Holy Week and Easter at the Advocate

Come and walk the Way with us.

The Prequel: Saturday, April 6
9 AM – Noon   
Site Stewardship morning: Come help get our ground ready for the Pee Wee Homes residents and for Holy Week and Easter. Many hands make light work!

Palm Sunday, April 14
+ Procession with Palms and Holy Eucharist. Gather at the Advocate Pond at 10:00 AM for the blessing of the palms, and flowers or branches brought from home. Procession followed by Holy Eucharist in the Chapel.

Monday of Holy Week, April 15
+ Tenebrae at 7 PM. We move into Holy Week with this service of growing darkness, readings and song. Music led by a visiting schola from Raleigh.

Tuesday of Holy Week, April 16
+ Holy Eucharist at 5:30 PM

Wednesday of Holy Week, April 17
+ Holy Eucharist at 5:30 PM

Maundy Thursday, April 18
+ Dinner fellowship (food provided), Foot-washing and Table Eucharist. Bishop Sam Rodman will offer the homily. In the Fleming Lodge at Camp New Hope. 6:30 PM. (Camp New Hope is on NC86, 3 miles north of the I40 – NC86 interchange)

Good Friday, April 19
+ The Way of the Cross/ Via Dolorosa. In Spanish and English. Beginning at 12 noon. Acompáñenos en peregrinaje desde la Alcaldia de Carrboro hasta el Cementerio Viejo (Beginning at Carrboro Town Hall, winding through Carrboro, and ending at the Old Cemetery. Through downtown Carrboro. Meet at Carrboro Town Hall. (no dogs, please). Note: Due to weather condition we will walk the Way of the Cross in the Advocate Chapel this year.
IMG_3090
+ The Good Friday Liturgy, with hymns, prayers, and the Passion from the Gospel of John. 6 PM in the Advocate Chapel.

+ The Wake. 7 PM – 9 PM. Gather with other friends of Jesus for a simple supper and to reminisce about his life and the experiences you have shared with him. Come on the hour or on the half hour and stay for any, or all, of the Wake.

Holy Saturday, April 20
+The Holy Saturday Liturgy at 10AM in the Advocate Chapel. Gather in the Chapel for this brief liturgy of readings, reflection and prayers.

10:30 AM   Rehearsal and preparations for The Great Vigil.

IMG_4811Saturday Night, April 20
+ The Great Vigil of Easter with Renewal of Baptismal Vows. This is our first liturgy of Easter, when we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord in the darkness of night. (As you are able, please bring a bell, horn or whistle to accompany the Paschal Shout). In the Advocate Chapel. Starting at 8 PM.

Easter Day, April 21
+ 9 AM
         Holy Eucharist in the Chapel.

+ 10 AM        Festival Brunch (As you are able, bring a festive dish to share. Kids bring a basket for an Easter Egg hunt).

+ 11 AM        Holy Eucharist with baptism by the Pond. Bring your own chairs or blanket to sit upon.

Weather updates will be posted as needed.

Contemplative Prayer Retreat August 2-4!

Contemplative Prayer Retreat

The Contemplative Prayer Groups of Church of the Advocate and Church of the Holy Family will be hosting their annual contemplative prayer retreat at Avila Retreat Center in Durham on August 2-4, 2019.  While the focus of the retreat is contemplative prayer, the retreat is truly for anyone who would like a few days of quiet reflection.

Registration is $195 per person, which covers two nights lodging in a private room as well as Friday supper through Sunday breakfast.

Registration is open now and closes June 1. 

For more information, please contact Paul Marvin at pmarvin@nc.rr.com or 919.451.2843.

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. There is also a booklet of a children’s version of the stations. 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.

Ash Wednesday Services March 6 at Noon and 6 PM

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

On Ash Wednesday, March 6, in services at noon and 6 PM, we will gather in the Advocate Chapel,  to remember our mortality — that we are dust, and to dust we shall return. We will also mark the beginning of our Lenten journey, the forty day season of our preparation for the holiest days of the Christian year – Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday. In so doing, we will anticipate – however paradoxically – the end of our Lenten journey even as it begins.

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

Come be a part of the journey.

