News and Events

PeeWee Homes in the News

The Advocate’s PeeWee Homes are featured in an Associated Press story about churches using tiny homes to tackle homelessness. The national story was released Saturday and features our very own Nathaniel “Pee Wee” Lee and former vicar Lisa Fischbeck.

“I thank the Lord because this is mine and nobody can run me out,” Pee Wee says in the article.

The story focuses on national trends among churches of many denominations building tiny homes to help those without housing. Homelessness nationwide has risen every year for the past 4 years.

Check out the full story here!

“Church leaders are not just trying to be more neighborly,” writes reporter Holly Meyer. “The drive to provide shelter is rooted in their beliefs — they must care for the vulnerable, especially those without homes.”

PeeWee Homes began in 2015, when the Advocate was approached by a small group interested in building tiny homes on church property for people with less than 30% of average median income. After much conversation, planning, fundraising and effort, the first residents moved into the Advocate’s three tiny homes in June 2019.

The hope is that PeeWee Homes at the Advocate will be a prototype, a model inspiring other churches and landowners to build PeeWee Homes on their properties as well.

Find out more about the Advocate’s PeeWee Homes and the PeeWee Homes Collaborative.

 

Celebration of New Ministry

 

Join us Wednesday, May 25, at 5:30 PM for a special service by the pond to officially and liturgically celebrate the new ministry of the Advocate with its new vicar, Marion. The Rt. Rev. Sam Rodman will preside, and our guest preacher will be the Rev. Imogen Rhodenhiser.

If you attend in person, please bring a chair and a dish to share for the potluck.

Click here to join via Zoom

If joining on Zoom, you may wish to print out the liturgy and music guides: 

Holy Week Schedule at the Advocate

This year will be our first in-person Holy Week since 2019. Many aspects of our Advocate traditions will be in place, though some will be adapted for our pandemic living.

Click here for Holy Week Zoom links and liturgy guides

However you enter Holy Week, you are welcome to walk this holy way no matter your beliefs or doubts as you engage in this greatest mystery of all. Sojourning through story and song — through living and dying — we behold what we are: the Body of Christ in this world.

Holy Week 2022 (All services will be at the church)

Palm Sunday: April 10
8:30 AM — Traditional indoor service with palm procession
10:30 AM — Hybrid indoor service with palm procession
12:30 PM — Outdoor service with palm procession

Maundy Thursday: April 14
6:15 PM — Simple supper outside the church
7:00 PM — Hybrid liturgy (including optional foot washing) in the chapel

Good Friday: April 15
12:00 PM — Solemn service in the chapel
1:30 and 6 PM — Stations of the Cross (beginning outside, ending in chapel)
7:00 PM — Solemn hybrid service in the chapel

Easter Vigil: April 16
7:00 PM — Hybrid service beginning outside, moving into the chapel

Easter Day: April 17
8:30 AM — Holy Eucharist in the chapel
9:30 AM — Easter Day reception with food! Come one, come all!
10:30 AM — Hybrid service outside by the pond

Hybrid church and in-person worship

Come join us in worship — in person or on Zoom!

Each Sunday there are a variety of liturgies. As always, please be safe and check out the Covid safety procedures, below. 

Click here for hybrid link and liturgy guide

**SUMMER UPDATE: Starting July 10, the 8:30 service will meet outside and the 12:30 service will go on summer hiatus.

Current church schedule:

  • 8:30 AM: Outdoor traditional service (no tech) — Holy Eucharist, the Book of Common Prayer and traditional hymns. Come in person and bring a chair
  • 10:30 AM: Indoor hybrid service — Holy Eucharist, Advocate binders, and music led by piano, voice and guitar. Come in person or on Zoom

Enjoy some fellowship! After the 10:30 service, come enjoy some outdoor fellowship time — bring a salad topping (greens provided) and enjoy hanging out with fellow Advocates around the pond.

