Begin to discern

Some 250 of you signed up for nametags at the outreach and engagement fair last Sunday.  We will have those ready for you to pick up at the Parish BBQ and “You Are Here” campaign kick-off on Sunday, October 26.  The nametags are Chapel of the Cross blue and white with the You Are Here logo.  The nametags bear each person’s first and last name, with the first name highlighted.  There are no titles or roles — we are all equal here!  On the back, in addition to church contact info, is the following collect.

O God, whose Son Jesus is the good shepherd of your people; Grant that when we hear his voice we may know him who calls us each by name, and follow where he leads; who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns one God, for ever and ever.  Amen. (BCP p. 225)

If you did not sign up for a nametag and would like one, please email reception@thechapelofthecross.org.  We ask that individuals and families request their own nametags personally.  We will continue to make them and have them available on Sundays (starting with the barbecue on October 26) for as long as people request them!  We will provide simple storage at the church, although you are not required to leave your nametag here.  It has been Update’s experience that the car glove compartment is the most common place to store nametags and that individuals adopt a system that is best for them.

We all look forward to the dedication of the new building (and the blessing of some older spaces as well) with Bishop Curry on Sunday. We will gather in the Great Hall at 6 pm following an abbreviated 5:15 service.

We will begin in the Great Hall, and then you may remain in the Great Hall or go to the place you would like to see blessed: the Great Hall, terrace, kitchen, main entrance, library, Campus Center, student resident suite, youth rooms, choir room, or preschool classrooms.  The procession will return to the Great Hall for the final sentences and a concluding prayer.

The potluck dinner will begin as soon as the service permits and prior to the start of the congregational meeting.  Please bring a dessert or side dish to share.  If you are coming to the 5:15 service you may drop off your dish in the kitchen starting at 5 pm. The congregational meeting will start by 7:15 and be over by 8 pm.  To make it easier to attend, there will be a nursery for children.

Mark your calendars now for the parish BBQ at 6 pm on October 26.  We should be completely finished with construction and refurbishing by then.  The meal will be catered by The Filling Station of Robersonville, NC.  The Pentecost Pickers will play, joined by our own construction superintendent Cliff Brown.  We will also host representatives from the contractor, the architects and engineers, the University, Town of Chapel Hill,  Orange County, the State of North Carolina, utilities, and many others who have helped us get this far.  Tickets will go on sale soon.

As we begin a new era of worship and ministry, watch for ways to get oriented physically and grounded spiritually in our new home.  We are preparing maps and signs, planning gatherings large and small, and highlighting the involvement of diverse and varied parishioners in the work of the Chapel of the Cross.

Begin to discern how you will be present at the Chapel of the Cross and what your gifts will be as we live into our legacy.

Walker Mabe

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Updated and upgraded

We are “in” the new parish house but work continues all around us.

The solid oak railings around the atrium above the reception area are being installed.  Made of white oak and meticulously stained and sealed, the railings alternate plain and rope spindles between chamfered and tapered newel posts.

The magnificent sound system in the Great Hall, featuring an 18-foot-wide screen and state of the art audiotronics, has been tested and demonstrated to staff.

The second phase of the project, the updating of the older buildings, is well underway.   We added an upgrade of the campus center to the end of the project, and workers have installed new kitchen cabinets and countertops, repainted the walls, and will be laying new carpet.  The temporary wall in the campus center has been removed, and once the finance office has moved into their new location (the current construction office) the students will take ownership of their new campus center library in that spot.

All of Yates will get new carpet — halls and classrooms — and will match the refurbished offices we did at the beginning of the project.  Volunteer painters have moved steadily through the building, starting in the old basement classrooms, and now working in the second floor Godly Play classrooms, applying a much needed coat of paint.

Our kitchen manager, Ellen Cole, will begin stocking the new kitchen Monday and training the first users of the equipment next week.

It’s happening!  As we begin a new era of worship and ministry, watch for ways to get oriented physically and grounded spiritually in our new home.  We are preparing maps and signs, planning gatherings large and small, and highlighting the involvement of diverse and varied parishioners in the work of the Chapel of the Cross.

Plan to attend the Outreach and Engagement Fair with Dinner on the Grounds on Sunday. Celebrate the dedication of the building on October 5, followed by a potluck and a special congregational meeting.  Begin to discern how you will be present at the Chapel of the Cross and what your gifts will be as we live into our legacy.

