Category Archives: Building Update

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 reception@thechapelofthecross.org. 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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Discern. Respond. Celebrate.

A note from annual campaign chairs Carter Kersh and Jim Noonan:

This Sunday marks the beginning of the 2015 Annual Fund Campaign: You Are Here. This year’s campaign will be different from previous campaigns in some significant ways. It will be shorter and more focused, spanning only four weeks from October 26 to in-gathering Sunday on November 23.

Those four weeks will encompass one of the most important annual campaigns in the history of our parish. 2015 is the year that will set the tone and direction for the work of The Chapel of the Cross for years to come. Will we rise to the occasion and the opportunity to use our new facilities to serve God and our community in greater ways than we ever have before? We are confident that we will.

The pledge packets have been mailed. The online 2015 annual fund pledge page has been activated. Please prayerfully and intently discern your ability and intention to contribute to God through The Chapel of the Cross. In the next four weeks, respond to the call indicating your pledge for next year, even (and especially) if you are unable to contribute. Finally, on November 23rd we will celebrate the conclusion of a successful campaign on in-gathering Sunday. Thank you.

Join us Sunday evening for the parish barbecue.  We  will celebrate our new building, celebrate the workers who built it, celebrate the architects and engineers who designed it, and celebrate the planners and officials who helped us make it so. We are expecting a great many of you in our Great Hall.  Check in at the reception desk and pick up your new, permanent COTC nametags in the lobby.  (If you haven’t ordered one yet, you can do it at the BBQ.)

Children can enjoy the EYC’s Carnifall and Haunted House.  The Haunted House begins at 5:30 in the Overlook Classroom on the second floor. Carnifall will unfold in the youth rooms on the third floor.

The meal will be catered by The Filling Station of Robersonville, NC, with chopped pork, barbecued chicken, and vegetarian lasagna. Also stewed potatoes, green beans, rolls, tea, and desert!

The Pentecost Pickers, with special guest Cliff Brown (on banjo, fiddle, guitar, and mandolin) will make beautiful music.  We will also host other representatives from Barnhill, our architects and engineers, the University, the Town of Chapel Hill, Orange County, the State of North Carolina, our utility companies, and others who have helped us come so far towards the realization of  a great vision.

Join us as you begin to discern how you will live into and go out from our new parish house and our beloved worship spaces. You Are Here. Here am I! Send me.

Walker Mabe

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You Are Here: BBQ, Carnifall, Haunted House, and more!

Join us for the celebration.  We  will celebrate our new building, celebrate the workers who built it, celebrate the architects and engineers who designed it, and celebrate the planners and officials who helped us make it so.

We will celebrate the season with EYC’s Carnifall and Haunted House.  And we will celebrate YOU!  For believing in the vision, putting up with the inconveniences, and giving to the cause — again and again.  Please be present for the 2014 Parish Barbecue.

On October 26, following the 5:15 service, we will gather in the Great Hall for barbecue, music, and celebration. The meal will be catered by The Filling Station of Robersonville, NC, with vegetarian options provided.

The Pentecost Pickers, with special guest Cliff Brown (on banjo, fiddle, guitar, and mandolin) will make beautiful music.  We will also host other representatives from Barnhill, our architects and engineers, the University, the Town of Chapel Hill, Orange County, the State of North Carolina, our utility companies, and others who have helped us come so far towards the realization of  a great vision.

The EYC will sponsor Carnifall on the 3rd floor in their new space during the BBQ. Their annual Haunted House will begin at 5:30 pm in the second floor Overlook Classroom. We have room to do it all.

Join us on October 26! You can order COTC t-shirts, pick up your COTC nametags, get your face painted and play games, hear about the You Are Here annual campaign, eat great food, get scared in the Haunted House, and dance to the music!

(To order nametags prior to the barbecue, send an email with first and last name(s) to reception@thechapelofthecross.org.)

Adults $10

Ages 6-18 $5

Children under 6 Free

Reserve and pay online with your credit or debit card by October 20. 

Checks, cash, and credit/debit cards also accepted at the reception desk during business hours and on Sunday mornings.  Payment must accompany reservation.

Walker Mabe

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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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Like it’s always been here

Everyone is talking about it: the construction fencing is down and here we are!  A stroll down Franklin Street reveals a lovingly designed and carefully constructed addition that fulfills our growing needs and enhances our historic worship spaces.  Church, chapel, and parish hall are gracefully set back to embrace the site and welcome all who approach.

Hartman-Cox architects designed the new building to reflect our long history, to last for another 150 years, and to defer to the church and the chapel.  The attention to detail is spectacular; the refurbishment of tired old spaces most welcome. The result is a building that looks like it’s always been here.

Without question, this building will enable us to initiate a new era through the goals of the original and visionary master plan:

  • Create an ambience of gracious welcome that conveys hospitality, a sense of place, and a spiritual home
  • Maintain a strong connection to the campus and the community
  • Provide a physical plant that is safe and secure, with clear circulation and functional organization
  • Foster our stewardship of our extraordinary buildings

The human scale of the new parish hall goes back to the very human scale of our parish.  We’ve always been here.  And we look forward to being here for a long time to come.

You are here.  As autumn begins and we return to our full service schedule, open our new building, and 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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