Our Next Vicar!

The Advocate Vestry is delighted to announce that Marion Sprott-Goldson has accepted our call to be our next Vicar. Her first Sunday among us will be September 19, so plan to welcome her then.

Marion comes to us from her current role as Associate Rector at St. Martin’s in Charlotte. At St. Martin’s she developed their newcomer ministry and took the lead in organizing digital worship and ministry, along with generally supporting the church and work of the Rector. She has experience as a Parish Administrator at St. Martin’s as well, several years back. She is also an accomplished musician who has served as an accompanist (piano) and a professional vocalist. And while these professional credentials and experience have served to prepare her to lead us, we also value her character and commitment to her faith, the church, and her vocation. She has taken in all we could offer about The Advocate and embraced it with great hope. She comes into this role with energy and joy, and also an eagerness to learn and to discern our collective calling alongside us.

The best way to get to know someone is to spend time with them. But, as these recent months have taught us, we can get a taste in other ways, and so we have prepared a video announcement featuring brief messages from Donya, Marion and Lisa, here:



August 5 – We announce who the next Vicar will be.

September 19 — The next Vicar arrives, just in time for the celebration of the Advocate’s 18th birthday!

November 21 – We bid Lisa, our current Vicar a very fond farewell.

Strength to Strength III: A $300,000 Campaign to Pay the Debt and Repurpose the House

In Epiphany 2008, the Church of the Advocate launched the
Strength to Strength Capital Campaign of $2.25 million. 

Strength to Strength I: To Buy The Land
Epiphany 2008 – Epiphany 2011

Strength to Strength II: To Worship On The Land
Epiphany 2012 – Easter 2014

In 2014, The Advocate received our certificate of occupancy for our Chapel, just in time for Easter. It was an exciting time, and the culmination of more than six years of fund-raising, planning, preparation, and hard work. To get to that point, we received generous and abundant support, not only from the people of the Advocate, but also from numerous friends, especially elders of “The Greatest Generation” who wanted the Advocate to thrive.

Even so, to be able to complete the adaptive re-use of the site and Chapel, we had to take out two loans, and leave the work of re-purposing the Advocate House and making it accessible to all for another time.

Two years later, that time has come, and the Vestry has launched:

Strength to Strength III:  To Pay the Debt and Repurpose the House
Epiphany 2016 – 

Strength to Strength III is a $300,000 Campaign to pay off our $180,000 debt and complete all needed and desired site and building work in and around the house.

The Vestry has determined the following priorities for funds as they come in.

– The first $40,000 will be raised by November 1, 2016 and will be matched by an anonymous $40,000 donor. This $80.000, will be our first payment on our $180,000 debt. This $40K challenge is being met thanks to more than 75% participation by the People of the Advocate and to a few kind friends.

– While gifts may be designated to debt retirement at any time, the next $60,000 raised will be used to repurpose the House for our use, especially to get it ADA compliant, and complete the site work required by the Town along with it. Namely to bring sewer to the house, curb and gutter a 10-car parking lot behind the house, and add a second ADA parking space. This is an essential response to our call to hospitality and accessibility to all.

– The next $100,000 raised will be used to retire the remainder of the $180,000 debt, due by June 1, 2018. * In December 2016, we were given a challenge to raise $30,000 from people beyond the Advocate congregation. That $30,000 will matched by an anonymous donor, bringing our remaining debt to $40,000.

– Another $60,000 raised will go toward making the house as functional as possible for our purposes: A wrap around deck to allow for accessible outdoor meeting and worship, a fully ADA accessible kitchen, a renewed library and meeting space. See complete plans here.

Gift forms are available online and in the Chapel bell tower.
Checks written to ECOTA with land/building in the memo line can be sent to:
The Advocate
8410 Merin Road
Chapel Hill, NC 27516

Or to donate online click HERE.

*(Note that the Advocate also is paying off a $150,00 debt to the Diocese. This debt is being paid through the annual operating budget at a rate of $15,000, plus interest, each year for 10 years. Seven years remain on that debt payment).



Advocate Vestry Resolution re: “Defense of Marriage”


Approved unanimously by the Vestry of the Episcopal Church of the Advocate, Chapel Hill and Carrboro

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

We, the Vestry of the Episcopal Church of the Advocate, deplore the decision of the North Carolina General Assembly to place a so-called “Defense of Marriage” constitutional amendment on the ballot next May.

We find their action to be offensive, not only to the many North Carolinians who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, but also to the families, friends, co-workers, and faith communities of these our brothers and sisters.

Legislators have appealed to a particular understanding of biblical authority and Christian teaching to justify their attack on domestic partnerships, the rights of employers to extend benefits to employees, and the rights of religious communities to encourage and recognize loving and committed relationships. We reject their pretense of speaking for all Christians. They do not speak for us, and this amendment does not reflect our understanding of the Gospel and of a loving and compassionate God, who graces families of all kinds with covenantal love.

Therefore we encourage the members of the Episcopal Church of the Advocate, and all who seek to live in the light of the Gospel, to make no peace with oppression. Instead, we urge them to do everything in their power to work, organize, contribute and vote for the defeat of this misnamed and misguided amendment.

Vestry Actions – February 2011

The January minutes were approved with amendment.

Peter Morris was elected Senior Warden; Beth Lassiter was elected Junior Warden (until elections in Feb 2012).

A balanced 2011 budget was approved.

The vestry approved pursuing the possibility of having a resident in the Homestead House (someone in discernment such as a seminarian or Johnson Intern).

The vestry adopted the following resolution: “In the coming year the vestry commits itself to: delighting in God’s gifts to us, strengthening our focus on liturgy, nurturing one another, working to serve God and the world and welcoming the stranger.”

The vestry created a small working group to determine how to best implement the above approved resolution (that may or may not involve committees) and make recommendations at the March vestry meeting.

The vestry gave Lisa permission to convene a communications task force to help her decide how to effectively communicate weekly with the congregation.

Vestry Actions January 2011

The vestry elected Mark McCraw as treasurer by acclamation.

The vestry by email vote elected Tom Fisher to fill Jane Kornblut’s unexpired vestry term for the next year.

The vestry approved by acclamation a vestry slate of Tom Trueblood, Sam Laurent and Sharon Ringwalt.

The Vicar’s letter of agreement was approved by acclamation.

Vestry Actions — August 2009

August, 2009 Vestry Notes and Actions:

  • The vestry received the 2008 audit report from Ronda Russell, CPA.
  • At the recommendation of the finance committee, the vestry unanimously approved the full fair share giving to the diocese.
  • Representatives to community organizations were announced:  Char Sullivan, Orange County Organizing Committee; Sallie Moore, Interfaith Council.
  • The capital campaign is at the half-way mark for reaching the committee’s goal of  $2,500,000.
  • Brian Dangler was appointed to the Homestead Site Development Committee.
  • The vestry will hold its first quarterly meeting on September 3.  Monthly meetings will  continue as scheduled.

Vestry Actions — May 2009

At the May 19, 2009 meeting:

– approved the formation of such a task force pending an acceptable understanding of the charges for the task force, which will be approved in June

– received the report of the Strength to Strength Campaign. There are 15 new pledges and estimates to date totaling a little more than $57,000.