Count the ways

What’s been happening on site this week?  Let me count the trades:

  • Drywall crews are working on all four floors
  • Electricians are hanging lights
  • Ceiling tiles are being installed in the Yates hallways
  • HVAC and controls engineers are bringing all the air conditioning units on line
  • Painters are plying their rollers and brushes everywhere
  • Robert Hooke is installing the bookshelves he built for the new library (the front half of the old dining room)
  •  Gutter fabricators are handcrafting gorgeous copper gutters and hanging them
  • The FRP (fiberglass resin panels) in the new kitchen is installed along with the hood
  • The old kitchen is being disassembled and former pass-throughs walled up
  • The playground builders are routing, staining, and assembling the playground structure and sandbox
  • Bathroom fixtures are going into place
  • Telecom guys are wiring for phones and computers and installing wireless access points
  • All the interior doors are hung
  • Civil site work is proceeding
  • The roofers are beginning work on the little house
  • Inspections are occurring routinely and almost continuously
  • Masons are washing the brick and trim crews are putting the final touches on wood trim
  • On Monday, we will take delivery of floor tiles for the building, stone countertops will be installed in the bathrooms, and work begins on the front retaining walls, steps, and wheelchair ramps.
  • The architect and the contractor are solving puzzles, putting out fires, and clarifying the drawings

All energies are focused on finishing and passing inspection in time to move in and take occupancy in a month!  Some 65 people are on the site at any one time, not including staff and volunteers serenely going about their daily activities. 

We can count the ways you are all helping: the acceleration of remaining payments when possible, increases to your pledge, new contributions, or legacy gifts. For every $100,000 we avoid  borrowing now, we save $69,000 in interest costs over the life of the  loan.  Click here to make an additional contribution, new gift or pledge payment to the capital campaign .

The work of the church continues in these summer construction months.  Your annual fund pledge or pledge payment for 2014 supports our programming, outreach ministry, building upkeep, and staff.  Click here to support the annual fund and the work of the church at the Chapel of the Cross.


Walker Mabe

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Mothers of Young Children Bible Study: An Invitation

momsgroup2“No one else [but another mother] quite gets what you’re going through or the struggles you may be having,” one member of the weekly Bible Study for Mothers of Young Children said recently.  “There are other big groups out there, but this one is small and we’re all coming from a similar place of Christian community, love and acceptance.”

This small group – usually about six mothers with their infants and toddlers -gathers each Wednesday at 10:00 AM.  The group generally meets in the Yates nursery but during these last weeks of construction, it is meeting in various members’ homes.   The group – though united in Christian community – is quite diverse.  Some mothers work full time, some part-time; others “stay home” with their children.  (One benefit of the Bible Study, a mom points out, is that it “gets you out with your children and into an environment where no one cares if the kids are loud or crabby or singing or whatever…”)   Some in the group became mothers though their own pregnancies; others became mothers through adoption.   There are those who breastfeed and those who do not.  There are single mothers and mothers parenting with a partner.

There is never any required reading or preparation.  All that is required is a willingness to support and encourage the other members and to consider one’s parenting through a Christian lens (most often the upcoming Sunday’s Gospel reading).

All mothers of infants and young children are invited, as are their children.  For more information, contact Boykin Bell at or Julie Hammer at .​

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Along the west side

The little house on the west side — “cute” is our project superintendent’s term for it — is a small replica of our larger building.  Lovely brickwork, a slate roof, and old world details conceal its prosaic purpose: it is the home of the building’s backflow preventer in one half and storage for trashcans and outdoor equipment in the other.  Its location just off the kitchen stoop also makes it a great place to stash rental equipment following large parties and wedding receptions.


The view from the back corner also takes in the playground under construction.  The posts of the structure have been placed and the elaborate drainage system has been laid in preparation for the rubber playground surface to be poured.  The playground will feature two roofed platforms connected by an arched bridge, numerous climbing opportunities, a slide, and a playhouse under the bridge.  The roofed sandbox area also includes a wall of magnetic paint and a Lexan painting wall.  And of course there will be a tire swing.  All the wood is beautifully routed, sanded and stained; the tin roofs and gutters are antique bronze.


The photo of the playground and the little house also includes the front chimney.  Cranes working from the Morehead lot in the predawn hours placed the final caps on the chimneys early this morning.  The two chimneys echo the two towers and add charm and character — something we seem to have plenty of!


It’s taken charm, character, fortitude and persistence to get this far — thank you for lending a hand.  We have begun drawing on the bank loan to make our payments to the contractor, and are working overtime to anticipate and handle unforeseen expenses.  Everything we are doing will make this a better building in the end.  We very much appreciate the acceleration of remaining payments when possible, increases to your pledge, new contributions, or legacy gifts. For every $100,000 we avoid borrowing now, we save $69,000 in interest costs over the life of the loan.  Click here to make an additional contribution, new gift or pledge payment to the capital campaign.