The Cross and The Lynching Tree: Teachable Moment in Lent

Lenten Series: Exploring “The Cross and the Lynching Tree,” by James H. Cone
Teachable Moment (10:00am), March 10, March 17, March 24, March 31 and April 7
“The cross and the lynching tree are separated by nearly 2,000 years. One is the universal symbol of Christian faith; the other is the quintessential symbol of black oppression in America. Though both are symbols of death, one represents a message of hope and salvation, while the other signifies the negation of that message by white supremacy.” James Cone, a founder and leader of black liberation theology, introduces “The Cross and the Lynching Tree” with these provocative words.
Join the Teachable Moment for the Sundays in Lent as we explore and respond to Cone’s work: how does injustice in the world influence how we understand Jesus’ death on the cross, where do we find hope, and how is God calling us to be advocates for justice and reconciliation in the twenty-first century?
Sunday, March 10
Teachable Moment:  The Rev. Dr. James Cone shares how “the cross helped me to deal with the brutal legacy of the lynching tree, and the lynching tree helped me to understand the tragic meaning of the cross.” For the first Sunday in this series, we’ll explore these images together and consider how following Jesus means taking a stand against white supremacy and every kind of injustice, and who’s still being crucified today. Read the book if you have time to, but come join the conversation regardless. You might also enjoy this video of Dr. Cone discussing the book or this interview with Bill Moyers.
Also Sunday, March 10
Join Advocates and community members for a special screening of the documentary “Strange Fruit,” followed by a panel discussion. Where: Varsity Theatre, 123 E. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill. 4:00 – 5:30 pm; free. The event is sponsored by the Orange County Community Remembrance Coalition, which is partnering with the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, AL (the “lynching memorial”) to commemorate the 1898 lynching of Manly McCauley in Orange County. Read more about the project here; coalition leaders will be our guest presenters at the Teachable Moment on March 31.
All are encouraged to read the book, but the Teachable Moment time will be accessible both to those who have read it and those who haven’t.
NB: Many Advocates have attended the Racial Equity Institute’s anti-racism training and found it to informative, challenging and inspirational. We have funding for others want to go! Check out the upcoming workshop schedule here, and remember that alums may audit a repeat session for a very small fee (but you still have to register).

A Contemplative Eucharist, Sundays at 5 PM

IMG_3456From Faulkner’s Light in August:

“Sunday evening prayer meeting.  It has seemed to him always that at that hour man approaches nearest of all to God, nearer than at any other hour of all the seven days. Then alone, of all church gatherings, is there something of that peace which is the promise and the end of the Church.  The mind and the heart purged then, if it is ever to be; the week and its whatever disasters finished and summed and expiated by the stern and formal fury of the morning service; the next week and its whatever disasters not yet born, the heart quiet now for a little while beneath the cool soft blowing of faith and hope.”

IMG_4235In the Seasons of Epiphany and Lent, the Advocate will host a Contemplative Eucharist on Sundays at 5 PM in the Chapel. The main characteristic of a Contemplative Eucharist is a lot of silence — silent space for being and listening, for contemplation and for receiving the Spirit. This service is pared down — only one reading, simple chants led by a cantor without instrument accompaniment, and a silent meditation on the Gospel reading. We sit in a circle for the liturgy of the Word and stand for the Offertory and Eucharistic prayer. Candles in the middle of our space provide focus. It is a peaceful way to conclude the weekend or to prepare for the week ahead.

Come join us.

 

 

 

House Dinner — Wednesday evenings (and occasional Thursdays) at 7 PM

In the weekly Wednesday House Dinners, The Advocate House becomes a place of shared food, shared stories, and deep fellowship. Our Advocate resident, Charles Rousseau is the host, providing an atmosphere of welcome, mutual care, and good humor. We call it House Dinner.

House Dinner is a time of togetherness over a shared meal, concluding with an invitation to respond to an open-ended prompt, often about an idea or concept (e.g., “shelter,” “grace,” “Christmas spirit”).

All are welcome any time, But it helps if you can let Charles know you are coming and if you can contribute food to the meal, so he can be sure the food and setting are gracious and welcoming.

Contact Charles Rousseau <charlesrousseau10@gmail.com>, ideally by Tuesday of the week to let him know.

The Hose Dinner takes place on Wednesday, night at 7 PM except for when other events are scheduled at the church on that night, such at the Readers Roundtable on second Wednesdays, or a seasonal book study, as in Lent. On those weeks, the House Dinner moves to Thursday night at 7 PM.

Check the weekly calendar on the Advocate website for clarity!

Epiphany Commissions

IMG_1962_2Realizing that Christians are called to ministry in the world, each Sunday in the Season of Epiphany, The Church of the Advocate commissions  people to their life, work and vocation in the community and world around us. 

We will be commissioning the following vocations on the following dates:

Epiphany I, January 13:  All  who are in a Period of Discernment or Expectancy

Epiphany II, January 20:     All who are caregivers for others.

Epiphany III, January 27: The Advocate Annual Meeting.  All who serve the public good.    

Epiphany IV,  February 3: All who are in transition or are retired.

Epiphany V, February 10: All those engaged in expressive and creative endeavors.      

Epiphany VI, February 17: All who work in the pursuit of knowledge.

Epiphany VII, February 24: All who engage in farming, gardening and stewardship of creation.

Last Epiphany, March 3: The Transfiguration: All who are the People of the Advocate

Come join us!

 

Posted here are some sample commissions from throughout the years.

