Celebrating Our 15th Anniversary October 20-21!

In 2003,The Advocate was born of the collaboration,strength and vitality of the Diocese of North Carolina and the three established Episcopal Churches in Orange County, North Carolina — St. Matthews in Hillsborough, The Chapel of the Cross in Chapel Hill, and Church of the Holy Family in Chapel Hill. We were launched on St. Matthews Day, September 21, 2003. 15 years ago. We’ve been welcoming people of every kind of household and at every stage of life and faith and doubt ever since.

The celebration of our 15th anniversary comes into focus October 20 – 21.

On Saturday, October 20, there will be a Pee Wee Homes build in the morning and the afternoon.
We will gather for a talent show in the Chapel at 6 PM, followed by a campfire with toasted marshmallows and s’mores.

Through the night, the pig will be roasted.

On Sunday, October 21, we will gather for an outdoor Eucharist at 10:30 AM with our Bishop, Sam Rodman, and will also dedicate the three Pee Wee Homes under construction. Then we will have an old time pig pickin’ with lots of good side dishes and music from the Dogwood Blossom Band. There will be cake!

2-4 PM The Third Sunday Shape Note Sing in the Advocate Chapel. See more here.

Please join us for any and all!

As part of our celebration, we’ve made long-sleeved t-shirts. These will be available through the celebration weekend. A donation of $15 per shirt is requested.

 

 

Chapel Hill Merchants and Students Support Pee Wee Homes

UNC student Justin Pacher has produced this short video to help raise awareness of the Pee Wee Homes.  It’s part of an assignment from Jim Kitchen, Entrepreneur-in-residence at the Kenan-Flagler Business School. Student are practicing the social entrepreneurship skills they’ve been learning in class and will donate funds raised to the Pee Wee Homes.

Justin arranged for  local merchants to offer discounts to anyone with a Pee Wee Homes coupon card. Cards are available for a $5 donation at The Advocate next Sunday!

Readers Roundtable 2nd Wednesdays at 7

IMG_0382The Readers Roundtable gathers the second Wednesday of the month, 7:00-8:30 PM in the Advocate House  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, Leif Enger’s Peace Like a River, Wendell Berry’s A Place on Earth,

Each month the conversation is open to everyone and their friends.

In the season ahead, here are the books that will be discussed:

Wednesday, September 12

Out of the Silent Planet

The first book in C. S. Lewis’s acclaimed Space Trilogy, which continues with Perelandra and That Hideous Strength, Out of the Silent Planet begins the adventures of the remarkable Dr. Ransom. Here, that estimable man is abducted by a megalomaniacal physicist and his accomplice and taken via spaceship to the red planet of Malacandra. The two men are in need of a human sacrifice, and Dr. Ransom would seem to fit the bill. Once on the planet, however, Ransom eludes his captors, risking his life and his chances of returning to Earth, becoming a stranger in a land that is enchanting in its difference from Earth and instructive in its similarity. First published in 1943, Out of the Silent Planet remains a mysterious and suspenseful tour de force.

 

Wednesday, October 10

Akata Witch

“Nnedi Okorafor writes glorious futures and fabulous fantasies. Her characters take your heart and squeeze it; her worlds open your mind to new things.” — Neil Gaiman, author of The Graveyard Book and American Gods.

Affectionately dubbed “the Nigerian Harry Potter,” Akata Witch weaves together a heart-pounding tale of magic, mystery, and finding one’s place in the world. Perfect for fans of Children of Blood and Bone!

 

Wednesday, November 14

TransAtlantic: A Novel

New York Times Bestseller • Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize • Named one of the best books of the year by Kirkus Reviews

In the National Book Award–winning Let the Great World Spin, Colum McCann thrilled readers with a marvelous high-wire act of fiction that The New York Times Book Review called “an emotional tour de force.” Now McCann demonstrates once again why he is one of the most acclaimed and essential authors of his generation with a soaring novel that spans continents, leaps centuries, and unites a cast of deftly rendered characters, both real and imagined.

 

Wednesday, December 12

The Nightingale: A Novel

A #1 New York Times bestseller, Wall Street Journal Best Book of the Year, and soon to be a major motion picture, this unforgettable novel of love and strength in the face of war has enthralled a generation.

France, 1939 – In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France … but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianne’s home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive…

 

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!

