News and Events

Sankofa: African-American History on Wheels MLK weekend

Sunday, January 19 and Monday, January 20
Noon – 5:30 PM.
At the Rogers Road Community Center

101 Edgar Street, Chapel Hill.

This MLK weekend, The Church of the Advocate joins the Rogers-Eubanks Neighborhood Association, Community Center, the Marion Cheek Jackson Center, the Town of Carrboro, the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History, and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NCAAP Branch 5689, in bringing the Sankofa African-American History on Wheels to our region.

From the flyer:
Angela Jennings established SANKOFA in 1995 to teach young African Americans about their unique and rich heritage. It has emerged as an informative and engaging mobil museum of African American history for all ages and races.

Spanning the period of 1860 to the present, Sankofa takes audiences on a journey through slavery, the era of King Cotton, and the uplifting days of Emancipation. It also tells the stories of such notables as Ida B. Wells, the Negro Baseball League, the Tuskegee Airmen, and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Ghanian term, Sankofa, tells us to “use the wisdom of the past to build the future.” This exhibit epitomizes the meaning of the term by educating, enlightening, and empower gin young and old alike with living history.

Plan to join others at the Roger Road Community Center this MLK weekend!

Numbering Our Days. A day of reflection and creativity in January

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a wisdom of heart.” – Psalm 90:12

How can we better lean into God’s vision for us as we enter into 2020? Spend the day with the Band of Sisters as we assemble cloth, paper, thread, and…voila!…create a personal notebook and calendar for the new year. This lovely, small format book will easily slip into a bag so you can capture your inspirations as you make your way through the days, weeks, and months of 2020.

9am-3pm on Saturday, January 11 at The Episcopal Church of the Advocate in Chapel Hill

Your $40 registration fee includes all materials for the day. (if you need assistance for the registration fee, please contact vicar@theAdvocateChurch.org)

Bring a bag lunch – we will provide coffee, tea, and water throughout the day.

The Band of Sisters is a group of women dedicated to providing opportunities for people of faith, especially women, to gather in a prayerful setting in order to learn about and share their experiences of faith. Our goal is to form and encourage a Christian community of women who seek to grow spiritually. While we are of the Christian tradition, we welcome people of all faiths. Our gatherings include days of reflection, retreats, and opportunities to serve others in need.

Visit bandofsistersraleigh.com and click on the Calendar Page to register.


Are You the One Who Is to Come?

A sermon by The Rev. Nathan E. Kirkpatrick. Advent III. December 15, 2019

If you have ever lost faith in something
– in a cause or a candidate,
   in an organization or an institution –
If you have ever given your all
       only to find that your all is not enough,
If you have ever found yourself despairing or disillusioned,
If you have ever found the road steep and the way hard
       And you have wondered if it is worth walking at all,
           Then you have a friend in John the Baptist.

Our morning gospel finds John in prison;
In fact, in Matthew’s account of Jesus’ life,
John has been in prison for almost seven chapters.
So long that he has missed
Jesus’ sermon on the mount, the Beatitudes,
   and The Lord’s Prayer.
He has been incarcerated as Jesus has already healed many,
Raised at least one from the dead,
   And stilled a storm at sea.
While Jesus was laying all the foundations of his public ministry,
John was a religious and political prisoner
   Of a narcissistic megalomaniac
       Who resented the fact that John
           tried to hold him accountable for his unethical behavior.
You remember John is in prison
Because he had publicly objected to Herod
Taking his brother’s wife as his own.
As the gospel of Luke tells it:
   “But Herod the tetrarch,
   being rebuked by [John]
   about Herodias, his brother’s wife,
   and about all the [other] evil things Herod had done,
   added this to everything else –
   he locked John up in prison” (Luke 3:19-20<https://biblia.com/bible/nasb95/Luke%203.19-20>).
And in prison, after more than a while in prison,
After missing all the foundations of Jesus’ public ministry,
A no-doubt weary John the Baptist
sends a question to Jesus,
one of the most haunting questions in scripture.
“Are you the one who is to come,
Or should we wait for another?” (Matthew 11.2).

