News and Events

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!


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


Worship at The Advocate

Sunday, March 13

10:30 Worship

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 438 568 2876

Passcode: Whitby

March 13 Liturgy Guide:

March 13 Music and Psalm Guide:

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



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

Meeting ID: 826 016 7245

Passcode: Lent2022

Preparing Children for The Story of The Passion

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

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!


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)


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

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,
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.



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,

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.



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.


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)

The Old Vicar’s Last Sermon

The Old Vicar’s Last Sermon
November 21, 2021
The Rev. Lisa G. Fischbeck

In the Name of the creating, restoring, and transforming God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

The time came when we needed a sign.
Not a sign from God telling us what we needed to do,
But rather a sign by the road, telling folks that The Advocate was here.
It was 2014.
We finally had land on which to worship.
And a building in which to worship.
We needed a sign.

A member of the vestry contacted the appropriate staff in the Town of Chapel Hill
to find out the rules and regulations.
Turns out, there are plenty.

The sign can only have the name of the business or organization on it.
No website or phone number, no street address.
No “The Rev. Lisa G. Fischbeck, Vicar”!
Just the name.

And the sign can’t be more than 16 ft2

The Vestry member reported: “According to the planning office, the town regulations do not allow pole signs. Signs in must be of a monument type with the base contiguous with the ground” (no daylight under the sign).
And the ratio of height to width can’t be more than 1:2.
So, 2ft x 4 ft.                             Or max: 2.82ft x 5.64ft

You start looking around town and you see it.
Most signs for businesses, organizations, churches,
Are set atop a stone or brick foundation.
And they are rectangular.

The vestry member talked to a local sign maker,
Who came up with some possibilities.
Very nice looking, for sure.
But, a few of us here at the Advocate
Wanted something…. Different.
Why not have the Advocate Cross itself be the sign?

And, since it was going to be by the tracks,
Why not have the sign made of metal?
Give it a little industrial, edgy look.
Help folks to know that we were more than the traditional 19th century chapel.

Turns out Celisa Steele knew of a local artist.
A sculptor named Callie Warner.
Turns out Caliie was just anti-establishment enough that she really relished the idea of something different.
We want the sign to be 8 ft. tall, I said.
And to have the Jesus part of the cross be cut out and clear.
Symbolically calling us to see the world through Jesus.

She went to work.
And created a drawing that I could run by the Town staff.
I found the email this week:
Dear Kay —              Thanks for your time and patience in meeting with me this afternoon.
Here is a scan of our proposed sign.
It is cut out of metal and stands 8 ft tall.
At the widest point in is 4 ft wide.
Hence it meets the 1:2 ratio requirement and the height requirement.
The sign itself is less than 16 square feet of material.
I do hope this can be approved as a sign for the Advocate.
I look forward to hearing from you.                   Lisa

You see, even though the sign was 8 ft tall,
And 4 ft wide at the widest.
If you use geometry and cut out the cross and the circle,
It isn’t 32 ft2.
It’s 8 inches by 8 feet = 6 ft2
Plus 8 inches by 4 ft = 3 ft2
Plus the circle, 8 inches wide and 4 ft in diameter….
You do the math!
It isn’t even 16 ft2.

And the base is most definitely contiguous with the ground
No air between the ground and the bottom of the cross.
The word came back from the Town office:
        We’ve never had a request like this before.
        But it does meet the requirements.

So, guess what?!
The Advocate has the tallest sign in Chapel Hill!

I tell this story, not to boast at our cleverness,
Though I confess some pride in it, for sure.
But to use it as an example of being….
Rooted in the tradition, but not bound by it.
In this case, following the rules, but pushing the envelope.
We did it with the move of the chapel,
We did it with the construction of the Pee Wee Homes.
We did it with the blessing of the unions of same sex partners
Notably, we do it with our liturgy,
Time and again.
That’s Advocate.
God willing and with the Bishop’s consent, of course.

