The Vicarage Presents… Women of the Cloud

Vicar of the Advocate, Lisa Fischbeck, along with producer Grace Camblos, has started a new short video program called The Vicarage. Filmed on location at the Advocate, these videos share stories and prayers of the Church.

In our first season, we focus on the Women of the Cloud, those women who are commemorated by The Episcopal Church and featured in the newly published book, “A Great Cloud of Witnesses.” It’s in part to fill the loss of the midweek Eucharist in this season of COVID, and also to share the stories about our ancestors in the faith that are usually heard only by those who can make it to the midweek Eucharist.

This week in Episode 12 we remember Margery Kempe, an English Christian mystic, known for writing through dictation “The Book of Margery Kempe,” a work considered by some to be the first autobiography in the English language:

In Episode 11 we lift up Thecla, a saint of the early Christian church, follower of Paul the Apostle, and a martyr and missionary (watch out for the ravenous seals!):

Previous episodes:

  • Hildegard of Bingen, a German Benedictine abbess, writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, visionary, and polymath. One of the best-known composers of sacred monophony, many also consider her the founder of scientific natural history in Germany
  • Amelia Jenks Bloomer, an American women’s rights advocate. As the first woman to own, operate and edit a newspaper for women, she helped reform women’s clothing, popularizing the style known as… bloomers!
  • Constance and Her Companions, Episcopal nuns who braved the 1878 yellow fever outbreak in Memphis, TN, to care for the city’s sick and dying
  • Prudence Crandall, a schoolteacher and activist who ran the first school for black girls in the United States
  • Artemisia Bowden, an African-American educator and civil rights activist who played a pivotal role in founding St. Philip’s College in San Antonio
  • Florence Nightingale, a woman inspired by her faith to care for the sick, injured, and dying, and who transformed nursing into the modern field of medicine that we know today
  • Catherine Winkworth, a 19th century poet and advocate for women’s education who translated some of today’s best-loved hymns from German into English
  • Mary, Martha, and the Ordination of Women: friends of Jesus who showed us how we can love God and each other — and the first Episcopal women ordained to the priesthood
  • Sojourner Truth, who preached against slavery, for the women’s vote, and, ahead of her time, against capital punishment
  • Macrina, fourth century monastic and writer…and older sister to two very smart brothers

Subscribe to the Advocate’s YouTube Channel to get new episodes every Wednesday!

Advocates Helping Our Neighbors in Need

As we seek to find our way in these strange times, that way is off balanced if we don’t also respond to our neighbors in need. Many of you are already finding ways to do this. Here are some ways you can help via The Advocate.
Because we aren’t taking up our weekly food offerings on Sundays, we will be contributing to the food pantry at the Interfaith Council via bell tower drop-offs.


The Advocate Garden yielded 2 1/2 gallon bags  of sugar snap peas , one bag of chard, and 6 or so bags of lettuce, delivered to the IFC

As you are out shopping pick up any of the following to donate. You can leave food donations in the Advocate Chapel bell tower.

  1. Canned meat (spam, tuna, salmon, vienna sausages)
  2. Pork and beans
  3. Baked beans
  4. Pinto beans
  5. Chili
  6. Ramen
  7. Pasta
  8. Peanut butter
  9. Jelly
  10. Snacks
  11. Cereal
  12. Spaghetti
  13. Toilet paper
  14. Shampoo
  15. Liquid soap
  16. Coffee/tea/hot chocolate
  17. Juice
  18. Fresh or frozen chicken or turkey for take-out meals
  19. Olive oil and butter for take-out meal preparation

In the weeks ahead, we will once again collect food to assist the good people of the Rogers/Eubanks Neighborhood Association in collecting food for those in need in the neighborhood. They will supplement food donations with food purchased at discount in order to provide three meals to 250 different households. 

Screenside Chats Sundays at 11:15

Questions emerge out of this surreal time of life and faith and church. We can’t answer them all. But we can talk about a lot of them!

Starting Sunday, April 26, the Vicar will host a “Screenside Chat” following the 10 AM liturgy. 11:15 – noon.

Virtual Coffee Hour will continue at the same time for those who want to connect with one another and get to know each other better.

