Meet your 2015 Vestry Nominees

Syd AlexanderSyd Alexander
Baptized at the Chapel of the Cross – spring 1950; confirmed at COTC – April 1962
Previous vestry service
Served 4 terms on the Vestry at COTC; served on numerous Vestry Committees; Jr. Warden twice; Sr. Warden twice; Co-Chair Capital Campaign; Co-Chair Every Member Canvas
Current parish activities
Usher, Lay reader
Vice Chancellor of the Diocese
Past parish activities
Chancellor to the Church
Delegate to Diocesan Convention – 23 times
Diocesan Council – 8 years, Chair Commission on College work – 2 years, Chair Dept. of Administration and Budget – 2 years
Standing Committee of the Diocese – 6 years, President 1 year
Trustees of the Diocese – 6 years, Secretary of Trustees – 6 years
Deputy to National General Convention
Work outside the parish
Volunteer activities include Habitat, IFC, South Orange Rescue Squad, Carolina Center for Public Service, Farmer  Foodshare
Profession – Attorney in private practice

Patty CourtrightPatty Courtright
Member since the mid-1970s
Current parish activities
Newcomers Committee
Greeter for the past 8 years
Shepherd for about 4 years before I started leading the shepherds program about 5 years ago
Past parish activities
Church school teacher (4th and 5th grades) for two years
ABC Sale volunteer for many years, including co-chairing the White Elephant Room
Work outside the parish
Worked in the communications field in higher ed for the past 15 years. Since 2007, director of internal communications at UNC (but soon to retire)
Sustainer with the Chapel Hill Service League and volunteer with Christmas House every year

Ann CraverAnn Craver
Member of the Chapel of the Cross since 1996.
Previous vestry service
Member of the Vestry at Chapel of the Cross from 2008 until 2011; liaison to Global Missions and Chair of the Finance Committee.  Currently serving a one year term, and therefore eligible for reelection.
Current parish activities  
Finance Committee since 2010 (Chair 2010-11).
Chair of a Building Use Ad Hoc Committee
Lay reader
Delegate to the Diocesan Convention, serving my third consecutive term.  I am a member of the Standing Committee on Constitution and Canons, and the Elections Committee.
Past parish activities
Member of the Parish Communications Committee 2006 until 2012.
Co-Chair of the ABC Sale with Mary Kent Hill, circa 2004.
Taught Church School during son John’s early years in the parish
Husband Rhodes and I supported the Junior Choir and Acolyte Program for many years
Participated for two full terms in the Education for Ministry (EFM) Course, under the direction of Tammy Lee.
Work outside the parish
Member of the Board of Trustees at The Asheville School, where I serve on the Executive Committee, the Strategic Planning Committee, and the Committee on Student Life.
Friends Board of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
Immediate Past Chair of the Durham Library Foundation
Past President of the Junior League of Durham and Orange Counties and active Sustainer
Served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Junior Leagues, International
Practiced law for many years, but have concentrated on service to non-profit and community organizations for the past two decades

Doug KellyDoug Kelly
Joined the Chapel of the Cross in Fall 1989
Previous vestry service
1 term, 2009 – 2011.  Served 1 year on the Stewardship Formation Committee, and  chaired the  Buildings and Grounds Committee for 2 years
Current parish activities
Senior Choir (since 1989)
Lector and Licensed Lay Reader
Coordinator and scheduler for weekday Evening Prayer readers
Sunday Bulletin proofreader
Transition subcommittee on music
Past parish activities
Chaired Educational Policy Committee in the 1990s under Stephen Stanley
Library Committee
Work outside the parish
Just retired from UNC (professor in Mathematics and Statistics, served 5 years as department chair and 4 years as Senior Associate Dean for the Sciences).
Main hobbies are reading and music (singing, lounge piano)
Have volunteered with Triangle Hospice, IFC Homeless Shelter, A Helping Hand

