Fall Formation Starts Sept. 11!

This fall there are lots of exciting formation opportunities at the Advocate! Keep scrolling or click below for the schedule:

Sundays: Critical Conversations: 9:30 AM to 10:25 AM in the Advocate House
A conversation about life and faith and the lens in which we see God’s world around us. Led each week by Advocate members.
Beginning Sept. 11, 2022

Mondays: Creativity and Prayer: 7 PM to 8:15 PM on Zoom
We’ll explore the relationship between spirituality and creativity, with an emphasis on how prayer in its various forms – petition, gratitude, and praise – enhances the creative process. Led by Sallie Moore.
Please email Sallie to sign up.
Sept. 19, Oct. 3, Oct. 17, Oct. 31, and Nov. 14

Tuesdays: The B-I-B-L-E: 7 PM to 8 PM on Zoom
We will read scripture, deeply and conversationally. No need to prep ahead of time — just show up! We will take a small portion each week to digest and ask questions of along the way. Led by Sarah Swann and Marion Sprott-Goldson.
Click here to join the Zoom meeting.
Beginning Sept. 12, 2022

Wednesdays: Readers’ Roundtable: 7 PM to 8:30 PM, 3rd Wednesdays at the Advocate House
This group gathers once per month for a lively and engaging book discussion. Books are determined by those in the group. Led by Hilda Bukowski.
Beginning Sept. 21, 2022

Thursdays: Savoring God’s Creation: 6 PM, every other week at the Advocate House
Advocates are people who eat together; it’s just what we do! We will explore how our faith is lived out in our kitchens and dining rooms as we savor the gift of creation through food. Our guide will be The Supper of the Lamb. Led by Dan LaVenture.
Beginning Sept. 15, 2022

Thursdays: Advo-Dinners: 7 PM to 8:30 PM at the Advocate House
This fall we’ll resurrect the Advocate’s long tradition of sharing meals together. We’ll gather in the house to share food and stories around the table. Bring a dish or just yourself! We’ll share in fellowship as we practice holy listening, ending with Compline. Please refrain from bringing wine or other alcohol.
Beginning Sept. 15, 2022

In addition, we’ll host other ways to gather socially — think game night, bonfires, jam sessions. Stay tuned for more information!

For events inside the Advocate house, please wear a mask except when eating. Please join us as you are able.

The Old Vicar’s Last Sermon

The Old Vicar’s Last Sermon
@TheAdvocate
November 21, 2021
The Rev. Lisa G. Fischbeck

In the Name of the creating, restoring, and transforming God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

The time came when we needed a sign.
Not a sign from God telling us what we needed to do,
But rather a sign by the road, telling folks that The Advocate was here.
It was 2014.
We finally had land on which to worship.
And a building in which to worship.
We needed a sign.

A member of the vestry contacted the appropriate staff in the Town of Chapel Hill
to find out the rules and regulations.
Turns out, there are plenty.

Notably,
The sign can only have the name of the business or organization on it.
No website or phone number, no street address.
No “The Rev. Lisa G. Fischbeck, Vicar”!
Just the name.

And the sign can’t be more than 16 ft2

The Vestry member reported: “According to the planning office, the town regulations do not allow pole signs. Signs in must be of a monument type with the base contiguous with the ground” (no daylight under the sign).
And the ratio of height to width can’t be more than 1:2.
So, 2ft x 4 ft.                             Or max: 2.82ft x 5.64ft

You start looking around town and you see it.
Most signs for businesses, organizations, churches,
Are set atop a stone or brick foundation.
And they are rectangular.

The vestry member talked to a local sign maker,
Who came up with some possibilities.
Very nice looking, for sure.
But, a few of us here at the Advocate
Wanted something…. Different.
Why not have the Advocate Cross itself be the sign?

And, since it was going to be by the tracks,
Why not have the sign made of metal?
Give it a little industrial, edgy look.
Help folks to know that we were more than the traditional 19th century chapel.

Turns out Celisa Steele knew of a local artist.
A sculptor named Callie Warner.
Turns out Caliie was just anti-establishment enough that she really relished the idea of something different.
We want the sign to be 8 ft. tall, I said.
And to have the Jesus part of the cross be cut out and clear.
Symbolically calling us to see the world through Jesus.

She went to work.
And created a drawing that I could run by the Town staff.
I found the email this week:
Dear Kay —              Thanks for your time and patience in meeting with me this afternoon.
Here is a scan of our proposed sign.
It is cut out of metal and stands 8 ft tall.
At the widest point in is 4 ft wide.
Hence it meets the 1:2 ratio requirement and the height requirement.
The sign itself is less than 16 square feet of material.
I do hope this can be approved as a sign for the Advocate.
I look forward to hearing from you.                   Lisa

You see, even though the sign was 8 ft tall,
And 4 ft wide at the widest.
If you use geometry and cut out the cross and the circle,
It isn’t 32 ft2.
It’s 8 inches by 8 feet = 6 ft2
Plus 8 inches by 4 ft = 3 ft2
Plus the circle, 8 inches wide and 4 ft in diameter….
You do the math!
It isn’t even 16 ft2.