The first week we will talk about the Eucharist and why we aren’t celebrating it in this “stay at home” season. This may take more than one conversation!

Future conversations will include what we miss most and why, when will we feel safe enough to return to the chapel together, what is a blessing and can we get one over the internet, is there anything that only the clergy can do and why, how is God calling us to respond …. Also, we will explore some of the ethical and theological concerns emerging from the coronavirus.

Join us as you are led.

All Who Hunger Gather Gladly

Prepared by an Advocate Virtual Choir for Maundy Thursday, 2020.

You that yearn for days of fullness, click here.
Scroll below for the full text.

“All who hunger, gather gladly; holy manna is our bread. Come from wilderness and wandering. Here, in truth, we will be fed. You that yearn for days of fullness, all around us is our food. Taste and see the grace eternal. Taste and see that God is good.

All who hunger, never strangers; seeker, be a welcome guest. Come from restlessness and roaming. Here, in joy, we keep the feast. We that once were lost and scattered in communion’s love have stood. Taste and see the grace eternal. Taste and see that God is good.

All who hunger, sing together; Jesus Christ is living bread. Come from loneliness and longing. Here, in peace, we have been led. Blest are those who from this table live their lives in gratitude. Taste and see the grace eternal. Taste and see that God is good.”
Sylvia Dunstan (1955-1993)

ChurchLands

In 2018, the Episcopal Church’s General Convention passed Resolution D053: Stewardship of Creation with Church-Owned Lands, which affirmed that church-owned land holds the potential for ecological benefit, community healing, and ministries of discipleship and evangelism. The newly formed ChurchLands initiative seeks to inspire and equip church leaders who are tasked with the care of church-owned land. 

With our 15 acres of land, and a commitment to be good stewards of that land, The Advocate seems like a good prospective participant in the program!

The vision of ChurchLands is to inspire and assist churches in stewarding land in a way that is faithful to the Gospel: integrating discipleship, ecology, justice, and health. In its pilot stage, ChurchLands will develop a small group of Christian leaders learning and working together on land use issues in their local contexts.

This cohort has been selected, but we can still be involved!

In the seasons ahead, ChurchLands will offer regular in-person gatherings to explore Scripture, practical theology, and land use issues for Christians who care for land. An online ChurchLands Network will serve as a national platform to inspire and engage this work through network building and resource-sharing. The ChurchLands initiative will be managed through Plainsong Farm & Ministry in Rockford, Michigan, a ministry in the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan. 

Folks can participate by connecting with current cohort members, participating in webinars, or as prayer partners. For more information, contact Emma Lietz Bilecky emmalietz@gmail.com.

House Dinner — now without dinner — Thursday evenings at 7 PM

The Thursday House Dinners (now on Zoom and without the dinner….) provide a place of shared food, shared stories, and deep fellowship. The hosts provide an atmosphere of welcome, mutual care, and good humor.

House Dinner is a time of togetherness over a shared meal, concluding with an invitation to respond to an open-ended prompt, often about an idea or concept (e.g., “shelter,” “grace,” “Christmas spirit”).

You don’t need to bring anything but yourself. All are welcome any time. If you are able, it helps if you can let the organizers know you are coming and if you can contribute food to the meal, so they can be sure the food and setting are gracious and welcoming.

The House Dinner takes place on Thursday, night at 7 PM.

Contact Debbie Wuliger <debrawuliger@aol.com> if you want to join in the Zoom or if you have any questions.

Advocate long sleeve t-shirts available

Our Bishop, Sam Rodman, and our Vicar, Lisa Fischbeck, enjoy the shirt in red and in grey.

Advocate 15th Anniversary  t-shirts in grey or red are available in kids small and medium, and in adults small, medium and large.

On the front, the shirts read:
ADVOCATE
BE THE NOUN
DO THE VERB

On the back, the shirts read:
Welcoming people of every kind of household and at every stage of life and faith and doubt since 2003 – The Advocate. (and there’s an image of the Advo-cat, Smoke)

A donation of $15 is requested for each shirt.
Cash or write checks to ECOTA, with T-shirt in the memo line.

Shirts are available at the Church House, especially on Sundays.

For an additional $7.50 plus you address, we will send one to you!