Godly Play will resume on Sept 11, 2022 

COVID Safety procedures:

  • When inside the chapel, please wear a well-fitting mask (if you do not have this type of mask, 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

Address any questions or concerns to Marion@TheAdvocateChurch.org

Weekly Notes of the Advocate

 

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Dear People of the Advocate,

Tomorrow we will gather for worship in person and online at the following times and locations:

8:30 am Holy Eucharist inside the chapel (no tech) – a traditional style service utilizing The Book of Common Prayer and traditional style hymns

10:30 am Holy Eucharist inside the chapel and on zoom (hybrid service) – typical “Advocate” style service utilizing music led by piano, voice, guitar.

12:30 pm Holy Eucharist outside by the pond (no tech) – typical “Advocate” style service by the pond. Music will be a cappella (or bring an instrument and we’ll have an ad hoc music team) and please bring a chair!

**Masks are required inside and will be made available in the church if you need one. They may be removed by readers during the service and to receive communion. If you would like to receive communion after the service outside, please let me know.

And feel free to hang around the church after the 10:30 service and before the 12:30 for a time of fellowship with your fellow Advocates!

Godly play IN PERSON OUTSIDE

9:30-10:30 am open house/kickoff with DOUGHNUTS!

Peace,
Marion+

Worship at The Advocate

Sunday, March 13

10:30 Worship

Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/4385682876?pwd=NW9WdnJMTmh1NlhEMkdvYmxFeXM0dz09

Meeting ID: 438 568 2876

Passcode: Whitby

March 13 Liturgy Guide: https://theadvocatechurch.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Lent-Guide-2022.pdf

March 13 Music and Psalm Guide: https://theadvocatechurch.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/March-13-Music-Psalm-Guide.pdf

Guest preacher 3/20

We will welcome Mike Daisley as a guest preacher. Mike is an attorney in Charlotte who is training to be a Lay Preacher through the Diocese of North Carolina.

Time to Mulch! April 2

Hello everyone!

Despite the temperatures’ best efforts this weekend, it’s going to start feeling more and more like spring! And with it our annual spring work day. We will gather on Saturday, April 2nd at 9 am to mulch, trim, and tidy up for a wonderful spring and summer.

Before we gather there are two ways you can help.

1. Help us acquire wood chips. I have been calling around to various tree companies looking for some with no luck so far. If you or a neighbor has a tree taken down, please consider asking the tree company to dump the wood chips at The Advocate.

2. There is a huge mulch pile across the railroad tracks where the new subdivision is being built. I never drive that way, but if you are someone who frequents Homestead Rd, would you be willing to ask any workers present what they plan on doing with that mulch? That of course would be perfect for spreading in our beds.

Please give my number/email to any potential people who could connect us with these two sources of mulch. Thank you!

Andrew Hammond

281.814.0022

ahammond2184@gmail.com

 

Lenten Book Study

We continue our deep discussion of prophets on Wednesday looking at chapters 1-4! See you then!

The following Wednesdays in Lent (March 9, 16, 23, 30, April 6) join with other Advocates for a lively discussion of the book, The Time is Now: A Call to Uncommon Courage by Joan Chittister led by Hilda Bukowski and Marion Sprott-Goldson. We will meet via zoom from 7:30-8:30. You can purchase your book here and if you need assistance in the purchase, please be in touch with Marion.

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8260167245?pwd=VGlybngwTi9ZRHFJRlRJRUo4V082Zz09

Meeting ID: 826 016 7245

Passcode: Lent2022

Preparing Children for The Story of The Passion

April 5th from 7:30-8:30PM, Zoom

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83931382728?pwd=dzZ4MmRyWXBQckVLbWV4czFRQTZ6dz09

It can be difficult to know how to talk with children about the death and resurrection of Jesus. During Holy Week and Easter, kids often have poignant questions that can catch us off guard. Join in a one-hour conversation with Sarah Bentley Allred (via Zoom) as we explore age appropriate ways of engaging this tough topic with children. Any adult who love and cares for the children in their lives and the children of The Advocate is welcome!

Prayer

Compline each evening at 8:30pm via zoom.