Matt PohlmanMatt Pohlman
Attended adult inquirers class with my wife in 2002; we were confirmed by Bishop Curry thereafter.  Married at COTC in October of 2001
Current parish activities
Children’s Chapel leader
Church School teacher in various classrooms over the last 6 years teaching preschool to middle school.  ABC Sale clean-up for the last 4 years
Past parish activities
Two years ago, I coordinated a group of parishioners that caroled to home-bound parishioners at Galloway Ridge.
Work outside the parish
I am an investment advisor by trade, CPA by education, and local community Board member by avocation.
Current and recent past Board experience includes:  Chapel Hill Public Library Foundation, Preservation Chapel Hill, Mental Health Association of Orange County and various related committees.
Lastly, I have coached (to little success) a number of local sports teams through the YMCA, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Parks and Recreation and Rainbow Soccer.

Melody HarrisonMelody Harrison Savage
Member since 1980. Both of my sons were christened at COTC, were members of the Junior Choir and Acolytes
Previous vestry service
Vestry/Senior Warden
Current parish activities
Altar Guild
Financial Oversight Committee
Past parish activities
Church School Teacher
Chair UNC and COC Habitat Partnership
Chair of the Committee to Establish the Church of the Advocate
Strategic Mission and Ministry Plan Committee
Parish Realignment Committee
Work outside the parish
Professor UNC Speech and Hearing Sciences
Treasurer then President of the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders
Board of Directors The Women’s Center

Kevin TrapaniKevin Trapani
Lifelong Episcopalian.  Jennifer and I joined The Chapel of the Cross in 1996
Previous vestry service
Served a term on the Vestry in the early to mid-2000s
Current parish activities
Steering Committees for The Light on the Hill Capital Campaign and the Annual Campaign
Past parish activities
Church School teacher
Personnel Committee Chair
Two-time Annual Campaign chair
Facilities use planning committee
Work outside the parish
President  & CEO of The Redwoods Group, a social enterprise created to keep kids safe from sexual abuse and drowning, for 18 years
Chair of the United Way of the Greater Triangle,
Chair of Duke’s Center for the Advancement of Social Enterprise
Trustee of The Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation
Board member of UNC’s Center For International Understanding

Boone TurchiBoone Turchi
Member of the Chapel of the Cross since 1972
Past Vestry Service
Three terms on the vestry, 1973-75, 1977-79, 1988-90
Current Parish Activities
Lay Reader
Past Parish Activities
Social Ministry Committee, Founding Chair, two terms
University Ministry Committee, multiple terms
Personnel Committee, chair and member, multiple terms
Acolyte advisor
Work outside the Parish
Member of the Diocesan Commission on Ministry in Higher Education
Professor in the Department of Economics at UNC

Robert WrightRobert Wright
Active parishioner since 1979, confirmed 1983
Previous vestry service
Two previous vestry terms, 2001-04 and 1987-90
Chaired the Personnel Committee, chaired the Salaries and Benefits Subcommittee of Finance Committee, Chaired the Finance Committee
Current parish activities
Volunteer Chapel Organist since 1998
Acolyte Advisor since 1983
Licensed Lay Reader since 1982
Past parish activities
“A Light on the Hill” Capital Campaign Cabinet and Executive Committee
“Next Step” (Long-Range Plan Implementation) Committee
Delegate to Annual Diocesan Convention, Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina 1999, 2001, 2004, 2007;  Member, Faith and Morals Committee, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2009
Chair, Stewardship Committee, Member, Steering Committee, “From Generation to Generation” Capital Campaign; Chair, Parish Development Committee
Work outside the parish
Associate Dean for Development & Alumni Relations, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University

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February Vestry Action

At its meeting on February 19, the Vestry:

