News and Events

Ash Wednesday Services March 1 at Noon and 7 PM

UnknownT.S. Eliot once wrote, “What we call the beginning is often the end and to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.”

On Ash Wednesday, March 1, in services at noon and 7 p.m., we will gather in the Advocate Chapel,  to remember our mortality — that we are dust, and to dust we shall return. We will also mark the beginning of our Lenten journey, the forty day season of our preparation for the holiest days of the Christian year – Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday. In so doing, we will anticipate – however paradoxically – the end of our Lenten journey even as it begins.

From that ending, we make our beginning, together as people of faith.

Come be a part of the journey.

The Day the Revolution Began. (Re)Discovering the Meaning of the Crucifixion

51DjeQtdfLL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_A Lenten Study
March 8, 15, 22, 29, and April 5, 7:00-8:30 PM

This is a Lenten study based on N.T. Wright’s new book The Day the Revolution Began: Rediscovering the Meaning of Jesus’s Crucifixion.  In these five sessions we will explore the Biblical accounts of the Jesus’ death (as well as the historical and cultural backgrounds of these stories) so as to see what Jesus’ death might mean for us today.

More about N.T. Wright here.

More about The Day the Revolution Began here.

 

Wake Up and Smell the Awesomeness: A Discussion of Anthony De Mello’s book Awareness

flame azaleaFeb 22, 7:00-8:30 PM

After a brief introduction to the life and thought of the Indian Jesuit Anthony De Mello, Jay Reeves will lead a discussion of De Mello’s classic book Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality.  Participants are encouraged to read the book ahead of time, but everyone is welcome whether you’ve read the book or not.

More about Anthony De Mello here.

The book, Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality

The Piedmont Patch Project

img_7929The Piedmont Patch Project: Restoring Native Flora of the Piedmont One Patch of Piedmont at a Time

The people of the Episcopal Church of the Advocate have a dream. Since moving onto our scruffy 15-acre site in 2014, we have been working to transform it into a place of hospitality, worship, and contemplation, and a regional resource for collaborative social ministry and the arts. In 2015, The Advocate began collaborating with individuals and organizations outside the church to host three “tiny homes” on our site, for individuals who would otherwise be homeless (PeeWeeHomes.org ). Now we are beginning a second collaboration, the Piedmont Patch Project, to restore native flora and fauna displaced by the rapid urbanization surrounding the property, and to cultivate keepers of Creation.

The Piedmont Patch project will transform five acres of our site into a food-producing and natural habitat, create a network of involved neighbors and provide numerous opportunities to educate and engage people of all ages and backgrounds. We believe that in deepening connections with creation and with our community, mindfully tending and keeping the land and teaching others to do the same, we will honor God.

We 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, such as Cathy Bollinger of The Piedmont Gardener.

We hope the Piedmont Patch Project (like the Pee Wee Homes Collaborative) will serve as prototypes that can be scaled and replicated in a variety of church, public, and private settings.

Here’s and article about native and non-native wildflowers and bees.

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/

Questions?
Contact:
Paul B. Marvin <pmarvin@nc.rr.com>
or
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. 

Sunday Yoga in the Chapel — 3 PM

imagesYoga in the Chapel
Sundays, 3:00 – 4:15 p.m.
All levels welcome. This gentle class, led by the Advocate’s own Kathleen Nolan, is centered on the integration of body, breath, and spirit. We’ll play with meditating on the messages from the Sunday readings and sermons as we move and breath.
If you have a yoga or exercise mat, bring that along.
Requested donation: $10.00. Portions of the proceeds benefit the Episcopal Church of the Advocate and the Community of the Franciscan Way.
For more information, contact Kathleen Nolan at kathleenln@yahoo.com.

Cynthia Bourgeault on Contemplative Spirituality — January 18 at 7 PM.

Jan 18, 7:00-9:00 PM: Cynthia Bourgeault on Contemplative Spirituality – Is there really such a thing as Christian Nonduality?

Join us at the Advocate Wednesday evening as we view and discuss a webcast produced by Richard Rohr’s Center for Action and Contemplation.  Cynthia Bourgeault will present provocative ideas about the nature of reality,  prayer, and living the Christian life.  Richard Rohr and James Finley will also appear in the video sharing opening and closing remarks.