And the base is most definitely contiguous with the ground
No air between the ground and the bottom of the cross.
The word came back from the Town office:
        We’ve never had a request like this before.
        But it does meet the requirements.

So, guess what?!
The Advocate has the tallest sign in Chapel Hill!

I tell this story, not to boast at our cleverness,
Though I confess some pride in it, for sure.
But to use it as an example of being….
Rooted in the tradition, but not bound by it.
In this case, following the rules, but pushing the envelope.
We did it with the move of the chapel,
We did it with the construction of the Pee Wee Homes.
We did it with the blessing of the unions of same sex partners
Notably, we do it with our liturgy,
Time and again.
That’s Advocate.
God willing and with the Bishop’s consent, of course.

Back to the sign.
There’s more to it, of course.
We had to debate just what name to put on the sign:
Some felt strongly that we needed to include the word Episcopal.
Others, that we needed to say Church.
But the design had limited space.
Episcopal is a long word!
And we figured the building clearly visible beyond the sign says “church”
pretty clearly.

And then there is that…. Jesus.
From the beginning,
The Advocate has led
And been led by,
The Advocate Jesus.
We made the decision early on to have Jesus on our processional cross
And then to have our processional cross be our logo,
Our sign and symbol of who and whose we are.
The way Jesus is depicted on our cross
Is not the way Jesus is usually depicted, either.

The Advocate Jesus is neither the suffering Jesus nor the Christ the King,
Crowned with many crowns and robed in splendor.
Our Advocate Jesus was inspired by this little carved cross out of Africa.
The Advocate Jesus is on the cross, but not bound by it.
Has conquered death, but still reaches out from the cross.
The Advocate Jesus is inviting, welcoming.
Simply and minimally attired
His wounds are plentiful,
Thanks to our blunders and the wind through the years,
But the broken bits have been restored,
Thanks to numerous repairs,
(Most spectacular the ones done by Marisa Sifontes, Holy Week 2018.)
Jesus’ arm is twisted a bit, though
Kind of like Jem Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird.

Wherever you are on the journey of life and faith and doubt,
The Advocate Jesus compelling –
Kind and forgiving,
Gentle and strong.
That’s Advocate.
At our best.
God willing.

There’s more, of course.
The Advocate is the Holy Spirit too.
Indeed, when we first got our name,
That’s what the Bishop assumed we were talking about.
That Pentecost would be out festival Day.
Jesus says, I will not leave you comfortless,
I will send you the Advocate.
The Spirit of truth.

We capture that in the Esser Tapestry,
The Seed and the Flame.
It’s hard to realize the progression and the movement of that tapestry as it hangs sideways in the bell tower.
(we don’t have a long enough horizontal space here to hang it as it is meant to be hung….).
The point of the tapestry is that
as we plant and cultivate the seed,
The flame emerges, shows itself.

Whewie,
To be the church of the Advocate, then,
To be a People of the Advocate,
Is a pretty high calling,
Firey and blustery,
Gentle comfort and mighty wind.
Stirring up justice, enfolded with compassion.
Talk about unbounded!
And if ever there was a time when the Spirit of Truth was needed in our world,
This is such a time.

I don’t know what people think or imagine when they drive by and see that sign:
An industrial metal cross
With a sinuous cut out Jesus.
The words The Advocate across the top.
Behind it a cute little storybook chapel.
But I hope they come in and have a closer look.

The chapel is cute and sweet,
It’s also worn and unpolished.
The wood has some splinters and the doors don’t shut all the way.
Like the Jesus on the Advocate Cross,
It’s been broken and restored,
And it invites all.
That’s Advocate.
At our best.
God willing

Yes, the sign and the tapestry and the Chapel are rich metaphors.
But what they point to is richer far.
Ever since we got our name,
I’ve spoken of the Advocate triptych,
The three in one:
The Advocate Jesus. Who has ascended and “sits at the [left] hand of God.”
(just checking to see if you’re paying attention)
The Advocate the Holy Spirit. Whom Jesus sends to breath and gust,
To nudge and prod.
And the Advocate that’s the people.
Inspired by the Christ, empowered by the Spirit,
The people of the Advocate go forth in the Name of Christ as the Body of Christ
And do God’s work in the world.
I’ve witnessed it time and time again in the last 18 years.
Y’all have inspired and humbled me.
Challenged me and warmed my heart.
Inviting, embracing, marching, praying,
Persevering, sacrificing,
Marinading in and making manifest
The compassion, justice and transformation of our God.

When people ask me what I love about my life as Vicar of the Advocate,
I tell of many things.
The people, the land, the pond, the Pee Wee Homes,
the authenticity, the liturgical freedom, the willingness to try new things,
the genuine care, the generosity of spirit.
I love watching people come to church on a Sunday morning,
Walking in from parked cars,
And, in 2020, popping up on the Zoom screen.
I love gathering in a circle for the distribution of communion,
I love walking our infinity processions,
Being encircled by the Christ made known in cross and Gospel,
seeing people reach out to touch the book as it passes by.
I love our offertory procession,
As all, each in our own way,
Offer ourselves to God,
I love chanting the Creed together.
I love the robust singing.
I love the robust singing a lot.
I love our baptisms by immersion.
And, as is probably abundantly clear to those who have witnessed it,
I love an enthusiastic asperges,
Declaring, with water flying through the air,
Remember that you are baptized!
Remember that you are the Body of Christ,
One with God, one with one another.