  • Approved moving forward with Phase I ($204,600) and Phase II ($190,000) of the chapel restoration and repair with Waters Craftsman as the contractor
    • Set aside a minimum of 5% for contingencies
    • Approved an estimated $5000 expenditure for construction review by Hager Smith, an estimated $1000 fee for structural engineering consultation by Lysaght Structural Engineers, and an estimated expenditure of $20,700 for lightning rods to protect the church
    • Proposed that the approximately $450,000 required for the project be raised by borrowing an additional $100,000 on the loan extended for the building project and that the remaining funds be secured by the expenditure of $200,000 from the principal of the Stoudemire Chapel Fund, $75,000 from the Vestry-established Buildings and Grounds endowment, $53,000 from the Capital Fund, $27,000 from the income of the Cobb Fund, and $6000 from the income of the Cobb Chapel Fund, while explicitly acknowledging that fundraising for the chapel project would be undertaken in an effort to minimize the amount of funds that would need to be borrowed or spent from current assets
    • Appointed a Chapel Restoration Committee consisting of the Incoming Oversight Committee Chair (Eugene Dauchert), the Treasurer (John Pegram), and the Senior Warden (James Moeser) or his designee to oversee the project in conjunction with the Chief Administrator (Walker Mabe), who will serve as the Owner’s Representative
    • Authorized the Senior Warden to sign a contract for the chapel restoration
  • Received a preliminary report and recommendation from the Oversight Committee regarding the estimated size of the loan for the building project
  • Approved the recommendation of the Outreach Ministry Committee for a grant of $1000 from the Outreach Ministry line item for the Augustine Project
  • Received the 2014 Parochial Report.

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ABCNoDonationThe 53rd annual ABC Sale is just a few short weeks away on March 21st. It’s time to get a jump on your Spring Cleaning and de-clutter your Attics, Basements, and Closets. We are often asked what we will accept for donations and the answer generally is most gently worn or used items. If you are unsure about a donation, ask yourself this simple question: “Would I give it to a friend?” If the answer is yes, please put aside your clothing, household and garden items, furniture, books, “treasures”, and other items to donate. If the answer is no, please do not bring them to the Sale. Our volunteers work very hard to sort through hundreds of bags and boxes containing donations, distribute them to the appropriate rooms, and price them for Sale. Sadly, many donations are not in saleable condition which takes up our volunteers’ time and energy that could be used in more productive ways. Stained, dirty, or torn clothing, worn out shoes, badly worn upholstered furniture, items that are broken or missing pieces, and electrical items that don’t work, are some of the many items which we cannot sell. Our Sorting area is very small and it would be very helpful to our Sorting Team if you would separate items and pack in different bags or boxes according to department, i.e., men, women, kitchen, linens, toys, books, etc.  Put like items with like items to make the initial sort easier.

Please be thoughtful when putting your donations together. The full Donation Guidelines are listed here. Our volunteers will appreciate your efforts. Reg Carver ( 919-493-9499) and Mary Sullivan ( 919-533-6298) are co-chairs for the sale this year. Please contact them with any questions concerning donations.

Donation Guidelines

The ABC Sale is fast approaching and we’re in need of quality merchandise to sell.   It’s time to clean out your Attics, Basements and Closets and bring us all the good stuff! The following guidelines will help you determine the appropriate items to bring in, and help us all have a profitable sale.

  • Almost any type of merchandise is accepted, from furniture to clothing, household items to antiques, and books.
  • Please donate only items that are truly saleable – clean, mended, working, in good repair. We do not sell torn, dirty or broken items, so please do not bring them in.

The following items will NOT be accepted:

  • Toys that are broken or missing pieces
  • Torn or soiled clothing; underwear
  • Old, worn out shoes
  • Mattresses and bed pillows
  • Futons and waterbeds
  • Metal bed frames
  • Sleeper sofas
  • Old, worn upholstered furniture in poor condition
  • Bulky furniture items
  • Office wall dividers
  • Large appliances
  • Exercise bikes/Treadmills
  • Child car seats
  • Artificial Christmas trees
  • Encyclopedias / textbooks
  • Medical / law books
  • Skis and ski boots
  • Used baby bottles / sippy cups

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Church Next

churchnext-logo“Sunday School” has changed a lot since most of us were young. In fact, we don’t even call it “Sunday School” anymore because the broader “church school” might happen any day of the week. “Education” has been expanded to “formation,” and programs for adults are as plentiful as those for children.   For some programs, participants need not even leave home – which means the term “church school” itself is ready for an update.