To hear the pathos in the question,
to hear the heartbreak,
to really hear it,
we have to remember that this is John –
John, whose birth had been announced by an angel,
John, who, in utero, had been present
   to hear Mary’s song
       as Jesus’ mother sang it to John’s mother.
This is John whose own sense
of calling and purpose
was to fulfill the words of the prophet Isaiah –
   The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
   Prepare the way of the Lord,
   make his paths straight.
   Every valley shall be filled,
   and every mountain and hill made low.
   The crooked straight,
   and the rough places plain,
   and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
This is John who had preached to the masses
about repentance and transformation.
This is John who had said of himself,
   After me comes one who is mightier than I …
   I baptize you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit..
This is John who baptized Jesus,
and at that baptism, watched as the heavens were opened,
watched as the Spirit descended on Jesus like a dove,
and who had heard there a voice from heaven thunder –
“You are my Son; with you I am well-pleased.”
This is that John,
who now is asking,
“are you the one who is to come
or should we wait for another?”
As I hear it,
If John is not outright losing faith,
he is certainly losing heart.

Now, to be fair about it,
there are biblical interpreters who say
that this is more of a rhetorical question,
that John sends Jesus the question
on behalf of all the people
who had heard John’s preaching across the years,
who themselves may have begun to wonder,
who themselves may have begun to ask –
“John seemed so certain that this Jesus was the Messiah,
but look what’s happened to John.
Is Jesus really the One? Or was John wrong?”
So, these biblical interpreters suggest that
perhaps John is raising the question
not really for himself
but for all of these others
who might now have a doubt or two,
who might be wondering
if this is the One who has come to set all people free
if He can’t even get John out of Herod’s jail.
Sort of the opposite of
what most of us mean when we say,
“I’m just asking for a friend…”.

You can see, you can hear
what these interpreters are doing, right?
They’re wanting to protect John,
John, the one with the resume I just read to you,
from the possibility of doubt
precisely because of that resume.
They’re wanting to say,
“no, no, nothing to see here,”
because, perhaps
if a person with that resume
has doubts,
what does that mean for the rest of us mere mortals?
If John, after all of that,
could find himself despairing – even for a moment –
what would that mean for all of the rest of us
who have spiritual resumes that pale in comparison?

But, for a moment,
I wonder what would happen
if we don’t try to protect John.
If instead of saying,
“oh, that’s so sweet of him,
he’s faking some doubt
so that the crowd gets to hear Jesus say,
‘yeah, yeah, I’m the one,’
how benevolent of John” –
what if, instead,
what if we say
that maybe, just maybe,
John’s life, John’s circumstances
had made it hard for him
to hold on to belief even for just a moment?
I, for one, think that that
might make him more important for us rather than less.
I, for one, think that that
wouldn’t tarnish his halo or risk his sainthood at all,
but it might actually confirm his humanity and his sainthood.
Rather than the caricatured firebrand preacher,
John might be a bit more accessible to us,
a bit more familiar to us.
It may also help explain why –
as Fleming Rutledge, the preacher and scholar, notes –
John, not Jesus, is the central figure of Advent.
If we don’t try to protect John,
then, for any of us who have ever wondered
if Jesus is the One we have been waiting for,
for any of us whose lives have made it hard to believe,
then, for us, we have a newfound friend in John.

Here’s my hunch –
if I’m wrong, you can tell me at Teachable Moment or lunch.
My hunch is that most of us
at some point or another
have looked out at the world through
all kinds of prison bars -literal, metaphorical –
and have wanted to know
if we have put our faith in the right Messiah,
we have wanted an answer –
“Are you the One? Or shall we wait for another?”
Which is so much deeper,
so much harder,
than losing faith in a cause or a candidate,
in an organization or an institution,
it is so much harder than giving our all and finding it not enough,
so much harder than walking the road and finding it tough-going
because, in each of those moments,
if faith is true, then we have faith to lean on.
But, if faith falters, then, so, too, does the very hope that sustains us.
What if John is asking for himself
and giving us words for our experience, too –
are you the One or do we have to keep waiting?

It’s a perfect third Sunday of Advent kind of question,
when, in a normal year, the walk to Christmas starts to feel long.
When maybe we’re ready to be done with Advent hymns
as beautiful as they are and just sing a Christmas carol or two.
When maybe we’re done with waiting.
Two Sundays ago, I was with
the folks of the Episcopal campus ministry at Duke
for their Sunday evening Eucharist,
and several of the students
were talking before mass
by the advent wreath.
And at the Episcopal Center,
their Advent wreath
has different colored candles –
three purple and one pink –
for the Sundays in Advent.
And the students were discussing why there was a pink candle.
One of them finally said,
“did you ever think that maybe they were just tired of purple?”

Maybe you know something about being tired of purple,
tired of waiting for God; weary of wondering if or when life will change.
Maybe John’s question is yours:
Are you the One or do we have to keep waiting?

