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A Study of the Ministry of Hospitality, Including Twelve Intentional Practices and Strategies With Emphasis on Faith Formation, Outreach And Welcoming New Members at The Chapel of the Cross Episcopal Church, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Barbara Day, Ph.D.

A Thesis/Project submitted to the faculty of The Institute for Christian Formation and Leadership of The Protestant Episcopal Theological Seminary in Virginia in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Ministry 29 March 2012 The Rev. J. Barney Hawkins, IV, Ph.D. Faculty Advisor The Rev. Michael Battle, Ph.D. Reader The Rev. Graham Bardsley, D.Min. Reader


© 2012 Barbara Day, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved

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Abstract Barbara Day, Ph.D.: A Study of the Ministry of Hospitality, Including Twelve Intentional Hospitality Practices and Strategies With Emphasis on Faith Formation, Outreach and Welcoming New Members at the Chapel of the Cross Episcopal Church, Chapel Hill, North Carolina This thesis/project tells the story of the Ministry of Hospitality at the Chapel of the Cross, including twelve intentional hospitality practices and strategies, with emphasis on faith formation, welcoming the newcomer and outreach (faith in action). The twelve intentional hospitality practices and strategies include: Worship (our most intentional way of welcoming the stranger); Adopting a New Mission Statement (welcoming all with an open door); Open Communion (welcoming others into the household of God); The Blessing of Gay Unions (widening our hospitality); Justice and Peace / Global Missions (our partnership with South Africa); Welcoming New Members (including our Shepherds’ Ministry); The Capital Campaign (emphasis on a new parish fellowship hall for hospitality); Strategic Planning for Hospitality; Funeral Receptions Ministry; Welcoming Children With Disabilities; ABC Sale (supporting community outreach and a popular welcoming event for Newcomers); and, Faith Formation. Embedded within these practices and strategies are theological and biblical underpinnings, as well as related research resulting from the U.S. Congregational Life Survey, given to 358 participants from the Chapel of the Cross. The survey was administered at the Chapel of the Cross on a given Sunday during three services; 99% of the attendees participated. A bilateral study, both qualitative (interviews with 33 parishioners: 25 laity, 4 clergy, 2 deacons and 2 staff members) and quantitative (a comprehensive survey) research methods were

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used. Results of this research, with careful attention to detail and a look forward toward the future, should enable other parishes to utilize aspects of these hospitality practices and strategies.

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Table of Contents CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION: WELCOME AND HOSPITALITY A. NEW MISSION STATEMENT OF THE CHAPEL OF THE CROSS B. THE THESIS/PROJECT a. Background b. Nature of the Problem / Concern on which Thesis/Project Focuses c. Purpose of the Qualitative/Quantitative Thesis/Project d. The Survey Instrument C. THE NEW CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK OF THE CHAPEL OF THE CROSS D. LET US LIVE THE GOOD LIFE TOGETHER

1 1 3 3 4 5 7 12 20

CHAPTER II. DISCUSSION OF HOSPITALITY AND LITERATURE REVIEW 22 A. LITURGICAL HOSPITALITY – OUR GOD IS A GOD OF LOVE AND WELCOME a. Evangelical Hospitality b. Baptismal Hospitality c. Eucharistic Hospitality d. Bishop Mark Dyer’s Challenge B. HOSPITALITY TO THE STRANGER C. WHAT IS RADICAL WELCOME D. LOVE ONE ANOTHER a. Ubuntu Theology b. Quoting Mother Mary Francis and Others c. The Need for Compassion E. BEING PRESENT FOR EACH OTHER’S PRAYERS, RITUALS AND PRACTICES F. SEEING THE OTHER G. TIME OFF TO HEAR THE REV. DR. IAN MARKHAM SPEAK H. HOSPITALITY, STRANGERS AND GOD’S LOVE IN THE BIBLE I. THEOLOGICAL ISSUES INVOLVED IN THIS PROJECT/THESIS J. GUESTS, HOSTS AND STRANGERS IN THE BIBLE K. HOSPITALITY LOSES GROUND L. NOUWEN AND PARKER ENTER THE DISCUSSION M. BIBLE STORIES ABOUT HOSPITALITY

22 24 25 26 26 27 31 33 33 34 35 35 36 37 40 40 44 48 49 50

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a. The Feeding of the Five Thousand, John 6:1-15 b. Welcoming the Stranger (Under the Oaks of Mamre), Genesis 18:1-5 c. Two Lost Sons (The Parable of the Prodigal Son and His Brother), Luke 15:11-32 d. Jesus and Zacchaeus, the Tax Collector, Luke 19:1-10 e. Jesus Visits Martha and Mary, Luke 10:38-42 CHAPTER III. THE MINISTRY OF HOSPITALITY AT THE CHAPEL OF THE CROSS A. WE ARE INTENTIONAL AND PASSIONATE ABOUT HOSPITALITY B. TWELVE INTENTIONAL HOSPITALITY AND STRATEGIES FOR THE CHAPEL OF THE CROSS I. WORSHIP – OUR MOST INTENTIONAL WAY OF WELCOMING THE STRANGER a. Worship b. Awe in Worship c. Dr. Wylie S. Quinn III Writes about Music at the Chapel of the Cross II. ADOPTING A NEW MISSION STATEMENT – WE WELCOME YOU WITH AN OPEN DOOR III. A MOVE TO OPEN COMMUNION – WELCOMING OTHERS INTO THE HOUSEHOLD OF GOD IV. THE BLESSING OF GAY UNIONS – WIDENING OUR PASTORAL CARE AND HOSPITALITY a. The Discernment Process b. Dr. Neil Pedersen on Issues of Hospitality and Sexual Orientation V. JUSTICE AND PEACE/GLOBAL MISSIONS – OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH SOUTH AFRICA: KWASA SCHOOL AND ST. PETER/ ST. PAUL EPISCOPAL CHURCH a. The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori: A Global Missions Challenge b. Global Missions Becomes a Standing Committee for the Vestry c. Background on our Mission to South Africa d. Communication with the Parish: Adult Forums e. Engaging God’s Mission with South Africa Continues f. Greetings from the Rev. Sharron Dinnie g. Chapel of the Cross Parishioners Visit Kwasa h. MDG Grant from the Diocese of North Carolina for Kwasa i. Reflections on our Relationship with Kwasa and St. Peter/St. Paul Episcopal Church j. Outreach to Other Areas: Global Missions and Outreach Ministry k. Thoughts on Social Justice and Outreach

