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 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 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 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 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 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 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.