Reconstructing The Gospel: A Poor Peoples Campaign Conversation

The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival begins 40 Days of Nonviolent Direct Action to stir the conscience of our country.

During these six weeks, The Advocate will offer a reading group for those interested in sustaining our analysis of whiteness and deepening our understanding of Christianity’s role in the history of American racism.

We will read local theologian Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove’s new book, Reconstructing The Gospel: Finding Freedom From Slaveholder Religion.

Two copies are available on loan from the Advocate library.
We will discuss the book on Wednesday nights from 7:15-8:15 (except June 13, which is. Reader’s Roundtable night). More info to come!

$50K and we’ll be debt free!

The story of Advocate Loans and Debt
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 lot of money (over $1.7 million), but not enough. So we took out two loans:

  • A $180,000 loan from an anonymous individual loaner. This is the loan that we paid off in January 2018, after a lot of hard work and generosity from Advocates and friends, including a final $20,000 from the loaner!
  • A $150,000 loan from the North Carolina Episcopal Church Foundation. This loan was taken out in 2013,  to be paid at 2% interest over 10 years, ending in 2023.
    For 5 years, the $15,000 a year and the 2% interest were budgeted in the Advocate’s Annual Budget. Since January, 2018, though, we have begun to accelerate the payments, knowing that the sooner we pay off this loan, the sooner we can use that $15,000 a year to augment our life and ministry instead.
    As of May 1, $50,000 remains to be paid on this loan.Now a generous friend has offered to match any gift given, up to $20,000, in time for the Advocate’s 15th Anniversary celebration, September 21, 2018. This would result in $40,000 bringing us closer to paying off our entire debt!

This is, quite frankly, stunning.

If you think you can help, 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!

 

Creativity / Crafting Group, Every Other Thursday Evening Starting May 10

Join us every other Thursday night in the Chapel from 6:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. for evenings of sharing and crafting (and occasional meals). Whether you knit, write, weave, sing, play, paint, dance, bake, crochet, garden, or simply want inspiration and support to begin your own creative endeavors, all are welcome.

May 10th: Kickoff at the chapel
June 7th: Potluck (contact untothewoods@gmail.com. for location)
June 21st: Regular Meetup in the Advocate Chapel
July 5th: Regular Meetup in the Advocate Chapel
July 19th: Possible Potluck (contact untothewoods@gmail.com. for location)
[Knitwear Design & Photography by: Kerry Bullock-Ozkan. Model: Debbie Wuliger]

Glory Bees! A Piedmont Patch Project

On Friday, April 6 a hive of 12,000 bees were installed in their new hive on the north side of the Advocate Pond.

We can learn about bees, bee keeping, and the Advocate Church bees in particular, by following the blog, Glory Bees, found here.

 

 

Blog posts include:
An Introduction
The Queen
Pollen and Plants
New Digs!

For more about the Piedmont Patch, look here.

 

 

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>

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.

Each 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:

61JpYJkvOwL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_January 10: The Ninth Hour, by Alice McDermott.
Amazon blurb: A magnificent new novel from one of America’s finest writers?a powerfully affecting story spanning the twentieth century of a widow and her daughter and the nuns who serve their Irish-American community in Brooklyn…
The characters we meet, from Sally, the unborn baby at the beginning of the novel, who becomes the center of the story to the nuns whose personalities we come to know and love to the neighborhood families with whose lives they are entwined, are all rendered with extraordinary sympathy and McDermott’s trademark lucidity and intelligence. Alice McDermott’s The Ninth Hour is a crowning achievement by one of the premiere writers at work in America today.

 

411KA8IcUTL._SX316_BO1,204,203,200_In February and March, we will engage in a five-part Lenten Series using Hanging By a Thread, by Sam Wells. See more here.

 

51gB6GNAS-L._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_April  11: People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks
Amazon blurb: The bestselling novel that follows a rare manuscript through centuries of exile and war, from the author of The Secret Chord and of March, winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
Inspired by a true story, People of the Book is a novel of sweeping historical grandeur and intimate emotional intensity by an acclaimed and beloved author. Called “a tour de force”by the San Francisco Chronicle, this ambitious, electrifying work traces the harrowing journey of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, a beautifully illuminated Hebrew manuscript created in fifteenth-century Spain. When it falls to Hanna Heath, an Australian rare-book expert, to conserve this priceless work, the series of tiny artifacts she discovers in its ancient binding-an insect wing fragment, wine stains, salt crystals, a white hair-only begin to unlock its deep mysteries and unexpectedly plunges Hanna into the intrigues of fine art forgers and ultra-nationalist fanatics.

51x9J2WZRwL._AC_US218_May 9: Parable of the Sower, by Octavia Butler
Amazon blurb: Parable of the Sower is a dystopian classic of terror and hope-the story of an African American teenage girl trying to survive in an all-too-real future-from the “grand dame” of science fiction, Octavia E. Butler.
When unattended environmental and economic crises lead to social chaos, not even gated communities are safe. In a night of fire and death, Lauren Olamina, an empath and the daughter of a minister, loses her family and home and ventures out into the unprotected American landscape. But what begins as a flight for survival soon leads to something much more: a startling vision of human destiny…and the birth of a new faith, as Lauren becomes a prophet carrying the hope of a new world and a revolutionary idea christened “Earthseed”.
Chilling and thought-provoking for adult and young adult readers alike, “…there isn’t a page in this vivid and frightening story that fails to grip the reader” (San Jose Mercury News).

