I want to share with you a resolution I will be submitting at our diocese’s Annual Convention in Winston-Salem on January 25. It reads:
Resolved that the 197th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina remember the children and adults who lost their lives in the recent shootings in Newtown, CT, stand in solidarity with the parents who have formed “Sandy Hook Promise,” and promise to do everything we can “to encourage and support common sense solutions that make [our] community and our country safer from similar acts of violence.”
This Sunday at 10:20 a.m., in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., his Letter from a Birmingham Jail will be read in the Chapel. Nilan Johnson, a professional actor from the Playmakers’ Repertory Company, will read the letter and lead a discussion afterwards.
Nilan Johnson is a company member of PlayMakers Repertory Company, he has been seen in such shows as The Parchman Hour, Henry IV, Henry V, The Imaginary Invalid, and the upcoming shows A Raisin in the Sun and Clybourne Park. Regionally he has been seen in Radio Golf (Deep Dish Theater), 10×10 in the Triangle (ArtsCenter Carrboro), Benjamin Coffin III in Rent; The Two Gentlemen of Verona; Ceremonies in Dark Old Men. Internationally he was a Performer/Co-Facilitator in Playback Theatre (Playback Berlin/Second International Conference for the Arts in Society, Kassel, Germany). He holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts and a Minor in Film Studies from California State University, San Bernardino. He is currently pursuing his M.F.A.in Acting from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
When I tell friends that a group of volunteers makes about $30,000 in five hours to give to local outreach organizations, they’re always amazed. Selling items from parishioners’ Attics, Basements, and Closets doesn’t sound that profitable, but the ABC Sale is the ultimate in recycling!
As an adult convert to Christianity, I had never participated in or even seen a Christmas pageant of any kind. Although I have been a parishioner for a few years, I always went home for Christmas to western North Carolina, so I never had the chance to see our church’s production. It was such a blessing this year to attend not one, but two pageants at the Chapel of the Cross!
I feel especially privileged that I got to see all the behind the scenes preparations as well as the finished production. As we conducted rehearsals, I was very impressed with the way the youth helped one another with their parts. In particular, Margaret Hassel, a high school student, stepped up into the role of “Lead Shepherd” and trained the other shepherds in following their cues, dancing up the aisle, and looking appropriately awed at the appearance of the angel. Speaking of our angel, another thing I loved about the pageant is that the youth were able to showcase their many talents. I had no idea that Alice Dempsey could dance so beautifully, and though I knew Jones Bell and Annie Lo both are talented singers, they blew me away with their performances at the 5:00 pageant.
At its meeting on December 20, the Vestry:
- Elected John Pegram as Treasurer, effective December 20, 2012, to complete the unexpired term of David Joseph and then serve a three-year full term as Treasurer, until May 2012
- Approved John Pegram as a signatory on the Edward Jones account of the parish
- Expressed appreciation to David Joseph for his extraordinary service as Treasurer
- Learned that Duke Energy has agreed to allow the transformer to be located to the side of the building and that this will produce a cost savings of $15,000
- Received an overview of the contract with Barnhill Construction, presented by Parish Chancellor Eugene Dauchert
- Learned that the grant for the Kwasa School women’s sewing group has been renewed for $4950, an amount more than double last year’s grant
- Accepted with gratitude the gift of a traveling communion kit from the Rev. Ralph Smith, this communion kit having been given to him by the Rev. Fulton Hodge, now deceased, of the Diocese of Western North Carolina
- Accepted with gratitude a bequest in the amount of $80,000 from the estate of Blair Evans, with $20,000 to be placed in each of the four endowment funds of the parish: Buildings and Grounds, Evangelism and University Outreach, Community Outreach, and Worship and Program Support
- Approved the recommendation of the Outreach Ministry Committee for disbursement of funds from the Discretionary Outreach line item in the amount of $320 to Episcopal Farmworker Ministry.
On the Feast of the Epiphany, we celebrate the manifestation of God in man and the journey of the wise men to present the Christ Child with gifts. This year, during the 9:00 AM Solemn Eucharist, four children finished “building the crèche” that we had been creating through Advent by adding kings and a camel to the nativity scene beneath the pulpit. The children dressed in kingly robes, capes and crowns and carefully carried the heavy (and fragile!) creche figures to the front of the church. The Rev. Bill Joyner took the kings, offered them to God and placed them by the stable. The work, of course, was not done. All of us have gifts to give – to Christ, through others – and Epiphany is a time to reflect on those gifts and share them.