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.

A Teachable Moment

imagesA Teachable Moment is a thirty minute occasion to reflect on an issue or event in the life of the congregation, the wider community, or the world. It consists of about 10 minutes of presentation and about 20 minutes of conversation. While we have a cache of subjects to draw on, we also are ready to spontaneously respond to something current.

“A Teachable Moment … it’s worth your time. Our commitment is that the time spent in conversation with one another will be relevant, inspiring, and enriching, as we talk about the things that matter against a horizon of hope.”    Lisa and Nathan.

FAQ About the Weekly Schedule at the Advocate

signHere’s the Weekly Schedule for the summer:

Sundays:
10 AM        Discussion on The Sermon on the Mount. See more here.
11 AM        Traditioned Innovation (TI)* A 75-minute Holy Eucharist with songs and innovations.
12:20 PM  
   Lunch fellowship (food provided)

And on Wednesdays:
5:30 PM               A simple, quiet Eucharist, with readings from Holy Women; Holy Men
6:15 – 7 PM          Contemplative Prayer

NOTE: Sometime in late August/early September, a 9 AM Classic Episcopal liturgy, Godly Play and the Teachable Moment will return!

*Here are some emerging questions:

What’s Classic Episcopal is an experience of the basic worship in the Episcopal tradition, using the Eucharistic rite from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer and songs from the Episcopal Hymnal 1982. It is the foundation of our liturgy and worship life.

What is *Traditioned Innovation? TI (Traditioned Innovation) According to the theologians at Leadership Education at Duke Divinitytraditioned innovation is a way of thinking as a Christian that engages the past for the sake of the future. At the TI Service at the Advocate, this means that we take each of the various elements of the basic worship of the Episcopal tradition and consider how it might be made new or interpreted in different ways in different seasons or places or by different people. We use prayers and songs from throughout the Church and take seriously the ancient word for worship, liturgy, meaning “the work of people” such that our worship becomes the work of this particular people at this particular time in this particular place.

What’s A *Teachable Moment? A Teachable Moment is a thirty minute occasion to reflect on an issue or event in the life of the congregation, the wider community, or the world. It consists of 10 minutes of presentation and 20 minutes of conversation. While we have a cache of subjects to draw on, we also are ready to spontaneously respond to something current.

What’s *Godly Play? Godly Play is an educational experience for kids, in which they are lead to engage with the stories of the Christian faith and participate in simple practices together. The Advocate offers Godly Play for kids age three and up. To learn more, please contact our kids Christian Ed Coordinator: Becca Bland <rebeccagwbland@gmail.com>

How can lunch be provided? Do I need to pay? The table fellowship of the Advocate is an expansion of the Eucharistic Feast. Food each week is provided by a rotation of 6 volunteer groups, each group providing the meal once in six weeks for the community gathered. The Advocate encourages participation in these food-providing groups. To volunteer, please contact Martha Wheeler <martha.s.wheeler@gmail.com>.

#AdvocateAdvocate Be the noun. Do the Verb

Advocate button

#AdvocateAdvocate. A campaign to digitally connect the people of God as we advocate for peace, justice and mercy.

Be the noun. Do the verb.

Since The Episcopal Church of the Advocate was launched in 2003, we have become keenly aware of our triptych:

  1. The Advocate is Jesus, who ascended to God’s right hand and advocates on our behalf (I John 1:2).

2) The Advocate is also the Holy Spirit (John 14: 25-27), the prodder and comforter, promised by Jesus, who comes among us with tongues of fire and in a gentle breath, uniting us and calling us to be God’s advocates in the world.

3) The Advocate is each of us, sent forth Sunday by Sunday, to work for God’s merciful justice, to make known God’s forgiveness, peace and love.

#AdvocateAdvocate is a hashtag to be used anytime we stand, post, work, pray, protest or sacrifice in the spirit of the Advocate. Anytime we Advocate (the verb), anytime we are Advocates (the noun).

Advocate buttons are available in the Chapel bell tower. (Donations gladly accepted in the alms box.)

Eastern Orthodox theologian Kallistos Ware writes:

Each social grouping –
family, parish, diocese, church council, school, office, factory, nation —
has as its vocation to be transformed by grace into a living icon of [the Holy Trinity],
to effect a reconciling harmony between diversity and unity,
human freedom and mutual solidarity, after the pattern of the Trinity.

Our belief in a Trinitarian God, in a God of social inter-relationship and shared love, commits us to opposing all forms of exploitation, injustice and discrimination….