50 51 52 53 54 55 55 57 59 59 61 64 67 68 72 72 75

77 78 78 80 82 82 87 88 90 91 95 96

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VI. OUR COMPREHENSIVE PROGRAM FOR WELCOMING NEWCOMERS INCLUDING THE SHEPHERDS’ MINISTRY 98 a. The Shepherds’ Ministry 98 b. Our Comprehensive Program for Welcoming Newcomers 101 c. Welcoming People on their Spiritual Journeys 104 d. A Stewardship Day Hospitality Event 106 e. A Church Parlor Newcomers’ Reception, Fall 2011 107 VII. THE CAPITAL CAMPAIGN – A LIGHT ON THE HILL: BUILDING TO SERVE – A NEW PARISH/FELLOWSHIP HALL (EMPHASIS AREA: HOSPITALITY) 110 a. A Brief Historical Overview 110 b. The Capital Campaign 111 c. More about Our Building and Architecture and their Relationship to Hospitality 115 d. Interview with Terry Eason, 2 February 2012 118 VIII. STRATEGIC PLANNING (NOW AND IN THE FUTURE) FOR HOSPITALITY 120 a. Strategic Planning for Hospitality Ministry 120 b. First Meeting, May 2011 121 c. Second Meeting, June 2011 122 d. Further Action Groups within the Hospitality Ministry 123 e. Hospitality Ministry Strategic Plan 125 IX. FUNERAL HOSPITALITY MINISTRY 126 a. Introduction: Biblical and Theological Perspectives 127 b. The Rev. Robert Dunham’s Meditation for Thelma Boyd 130 c. Funeral Receptions at the Chapel of the Cross: Background Information 134 d. Funeral Receptions Committee Meeting, 11 September 2011 136 e. Strengths of our Funeral Ministry 138 X. WELCOMING CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES 141 XI. ABC SALE TO SUPPORT COMMUNITY NEEDS: A POPULAR WELCOMING EVENT FOR NEWCOMERS 142 XII. FAITH FORMATION: THE HEARTBEAT OF THE CHURCH IN THE 21ST CENTURY 145 a. Faith Today in America 145 b. Christian Education and Faith Formation 146 c. Christian Formation at the Chapel of the Cross 149 d. Gretchen Jordan and Boykin Bell, Associates in Christian Formation 151 i. Interview with Gretchen Jordan, Associate in Christian Formation, 16 December 2011 152

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Interview with Boykin Bell, Associate in Christian Formation, 15 December 2011 156 e. Best Practices for Effective Adult Faith Formation 160 f. Youth Adult Faith Formation 162 C. COME AND SEE: THINK BROADLY ABOUT AN INVITATION TO PEOPLE OUT THERE IN THE WORLD 165

CHAPTER IV. ANALYSIS OF THE DATA

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A. THE U.S. CONGREGATIONAL LIFE SURVEY 167 B. ANALYSIS OF THE STRONGEST CORRELATES OF FINANCIAL HEALTH OF EPISCOPAL CHURCHES AS DEFINED BY TENS, 2011, AS RELATED TO THE CHAPEL OF THE CROSS, U.S. CONGREGATIONAL LIFE SURVEY 169 C. ANALYSIS OF THE STRONG CORRELATES OF FINANCIAL HEALTH OF EPISCOPAL CHURCHES AS DEFINED BY TENS, 2011, AS RELATED TO THE CHAPEL OF THE CROSS, U.S. CONGREGATIONAL LIFE SURVEY 176 D. INTERVIEWS WITH 33 PARISHIONERS 181 a. The Clergy 181 i. The Rev. Stephen Elkins-Williams, Rector 181 ii. The Rev. Tambria Elizabeth Lee, Associate for University Ministry 190 iii. The Rev. Victoria Jamieson-Drake, Associate for Pastoral Ministry 196 iv. The Rev. David Frazelle, Associate for Parish Ministry 201 v. The Rev. Dr. William H. Joyner, Deacon 205 vi. The Rev. Margaret Silton, Deacon 207 b. The Staff 211 i. Gretchen S. Jordan, Associate for Christian Formation 211 ii. Boykin Bell, Associate for Christian Formation 211 c. Laity 211 i. Carolyn and Laura 211 ii. Cecelia and Brent 215 iii. Erin and Bill 219 iv. Frank 224 v. Harriet 226 vi. Heather 228 vii. Jessica 232 viii. Joseph 235 ix. Lee and Robert 237 x. Leslie and John 243

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xi. Linda xii. Lindsay xiii. Mary and Bob xiv. Patty and Rick xv. Roslyn xvi. Susan xvii. Terry xviii. Vivian E. ANALYSIS OF INTERVIEWS WITH PARISHIONERS a. Laity b. Clergy and Staff

248 250 253 259 263 267 271 272 274 274 285

CHAPTER V. THE FUTURE A. B. C. D. E. F. G. H. I. J. K. L.

