News and Events

What Happens Good Friday?

On Good Friday the Church re-members the day of the crucifixion of Jesus. At the Advocate we will do this with three distinct practices.

IMG_3090At noon we will walk the Via Crucis, the Way of the Cross through the Town of Carrboro. The traditional 14 stations of the Way will be reinterpreted for our time and place, starting at the Carrboro Town Hall, where “Jesus is condemned to die” and ending in the old Carrboro Cemetery, where Jesus is laid in the tomb. Mindful of our neighbors whose first language is Spanish, and of the tradition of the Via Crucis in Central and South America, we will offer our prayers and meditations in English and in Spanish.

At 6 PM we will gather in the Advocate Chapel, 8410 Merin Road in north Chapel Hill, for the Good Friday Liturgy from the Book of Common Prayer, with prayers, a homily, and hymns.

Burial Icon, Good Friday
Burial Icon, Good Friday

From 7 PM to 9 PM, we will hold the Good Friday Wake in the Chapel gathering as the friends of Jesus, remembering the one who has died. The time is divided into 30 minute segments. At 7PM we will have a simple soup supper. In each of the half hours that follow, we will have a time of readings, a time of conversation about Jesus, and a time of silent meditation. People can come and go on the half hour throughout the evening.

 

What Happens Maundy Thursday?

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 Springs, 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.

 

Who Are You and What is Your Mission? — A Palm Sunday Homily by Lacey Hudspeth

A homily offered by Lacey A. Hudspeth at the Episcopal Church of the Advocate, Palm Sunday, March 25, 2018.

I love the story of Alice in Wonderland. The story of a small girl who falls into a hole where she must navigate many odd and even absurd events in order to find her way home.

I love it because in the story there is this constant need in it to press two different questions—questions about Alice’s character
and
questions about Alice’s mission:

This story of Palm Sunday is often one I have a difficult time with, because it involves a
feeling of triumphalism that makes me uncomfortable. Jesus rides into Jerusalem, the
political epicenter of the time, amidst people fawning palm branches before him saying,
“Hosanna!” which translates literally into “God save us”.

As I have thought this week about why this story makes me so uncomfortable, I have come to realize it is because there are other people in our own more recent American story who live into the political triumphalism, who are swayed by a group of people saying something similar to, “save us, we put our hope in you, God has sent you to us.” I have a difficult time with the nature of triumphalism— it comes across as arrogant, rooted in worldly success, and I find it confusing in the face of the Jesus that I have come to know— I think we have to do something similar to the characters in Alice in Wonderland this morning. We have to look inside the gospels and ask of this Jesus riding into Jerusalem

Who are you? and What is the purpose of this?
AND, ask ourselves… What IS IT that we are committing to when we kneel before someone and say, “Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord ”
We must press Jesus on both who he is as a human and who he is as a God. Let’s look at this man we lay down palm branches for, a man we beg to save us.

Let’s look first at Jesus as a man. What is MOST unusual about Jesus, what sets him apart from other men is threefold:
1. His relationship to God
2. The shape and narrative of his life as teacher and justice seeker
3. His building relationships with outsiders, with the marginalized

As a man, Jesus very clearly sets himself outside of the triumphalist crowd. The palm branches mentioned in the gospel of John are meant to be reminiscent of the processions that greeted the political victories of the Maccabees.
But, Jesus quickly and clearly corrects this vision of himself as their political savior the people expected him to be— a man who rides into the epicenter on a jeweled chariot, a man who celebrates power.

Instead Jesus acts out a prophecy— he rides into Jerusalem on a donkey to show that, like the King promised in Zechariah, he has come to bring peace and salvation, NOT riches and political glory.
Jesus rides in on a donkey to say of his character:
I do not come to set up a hierarchy of power; I come humbly, a child born in a trough, a man riding in on a donkey, I am coming NOT to wield power over you, but rather the exact opposite— I have come to die for you, so that you may live.

Here we see the nature of Jesus as both human and as God.

Jesus, the man and the God, turns this triumphalism on its head. When the crowd tries to triumph the coming of Jesus as political-glory… Jesus instead celebrates what will be— the triumph of gratuitous love, the gift of the

Incarnation sent to gather us all into the mystery of the Trinity.
And when we press him, when we interrogate Scripture to more fully understand who he is as both fully human and fully divine, I think we come to know God as Pseudo Dionysius does— Jesus is the divine goodness who maintains and protects all creation and feasts on them with its good things.