Back to the sign.
There’s more to it, of course.
We had to debate just what name to put on the sign:
Some felt strongly that we needed to include the word Episcopal.
Others, that we needed to say Church.
But the design had limited space.
Episcopal is a long word!
And we figured the building clearly visible beyond the sign says “church”
pretty clearly.

And then there is that…. Jesus.
From the beginning,
The Advocate has led
And been led by,
The Advocate Jesus.
We made the decision early on to have Jesus on our processional cross
And then to have our processional cross be our logo,
Our sign and symbol of who and whose we are.
The way Jesus is depicted on our cross
Is not the way Jesus is usually depicted, either.

The Advocate Jesus is neither the suffering Jesus nor the Christ the King,
Crowned with many crowns and robed in splendor.
Our Advocate Jesus was inspired by this little carved cross out of Africa.
The Advocate Jesus is on the cross, but not bound by it.
Has conquered death, but still reaches out from the cross.
The Advocate Jesus is inviting, welcoming.
Simply and minimally attired
His wounds are plentiful,
Thanks to our blunders and the wind through the years,
But the broken bits have been restored,
Thanks to numerous repairs,
(Most spectacular the ones done by Marisa Sifontes, Holy Week 2018.)
Jesus’ arm is twisted a bit, though
Kind of like Jem Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird.

Wherever you are on the journey of life and faith and doubt,
The Advocate Jesus compelling –
Kind and forgiving,
Gentle and strong.
That’s Advocate.
At our best.
God willing.

There’s more, of course.
The Advocate is the Holy Spirit too.
Indeed, when we first got our name,
That’s what the Bishop assumed we were talking about.
That Pentecost would be out festival Day.
Jesus says, I will not leave you comfortless,
I will send you the Advocate.
The Spirit of truth.

We capture that in the Esser Tapestry,
The Seed and the Flame.
It’s hard to realize the progression and the movement of that tapestry as it hangs sideways in the bell tower.
(we don’t have a long enough horizontal space here to hang it as it is meant to be hung….).
The point of the tapestry is that
as we plant and cultivate the seed,
The flame emerges, shows itself.

To be the church of the Advocate, then,
To be a People of the Advocate,
Is a pretty high calling,
Firey and blustery,
Gentle comfort and mighty wind.
Stirring up justice, enfolded with compassion.
Talk about unbounded!
And if ever there was a time when the Spirit of Truth was needed in our world,
This is such a time.

I don’t know what people think or imagine when they drive by and see that sign:
An industrial metal cross
With a sinuous cut out Jesus.
The words The Advocate across the top.
Behind it a cute little storybook chapel.
But I hope they come in and have a closer look.

The chapel is cute and sweet,
It’s also worn and unpolished.
The wood has some splinters and the doors don’t shut all the way.
Like the Jesus on the Advocate Cross,
It’s been broken and restored,
And it invites all.
That’s Advocate.
At our best.
God willing

Yes, the sign and the tapestry and the Chapel are rich metaphors.
But what they point to is richer far.
Ever since we got our name,
I’ve spoken of the Advocate triptych,
The three in one:
The Advocate Jesus. Who has ascended and “sits at the [left] hand of God.”
(just checking to see if you’re paying attention)
The Advocate the Holy Spirit. Whom Jesus sends to breath and gust,
To nudge and prod.
And the Advocate that’s the people.
Inspired by the Christ, empowered by the Spirit,
The people of the Advocate go forth in the Name of Christ as the Body of Christ
And do God’s work in the world.
I’ve witnessed it time and time again in the last 18 years.
Y’all have inspired and humbled me.
Challenged me and warmed my heart.
Inviting, embracing, marching, praying,
Persevering, sacrificing,
Marinading in and making manifest
The compassion, justice and transformation of our God.