Well, we did that last week as we celebrated the Feast of All Saints.
So we won’t do that today.
Instead, today, I want to remind you of that Holy Spirit Advocate,
The wind, the flame.
And no, I’m not going to get out a big fan or a flame thrower,
Or even pass out candles.

But I have had some matchboxes made,
Each with the image of a panel from our Esser tapestry,
Because really,
Corny or mischievous or alliterative as it may sound,
truth be told
In part because it is corny, mischievous, and alliterative
My prayer for y’all as I move on,
Is that you will…..

Stay lit, Advocate.                                                     Amen!

Receiving the Cup of Salvation As We Transition from Covidtide

In September 2020, Advocates gathered safely at the Advocate pond to craft small clay cups from a single 25 pound block of clay. We used this cups for our Liturgy of Longing that Advent. One Maundy Thursday, 2021, we used our Advocate cups again, this time for our Maundy Thursday Agape Meal on Zoom.

Now, as COVID restrictions begin to loosen habit for those who are vaccinated and outdoors, we will use our Advocate cups (with the Bishop’s permission) as a way for us to receive the wine of the Eucharist, “the cup of salvation.”

Here’s the plan:

  1. The congregation gathers outdoors in a large circle or double arc.
  2. Each person/household has their own cup, placed reverently on a small clean cloth provided by the Advocate, on the ground and readily accessible.
  3. Rounds of bread, (and a gluten-free alternative), a flagon of wine, and a single chalice or cup are on the altar.
  4. A flagon of water is on the nearby credence table.
  5. The Presider, masked when required and having washed/sanitized hands according to Diocesan protocol, pours some wine from the flagon into the chalice/cup on the altar and pours a bit of water into both the chalice and the flagon.
  6. The Presider consecrates the bread and wine and breaks the bread.
  7. The Presider, masked when required, walks the arc, dropping a piece of the bread in each person’s hands. If there is contact, the presider re-sanitizes.
  8. After distributing the bread, the Presider invites those who would like to receive wine to pick up their cups and reverently hold them in the cup of their hands.
  9. The Presider, or another priest or deacon, masked as required, walks the arc, pouring a small amount of wine from the flagon into each cup, saying, “The blood of Christ. the Cup of Salvation (or, … keep you in everlasting life)”
  10. After serving others, the presider drinks from the chalice or cup on the altar.
  1. After all who wish to receive have received, The Presider/Deacon/Server walks the arc with the flagon of water, pouring water into each cup.
  2. The people perform the ablutions, circling the water in the cup and either consuming the water or pouring it reverently on the ground.
  3. Each household is responsible for taking their cup home and bringing it back with them when they return for worship.
  4. The clergy will maintain a supply of extra cups for visitors and/or households that forget to bring their cup from home.

 

Hybrid Worship

Join us in the chapel or on Zoom — Sundays at 10:30 AM! Or check out other ways to attend in person.

Click here to join via Zoom

Liturgy and music guides: 

**Update** Sunday, January 8, we’re changing to a simpler Zoom setup. This will make things easier on our hard-working volunteers, but Zoom prayers and announcements will no longer be heard in the chapel. Please bear with us as we work out the kinks!

If you plan to come in person, please be safe and check out our Covid Safety Procedures:

  • When inside the chapel, please wear a well-fitting mask (or grab one from the church vestibule)
  • Readers and preachers may remove their masks
  • The priest will wear a mask when presiding at the table
  • You may remove your mask to take the bread and wine during the Eucharist
  • If you do not feel comfortable removing your mask indoors, the priest can provide bread and wine for you outside after the service
  • Air purifiers will be used inside the chapel during services
  • When outside, masks are optional

Questions and concerns can be addressed to Marion@TheAdvocateChurch.org

A Liturgy of Longing

A Liturgy of Longing

The people gather online. Each household has a small pitcher or glass of water and a clay cup. (in the case of the Advocate, the cups were made by people of the Advocate for the people of the Advocate and were all crafted from a single block of clay). If this liturgy is part of the Sunday morning worship without a Eucharist, it takes place after the Peace.

Leader: In these Covid times, we are not able to normally and joyfully gather together in person. Instead we are gathered online, through a technology that allows us to be together audio-visually at least. And that is good.

And while we wait for the day when we can be together in person again, we gather as a Community of Longing. It is in that longing that we are united to God, who longs to be with we who are God’s people. It is in that longing that we are united to Christ and to one another.

Symbols of that longing are thirst and water. For it is thirst that embodies our longing. And it is a need for water that unites us to every living creature, and to God.

Leader: It is our longing for water that unites us to the People of Israel wandering in the wilderness.

People: Give us water to drink. 

