Monthly Archives: December 2015

The most meaningful experience possible

Ellen Cole will be expanding her role as kitchen manager to include the duties of parish life coordinator.

Long a priority of the vestry, the parish life coordinator position was a strong recommendation of the strategic ministry and mission plan adopted in 2013.  Broadly put, the parish life coordinator focuses on fellowship and engagement for  parishioners, newcomers, and community groups. She manages and motivates volunteers, develops fellowship opportunities, and coordinates special events.  She is a resource for newcomers who want to get involved and acts as a matchmaker between parishioners and volunteer opportunities.

Ellen brings the experience of a long volunteer career — in her hometown of Asheville, at Appalachian State, in Winston-Salem, and in Chapel Hill — to her work with us.  She thinks that this time of transition is also a time of great opportunity.

“We can rejoice in a remarkable past,” she said, “but we are also asking ‘What if?’  I want to be the liaison between ‘What if?’ and ‘Wow, that was wonderful.'”

Some of the “what ifs” on Ellen’s list: a family movie night, an Epiphany celebration with a bonfire and banjo, homemade cookies ready all the time, volunteer parishioner teams cooking for ECM and other groups, and a parish retreat weekend.  She will be showcasing current COTC projects and introducing you to the parishioners who run them.  If you have an idea for an activity or event, she can help you find others interested in joining you.

Ellen will also be monitoring the talents and interests section of COTC Connect, which now lists all the activities in Finding Your PlaceMany of you registered with COTC Connect in order to make your 2016 pledge, but you can also update your contact information, upload a family photo, and check off your interests while in this section of our website.

Ellen’s work in the kitchen will continue, where she trains new kitchen users, orders supplies and equipment, and manages kitchen volunteers.  Her monthly Kitchen Notes column brings everyone inside the busy world of the COTC kitchen.

Ellen acknowledges that the desired result of the strategic plan in creating her role was to facilitate more engagement in current activities and to plan events that appeal to our large, diverse congregation.  She has another goal in mind as well: “The best part of my new role  is that I get to meet many of you, and I hope, help each of you have the most meaningful experience possible at the Chapel of the Cross together with others in our parish family!”

The vestry approved the parish life coordinator position as part of the 2016 budget.  The vestry will adopt the full budget at its meeting this month.  The revenue line for that budget comes from your pledges.  Sunday is in-gathering Sunday — please make a pledge online through COTC Connect, fill out the pledge card you received in the mail, or pick up a pledge card in your pew on Sunday and put it in the offering plate.  Join your fellow parishioners for celebratory cake in the Great Hall following the 9 am service and pick up your Together button at the front desk!

Engage, renew, transform. Together. It all begins with COTC Connect and the online community. 

To make a pledge, start by going to our website and clicking on COTC Connect.  If you haven’t registered yet, start by “finding yourself” in our database. Then set up your login and password. There are complete instructions on the website, plus immediate access to people on the staff who can help you. You need to be able to access your email to receive the login information.

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Holiday Kitchen Notes

Tradition. Together.

So much of this time of year revolves around tradition. We eagerly anticipate spending comforting and familiar time with our friends and families as the holidays draw near. The Chapel of the Cross family is no exception!

On December 13, we will we gather together between the 9:00 and 11:15 Advent Lessons and Carols services for a festive reception. This is our largest reception of the year. Nancy McGuffin and I will be in the kitchen and we welcome more hands to help! I have set up a sign up genius to make it easy for all:
Please follow this link and sign up to bring a sweet or a savory to share and/or volunteer to help in the kitchen. We always have a grand time in the kitchen!
Another tradition we will enjoy again this year, is on Christmas Eve. After the 5:00 pm pageant, stop by the Great Hall for light refreshments and a visit with fellow parishioners. My family hosts this reception and we welcome donations of goodies to share. Please drop items off before the 5:00 pm service.
Lest we get too comfortable in established tradition, we have scheduled a new event for this year. ‘Breaking up Christmas’is a mountain celebration to honor Old Christmas or Epiphany. Historically, it is celebrated by large house parties, large bonfires fueled by the Christmas greens (and maybe a little moonshine), multiple bands and the shooting of guns at midnight. While we won’t go that far, we do invite everyone to a potluck supper, a ‘bonfire’on the patio and music in the Great Hall on Wednesday, January 6. We will gather around 5:00 pm and finish up in time for the Junior Choir to be ready to sing at the Solemn Eucharist at 7:00 pm, or in time for little ones to get home to bed! This is going to be a casual, festive party. Please bring a dish to share. As always, friends are welcome!
Mark your calendars now so you don’t miss any of our traditions, old and new, as we celebrate this joyful season, together.
– Ellen Cole

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