ChurchNext is an example of the new style of faith formation. It is an online learning tool that can be used by anyone with access to the internet, any day of the week.   Classes are self-paced but also collaborative. For those who choose to join discussions, the forums can feel like live, small groups.

Most ChurchNext classes have a nominal registration fee ($10) but some are offered free of charge. Bishop Curry taught a free class on “Crazy Christians” last year that drew more than 3,000 people from 28 countries. Now philosopher and activist Cornel West is teaching a short course on economic inequality. Entitled, “Called to Common Good: Economic Inequality and What Christians Can Do About It,” the class provides a thoughtful introduction to the Trinity Institute Conference, “Creating Common Good.” (Chapel of the Cross will serve as a host site for the Trinity Institute Conference February 20-21.)

ChurchNext classes are like traditional classes in that there are (video) lectures followed by “quizzes” and discussions. The quizzes reinforce the themes of the lecture and are fun; there are no grades! The discussions are prompted by reflection questions but can veer in any direction, just like classroom conversations do.

The “Called to Common Good” class can be completed in less than an hour. Students may also return to the discussion forums until the class closes on January 21. If you are interested in this or other ChurchNext classes, go to If you are interested in joining the Trinity Institute conference at the Chapel of the Cross on February 20, go to . See how much Sunday School has changed!



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A message from the Senior Warden

Our transition to a new Rector consists of three discrete parts: the celebration of, and farewell to, our Rector of 30 years; the interim period, during which the search for a new Rector takes place; and the call of the 20th Rector of the Chapel of the Cross. This is the first of a series of regular emails that will keep the congregation updated on the entire transition process.

Celebration and Farewell

150109-RectorSearchTimelineThe Vestry wants this year, concluding with Stephen’s last celebration of the Eucharist on October 11, 2015, to be a year of celebration of his incredible thirty years of service as Rector of the Chapel of the Cross. The Celebration Committee, chaired by Ted Vaden, is now planning that celebration, which will involve the whole parish over the next several months.

Notwithstanding this focus on celebrating Steve’s ministry, people are starting to ask questions about the coming transition. The purpose of this message is an attempt to answer the questions that have already been posed to me and an attempt to anticipate questions that haven’t yet been asked (but certainly will be) in order to inform the people of the parish exactly what will take place over the next two years.

As you will understand, the selection of a new Rector is governed by the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. We are directly assisted in this process by the Rev. Canon Michael B. Hunn, Canon to the Ordinary for Program and Pastoral Ministry. The Vestry met with Canon Hunn a few months ago in anticipation of Steve’s announcement to begin to educate itself on the process.

The Interim Rector

Canon Hunn will again meet with the Vestry in March to begin the process for the selection of an Interim Rector, whose appointment will begin in October, to coincide with Steve’s last Sunday as Rector. The appointment of an Interim Rector is strongly recommended by the Bishop for parishes replacing long-serving Rectors. It is anticipated that the Interim Rector will serve 9-12 months, until the arrival of the new Rector. His or her principal responsibility will be to care for the congregation during the transition period. The Interim Rector will not be eligible to be considered for the position of Rector and will have no role or voice in the selection process for the Rector. The Vestry will serve as the search and selection committee for the Interim Rector, choosing from a short list of candidates suggested by the Bishop.

Appointment of a Search Committee

After the Interim Rector is in place, the search process for the Rector will get in gear. This will be a time for conversation and prayerful reflection for the congregation to articulate who we are as a people and a congregation.

This first concrete step will be the appointment of a search committee by the Vestry. It is my responsibility as Senior Warden to nominate the chair of this committee for Vestry approval. The committee chair and I will prepare a search committee slate for Vestry approval. It is anticipated that approximately one third of the committee will be members of the Vestry. (This is contrary to past practice where a “firewall” was erected between the Vestry and the Search Committee.) Because the Vestry has the ultimate responsibility of choosing the Rector, it is now considered best practice to have this intentional overlap.

