News and Events

Masking policy change

We’ve updated our masking policy as of Sunday, May 14. Masks will be optional in most cases. Masks will only be required at the 8:30 a.m. Sunday service if we meet inside due to weather.

Church of the Advocate Masking Policy:

  • The 8:30 a.m. Sunday service will be outside, with optional masking. If weather moves us inside, masks will be required (extra masks are in the bell tower).
  • The 10:30 a.m. Sunday service will be inside the chapel and on Zoom, with optional masking.
  • The presider and Eucharistic servers will wear masks during communion.
  • Masks are optional inside the house or chapel (for example, during Sunday formation, Reader’s Roundtable, and contemplative prayer).

This change comes after discussion among the vestry, our most recent survey, and in consultation with Dr. Peter Morris, an Advocate, a career pediatrician, and public health physician certified in preventive medicine.

COVID numbers are very low in Orange County, and we have one of the highest vaccination rates in the state. This does not mean that we’re throwing caution to the wind. Our inside filters will continue to be used on Sundays (these work best with the windows closed). And if you’re not feeling well, or you’ve been exposed to COVID, please stay home and join us by Zoom that day.

And as we’ve all learned from living through a pandemic, things are subject to change. If cases increase, and there’s the need, we will go back to requiring masks.

We also know any change will not impact us all the same. Some will be happy with the shift. For others, this feels like a grief – we are aware of that, and we recognize your pain. Please feel free to talk to Marion or to a vestry member if you feel the need.

Thank you for your gracious spirits and willing hearts to adjust to something new.

Lent, Holy Week, and Easter 2023 Schedule

Join us for Holy Week!

Saturday, April 8: Holy Saturday
10 a.m. – Holy Saturday
7:30 p.m. – The Great Vigil of Easter

Sunday, April 9: Easter Sunday
10:30 a.m. – Easter service with Holy Eucharist inside
We’ll meet inside due to the recent heavy rains saturating the ground
No Adult or Children’s formation today

Holy Week, also known as Passion Week, is the week leading up to Easter Sunday. It begins on Palm Sunday, commemorating Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and ends on Easter Sunday celebrating his resurrection.

During Holy Week, we remember and reflect on the events that led to Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. We’ll remember Jesus’ last supper with his disciples, his betrayal by Judas, his trial and conviction, his crucifixion, his burial in the tomb, and finally his rising in glory.

Holy Week

Sunday, April 2: Palm Sunday
10:30 a.m. – Holy Eucharist and Palm Sunday with confirmations and bishop’s visit
No Critical Conversation today

Tuesday, April 4
7 p.m. – The B-I-B-L-E (Bible study) on Zoom

Wednesday, April 5
6 p.m. – Contemplative Prayer

Thursday, April 6: Maundy Thursday
7 p.m. – A shared meal, foot washing and Holy Eucharist

Friday, April 7: Good Friday
12 p.m. & 7 p.m. – Good Friday service with veneration of the cross

Saturday, April 8: Holy Saturday
10 a.m. – Holy Saturday
7:30 p.m. – The Great Vigil of Easter

Sunday, April 9: Easter Sunday
10:30 a.m. – Easter service with Holy Eucharist outside by the pond (bring a chair!)
No Adult or Children’s formation today

Following Easter

Tuesday, April 11
7 p.m. – The B-I-B-L-E (Bible study) on Zoom

Wednesday, April 12
6 p.m. – Contemplative Prayer

Sunday, April 16
10:30 a.m. – Holy Eucharist with guest preacher: the Rev. Shawn Schreiner

Tuesday, April 18
7 p.m. – The B-I-B-L-E (Bible study) on Zoom

Wednesday, April 19
6 p.m. – Contemplative Prayer

Sunday, April 23
8:30 & 10:30 a.m. – Holy Eucharist with guest preacher: Dan LaVenture

Lenten Book Study: “The 7 Deadly Sins of White Christian Nationalism” by Carter Heyward

This Lent we’re digging into a great book, The 7 Deadly Sins of White Christian Nationalism: A Call to Action, by Carter Heyward.

We’ll have two opportunities to discuss the book. For the first, we’re partnering with we’re partnering with Chapel of the Cross, Church of the Holy Family and St. Matthew’s for a workshop and panel discussion with Bishop Samuel Rodman.

Come to one or both!

Saturday, March 18 at Chapel of the Cross
Registration is required
9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
– Morning worship and book discussion (free)
12:30-1:30 p.m. – Optional catered lunch and informal conversation with Dr. Heyward ($20).

Tuesday, March 21 at the Advocate House and on Zoom
7 p.m. – Further conversation about the book

You can get a copy at your local bookstore. Or if the cost of the book is prohibitive to you, please be in touch with Marion. An anonymous donor has provided us with several copies.

