Monthly Archives: January 2014

January Vestry Actions

At its meeting on January 23, the Vestry:

  • Authorized the Oversight Committee to enter into change orders necessary to permit the third floor of the new building to be fully finished, at a cost currently estimated at $334,000
  • Authorized the Oversight Committee to enter into such other change orders as it deems necessary in order to complete the project consistent with the Final Financing Plan, at an aggregate incremental cost not to exceed $200,000
  • Authorized an increase in the project’s reserves from $160,000 to $200,000, to be maintained indefinitely for use in addressing extraordinary circumstances and otherwise for use in complying with the loan covenant that requires the Chapel of the Cross to maintain a minimum of $300,000 in liquidity at all times
  • Approved the 2014 Operating Budget
  • Made plans to reassess, at a meeting no later than the Vestry meeting of May 22, its ability to provide salary increases for clergy and staff and restore cuts to program
  • Questioned whether the current level of professional and support staff at the Chapel of the Cross is a sustainable financial model for 2015 and future years and charged the Personnel Committee with addressing this issue and recommending a sustainable model to the Vestry in time for implementation in budget year 2015
  • Accepted the declarations of housing allowance submitted by the clergy for 2014
  • Made plans to propose at the Annual Meeting on March 2 amendments to the parish by-laws to provide for the conduct of meetings by teleconference, videoconference, or other such technologies that allow all participants to hear each other at the same time and to participate in discussion and to provide for conduct of votes without an actual meeting, an exception being the Annual Meeting.

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Vestry votes to move forward with total vision for building

The vestry of the Chapel of the Cross voted tonight to move forward with the completion of the entire parish hall project as designed — ground floor, first floor, second floor, and third floor!

Basing its decision on the thorough groundwork of the project oversight committee, the project roadmap, and the final financing plan, the vestry felt empowered by the overwhelming response of parishioners and benefactors in the last push to raise funds needed to complete the project without increasing debt burden or endangering the annual operating budget.  The vestry approved the following:

  • The vestry authorized the oversight committee to enter into the change orders necessary to fully finish the third floor
  • The vestry authorized the oversight committee to enter into change orders as necessary to pay for items that should have been, but were not, included in the original plans and to restore items that were eliminated from the designs in the budget-setting process
  • The project reserve was increased from $160,000 to $200,000 to be maintained indefinitely

Since the adoption of the final financing plan in April 2013, the parish has secured an impressive increase in incremental resources:

  • $440,000 in new legacy pledges or changes to existing legacy pledges
  • $140,000 in unbudgeted cash contributions
  • $50,000 in new pledges
  • $270,000 in accelerated payments of regular pledges

The vestry was able to add the third floor back into the project for virtually the same price as was estimated eight months ago: $334,619.  The additional items — all essential for the effective use of the new building — will total about $200,000 in change orders. The oversight committee believes that it will be possible to raise this additional $200,000 prior to the end of 2014 without having to borrow more money and without any further changes to the project budget.

Join us for a guided tour of the new building this Sunday, January 26, between 9:45 and 11:45 am.  A safe route will be set up through the building and maps will be provided, with guides on each floor. The tour is limited to ages 15 and over.  Come and see your vision as it starts to take real shape!

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French and House Scholarships

Applications for the French and House scholarships are open until March 1!

HOUSE SCHOLARSHIP  – The House Scholarship was established in 1975 by the will of the late Helen Badham House, and is named in memory of Mrs. House and her husband, the late Henry Charles House, Jr. Recipients must be able, needy undergraduate students who attend or will attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and must be Episcopalians.  Names of all applicants will be forwarded to the Student Aid Office of UNC-CH for determination of financial need.  In addition to church affiliation, selection will be based on need and ability.

Application Procedure – Applications with supporting documentation shall be submitted in writing to the House Scholarship Committee of the Chapel of the Cross and shall be deposited in the Episcopal Campus Ministry mailbox in the Church office.  Application forms and information are available in the Church office.

Administration – Applications are solicited annually through the Episcopal Campus Ministry and parish publications. Applications will be reviewed by a three-member panel of the University Ministry Committee, appointed by the chair.  The panel will submit its recommendations to the Vestry for its approval.