What is compline? Compline is the last set prayer service for the day. It is typically prayed before bed or when settling down for the evening. You can check out the liturgy here.

Contemplative prayer meets each Wednesday at 6pm with a group in person in the chapel (wearing masks and distanced) and on zoom. (Contact Marion to get the zoom link)

Collect

The Second Sunday in Lent

O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ your Son; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Ash Wednesday: Zoom and In-person

On Wednesday, March 2, we will observe Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the season of Lent.

Receiving ashes in person
During the day Wednesday Marion will be at the chapel for prayer and to impose ashes. As you are led, come by the chapel to join in prayer and reflection during these times:

  • 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
  • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Ash Wednesday Zoom Liturgy: 6:30 p.m.
We will gather together on Zoom at 6:30 p.m. As we did last year, before the service you are invited to gather dirt from your yard, potting soil, or any sort of dust to have with you. During the service we will scatter that dust upon our feet as we remember that we are made from dust, created by our loving and liberating God.

Click here to join the Zoom meeting
Meeting ID: 826 016 7245
Passcode: Lent2022

 

Zoom Liturgy: Sundays at 10:30

March 6, was our last all-Zoom Sunday service (fingers crossed!). This Sunday, March 13, join us for the return of hybrid church and several in-person options!

The Zoom link will be posted on a hybrid page — stay tuned.

While we’re Zoom-only, we’ll display the liturgy and music on slides. Please unmute yourself for liturgical responses! When we’re singing, please sing along with your microphone muted.

After church, stick around for Screenside Chat! Grab a cup of coffee, enjoy some fellowship, and engage in some lively conversation.
This Sunday we’ll welcome Christopher Faison as our facilitator for screen-side chat. Afterward, resident public health expert Peter Morris will answer any questions about Sunday’s shift back to in-person worship

Christopher Faison planted roots in the Chapel Hill community for over two decades, initially as a UNC undergraduate from Hampton Roads, Va. As an active young alumnus, he frequented campus regularly and eventually was recruited to serve in UNC’s scholarships and student aid arena. Over the years, Chris became a proud holder of storytelling and unwritten histories from many Black faculty and administrators. Returning to Carolina’s campus a few years later to begin Men of Color initiatives, Chris quickly became a “resident griot,” sought out for this racialized institutional memory. Chris continues the legacy of passing along rich oral traditions with respect to UNC race history. A proponent of racial healing, Chris seeks to build a beloved community by facilitating truth telling at the local level, which is foundational to reconciliation and right relationship.

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

URGENT Christmas Schedule Change

Dear POTA,
It is with a heavy heart that I announce to you that we will not have any indoor services for Christmas Eve and at least through Christmastide (Dec. 26 and Jan. 2) due to the increasing concern over the Omicron variant.
As you have seen in the news, the Omicron variant is highly contagious and is already in our area. This variant is more contagious than Delta and the potential for spread is swift. Fully vaccinated and boosted folks have protection against the variant, but even then a vaccinated person can become infected and spread the disease.
However, this wave may only last somewhere between 30-40 days. I will continue to monitor this situation and will be in daily prayer for you, for our medical community, and for all those who are impacted by this virus.
The schedule for the next few days and weeks are as follows:
On Christmas Eve, there will be two opportunities for worship. At 4 pm, we will gather together outside at the Advocate for a service of Holy Eucharist with Christmas carols. We will celebrate the birth of our Lord and join our voices together singing hymns of joy and celebration. Because of the short notice and demand on our volunteers, we will not be able to offer this service via Zoom.
For those members of our community who prefer a virtual option, on Christmas Eve at 7pm we will offer a celebration of Holy Eucharist accessible via Zoom. There will be only a few people in the church at that time to ensure our safety, but the liturgy will be the same one that is offered at the earlier outdoor service. Come and gather together as we hear the story of Jesus’ birth that day in Bethlehem. Join with Christians near and far, through bits and bites, as we proclaim the Word made flesh.
Looking ahead to the next few Sundays, we will have one service via zoom at 10:30 am.
How you can help:
Volunteers are needed to help with the 4pm set up and break down to move heaters and chairs. If you have an hour to spare, please let me know.
Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Word: Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God now and for ever. Amen.
In peace,
Marion+
Christmas Eve Liturgy & Music Guide:
Christmas Eve Zoom link 7pm
Meeting ID: 438 568 2876
Passcode: Hybrid
Godly Play
Meeting ID: 890 0094 8399
Passcode: R6qrTT
Dec 26, 10:30 Worship
Meeting ID: 438 568 2876
Passcode: Hybrid
Dec 26 Liturgy Guide
Dec 26 Music & Psalm Guide

