Monthly Archives: November 2014

We love to tell the story

Sunday marks the end of the public phase of the annual campaign, and we are taking the chance to gather together in worship followed by a Thanksgiving feast in the Great Hall.

We have so much to be thankful for: a beautiful church filled with the sound of holy music, powerful preaching, and time-honored liturgy; a historic chapel that hosts our children each Sunday and gently sets them on the long the road to a lifetime of faith; a truly remarkable parish house that opens its doors ever wider to admit families, volunteers, leaders, seekers, and the surrounding community to experience all that we have to give — Christian formation, spiritual growth, fellowship, hospitality, outreach, and pastoral care.

Come to church and children’s chapel on Sunday at 10 am.  Share in the moment as we offer your pledges at the altar.   Stay for lunch. Bring a side dish or dessert to share.  The kitchen guild (in the person of Ken Stynes) will have been cooking turkeys, hams and mashed potatoes all day on Saturday.  The tables and chairs will all be set up in the Great Hall.  There will be some singing, a bit of talking, and lot of Thanksgiving.

In church, and afterwards, take a moment to look around you and give thanks for your fellow parishioners. Engaged, committed, enthusiastic, articulate — what great stories they have shared as part of the You Are Here campaign.

Perri, Carter, Phereby, and Hamner Kersh

The Kersh family’s relationship with the Chapel of the Cross began with preschool. Now they are here for Carter’s involvement in vestry and as a senior high church school teacher; for Perri’s work with outreach and children and family ministry; for Phereby’s EYC and Youth Council activities; and for Hamner’s participation in junior choir. “We just leapt in,” said Perri. “We like to feel that connection to people, and it’s the people who bring us here.”

Ginny Runge

Ginny is here for senior choir and women’s Bible study. Ginny and her husband Jeff graduated from Sewanee and knew they would attend the Episcopal church when they moved to Chapel Hill four years ago. COTC’s historic buildings and traditional services, its “extremely talented” clergy, and its “marvelous music program,” combined with its more progressive congregation, made a “perfect fit.” Until the new parlor became available, Ginny hosted the women’s Bible study on second Tuesdays. “It’s important to me to be able to share my spiritual journey and hear about the journeys of others,” she said. “Sharing builds community.”

Dot McLaughlin

Dot is here for the people and because she likes to stay busy. She moved to Chapel Hill 20 years ago, newly widowed, to take a position as a sorority house mother right across the street. People just seem to reach out to Dot: she was asked to chair the accessory room at the ABC Sale; she was asked to help deliver loaves of bread to newcomers; she was asked to make her famous cucumber sandwiches for funeral receptions. Every time she said yes. More recently, she has been painting the walls in the Yates wing and helping to teach vacation church school. “I like using my time to help others,” she said.

Phil Rees

Phil is here as a lector and, with his wife Peg, as an usher. A member since, 1968, Phil sang in the choir on his very first weekend in Chapel Hill, when he was here to interview for the post of art librarian at the University. He took that job and began a career of service at the Chapel of the Cross. He enjoys lay reading and is “happy to participate.” He was one of the first lectors to read the Prayers of the People following the adoption of the 1979 prayer book. He has lent his expertise towards the upkeep and preservation of the historic Chapel.

Lydia and Andrew Harrell

Lydia and Andrew are here for Sunday worship. Lydia was part of ECM during her undergrad years; when she and Andrew returned to Chapel Hill for his matriculation at dental school, it was natural to return. She accompanied Andrew to inquirers class and was received when he was confirmed, in the spring of 2013. The couple is still very close to the people who participated in the inquirers class. As a student, Lydia babysat for the Conrad family; she especially enjoyed seeing Lucille as Mary in the Christmas pageant this year. Normally 9 o’clockers, they attend compline as well. They find COTC a wonderful balance of young and old, singles and families, and university and non-university. “We love the aesthetic of the church, and walking down Franklin to street to church on a Sunday morning,” Lydia said.

Susan Leete

Susan is here for the music program and the parish choir. Married at COTC in the mid-80s, Susan returned to this parish a year ago. “This is my spiritual home,” she said. “I felt welcomed and immediately warmed by the beauty of the worship and the outstanding music program.” Susan is a member of the parish choir, which is not auditioned and which sings at the 5:15 service a couple of times a month. When she is not singing, she attends the 11:15 service for its “uplifting” music. “It has been a wonderful experience,” she said.