The work of the church continues in these summer construction months.  Your annual fund pledge or pledge payment for 2014 supports our programming, outreach ministry, building upkeep, and staff.  Click here to support the annual fund and the work of the church at the Chapel of the Cross.
Walker Mabe

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Working straight through

Copper, slate, wood, brick, limestone.  These beautiful, natural finishes — and the way they are designed into the structure — are the details that will set our building apart, now and for many decades into the future.  The limestone has been going in this week and what a pop of character it brings.  The limestone was carved in Indiana and installed by a specialist from North Carolina.  You can see its effect already around the big bay window near the main entrance, at the top of the chimney, and on the bands across the large gothic windows.  The old cross that is now on the Arboretum side of the building is also limestone.

Despite being stone, limestone is not load-bearing and is more like a skin that is attached just for its beauty.  The fasteners for the limestone are engineered and attached two ways depending on where they are: horizontally for weight and vertically for wind load.

The architects gets the same effect as limestone, and a lot more strength, with use of cast stone details.  You can see that in the pediments atop the brick pilasters and coins, and insets around the windows.

Sitework continues on the substrate for the brick pavers on sidewalks and the terrace, on the parking lot infrastructure, on the drainage system beneath the playground, and on the outbuilding on the west side of the site.  Inside, workers have completed the sheetrock detail around the fellowship hall windows and are nearing completion of the new HVAC system and controls.  There are dozens of different trades on site, all working together in controlled chaos.  They plan to work straight through the weekend, Fourth of July and Sunday included.

Thank you for working straight through with us and bearing up under the last weeks of disarray and inconvenience.  We have made it this far into the project using the development funds that you have already paid in.  Now we are beginning to draw upon our bank loan.  We very much appreciate the acceleration of remaining payments when possible, increases to your pledge, new contributions, or legacy gifts. For every $100,000 we avoid borrowing now, we save $69,000 in interest costs over the life of the loan.  Click here to make an additional contribution, new gift or pledge payment to the capital campaign.


Walker Mabe

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Outreach Ministry Committee awards 16 Community Partnership Grants

The Outreach Ministry Committee has awarded its first round of Community Partnership Grants for 2014. Chapel of the Cross Community Partners represent those in our community who fulfill our mission to serve God by showing Christ’s ever-present love, justice, and mercy to the world.

Chapel of the Cross makes a three-year year funding commitment to Community Partners. Grant renewals are reviewed annually by the committee and are dependent upon continued parishioner involvement, continued good financial standing as a non-profit, and submission of an annual report stating how funds were used.

The committee focused on making more significant contributions to Community Partners as well as increasing funding to partners moving forward in their missions.

“We looked at five years of data to determine which organizations really did need more funding and which organizations would benefit from a stronger financial commitment on our part,” said Mary Beth Grealey, vestry liaison to the Outreach and Social Justice Commission.

The committee also is looking at ways to link funding with Chapel of the Cross volunteers—encouraging parishioners to volunteer with our community partners. Each partner organization has a liaison on the Outreach Ministry committee who makes frequent contract with their organization’s executive director to stay abreast of challenges and opportunities for the partner.

Mary Beth encouraged parishioners to attend the Outreach and Engagement Fair on August 24, which will be held in conjunction with Dinner on the Grounds. Members of all ages and abilities will be able to learn about and volunteer for service—both in-reach and outreach—in our parish and community.

“The fair is an excellent time to renew your commitment to the parish, not with money but by getting involved,” said Mary Beth.

The Outreach Ministry Committee also plans to host an event for Community Partner staff and board members to promote collaborations among organizations, help them make connections, educate them about the resources available across the community, and share ideas, funds or volunteers when appropriate.

Here are the grants recommended by outreach and approved by the vestry at its June meeting:

  • Freedom House – 6,000
  • Orange Alamance Prison Ministry – 4,500
  • Family Violence & Rape Crisis, Chatham – 4,000
  • Habitat for Humanity, UNC Partnership – 4,000
  • Club Nova – 4,000
  • CCH Meals on Wheels – 3,000
  • El Futuro – 2,000
  • A Helping Hand – 2,000
  • Community Empowerment Fund – 2,000
  • Justice United – 2,000
  • MLK, Jr Scholarship Fund – 2,000
  • Habitat for Humanity – A Brush with Kindness – 1,500
  • Iglesia El Buen Pastor – 1,500
  • Chapel of the Cross Preschool – 1,000
  • Orange County Rape Crisis Center – 1,000
  • Faith Connections on Mental Health – 500

The Outreach Ministry Committee also recommended increasing the Community Partnership Grant for the InterFaith Council (IFC) from $21,000 to $22,000, as well as a one-time grant to the CORA (Chatham Outreach Alliance) food pantry of $1000.

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Recipients of ABC Sale funding respond

Recipients of 2014 ABC Sale funding responded with joy and gratitude to the news that they would receive funds from the sale. The committee sorted through dozens of applications to determine the grant recipients. The 2014 sale was the second most profitable sale in the event’s 52-year history. You can read their thanks in their own words below:


We appreciate your support of our new permanent location for the homeless men in our community. Chapel of the Cross has been a marvelous partner since our work began and I thank you for this additional funding to help pay for the new building.