LOOKING AHEAD IN THE MINISTRY OF EVANGELISM THE CATECHUMENATE: A CONTEXT FOR CHRISTIAN FORMATION STRENGTHENING THE CHURCH’S MISSION AND HEALTH TRANSFORMATIONAL CHANGE OUR PRIMATE AND PRESIDING BISHOP OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH SPEAKS ABOUT THE FUTURE OUR BISHOP OF NORTH CAROLINA SPEAKS ABOUT “THE CHURCH IN 21ST CENTURY GALILEE” OUR RECTOR OF THE CHAPEL OF THE CROSS SPEAKS ABOUT THE FUTURE OUR RECTOR SPEAKS: CHANGE AND THE FUTURE IS ON OUR MIND THE CHAPEL OF THE CROSS LOOKS TO THE FUTURE “LET US GROW TOGETHER” CLOSING I HAVE LOVED TELLING THE STORY OF THE INTENTIONAL PRACTICES AND STRATEGIES OF HOSPITALITY (OUR FAITH IN ACTION) AT THE CHAPEL OF THE CROSS

300 300 301 304 307 309 310 312 313 315 317 319

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DEFINITIONS

326

REFERENCES

332

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

343

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APPENDICES APPENDIX A: U.S. Congregational Life Survey APPENDIX B: “Beloved,” sermon by the Rev. David Frazelle APPENDIX C: “Do You See?” sermon by the Rev. David Frazelle APPENDIX D: “The Day of the Pentecost,” sermon by the Rev. Stephen Elkins-Williams APPENDIX E: Pastoral Reflections, booklet by the Rev. Stephen Elkins-Williams APPENDIX F: “The Reverend Gray Temple Speaks to a Packed Audience,” Article and Related Materials by Barbara Day, Ph.D. APPENDIX G: “Dear Friends,” letter by the Rev. Stephen Elkins-Williams APPENDIX H: “Engaging God’s Mission,” article by Barbara Day, Ph.D. APPENDIX I: “Hope Rising: Good News from Kwasa,” article by Barbara Day, Ph.D. APPENDIX J: Grant Application, Chapel of the Cross Episcopal Parish APPENDIX K: “Showing Hospitality,” sermon by the Rev. Stephen Elkins-Williams APPENDIX L: Capital Campaign Building Materials APPENDIX M: “Nine Important Tips for Visitors,” David Ross APPENDIX N: Sermon, by the Rev. Tambria Elizabeth Lee

348 348 349 350 351 352 353 354 355 356 357 358 359 360 361

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CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION: WELCOME AND HOSPITALITY

A. New Mission Statement for the Chapel of the Cross In 2010, the Chapel of the Cross adopted a new mission statement. The opening statement of the new mission of our Church states, “The Chapel of the Cross welcomes you with an open door.” In reflecting on the scope and meaning and to “take counsel for the renewal and mission of the Church” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 818), our rector, the Rev. Stephen ElkinsWilliams (March 2011), offered this: The Chapel of the Cross welcomes you with an open door. We are:  Called by tradition and mission to minister in the heart of the University and local community  Committed to the sacramental worship of God, engaging the richness and beauty of Anglican liturgy and music  Growing as disciples of Jesus through preaching, teaching, service, and fellowship  Bringing Gospel witness to the world. The Chapel of the Cross welcomes you with an open door. We are to be a House of Prayer for all people. No one is excluded. Young and old, female and male, black and white, conservative and liberal, poor and rich, gay and straight, all are invited not only into our buildings, but into the embrace of our various ministries. We are, in the words of our baptismal covenant, to “seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves.” Called by tradition and mission to minister in the heart of the University and local community – Our geographic location in the midst of the campus and of the town,


communities that have continued to grow around us for the last 160+ years, calls us to thrive in that long, close relationship through faithful presence and active service. “Minister in the heart of” means not only in its spatial center, but also at the very core of its identity. To help both the University and the town, i.e. the individuals within them and the corporate bodies themselves, become what at their deepest level they aspire to be (and God calls them to be) continues to be part of our DNA and our common mission. Committed to the sacramental worship of God, engaging the richness and beauty of Anglican liturgy and music – We are all called to worship God, to “kneel before the Lord, our Maker.” At the Chapel of the Cross, we are privileged to do so in beautiful and cherished worship spaces, with the support of the Book of Common Prayer and drawing on the variety and depth of Anglican spirituality and music. With Baptism and Holy Eucharist at the heart of our sacramental practice, we provide a wide range of liturgical opportunities. Corporately and individually we offer the very best we have to God in worship: in music, in preaching, in reverent prayer, in visual arts, and in gracious hospitality. Growing as disciples of Jesus through preaching, teaching, service and fellowship – We never “graduate” in this life as Christians. From our baptism until our physical death, we are “growing into the full stature of Christ.” The articulation of the Christian faith in this parish for all ages, whether in church services, classes or newsletters, is based on this premise. Our opportunities for community with one another and for serving the needs of others are significant experiences of growth for all of us on the path to becoming genuine followers of Jesus.

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Bringing Gospel witness to the world – We are urged by Jesus to be a light on a hill; in our case we are literally that. From the visibility of a cherished town on a hill encompassing a highly influential University, we are to let the light of the Gospel shine on the world’s darkness, those places most in need of transformation. Whether it is working for the hungry and the homeless and the prisoner, speaking up for the voiceless, or bringing reconciliation where there is hostility and brokenness, our ministry is not to ourselves, but to others. As we promise in our Baptismal Covenant, we are to “strive for justice and peace, and respect the dignity of every human being.” (p. 3)

B. The Thesis/Project a. Background The Chapel of the Cross Episcopal Church in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, exemplifies the statement that a congregation exists in relationship to its environment and is often defined by the scope of that environment. Founded in 1842, the church has been and is a reflection of its local neighborhood (main street and adjacent to The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and constituency. The former mission statement (in place when this researcher first began this thesis/project) illustrates this unique relationship: The Chapel of the Cross, historically linked to the University of North Carolina and the Town of Chapel Hill, bears faithful witness to the presence of the living God on the campus, in the community, in the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina and throughout the world. We are called to: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; learn and teach the Christian faith; love one another; strive for justice and peace among all people; care

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for those in need; share our many blessings; and to do all with truly thankful hearts in the name of Jesus. The entire Chapel Hill community is dominated by the presence of the University of North Carolina. Home to over 26,000 students, the University controls the economy, landscape and ambiance of Chapel Hill, a town of 57,000 permanent residents (according to the 2010 census). Sixty-nine percent of Chapel Hill residents over the age of 25 hold at least one college degree. Bounded to the east by 30 miles is North Carolina State University; Duke University is nine miles to the north; and the Research Triangle Park lies in the middle. The area has reported the highest concentration of Ph.Ds. in the world.

b. Nature of the Problem/Concern on Which Thesis/Project Focuses Not surprisingly, with the influences of our university and the surrounding universities, ninety-four percent of the 358 Chapel of the Cross worshippers who completed the U.S. Congregational Life Survey have college degrees, while sixty-three percent have Master’s or Doctorate degrees. Forty-three percent of the survey respondents reported earning $100,000 or more annually (the highest income bracket listed on the questionnaire). Clearly, we are called to do great things at this church. “To whom much is given, much is expected.” While the Chapel of the Cross ranks high on a congregational study in most aspects, particularly in liturgy (Day, June-July 2005), the area of hospitality received the lowest ranking. This researcher’s first case study in the Doctor of Ministry Program at Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) was on “the Ministry of Hospitality at the Chapel of the Cross.” The need for this ministry came to this candidate directly from the rector, the Rev. Stephen Elkins-Williams, and has been reinforced by many since that time (Day, January 2005).

