Calendar for Advent and Christmas at the Advocate

advent-photoIn these weeks of anticipation, contemplation, and celebration, please join us in the Advocate Chapel. 

Sundays, December 3, 10, and 17: Our regular Sunday schedule, with Holy Eucharist at 9 and 11, and Godly Play and A Teachable Moment at 10(ish), all followed by lunch.

Wednesdays with Holy Eucharist at 5:30 PM and Contemplative Prayer, 6:15 – 7 PM.

In addition:
 

Sunday, December 3: The Teachable Moment will focus on the Advocate’s Piedmont Patch Project and what it means for us as a community.

Wednesday, December 6:  All are welcome to join in an Open Meeting to determine the Advocate Tithe for 2017. See more here. 7 PM.

Sunday, December 10: The Teachable Moment will focus on the gospels that didn’t make it into the Bible. AKA The Nag Hammadi Gospels. What do we make of them??
Wednesday, December 13: The Readers Roundtable will talk about A Land More Kind Than Home, by Wiley Cash.  See more here. 7 PM.
Sunday, December 17: The Teachable Moment will focus on The Gospel of Mary. What??

Also:

Sunday, December 17: Third Sunday Shape Note Sing with NC Shape Note. All are welcome to come and join in. This month will feature a lot of great early American Christmas songs. The folks from NC Shape Note are really good singers and happy to share and teach. 2 – 4 PM in the Chapel.
Tuesday, December 19: Community House Christmas Carol Party!
All are welcome to share a Christmas meal and caroling cheer with our neighbors at the Community House, starting at 6 PM. (note that this will be different from our parties of previous years, perhaps better suited to the Community House environment, with more emphasis on fellowship, eating and singing together. As you are able, bring some Christmas cookies to share.
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Provide a Holiday Dinner via The Interfaith Council? If you would like to provide a holiday dinner for a family in our community, see details here and donate online here!.
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Friday, December 22: A Getting Ready for Christmas Party. 
Bring your unfinished craft projects, your anticipatory cheer or gloom, your self.
We’ll watch A Charlie Brown Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life.
If someone wants to tend a fire, we’ll have a fire. If someone brings snacks (very likely), we’ll have snacks!
And we’ll have a fairy hair specialist there to add sparkle to the tresses of the first 12 people who contact Debbie Wuliger <debrawuliger@aol.com> to sign up.
[Note: The requested donation for the fairy hair specialist is $25, to help cover the cost, though anyone can sign up. If you can make a donation, write your check to The Episcopal Church of the Advocate, with Fairy Hair in the memo line.]
In the Advocate House. 7 – 9:30 PM.
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Sunday, December 24, Advent IV: one morning liturgy at 10 AM.
 
Sunday, December 24, Christmas Eve: 
Holy Eucharist with candles and carols. 4 PM and 9 PM.
Kids of all ages are encouraged to bring critters from home to visit the baby Jesus in the creche.
Monday, December 25.Christmas Day. Simple Eucharist with carols. 5 PM.
Sunday, December 31. The First Sunday After Christmas. One morning liturgy: Holy Eucharist with Lessons and Carols. 10 AM.
Friday, January 6.The Feast of the Epiphany! Burning of the Greens (weather conditions permitting), songs, prayers and kings cake!. Starts 6 PM at the fire pit.
All are welcome to all.

Debt Relief in Sight!

photo_2Debt Relief in Sight!

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 loan was without interest for one year, then a 1.5% interest rate and interest-only payments for 4 years. After five years, the entire $180,000 is due. This is what could be called “a balloon loan”. It comes due early in 2018.

In 2016, the people of the Advocate received a challenge to raise $40,000 toward the retirement of this second debt. With significant stretch, Advocates stepped up. In November 2016 our $40,000 plus the challenge gift allowed us to pay of $80,000 of that $180,000 loan.

Then, in January 2017, the Advocate received a challenge to raise $30,000 from friends of the Advocate. Friends responded, and in September we paid another $60,000 of that loan.

$40,000 remains.

Now, the loaner herself has offered to match $20,000 of the remaining $40,000, if we can raise another $20,000 in the months ahead.

Any gift given towards the Advocate’s debt retirement for the next $20,000, will be matched up to $20,000. This will pay off the loan.

