Sometimes we don’t even know we are waiting for a sign until one shows up. The latter days of a construction project are filled with delays, disappointments, misinterpretations, petty squabbles, inexplicable paperwork, tempests in a teapot, and minor crises. Those of us working in the building had reached — and passed — our equilibrium point about three weeks ago. Then the bees showed up.
Sometime during the holiday weekend, construction workers noticed a swarm of bees “bearding” on a bright yellow scrubbing mop upended in a trash can near the new entrance. By Tuesday, the bees — following their queen — were converged on the dirt patch in front of the new brick entrance sidewalk.
We reached Chris Richmond, a member of the Orange County Beekeepers Association, as he was heading out to a hive he keeps in Hillsborough. He immediately turned around, fetched his bee gathering equipment, and came to pick up the swarm. “Bees are too important right now to delay,” he told us.
According to Mr. Richmond, our swarm was fairly small — about 5,000 bees. He speculated that they had come from the community garden off Battle Lane. We knew that bees represent royalty, industry, teamwork, and fertility. We asked Mr. Richmond, a 1992 graduate of UNC-CH, what he thought it meant, these bees landing in front of our new door.
“It’s a doubling of community,” he said. “where there was one hive, now there are two. The old hive outgrew their space and they sent out scouts to find a new home.”
The beekeeper set to work enticing the queen inside the wooden hive box. The rest of the bees began walking in through the narrow entrance, like churchgoers on a Sunday morning — purposeful, orderly, eager, intent. To speed up the process the beekeeper rigged up a vacuum to lightly suction some of them into another box. He donned a hood for the vacuuming operation, but he noted that swarming bees are generally not aggressive — they have other things on their minds.
And so we were reminded why we are doing all this. We knew instinctively that it was time to double our community — to increase our membership, strengthen our outreach, broaden our programming, change our way of connecting and communicating. Soon we will be living into our new hive, together.
You are here. As we begin a new era of worship and ministry, watch for ways to get oriented physically and grounded spiritually in our new home. We are preparing maps and signs, planning gatherings large and small, and highlighting the involvement of diverse and varied parishioners in the work of the Chapel of the Cross.
Come to one of the five services on September 7, participate in the Outreach and Engagement Fair on September 28, and celebrate the dedication of the building on October 5. Begin to discern how you will be present at the Chapel of the Cross and what your gifts will be as we live into our legacy.
This fall we will also open the 2015 annual fund campaign, You Are Here. The annual fund supports our programming, outreach ministry, building upkeep, and staff. Just a few weeks remain in 2014 — is your Spirit at Work
pledge up to date?