Carter Heyward is an American feminist theologian and priest in the Episcopal Church. In 1974, she was one of the Philadelphia Eleven, eleven women whose ordinations eventually paved the way for the recognition of women as priests in the Episcopal Church in 1976. Heyward is the author of eleven books and has edited and/or contributed to a further three. Her most recent books are Tears of Christopena: Mystical Musings on Grief, Evil, and Godding and SheFlies On: A White Christian Debutante Wakes Up. She lives the North Carolina mountains south of Asheville.

Shrove Tuesday (Feb. 21) and Ash Wednesday (Feb. 22)

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper
February 21, 6 p.m. at the Advocate house

Come to the Advocate house on Shrove Tuesday for a pancake supper as we prepare ourselves for the beginning of Lent the next day!

What is Shrove Tuesday? It’s the day before Ash Wednesday, when people traditionally would consume all their flour, sugar and other sweet treats before the penitential season of Lent. Thus: PANCAKES. This year we’ll gather to eat some yummy food – AND a king cake directly from New Orleans will be there.

Ash Wednesday
February 22

7 AM – 9 AM – Receive ashes in the chapel
12 PM – Eucharist with ashes in the chapel
7 PM
–  Eucharist with ashes in the chapel and online

Lent begins the next day on Ash Wednesday. Come to a service at noon or 7 p.m., or drop by 7-9 a.m. for ashes in the chapel. Marion also will be in the chapel throughout this solemn day for prayer or conversation.

The first of the 40 days of Lent, Ash Wednesday is named for the custom of placing blessed ashes on the foreheads of worshipers. The ashes are a sign of penitence and a reminder of mortality, and may be imposed with the sign of the cross. (Imposition of ashes at the Ash Wednesday service is optional.)

It’s Annual Meeting Time!

Sunday, January 29, 9:30 a.m. in the chapel or Zoom

Next Sunday is that yearly event vital to the functioning of our church: The annual meeting!

So… what happens at the annual meeting?

We’ll hear reports from the senior warden, the treasurer, and the vicar. And we’ll vote on new vestry members and hear a presentation of the 2023 budget. All stuff vital to the well-being and functioning of the Advocate!

Mark your calendars, and we hope to see you there. Remember: It will be what it is because of your presence.

Christmas Season at the Advocate

Join us at the Advocate this Christmas season!

December 24 – Christmas Eve
4 PM: Christmas Eve service in the chapel
7 PM: Christmas Eve service in the chapel and on Zoom

December 25 – Christmas Day
10:30 AM: Holy Eucharist in the chapel and on Zoom
Only one service this day

January 1 – Second Sunday in Christmas
10:30 AM: Holy Eucharist in the chapel and on Zoom
Only one service this day

Nov. 6: All Saints’ Sunday!

Please join us this Sunday, Nov. 6, for our celebration of saints past, present, and yet to come!

On All Saints’ Sunday, we remember all those who have gone before us demonstrating lives of faithfulness and pointing us toward God. As you are led, please bring in photos of those you have loved or admired who have gone before. We will place these photos and icons all around our worship space, surrounding ourselves with the great Cloud of Witnesses, the Communion of Saints.

8:30 service: in-person, traditional, outdoors
10:30 service: indoors, in-person and on Zoom

All Saints’ Necrology: Submit your names
We’ll also read aloud the names of our loved ones who have gone before us into life with God. If you would like the name of your deceased loved one read aloud during the Eucharist at both the 8:30 and 10:30 services, please fill out this simple form:

Fireside singalong with s’mores – Oct. 29, 7 PM

This Saturday, Oct. 29, come gather around the pondside fire pit for a campfire, singing, and s’mores! We’ll start the fire at 7 p.m. Come early to find that perfect marshmallow-roasting stick. Or come late (because it’s better than not showing up at all!).

Members of the Dogwood Blossom Band will help us get the singing started. Things to consider bringing: your favorite campfire song, a camp chair, that banged-up guitar you keep meaning to play.


Oct. 9 at 5 PM: Blessing of the Animals

Do you have a furry or scaly friend at home that you adore? Would you like to bring that special one to receive a blessing? Come to the Advocate pond for a service remembering St. Francis, and bring your pet (furry, scaly or slimy) to be blessed.

Blessing of the Animals: Sunday, Oct. 9, at 5 p.m. by the pond

This service remembers Saint Francis, the patron saint of animals. Many stories surround Francis’ great love for animals and the environment. In one account Francis and his companions happened upon a place where birds filled the trees. Francis told his companions, “wait for me while I go to preach to my sisters the birds.” The birds surrounded him, intrigued by the power of his voice, and not one of them flew away. Please note: we will not pray to imbue Whitby with the power to entrance birds!

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.