Henrietta Croom

Henrietta is here as an office volunteer. Originally from Hillsborough, Henry graduated from UNC and taught biology at Sewanee for 36 years. When she retired to Chapel Hill in 2012, the presence of several Sewanee graduates — including associate priest David Frazelle — drew her to COTC. About a year ago, she asked Stephen Elkins-Williams how she could be of service to the parish. He steered her to the office volunteer position. “Any new parishioner should do this — it’s wonderful,” she said. “I have learned so much, met so many people, and been so impressed by what an enterprise this is.”

Will you help tell the story? The general operating fund supports the next big chapter in the story of the Chapel if the Cross.  The 2015 annual campaign is coming to an end.  Use the pledge packet you received in the mail, pick up a pledge card in the pew on Sunday, or access the online 2015 annual fund pledge page. Discern your ability to contribute and respond to the call with a pledge for 2015, even if you are unable to contribute. And come celebrate! We look forward to your part in the story.


Walker Mabe

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Christmas Trees, Festive Wreaths, and Altar Poinsettias

You can’t put it off any longer.  It’s time to start thinking — a bit — about the holidays.  Thank goodness we have mindful ways to mark the holiday — beautiful Ashe County trees, wreathes of aromatic greenery from Maine, and lovingly arranged poinsettias on the altar in memory or thanksgiving for those we love.

Ashe County Christmas Trees for WeCare

For the 16th year, the Chapel of the Cross is participating in the WeCare Christmas tree sale. WeCare operates under the authority of the Blue Ridge Opportunity Commission and puts all of the money it raises into very basic needs of elderly Ashe County residents. Please consider ordering a beautiful Ashe County Christmas tree from WeCare. We deliver straight to your door from the mountains of North Carolina!

Orders are due by November 25; delivery will be Sunday afternoon November 30 or by arrangement. Contact or Pete Andrews of Chapel of the Cross ( for full information, price list and order form, or click here.

Merry Christmas Wreaths
Episcopal Campus Ministry is selling Christmas Wreaths for the 16th year with all proceeds benefiting our Spring Pilgrimage of Peace and Reconciliation to England and France. The wreaths come from Wotton’s Evergreens in Far Eastern Maine where the Balsam permeates everything year round. The cost of each wreath is $36.00. They are delivered fresh to your door the latter part of the first week of December. Students will be available following the services November 16 and 23 to receive your orders. Order Forms are also available at the reception desk and online at the parish website.

Advent Wreaths and the Jesse Tree

Our Advent Wreath Making and Jesse Tree event will be held the first Sunday of Advent, November 30, in the Great Hall from 10:20-11:05.  Donations of greenery – cedar, boxwoods, holly, etc. – are needed, as are volunteers to help sell florist’s rings and candles.  Please contact Boykin Bell at if you can help.

Altar Poinsettias as Memorials and Thanksgivings

Beautiful poinsettias will grace the altars of our church and chapel for Christmas.  Many of you will want to make a donation to memorialize or honor those you love and think of so strongly during the Christmas season.  You can use the same order form online as you do to order altar flowers for Sundays throughout the year.

It’s a simple yet powerful way to honor a loved one, glorify God, and beautify the altar. Flowers can be donated in honor of a living person or in memory of someone who has died or in thanksgiving for friends or family. Their names will appear in all the Christmas bulletins.

Please consider a donation to the flower fund for Christmas poinsettias on the altar.  We need your order by Friday, December 19 to be included in the bulletins. For poinsettias, we suggest a donation of $25 — although any gift will be gratefully received.

To use our online donation link click on the upper right hand corner of the calendar to get to December and click on December 24 or 25. Indicate whether you would like to put flowers in the church or the chapel, list the names of those you are honoring or memorializing, note that these are Christmas flowers or poinsettias in the special instruction box, and pay for it with your credit or debit card.  You will have a chance to review all your instructions and you will also receive an email receipt.

Of course you can do the same with a check and a note as well!  Hard copy forms will be available in the back of the church and at the front desk.  You can pay with a credit card at the front desk as well as a check or cash.

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Wish you were here

Now is your chance to make a difference at the Chapel of the Cross.  Our parish is an impressive operation, with five worship services on Sunday and five regular weekly services, a bustling kitchen, a thriving outreach program, and Christian formation opportunities across all age groups and stages of life.

Whatever your talent and whenever you have the time, we have a place for you.  We are blessed with many dedicated volunteers: in our kitchen, at our reception desk, in all aspects of our worship, caring for our buildings, working with our children and youth, and reaching out into the community and the world.