FRENCH SCHOLARSHIP –  The G. Edward French Scholarship* is awarded annually by the Vestry of the Chapel of the Cross to one or more regularly enrolled full-time undergraduate students in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  The recipient must be a communicant of the Episcopal Church** or a church within the Anglican Communion.  Primary consideration is given to evidence of past and/or present active involvement in the mission of the Church whether at the parish or diocesan level or through outreach to the community or to the world at large.  Each scholarship recipient must maintain a grade point average of at least 2.0.  Failure to maintain a 2.0 average shall constitute grounds for revocation of the award.

Application Procedure – Applications shall be submitted in writing to the French Scholarship Committee of the Chapel of the Cross and shall be deposited in the Episcopal Campus Ministry mailbox in the Church office.  Application forms and information are available in the Church office. Applicants for the French Scholarship shall also submit a proposal for a service project for the parish or the diocese, the community or the world at large.

Administration – Applications are solicited annually through the Episcopal Campus Ministry and parish publications.  Applications will be reviewed by a three-member panel of the University Ministry Committee, appointed by the chair. The panel will submit its recommendations to the Vestry for its approval.

 * The French Scholarship honors the life and service of G. Edward French. It does not require any commitment to the study of French history, culture, or language.

** Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church, 1985. Title I. Canon 17, Sect. 1(a) and Sect 2(a) Definitions.  A member of this Church is a person who has been baptized with water in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and whose baptism has been duly recorded in this Church. A    communicant is a member who has received the Holy Communion in this Church at least three times during the preceding year. 

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Duke Scholars on Islam Explore Interfaith Issues

The Chapel of the Cross family will have a unique opportunity to explore interfaith issues with two authorities on Islam during the adult education hour, beginning this Sunday, January 26.

David Marshall, PhD, Associate Professor of the Practice of Christian-Muslim Relations and Director of the Anglican House of Studies at Duke Divinity School, will present a four-part series, “Toward Understanding Islam,” on January 26 and February 2, 9, and 16. Mona F. Hassan, PhD, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Duke University, will speak on “Great Women of Islam” on February 23.

About the time Dr. Marshall arrived at Duke in 2012, a year ago, the Adult Education and Formation Committee (AEFC) was exploring ideas for interfaith presentations for the adult education hour.  “I met Dr. Marshall and realized that here was the right person for us,” said David Frazelle, associate priest for parish ministry at Chapel of the Cross, who leads the AEFC. “Not only was he a scholar in Islamic studies, but he also struck me as a deeply prayerful, faithful person—one whose faith is contagious in a quiet way.”

Dr. Marshall is an ordained priest in the Church of England and has a doctorate in Islamic Studies. He has taught in universities in England, and for five years, served as chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury. Before coming to Duke, he was a research fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University.

Dr. Hassan is an assistant professor of Islamic Studies and History at the Department of Religious Studies at Duke. She recently received fellowships from both the American Council of Learned Societies and the Social Science Research Council.

David Frazelle explained his and the AEFC’s hopes for this series on Islam. “We believe that our faith is enriched when we engage other faiths. Differences stand out and help us understand what’s distinctive about our religions. At the same time, similarities emerge and increase our sense of the unity of God’s whole family.”

He added, “David Marshall has helped me clarify that interfaith dialogue is an important part of Christian practice—not an interest off to the side.” He encourages parishioners to attend the talks in the adult education series from 10:20 to 11:05 for the coming five Sundays, beginning on January 26.

Introducing Drs. Marshall and Hassan will be parishioner Marilyn McNamara, a member of the AEFC who first proposed offering interfaith sessions.

As a companion to the Sunday morning programs on “Understanding Islam” and “Great Women in Islam,” a five-week evening program will be held at Chapel of the Cross on Mondays from 7:00-8:30 pm, to provide an opportunity for small group discussion of interfaith issues. Viewing short video clips featuring Eboo Patel, the founder of Interfaith Youth Core (, will be followed by reflection time in small groups. To register, contact Boykin Bell at .