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This candidate’s ministry at the Chapel of the Cross has been extensive over the past two decades, with service as a Stephen minister, Stephen minister leader, adult forums presenter and teacher, leader in staff development for church school teachers (including implementing new curriculum), and, currently, Lay Eucharist Minister and Director of Hospitality Ministry. My former coworker in Hospitality Ministry was a member of the vestry, and, now, a new parishioner, Marty, has joined this ministry. The congregational study at the Chapel of the Cross (Day, 2005) included seven areas: (1) statement about parish, (2) questions concerning growth, (3) worship, (4) program, (5) facilities, (6) stewardship and finance, and (7) demographics. Regarding whether the Chapel of the Cross is a welcoming church, 128 parishioners of a random sample total of 232 responses indicated that it was a moderately welcoming church, with 66 members giving a score of 4 of a possible 7 on a Likert scale and 62 members giving a score of 5. Only 31 respondents gave the highest agreement to this statement. By comparison, worship received an 88.7% rating in the top category (190 responses out of 214). Not unlike many large churches, hospitality was an area in need of attention. Evaluations revealed that the church was wonderfully liturgical but lacking in reaching out to guests, new members and parishioners.

c. Purpose of the Qualitative/Quantitative Thesis/Project The purpose of this qualitative/quantitative thesis/project was to systematically study and analyze the of ministry of hospitality, including twelve intentional practices and strategies, with emphasis on faith formation, outreach and welcoming new members at the Chapel of the Cross.

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Further, this thesis will serve as a “prototype of excellence” for a corporate church like the Chapel of the Cross, one that can be replicated at other corporate Episcopal churches. The long-term goal of this ministry, although not part of this thesis/project, will be to investigate, using the National Sample of Congregational Study Survey, and to analyze three distinct groups of North Carolina Episcopal churches: those with over 350 church members, those with 100-350 members and those with fewer than 100 members; and to write a book, Models of Effective Hospitality Ministry: Large, Medium and Small Church. The Intentional Hospitality Strategies set forth in this thesis/project will be developed further and additional strategies will be added. A further goal will be to teach at an Episcopal Seminary or Divinity School with an emphasis area on Gracious and Holy Hospitality. The area of hospitality is now a main focus of this candidate’s ministry at the Chapel of the Cross. After undertaking this ministry, as requested by the rector, several new emphasis areas have been investigated and developed. It is the goal of the church to be a “prototype of holy hospitality,” a concept emphasized by the call to all Christians in “The Catechism” of the Book of Common Prayer: “The Mission of the Church is to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ; the Church pursues its mission as it prays and worships, proclaims the gospel and promotes justice, peace and love; and the Church carries out its mission throughout the ministry of all its members” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 855). When the Congregation Study (Day, 2005) revealed that hospitality received a low rating as compared to other areas of ministry at the church, the rector, concerned, asked me to offer leadership in the area. While all our clergy are committed to welcoming the stranger, the church’s congregation is aware that the Book of Common Prayer assumes that the ministry of the church is to be carried out in the world by all baptized church members.

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d. The Survey Instrument The candidate administered The Episcopal Church U.S. Congregational Life Survey. (See Appendix A.) This instrument is described by its principal investigator as the largest and most representative survey of worshipers and congregations ever conducted in the United States (Woolever, 2006). The instrument is designed to provide an accurate picture of Episcopal worshipers and congregations for the first time. The Chapel of the Cross was selected as part of the National Survey funded by the Church Pension Group. Initially, the church chose not to participate since it was mandatory that the survey be administered during worship services on a particular Sunday. Church leaders saw this as a possible intrusion on the Chapel of the Cross’ highly regarded worship services. After further consideration and much deliberation on how the survey could be given without interrupting the normal flow of worship, it was agreed that the instrument could be administered at the very end of worship at the 8:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. services. In the summer of 2006, the Rev. Dr. J. Barney Hawkins IV and the Rev. Dr. Michael Battle granted permission to give the survey. The Rector desired that the survey be done prior to the academic year that would begin August 27, 2006. Over 350 surveys were distributed and completed. We were very pleased at the response of the three different groups of worshipers. Each of the three groups was most receptive to the survey; worshipers stayed and spent sustained time completing it and expressed gratitude at the opportunity to do so.

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The survey instrument’s variables include: 1.

Five questions (1-5) on “You and Your Congregation.” Examples include: (1) How often do you go to worship service at this congregation? And (2) do you regularly take part in any activities of this congregation that reach out to the wider community (e.g., visitation, evangelism, outreach, community service, social justice)?

2.

Seven questions (6-12) on “About Your Faith.” Examples include: (1) How often do you spend time in private devotional activities (such as prayer, meditation, reading the Bible alone)? And (2) do you agree or disagree: “My spiritual needs are being met in this congregation or parish?”

3.

Fifteen questions (13-27) on “About Your Involvement.” Examples include: (1) Would you be prepared to invite to a worship service here any of your friends and relatives who do not now attend a congregation? And (2) has this congregation’s leaders encouraged you to find and use your gifts and skills here?

4.

Sixteen questions (28-43) on “About You.” Examples include mainly demographic questions, such as: (1) What is the highest education level you have completed? And (2) what is your race or origin?

5.

Thirteen questions (44-56) on “Some Final Questions.” Examples include: (1) Do you agree or disagree: “This congregation is strongly focused on serving the wider community beyond the congregation”; (2) What do you think are the main roles that your minister, pastor or priest actually carries out here; (3) Compared to two years ago, do you think you participate in activities of the

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congregation more, less or about the same amount as you did then? And (4) does this congregation have a clear vision, goal or direction for its ministry and mission? 6.

