Advent 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.
Sunday, December 22. The Advocate goes Christmas caroling.
All are welcome to gather in the Advocate House at 6PM for refreshments and rehearsal, then head out to the nearby neighborhood for about an hour of caroling, then return to the House for a hearty soup supper. 6 – 8 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.
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. 

Monday, January 6. 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. And there will be cake!
6 PM.
All are welcome to all.

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.

House Dinner — Wednesday evenings (and occasional Thursdays) at 7 PM

The Wednesday (or occasional Thursday) House Dinners 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 Wednesday, night at 7 PM except for when other events are scheduled at the church on that night, such at the Readers Roundtable on second Wednesdays, or a seasonal book study, as in Lent. On those weeks, the House Dinner moves to Thursday night at 7 PM.

Check the weekly calendar on the Advocate website or this document: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1imsKieu1P4Q-fVj6pJWZdSLATOj6K3bSQacFUKT26qs/edit?usp=sharing
Contact Elliot Krause <elliot.krause6@gmail.com> 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 Wednesdays 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

At the Church House

October 9:  Everything Happens for a Reason, and Other Lies I’ve Loved, by Kate Bowler. The frank and funny, dark and wise story of this Duke Divinity School professor, who re-examines her understanding of life through a terminal illness.

November 13: A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles. An aristocrat under house arrest in a luxury hotel under Bolshevik rule discovers purpose in this humorously descriptive novel.

January 8: Ten Poems to Change Your Life, by Roger Housden. Ten heart-stirring poems which, along with the author’s reflections, may be a useful Epiphany meditation.

February 12: The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison. A powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity, Toni Morrison’s first novel provokes questions about race, class and gender.

May 13: The Testaments, by Margaret Atwood. The critically acclaimed sequel to The Handmaid’s tale, taking place more than fifteen years later. The lives of three radically different women converge in Gilead.

The Readers’ Roundtable meets at 7 – 8:30 pm in the Advocate House.

All are welcome!

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

Pee Wee Homes and Piedmont Patch Each Awarded Grants This Season

The Advocate’s two collaborative efforts, the Pee Wee Homes and the Piedmont Patch, have each been awarded grants this month.

The Pee Wee Homes at the Advocate has been awarded a $10,000 from the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina’s Mission Endowment Fund. This grant will allow us to meet the anticipated increased expenses of the project due to the particularities of our site, significantly the large oak trees. It will also help pay for building materials. Total budget for the project’s three homes and infrastructure now expected to be $160,000.

The Piedmont Patch at the Advocate is the recent recipient of a grant from the local New Hope Audubon Chapter, providing 10 bird boxes for bluebirds and nuthatches on the Advocate site. Visitors can see the new boxes in the from yard of the Advocate, and also north of the pond. In the fall, the New Hope Audubon Chapter will also donate and plant some shrubs and bushes to further invite these birds to find their homes with us.

We are so very grateful for this good support of our efforts to create an hospitable site for all.

 

 

Glory Bees! A Piedmont Patch Project

On Friday, April 6 a hive of 12,000 bees were installed in their new hive on the north side of the Advocate Pond.

We can learn about bees, bee keeping, and the Advocate Church bees in particular, by following the blog, Glory Bees, found here.

 

 

Blog posts include:
An Introduction
The Queen
Pollen and Plants
New Digs!

A post for National Pollinator Week posted August 4)
Sugar Shakin (posted August 6)
Time to Treat (posted August 8)

For more about the Piedmont Patch, look here.

 

 

The Piedmont Patch Project

img_7929The Piedmont Patch Project: Restoring Native Flora and Fauna, One Patch of Piedmont at a Time

The people of the Episcopal Church of the Advocate have a dream. Since moving onto our scruffy 15-acre site in 2014, we have been working to transform it into a place of hospitality, worship, and contemplation, and a regional resource for collaborative social ministry and the arts. In 2015, The Advocate began collaborating with individuals and organizations outside the church to host three “tiny homes” on our site, for individuals who would otherwise be homeless (PeeWeeHomes.org ). Now we are beginning a second collaboration, the Piedmont Patch Project, to restore native flora and fauna displaced by the rapid urbanization surrounding the property, and to cultivate keepers of Creation.

The Piedmont Patch project will transform five acres of our site into a food-producing and natural habitat, create a network of involved neighbors and provide numerous opportunities to educate and engage people of all ages and backgrounds. We believe that in deepening connections with creation and with our community, mindfully tending and keeping the land and teaching others to do the same, we will honor God.

20170628_195951We imagine the Advocate Pond and grounds enriched with diverse well-adapted native plants that will attract and nurture an array of wildlife, including butterflies, bees, birds, frogs, turtles, and small mammals. Surrounded by rapid urbanization, the Church of the Advocate’s acreage can serve as a sanctuary for homeless wildlife increasingly displaced by bulldozers, asphalt, and concrete. Over time, such native plantings require less maintenance than traditional ornamental plantings, most of which do not meet the needs of native wildlife.

The project has an educative component, engaging school children and graduate students and inviting all who are responsible for patches of Piedmont land to learn how to create vibrant native sanctuaries that serve rather than harm God’s creation. Ideally, we can lead other congregations and other neighborhoods to adopt this concept of native sanctuaries, building refuges of hope for native wildlife and havens of peace and beauty for humans one patch of piedmont (and beyond!) at a time. The Project will also include education on invasive exotic species and their removal — why it is important, how it contributes to sustainability.

IMG_8563The Piedmont Patch Project is grounded in a belief that the environment and our natural resources will be better sustained, and even thrive, as organizations and individuals work to cultivate one patch at a time. The Project is envisioned as a collaborative effort of the church, the town, the NC Botanical Gardens, and individuals with knowledge and skills to share, such as Cathy Bollinger of The Piedmont Gardener.

We hope the Piedmont Patch Project (like the Pee Wee Homes Collaborative) will serve as prototypes that can be scaled and replicated in a variety of church, public, and private settings.

Breaking News!!! The Advocate Awarded Stewardship of Creation Grant from The Episcopal Church!

Here’s and article about native and non-native wildflowers and bees.