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Trinity Wall St. Church Choir Concert

The Grammy-nominated choir from Trinity Wall Street, featuring our own Molly Quinn, will perform at the Chapel of the Cross on Wednesday, Jan. 29, at 8:00 p.m.

We are most fortunate to have this opportunity, as the choir will perform on Thursday the 30th as part of the Carolina Concert series. The two concerts will feature completely different programs. Both programs will be part of the HIP (Historically Informed Performance) Festival. HIP is sponsoring two additional concerts at COTC on the afternoon of the 26th and the morning of the 29th.

Cost of the Trinity Choir performance is $25 for adults; $15 for senior citizens and students. Members of the Cantus and Junior choirs may attend for free. Purchase your tickets online now or in the church office weekdays during office hours or on Sunday mornings. Checks, cash, and credit cards accepted.

Tickets purchased before 5:00 p.m. on January 24, will be mailed to you. After 5:00 p.m. on January 24, you will need to pick up your tickets in the parish office.

The cost of a ticket also includes a reception afterwards with the members of the choir. Call 919-929-2193 with questions.

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Developing Character

Our building is suddenly developing character — Gothic windows, pointed dormers, sloping rooflines, welcoming porches, and interior walls.  We are beginning to see how this 30,000-square-foot giant will actually stand in a subordinate role to our church and chapel, while playing a major role in our Christian formation and outreach.

The workers are busy erecting metal studs where the interior walls will be, roughing in the plumbing, mechanical, and electrical infrastructure as they go.  Outside, preparations are underway to build the terrace overlooking the arboretum and the front porch that will be our main entrance.  The view from the third floor is marvelous!

Inside, we seem busier than ever.  The campus center bustles with students and their Tuesday night dinners attract a large and lively crowd.  English as a Second Language classes take place four mornings a week.  We field requests from outside groups for meeting and storage space weekly.  Our own groups — EYC, CrossTies, Centering Prayer, the choir potluck — keep the kitchen, dining room, and classrooms busy.  The winter and spring concert calendar is full.  At times, volunteers fill the hallways. And this doesn’t even touch on Sunday activity!

It’s exciting to start thinking about how we will live into this Galilee building.  How will our character as a congregation grow and change in this new place?  The vestry will adopt the 2014 budget at its meeting next week. How will this budget reflect our dreams and intentions for the new building?  We won’t budget for pledges we don’t have.  Have you made your pledge?

Walker Mabe

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A roof over our heads

We’ve survived the polar vortex and the bitter cold, despite some emergency plumbing that had to take place.  The temporary sewer line that runs 400 feet from the lift station in the basement out to the manhole in the parking lot froze and burst during the record low temperatures.  There was no evidence of this inside our building, except that the water had to be turned off for a 24-hour period.  The line was replaced and buried and that problem solved.  Water was restored just in time for Cantus and Junior choir practice on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the architects met with the contractors and engineers this week to develop a new rendition of roof pitches so that the old roof and the new roof will match up.  The marriage of the two roofs will require a cold form overlay — basically solving the problem in the field the old fashioned way, using plumb lines to assure the pitches work properly.  Once the overlay, composed of metal studs over the steel at the roof intersections, is in place and pitches are determined, the roofers will begin work.

A good roof — like ours — requires several layers: the metal roof decking, a fiberglass board layer for fire protection, a layer of insulation, a sheet of plywood, an ice and water shield to dry-in the building, and finally the slate or synthetic slate.  Once we have a good roof over our heads, we will be able to begin on the interiors in earnest.

Finally, you may have noticed that five or so parking places have been freed up in the gravel lot, which opens up more spaces on the circle.  Once the crane completes its roof work, the trades currently using the rest of the lot will be able to move closer to the building, opening up even more parking.

It’s budgeting time.  We base our budget on the revenue numbers from the pledges we have received-and we are still about $200,000 short of our goal for 2014.  Some numbers in the budget, like utilities and maintenance, are static and cannot be reduced.  Without your pledge, we are forced to cut outreach and programming.  The vestry will approve the 2014 budget at its January meeting, and we won’t budget for pledges we don’t have.  Have you made your pledge?

