Monthly Archives: June 2014

Opening ourselves up

One of the most enjoyable aspects of our new building will be the ways it opens us up to the campus and the community.   Our new back terrace, which runs across the south side of the building and faces out to the Arboretum, will be accessible from the parlor, the fellowship hall, the preschool rooms, and the playground.  The surface is ready for concrete, which will be poured next week, followed by brick pavers.  Underneath the terrace is the roof leader drainage system: all the rainwater for all the gutters will flow into pipes that are under the terrace.  Five drains down the length of the terrace will catch rainwater that falls and direct it to the system as well.

Out front, the sidewalks, parking lot, and landscaping will lead from the Franklin Street side to our new entrance, welcoming and accessible.  The workers removed six or seven inches of asphalt from the old parking lot and dug into the earth beneath to install a water junction box for various parts of the storm drainage system to come together beneath the newly paved lot.  While they dug, they discovered that the dirt beneath has an unacceptable amount of organic material in it.  These are unsuitable soils because the organic material rots and the new pavement will sink or even pump up and down almost like a water bed.  The workers are looking to bridge these soils with a special fabric that will stabilize the dirt and cut down on the number of times we have to apply asphalt.

Inside, our openness to campus and community continues.  The campus ministry center gains a new study and meeting room that will be used whenever possible for university seminars.  Our new reception area will flow easily into our new fellowship hall, the library and classroom that are being created out of our old dining room, and the parlor.  Architecture is program, and visitors and parishioners will “see” our mission in our new design.

Thank you for being open to this vision.  We have made it this far into the project using the development funds that you have already paid in.  Now we are beginning to draw upon our bank loan.  We very much appreciate the acceleration of remaining payments when possible, increases to your pledge, new contributions, or legacy gifts. For every $100,000 by which we can reduce the loan amount now, we save $69,000 in interest costs over the life of the project.  Click here to make an additional contribution, new gift or pledge payment to the capital campaign.

Walker Mabe

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June Vestry Actions

At its meeting on June 19, the Vestry:

Approved the recommendations of the ABC Sale Subcommittee for grants in the amounts of:

  • $11,150 to the IFC Capital Campaign
  • $5000 to Family Violence & Rape Crisis, Chatham
  • $1500 to Fuel Up Perry Harrison
  • $3000 to CCH Meals on Wheels
  • $2000 to Compass Center
  • $900 to Augustine Literacy Project
  • $1000 to El Futuro
  • $1200 to Friends of Orange/Chatham Guardian Ad Litem
  • $1800 to Mental Health America of the Triangle
  • $900 to Book Harvest
  • $2500 to Episcopal Farmworker Ministry
  • $1500 to Farmer Foodshare
  • $550 to LEAP
  • $500 to Transplanting Traditions

Approved the recommendations of the Outreach Ministry Committee for Community Partnership Grants in the amounts of:

  • $6000 to Freedom House
  • $4500 to Orange Alamance Prison Ministry
  • $4000 to Family Violence and Rape Crisis Chatham
  • $4000 to Habitat for Humanity
  • UNC Partnership
  • $4000 to Club Nova
  • $3000 to CCH Meals on Wheels
  • $2000 to El Futuro
  • $2000 to A Helping Hand
  • $2000 to Community Empowerment Fund
  • $2000 to Justice United
  • $2000 to MLK, Jr. Scholarship Fund
  • $1500 to Habitat for Humanity – A Brush With Kindness
  • $1500 to Iglesia El Buen Pastor
  • $1000 to Chapel of the Cross Preschool
  • $1000 to Orange County Rape Crisis Center
  • $500 to Faith Connections on Mental Health

Approved the recommendation of the Outreach Ministry Committee to increase the Community Partnership Grant for the Inter-Faith Council from $21,000 to $22,000

Approved the recommendation of the Outreach Ministry Committee for a one-time grant in the amount of $1000 to the Chatham Outreach Alliance food pantry

Approved the recommendation of the Finance Committee for re-structuring of the Oversight Committee to become a sub-committee of the Finance Committee and to extend the life of the committee through the final payment of the loan debt

Learned that the Johnson Intern Program is working on an ambitious three-year stategic plan to, among other changes, change its name to the Johnson Service Corps and expand the program from eight to twelve interns per year.

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Sitework begins and on-site parking ends…for a little while

We are beginning work on the setting for our beautiful jewel of a building — this includes paving and striping the parking lot and circular drive, laying down brick pavers for the sidewalks leading to our new entrances, and preparing the surface for the playground. The work will begin, as always, underground. Workers will complete the drainage from the storm trap to the road and install the stormwater structures. Concrete will go down as a surface for the brick sidewalk pavers. The playground builder will install his footings for the structure and the rubber surface will be poured in coordination with the installation of the actual structures.

During this period — about a month — there will be no parking anywhere at the Chapel of the Cross. To access the church on foot after parking elsewhere, use the stone sidewalk leading from the sidewalk on Franklin Street to the main church building. You should be able to enter through the cloister; if at any time that door is inaccessible, we will open the church proper. To enter the chapel, use the side door in the cloister. Call us if you need assistance at 919-929-2193.

