The Sparrow, and Mary Oliver’s Thirst.

IMG_0381Each month the book is announced at least three weeks in advance and the conversation is open to everyone and their friends.

Looking ahead, here are the books that will be discussed:

September 13 :  Their Eyes Were Watching God
October 11: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
November 8: The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World
December 13: A Land More Kind than Home

For further information, contact Paul Marvin. pmarvin64@gmail.com

Whether you’ve read the book or not, all are always welcome to join in the conversation!

 

A Contemplative Prayer Retreat July 28-July 30

Char Sullivan and Paul Marvin will host our annual contemplative prayer retreat at Avila Retreat Center in Durham, Friday July 28 through Sunday July 30.  The retreat will begin Friday evening (check in and light supper is 5-7 PM, with the retreat officially kicking off at 7 PM) and end Sunday by noon.

There will be two or three sessions of contemplative prayer each day, the group will pray the Hours together (Morning Prayer, Noonday Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Compline), and will share the Eucharist on Saturday morning There will be a nice block of free time on Saturday afternoon.  All will take meals together in a gracious silence, and just generally slow down, listen, and be open to the presence of God and one another.

For those who are interested, there will be a book discussion. This year’s book is Thirst, a collection of poetry by Mary Oliver. 

The cost of the retreat is $170.00 per person (financial assistance is available!), which covers a single occupancy room, meals, bedding, and some drinks.To register, please complete the attached registration form and submit it according to the instructions on the form.

Registration, with completed registration form and check in hand, is due by July 14.
Space is limited to 20 people.

If you have any questions or need more information about the retreat, please don’t hesitate to contact:
Char Sullivan <charbsullivan@gmail.com>
or
“Paul B. Marvin” <pmarvin64@gmail.com>

Blue Grass Mass Sunday at 11 AM

IMG_5756Sing and stomp along as the Advocate Acoustics lead us in a Blue Grass Mass this Sunday.
Blue Grass music is indigenous to the southeastern united states. It’s popularity in our region is reflected in numbers festivals held each year, from MerleFest to the Union Grove Old Time Fiddlers Convention.  So twice a year or so The Advocate brings this musical style to our worship. Now part of our intended “Traditioned Innovation” liturgy, Sundays at 11 AM.

Songs to include:
Swing Low
Just A Closer Walk
Amazing Grace

I’ll Fly Away

Sunday, June 11, at 11 AM.
Come on your own, or bring a friend!

 

Notes for the Season Ahead

img_7929Advocate Summer Schedule: July, August and September 3 

A Single Sunday Liturgy Sundays @5PM
See more here

[Note: On Thursday, July 20, the renovations of the Advocate House, including making it ADA compliant, will begin!]

Wednesday, August 9
7 PM. Readers Roundtable discusses Mary Oliver’s Thirst. All are welcome. See more here.

Friday, August 25
Advocate Bulls Night! Game starts at 6:30 PM. Contact Vicar@TheAdvocateChurch.org if your want tickets.

Sunday, August 27
7 PM  Pee Wee Homes @ The Advocate. Q and A in the Chapel.
Sunday, September 10
Fall service schedule begins.
9 AM   Classic TEC: Holy Eucharist from the Book of Common Prayer. Hymns from the 1982 Hymnal.  10 AM  Celebration of the Advocate and Sign-up! with festive brunch.
11 AM  Holy Eucharist, a cappella singing
Sunday, September 17
10 AM  Godly Play begins for the kids.
            Teachable Moment begins for adults.

 

check TheAdvocateChurch.org for updates and additions)

Summer Schedule Ahead: July, August and September 3

Easter SunTake Back the Sunday morning Sabbath
Advocate Church at 5 PM
July,  August, and September 3.

When the Advocate was launched in 2003, and for the eleven years that followed, our principal liturgy was held at 5 PM. This was an outward and visible sign of our commitment to be a church for those who might not otherwise be drawn to a more established way of being church, or who, because of work schedules could not worship on Sunday mornings. Among other things, what many of those who had been regular church-goers soon discovered, was a Sunday morning sabbath, a time of leisure and of rest.

We worshipped at 5 PM for 11 years, adding a morning option in 2009.

When we moved into our own building in Spring 2014, we determined to have one liturgy on Sundays for our “opening season”. That liturgy was at 10:30 AM.

We soon we added a 5 PM Contemplative Eucharist.

In the summer of 2015 we returned on a single Eucharistic liturgy at 5 PM, with morning prayer and Bible study at 8:30 AM.

In the summer of 2016, we held a morning Eucharist at 8:30 AM and an evening Eucharist at 5 PM, followed by dinner.