Twenty-three questions (57-79) again focus on “More About You.” Examples include: (1) About how many hours do you spend during a typical week in church-related activities (including Sunday worship)? And (2) if there has been any conflict in this congregation in the past two years, what was the conflict about? (Mark all that apply.) If no conflict, skip to question 72. And (3) when you attended this congregation for the first time, were you recognized as a visitor in any of the following ways? (Mark all that apply.)

The last section of the questionnaire asks: Do you agree or disagree with the following statements? Using a five-point Likert scale, from strongly agree to strongly disagree, the survey respondent is asked to rank the following statements: •

The current morale of this congregation is high.

This congregation has regular, open discussion about issues facing our congregation.

The congregation has open discussion about issues facing the Episcopal Church.

I feel well informed about the decisions and issues facing the Episcopal Church.

I feel well informed about the decisions made by our congregation’s leaders.

The theological implications of important decisions made by our congregation’s leaders are regularly discussed here.

This congregational study led to the genesis of the problem selected for my thesis/project for the Doctor of Ministry Degree.

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The new questionnaire, “U.S. Congregational Life Survey” was given, again with 358 parishioners completing it on a given Sunday, after this thesis/project was approved. The findings reinforced the high rating received by Chapel of the Cross on the earlier survey instrument for worship. When asked, “Which of the following aspects of this congregation do you personally most value? (Select three of fourteen responses),” the top three responses selected were traditional style of worship or music (62%), sharing in Holy Communion, Eucharist or the Lord’s Supper (63%) and wider community care or social justice emphasis (40%). The overall score for welcoming new worshipers was 32%. Thus, this thesis/project’s main focus is on hospitality. The survey was designed to explore three dimensions of religious life: faith development, community involvement and welcoming new members. Our findings as a result of administering this instrument helped to guide this thesis/project and its emphasis on hospitality at Chapel of the Cross. While this survey was initially selected to focus on the hospitality area, with “welcoming new members,” further examination of the instrument shed light on a more holistic view of hospitality and its relationship to the call to all Christians as defined in “the Catechism” set forth in the Book of Common Prayer. If we are to be a prototype of “Holy Hospitality” (Morris, 2005), “Radical Welcome” (Spellers, 2006), “Godly Hospitality” (Ministry Link, 2011), “Extravagant Welcome” (Lemler, 2008), “A Christian View of Hospitality” (Hershberger, 1999), “Welcoming the Stranger” (Keifert, 1992), “Christian Community Hospitality” (McKinley, 2003), “God’s Welcome: Hospitality for a Gospel-Hungry World” (Oden, 2008) and “Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition” (Pohl, 1999), then we must live fully into our mission as defined in the Catechism: “The Mission of the Church is to restore all people to unity with God and each other

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in Christ; the Church pursues its mission as it prays and worships, proclaims the gospel and promotes justice, peace and love; and the Church carries out its mission throughout the ministry of all its members� (Book of Common Prayer, p. 855). Hyper-network sampling was used as the initial selection vehicle. Data were analyzed at the individual worshiper level, as well as aggregated to form congregational level variables. Congregational level variables were weighted to compensate for size and non-response bias. Of particular interest to this researcher were the variables that measure congregational strength as health, spiritual growth, meaningful worship, participating in the congregation and sense of belonging, caring for children and youth, focusing on the community, sharing faith and welcoming new worshipers, empowering leadership and looking to the future. While factor analysis was used to develop the ten indices, six additional factors were included in the regression equations. They are congregational size, average age of worshipers, average income of worshipers, percentage of worshipers who are female, theology/faith group of the congregation, and local population growth. Zero-order correlation coefficients among all independent and dependent variables were given, as well as multiple regression analyses. Previous research (Woolever, 2003) has indicated that three congregational strengths are positive predictors of numerical growth: caring for young people, participating in congregation and welcoming new people. These areas are of primary concern to the Chapel of the Cross in our analysis of Hospitality Ministry. Interestingly, three congregational strengths are negative predictors of numerical growth: growing spiritually, focusing on the community and sharing faith. Strengths found to be unrelated to numerical growth were meaningful worship, having a sense of belonging, empowering leadership and looking to the future. Control variables were found to be unrelated to numerical growth: congregational size, average ages or income of

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worshipers, percentage of female worshipers, theology of the congregation and local population growth. This researcher is not focusing on numerical growth but rather on where and how God is calling us to be the Body of Christ in our Chapel Hill community and in the world, with an emphasis on three dimensions of religious life: faith development, outreach and welcoming new members, with further focus on the Ministry of Hospitality.

C. The New Conceptual Framework of the Chapel of the Cross The Conceptual Framework (see Figure 1) has been developed through our strategic planning under the direction of the Rev. Dr. William Morley. The framework focuses on six conceptual areas surrounding our Baptismal Covenant: “Grow into the full stature of Christ.” Hospitality and Fellowship represent one of the six areas (see Figure 2). Other areas include Worship and Spiritual Life (see Figure 3), Education and Instruction (see Figure 4), Pastoral Care and Nurture (see Figure 5), Outreach and Service (see Figure 6), Stewardship of All Life (see Figure 7). Faith Development is contained within the Education and Instruction area; and Justice, Peace and Outreach are included within the Outreach and Service area. Each of the areas is presented with the various groups, commissions and committees responsible for it. In viewing the Framework, one can clearly see that this parish is alive with an abundance of “good things,” all designed for growth into the full stature of Christ.