There is still room for you.  Our kitchen is now regularly turning out dinners, receptions, meals for the homebound, and the food that fosters fellowship.  Our parish house is now an attractive venue for wedding receptions, university functions, charity events, and workshops, seminars, and classes.  Our basement rooms are used every day by after school programs, ESL classes, 12-step groups, support groups, and amateur performance groups.  The Episcopal Campus ministry is embracing its expanded and refurbished student center — just in time for exams.  We minister to four continuing care retirement centers with regular worship and pastoral care.  Our outreach is centered around thoughtfully selected focus areas that enable us to make a real difference outside the parish while equipping our members to take on the issues that are important to them.

Won’t you join us?  Add yourself to our talent pool!

Ellen Cole

Ellen is here to manage the kitchen. When she and her family moved here in 2004, they decided to look around at several different churches; however, as they drove down Franklin Street one afternoon, her children spotted COTC and declared “That is where we are going to church.” Ellen became involved in the ABC Sale, youth ministry, the women’s retreat, and the women’s initiative. A year ago, we asked her to join the staff as part-time kitchen manager. “I truly think the kitchen can bring together all parts of the church,” she said. “It is a place of community and fellowship, the heart of our gatherings.”

Mary and Bob Chase

Mary and Bob are here for Episcopal Campus Ministry. When they came to the area in 1986, it seemed like home, mostly because of “the little chapel that is so dear to our hearts,” said Mary. Twenty-five years ago, a student who was living with them invited them to ECM and the Chases “just fell in love.” They’ve been attending ECM events ever since, helping to prepare meals, offering a listening ear and a comforting adult presence. The Chases have volunteered together as ushers, as Monday-morning tellers, and as enthusiastic supporters of numerous outreach ministries, but they are most strongly identified with ECM. Calling themselves the “oldest of the oldies,” the Cases feel privileged to be able to spend time with the University students. “The potential in these young adults is just enormous,” Mary said. “They do such wonderful things-we can sit back and be retired and know that the world is going to be fine!”

Ann Henley

Ann is here for Global Mission. She came to Chapel of the Cross as a Methodist, attended Inquirers Classes, and was confirmed by Bishop Williamson. Lay reader was her first role, but after hearing Archbishop Desmond Tutu speak at a conference, she felt called to begin planning mission trips, first to Africa and now to Honduras. She is busy planning COTC’s fifth mission trip to Honduras, where the mission team will continue our work with Kim and Mike Miller at La Esperanza de Jesus, a ministry to abused and abandoned children. Although she has a global vision, she is firmly rooted here. “This place is where we go out from and where we come back to,” she said, “spreading the Word and offering hospitality.”

Peg Rees

Peg is here for altar guild. Peg followed her husband Phil to Chapel Hill after their marriage in 1970. The two met while singing in a choral society at an Episcopal church in NYC. “I assume you’ll want to be in the choir,” he said on their first Sunday here. Thus began a long tradition of attending the 9 o’clock service with their children and then singing at the 11:15. Twenty-five years, ago, the Rector asked her to be on the altar guild. “I love the fellowship of the team,” she said, “and our caring for each other and the opportunity to be of service in the background.” You can often find her here on a Saturday morning, seeing what flowers the florist has delivered and making up the arrangements that grace our altar.

Kay Mann

Kay is here as a birthday caller, part of COTC’s pastoral care ministry. She and fellow parishioner Susan Munn make weekly calls to parishioners who are having birthdays. She loves the parish and she loves her volunteer job. “Each week is unique,” she said. “I enjoy speaking to the very old, the very young, and the teenagers, who always have big plans for their birthdays.” Many times she reaches an answering machine, taking delight in the variety and humor of people’s recorded messages.   “This is a great way to serve the church,” she said.

Lila Wolff

Lila is here to work as an office volunteer. Eight years ago she retired to Chapel Hill from Washington, DC. A lifelong Episcopalian, Lila was immediately embraced by the congregation and got involved in Bible study, Foyer dinner group, the Lenten study group, and as an office volunteer. “Chapel of the Cross was friendly, welcoming, comfortable, and familiar,” she said. “And they were not at war over anything!” Lila was the first volunteer to take a shift at our new reception desk in the new building. “I enjoy the interaction with others and being of service,” she said.