Returning to our 5 PM Eucharist and dinner for the summer allowed us to experience a kind of “summer Sabbath”. It allowed folks to visit us from other churches, to come to church after a weekend away, to try something different. It also helped us to live into our calling to keep our liturgy fresh.

Summer 2017

As we approach Summer 2017, we will return to a single Eucharistic liturgy each Sunday at 5 PM, July and August and the first Sunday of September. A single Eucharistic liturgy simply makes sense for a church our size, with people and clergy taking holidays and/or simply moving into summer spirit. Holding that liturgy at 5 PM stirs the hearts of many and allows for a seasonal hospitality that is engaging. It is also a part of our “liturgical DNA”.

Come join us!

The Good Friday Wake: Gathering with friends to talk about Jesus, the one who has died

The day after my grandmother died, my family gathered in from near and far. Late afternoon, into the evening, sitting in her kitchen and living room, we talked. Coffee was plenteous, a bottle of wine, one platter overflowing with cold cuts, and another with Entenmanns coffee cake. We planned for the funeral, started thinking about distribution of her worldly possessions. Mostly, we shared memories and stories. We laughed about her personality quirks, we sighed about our experiences of her support and care, and we reminded ourselves of the wisdom she had given us. The body of the deceased wasn’t with us in the house, but her spirit sure was there.

Decades later, I was priest of the Advocate when a beloved parishioner died on a Thursday afternoon. A meeting was scheduled at the Church that night. But we knew that our sorrow would prevail, so we announced that we would gather in the Chapel and hold vigil instead. We used Evening Prayer as our guide, read scripture, prayed the Litany at the Time of Death, and shared memories and stories of our friend who had died. We laughed at turns of phrase he had used, reminded ourselves of the ways he had inspired us. We mourned together, and were comforted by our shared memories and shared loss.

These gatherings are not all that unusual. They happen in every faith tradition, in families and households everywhere. The Jews have a custom of “sitting Shiva” for 7 days of mourning, praying and sharing. It is possible that Mary and her friends sat Shiva when Jesus died. (For a day or two anyway!).

In Holy Week, the week leading up to the celebration of Easter, Christians often keep Vigil through the night between the Maundy Thursday liturgy, when commemorates Jesus’ “last supper” with his disciples, and noon on Good Friday, when we remember Jesus’ crucifixion and burial. This custom of keeping vigil emerged out of the story Jesus’ response to his disciples when they fell asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane in the hours before his arrest. “So, you could not stay awake with me one hour?” (Matthew 26:40). The Maundy Thursday Vigil is traditionally held at an “Altar of Repose”, usually festooned with flowers, and attended by one or more of the faithful praying quietly at assigned hours through the night and early morning.

A Good Friday Wake is quite different. Sometime in the evening, most likely after dinner, “friends and family” of the deceased are invited to gather in the Chapel. The Wake can last as little as one hour or as many as three. Three hours allows for the symmetry of the three hours at mid-day, though 1.5 – 2 hours are more doable. People are invited to come for the whole time, or to drop in for a while when they can, just as they would for any wake.

And as with a wake, the atmosphere is a blend of somber and cheery, a blend of sacred Church and gentle fellowship as well. Chairs are set up around a table, or choir style, facing each other for ease of conversation. On a table or bench nearby, a burial icon of Jesus is laid. Votive candles, flowers and herbs surround the icon. Lights are dim and candles are burning. Devotional crosses, or images of the Pieta or the Harrowing of Hell can be set up at stations elsewhere in the room for individual contemplation. Unlit candles and flowers can be made available to be placed around the icon in acts of personal prayer and piety.

Within the room, or in a room nearby, hot tea and hot cross buns are provided, give a family home component to the atmosphere.

The time is roughly divided into half-hours. Each half-hour beginning with a bell toll, then followed by 10 minutes or so of readings (Scripture, poetry and prose), selected by the facilitators. The bell tolls again, and those gathered are invited to share memories or stories about Jesus. Some recount Jesus as he is revealed in Scripture, others as he has been revealed in sacrament or personal prayer. Some traditions might call this “testimony”. But it is more communal than individual. It allows for conversation, as one person’s favorite story is shared by another, or stimulates a different memory.

“Do you remember that time when he wanted us to try to feed that whole crowd of people who’d gathered to hear him preach?”

or

Reflecting on the feeding of the multitude, one person said, “He asked us, ‘What have you got?’”. And then added reflectively, “He used to ask us that a lot…”

or

One person said, “I guess the first time I met Jesus was as a kid in church camp. He singled me out to play throwing water balloons with. I always remember he was so kind…”

Some of these stories are prepared ahead of time by the leaders, but most emerge, organically. And we feel at once shy and bold, vulnerable and faithful.