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!

The Piedmont Patch Project

img_7929The Piedmont Patch Project: Restoring Native Flora and Fauna, 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.

20170628_195951We 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.

IMG_8563The 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.

Breaking News!!! The Advocate Awarded Stewardship of Creation Grant from The Episcopal Church!

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

A Teachable Moment

imagesA Teachable Moment is a thirty minute occasion to reflect on an issue or event in the life of the congregation, the wider community, or the world. It consists of about 10 minutes of presentation and about 20 minutes of conversation. While we have a cache of subjects to draw on, we also are ready to spontaneously respond to something current.

“A Teachable Moment … it’s worth your time. Our commitment is that the time spent in conversation with one another will be relevant, inspiring, and enriching, as we talk about the things that matter against a horizon of hope.”    Lisa and Nathan.

FAQ About the Weekly Schedule at the Advocate

signHere’s the Weekly Schedule through June:

Sundays:
9 AM
          Classic Episcopal (Holy Eucharist from the BCP and songs from the Hymnal 1982)
9:45-10:45 AM  A Teachable Moment* for youth and adults and Godly Play* for the kids
11 AM        Traditioned Innovation (TI)* A 75-minute Holy Eucharist with songs and innovations.
12:20 PM  
   Lunch fellowship (food provided)

And on Wednesdays:
5:30 PM               A simple, quiet Eucharist, with readings from Holy Women; Holy Men
6:15 – 7 PM          Contemplative Prayer

*Here are some emerging questions:

What’s Classic Episcopal is an experience of the basic worship in the Episcopal tradition, using the Eucharistic rite from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer and songs from the Episcopal Hymnal 1982. It is the foundation of our liturgy and worship life.

What is *Traditioned Innovation? TI (Traditioned Innovation) According to the theologians at Leadership Education at Duke Divinitytraditioned innovation is a way of thinking as a Christian that engages the past for the sake of the future. At the TI Service at the Advocate, this means that we take each of the various elements of the basic worship of the Episcopal tradition and consider how it might be made new or interpreted in different ways in different seasons or places or by different people. We use prayers and songs from throughout the Church and take seriously the ancient word for worship, liturgy, meaning “the work of people” such that our worship becomes the work of this particular people at this particular time in this particular place.

What’s A *Teachable Moment? A Teachable Moment is a thirty minute occasion to reflect on an issue or event in the life of the congregation, the wider community, or the world. It consists of 10 minutes of presentation and 20 minutes of conversation. While we have a cache of subjects to draw on, we also are ready to spontaneously respond to something current.

What’s *Godly Play? Godly Play is an educational experience for kids, in which they are lead to engage with the stories of the Christian faith and participate in simple practices together. The Advocate offers Godly Play for kids age three and up. To learn more, please contact our kids Christian Ed Coordinator: Becca Bland <rebeccagwbland@gmail.com>

How can lunch be provided? Do I need to pay? The table fellowship of the Advocate is an expansion of the Eucharistic Feast. Food each week is provided by a rotation of 6 volunteer groups, each group providing the meal once in six weeks for the community gathered. The Advocate encourages participation in these food-providing groups. To volunteer, please contact Martha Wheeler <martha.s.wheeler@gmail.com>.

#AdvocateAdvocate Be the noun. Do the Verb

Advocate button

#AdvocateAdvocate. A campaign to digitally connect the people of God as we advocate for peace, justice and mercy.

Be the noun. Do the verb.

Since The Episcopal Church of the Advocate was launched in 2003, we have become keenly aware of our triptych:

  1. The Advocate is Jesus, who ascended to God’s right hand and advocates on our behalf (I John 1:2).

2) The Advocate is also the Holy Spirit (John 14: 25-27), the prodder and comforter, promised by Jesus, who comes among us with tongues of fire and in a gentle breath, uniting us and calling us to be God’s advocates in the world.

3) The Advocate is each of us, sent forth Sunday by Sunday, to work for God’s merciful justice, to make known God’s forgiveness, peace and love.

#AdvocateAdvocate is a hashtag to be used anytime we stand, post, work, pray, protest or sacrifice in the spirit of the Advocate. Anytime we Advocate (the verb), anytime we are Advocates (the noun).

Advocate buttons are available in the Chapel bell tower. (Donations gladly accepted in the alms box.)

Eastern Orthodox theologian Kallistos Ware writes:

Each social grouping –
family, parish, diocese, church council, school, office, factory, nation —
has as its vocation to be transformed by grace into a living icon of [the Holy Trinity],
to effect a reconciling harmony between diversity and unity,
human freedom and mutual solidarity, after the pattern of the Trinity.

Our belief in a Trinitarian God, in a God of social inter-relationship and shared love, commits us to opposing all forms of exploitation, injustice and discrimination….

When as Christians we fight for justice and for human rights,
for a compassionate and caring society,
we are acting specifically in the name of the Trinity.
Faith in the Trinitarian God, in the God of personal interrelationship and shared love, commits us to struggle with all our strength against poverty, exploitation, oppression and disease.
Our combat against these things is undertaken not merely on philanthropic and humanitarian grounds but because of our belief in God the Trinity.
Precisely because we know that God is three-in-one,
we cannot remain indifferent to any suffering, by any member of the human race, in any part of the world