Monthly Archives: September 2013

Parish BBQ Singers

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Visible Men and Women


New plumbing lines and the turquoise rock breaker.

There was a subtle shift in activity on the construction site this week as various trades arrived to begin work on the building’s infrastructure.  The main plumbing and under-slab drainage lines have been laid, and you can begin to discern the faintest outline of the floor plan as white piping rises up where rooms and columns will be.  The drainage system will work like an under-slab gutter system, catching any groundwater that rises up and sending it to be pumped from the sump in the northwest corner into the storm sewer.  The cinderblock walls of the elevator and stairwell continue to rise. Electricians and waterproofers have also been at work.  As with a Visible Man or Woman, systems will be layered in until it’s all covered by the skin of the building’s finishes.

The last bit of blue granite has been located and our little turquoise rock breaker is hard at work this afternoon — we will bid her good-bye on Monday.  The rest of the concrete walls will be poured on Monday and Tuesday, leaving only the 16-foot entrance into the pit, which will be poured from above once all the equipment has completed work and left the hole.

Preparations are also being made for Sunday’s barbecue.  The white-painted ridge beam is in the dining room ready to be signed; railings have been installed at the old back door to provide a safe overlook; and gravel is being laid at the entrance and along a path into the pit.

Everything is a go, rain or shine.  Park in Town parking, University parking, or in the Morehead lot.  Rick Fahrer will be posted in our lot to help with drop-offs, direct traffic, and make parking suggestions.

Once you are on site, get your name tags and pick up tickets in the cloister.  We will line up in the hallway to the right as you come in from the courtyard and enter the dining room through the double doors to sign the beam.  Then you are free to get your barbecue dinner from the Q-Shack servers in the dining room and sit there or at tables in the courtyard.  Bring your own lawn chairs to sit on the circle drive or on the grass.  The orange fencing will still be erected, but all the grassy areas are accessible!  Our musicians will serenade you from the church tower steps.  Cliff Brown and others will issue hardhats and vests to about 15 people at a time for construction tours throughout the event; assemble at the site-end of the driveway to take a tour.

From the bottom of the pit, to the topmost beam, it’s all becoming more and more visible — the product of The Spirit at Work!

To make a donation or new pledge of any amount, access the Light on a Hill campaign on our website or give us a call at the office.  Your annual fund pledge is important too — the operating budget supports all the activities that will radiate out from our new building.  Be thinking about your annual pledge as we approach the fall stewardship season.  Make sure you are current on your 2013 pledge.

Walker Mabe

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Greater love hath no man

Watch the Senior Choir’s offertory anthem, “Greater love hath no man” from Sept. 15.

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How much should we order?

West wall footings. Click to enlarge.

Concrete is measured in cubic yards — one yard-length times one yard-width times one yard-height.  There are 27 cubic feet in a cubic yard.  One of our interior footings is four feet by four feet square and two feet deep.  How much concrete will you need to fill it up?

Multiply four by four to get 16 and multiply 16 by two to get 32 cubic feet.  Wait, not done yet. Divide 32 by 27 to get 1.185 cubic yards.  That’s what you order from the concrete truck.  Our massive foundation walls and 21 interior footings altogether will take more than 600 cubic yards of concrete!

By the end of this week the interior footings will all be complete.  The concrete forms are up and waiting for the walls that will be poured beside the chapel.  We have made it down to bedrock across almost the entire site.  Next week blind side waterproofing will begin (waterproofing that eventually gets covered up) and over this weekend the plumbing contractor will be at the site to rough-in the plumbing layout.

Two special white-painted beams have been ordered as the centerpiece for our parish barbecue on September 22 — everyone will have a chance to sign one of the topmost beams for our building.  Festivities will begin around 6 pm — as soon as a shortened 5:15 service is over.  You will have a chance to meet some of the construction team, wear a hardhat to tour the construction (as far as safety allows), and enjoy each other and the sense of accomplishment that completed foundations can bring.

Our new Johnson Interns will provide some music, assisted by our Rector.  The barbecue is from Q Shack; the menu includes pork and chicken barbecue, potato salad, butter beans, cole slaw, hushpuppies, and brownies and cobbler for dessert.  Tea and lemonade to drink.  With construction, space is limited! Get your tickets online now. (A limited number of tickets will be available after Monday and at the door.) Parking will be available in the Morehead Lot ($1.50/hour). Metered on-street parking and town parking lots are free.

Please purchase tickets in advance by Monday, September 16, so we will know how many cubic yards of barbecue to order!