Leader: It is our longing for water that unites us to the Psalmist.
People: As the deer longs for the water-brooks, so longs my soul for you, O God.

Leader: It is our longing for water that unites us to the woman of Samaria.
People: Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty.

Leader: And Jesus replied, Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.
People: Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

Leader: It is our longing for water that unites us to Jesus on the cross.
People: Jesus said, I am thirsty.

Leader: Our longing for community and Sacrament unites us one to another, throughout time and space, and brings us to our knees.
People: Your kingdom come.

Leader: The posture of God’s people from time immemorial is a posture of longing, not so much for what was, but for what will be. It is in this posture of longing that we find blessing.
People: Jesus said, Blessed are those who hunger and thirst… for they will be filled.

Leader: Even in that moment of bitter complaint in the desert, God did not abandon God’s own people. Neither does God abandon us today.
People: The Lord said to Moses, ‘Go on ahead of the people, and … take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go… strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.’

The people pour water from a pitcher or large glass into their clay cups.

Leader: We may not be together, as we once were, in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, we may not be together, as we once were, in the fellowship of physical community, but we are together as a Community of Longing. And God’s promise to the longing people of God, is that God is Emmanuel, God with us.
People: Give us water to drink. Your kingdom come. Blessed are those who thirst … for they will be filled.

The people drink.

A Prayer of Thanksgiving:

Leader: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.

Leader: Let us pray.
We thank you, Almighty God, for the gift of water.
Over it the Holy Spirit moved in the beginning of creation.
Through it you led the children of Israel out of their bondage in Egypt into the land of promise.
In it your Son Jesus received the baptism of John and was anointed by the Holy Spirit as the Messiah, the Christ, to lead us, through his death and resurrection, from the bondage of sin into everlasting life.
We thank you, Father, for the water of Baptism. In it we are buried with Christ in his death. By it we share in his resurrection. Through it we are reborn by the Holy Spirit,
and we are made one with one another and with you.
We thank you, abundant and merciful God, that you will not leave us comfortless, and when we are thirsty, you give us something to drink.

People:         Thanks be to God.
All:              Amen.

Composed by The Rev. Lisa G. Fischbeck and Alice Graham Grant

Adapted from the Baptismal Rite of the Book of Common Prayer and the essay, “Sacrament of our Longing,” by  James Koester, SSJE, of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist. (for more information about the SSJE visit ssje.org)

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 booklet is also available here:
https://theadvocatechurch.org/stations-of-the-cross/

 

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.

Pondside Eucharist Lent 2021

Peoples Prelude
Bell
Welcome 
Bell
Silence

Opening statement: 
We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we meet today, and pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge particularly the Eno, the Shakori, the Occaneechi, the Tutelo, and the Cheraw, the First Peoples of what is now The Triangle of North Carolina, whose descendants are now citizens of the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation.

Silence
Bell
Penitential Order

Presider           Blessed be the God of our salvation:
All                   Who bears our burdens and forgives our sins.

A period of silence is kept.

Jesus said, “The first commandment is this: Hear, O Israel: 
The Lord your God is the only Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: Love 
your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”    
Mark 12:29-31

Confession      [from Enriching Our Worship]
Presider           Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.          
After a short silence for reflection, all pray together:
All               God of all mercy, we confess that we have sinned against you, opposing your will in our lives. We have denied your goodness in each other, in ourselves, and in the world you have created. We repent of the evil that enslaves us, the evil we have done, and the evil done on our behalf. Forgive, restore, and strengthen us through our Savior Jesus Christ, that we may abide in your love and serve only your will.

Absolution       [from The Book of Common Prayer]
Presider           Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you all your sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen you in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep you in eternal life. 
All               Amen.

                  Lord, have mercy.
                  Christ have mercy.
                  Lord have mercy.

Collect of the Day
Presider           The Lord be with you.
People             And also with you.
Presider           Let us pray. 

The presider prays the Collect of the day, and in response, the people say: Amen.

The Lessons

A Reading

At the end of the reading, the lector says, “Hear what the Spirit is saying to God’s people,” to which the people respond, “Thanks be to God.” 

The Psalm (see psalms below)

The Gospel    (the people are invited to stand as they are able)
Before the reading of the Gospel 
Presider           The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to…
People          Glory to you, Lord Christ.

After the reading of the Gospel 

Presider           The Gospel of the Lord.
People          Praise to you, Lord Christ.

A Homily

The Prayers of the People

Leader             Let us now offer our prayers and thanksgiving to God. 
Before we pray together, let us, in silence, ask the Spirit to bring to our consciousness those things for which we should pray.

After a time of silence the Leader continues:

Creator and Redeemer, help us now to pray. We offer our respect and give thanks for the Traditional Custodians and Elders who have walked this land, for those who may be interred in this land and their descendants among us today. Help us to honor the truth and to seek the peace, justice, recompense and reconciliation you desire for all of your people. Help us to listen compassionately, to speak humbly and to act justly. Give us wisdom, patience and courage to work together for healing and hope.
Silence
Leader             Lord in your mercy
People         Hear our prayer.