When people ask me what I love about my life as Vicar of the Advocate,
I tell of many things.
The people, the land, the pond, the Pee Wee Homes,
the authenticity, the liturgical freedom, the willingness to try new things,
the genuine care, the generosity of spirit.
I love watching people come to church on a Sunday morning,
Walking in from parked cars,
And, in 2020, popping up on the Zoom screen.
I love gathering in a circle for the distribution of communion,
I love walking our infinity processions,
Being encircled by the Christ made known in cross and Gospel,
seeing people reach out to touch the book as it passes by.
I love our offertory procession,
As all, each in our own way,
Offer ourselves to God,
I love chanting the Creed together.
I love the robust singing.
I love the robust singing a lot.
I love our baptisms by immersion.
And, as is probably abundantly clear to those who have witnessed it,
I love an enthusiastic asperges,
Declaring, with water flying through the air,
Remember that you are baptized!
Remember that you are the Body of Christ,
One with God, one with one another.

Well, we did that last week as we celebrated the Feast of All Saints.
So we won’t do that today.
Instead, today, I want to remind you of that Holy Spirit Advocate,
The wind, the flame.
And no, I’m not going to get out a big fan or a flame thrower,
Or even pass out candles.

But I have had some matchboxes made,
Each with the image of a panel from our Esser tapestry,
Because really,
Corny or mischievous or alliterative as it may sound,
truth be told
In part because it is corny, mischievous, and alliterative
My prayer for y’all as I move on,
Is that you will…..

Stay lit, Advocate.                                                     Amen!

Passing the Vicar Baton, September 19 – November 21

Our launching Vicar, The Rev. Lisa Fischbeck, is retiring November 21. Our new Vicar, the Rev. Marion Sprott-Goldson, is already here!

To allow for a smooth transition, the Bishop and the Advocate Vestry have developed a model in which the in-coming Vicar and the out-going Vicar will work together for a season.  This is due, in part, to the fact that Advocate does not have an ongoing administrative staff or an established “old guard” to hold the history or the knowledge of the operations of the Advocate day to day and season by season. While the Advocate buildings and grounds are intentionally simple, the Advocate practices of hospitality and liturgy are relatively complex.

In the season of passing the Vicar baton, Lisa and Marion will have many conversations and walkabouts. Lisa will do her best to tell stories and pass along information. They will share leadership of the Sunday liturgy and Christian formation. Marion will start meeting and getting to know the people of the Advocate and how we have been church before and during Covid-tide.

All are invited to join us for the celebration of our Vicary with Lisa on Sunday, November 21, pond side and on Zoom, at 10:30 AM.

In a time in which so much in our world is uncertain and shaky, we are hopeful that by God’s grace this model will help us to have a steady transition towards our Vicary with Marion ahead.

Liturgy of Lament, Longing and Hope, with Eucharist, this Sunday

This Sunday, September 12, the Advocate will host a Liturgy of Lament, Longing and Hope, with Eucharist. This liturgy, created for the congregations of the Diocese of North Carolina, will help us to recognize where we are on the landscape of life and faith at this point in the long season of Covidtide. In a way, it is an update on the Liturgy of Longing that we engaged in at the Advocate last Advent.

In the words of the Diocesan website, “The Liturgy of Lament, Longing and Hope…helps us to experience the ways God’s love is holding us, Jesus is walking with us, and the Holy Spirit is moving among us, even as our long journey continues with its twists and turns.”

What to expect: A series of three reflections will replace the sermon.
Pondside: Each person will receive a liturgy guide, a few small rocks, a pen, a life experience map and a candle.
Zoom: Folks gathered on Zoom are invited to gather a candle, a rock and a pen, and to print the Liturgy Guide (includes life experience map and rock images).

With each of these symbols, we will be invited to name, in the silence of our hearts or aloud, our laments, our longings and our hopes in this time of pandemic, civil divisiveness, racial strife and future unknowing.

Please plan to join in this liturgy at 10:30 AM on Sunday, either on Zoom or pondside. It  will be good for us to pray, sing and be together at this time. The Zoom link will be posted Saturday. I will also host a Zoom conversation at 5pm for those wishing to share their laments, longings and hopes in conversation with others.








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.