Changes in worship schedule and location

Dear People of the Advocate,

I come to you on Tuesday November 23, just a few days away from Thanksgiving and the liturgical season of Advent.

The season of Advent is marked by a mix of themes: longing and hope, fear and uncertainty, loss and sadness, and joyful anticipation. It is hard to take in all of these things at once, and perhaps you know what it feels to have a mix of emotions swirling around. We look around us and see a world still in pandemic, yet celebrate the vaccine availability to children ages 5 and up. We look around us and see a justice system that at its core privileges white supremacy. We cry out to God, how long, how long, at the same time grapple with how we can make a difference. We joyfully and tearfully said goodbye to Lisa, Lamar, and Becca and we, at the same time, look to a time with a new vicar and her wife. Advent contains all of this.

And Advent is when we are making a change in our worship at The Advocate. Beginning this Sunday, November 28, two services will be held inside the chapel: one at 8:45 and the other at 10:30 am. Both of these services are Holy Eucharist and the 10:30 service will continue to be hybrid. I know that some of you are more than ready to be inside our beloved chapel. However, I know that for some this means moving back to Zoom. I know that this is a hard decision for some to hear, but one in which I believe is best for our community as a whole. And while it may seem this decision was made hastily, I assure you that since I have been here at the Advocate this has been one of the main conversations we have been engaging. Lisa is fully supportive of this move inside.

Finally, l will link below to the guidelines that the Diocese of North Carolina lays out for our worshipping inside. We will be wearing masks while worshipping. We will have air purifiers running. Please be mindful of your own health and if you are not feeling well, please join that day by zoom. And I and others in the diocese meet weekly for a Covid briefing and we are watching the numbers. I am also meeting bi-monthly with Dr. Wesley Wallace and the clergy of Orange County. Dr. Wallace has been advising the clergy of this area since COVID began. With that in mind, here at the Advocate the following will be a guide: if we reach 7.5% positive test cases in our county we will be moving outside again. If we reach 10% we will move back to zoom.

I close with the collect for the first Sunday in Advent, please join me in prayer:

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Peace,

Marion+

Diocese of North Carolina guidelines

NCDHHS COVID-19 Response Dashboard

Vicar Transition Update

Dearest People of the Advocate,

 

As we anticipate the official moment of Lisa’s transition from being our Vicar to being retired, we must come to terms with one of the more difficult-to-implement parts of this transition, a real change in our collective and individual relationships with Lisa, Lamar, and Becca. This part is hard because it’s so personal and may be subject to the perspective that the changes I’ll outline below could be well and good in principle and for most of the People of the Advocate, but “surely this doesn’t also apply to me.” And yet the instruction from the diocese and the witness from others who have trodden this road before us indicates that this actually does apply to each of us, and is the best approach to help us to bond with Marion and appreciate her capable leadership. Many of us do indeed have unique and very special relationships with the Fischbeck-Bland household, and in spite of those relationships we are asked to submit to this instruction. Besides being the right thing for our church, we are assured that this is also the best approach to free Lisa and her family to begin to form new relationships and live into their next chapter as well.

 

With that somewhat ominous and sober introduction, here are the guidelines for our journey into a changed relationship in the coming year:

 

  1. Lisa will no longer be able to function as our pastor or priest. It will no longer be her role to officiate at our baptisms, weddings, and funerals.
  2. Lisa, Becca and Lamar will be withdrawing from social interaction and other parts of the “life of the Advocate” in all forms, in-person and online.
  3. Lisa, Becca and Lamar will be absent from the life of the Advocate at least until late November of 2022, after which time they may come back only at the invitation of Marion. At that point any participation by Lisa will be as our former pastor.