This fall we will also open the 2015 annual fund campaign, You Are Here.  The annual fund supports our programming, outreach ministry, building upkeep, and staff.  Just a few weeks remain in 2014 — is your Spirit at Work pledge up to date?
Walker Mabe

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Congregational meeting called to adopt new vestry election process

Update makes way for several highly talented special correspondents this week.  Changes in procedures, processes, and programming are a natural and exciting outgrowth of a new building.  This email includes:
  • A congregational call to meeting from Senior Warden James Moeser
  • A news release describing the vestry’s action around the new voting process, written by Ted Vaden
  • The proposed by-laws that will be up for adoption on October 5
  • A Q&A addressing questions that might arise about the new process, written by Joe Ferrell
Call to Meeting from the Senior Warden
On behalf of the Vestry, I am calling a special meeting of the congregation of the Chapel of the Cross on Sunday, October 5 in the Great Hall of the new building at approximately 7 pm, following the dedication ceremony.  The purpose of this meeting is to consider an amendment to the parish bylaws concerning the election of the Vestry.  These changes, which are described in detail below, are intended to increase participation in the electoral process for all members of the parish.  They were prepared by a special task force, appointed by the Vestry, and chaired by Joe Ferrell.

Vestry adopts new Vestry election process
By Ted Vaden

The Vestry in August unanimously approved a new method for electing Vestry members that will allow wider participation of parishioners.

The new procedure will allow more people to participate in Vestry selection, allow the election to conclude in a single meeting in the new Great Hall and eliminate the need for runoff elections occurring over a period of weeks.

It replaces the current election process that allows voting only by members present at the Annual Meeting. That procedure in effect disenfranchised parishioners who couldn’t attend the Annual Meeting.

The new election rules were drawn up by a Bylaws Committee chaired by Joe Ferrell and including Eugene Dauchert, Mary Beth Grealey and Doug Kelly.  At its August 28 meeting, the Vestry unanimously accepted the proposed bylaw changes, which will be presented to the Parish for final approval at a congregational meeting on October 5.

The key features of the new election process are:
  • Nominations for Vestry members must be submitted four weeks before the Annual Meeting of the parish.
  • An Advisory Ballot listing all nominees will be distributed to all voting members of the parish at least two weeks before the Annual Meeting.
  • Parishioners will return completed ballots to the Parish Office by the Friday before the Sunday Annual Meeting.
  • Results will be reported at the Annual Meeting. Those who receive a majority will be elected by acclamation.
  • If fewer than four candidates receive a majority, parishioners at the Annual Meeting will vote by paper ballot to fill the remaining positions. Several rounds of balloting may be needed, but all balloting will be completed at the meeting until all seats are filled.
The Vestry saw several benefits to the new voting procedure. The main one is that it provides a means for every voting member of the parish to participate. The “advisory ballot” concept gets around a diocesan requirement for voting in person, since a final vote still will occur at the Annual Meeting.

The procedure eliminates the need for multiple votes at separate services and for runoff votes on later dates.

And perhaps most pleasing, the single-venue, single-day election will allow for an Annual Meeting in the Great Hall that combines fellowship with business.

Walker Mabe

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September Vestry Actions

At its meeting on September 18, the Vestry:

  • Met over supper for informal conversation with the eight members of the new class of the Johnson Service Corps;
  • Approved a proposed revision to the By-laws of the Preschool at the Chapel of the Cross;
  • Learned that at a called meeting of the parish on Sunday, October 5, following the blessing of the new facilities by Bishop Curry and a potluck dinner, parishioners will be asked to approve proposed revisions to the By-laws of the Chapel of the Cross, will be introduced to the Annual Campaign, and will hear a state of the parish address by the Rector.

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Going up

We can safely say we are in the final phases of our big project.  Parishioners, staff, designers, inspectors, contractors, and subcontractors are working hand in hand to bring everything to a conclusion.

  • A row of cedars and holly bushes lines the pavement beside the Morehead parking lot.  Rich turf surrounds the entrance and the historic marker beside the chapel.  Cyclists can park their steeds at handsome bike racks.  The playground awaits.
  • The new elevator has been commissioned and staff trained in all its various functions.  The slate floor matches the floor in the entrance hall and the walls are wooden paneling with stainless steel accents. We all look forward to going up together!
  • A cohort of workers has been beneath the parking lot, via the manholes, checking on the storm trap to see how it’s been performing over the past six weeks.  They will be back to check again in a couple of months.
  • The HVAC contractors and control system designers have been fine-tuning and tweaking the HVAC, including the old systems in the church and chapel, which are not new but are governed by new controls.  This Sunday you may see signs that our system is being watched!
  • The beautiful reception desk and library shelves — built from red oak from the trees we cut down a year ago — are ready to be put into service.
  • The transition committee is preparing for the move from temporary quarters into the new building, set to occur at this writing next week.