Wish you were here. A strong budget makes for strong programs that attract strong volunteers.  The 2015 annual campaign is underway.  You should have received a pledge packet in the mail. The online 2015 annual fund pledge page has been activated. Please prayerfully discern your ability to contribute and respond to the call with a pledge for 2015, even if you are unable to contribute

Now is your chance to celebrate as we conclude our campaign and give thanks!  On November 23 there will be ONE SPECIAL SERVICE at 10 am in the church, followed by a Thanksgiving feast for everyone in the Great Hall.  Whatever type of food constitutes Thanksgiving joy in your house, bring a side dish or dessert to share.  Let us know what you will be bringing here or by emailing We will provide the festive bird!

Walker Mabe

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The future’s so bright we have to wear shades

Together we continue to settle in to our new building and our refurbished old spaces. From the preschool to the youth room, the bright future of our parish is there for all to see in our children and youth ministry.  Attendance at Children’s Chapel is climbing; our youth are engaged in a full menu of retreats, mission trips, and service projects. The Junior and Cantus choirs cause our building to vibrate with their enthusiasm on Wednesdays and our church to echo with their song on Sundays. Some 250 children and youth are touched by the Chapel of the Cross and its church school, music program, EYC, and worship. Take a peek with us at the engaged, committed, and articulate younger members and families at the Chapel of the Cross:

Leigh Ann and Yvette Dasher

Leigh Ann is here to help lead Children’s Chapel every Sunday. Children gather on the playground and process into the chapel while their parents are in the 9 am church service. The children listen to a story and are guided in some discussion; there is much joyful singing as well! There is an opportunity for each little worshiper to share joys and concerns, followed by the Lord’s Prayer in unison while holding hands in a circle. “It is the sweetest service-just so tender,” said Leigh Ann. Yvette is a regular in the Nursery.

Bert Dasher

Bert is here at the Preschool at the Chapel of the Cross. He is a member of the Bears class-three year olds-and attends five days a week for a half-day. He likes playing, eating, music, and art. And all of his teachers!

Rachel Danner 

Rachel is here for EYC and Junior Choir. She began coming to EYC in the sixth grade; now, as a junior in high school, she is an active member of the Youth Council, helping plan EYC activities and mission trips. Her goal this year is to reach out to more teens and involve them in the friendship and fellowship. Rachel has been singing in the choir since first grade. “Dr. Quinn makes it fun,” she said. “From the rehearsals to the services to the Wednesday potluck-it’s a real community.”

Harrison Danner

Harrison is here as an acolyte, as a youth assistant in Children’s Chapel, and as an EYC’er. He enjoys being behind the scenes and getting a different perspective of church from the point of view of an acolyte. As a Youth Saint, he sets up and cleans up for Children’s Chapel. “I like watching the little kids as they sing and have their own little church,” he said. Harrison likes attending EYC meetings too. He had a blast on the Washington mission trip this summer: “It felt good to do charity work around the city.”

Sophie Worthy
Sophie is here teaching in the first grade Godly Play classroom at church school. A junior in high school, Sophie was baptized and confirmed at COTC and has been teaching church school and vacation church school for several years. She enjoys the learning-through-storytelling aspect of Godly Play and finds it more effective than traditional methods of teaching. “Godly Play engages the kids,” she said. “The children see a Bible story played out and they really get it.”

Ashley Gainer and Gabriel Daoust

Ashley is here for CrossTies. On a Sunday morning two years ago, new in town and a single mom with an infant, Ashley arrived for services at COTC, late and flustered. She and Gabriel were immediately greeted and made welcome in the tower room, and upon entering the church she knew she was in the right place. “The ceilings, the music, the candles, the sense of reverence-this is what a spiritual home feels like,” she said. “I was worried about how I would be perceived and I felt so embraced immediately.” When it was time for communion someone volunteered to take care of Gabriel who was fussy and she handed him over without a moment’s thought.   A Newcomer Shepherd connected her with CrossTies, the 20s and 30s group, where she now takes a leadership role. She is also very active in the Bible study for mothers of young children and the Altar Guild, which she values for its multigenerational makeup.

Courtney Ritter

Courtney is here for the programs that engage her entire family and for the connections with other women who have become her closest friends. She began coming to COTC in 2001, and transferred her letter of membership in 2004. Raised as Episcopalian in a college town, Courtney was drawn to COTC’s children and family ministry programming. She has been serving on that committee since 2009. “The size of the parish, the breadth of the programming, and the interesting, dynamic people who are already here-plus the strong social advocacy mission-are what keep me here,” she said.