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Figure 1: Conceptual Framework of Chapel of the Cross HOSPITALITY &   FELLOWSHIP   STEWARDSHIP  

WORSHIP

OF

&

ALL LIFE  

“Grow into the

SPIRITUAL LIFE  

full stature of Christ.” OUTREACH &   SERVICE  

Baptismal Covenant

EDUCATION

PASTORAL CARE   &   NURTURE  

& INSTRUCTION  

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Figure 2

HOSPITALITY   &   FELLOWSHIP  

Newcomers Table  

After-­‐Compline Socials    

Men’s Breakfast  Group  

Newcomers Orientation    

Parent Socials    

Youth Council  

Foyer Groups    

Newcomer Greetings  

Parish Barbecue  

Loaves &  Fishes    

Newcomer Reception    

Naomi’s Network  

Wednesday Potlucks  

Dinners for  Eight  

Funeral Receptions  

Pentecost Picnic  

Dinner on  the  Grounds    

Shepherds’ Ministry  

Episcopal Youth  Group    

Young Adult  Ministry  

Bread Ministry  

           Committee  

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Figure 3

WORSHIP   &   SPIRITUAL  LIFE  

Greeter  

Cantus Choir  Member    

Volunteer Organist  

Usher  

Junior Choir  Member  

Cantus Choir  Volunteer  

Altar Guild  

Parish Choir  

Junior Choir  Volunteer  

Acolyte  

Children’s Chapel  Leader  

Carol Woods  Service  Assistant  

Lay Reader  

Children’s Chapel  Musician  

Carolina Meadows  Service  Assistant  

Intercessor

Wedding Coordinator    

Weeknight Prayer  Leader  

Lay Eucharistic  Minister    

Sound Technician  

Prayer Circle  

Compline Choir    

Awakening Heart  

Senior Choir  

Music Librarian    

Spiritual Life  Committee  

Children’s Chapel  Youth  Saint  

Worship with  People  with  Developmental  Disabilities    

Children’s Chapel  Youth  Saint    

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Figure 4

EDUCATION   &   INSTRUCTION  

Adult Education  Committee  

Adult Inquirers’  Class  

Sunday Adult  Education    

Youth Inquirers’  Class  

Children &  Family  Ministry  Committee    

Communion Preparation  

Vacation Church  School    

Parish Library  

Reading with  a  View  to  Spirituality  

Church School  

1st Wednesday  Women’s  Bible  Study  

Intergenerational Events  

God and  Me  Program    

Seasonal Book  Table  

Pilgrimages

Worship Education  for  2nd  Graders  

Evening &  Seasonal  Programming  for  Adults        

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Figure 5

PASTORAL  CARE   &   NURTURE  

Good Samaritans  Guild    

Divorce Support  

Guild of  the  Christ  Child    

Naomi’s Network  

Parish Visitors    

Awakening Heart  

Care Teams  

Centering Prayer  Group  

Monday Flower  Delivery  

Prayer Chain  

Growing with  Our  Aging  Parent    

Discernment Committee  

Spiritual Life  Committee  

Funeral Receptions  

Seasonal Quiet  Days      

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Figure 6

OUTREACH   &   SERVICE  

Outreach Committee  

Interfaith Council  Cook  Teams  

Global Missions  Committee  

Interfaith Council  Food  Collection  

Johnson Intern    

Justice United  

Prison Ministry    

ABC Sale  

AIDS Cook  Team  

CROP Walk  

Habitat For  Humanity    

Project 500  

Thompson Child  and  Family  Focus  

Weekly Hygiene  Collections  

Special Offering  Emphasis  

Mission Trips  

Sister Parish  Relationship  

Grape Harbor  

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Figure 7

STEWARDSHIP   OF   ALL  LIFE  

Stewardship Formation  Committee  

Personnel Committee  

Environmental Stewardship  Committee    

Scout Troops  

Finance Committee  

Vestry

Communications Committee  

Light on  the  Hill  Campaign  

Administrative Volunteers  

Annual Giving  Campaign  

Building and  Grounds  Committee  

Archives Committee  

Master Plan  Committee    

Recycling Program  

Preschool of  the  Parish    

Chapel Committee  

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D. Let Us Live the Good Life Together The Christian life is one of wonder and joy; it’s a way of life that we are invited into by God. With this invitation into “the Good Life,” a life lived in the light of God’s grace, we are drawn into the community of others – as friends of God who are trying to become holy through our habits and patterns of living like Christ. When we live “the Good Life” together in community, we strive for forgiveness, attentiveness, hospitality and integrity (Jenkins, 2007, pp. 8-9). This thesis/project seeks to tell the story of how parishioners at the Chapel of the Cross are striving to live “the Good Life” together as members of the Body of Christ both here, in our community, and in our world, with an overall focus on Gracious and Holy Hospitality, including faith formation, outreach, and welcoming new members and more. Chapter II contains a discussion of hospitality and a review of the literature on Hospitality, Strangers and God’s Love in the Bible, as well as an examination of theological issues involved in the thesis/project. In addition, some of the most salient biblical stories about Hospitality are presented. Chapter III presents the “heart and soul” of the thesis/project, including our intention and passion about hospitality, the twelve intentional hospitality practices and strategies that we have implemented, with theological and biblical underpinnings, and, lastly, a sermon inviting us to “come and see.” The sermon invites us to think broadly about an invitation to the people of the world, to come and see what the people of God are doing, to come and see what is happening when a family of Jesus’ followers gets together, and when there is more than enough love to go around.

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Chapter IV contains an analysis of the data, including the U.S. Congregational Life Survey; an analysis of the seven Strongest and the nine Strong Correlates of Financial Health of Episcopal Churches as defined by TENS, 2011, as related to the Chapel of the Cross and its results from the U.S. Congregational Life Survey; the thirty-three parishioner interviews, including interviews of four priests, two deacons, two staff members and twenty-five members of the laity; and an analysis, both quantitative and qualitative, of the interviews, with identified themes for the laity interviews and for the clergy and staff interviews. Results from the U.S. Congregational Life Survey are embedded throughout the thesis in the various related areas. Chapter V focuses on the future, with a look ahead to the ministry of evangelism and to how we must strengthen the church’s mission and health, including through transformative change and its lead to significant improvement. Additionally, Chapter V presents relevant comments from the presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church, the Bishop of North Carolina and our Rector at the Chapel of the Cross, as well as an inspirational poem, shared by the Rev. Dr. J. Barney Hawkins IV. I conclude the thesis/project with, “I Have loved Telling the Story of the Intentional Strategies and Practices for Hospitality at the Chapel of the Cross,” and look to the challenge of God, who said, “Out of darkness let light shine – let light shine within us, to give the light of revelation of the glory of God, and the face of Jesus Christ.” O God, who before the passion of your only begotten son revealed his glory upon the holy mountain: grant to us that we, beholding by faith the light of his countenance, may be strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed into his likeness from story to story, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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CHAPTER II. DISCUSSION OF HOSPITALITY AND LITERATURE REVIEW