At the core of Jesus’ humanity and divinity, Jesus is one who seeks and finds relationships— indeed, it is precisely through the incarnation— through the living work of Jesus present on earth as both fully human and fully divine—

We dont celebrate power.
We celebrate the mystery of God gathering us into the life of the Trinity.
When we look deeply into the character of the humanity and divinity of this God, we look deeply into the face of gratuitous love— love that is poured over each one of us without any regard for worthiness.

If we are like Alice, working through the absurdities of the world, trying to find our own way home— I think Jesus once more turns the questions around and looks at us and says,
Who are you? What do you believe?
What is your character and what is your mission?
How will you live out the gratuitous love I have shown you?
Will you be set apart by your love and relation to God?
Will you be set apart by your narrative of justice seeker?
and will you be set apart by building relationships with the marginalized?

These are the questions of Palm Sunday.

Amen and Amen.

Holy Week and Easter at the Advocate

Come and walk the Way with us.

The Prequel: Saturday, March 24
9 AM – Noon   
Site Stewardship morning: Come help get our ground ready for Holy Week and Easter. Many hands make light work!

Palm Sunday, March 25
+ 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.

Monday of Holy Week, March 26
+ 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.

Tuesday of Holy Week, March 27
+ Holy Eucharist at 5:30 PM

Wednesday of Holy Week, March 28
+ Holy Eucharist at 5:30 PM

Maundy Thursday, March 29
+ 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, March 30
+ 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, March 31
+The Holy Saturday Liturgy at 10AM in the Advocate Chapel. Gather in the Chapel for this brief liturgy of readings, reflection and prayers.

10:30 AM   Rehearsal and preparations for The Great Vigil.

IMG_4811Saturday Night, March 31
+ 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 1
+ 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 by the Pond. Bring your own chairs or blanket to sit upon.

Weather updates will be posted as needed.

Stations of the Cross Around the Advocate Pond

IMG_9692This Lent, The Episcopal Church of the Advocate invites our neighbors and friends, known and unknown, to participate in the ancient practice of prayer and reflection called the Stations of the Cross, around the Advocate Pond. Traditionally, the fourteen stations mark different events on the path that Jesus walked through the city of Jerusalem on the day of his death, from the house of the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, where he was condemned to die, to the hill at Golgatha, where he was crucified. At each station, participants pause for a reading from scripture, a prayer, and a time of meditation.

From early times, each of the fourteen stations has been marked by a Roman numeral. At The Advocate, we have localized the stations by using discarded railroad spikes from the nearby tracks for the numerals, and affixing them to reclaimed local barn boards.

A booklet of the fourteen stations, with prayer and scripture readings, as well as an olive wood cross to carry as you go, are available in a box under the well house roof. The first station is just to the east of the altar (towards the railroad tracks), and the stations proceed counterclockwise around the pond, ending with the fourteenth station just to the west of the altar.

The Stations may be walked and prayed at any time by any one.  All are welcome.

An Advocate Lenten Quiet Day at Spring Forth Farm March 10

The Church of the Advocate contemplative prayer group
invites you to share in a Lenten Quiet Day out at Megan and
Jonathan Leiss’ farm, Spring Forth Farm, in Hurdle Mills on

Saturday March 10 from 10-4pm

The day will largely be self-guided quiet time with opportunities to engage in light meditative garden work and fellowship. Feel free to come and go as you wish but please plan to share the noon meal with everyone. A potluck lunch will be shared at noon. In lieu of a donation to cover supplies, please bring a vegetarian/vegan dish to the potluck lunch.

Registration required as we can only host 15 folks. Please register by Wednesday March 7th.

Please come and join us in the quiet and beauty of Spring Forth Farm during this Lenten season.

For more information or to register email Megan at
leiss.megan@gmail.com

 

Piedmont Patch has a logo!

Coordinators of the Piedmont Patch Collaborative are excited to present the new logo, highlighting native flora (a Purple Cornflower) and fauna (an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly).

Thanks to JY Visuals of Chapel Hill for the design.

 

Piedmont_Patch_Logo_Piedmont_Patch_c_Logo_Color

Expect to see more of the logo in the seasons ahead, and our programs and plantings expand!