The Diocese recommends a committee of six to ten persons, small enough to move quickly and act often, and large enough to be inclusive and able to hear many voices.   The search committee serves at the pleasure of the Vestry and does its work on behalf of the Vestry.   Canon Hunn will serve in the role of search consultant to the Search Committee.

Ideally one of the members should be a Vestry member who is rolling off (for history); one of the Vestry members should be newly elected (in order to serve with the new Rector for two years.) In addition, the members of the search committee should be

  • Mature Christians
  • People of prayer
  • Not necessarily the loudest, flashiest leaders
  • The Trusted ones
  • People who can see what is best for the whole congregation
  • Good listeners rather than good talkers

The search will be as transparent as possible, with regular reports to the Vestry and congregation, while maintaining total confidentiality regarding the names of candidates.

The Selection of a Rector

The search committee will conduct discernment interviews with various priests, submitting the final three for interviews with the Bishop. Ultimately, the search committee submits one name to the Vestry.

In the final analysis, this is a process of discernment for the parish and a select group of priests who are trying to discern God’s will for them and their families.

Next Steps for the Congregation

The election for the Vestry this spring will be very important, because the persons elected then will be serving during the first two years with the new Rector’s ministry. The 2015 vestry will also act as the search committee for the selection of an interim Rector. I urge members of the congregation to give prayerful consideration about service on the Vestry in this critical time, by nominating those whom you feel would be good stewards or by volunteering to serve.

Second, of course, is the search committee itself. Early in the fall, 2015, I shall issue a call for persons who would be interested in serving on this committee and willing to commit to a significant amount of time to this service.

I hope that this information is helpful. If you have further questions that I have not anticipated, please do not hesitate to contact me.

– James Moeser

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Inquiring Minds

The end of the calendar year, the end of a successful building project, and inquiring minds want to know, what’s next?

You’ve seen our beautiful new parish house, and you know how it is already reinvigorating our parish programs and reigniting our ministry in the community.

The following is an update on our financial picture and how the original project roadmap is progressing towards its conclusion.

Since we began raising money for the capital campaign, the scope of the project has changed in some important ways:

  • Expanded third floor youth and choir spaces.
  • Totally remodeled and expanded Campus Ministry Center, including a new kitchen.
  • Replacement of the stone wall at the Memorial Garden and flanking a widened circle drive.
  • Modifications to the sprinkler system mandated for the entire building — old and new.
  • Painting, carpeting, and new ceilings for the old Yates and Battle wings.
  • State of the art HVAC controls and new chiller — resulting in lowered utility costs.
  • French doors along the hallway beside the Great Hall and darkening shades on the Great Hall windows.
  • AV system in the Great Hall, wireless access points throughout the buildings, voice over internet telephone system, and computer wiring in all areas.

The resulting building will have a final construction cost of slightly more than $9 million.  This includes substantial unforeseen costs of joining our old building with the new, including code requirements.

Many of you have completed your Light on a Hill pledge early or increased your original pledge along the way; however, our original plan to limit our borrowing to $2.75 million is probably too optimistic.  We may need to borrow $3 million or more.

As we begin the process of determining our final payment to the contractor, we are depending on substantial pledge payments here at the end of 2014.  Any advance payments we receive — of regular pledges or legacy gifts — will strengthen our financial position now so that we are better able to weather unforeseen risks later.

We have promised the bank that we will keep $300,000 in cash in the development account during the life of the loan.  Our cash flow model indicates that will start to be difficult in the second half of 2019. In 2020, our interest rate goes up from 3.25% to 6.50%.  The project financing oversight committee will need to plan for a retire-the-debt campaign to begin perhaps as early as 2019 and a refinance of the loan in 2020.  Incremental fundraising may be necessary as well.

Using the project roadmap and fairly sophisticated modeling, we’ve tried to be meticulous and farsighted in our planning.  The operating budget will support the building debt starting with a $5000 contribution in 2014, and increasing by $5000 a year through 2020, when that support is capped at $35,000.