Leader             Let us pray for the Church and for the world. Grant, Almighty God, that all who confess your Name may be united in your truth, live together in your love, and reveal your glory in the world.
Silence
Leader             Lord in your mercy
People         Hear our prayer.

Leader             Guide the people of this land, and of all the nations, in the ways of justice and peace; that we may honor one another and serve the common good.
Silence
Leader             Lord in your mercy
People         Hear our prayer.

Leader             Give us all a reverence for the earth as your own creation, that we may use its resources rightly in the service of others and to your honor and glory.
Silence
Leader             Lord in your mercy
People         Hear our prayer.

Leader             Bless all whose lives are closely linked with ours, and grant that we may serve Christ in them, and love one another as he loves us.
Silence
Leader             Lord in your mercy
People         Hear our prayer.

Leader             Comfort and heal all those who suffer in body, mind, or spirit; give them courage and hope in their troubles, and bring them the joy of your salvation.
Silence
Leader             Lord in your mercy
People         Hear our prayer.

Leader             We commend to your mercy all who have died, that your will for them may be fulfilled; and we pray that we may share with all your saints in your eternal kingdom.
Silence
Leader             Lord in your mercy
People         Hear our prayer.

The Presider adds a concluding Collect:

O God our Maker, who ignites stars and births planets, God who shapes the earth, forming its soils and cycling its waters, God who breathes all life into being when we cannot: Breathe through us here and now as we gather our prayers together. Attach us to this earth you have made, for we are dust bound, here today and gone tomorrow. Make us eager to share in the work of love, grief, and reparation during our short days. This we pray so that by your Spirit moving between, through, and among us, the strained relationships of this more-than-human world might be rewoven toward your justice and your earth and all her life might flourish as you dream. Through Jesus Christ who teaches us what it means to live and the Holy Spirit who animates that life among us now, one God, before beginning and after end. Amen.  (written for The Advocate, Lent 2021)

The Peace

Presider           The Peace of the Lord be always with you.
People             And also with you.
Presider           Let us share a sign of Christ’s peace with one another.

THE EUCHARIST

Presider           Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation: through your goodness we have this bread to set before you, which earth has given and human hands have made. It will become for us the bread of life. 
People         Blessed be God forever.

Presider           Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation: through your goodness we have this wine to set before you, fruit of the vine and work of human hands. It will become for us the cup of salvation. 
People         Blessed be God forever. (Offertory Prayer, Didache 3rd Century)

The Great Thanksgiving

Presider           God the Creator is here.
People          God’s Spirit is with us.
Presider           Lift up your hearts
People                   We lift them to God
Presider           Let us give thanks to God
People                   It is right to offer our thanks and praise.

Presider          We praise you and we bless you, holy and gracious God, source of life abundant. From before time you made ready the creation. Your Spirit moved over the deep and brought all things into being: sun, moon, and stars; earth, winds, and waters; and every living thing.
You made us in your image, and taught us to walk in your ways. But we rebelled against you, and wandered far away; and yet, you would not forget us. Time and again you called us to live in the fullness of your love. 
 And so this day we join with Saints and Angels in the chorus of praise that rings through eternity, lifting our voices to magnify you as we sing (say):

All                   
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is the one
who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

The Presider continues
Glory and honor and praise to you, holy and living God. 
To deliver us from the power of sin and death and to reveal the riches of your grace, you looked with favor upon Mary, your willing servant, that she might conceive and bear a son,  Jesus the holy child of God.
Living among us, Jesus loved us. 
He broke bread with outcasts and sinners, healed the sick, and proclaimed good news to the poor. 
He yearned to draw all the world to himself yet we were heedless of his call to walk in love.
Then, the time came for him to complete upon the cross the sacrifice of his life, and to be glorified by you.

On the night before he died for us, Jesus was at table with his friends. 
He took bread, gave thanks to you, broke it, and gave it to them, and said:
“Take, eat: This is my Body, which is given for you. 
Do this for the remembrance of me.”

As supper was ending, Jesus took the cup of wine. Again, he gave thanks to you, gave it to them, and said: “Drink this, all of you: This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is poured out for you and for all for the forgiveness of sins. 
Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.”

Now gathered at your table, O God of all creation, and remembering Christ, crucified and risen, who was and is and is to come, we offer to you our gifts of bread and wine, and ourselves, a living sacrifice.

Pour out your Spirit upon these gifts that they may be the Body and Blood of Christ. Breathe your Spirit over the whole earth and make us your new creation, the Body of Christ given for the world you have made.

In the fullness of time bring us, with all your saints, 
from every tribe and language and people and nation, to feast at the banquet prepared from the foundation of the world. 

Through Christ and with Christ and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, to you be honor, glory, and praise, for ever and ever. 

All                   AMEN.

The Lord’s Prayer

Presider        As our Savior Christ has taught us, we now pray,
All                   Our Father, in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come, 
your will be done
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.
for the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.

The Breaking of the Bread

The Priest breaks the consecrated Bread. A period of silence is kept, then:
Presider          Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.
People             Therefore, let us keep the feast. 