 

Of course you know that Lisa, Lamar, and Becca have valued, and will continue to value, their friendships and relationships with the People of the Advocate. This part of the leave-taking is difficult all around. But a year is only a year. So let us accept this discipline in hope and with peaceful hearts, knowing that we all have work to do to form new bonds and establish new routines, and in our certain knowledge that all shall be well.

 

In peace,
Donya

Dear People of the Advocate,

I write, on this octave of All Saints, to tell you about plans and guidance for our life ahead.

The bottom line is that we will be separated. I am retiring from parish ministry, you are continuing as the People of the Advocate with a new and good Vicar, Marion. My relationship with you, and yours with me, will change.

As of November 21, Christ the Kings Sunday, I will step aside, and Marion will be your priest, your pastor, your chief liturgist, your guide. The wisdom of the church and the guidelines of the Diocese teach us that the healthiest and most effective way for that new relationship to form is for the retiring Vicar, and her family, to separate from the church and its people physically and digitally. It’s painful, and I want to say that “the Advocate is different!”, but wisdom is wisdom, and I see that wisdom in our case.

So starting November 22, Lamar and Becca and I will not be at the Advocate, neither on the land nor in the chapel, neither on the Zoom nor by email. This will be true for at least a year.

Where will we go? For starters, we will all be in Tucson for the first week of Advent, and will fly to Toronto for a Christmas in Canada. After that, Lamar and I will continue to live in Durham. In the year ahead we will enjoy the freedom from the clock and calendar that retirement offers. We will travel as safety allows. I hope to be a visiting preacher and teacher in the wider church, and to do what I can to work for the election of representatives in our state who share the values I cherish. Becca will be in Tucson, pursuing her PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. When we are in Durham on a Sunday, we will explore other churches, and perhaps settle in at one of them. It will be different, that’s for sure!

In true Advocate form, we will embody all this in the context of our liturgy. November 21 will be a day of sadness and of joy, of celebration of what has gone before and what lies ahead. I do hope that you all will join in – the liturgy will be what it will be because of who is gathered, in person as much as is possible, and on Zoom.

Any words I might come up with to express my gratitude and love feel pale and inadequate. Please know that my feelings for you all are strong and robust.

God grant you many years.

Lisa+

 

Dear People of the Advocate,

As you have read in the letters from Lisa and from Donya, the time is quickly approaching to say good bye to Lisa, Lamar, and Becca. I know this is a difficult time for many as Lisa has been your priest, pastor, confidant, and friend. You have celebrated together, you have grieved together, and the relationship you have developed through the years is an important one: one in which you have seen God in the other.

 

I give thanks for the time I have had in getting to know Lisa. We have laughed and prayed together, walked the beautiful land together and, most importantly, shared in holy food and drink around God’s holy table with all of you. God has richly blessed this community with Lisa – her gifts and talents, her dedication to God, and her love of you. The Advocate would not be The Advocate as we know it today without her listening to where the Holy Spirit was leading. Thanks be to God!

 

During the liturgy on November 21st, we will pray with and for Lisa, Lamar, and Becca, and Lisa will complete the final “passing of the baton” to me. At that point I will be the Vicar of The Advocate. I am deeply humbled by this. Humbled to be your priest and your pastor. Humbled to be with you in joy and sadness, to pray with you and for you, and humbled to share in word and sacrament in this holy place with you, God’s holy people.

 

As we prepare for this time, please be in prayer for Lisa, Lamar, and Becca.
Please be in prayer for the Vestry of The Advocate.
Please pray for each other.
Please pray for yourselves.
Please be in prayer for Amanda and me.

 

God’s blessings be upon Lisa, Lamar, and Becca and upon you, the People of the Advocate.
Marion+

 

Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine: Glory to God from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. (Ephesians 3:20, 21)