Monthly Archives: September 2014

Congregational meeting called to adopt new vestry election process

Update makes way for several highly talented special correspondents this week.  Changes in procedures, processes, and programming are a natural and exciting outgrowth of a new building.  This email includes:
  • A congregational call to meeting from Senior Warden James Moeser
  • A news release describing the vestry’s action around the new voting process, written by Ted Vaden
  • The proposed by-laws that will be up for adoption on October 5
  • A Q&A addressing questions that might arise about the new process, written by Joe Ferrell
Call to Meeting from the Senior Warden
On behalf of the Vestry, I am calling a special meeting of the congregation of the Chapel of the Cross on Sunday, October 5 in the Great Hall of the new building at approximately 7 pm, following the dedication ceremony.  The purpose of this meeting is to consider an amendment to the parish bylaws concerning the election of the Vestry.  These changes, which are described in detail below, are intended to increase participation in the electoral process for all members of the parish.  They were prepared by a special task force, appointed by the Vestry, and chaired by Joe Ferrell.

Vestry adopts new Vestry election process
By Ted Vaden

The Vestry in August unanimously approved a new method for electing Vestry members that will allow wider participation of parishioners.

The new procedure will allow more people to participate in Vestry selection, allow the election to conclude in a single meeting in the new Great Hall and eliminate the need for runoff elections occurring over a period of weeks.

It replaces the current election process that allows voting only by members present at the Annual Meeting. That procedure in effect disenfranchised parishioners who couldn’t attend the Annual Meeting.

The new election rules were drawn up by a Bylaws Committee chaired by Joe Ferrell and including Eugene Dauchert, Mary Beth Grealey and Doug Kelly.  At its August 28 meeting, the Vestry unanimously accepted the proposed bylaw changes, which will be presented to the Parish for final approval at a congregational meeting on October 5.

The key features of the new election process are:
  • Nominations for Vestry members must be submitted four weeks before the Annual Meeting of the parish.
  • An Advisory Ballot listing all nominees will be distributed to all voting members of the parish at least two weeks before the Annual Meeting.
  • Parishioners will return completed ballots to the Parish Office by the Friday before the Sunday Annual Meeting.
  • Results will be reported at the Annual Meeting. Those who receive a majority will be elected by acclamation.
  • If fewer than four candidates receive a majority, parishioners at the Annual Meeting will vote by paper ballot to fill the remaining positions. Several rounds of balloting may be needed, but all balloting will be completed at the meeting until all seats are filled.
The Vestry saw several benefits to the new voting procedure. The main one is that it provides a means for every voting member of the parish to participate. The “advisory ballot” concept gets around a diocesan requirement for voting in person, since a final vote still will occur at the Annual Meeting.

The procedure eliminates the need for multiple votes at separate services and for runoff votes on later dates.

And perhaps most pleasing, the single-venue, single-day election will allow for an Annual Meeting in the Great Hall that combines fellowship with business.

Walker Mabe

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September Vestry Actions

At its meeting on September 18, the Vestry:

  • Met over supper for informal conversation with the eight members of the new class of the Johnson Service Corps;
  • Approved a proposed revision to the By-laws of the Preschool at the Chapel of the Cross;
  • Learned that at a called meeting of the parish on Sunday, October 5, following the blessing of the new facilities by Bishop Curry and a potluck dinner, parishioners will be asked to approve proposed revisions to the By-laws of the Chapel of the Cross, will be introduced to the Annual Campaign, and will hear a state of the parish address by the Rector.

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Going up

We can safely say we are in the final phases of our big project.  Parishioners, staff, designers, inspectors, contractors, and subcontractors are working hand in hand to bring everything to a conclusion.

  • A row of cedars and holly bushes lines the pavement beside the Morehead parking lot.  Rich turf surrounds the entrance and the historic marker beside the chapel.  Cyclists can park their steeds at handsome bike racks.  The playground awaits.
  • The new elevator has been commissioned and staff trained in all its various functions.  The slate floor matches the floor in the entrance hall and the walls are wooden paneling with stainless steel accents. We all look forward to going up together!
  • A cohort of workers has been beneath the parking lot, via the manholes, checking on the storm trap to see how it’s been performing over the past six weeks.  They will be back to check again in a couple of months.
  • The HVAC contractors and control system designers have been fine-tuning and tweaking the HVAC, including the old systems in the church and chapel, which are not new but are governed by new controls.  This Sunday you may see signs that our system is being watched!
  • The beautiful reception desk and library shelves — built from red oak from the trees we cut down a year ago — are ready to be put into service.
  • The transition committee is preparing for the move from temporary quarters into the new building, set to occur at this writing next week.

It’s happening!  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.

Plan to attend the Outreach and Engagement Fair with Dinner on the Grounds on September 28. Celebrate the dedication of the building on October 5, followed by a potluck and a special congregational meeting.  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?

Walker Mabe

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August Vestry Actions

At its meeting on August 28, the Vestry:

  • Approved the recommendation of the Outreach Ministry Committee for disbursal of a one-time grant of $1000 to Our Children’s Place for their advocacy programs on behalf of the children of incarcerated parents
  • Approved the revised By-Laws of the Chapel of the Cross to be presented to the parish for approval at a called Parish Meeting on Sunday, October 5
  • Designated a previously parish-approved by-law as a Vestry By-Law
  • Authorized the Finance Committee to issue a request for proposals in the process of engaging a new auditor.

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Doubling of community

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?

Walker Mabe

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