In Matthew’s Gospel,
Jesus answers John’s question.
“Go and tell John what you see …
that the blind see, the deaf hear,
the sick are healed, the dead live again,
and the poor have good news preached to them.”
For us, Jesus might answer it this way:
Go and tell what you hear and see –
that the community that gathers in my name
brings food for the hungry,
builds Tiny Homes for the homeless,
welcomes strangers and makes them friends,
cares for those who are hurting and for those who are healing,
marches for justice and prays for peace,
gives time and treasure to change the world.
If you have ever asked, if you have ever wondered,
if John’s question is yours today –
Hold on to what you hear and see,
because our waiting is almost over.
Amen.

The Rev. Nathan E. Kirkpatrick

Advent and Christmastide (12 Days!) at the Advocate

Calendar for Advent and Christmas 
at the Advocate 
In these weeks of anticipation, contemplation, and celebration,
please join us in the Advocate Chapel and House

Candlelight Evening Prayer
Sundays at 5 PM
In addition to our regular Sunday morning Schedule, in Advent we will offer a candlelight evening prayer with poetry, incense and chants. Join us in the chapel for this restful, prayerful time.

Sundays, December 16 and 23 
Our regular Sunday schedule, with Holy Eucharist at 9 and 11
At 10:10AM we will have intergenerational puppet theater with Debbie Wuliger!
All followed by lunch.
Monday, December 16. 
The annual dinner with cookies and carols a
t the Community House
(a residential facility for men experiencing homelessness).  The Advocate will provide the bbq and hush puppies. As you are able, please bring a side dish or dessert to share.
6 PM – 7 PM.
One Bread in Advent — For the Season of Advent, we will all share one bread in our communion. Rather than having a gluten free option for those who require it, we will all receive gluten free bread. Kerry Bullock-Ozkan bakes this bread. The ingredients are: coconut flour, tapioca starch, chia seed, olive oil, salt and water.
It won’t taste as sweet (please advise the children to be prepared), but it will hold a different kind of sweetness for us all.
As always, Christ is fully present in the bread and in the wine. Those who do not wish to receive the one, can receive the other. Those who do not wish to receive either, but would like a blessing (in which Christ is also present!), may fold their arms and receive a blessing.
Tuesday, December 24. Christmas Eve. Holy Eucharist with candles and carols. 4 PM. and 8 PM. Note: Children of all ages are invited to bring critters, plush, plastic or polished, to visit the baby Jesus in the creche).
Wednesday, December 25. Christmas Day. Simple Eucharist with carols. 5 PM.
Sunday, December 29. The First Sunday After Christmas. Holy Eucharist with lessons and carols. 10 AM.
Sunday, January 5. The Second Sunday After Christmas.  Holy Eucharist at 9 AM and 11 AM. Followed by lunch (provided)
Sunday, January 5. 12th Night, Epiphany Eve: The Burning of the Greens!As you are able, bring your greens from home — Christmas trees, wreaths, garlands — and we will burn them in the fire circle, while singing songs and staring in awe at the light coming into the darkness. Then we will return to the Chapel for Kings Cake and song!
6 PM. (Following 5PM Evening Prayers)
All are welcome to all.

The Book of Common Prayer in November

For the month of November, The Advocate will be using the Book of Common Prayer in our worship at both the 9 AM and the 11 AM. An essential (as in “of the essence”) aspect of Episcopal and Anglican worship is our common prayer. And while there are increasing options approved for worship in the Episcopal Church, many of which we use at our 11 AM liturgy through the year, the vast majority of Episcopal churches worship with the Book of Common Prayer.

The Episcopal Church website describes the Book of Common Prayer as: a treasure chest full of devotional and teaching resources for individuals and congregations, but it is also the primary symbol of our unity. As Armentrout and Slocum note in their Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, that “Anglican liturgical piety has been rooted in the Prayer Book tradition since the publication of the first English Prayer Book in 1549.”

We, who are many and diverse, come together in Christ through our worship, our common prayer. The prayer book, most recently revised in 1979, contains our liturgies, our prayers, our theological documents, and much, much more.

We use the Book of Common Prayer in our Sunday worship at the 9 AM each week.

The current Book of Common Prayer was approved in 1979 after more than a decade of discernment and trial rites. It replaced the previous BCP which had been in use since 1928. The 1979 BCP placed a greater emphasis on the Eucharist as the principle act of worship on Sundays, and also introduced options for the Eucharistic rites. These options have nuanced theological distinctions and histories.