  • A $150,000 loan from the North Carolina Episcopal Church Foundation. This loan is being paid at 2% interest over 10 years. The 10% payment and the 2% interest have both been budgeted in the Advocate’s Annual Budget for the past 4.5 years. At the end of 2017, $82,000 will remain to be paid on this loan. At this rate, we could pay it off in 5.5 years, in June 2023. We would sure be glad to pay off this loan sooner and be able to use that $15,000 each year to augment our life and ministry instead.

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!

 

The Advocate Tithe Applications

Each year, the Episcopal Church of the Advocate is committed to giving a minimum of 10% of our pledged income and of the plate offering received each Sunday to organizations in the community that help those in need and those working for peace and justice in the world. In other words, for every $10 given to us, $1 will be given to others. This offering is called the Advocate Tithe.
Applications are now being accepted for the 2017 Advocate Tithe distribution.
Applications are due to the Advocate by December 1.
Distribution of the Advocate Tithe is determined at the recommendation of a seasonal committee of Advocates meeting the first week of December.

The Advocate Tithe for 2017 will be about $16,000.

The Advocate Tithe for 2016 was distributed as follows:
The IFC                                                                  $2000
Orange Justice United                                            $1500
The Episcopal Farmworker Ministry                      $1000
Coalition for Peace with Justice                             $500
Compass Center                                                     $1000
NC Interfaith Power and Light                               $500
Johnson Service Corps                                           $1000
The Autism Society of North Carolina                   $500
Club Nova                                                              $1000
The Pee Wee Homes (C/o The Advocate)              $2000
The Community of the Franciscan Way                 $1000
The Jackson Center                                               $500
Nancy Murray for Iyad Burnat                               $200
Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina      $1000
Chapel Hill Service League Christmas House          $250
The IFC Community House Christmas                    $260
Vicar’s discretionary fund                                     $1790    
                                                                                                    Total Advocate Tithe in 2016 = $16,000  

Procedures for Requesting Support
  • An Application for Support from the Advocate Tithe is posted  below for those who would like to request support from the Advocate — whether that support be in the form of volunteer labor or logistical help, advocacy work, financial assistance, or other support from the church.
  • Completed forms may be sent to the church at: The Advocate Church Office <theadvocatechurch@gmail.com>.
  • Proposals will be evaluated by how closely they match the Advocate’s Core Values (Compassion, Justice, and Transformation) as well as the priorities for giving and involvement identified  by the congregation.

Decisions about supporting proposals are made by consensus among those present at meetings of the Community Engagement Facilitators. All proposals for financial or other support will be reviewed and approved on the basis of their fulfillment of our core values.

In our decisions about how to engage with the community around us, we prefer to:

  • Support projects that give voice to people who are marginalized and have very little voice.
  • Provide not only financial support, but also the time and talent of members of the congregation.
  • Support projects in which members of the congregation are already involved.
  • Support projects and organizations that are accountable, sustainable, and willing to teach us about their outcomes.
  • Support projects and organizations that are willing to send representatives to visit and help educate the congregation about their issues of concern.
  • Support groups that promote change, as well as those that meet direct needs.
  • 10% of our Tithe grants are given in the spirit of the Millennium Development Goals, usually supporting a ministry overseas.

tithe proposal form

Pledge Request for 2018

October 20, 2017

Dear Friends and People of the Advocate,

Fall is upon us and once again it is time for the usual & necessary request to each and all for a financial pledge to the Advocate’s operating budget for the year ahead.

The basic operating budget for the upcoming year is $209,000. The Advocate operating budget includes ordinary things like maintaining the chapel and house, audit and accounting services, land and pond upkeep, and utilities. Then there are the costs of providing faith and fellowship: piano accompanists and music, Christian education materials, and liturgical supplies. A portion of our budget goes to compensating a one-day-a-week administrative assistant, our children’s education coordinator, childcare providers, and of course, Lisa, our vicar. The vestry is hopeful, with your generosity, to go beyond basic.

The Advocate is at a pivotal time in our being. 2018 will be the first year we are 100% financially independent of the diocese and support from local parishes. We are grateful for the generous support received from both in previous years. This support allowed the Advocate to plant, blossom, and grow. Now it is time for each of us to give faithfully of our fruits.