SAMPLE COMMISSIONS 

All Who Work in the Pursuit of Knowledge

Celebrant: Now there are a variety of gifts but the same Spirit

People: There are a variety of services but the same Lord

Celebrant: We call forward all who work to increase our knowledge and understanding of God’s vast creation

Those to be commissioned come forward and present themselves to the celebrant and congregation

Celebrant: Lord, we present to you these teachers, students, scholars and administrators; researchers, inventors, scientists, and information specialists; historians, philosophers, theologians, and all who seek a deeper understanding of truth

Commissioned: Here I am, Lord

Celebrant: Do you celebrate your God given gifts?

Commissioned: We do

Celebrant: Do you seek the blessing of God and God’s Church?

Commissioned: We do

Celebrant: Do you promise, with the help of God, to use your gifts to serve God and neighbor?

Commissioned: We do

Celebrant: Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom: enlighten by your Holy Spirit those who teach and those who learn

Commissioned: We rejoice in the knowledge of your truth

Celebrant: Bless their pursuit of sound learning, new discovery, and the pursuit of wisdom

Commissioned: May we find in you the source of all truth

Celebrant: Give them times of refreshment and peace

Commissioned: That we may renew our minds, rebuild our bodies, and open our spirits to serve you from generation to generation

Celebrant: This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

Commissioned: Amen

Celebrant: This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

Commissioned: Amen

—————————–

For all those who care for the well being of others: for doctors, nurses, social workers, psychologists, therapists and all who study to do so

Call: Mighty and merciful God, who sent Jesus to heal broken lives, we praise you for raising up men and women who are skilled in the healing arts

Response: Strengthen their bodies that they may bend to care for young and old, and let them carry your gift of wholeness to all who suffer in body or mind

Call: Give them eyes to see and ears to hear

Response: Keep them ever open to a tear or cry of distress

Call:  Lighten their hearts even when they are heavy or hurting

Response: Let them be touched as they offer your healing touch and presence. May they make the weak strong, the sick healthy, and the broken whole

Call: Bless them as agents of your love

ResponseIn your name we pray

AllAmen

+++

 

 

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:

Readers’ Roundtable – Spring 2019

Second Wednesday of the Month, 7:00-8:30 PM

At the Church House

Wednesday, January 9

The Solace of Leaving Early

Using small-town life as a springboard to explore the loftiest of ideas, Haven Kimmel’s irresistibly smart and generous first novel is at once a romance and a haunting meditation on grief and faith…

Deftly walking the tightrope between tragedy and comedy, The Solace of Leaving Early is a joyous story about finding one’s better self through accepting the shortcomings of others.

 

Wednesday, February 13

The Golden Compass

The modern fantasy classic that Entertainment Weekly named an “All-Time Greatest Novel” and Newsweek hailed as a “Top 100 Book of All Time.” Philip Pullman takes readers to a world where humans have animal familiars and where parallel universes are within reach.

A masterwork of storytelling and suspense, Philip Pullman’s award-winning The Golden Compassis the first in the His Dark Materials series, which continues with The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass.

A #1 New York Times Bestseller

Winner of the Guardian Prize for Children’s Fiction

Published in 40 Countries

Wednesday, May 8

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!

“For Tom Fisher, On the Day of his Funeral” The sermon by Sam Laurent

The community gathered in the Advocate Chapel on Sunday, July 15, 2018,for the Burial Office for Tom Fisher.
Sam Laurent offered this sermon for Tom.

It’s there in the pictures. Looking at the photographs he took, the ones he exhibited, the ones he hung on his walls or that others of us have hung on our walls, you can see a bit of how Tom tried to see the world. It was a vision that didn’t come by accident. He cultivated it. Studied it. It ran deep in who he was, why we grieve him, and how we will know his presence again.

Street photography would be the name for the genre, and like many who were inspired by the french photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, Tom’s most creative work spurned grandeur and poses in favor of finding something beautiful in the mundane. A picture of someone doing their job. A picture of two people meeting on the street. Almost always, there were people.

So I asked him. Why these candid shots of people? In that way we had of giving his sophisticated wisdom a veneer of folksiness, Tom said “well, they’re a hell of a lot more interesting to take pictures of than rocks.”

And then he stared into the middle distance, lined up an imaginary shot in his mind and said “so there are two people coming together on the street. My job is to have my camera set up so that with minimal fussing with it, I can capture that moment. Just the encounter of two people is so fascinating. Maybe they know each other. Maybe they’re strangers. There is so much between them that I don’t know. I just want to capture the moment.”

The art in his images, then, was his reflexive attraction to wonder. Capture the moment, and you can return to it. You can imagine what was going on with the people in the picture and the space between them. But they remain mysteries. The photograph holds you in your unknowing, inviting you into a space of wonder.