There are 6 different Eucharistic Prayers in the Book of Common Prayer. Two are in the more traditional language, reminiscent of the language of the Kings James Bible and found in the the 1928 BCP. These are called Rite One. Four are in a language contemporary in the 1960s and 70s, capturing the beginnings of gender-inclusive language. These are called Rite Two. The Rite Two prayers also reflect a wider spectrum of theological influence. On All Saints Sunday, November 10 and November 24 we will use Rite Two prayers. On Sunday, November 17, we will use a Rite One setting. It will be, in some ways, archaic, penitential, gender-biased, and clergy-centric. In other ways it will be beautiful and nostalgic. Our hope is that it will offer an opportunity to reflect on the language of our liturgy and the language of our faith.

Come and visit The Advocate this month and see how the liturgy of the Book of Common Prayer expresses and forms our faith.

Jobs posted at Farmer Foodshare and the IFC!

Farmer Foodshare is looking for an Executive Director. “Farmer Foodshare approaches hunger from both sides of the problem – small farmers struggling to stay in business, and disadvantaged populations who lack access to fresh and nutritious food. This is what makes them unique! Since 2009, Farmer Foodshare has fostered cross-sector partnerships to build a local food system in which all members of our community can have access to healthy, nutritious food, and those who labor in agriculture can make a viable living.”

See more about the Farmer Foodshare Executive Director job posting here!

Also, the InterFaith Council is seeking a Heavenly Groceries Food Ministry Coordinator. A terrific opportunity for someone who wants to work 15 hours a week for a very good agency. See flyer below.

Advocate Sweet 16 Celebration, Saturday, September 21


Join us Saturday, September 21, as we celebrate our 16th birthday. It’s a celebration in 6 parts!

1) 3 PM – 5 PM Visioning ahead. Come meet with our vicar and senior warden to begin a process of visioning for our future. As with so much of what we do, this will be the work of the people. And it will be what it will be because of who participates. So please come if you can!
2) 4:30 – 7:30 PM Fairy Hair and Face Paint and other kids activities. Sparkle Body Arts will provide fairy hair and face painting from 4:30 – 7:30. Only one person at a time, so we hope some folks will come early and others will be willing to wait and duck out during the talent show. 5:15 – 6:45PM. Once the Visioning gathering is over, around 5, we will also have bubbles and a costume photo booth during the cookout!
3) 5:15 – 6:45 ish. A cookout!. We will joined by the Dogwood Blossom Band as we gather for veggie burgers and beef burgers, with the the usual augmentations. Beverages provided. Please bring a side dish if you can. If you can help with the grilling, please contact “Paul B. Marvin” pmarvin64@gmail.com.
4) 7 ish til….  An Advocate Talent Show in the Chapel! 
If you want to participate in the 2nd Annual Advocate Talent Show OR display some art work, please email Erin Dangler erin@erindangler.com by Sept. 17th. Erin will send you a confirmation with all the details and getting participation information from you. Remember, Participation over Perfection! 
5) Campfire and S’mores. Here’s where we have dessert!
6) A pondside campout ! Those who wish can bring their tents and stay the night, then come to church in the morning.
Also…. Sunday at 10:50 we will dedicate our new Peace Pole!
     



The Way of Love

The Way of Love
is a way of life.

More than a program or curriculum, it is an intentional commitment to a set of practices. It’s a commitment to follow Jesus: Turn, Learn, Pray, Worship, Bless, Go, Rest.

During A Teachable Moment between the 9 AM and 11 AM liturgies this fall, all are welcome to engage in The Way of Love. Each week we will explore one of the themes offered by our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry.

See the introduction and Bishop Curry’s invitation here.

Episcopal 101

Are you interested in learning more about the history, theology, liturgy, and structure of the Episcopal Church? If so, join us Sunday afternoons, September 8 – October 13, for “Episcopal 101,” a conversation-based introduction to the church. In each conversation we will be asking, “What difference does this make for us?”

Each week’s topic will be posted beforehand (see basic plan below). Any and all are welcome to join in any or all sessions.

Note: for these preparing for confirmation or reception in the Episcopal Church at the Bishop’s Visitation on Sunday, October 20, participation is expected.

Classes will generally be held1:15 – 2:30 PM at the Advocate.

If you are interested in being a part of the conversation, be in touch with the Vicar (Vicar@TheAdvocateChurch.org).

Episcopal 101, general plan:    
1) Jesus, Scripture and the early Church   
2) The Church in England and The Anglican Communion 
3) Anglican spirituality and The Book of Common Prayer  
4) Anglican Moral Theology
5) The Episcopal Church USA and how the Advocate fits in.