Walker Mabe

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December Vestry Actions

At its meeting on December 19, the Vestry:

  • Approved the recommendation of the Outreach Ministry Committee for disbursement of funds from the Discretionary Outreach line item in the amounts of $500 to Habitat Brush with Kindness and $1072.26 to Meals on Wheels
  • Received an update on the building project from the Project Oversight Committee
  • Received an update on the Annual Campaign
  • Authorized Treasurer John Pegram to sign documents in connection with an IRA bequeathed to the Chapel of the Cross from the estate of Frances Widmann
  • Approved suspension of the usual practice of tithing undesignated bequests and designated the funds from the IRA from the estate of Frances Widmann to be placed in the Capital Campaign Fund
  • Were reminded of the policy that only those wearing a hard hat and having had safety training may be on the construction site
  • Learned that tours of the entire building site during a time when construction is not taking place will be arranged for a Sunday in January to be determined.

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Men’s Spirituality Group

Beginning Saturday, January 25, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., each Saturday for 10 weeks

For study:  Adam’s Return:  The Five Promises of Male Initiation, by Richard Rohr

Drawing on Richard Rohr’s book Adam’s Return, the Men’s Spirituality Group will become a center of learning, devoting study time to deepen our faith and knowledge; a place for pastoral care as we pray and support one another on our own spiritual journey; and a safe place where we can speak from our “true self,” not just from the head, but the heart.  It will be a group where we can tell our stories; explore our spiritual lives and our relationship with God, ourselves and others; and an avenue for healing and reconciliation to become Wise Men and Sages. There will be a time for “checking in” on what’s going on in our lives; a time to study the book and other spiritual writings; and a time for prayer for our own ministries, needs, individual concerns and healing prayers. Our time together will be flexible to be able to adapt to the needs of the group and its members as we grow together.

Led by Paul C. Volk, MSW, Spiritual Director (919-542-4109

“If you we do not transform our pain, we will transmit it in some form.”  Richard Rohr.

Paul Volk is a small-group facilitator, workshop leader and spiritual director. Paul has 30 years experience working with special education students and their families. He also had a private counseling practice in New York.  Paul holds a Master’s degree in social work from Fordham University’s School of Social Service, and a Master’s of Education (Special Education) from the College of New Rochelle. He also completed the certificate program in Spiritual Direction at General Theological Seminary, as well as completing the two-year program at the School of Christian Healing at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Darien, Connecticut.  He is on the faculty of the Servant Leadership School of Greensboro NC.  Paul is on the Core team and a spiritual guide at the Friends of Christ School for Christian Spirituality in Chapel Hill.  He is a member of St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Pittsboro.

Paul believes that telling, hearing and listening to our own and other’s personal stories, leads to healing and reconciliation.

Submitted by Brad Taylor (

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Hurry, Cinderella

The connections between our existing buildings and the new parish hall grow stronger day by day.  The stair tower in the corner of the Yates wing flanking the new building has been closed for several weeks as the workers extend it into the new third floor space.  The photo at right shows the work on the third floor from the vantage point of our old stairway.  An additional stair and elevator tower, part of the new construction, will reach from the ground floor classroom area all the way up to the third floor choir and youth rooms.

Let’s make sure those stairways lead somewhere.  Make your tax deductible contribution before the clock strikes midnight tomorrow night!

So many of you have made new Building to Serve pledges and contributions, extended your pledges, completed your 2013 pledges, and advanced payments for 2014 and beyond.  You have recognized the importance of our annual operating fund as well; we will use your Spirit at Work pledges to finalize our 2014 budget next month.  Just a few more hours in 2013 to bring pledges current, make  tax deductible contributions, and notify us of your annual fund intentions for next year.

The church office will be open all day on the 31st, and is closed for New Year’s day.  You may bring your gift to the staff in the church office or drop it in the secure mail slot on the main office door. Call us during office hours and we will take your pledge over the phone and fill out the online form for you.  Mail your gift– just be sure it is postmarked by December 31st!  Online pledging is available 24/7!

Walker Mabe

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