Presider:          Behold what you are
People:            May we become what we receive

Post Communion Prayer

Presider           Let us Pray
All              
O God of our ancestors,
God of our people, 
before whose face the human generations pass away:
We thank you that in you we are kept safe for ever,
and that the broken fragments of our history 
are gathered up in the redeeming act of your dear Son,
remembered in this holy sacrament of bread and wine.
Help us to walk daily in the Communion of Saints,
declaring our faith in the forgiveness of sins 
and the resurrection of the body.
Now send us out 
in the power of your Holy Spirit
to live and work for your praise and glory.                  Amen.

Blessing       

Announcements

Sending Forth           

Presider           Yours, Lord, is the greatness, the power,
the glory, the splendor, and the majesty:
for everything in heaven and on earth is yours.
Yours, Lord, is the kingdom:
and you are exalted as head over all.             1 Chronicles 29.11

People                   Thanks be to God.

Psalter for Lent IV

Psalm 119:9-16

9 How shall young ones cleanse their ways? *
By keeping to your words.

10 With my whole heart I seek you; *
let me not stray from your commandments.

11 I treasure your promise in my heart, *
that I may not sin against you.

12 Blest are you, O God; *
instruct me in your statutes.

13 With my lips will I recite *
all the judgments of your mouth.

14 I have taken greater delight in the way of your decrees *
than in all manner of riches.

15 I will meditate on your commandments *
and give attention to your ways.

16 My delight is in your statutes; *
I will not forget your word.

Lent 2021 at the Advocate

The Season of Lent begins Ash Wednesday, February 17 and continues through the following 5 Sundays. Lent is a season of reflection and penitence, a season in which we become more aware of the gaps between who we are and who God calls us to be. Through the Season of Lent this year, we will particularly pay attention to the gap between God’s people, including us, and God’s land, in Piedmont North Carolina and beyond. We will do this in our liturgy, in our Screenside Chats, in a shared book read and in a shared practice.

Our principal liturgy on Sunday will be on Zoom at 10 AM. We will also have a pondside Eucharist at 4 PM each week. Please write to vicar@TheAdvocateChurch.org if you plan to attend the Eucharist.

Wednesday, February 17   Ash Wednesday

We will gather at 6 PM on Zoom for prayers, hymns, sermon and a casting of dirt upon our feet to remind us of our mortality. Have some dirt and a sheet of Newspaper close at hand. Here’s the Zoom link.

Thursday, February 18  Orange Justice United Meeting  7:00 – 8:30 PM.

Learn about collective work to bring justice to our county.

See more about Justice United here.
Please register in advance here

Sunday, February 21   The First Sunday in Lent

Our Liturgy will start with the Great Litany. An intercessory prayer dating to the 16th century. See more about theGreatLitany here.

The Screenside Chat after the liturgy will be a presentation of the draft and a discussion of our Parish Profile for the Vicar Search led by the Vestry. Please stay for this discussion and add your thoughts!

In our liturgy on the remaining Sundays in Lent, we will begin with a land acknowledgmentSee more here!

We will include prayers for the native peoples of our land and for our own increased awareness of God’s Land and God’s People.

Our Prayers of the People will be more spare, with particular intentions written into the chat, and with prayers that call us to greater awareness of God’s land and God’s people.

Our songs will include hymn #382 from the Episcopal Hymnal 1982 Many and Great Are Thy Works, a hymn was written in 1942 in the Dakota Native American language by Joseph Renville. See more here.

In our Screenside Chats this Lent, we will confront the inheritance of the Doctrine of Discovery and of colonialism. We will learn about the native peoples of our region and reflect on how we might support them in their efforts for recognition and repect.

            Sunday February 28   Day Smith Pritchartt will lead us in a conversation in response to this 14 minute video about the Doctrine of Discovery and it’s lingering effects.

            Sunday, March 7   We will hear from Vickie Jeffires, the Tribal Administrator of the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation.

            Sunday, March 14   Damon Williams will lead us in a conversation about this 14-minute video about colonialism and it’s lingering effects.

Sunday, March 21  We will reflect on what we have learned and how we might move forward with our gained insight and awareness.

The Stations of the Cross Around the Advocate Pond
This 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. 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 booklet is also available here:
https://theadvocatechurch.org/stations-of-the-cross/See more here.

Eco-penance: A group of conversation and practice, led by Jan Coerper
As we focus of God’s Land, God’s People, and our Penance this Lent, let us put our hearts and heads together to examine the ways our lifestyles, particularly consumption behaviors, endanger God’s creation and how we can faithfully and collectively act in response out of love for our Creator. The group will meet bi-weekly on Saturday or Sunday afternoons via zoom and possibly include a weekly practice done individually. 

Read a prayer for our eco-penance here.

The Read 
In keeping with our Lenten focus on people who stewarded the land before us, we will be reading Native: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering Goda book on faith written by a native person, Kaitlin Curtice.  See the Goodreads synopsis here. Our discussion, tentatively set for 7pm on Tuesday, March 23, will be facilitated by the Vicar on Zoom.