And, well, so did Tom. As a financial planner, he made it his business to help people handle the uncertainty of life. His work helped people be able to turn their eyes from the nagging worries of the future and be attentive to the present.

Tom loved books. Specifically, he loved novels with the kind of characters you think about months later, characters that open up a space within you that you hadn’t known about before. Tom’s favorite characters felt compassion in their bones. They spoke to the beautiful experience of the unknowability of human life.

Tom loved live music. He and Candy travelled for concerts. He helped produce God only knows how many shows with the Forty Acres organization he cofounded. Those performances gathered people together to exalt in the creative potential of the moment.

Maybe all of this is why he was so captivated by this building. Probably he took more pictures of it than anything else that’s not a person. This chapel stood somewhere else for 120 years before we moved it here to Chapel Hill. It is a space consecrated over and over again by the gathering of generations of people we can’t know. These walls heard prayers and laments and hymns for decades before ours echoed through. This wood is seasoned like one of Tom’s old guitars, richer and warmer for the history that rippled through it, and drawing us into a present moment where the mystery of the past opens us to the mystery of the present, where our reality meets God’s.

God’s reality. That reality is particularly mysterious—acutely mysterious—to us today, and it was something that fascinated Tom throughout his life. The man who was known for being a terrific listener to his friends and family grounded himself in listening for God’s movement in the world. That mysterious depth that lies behind each person is a reflection of the primal mystery of the divine.

Divine mystery is an antagonist today. We always want to understand God. We want to say that everything that happens, even cancer, somehow has divine purpose behind it. But what we see, what we hear in the readings Tom chose for today, is that God’s power is manifest as love. Nothing, Romans says, including death, can separate us from the love of God.

A God of mystery who is insistently present with us in the form of love. I spent a lot of hours and drank more than a few pints of beer talking about this God with Tom. The conviction that divinity flows through each person and calls us to defend the dignity of each person… the conviction that the divine mystery calls us to listen steadfastly for God in our midst… this is the spirituality of Tom Fisher.

This was no accident. It was no affect that he put on. This was Tom. The man who worked for Civil Rights knew something of the sacred mystery of each person. The father of Morgan and Jess knew something of the beauty of possibility, the unfolding mystery of each child, and the love that allows them to thrive. The man who went to seminary before becoming a financial advisor knew something of the importance of letting each person decide who they are, of being prepared to act. The man who helped lead this church into existence knew something of patient listening and of the transfixing mystery that guides people of God. The photographs reflect the man who took them.

And so we are gutted today, because we have lost Tom. His steadiness, wisdom, and love were never more evident than in the months since his diagnosis, when Tom’s choices were guided by the value of the present, by his ability to find depth and love in a time freighted with the grim prospects of a dire disease.

More than anyone I’ve known, Tom led those he loved through the end of his life. He took care of us. He sat and talked frankly about the end of life. He told me stories of gratitude for time with Morgan and Jess and their families, of his delight in the people his children had become and the people they had married, stories of the magic of his grandchildren, of his sheer awe at the compassionate force of Candy’s love. Life, he knew, had been good.

So this hurts. And it will hurt. It is love’s dark insult to us. To love is to eventually be heartbroken. And Tom knew that love is simply the most important thing. He was right. So this hurts.

But those pictures…

The moments that Tom sought to capture are sacred, but they are not rare. Our days are infused with the potential for something new to happen, something more than we would imagine. This is the movement of the insistently loving God of mystery, the God who now bears Tom in the glory of divine memory and presence, working through the miracle of relationship to ensure that when we notice the depth of mystery in a seemingly ordinary moment, Tom will be with us. And we will feel gratitude, and we will feel pain. At the same time. There is no prescribed ratio of the two.

Those ordinary moments, when refracted through the prism of clear presence to the moment, are the kingdom of God. To be fully present in God’s creation, in this precise moment which is the only moment that is actually happening, is to see that the boundaries between us are not so clear. We will miss Tom, but we will feel Tom’s presence when we allow ourselves to be present, because Tom is, in a very real way, a part of us. All of this.. this life… is space held open by God so that we might intertwine in relationship, so that we might, acting from love, create beauty from the very possibilities that lie before us. I understand this better than I did before because I was given the tremendous gift of being Tom Fisher’s friend.

It is all a wildly improbable miracle, one in which we are now rightly grieving the loss of this man who was woven deeply into so many lives. Even in this painful moment, the beauty and mystery of Tom’s life draws us in like one of his pictures. We want to know more. We want another conversation. Another dinner.

This is the mark of a life well lived. Of a man who was deeply loved and who loved deeply. It is grace that intersected our lives with his, and it is grace that will allow us to know his presence in those future moments when the mysterious unknown of life speaks to us of something more. Something we can’t touch but can marvel at.

There is so much in those pictures. So much behind them. God knows we will miss Tom, and God knows we will feel him with us yet. It’s in the pictures.

AMEN