John W. Dorward, Executive Director, Inter-Faith Council

Thank you SO MUCH! We are in the middle of a strategic planning process and the main issue is how to sustain our ability to serve all those who need our support without starting a waiting list. Funding is the single factor that affects this right now. I am so appreciative and I know I speak for the Board and all the volunteers as well as the recipients when we say thank you! For getting us started and for sustaining us. 

Stacey Yusko, Executive Director, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Meals on Wheels

 Thank you so much!  This is wonderful news, and will help even more people without insurance or with inadequate insurance receive free counseling.  I wanted to let you know immediately how much we appreciate your grant.  We will definitely update you on how your grant is helping more people in our Chapel Hill community.  

Marci White, MSW, Executive Director, Mental Health America of the Triangle 

This is great news!!  I will let our Board of Directors know at tonight’s meeting.  We are so grateful for the support of our local churches.  In the 1st quarter of this year we saw almost as many domestic violence and intimate partner violence individuals as we did in all of last year.  Our merger has been successful in that we are able to serve more clients, but we are experiencing budget cuts from the state at the same time as increases in clients.  Support from local sources is vital.

Ann J. Gerhardt, MPH, Executive Director, Compass Center for Women and Families

We are so grateful to have the support of Chapel of the Cross and for this most recent gift. We have lots of plans for our summer camp, including trips to the Eno RIver, cooking and, of course, lots of reading.  On behalf of the children we serve, thanks again! 

Leigh Bordley, Executive Director, LEAP c/o St. Luke’s

Thank you so much for this wonderful news, and for supporting our request. We are well on our way to making this dream a reality! At the time of our grant application, we had not set forth our room sponsorship levels. We have done so now, and a bedroom sponsorship is $5,000. May we plan on one of our eight bedrooms being listed as sponsored by Chapel of the Cross? We are so, so appreciative of this grant.

Marianna Spence and Kathy Hodges, Family Violence Prevention Center in Chatham

Thanks for this great news.  $900 will help provide materials for three Augustine tutor trainees in 2015.  Support from Chapel of the Cross has meant a great deal to ALP through the years, and we appreciate being funded again.  I know the demands on the proceeds of the ABC Sale are enormous, so bless you for keeping Augustine in the mix.

 Debbie McCarthy, Executive Director, Augustine Literacy Project

This is superb news!!!  Thank you so much to your committee and to Chapel of the Cross for investing so widely and so thoughtfully in our wonderful community!  I look forward to sharing news of our Carrboro Community Health book giving with you all through 2015.  You have enabled some very important support for our community’s most vulnerable children.

Ginger Young, Book Harvest

This is such wonderful news! It is so important that The Chapel of the Cross is able to support community work through their ABC Sale Grant.  This passive solar hoophouse will be so important to our refugee farmers at Transplanting Traditions and allow them to grow crops early in the spring and late into the fall and bring in income at a time in the season when they wouldn’t otherwise be able to. Thank you so much!

Kelly Owensby, Program Coordinator, Transplanting Traditions Community Farm

 This is wonderful news, and it couldn’t have come at a better time: We have a greater demand for our Summer Gap program than usual, with 32 children participating this summer! This generous grant from The Chapel of the Cross’ ABC Subcommittee means that we can meet the demand for our Summer Gap program, and better yet, that we can provide fresh foods and milk each week of the Summer Break. We really appreciate it, as will the children we serve!Many thanks to you, to the other members of the Outreach Committee and to the Vestry for selecting our organization to receive these funds. We are very appreciative, especially knowing how many worthy organizations also requested your financial support.

Sarah Blake Finigan, Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School

This is WONDERFUL news!!   I look forward to telling everyone here at El Futuro and enjoying the celebration.  You and your church continue to be so generous and supportive of our work.  Many, many thanks.  And gracias!

Luke Smith, MD, Psychiatrist & Executive Director, El Futuro, Inc.

Thank you SO much! We are thrilled to receive support from Chapel of the Cross. Our deepest thanks to the committee and all who were involved. We look forward to putting the funds to good use in the community, and will certainly keep you informed on the outcomes. 

Gini Bell, Executive Director, Farmer Foodshare

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Chapel of the Cross sends generous donation to Kwasa

SA1The Global Mission committee was very pleased to wire $8060 this week to Kwasa Centre, a ministry of St. Peter and St. Paul Anglican Church in Springs, South Africa.

The funding came from gifts and offerings collected from the congregation as well as the annual budgeted gift of the Global Mission committee.

SA2Chapel of the Cross has partnered with Kwasa since 2006. Delegations from Kwasa have visited the Chapel of the Cross on several occasions, most recently in May when the Rev. Sharron Dinnie visited and preached at Sunday services. The Global Mission committee provided funds for transportation for the Rev. Dinnie and her four-member delegation from Washington to the Triangle via train and from RDU to the Atlanta airport during their visit. The committee and parish volunteers also hosted the travelers, organized dinners and planned special activities for them. In 2013 a pilgrimage group led by the Rev. Vicky Jamieson-Drake visited Kwasa.

Kwasa provides school, after-school, and orphanage facilities for boys and girls who live in an impoverished settlement dating from South Africa’s apartheid era. Some students are from households headed by children who have suffered the deaths of both parents from HIV/AIDS.

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