The root word in hospitality, hospice, speaks to a common experience, such as meeting human needs, taking care of people, binding up the wounded, showing kindness and grace toward others. Stories of Jesus’ hospitality toward children, tax collectors, great unmanageable crowds of people and more are found in the Gospels. Living a life of hospitality was Jesus’ way of life (Jenkins, 2007, p.15). Hospitality was also the way of life for the early Christian disciples. Christians had a reputation for rescuing and adopting abandoned babies, caring for widows and for strangers in strange lands. Tertullian, a pagan citizen of Carthage living in the third century, converted to Christianity after being moved by the way Christians lived. He was known to have said, “See how they love one another,” referring to the great deeds of hospitality and kindness they shared (Jenkins, 2007, p. 15).

A. Liturgical Hospitality – Our God is a God of Love and Welcome God’s sharing of love in the church exemplifies hospitality; indeed, Boersma (2003, p. 67-77) argued that, “The implications of Christ’s presence in and through the liturgical hospitality of the church forms the primary shape of God’s gracious hospitality in our world.” Keifert (1992, p. 24) focused on the danger of a betrayal of authentic hospitality in his book, Welcoming the Stranger, and gave two ideologies. First, he said that the “ideology of intimacy” has taken hold of the North American Church, which posits “closeness and warmth” as “the most--or even the only--valuable experience that life affords.” This “ideology of

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intimacy” in Christian worship, he said, “fails to recognize the need to retain permeable boundaries that enable others to join the community in worship” (Keifert, 1992, p. 24). Second, Keifert “decries the ideology of individualism” and suggested that providing individual church members with feelings of wellbeing is not the first concern of genuine hospitality. Kiefert (1992) says: True hospitality reaches out to “the other” and can never be satisfied with erecting impermeable boundaries. The good news of the Gospel, in its very nature, expands boundaries as it reaches out to those beyond the Church. The Gospel is the Word of God that invites everyone to repent and to accept the lordship of Jesus Christ. The Sunday morning preaching of the Gospel has an open or public aspect. Every church is at heart a “seeker church,” seeking out and extending hospitality to those beyond her boundaries. The North American Church needs to recover the notion that in as much as hospitality has a place in the liturgy, it is the hospitality of the Gospel. It is, literally, an evangelical hospitality, in which God offers everyone His hospitality of forgiveness and reconciliation. (p. 24). This broader definition of hospitality fits well with the notion of hospitality at the Chapel of the Cross -- Preaching the Gospel, Baptismal Hospitality and Eucharistic Hospitality all received high ratings on the U.S. Congregational Life Survey at our church. While 91% of the survey respondents indicated that, “This congregation is strongly focused on serving the wider community beyond this congregation” and 78% indicated feeling, to various degrees, that “They have a strong sense of belonging to this congregation,” only 32% indicated believing that “Welcoming new worshipers should receive top priority.” As related to “Welcoming New worshippers,” our church is in the 53rd percentile when compared to other congregations. This

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finding defies the research, which suggests that when congregations and parishes are in the 80th percentile or above in other categories, as the Chapel of the Cross is, they also tend to be flourishing in other areas, such as inviting others to worship and growing spirituality. While we are not in the 80th percentile as related to “Welcoming Newcomers,” our top strength is “Growing Spiritually.” And, 82% of the survey respondents from the Chapel of the Cross indicated that they “Feel their spiritual needs are being met in their congregation.” Let us now take a further look at the three areas of hospitality as discussed by Boersma (2003, pp. 67-77): Evangelical Hospitality, Baptismal Hospitality and Eucharistic Hospitality.

a. Evangelical Hospitality Evangelical Hospitality is keenly related to the importance of preaching as God’s public gift of hospitality to the world. Palmer noted that, “By recovering the significant place of the expository sermon in the liturgy, the Church will be able to recover the communal, public invitation of God among the ‘company of strangers’” (Palmer, 1983, p.4). In addition, Boersma (2003, pp. 67-77) said, “The Church will in turn be equipped to demonstrate and extend forgiveness and reconciliation to other strangers, who will no longer feel excluded from a privatized and close intimate family worship. Our congregations will increasingly lose their social homogeneity. They will no longer be ‘lifestyle enclaves.’” The term “lifestyle enclaves” originated with Robert Bellah and was emphasized by L. Gregory Jones (1989, p. 13). “The Preaching of the Gospel—evangelical hospitality—is the expression of God’s desire for everyone to be saved” (1 Timothy 2:4).

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b. Baptismal Hospitality Baptismal Hospitality implies that “God reaches out to his people with genuine hospitality, extends to them his grace, and places them within the boundaries of His Church” (Boersma, 2003, p. 71). Baptism is the sacrament through which one enters into the Church and is united to Jesus Christ (Boersma, 2003, p. 70). This baptismal hospitality, Boersma said, is our “mutual recognition of each other’s baptismal practices, [which] counters our divisions and implies unity of the baptized and with the Universal Church.” Baptism calls us to respond to God’s hospitable invitation to join the church and to a life of fellowship with Christ and with other believers in the Church. Boersma finally suggested that baptismal hospitality “implies the need for a continual acceptance of the promise of forgiveness and life.” This emphasis on a call for faith does not imply a rejection of infant baptism, which is associated with the faith of the infant’s parents (Baxter, 2002). In the Rev. David Frazelle’s sermon, “Beloved,” given at the Chapel of the Cross on 8 January 2012, the first Sunday after Epiphany (and a Sunday on which seven babies were baptized), he said, “Baptism is the place where we Christians go to receive and celebrate that voice. Baptism is the well from which Christians drink the living water of God’s spirit of love. In baptism, we hear God say through the spirit, ‘you are My beloved child, and with you I am well pleased,’ and we begin to learn to speak that love to others on God’s behalf. It is this love that drives and sustains us, as we discover our unfolding identity and pursue the life that God has given us with all of its challenges and chances, into His love, into this new life.” (See sermon, attached as Appendix B.)