We recognize people give time, talent, and treasure in a myriad of ways. Volunteers provide countless hours making church “happen” from baking the bread to ironing linens, from organizing Sunday lunch meals to providing refreshments for Teachable Moment, from mowing the lawn to tending the garden, the People of the Advocate are generous with their time. The People of the Advocate are indeed a talented group, we have artists who design and craft, singers and musicians who host special events, teachers who offer their expertise, and even a yoga instructor. We are grateful for these gifts of talent.

Which brings us to the gift of treasure. It’s always an awkward but essential ask. The vestry is asking each household to set aside one hour in the next few weeks to thoughtfully and prayerfully consider your financial contribution to the Advocate.  Our aspirational goal is that all families will pledge their financial support to the Advocate’s 2018 operating budget. Unanticipated donations in the basket on Sunday are helpful, but pledges are the foundation of our budget—they provide the basis for our decisions about what we can afford for salaries, stipends, and other expenses. The Advocate operating budget, like our liturgy, is truly the work of the people.

Know that your pledge makes a difference.

We ask that you make your pledge for the 2018 operating budget by December 1.

You can download a pledge form here.

Forms with envelopes will also be available in the bell tower of the Chapel.
Please place your pledge in the collection plate during the Offertory on Sunday, or mail it to:
       The Episcopal Church of the Advocate
       8410 Merin Road
       Chapel Hill, NC   27516

Or…. you can send any new pledge information in an email to: TheAdvocateChurch@gmail.com.
Just include your name and the amount you want to pledge to the Advocate for 2018.

Peace,

The Advocate Vestry

Denisé Dews, senior warden (ddews@unc.edu)

Shannon Gigliotti, junior warden (sg4jc@msn.com)

Coleen Cunningham (coleen.cunningham@duke.edu)

Paul Marvin (pmarvin64@gmail.com)

David McInnes (dmmcinnes0521@email.campbell.edu)

Molly Sutphen (mollysutphen@gmail.com)

 

All Saints Sunday, November 3 at 10 AM

imagesSunday, November 3: All Saints Sunday. 

Please plan to join us for our celebration of the saints – past, present and yet to come – at the Advocate on Sunday, November 3 at 10 AM.

The Festival of All the Saints is one of the 7 major Festivals of the Church Year, and (along with Pentecost) is truly a celebration of the Church.  As such, it is our custom to worship together for a single liturgy on this day.

img_9307It is also our custom to visually surround ourselves with images of the great Cloud of Witnesses, the Communion of Saints on All Saints Sunday. As you are led, please bring photos of those you have loved or admired who have gone before. We will post or place these photos and icons all around our worship space.

Also, if you would like prayers offered in the context of the Eucharist for particular loved ones who have gone before, please send their names to vicar@TheAdvocateChurch.org. before November 2.

Kids of all ages are invited to dress as a favorite saint or hero(ine).

The liturgy will be followed by an All Saints Festival Potluck. As you are able, please bring a dish to share.  In honor of All Saints, consider (but don’t feel obligated) sharing a recipe used by a previous generation and passed on to you.

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

$30,000 Challenge to Friends of the Advocate for Debt Relief

newlogo_transparent_background_big_text

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 bunch of money (over $1.5 million), but not enough. So we took out two loans:

  • A $150,000 loan from the North Carolina Episcopal Church Foundation. This loan is being paid at 2% interest over 10 years. The 10% payment and the 2% interest are both budgeted in the Advocate’s Annual Budget. About $90,000 remains to be paid on this loan.
  • A $180,000 loan from an anonymous individual loaner. This loan was without interest for one year, then a 1.5% interest rate and interest-only payments for 4 years. After five years, the entire $180,000 is due. This is what could be called “a balloon loan”. It comes due early in 2018.

In 2016, the people of the Advocate received a challenge to raise $40,000 toward the retirement of this second debt. With significant stretch, Advocates stepped up. In November 2016 our $40,000 plus the challenge gift allowed us to pay of $80,000 of that $180,000 loan. $100,000 remains.

We have now been offered a generous $30,000 match for any gifts given by friends of the Advocate in 2017.  

Any gift given by a friend of the Advocate – or by a friend or family member of a member of the Advocate — towards the Advocate’s debt retirement in 2016 will be matched up to $30,000 this year.

If we can meet this challenge, we will reduce the $100,000 remaining on this debt by $60,000.

That’s huge for us.

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!

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.