A Lenten Quiet Day March 13, 9:30a.m.-2p.m.: The Rev. Robert Fruehwirth invites all clergy and lay leaders to “Mercy Works: Lamentation and Healing with Julian of Norwich,” a virtual Lenten offering intended as a time set aside specifically to offer God the grief and hurt of the past year, allowing God’s mercy to work more widely in us. Julian of Norwich’s experience of mercy will frame our prayer and listening. When we offer the ways that we and our communities have shared in Jesus’ death, God can give healing, and new and unexpected life. Ample time will be offered for reflection, listening, prayer and private conferences. An optional compline will take place on March 12. There is no cost to attend, but registration is required. Register.

 A Lenten Quiet Day    March 20 The Spiritual Life Guild of the Chapel of the Cross will be offering a virtual Lenten Quiet Day with The Rev. Matthew Wright, CRC from St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church in Woodstock, NY. A  former intern at the Advocate, Matthews is a well-regarded retreat facilitator and up and coming leader in the contemporary contemplative world. Matthew’s topic for the day will be: Entering the Heart of Christ: Christianity as Participatory Mystery. More information and registration link to follow soon.

Site Stewardship Morning! March 20 9 AM – noon.
Bring a rake and a hoe and help prepare the Advocate site for Holy Week and Easter. As always, there will be mulch! If possible, please our Junior Warden and Site Steward, Andrew Hammond, know you are coming. Andrew Hammond ahammond2184@gmail.com

Advent Pondside Eucharist 2020

ADVENT

People’s Prelude
Welcome
A period of silence is kept.
Opening Acclamation

Presider                       Blessed are you, Holy and Living One.  
People                         You come to your people and set them free.

Presider                       Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One
People                         Have mercy upon us.
Presider                       Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One
People                         Have mercy upon us.
Presider                       Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One
People                         Have mercy upon us.

Collect of the Day
Presider           The Lord be with you.
People             And also with you.
Presider           Let us pray.

The presider prays the Collect of the day, and in response, the people say: Amen.

The Lessons

First Reading 
At the end of each reading, the lector says, “Hear what the Spirit is saying to God’s people,” to which the people respond,“Thanks be to God.” 

The Song of Mary    Magnificat      Luke 1:46-55      In unison
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, 
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; * 
    for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed: * 
    the Almighty has done great things for me, 
    and holy is his Name. 
He has mercy on those who fear him * 
    in every generation. 
He has shown the strength of his arm, * 
    he has scattered the proud in their conceit. 
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, *
    and has lifted up the lowly. 
He has filled the hungry with good things, * 
    and the rich he has sent away empty. 
He has come to the help of his servant Israel, * 
    for he has remembered his promise of mercy, 
The promise he made to our fathers, * 
    to Abraham and his children for ever.

Second Reading

Sequence Hymn         O Come, O Come Emmanuel   (one verse sung softly)

O Come O Come Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in Lowly exile here
Until the Son of god appear.
Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel.

The Gospel

Before the reading of the Gospel
Presider  The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to…
People     Glory to you, Lord Christ.

After the reading of the Gospel 
Presider        The Gospel of the Lord.
   People          Praise to you, Lord Christ.

A Homily

The Prayers of the People                                                 
A Leader reads the following introduction:
Leader             Let us now offer our prayers and thanksgivings to God. After each bidding, I invite you to share your prayers with the whole congregation, so that we may join our prayers to yours. Before we pray together, let us, in silence, ask the Spirit to bring to our consciousness those things for which we should pray.
In the silence following each bidding, the people are invited to share their prayers, either silently or aloud. At the end of each intercession, 
the leader says:
We pray to the Lord…
and the people reply
Lord, here our prayer.

The biddings follow this order:

I bid your prayers for God’s people throughout the world and for the universal church and its leaders;  
I bid your prayers for peace and justice;   
I bid your prayers for our nation and our state, and for all persons in positions of authority; 
I bid your prayers for the needs and concerns of our counties and our cities;  I bid your prayers for this congregation, for those who suffer and for those in any kind of trouble; 
I bid your prayers for those who have died;
I bid your prayers of thanksgivings to God.

The Presider adds a concluding collect:
Hasten, O God, the coming of your kingdom; and grant that we your servants, who now live by faith, may with joy behold your Son at his coming in glorious majesty; even Jesus Christ, our only Mediator and Advocate. Amen.

Confession [from Enriching Our Worship]

Presider           Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.         
After a short silence for reflection, all pray together:
God of all mercy, we confess that we have sinned against you, opposing your will in our lives. We have denied your goodness in each other, in ourselves, and in the world you have created. We repent of the evil that enslaves us, the evil we have done, and the evil done on our behalf. Forgive, restore, and strengthen us through our Savior Jesus Christ, that we may abide in your love and serve only your will. Amen.

Absolution      [A New Zealand Prayer Book]
Presider           Through the cross of Christ, God have mercy on you, pardon you, and set you free. Know that you are forgiven, and be at peace. God strengthen you in all goodness and keep you in life eternal.      
All                    Amen.