The bulk of our operating budget will be directed towards living into our building and our ministry — funding our programming, outreach, worship, pastoral care, physical plant, and staff.  The 2015 annual campaign is vitally important to our use of our new building, and your annual pledge enables us to budget and plan successfully.

Other needs on the horizon include long-deferred work on the Chapel, from repairing a very porous roof to removing bad paint and replacing it with a historically appropriate lime wash.  We will need to address these problems starting in 2015.

Timely completion of building fund pledges and good response to our 2015 annual campaign will place us in an excellent position to move forward into the future.

If you have not made your annual fund pledge for 2015, consider doing it now.  Use the pledge packet you received in the mail or access the online 2015 annual fund pledge page.
To pay your building fund pledge or make an additional gift, go to the Light on a Hill: Building to Serve page.

Walker Mabe

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I am home

tn.jspAlmost every day at noon, a slight, beautiful woman with astonishing presence slips into the Chapel and takes a seat in the back right hand corner, where sun pours in through the leaded windows.

Eunice Sahle, the chair of UNC’s department of African, African-American, and Diaspora Studies, comes to the Chapel to center herself and to find peace.  More than a decade ago, she was a new professor, and felt very far from Toronto, where she earned her degrees, and farther still from her home in Kenya.  One day as she walked across campus, she caught a glimpse of Gothic windows, and the sight took her straight back to her Anglican upbringing in Kenya.  She quickly made her way to the Chapel of the Cross, and as soon as she walked through the doors, she thought, “I am home; I can make a life here.”

“The Chapel reminds me of home, and by that I mean the ideas, the rituals, and the practices that shaped me,” she said.

The Chapel resembles Dr. Sahle’s Anglican girls’ school chapel, and sparks strong memories of her family and her church.  She was “steeped in Anglicanism,” and was especially close to the late Archbishop Gitari of Kenya, who taught her how reason, tradition, and faith co-exist in the Anglican tradition.

Three years ago, in the wake of unhappy revelations regarding her department, Dr. Sahle was named chair, with the mandate to work with the faculty to reimagine the department, create a new curriculum, and move the department forward.

“During all that has happened, the Chapel has been in the midst of it,” she said.  “On the worst of days, I have found peace here.”

A recent review of the AAAD studies department held high praise for Dr. Sahle and her fellow faculty members.  The review panel noted that the department “has made enormous progress in recreating itself as a very good department on the cutting edge of its discipline.”  It called the “the scope of positive change in these two years…breathtaking.”

Dr. Sahle earned her BA and MA degrees in political science and international development at the University of Toronto, and her PhD at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario.  She worked for the Anglican church in Canada, focusing on African and Middle Eastern development, prior to beginning work on her doctorate.

During Advent of 2010, she was invited back to Kenya by Archbishop Gitari (pictured, with Sahle and her brother, Stanley) to speak to Kenyan students about democratic and constitutional reforms in Kenya.  “That was the last time I heard him preach,” she said.  “During Advent, my memories of him are particularly strong, and I come here to remember him.”

Dr. Sahle often recommends the Chapel to friends who are struggling with challenges in their careers, their relationships, or their health.  “They may not be part of our tradition,” she said, “but they are centered here, and they find peace.”

There is still work to be done under difficult circumstances for Dr. Sahle and her colleagues.  Through it all, our Chapel will be in the midst of it, a reminder of home, a spiritual haven, and place to find peace.

We are here — a beacon to the University and the community, our Chapel doors open to all.  Chapel of the Cross parishioners provide the funding that keeps the doors open and the lights on. Our operating budget supplies funding for global missions and campus outreach.  If you have not made your annual fund pledge for 2015, consider doing it now.  Use the pledge packet you received in the mail or access the online 2015 annual fund pledge page. Discern your ability to contribute and respond to the call with a pledge for 2015, even if you are unable to contribute.

Walker Mabe

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