There is parking available at meters on the street, in the Morehead parking lot, and in Town lots. Check out this map of parking options. Please call the office if you have special needs to make arrangements for dropping off passengers.

Volunteers such as office receptionists, choir members, and vestry and committee members may want to keep up with mileage from home and save parking receipts, as those expenses may be deductible as charitable contributions.

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Song without words

This week has been about windows — the gorgeous, gothic eye-poppers that define our new fellowship hall.  The three windows facing the arboretum are in, as are the two square windows near the Morehead building.

Each window is “flown in” to place, using a system of straps — called chokers — and pie-sized suction cups — called dogs — that hold the window secure at the end of a boom attached to a forklift.  The windows facing the arboretum weigh between 700 and 800 pounds each.  Next week, for the large windows, which weigh 1,200 to 1,500 pounds each, we will use a 6,000  pound forklift, as well as chokers and dogs.  It is a very specialized piece of construction work, accomplished by a journeyman installer who travels around the Southeast installing complicated windows.


Already you can stand in that half-constructed hall and get an  idea of how special that space will be and what a center of fellowship and evangelism Chapel of the Cross is gaining.  The soaring Gothic windows say it all without words.


Update will be on vacation next week, but the construction and the work of the church continue.  Thank you for your faithful support during the dog days of summer.  Click here to make a gift or pledge payment to the capital campaign.  Your annual fund pledge or pledge payment for 2014 supports our programming, outreach ministry, building upkeep, and staff.  Click here to support the annual fund and the work of the church at the Chapel of the Cross.

 Walker Mabe

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June Kitchen Notes

June is here; it is hard to believe that half the calendar year has passed. What is also passing is our time in our well-used kitchen! I hope you have had a chance to tour the new building. The soaring ceiling and windows in our new gathering space are truly beautiful. I could only peek into the kitchen by leaning over the yellow tape (shh…don’t tell the contractor) but what I could see looked very exciting.

Several meetings are scheduled this week to begin the planning for dismantling and reassembling the kitchen equipment that will be moved. Lots of you have emailed me to let me know that you would like to help with “the move.” Thank you so much. We are planning on mid-July. I am sure that there will be many details to be ironed out before then.

We plan on serving our traditional lemonade in the courtyard after the 10:00 services this summer. If you and your family could serve one Sunday, please let me know. Our Dinners on the Grounds are scheduled for the 4th Sunday of June, July, and August. And we will continue to minister to those who are grieving if we have funerals during the summer.

We have also begun to discuss how to use the new space. There are many questions to be answered: What will be allowed, encouraged, recommended, and acceptable? In addition to looking carefully at our unique situation, we are consulting policies of similar churches. Our location is in the heart of a wonderful town that lacks beautiful gathering places, so we expect many requests! However, what I am most excited about is that the new dining room will allow us to gather together. One of the priorities of our Strategic Mission and Ministry Plan is that we create “a living embodiment of Christian Community with a sense of belonging, fellowship, support and engagement.” I hope that this soaring space will allow us to do just that!

Many thanks for your continued support!

Ellen Cole

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Silent or otherwise

The centerpiece of our new drainage system is the storm trap that was installed this week in a huge hole (32 feet by 20 feet and about five feet deep) in front of the new building.  The trap consists of 11 pieces of concrete that fit together like a Chinese box.  They were lowered into the hole by a 100-ton crane onto an eight-inch-thick, rebar-reinforced, concrete slab.
In the future, every drop of rainwater that falls on or around our building will flow into the storm trap.  Rain on the roof will run into gutters and down the roof drain leaders and into pipes leading to the trap.  Rain that falls on pavers and bricks and concrete will run into drains all around the building and flow into the trap.


Pipes running from all directions — ranging in size from four to six to eight to 12 inches — will connect to the storm trap.  One large pipe — 15 inches in diameter — will direct the water at a stately pace into Orange County’s storm drainage system.


This drainage system includes our existing buildings as well as the new construction and will be the solution to decades of water problems — including an artesian spring under the Yates wing.  The trap includes a filter chamber and a sediment chamber that will be cleaned out from time to time.


The area around the concrete trap will be backfilled and covered with dirt on Monday.  Five manholes in the new parking lot surface will be the only clue that the storm trap is below, silently doing its job.
Thank you for your support, silent or otherwise!  It’s been a rough week at the office, with lots of noise and dust — but it’s resulting in a new sprinkler system for the entire physical plant.  Meanwhile weddings, Sunday services, and funerals carry on.  Click here to make a gift or pledge payment to the capital campaign. Your annual fund pledge or pledge payment for 2014 supports our programming, outreach ministry, building upkeep, and staff. Click here to support the annual fund and the work of the church at the Chapel of the Cross.


Join us for a tour of the new building between 10:15 and 11 on Sunday. Elementary school age children age nine and under will need to hold an adult’s hand throughout the tour.  A lego contruction site with adult supervision will be available in Room 5 in the basement for those who prefer not to take the tour.

Walker Mabe

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