It’s happening!  As we begin a new era of worship and ministry, watch for ways to get oriented physically and grounded spiritually in our new home.  We are preparing maps and signs, planning gatherings large and small, and highlighting the involvement of diverse and varied parishioners in the work of the Chapel of the Cross.

Plan to attend the Outreach and Engagement Fair with Dinner on the Grounds on September 28. Celebrate the dedication of the building on October 5, followed by a potluck and a special congregational meeting.  Begin to discern how you will be present at the Chapel of the Cross and what your gifts will be as we live into our legacy.

This fall we will also open the 2015 annual fund campaign, You Are Here.  The annual fund supports our programming, outreach ministry, building upkeep, and staff.  Just a few weeks remain in 2014 — is your Spirit at Work pledge up to date?

Walker Mabe

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August Vestry Actions

At its meeting on August 28, the Vestry:

  • Approved the recommendation of the Outreach Ministry Committee for disbursal of a one-time grant of $1000 to Our Children’s Place for their advocacy programs on behalf of the children of incarcerated parents
  • Approved the revised By-Laws of the Chapel of the Cross to be presented to the parish for approval at a called Parish Meeting on Sunday, October 5
  • Designated a previously parish-approved by-law as a Vestry By-Law
  • Authorized the Finance Committee to issue a request for proposals in the process of engaging a new auditor.

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Doubling of community

Sometimes we don’t even know we are waiting for a sign until one shows up.  The latter days  of a construction project are filled with delays, disappointments, misinterpretations, petty squabbles, inexplicable paperwork, tempests in a teapot, and minor crises.  Those of us working in the building had reached — and passed — our equilibrium point about three weeks ago.  Then the bees showed up.

Sometime during the holiday weekend, construction workers noticed a swarm of bees “bearding” on a bright yellow scrubbing mop upended in  a trash can near the new entrance.  By Tuesday, the bees — following their queen — were converged on the dirt patch in front of the new brick entrance sidewalk.

We reached Chris Richmond, a member of the Orange County Beekeepers Association, as he was heading out to a hive he keeps in Hillsborough.  He immediately turned around, fetched his bee gathering equipment, and came to pick up the swarm.  “Bees are too important right now to delay,” he told us.

According to Mr. Richmond, our swarm was fairly small — about 5,000 bees.  He speculated that they had come from the community garden off Battle Lane.  We knew that bees represent royalty, industry, teamwork, and fertility.  We asked Mr. Richmond, a 1992 graduate of UNC-CH, what he thought it meant, these bees landing in front of our new door.

“It’s a doubling of community,” he said.  “where there was one hive, now there are two.  The old hive outgrew their space and they sent out scouts to find a new home.”

The beekeeper set to work enticing the queen inside the wooden hive box.  The rest of the bees began walking in through the narrow entrance, like churchgoers on a Sunday morning — purposeful, orderly, eager, intent.  To speed up the process the beekeeper rigged up a vacuum to lightly suction some of them into another box.  He donned a hood for the vacuuming operation, but he noted that swarming bees are generally not aggressive — they have other things on their minds.

And so we were reminded why we are doing all this.  We knew instinctively that it was time to double our community — to increase our membership, strengthen our outreach, broaden our programming, change our way of connecting and communicating. Soon we will be living into our new hive, together.

You are here.  As we begin a new era of worship and ministry, watch for ways to get oriented physically and grounded spiritually in our new home.  We are preparing maps and signs, planning gatherings large and small, and highlighting the involvement of diverse and varied parishioners in the work of the Chapel of the Cross.

Come to one of the five services on September 7,  participate in the Outreach and Engagement Fair on September 28, and celebrate the dedication of the building on October 5.  Begin to discern how you will be present at the Chapel of the Cross and what your gifts will be as we live into our legacy.

This fall we will also open the 2015 annual fund campaign, You Are Here.  The annual fund supports our programming, outreach ministry, building upkeep, and staff.  Just a few weeks remain in 2014 — is your Spirit at Work pledge up to date?

Walker Mabe

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