For more information about the PPC, look here!

And for information about our first educational event, “Creating Wildlife Habitat with Pollinator Gardens”, featuring Debbie Roos, see here!

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A Piedmont Patch Presentation: Debbie Roos on Pollinators and Habitats. Saturday, February 17

“Creating Wildlife Habitat with Pollinator Gardens”
Featuring Debbie Roos
Saturday, February 17, 11:00am – 1:00pm

The Piedmont Patch Collaborative invites the interested community to join us for the inaugural event in a multi-year program to collaboratively restore native landscapes, one patch of piedmont at a time. “Creating Wildlife Habitat with Pollinator Gardens” will be offered by noted pollinator expert Debbie Roos at the Episcopal Church of the Advocate on Saturday, February 17, 11:00am – 1:00pm. The Advocate is located at 8410 Merin Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27516. The event is free but registration is requested.

Debbie Roos is a Chatham County extension agent for sustainable organic production. Her talk will describe the relationships between native pollinators and native plants, the habitat requirements of these species, and offer suggestions on how to make any landscape more friendly to native pollinators. Participants will be inspired to establish a piedmont patch that will attract and support native plants, birds and mammals in any urban or suburban landscape. A frequent and popular local speaker, her talks are enhanced by her extensive photo collection. She also maintains a demonstration pollinator garden at Chatham Mills in Pittsboro, that is free and open to the public.

“We are excited to offer such an engaging opportunity to our neighbors and friends,” said the Rev. Lisa G. Fischbeck, Vicar of the Episcopal Church of the Advocate. “We hope that people who don’t know anything about native gardening will come, and be inspired to put in a small pollinator garden in whatever space they may have available. We’re in the process of transforming The Advocate’s property into a native habitat, and it is a place where anyone is welcome to walk, sit, fish, and be inspired. ”The Piedmont Patch Collaborative is a joint project between the Episcopal Church of the Advocate in Chapel Hill, NC, and various native species advocates. The Piedmont Patch aims to provide educational and experiential resources to support the restoration of diverse native flora to urban and suburban landscapes in the Piedmont region in North Carolina. Quarterly educational events and hands-on experiences are planned to engage interested persons at any level of experience. For more information, email piedmontpatch@gmail.com .

The Advocate Awarded Stewardship of Creation Grant from The Episcopal Church

IMG_0461We are more than happy to announce that The Church of the Advocate was awarded a $9,600 Stewardship of Creation grant from The Episcopal Church for the Piedmont Patch Project, a collaborative social ministry dedicated to restoring native flora and fauna displaced by the rapid urbanization surrounding the property, and cultivating keepers of Creation.

See more on the website of The Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina here.

If you want to be a part of this project — learning, teaching, planting, inviting, cultivating — please contact Day Smith Pritchartt <emaildayp@gmail.com>

Lenten Study: Hanging By a Thread

411KA8IcUTL._SX316_BO1,204,203,200_Lent Study 2018

7:15 – 8:15PM     Wednesday Evenings

February 21, 28 and March 7, 14, 21

In the Advocate House

Everyone is invited to this year’s Lent study, focusing on Sam Well’s reflection on the Crucifixion entitled Hanging by a Thread: The Questions of the Cross.

Here’s the book’s Amazon blurb:

This brilliant series of theological reflections from internationally known scholar and Anglican cleric Samuel Wells reflects on the challenges of our understanding of Christ’s crucifixion that arise today using contemporary ideas in history, biblical studies, and philosophy. Wells deals with such questions as: “Does the improbability of one event having significance for everything, everywhere, for all time leave our faith hanging by a thread?” “Does the possibility that elements of the story did not actually happen leave our Christian heritage hanging by a thread?” “Does the history of persecution that flowed from the classical belief that the Jews were responsible for Jesus’ death leave our morality hanging by a thread?” After reflecting upon six biblical stories, Wells discovers that the cross has an enduring power to shape how we live, how we relate to one another, and how we allow ourselves to be enfolded in God’s story.

The format of our time together will be simple: each week we will review and discuss a couple chapters of the book. The chapters are short, 7-8 pages each, so the reading load will not be heavy.

Everyone is invited to the conversation.

To get a copy of the book or learn more about the series, contact Paul Marvin (pmarvin@nc.rr.com, 919.477.6974).