When as Christians we fight for justice and for human rights,
for a compassionate and caring society,
we are acting specifically in the name of the Trinity.
Faith in the Trinitarian God, in the God of personal interrelationship and shared love, commits us to struggle with all our strength against poverty, exploitation, oppression and disease.
Our combat against these things is undertaken not merely on philanthropic and humanitarian grounds but because of our belief in God the Trinity.
Precisely because we know that God is three-in-one,
we cannot remain indifferent to any suffering, by any member of the human race, in any part of the world

The Advocate Pond — Hospitality and Fish

IMG_0730The Advocate Pond — A Ministry of Place and People, Hospitality and Fish

In 2011 the Advocate acquired 15 acres of land in north Chapel Hill, in the middle of a hub of development in the next ten years – from extensive expansion of the University of North Carolina to the development of transitional housing ministries for the homeless, from residential and commercial build-out, to the possible placement of the growing town’s next middle school. Our 15 acres is also adjacent to what is known as The Historic Rogers Road Community, that settlement north of Chapel Hill, just outside the town limits, that has been home to generations of African Americans since the mid-19th century. The Rogers Road history includes a history of governmental racism, with roads and utilities slow to come or even denied, while the region’s landfill was placed there

On the fifteen-acre site, the people of the Advocate feel called to provide a space for hospitality, worship and contemplation, as well as a regional resource for collaborative social ministry and the arts.

In the middle of the 15 acres, there is a pond.

IMG_0434The pond existed long before it “belonged” to the Church of the Advocate. When the Advocate settlers first arrived, we quickly realized that the pond had a life and ministry all its own. From spring to fall, and especially in the summer, people from around Rogers Road came to fish for their for their pleasure, and for their supper. They had for generations. We learned that the man who had owned the land for decades before us used to stock the pond with bass, brim, and crappie. It was a peaceful and welcoming place.

In our first year on site, we realized that we had a lot to learn from the pond and its people — about regional history, about fishing, about life. And we realized that we had something to offer as well. Hospitality, for one thing. And also the church’s story, and the hope that is within us.

In 2013 though, as the Advocate site was prepared for parking and a chapel, the pond and its life were significantly disrupted. In order to meet requirements of the 1972 American Clean Water Act and various codes of the Town of Chapel Hill, the pond had to be drained and both a filter and an overflow drainage system installed. Turtles snuggled into the mud and most of the remaining fish found their way into the gullets of stalking herons.FullSizeRender 2

As we settled in to our second year of worshipping in the Advocate Chapel, we engaged in conversations with the people and the non-profit agencies around us, learning how we could be good neighbors in the neighborhood. One of the things we have learned is how much the people of Rogers Road miss the pond, miss the fishing. We heard that the elders of that community want to teach their grandchildren how to fish, they want their grandchildren to know that peaceful part of their ancestral way of life.

We also realized that the ministry of the pond can be expanded to include the residents of InterFaith Council’s Community House, a transitional housing program for men, that stands within a half mile of our site. For the people of the Advocate, this is a clear call to hospitality. And, like so much of the Advocate, it also has a strong appeal to our elders who are nostalgic for the past and to our young adults, who want to cultivate a simpler and more nature-centered life in the age of technology and internet. The Advocate Pond is a simple, peaceful, healing place.

IMG_1297The Advocate would like to develop the ministry of The Advocate Pond. We have learned what we can about how to clear the algae and re-stock the fish. We would like to be able to host fish dinners once a year to welcome the neighbors, maybe buy some rods and nets that those without them could use, and put up a little shed to store them in. Eventually we might even build a simple dock, so that people with unstable footing might access the pond and while others would be less likely to turn an ankle or fall in the water.

Our goal will always be to provide a natural setting and a place of peaceful hospitality. If you are led to support the Ministry of the Advocate Pond, please contact the Vicar.

IMG_7433 (1)

First Tuesdays: Dinner for our neighbors at the Community House

The Advocate serves dinner for our neighbors at the Community House on the first Tuesday of each month.
0920-CHN-SHELTER2As we continue to develop our relationships with our neighbors east and west, the Advocate has started helping with dinner at the Community House on first Tuesdays of each month. Community House is a transitional housing program for up to 52homeless men. It is located across the parking lot from the United Church of Chapel Hill, on the northwest corner of MLK and Homestead Road.
Those who can help prepare the meal are asked to arrive by 5 PM. Those who can help serve are asked to be there at 5:45PM. IF you are planning to help in either way, please contact Sallie Moore sallie305@gmail.com.