Notes for the Season Ahead! (an evolving post)

Sunday, September 9, Celebrate and Connect,  a “Mission Fare” from 10 – 10:50 AM, ahead of the 11 AM liturgy. Come a discover ways to engage with God, the community around us, and the Church of the Advocate in the seasons ahead!
The 9 AM liturgy will be added on Sunday, September 16.
See the regular Sunday schedule here.
Here are some other Dates to Note (this is an evolving calendar, please check back for updates!).
Saturday, September 8, Grass Plugging!  Once again, the Piedmont Patch at the Advocate has been gifted with 1000 plugs of native grasses that need to be planted as soon as possible. Join us, 8 AM – 11 AM, to plug these grasses into the ground!
Wednesday, September 12: 7-8:30  The Readers Roundtable talks about CS Lewis’ Out of the Silent Planet. See more here.
Saturday, September 22, 10 AM – noon. The Piedmont Patch at the Advocate, in collaboration with the New Hope Audubon Chapter presents: Native Piedmont Birds. See more here.
Saturday, October 13, 9 AM – noon. An Advocate Site Stewardship autumn work day. Did somebody say “Mulch!”?
October 20-21, A Celebration of The Advocate’s 15th Anniversary, with music, food, festival liturgy, Piedmont Patch and Pee Wee Homes events. Our Bishop, Sam Rodman will join us Sunday morning.
Sunday October 21 at 1PM: Ribbon cutting for the Pee Wee Homes!
Other Good Things Ahead
Construction of the three Pee Wee Homes at the Advocate has (finally) begun. Volunteer Days will begin one the framing is up. To sign up to volunteer, see here.
A Study of the Hebrew Scriptures will begin September 23. See more here.

The Liturgy and Community — Teachable Moments September 16 – October 14. Details coming soon.

The Episcopal Church and The Advocate: Questions and Conversations.  7-8:30 PM, Wednesdays September 19 and 26, and October 3 and 17.

Readers Roundtable — Second Wednesdays — September 12, October 10, November 14, December 12. See more here.

Third Sunday Shape Note Sing  — August 19, September 16, October 21 — 2PM – 4 PM. In the Advocate Chapel. See more here.
check TheAdvocateChurch.org for updates and additions)

We met the $20k match!

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.

    When we had $50,000 left to go, a generous friend 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.
As of September 21, we raised $22, 300 toward that $20,000. We met the goal by September 21!
Now…. we need only $7,700 more and we will be DEBT-FREE!

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.

Or, you can securely give online by going here.

Thank you!

 

Pee Wee Homes and Piedmont Patch Each Awarded Grants This Season

The Advocate’s two collaborative efforts, the Pee Wee Homes and the Piedmont Patch, have each been awarded grants this month.

The Pee Wee Homes at the Advocate has been awarded a $10,000 from the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina’s Mission Endowment Fund. This grant will allow us to meet the anticipated increased expenses of the project due to the particularities of our site, significantly the large oak trees. It will also help pay for building materials. Total budget for the project’s three homes and infrastructure now expected to be $160,000.

The Piedmont Patch at the Advocate is the recent recipient of a grant from the local New Hope Audubon Chapter, providing 10 bird boxes for bluebirds and nuthatches on the Advocate site. Visitors can see the new boxes in the from yard of the Advocate, and also north of the pond. In the fall, the New Hope Audubon Chapter will also donate and plant some shrubs and bushes to further invite these birds to find their homes with us.

We are so very grateful for this good support of our efforts to create an hospitable site for all.

 

 

Study of Hebrew Scripture Starting in September

Have you ever wanted to study the wonderful, diverse and rich Hebrew Scriptures more deeply, but you’ve found the cost  or time commitment of some programs prohibitive?  Beginning in September, the Rev. Lera Tyler is offering a nine-month study of the Hebrew Scripture, using as text: Introduction to the Hebrew Bible  (Fortress Press, Second Edition 2014) by John J. Collins.

Participants will meet at the Advocate weekly to study and reflect on the stories, poetry, and teachings of the Pentateuch, the Prophets, Psalms, Wisdom literature, and consider their relevance to us now.
If you are interested in exploring the possibility, please contact Lera Tyler. <lera.tyler@gmail.com>.

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!

A post for National Pollinator Week posted August 4)
Sugar Shakin (posted August 6)
Time to Treat (posted August 8)

For more about the Piedmont Patch, look here.

 

 

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.