$10 for adults

$5 for ages 6-high school

Under 6 free

ECM students and Johnson Interns are guests of the parish

Tickets for sale in the church office on Sundays and weekdays; online 24/7.  Credit cards, checks, or cash accepted.  Be a part of The Spirit at Work!

Concrete is expensive.  To make a donation or new pledge of any amount, access the   Light on a Hill  campaign on our website or give us a call at the office.  Your annual fund pledge is important too — the operating budget supports all the activities that will radiate out from our new building.  Be thinking about your annual pledge as we approach the fall stewardship season.  Make sure you are current on your 2013 pledge.   

– Walker Mabe

Chief Administrator

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ECM – Beach Retreat

130913-ECMporchThe annual ECM Beach Retreat is a time of relaxation and bonding at the start of each new school year. Veteran ECMers and newbies alike get together to build sandcastles, eat pancakes, and worship on the beautiful North Carolina shore. Rather than tell you what we did, I’d like to share a couple snapshots with you.

The Oldies have gone to bed, the sun has set over the sand, and I sit on the floor leaning against the knees of a fellow student chaplain behind me. Two ECMers scoot closer to me on the floor as the four of us huddle around my BCP & Hymnal combo. The rest of the room is in similar clumps as we do Compline on Friday night. When the service was finished, there were calls for song numbers, but rather than the usual 53 pages of our ECM songbook, the calls were hymn numbers. In true Episcopalian fashion, we belted out a cappella our favorite hymns from Seek Ye First to Jesus Christ is Risen Today.

130913-ECMpuramidSun, sand, and blue water stretch as far as the eye can see. Someone pipes up, let’s make a pyramid! We count persons, do a little math, and decide we can do it. Slowly the bodies stack up until all we are missing is our capstone. She tries to scramble up from the back but is unsuccessful; her next attempt up the side is likewise a flop. With the entire base cheering her on, she scales our bodies and reaches the summit, just long enough for a picture, or 20, to be taken.

A little sunburnt, a little tired, and very full of the delicious dinner the DeSaixes had cooked for us, we lie in the living room talking about everything and nothing. Slowly people piece off: some to play guitar on the porch, some to do homework in the dining room, and some to bed early to catch up on sleep. Ultimately, there are six of us left, but instead of utilizing the furniture, four of us are cuddled on the floor laughing together.

Sunday morning collected us one last time before we had to come home. As we gathered on the porch overlooking the ocean, Tammy performed Eucharist. We passed the Body and Blood around the circle, from one set of hands to the next, and I was touched by the moment. I looked around me and saw the hand that rubbed sunscreen on my back, the hand that prepared the food we ate, the hand that played the guitar as we sung, and the hand that held mine as we walked on the beach in the dark towards the lights of the far off pier.

Although these moments are small in and of themselves, together I hope they show what makes the Beach Retreat such a special part of ECM. These few days have the power, with some help from the waves, the Oldies, Tammy, and God, to bring together a set of individuals into a cohesive group. It allows freshmen to see that we are nothing more than a functional group of goofballs, it allows sophomores to understand how religion can fit into your life, it shows juniors they have a family in this community, and it gives seniors a chance to reflect on how ECM has shaped their time at Carolina. Plus, it’s a whole awful lot of fun.

– McKenzie Roddy

Connect with ECM by following them on Facebook!

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The Significance of Food in the Bible – Presented by the Environmental Stewardship Committee

Learn about food and the scriptures, food insecurity, food waste, and food abundance.  The Environmental Stewardship Lecture Series takes place Sunday mornings in October:

October 6
David Jamieson Drake, Director of Duke University’s Office of Institutional Research
Mr. Jamieson Drake holds an MBA from Fuqua School of Business and an advanced degree from Yale Divinity School. He will be presenting on Food and the Scriptures.

October 13
Margaret Gifford, Executive Director of Farmer Foodshare
Farmer Foodshare is a not for profit organization committed to sustainable farming and food relief. Ms. Gifford will take a fresh look at health and hunger and what it means to be food insecure in today’s society, and what people of faith can do about this broken system.

October 20
Blair Pollock, Orange County Solid Waste Planner
Mr. Pollock will discuss the cost of wasted food and the impact of that waste on our community.  He will present solutions for managing food waste.

October 27
Dr. Ellen Davis, Amos Ragan Kearns Distiguished Professor of Bible and Practical Theology at Duke Divinity School,
Dr. Davis presents a lecture titled Genesis 1 and Food Abundance.  Focusing on teachings from Genesis 1 related to humans and the God- given abundance of food for all creatures.