The general operating fund supports the programming and staff that nurture and inspire our young families and our young people. The 2015 annual campaign is underway.  You should have received a pledge packet in the mail. The online 2015 annual fund pledge page has been activated. Please prayerfully discern your ability to contribute and respond to the call with a pledge for 2015, even if you are unable to contribute.

Put on your shades and get ready to celebrate on November 23rd as we conclude our campaign and give thanks!  On in-gathering Sunday there will be ONE SPECIAL SERVICE at 10 am in the church, followed by a Thanksgiving feast for everyone in the Great Hall.   Whatever type of food constitutes Thanksgiving joy in your house, bring a side dish or dessert to share.  We will provide the festive bird!

Walker Mabe

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So glad you are here

Engaged, committed, enthusiastic, articulate — we went looking and we found you.  As part of our You Are Here theme, we asked a sampling of members how they landed at the Chapel of the Cross, what engages and rewards them, and how they minister to others.  During this month of discernment, when we are asking each of you to respond to  our annual campaign, we thought we would celebrate these folks who, in very different ways, make up our vibrant congregation.

Kim and Rob Sullivan

first came to Chapel of the Cross in July of 1971. Kim was standing in the cloister drinking lemonade with a baby on her hip when a parishioner approached, welcomed her, and asked her to keep the nursery the following Sunday. A tradition of service and involvement was born. Kim and Rob have both served as wardens on the vestry (Kim as the second woman to be senior warden), and have been deeply involved with youth ministry and with church finances and fundraising. Kim particularly recalls the energy around the women of the church and how welcoming and supportive of the parish they were. She co-founded what became the Preschool at COTC. Rob is a lay reader, routinely troubleshoots the church and chapel sound systems, and has immersed himself in buildings and grounds and the history of our buildings. He played a crucial role on the committees that envisioned, planned for, and raised the funds for our new building. Both Kim and Rob remain vitally interested in where the church is going and where churches are going in this new millennium.

Sophia Buehrer is here as an acolyte. Sophia has attended COTC since the fifth grade and was confirmed here. A senior at St. Mary’s School in Raleigh, she has been an acolyte for seven years. She serves about once a month and is often called upon to wield the thurible, which is her particular specialty. “I like participating in the service and being part of the action,” she said. “It helps me feel more connected to the service to be an acolyte.” As a veteran, Sophia helps to train new acolytes and plans to return to serve on breaks once she is off at college.

Melody Savage

has been a part of some of COTC’s most visionary initiatives. She became a member in 1980 after she came to Chapel Hill as a young professor. “It was an emotional decision to come here; it just felt right,” she said. She got involved with the blossoming Habitat program and worked closely with the church and University students on Habitat projects. She was senior warden on the vestry that moved forward with the blessing of same sex unions and chair of the church plant committee that established the Church of the Advocate. More recently, she served on the committee that developed our first strategic mission and ministry plan. For the past five years she has served on Altar Guild. “I find it worshipful to prepare the altar,” she said. “It’s a way to quietly contribute to the service.”

Emery Campbell

is here for junior choir. As a third grader, she recently flew up from Cantus Choir and received her cotta in a special service. She likes getting a chance to sing with her friends and to sing in front of people she hasn’t met yet!

Dana Campbell

is here to teach senior high church school. She loves teaching the high schoolers because they are “fun to hang out with, enjoyable to talk to and they are so insightful and thoughtful.” The teachers follow a curriculum but also allow plenty of time for fellowship. They are really looking forward to being in the youth classrooms on the new third floor.

Brad Taylor

is here for the men’s spirituality group, which he helped start as an adjunct to men’s breakfasts. The group meets on Saturday mornings and provides a source of fellowship and support in a small group setting. Men are welcome to join at any time.The 2015 annual campaign is underway.  You should have received a pledge packet in the mail.

The online 2015 annual fund pledge page has been activated. Please prayerfully discern your ability to contribute and respond to the call with a pledge for 2015, even if you are unable to contribute. Get ready to celebrate on November 23rd as we conclude our campaign and give thanks!

On in-gathering Sunday there will be ONE SPECIAL SERVICE at 10 am in the church, followed by a Thanksgiving feast for everyone in the Great Hall.   Whatever type of food constitutes Thanksgiving joy in your house, bring a side dish or dessert to share.  We will provide the festive bird!

Walker Mabe

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