You can order in two ways:

  1. Online. Send your mailing information and your size to:
    The Advocate Church Office <theadvocatechurch@gmail.com>
    Then go to our online donation page and donate $22,50 (or more!). For convenience, use the general operating fund designation. We will assume that gifts of $22.50 are intended for t-shirt purchase and mailing. But will need an email let us know where to send it!
  2. Send a check and your size in the mail to:
    Advocate t-shirts
    8410 Merin Road
    Chapel Hill, NC  27516

 

 

We are now debt free!

The story of Advocate Loans and Debt
In 2013, The Advocate was at the peak of our campaign to worship on the land. We had raised the funds to buy the land and to move what would become The Advocate Chapel, and we still needed to restore the chapel and to get the site up to code for use by a church (parking lot, sewer, pond repair, etc. etc.). We had raised a lot of money (over $1.7 million), but not enough. So we took out two loans

 

First, a $180,000 loan from an anonymous individual loaner. This is the loan that we paid off in January 2018, after a lot of hard work and generosity from Advocates and friends, including a final $20,000 from the loaner!

Second, a $150,000 loan from the North Carolina Episcopal Church Foundation. This loan was taken out in 2013,  to be paid at 2% interest over 10 years, ending in 2023.
For 5 years, the $15,000 a year and the 2% interest were budgeted in the Advocate’s Annual Budget. In January, 2018, though, we began to accelerate the payments, knowing that the sooner we paid off this loan, the sooner we could use that $15,000 a year to augment our life and ministry instead.

When we had $50,000 left to go, a generous friend offered to match any gift given, up to $20,000, in time for the 15th Anniversary of the Advocate’s launch on September 21, 2018, bringing us within $10,000 of our final goal. And we did it!

But we still had $10,000 to go …

In the days that followed, enthusiastic support kept coming in. It was amazing. And sure enough, by the time of our official 15th Anniversary Celebration, October 21, the final $10,000 was in.

The Church of the Advocate is now DEBT-FREE!

This is, quite frankly, stunning.

Thank you!

 

Readers Roundtable 2nd Tuesdays at 7

IMG_0382The Readers Roundtable gathers the second Wednesday of the month, 7:00-8:30 PM in the Advocate House  to talk about a book selected by those who participated in the Roundtable the previous month. Books are largely fiction, but are not limited to fiction.
Books so far have included Rachel Held Evans’ Searching for Sunday, Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Mary Doris Russell’s The Sparrow, and Mary Oliver’s Thirst, Leif Enger’s Peace Like a River, Wendell Berry’s A Place on Earth, and Louise Erdrich’s Last Report on the Miracles of Little No Horse.

Each month the conversation is open to everyone and their friends.

In the season ahead, here are the books that will be discussed:

Readers’ Roundtable – Fall ’19 – Spring ’20 Selections

Second Wednesday of the Month, 7:00-8:30 PM

On Zoom

Tuesday, October 13 at 7 PM we will gather to discuss Songs for the Forgotten: A Psychiatrist’s Record. It concerns the author’s many years treating psychiatric patients. See the Amazon synopsis below.

The book is not available on Amazon until October 20th, and I assume book stores don’t have it yet either. However, Julia has copies she will sell at a discounted price of $15. Email Julia at doctorjuliawb@gmail.com, and she will mail you a copy.
Amazon synopsis:

Songs for the Forgotten: A Psychiatrist’s Record combines pivotal moments from Julia Burns’s Southern upbringing in the 1970s with case histories accumulated through three decades of treating psychiatric patients, particularly those drowning in the cultural epidemic of child abuse. This book is her journal of rupture and return.

The reader will follow the author’s hard-won reconciliation. In telling panoply of stories, including her own, Burns argues for the interconnectedness of humanity: when one child is hurt, our humanity is violated, and we are all responsible for undoing that damage. If no one steps up to save children, to show them they are worth saving, the cycle of abuse will continue.

Songs for the Forgotten offers a strong practical component, providing information about trauma and healing. Burns illustrates how hope and wholeness can come from remembrance and telling.

Whether you’ve read the book or not, all are always welcome to join in the conversation!
For further information, contact Hilda Bukowski: hldscll2@gmail.com