The Peace

Presider           The peace of the Lord be always with you.
People             And also with you.
Presider           Let us share a sign of Christ’s peace with one another.

The Offertory 
Presider           Ascribe to the Lord the honor due his name, bring the offerings of your lives and come into God’s courts.

The Great Thanksgiving          [Rite II, Prayer B from the Book of Common Prayer]           
Presider           The Lord be with you.
People             And also with you.
Presider           Lift up your hearts.
People             We lift them to the Lord.
Presider           Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People             It is right to give [our] thanks and praise.
Presider           It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.
Because you sent your beloved Son to redeem us from sin and death, and to make us heirs in him of everlasting life; that when he shall come again in power and great triumph to judge the workd, we may without shame or fear rejoice to behold his appearing.
Therefore we praise you, joining our voices with Angels and Archangels and with all the company of heaven, who for ever sing this hymn to proclaim the glory of your Name.

All                    
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Presider       We give thanks to you, O God, for the goodness and love which you have made known to us in creation; in the calling of Israel to be your people; in your Word spoken through the prophets; and above all in the Word made flesh, Jesus, your Son. For in these last days you sent him to be incarnate from the Virgin Mary, to be the Savior and Redeemer of the world. In him, you have delivered us from evil, and made us worthy to stand before you. In him, you have brought us out of error into truth, out of sin into righteousness, out of death into life.
On the night before he died for us, our Lord Jesus Christ took bread; and when he had given thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, “Take, eat: This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.”
After supper he took the cup of wine; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and said, “Drink this, all of you: This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is shed for you and for [all] for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.”
Therefore, according to his command, O Father,

Presider and People
We remember his death,
We proclaim his resurrection,
We await his coming in glory;

 Presider continuesAn
d we offer our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to you, O Lord of all; presenting to you, from your creation, this bread and this wine.We pray you, gracious God, to send your Holy Spirit upon these gifts that they may be the Sacrament of the Body of Christ and his Blood of the new Covenant. Unite us to your Son in his sacrifice, that we may be acceptable through him, being sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 
In the fullness of time, put all things in subjection under your Christ, and bring us to that heavenly country where, with [_______ and] all your saints, we may enter the everlasting heritage of your sons and daughters; through Jesus Christ our Lord, the firstborn of all creation, the head of the Church, and the author of our salvation.
By him, and with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and glory is yours, Almighty Father, now and forever. 
All                    Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer      

Presider          As our Savior Christ has taught us, we now pray: 
All                    Our Father in heaven, 
hallowed be your Name, 

your kingdom come, 
your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us
Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.

The Breaking of the Bread
The Priest breaks the consecrated Bread. A period of silence is kept, then:
Presider           Alleluia! Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.
People             Therefore, let us keep the feast.  Alleluia!
Presider           Behold what you are.
People             May we become what we receive
[Adapted from St. Augustine’s Homily #58: On the Eucharist]

The Communion
Jesus welcomes all; therefore all are welcome to receive God’s grace through the Holy Sacrament. In this Covid time, we receive the bread only. A gluten-free bread is available for those who need it.

The Bread is given to the communicants with these words
The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ keep you in everlasting life. [Amen.]
or The Body of Christ, the bread of heaven. [Amen.]

Prayer after Communion
Presider           Let us pray.
All                    Loving God, we give you thanks for restoring us in your image and nourishing us with spiritual food in the Sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood. Now send us forth a people forgiven, healed, renewed; that we may proclaim your love to the world and continue in the risen life of Christ our Savior. Amen.

The Going Forth
Announcements
The Blessing  
      
Presider May the Sun of Righteousness shine upon you and scatter the shadows from before your path; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you, and remain with you always. Amen.

Presider or Deacon     
Go in Peace, to love and serve the Lord.
People             Thanks be to God!

Advent at the Advocate


Sunday, November 29 the season of Advent begins!


Here’s the link for the Google folder with all the resources we are offering for use in your home this season. These include:

     1) The summary pdf, including suggestions about Advent candles and wreaths.
     2) Three options downloaded from SALT Project.
        – Advent Weekly Placemats (for those who like to color)       
– Advent with Maya Angelou        
– Advent 2020: Naming Jesus

We will continue to hold our principal worship together on Zoom at 10 AM, links to be sent for kids Christian ed, worship and screeside chat each Saturday.

The Screenside Chat in Advent will focus on Embodied Prayer — in the liturgy and in life.

We will also hold a simple outdoor Eucharist by the Advocate Pond each Sunday at 4 PM.
Per Diocesan guidelines, you will need to:   
 – Let us know ahead of time if you plan to attend by writing to vicar@theAdvocateChurch.org. (this can be at the last minute).   
 – Bring your own chair if possible (if not possible, let me know and we will provide)     
Bring a copy of the service guide, available here, on your gadget or printed. (if not possible, let me know and we will provide).   
Wear a mask throughout the liturgy, removing it only to receive the sacrament. We will only receive in one kind, the bread.     
– Keep a distance of six or more feet from those not of your own household.

Holiday Giving: A note about our holiday giving will be added here soon. Please check back!