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Hands on

On a site that easily swallows heavy machinery and dozens of workers, it is easy to overlook the hands-on, labor intensive attention to detail that is taking place.  Timing is everything as we take advantage of perfect weather to coordinate the pouring of the interior footings with anchor bolts for the steel, pouring of the elevator pit walls, rough-in of plumbing and drainage below the basement slab, and the removal of rock when it gets in the way.  In  the next week masons will build the stair and elevator shaft walls, waterproofing will continue, and the plumbing crew will rough in waste lines behind the walls that will be built around the columns.   Once the steel arrives no more work can take place in the pit until all the beams are erected and inspected, so the basement slab will be poured this week as well.

The contractor and the architect are continually tweaking the plans to reflect field conditions — what we found when we really got started — and to adjust to the realities of conjoining our 150-year-old chapel, the remaining parts of the Battle wing, and the 50s-era Yates wing with a brand new building designed on a grid.  Coordination, communication, and constant fine-tuning are critical.  From the vantage point of the dining room or Boykin Bell’s office (which is thoughtfully outfitted with a Fisher-Price dump truck and some smooth “rocks” on the window sill) you can experience the hands on aspect of this work up close.

You can find your own way to lend a hand and connect with the congregation and the community at the outreach and engagement fair this Sunday starting after the church school kick-off skit.  A special tradition at the Chapel of the Cross, the skit (this year’s theme is Make This Place Your Home) takes place in the church at the end of the 9 am service.  At the fair, community volunteer groups will be in the courtyard; congregational “inreach” opportunities will set up in the dining room.

Find your own best way to be hands on:  to volunteer, serve, learn, and connect with others both inside and outside the parish.

Tickets are on sale for the Parish BBQ at 6 pm September 22.  Come see the Spirit at Work! Tour the construction, sign the topmost steel beam, and meet the construction team.  BBQ from the Q Shack.  Adults $10; Ages 6-18 $5, Under 6 free. Purchase tickets online. On Sunday, our student residents will also be selling tickets in the church office — credit and debit cards, checks, or cash accepted.  A limited number of tickets will be available at the door and in the church office on week-days; credit cards, checks, and cash will be accepted. We will mail tickets purchased online prior to September 16.

To make a donation or new pledge of any amount, access the  Light on a Hill  campaign on our website or give us a call at the office.  Your annual fund pledge is important too — the operating budget supports all the activities that will radiate out from our new building.  Be thinking about your annual pledge as we approach the fall stewardship season.  Make sure you are current on your 2013 pledge.   

Walker Mabe

Chief Administrator

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Food for Fall – Outreach Ministry Events

2013 outreachThe Outreach Ministry Committee at The Chapel of the Cross invites you to join us as we gather, discuss and serve our community around issues related to food.

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”             John 6:35

Throughout scripture, food is an important frame for faith issues. The connection between food and faith will be explored throughout the fall months here at The Chapel of the Cross and during events in our community. Join us as we explore and discuss food insecurity, hunger and sustainability, then work together to create a more just and sustainable world. You can learn more about these events and sign up to volunteer at the Outreach and Engagement Fair on Sunday, September 8th at 10am. We hope to see you there!

  •  9/8: Outreach Fair, 10am in the Courtyard
  • 9/21: Field Trip to Pickard’s Mountain, 1:30-4:30pm
  • 9/27: Meals on Wheels Food Truck Rodeo (volunteers welcome) 4-8pm Carrboro Farmer’s Market (
  • 10/9: Soup making for Project Connect (volunteers welcome) 9:30am at the church (
  • 10/10: Project Connect (volunteers welcome) 9-3:30pm Hargraves Community Center (
  • 10/6: Adult Education: David Jamieson Drake “Food and the Scriptures”
  • 10/13: Adult Education: Margaret Gifford, Founder of Farmer Foodshare “Food Insecurity.
  • Kickoff for Project 5000 to support IFC (
  • 10/20:,  Adult Education: Blair Pollock, Orange county Solid Waste Management “Food Waste.”
  • Project 5000 to support IFC (
  • 10/24: A viewing of the documentary “A Place at the Table” ( with moderated discussion by PORCH, 7:00pm in the Chapel (
  • 10/27: Adult Education: Dr. Ellen David, Duke Divinity School, “Genesis 1 and the abundance of food for ALL creatures. Project 5000 to support IFC (
  • 11/2: Final Sunday for Project 5000 to support IFC (
  • 11/13: RSVVP benefitting IFC (

For more information, contact Mary Kent Hill, Outreach Ministry Committee Chair at


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