Monthly Archives: June 2013

A Message from the Rector for the Johnson Intern Dinner

June 25, 2013

Dear Interns, Leaders, Friends, and Supporters of the Johnson Intern Program,

I am so sorry to miss being with you tonight for the end of the year celebration dinner.  It is always such an inspiring and joyful occasion, and one disadvantage of my current sabbatical is that I am away and cannot join you.

It is, of course, also a bittersweet occasion, since we say good-by to the talented and dedicated interns we have come to know and love over the past year.  My congratulations and gratitude to all of you for a wonderful year.  You are an inspiration to all of us, and we wish you “God speed” as you continue on your life journeys. Continue reading

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June Vestry Actions

At its meeting on June 20, the Vestry:

  • Approved the amended Strategic Plan;
  • Approved the amended Resolution in Support of Moral Mondays;
  • Approved the recommendations of the ABC Sale Sub-Committee of the Outreach Ministry Committee for allocation of 2013 ABC Sale proceeds in the amounts of $1500 to Club Nova Community, Inc., $4000 to Episcopal Farmworker Ministry, $2100 to Farmer Foodshare, $1200 to Orange County Literacy Council, $500 to Thompson Child & Family Focus, $1200 to Augustine Literacy Project, $1500 to Dispute Settlement Center, $800 to TROSA, $1000 to Fuel Up Perry Harrison, $500 to Friends of Orange County Department of Social Services, $500 to Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate, $500 to Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA, $500 to Circles Chatham, $860 to Latino Education Achievement Participation (LEAP), and $8333 to Inter-Faith Council;
  • Approved the allocation of $695 to the Altar Guild from the Shaffer Altar Guild Fund for the purpose of repairing or replacing the purple pulpit fall.

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Barnhill’s Trumpet

This was our Jericho week at the Chapel of the Cross — the walls came tumbling down under the expert ministrations of Janezic Construction, our demolition contractor.  Shiny behemoths trundled out of the driveway carrying load after load of debris, almost every single piece of concrete, wood, and metal bound for recycling.

The cruncher operator, using his trac-hoe “thumb,” carefully peeled the brick veneer away so that bricks could be salvaged and stored on site.  The old bricks will be used for toothing-in — bridging the gap between old and new brick where the new building and the old Battle building come together at the corners. Continue reading

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Final Separation

Preparation for demolition was completed this week with the achievement of final separation from the existing building.  The “existing building” — the part of our buildings that will not be torn down — are now separated in every way from the part that will be demolished starting early Monday morning.

  • There are no more structural connections between the two parts of the structure and you can see long separations in the brick walls.
  • All the ceilings and walls in the buildings that will remain have been shored up to withstand the demolition process.
  • All systems have been cut loose from the old Battle wing and tied in to the Yates wing — mechanical and electrical units and plumbing lines.
  • The chapel electrical and lighting circuits are now connected to relocated panels.
  • We have removed and stored building materials for reuse:  copper downspouts, slate shingles, and double-paned windows. Continue reading

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Amazing Grace: Moments from the 2013 Pilgrimage to South Africa

By Laura Benton

Part One: The Onward Journey and the Kwasa Centre

In May of this year, fourteen pilgrims from the Chapel of the Cross traveled to South Africa on a journey to learn about reconciliation, experience God’s presence and action, and discover how we were called to be peacemakers in our own time.  We chose our destination not just because we have a longstanding relationship with a school near Johannesburg, but because of that country’s rich history.  South Africa, the Rainbow Nation, has been described as a beacon of hope, a place where God’s dream that all people can live together as sisters and brothers is being made manifest.  It has also been described as just another African nation wrestling with rampant corruption and devastating poverty.  The truth, as I would discover, is not an either/or proposition, but may include a little of both.

As preparation for this pilgrimage, our group spent the previous year studying the history and culture of South Africa, with an emphasis on the genesis of apartheid, the struggle against that system, and the peaceful transition of power in 1994.  We read books like No Future Without Forgiveness and Cry, the Beloved Country.  We hosted speakers like James Joseph, the former ambassador to South Africa, and the Rev. Michael Battle, who lived with Bishop Tutu and has written extensively on ubuntu theology.  We wrote the Kwasa Centre, our mission partner in South Africa, asking their advice and receiving a warm invitation to come and see the work they are doing.  So, on May 22nd, we started on a journey both outward and inward, to encounter God at work in South Africa and in our own hearts.


I was sitting in Dulles airport eating a snack when we got the call.  Our original travel plan was that our pilgrimage group would be split in two halves, with one group arriving in D.C. in the morning, and the other in the early afternoon.  We would then all travel onward together from Dulles to Johannesburg.  Ted Pratt calling to say that the second group’s flight had been cancelled due to mechanical problems was definitely not in the plan.  There was no way our whole group could make the flight to Africa.  The second group would have to fly out of New York the next morning.  Though incomplete and missing our friends, the first group decided to travel on to South Africa as scheduled.  Before boarding our flight, we all clasped hands at the gate and prayed.  This is not something Episcopalians often do in public, but it felt right.  We prayed for traveling mercies, for our stranded friends, and for God to open our hearts once we reached our destination.


130613-para4The day after arriving safely in South Africa, and still missing half our group, we journeyed 30 miles south of Johannesburg to Springs, the location of the Kwasa Centre.  After four years of reading updates, seeing photos, and praying for these people, we were finally going to meet.  The children – over a hundred precious little ones – gathered for their morning assembly.  I sat by a little boy with wide eyes and shy smile.  “Holy Spirit come, fill me with the Father’s love” we sang together.  It was a beautiful moment, but tinged with sadness because I knew the odds were totally against these children.  According to the expectations of the world, that little boy will never make it out of the slums.

But I have learned to expect miracles.  Continue reading

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Build up before you tear down

Unceasing activity in preparation for major demolition continued at the Chapel of the Cross this week.  You must build up before you tear down — at least that is the way it seems from our vantage point!

  • Temporary partitions and plywood doors were erected throughout the demolition area to keep non-construction personnel from wandering into dangerous areas and to protect the delicate back wall of the historic chapel.  On the other side of those partitions entire rooms including the floors have been removed — the beginnings of the reception atrium in the new building.
  • Roofers have been on site this week to assess our slate roof — they will begin to remove slate next week to be reused on the new building.  Continue reading

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Summer in Summary!

Summer is heating up at The Chapel of the Cross beginning this Sunday, June 9.

Summer worship schedule:

8 am in the Chapel

10 am in the Church, followed by lemonade in the courtyard. Coffee is available in the kitchen.

5:15 pm in the Chapel

Dinner on the Grounds — a summer tradition

The Chapel of the Cross version of a covered dish. Bring a side dish and we’ll provide the fried chicken and iced tea. Delicious food and social time begins after the 10 am service — outdoors weather permitting and in the dining room even during construction!

June 23

July 28

August 18

Vacation Church School July 15-19

Dive right in to Vacation Church School to be held with (and at) Binkley Baptist Church.  This year’s theme is water! Contact Boykin Bell ( for more information.

Youth Summer Mission Trips

On a mission for summer fun? Check out these opportunities for youth and contact Laura Benton ( for more information.

Junior EYC Mission Trip to Farmworker Ministry: June 18-21

Senior EYC Mission Trip to Atlanta: July 28-August 3

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