Another ten minutes, and the facilitator tolls the bell again. Now there is a period of silent meditation until the next half-hour rolls around. People sit or stand, walk about, get some tea, visit one of the other icons, or leave. It is important that people feel they can freely come and go in that time, with as little awkwardness as possible. Though even in awkwardness, we experience a little more of what is happening, of what happened, in those hours.

In practice, some half hours have more silence than others. Sometimes the structure slides away, and there is simply silence and comment, silence and prayer. It’s possible to vary the focus or style of these half hours. One might have a good bit of singing, for example, and be announced ahead of time.

We often end the evening with the facilitator saying:
“I remember Jesus, who said, ‘Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there in the midst of them.’
Let’s pray together the prayer he taught us: Our Father in heaven…
I remember Jesus, who said, ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.’ Let us share with each other a sign of Christ’s peace.”

The Peace is exchanged before and head out into the night.
__________

Not everyone will be comfortable with this Good Friday Wake, of course. Some will even find it kind of weird. It does require leadership and modeling by the facilitator(s), and also an ability to stay out of the way once others start to speak. It requires a certain imagination, and a willingness for some of those gathered to share of their own experience. It requires an overall spirit of acceptance and hospitality. No one should feel pressured to speak; there is a lot to be given just by being present, a lot to be gained just by listening. For many, the Wake helps to make the story and Jesus more vivid and more real. More incarnate. For many, the Wake helps to form us for the Resurrection, and for the life of faith.

“This was folk theology”, Miranda said, “a community of faith doing theology together, in the most amazing way. …. It’s been very hard for me to remember, all day, that it’s not Easter yet—not because, sitting around the icon, we forgot that we were grieving a departed friend, but because in our shared grieving and remembering, that friend became so real and present to me.”

The Rev. Lisa G. Fischbeck, Vicar

Link to Episcopal Church Vital Practices Blog.

What Happens Maundy Thursday?

IMG_0753
903630_10100328975028214_779556457_oOn the Thursday of Holy Week, also called Maundy Thursday, the Church universal remembers Jesus’ “last supper” with his disciples. Scripture tells us that they gathered in an “upper room” for the passover meal.  They feasted and enjoyed one another’s fellowship. The frescos of Da Vinci at the Vatican and of Ben Long in Glendale Spring, NC, capture the intimacy and the complexity of that night.
Jesus surprised them all, first by washing their feet, then by his strange words about the bread and the wine. The former practice is remembered with varying degrees of symbolism and formality by many congregations. The latter practice evolved quickly as the Eucharist, the Holy Communion, the Lord’s Supper. And on Maundy Thursday we re-member both events.
Another practice of Maundy Thursday is “the stripping of the altar”. In this, vessels and cloths, of books and of banners, are all removed from the altar and its surrounding space. And the processional cross is veiled in black. It is as though the resurrection never happened. Death is the end. We move toward Good Friday, woefully aware of the disciples’ abandonment, and even betrayal, of Jesus, saddened by our own “standing by” while that crucifixion continues in other forms today.
In the first ten years of the Advocate, we had neither land nor building of our own, and we developed our Holy Week liturgies in such a way as to allow us to enter into Jesus’ last week as a human being as best we could in our time and place. We said “Carrboro becomes Jerusalem”. And we rented the Fleming Lodge at Camp New Hope to be our “upper room”. Maundy Thursday at Camp New Hope quickly became a favorite event in the life of the Advocate.
Each year we gather in the lodge for a festive evening of Middle Eastern food. Fresh tulips on every table, with a chalice of wine. and a basket of pita. Vestry members and other lay leaders serve the tables, and after supper offer the foot washing. An acoustic band leads us in favorite songs: All Who Hunger Gather Gladly, The Servant Song, Ubi Caritas, and more. At the end of the evening we clear the table tops and then the room itself. The transition is made plain. And we gather in the dark on the porch to hear Psalm 22, stand in silence, then go our separate ways into the night.
It is a night of friendship and faith. It is also a night of hospitality. We encourage visitors and friends to come on over and join us.
6:30 – 8:30 PM. Fleming Lodge, Camp New Hope. (off highway 86, 3 miles north of the I40-86 interchange).
Please come and join us for an evening of food, song and prayer. All are welcome.

 

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 <sallie305@gmail.com>

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.
Thanks!
crop-walk-logo

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).
IMG_3090
+ 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.