Cynthia Bourgeault: http://www.contemplative.org/cynthia-bourgeault/

Her new book, The Heart of Centering Prayer: Nondual Christianity in Theory and Practicehttps://www.amazon.com/Heart-Centering-Prayer-Christianity-Practice/dp/1611803144/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Richard Rohr: https://cac.org/richard-rohr/richard-rohr-ofm/

Center for Action and Contemplation: https://cac.org/

Link to this webcast on CAC site: https://cac.org/christian-nonduality-seriously/

James Finley: http://www.contemplativeway.org/index.cfm

 

Reflections for the First Sunday After the Epiphany, January 8, 2017

Reflections on the First Sunday After the Epiphany
January 8, 2017
The Rev. Lisa G. Fischbeck, Vicar

“Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it, and spirit to those who walk in it: I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you…..” (Isaiah 42)

“I have taken you by the hand and kept you….”

Today marks the first Sunday in the season of Epiphany. Friday evening some gathered in the Chapel to celebrate the feast of the Epiphany itself. And we were reminded of the coming of the wise men, the sages from afar, to the birthplace of Jesus. By that story we are told that Jesus came, not just for a few, but for all. For all of “us” and for all with whom we share this world.

In the words of St. Peter in Acts of the Apostles: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality.”

And today, today we hear the story of the baptism of Jesus. (We had a little fast forward of 30 years in 30 hours…) In this morning’s Gospel, Jesus is full grown. A man.

Today’s story is not just the story of John the Baptist and the River Jordan and the cleansing ritual and Jesus.

Importantly, the Gospel story we hear today is also a story of the Holy Spirit, descending upon Jesus, in bodily form like a dove. It’s the story of a voice coming from heaven declaring, “You are my Son, the Beloved.”

That dove and voice bit is essential to the story. Because by it we learn, just as the witnesses of old learned, that somehow in this person Jesus God is made (here’s the good Epiphany word) God is made manifest in Jesus the man.

As the old hymn goes: “God in man made manifest”.

In this person Jesus,
God is.

And because God is in this person Jesus, in this human being born like one of us, in this human being dwelling on earth like one of us, because God is in this person Jesus, we understand that God has chosen to engage with us in an incredible, powerful, awesome and efficient way.

So that now we can hear the word of God in the prophet Isaiah and know it true,
“I have taken you by the hand and kept you.”

Throughout the season of Epiphany ahead we will recognize, embrace, celebrate, that God has taken us by the hand and kept us.
We will celebrate that God has been manifest in Jesus, and, as such, has engaged with us, closely.

In the season of Epiphany, we will hear story after story that reveals that manifestation of God in Christ. We will hear stories of Christ’s miracles, of Christ teaching with authority, of Christ shining with a holy glow like none other – in his transfiguration on the mountainside.

This is all very cool. And exciting. Not only because we are talking about God –
“the God who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it, and spirit to those who walk in it”.

But because we are talking about that God engaging with us. we who are frail and floppy, self-centered and arrogant, fearful and flailing.

Epiphany is not a story of God’s “outreach” — of God reaching out to us and giving us what we need. Epiphany is a story of God’s “engagement”. In Christ, God has engaged with us. And, in Christ, God has called us to engage with one another, and with the world in which we live.

It begins today as we hear the story of the Baptism of Jesus. And we consider again our own baptism. The Holy Spirit was present at both.

If we were in worship together this morning, we would renew once more our baptismal covenant, reminding us of what it means that we are baptized and what we are called to be and do because of it.
I’ve pasted that covenant below.

In Christ, God has engaged with humanity.
In our baptism, we have become engaged with Christ.
So it is that God has chosen to take us by the hand
and keep us close.

That is the stuff of the season.

Amen.

The Baptismal Covenant

Celebrant                  Do you believe in God the Father?
People                                    I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

Celebrant                  Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?
People                                    I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

Celebrant                  Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit?
People                      I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.

Celebrant                  Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of the bread, and in the prayers?

People                      I will, with God’s help.

Celebrant                  Will you persevere in resisting evil, and , whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?
People                      I will, with God’s help.

Celebrant                  Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?People                       I will, with God’s help.

Celebrant                  Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?
People                       I will, with God’s help.

Celebrant                  Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
People                        I will, with God’s help.