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c. Eucharistic Hospitality Hellwig (1992, p. 18) posited this about the Lord’s Supper: “It is in the first place the celebration of the hospitality of God shared by guests who commit themselves to become fellow hosts with God. It is the celebration of divine hospitality as offered in the human presence of Jesus as word, wisdom and outreach of God.” Hellwig, when referring to Eucharistic hospitality, said it is God’s gracious invitation to share in His feast of absolute hospitality in eternal life. “When God welcomes us, He does not do so because we are worthy of hospitality,” said Wilson. “Remember: ‘God proves His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us’ (Romans 5:18); the hospitality of God’s love does not depend on our worthiness. Through the Eucharist, God extends hospitality to His disciples; God’s hospitality is what all guests experience at the Lord’s Table” (Wilson, 1998, p. 2). In conclusion, as Boersma (2003, p. 77) said, “Since the Church is the continuation of Christ’s presence through the Spirit, the church’s hospitality is the enactment of God’s hospitality in Christ. It is, therefore, through the Church’s means of grace that she extends hospitality to those in need of shelter. The public preaching of the Gospel (evangelical hospitality), the baptismal bond of unity (baptismal hospitality), the reception of and participation in divine hospitality around the Table (Eucharistic hospitality), and the restoration of Communion through penance (penitential hospitality) make up the primary ways in which the Church embodies God’s hospitality.”

d. Bishop Mark Dyer’s Challenge In his 1998 Commencement Address at Virginia Theological Seminary, Bishop Mark Dyer challenged the Church to become “primarily a missionary community, looking outside with

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the heart, eyes and hands of Jesus Christ.” Dyer said that the mission of the church today is to make the love of God visible. For the church to be worthy of the title “Body of Christ,” we must encounter the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind, the sinner. Bishop Dyer asserted that the only authority Jesus Christ has given the church is to be the Body of Christ in holiness of life and in mission. “This authority and power is discovered at Table in Holy Communion, in table friendship with the poor, the brokenhearted, the outcast – all of us who have recognized our need for God and have come together to feed and free one another.”

B. Hospitality to the Stranger The Rev. Thomas Long (2001, pp. 1-5) gave us much to think deeply about regarding hospitality to the stranger. Quoting Quaker educator Parker Palmer (1981) and Patrick Keifert (1992), Long provided a view of their critique of intimacy and concluded that, “The church in its thinking about worship should replace the theologically insufficient category of ‘intimacy’ with the biblical category of ‘hospitality to the stranger.’” Keifert (1992, pp. 16-26) stated, “Hospitality to the stranger implies wisdom, love, and justice, rather than intimacy, warmth, and familiarity in our dealings with others in public.” Long suggested that it would be presumptuous and theologically naïve for us to believe that visiting strangers bring intimacy needs that our congregation must meet. Assuming that visitors are like us, with no real differences, suggests that our goal is to develop intimate friendships with the visitors. This is not true; in fact, visiting strangers may not be like us at all. Long proposed that they are “the other,” strangers, different. He used the term with a positive connotation and suggested that, “Because they are the other, they bring the promise of gifts and

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wisdom that the congregation does not yet have. Because they are different, they also bring challenges and potential dangers. They may be hard to accept, disruptive, or even violent, or they may have needs, financial or otherwise, beyond the capacities of your congregation to meet. Regardless of their promise or their danger, the church is called to be hospitable to these strangers, and you are on the front line of this ministry. This hospitality goes far beyond the narrow bounds of modern notions of intimacy and self-fulfilling friendship. Like Abraham and Sarah by the Oaks of Mamre, we are commanded to show hospitality when strangers appear at the flap of the tent, to open our home and tables and God’s house and table to these strangers so that they will find safe lodging, nourishment, cool water for the face, the oil of blessing, and rest for the soul” (Long, 2001, pp. 1-5). Long reminded us that when we offer hospitality to visitors, at the entrance to the church, for example, we are showing the hospitality of God; and this means a great deal more than issuing a cheery welcome or simply being a nice person. Rather than just friendliness, it is saving grace, greeting visitors with generosity and welcome in the name of Christ; we are making a place for them, a place in God’s House. The rewards of this hospitality to “the other” are mutually beneficial. Not only does the stranger need this hospitality; we also need it. As Christians, we know that the church is God’s house; it is God’s table, food, and lodging. When we show hospitality to others, we have the promise that we also receive the presence of God. Matthew tells us that Jesus taught his disciples, “Whoever welcomes one such child in My Name welcomes me” (Matthew 18:5). Long (2001) helped us theologically understand that offering hospitality to the stranger involves far more than just being “a friendly church.” Yes, visitors do need to be treated with

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kindness and generosity; yes, they need to be welcomed into the house and graciously invited to the table, but that is not all. Long (2001, pp. 2-5) proposed three broad areas of need: 1. People Want to Be Welcomed into God’s House. Architecture, good signage, helpful greeters, or perhaps a new building or rebuilding project all contribute to welcoming people into God’s House. Does the church building communicate the fact that holy and significant events happen in the space? Does the space speak of “transcendence as well as welcome?” (Hovda, 1994, p. 140). As important as the physical space is, the attitude of the congregations and its leaders speaks volumes to visitors. Again, the church is not only the church of the clergy. Clergy do not dominate. The church is for all, not only for “folks like us.” The way in which the life of the congregation is opened to the visitor is a real manifestation of our attitudes (Long 2001, p. 3). 2. People Want to be Known by Name. Greeters must be those with the gift of holy hospitality -- people of generosity, memory, kindness, ability to recognize a stranger, desire to meet and greet newcomers, ability to intuit the appropriate tenor of greeting. Some visitors prefer a quiet, unobtrusive reception; others prefer greetings with vigor and fanfare. Serving as a greeter is a ministry in itself. Callahan said, “We are looking for people with a quiet sense of warmth, a deep spirit of joy, and a hopeful, encouraging confidence” (Callahan, 1994, p. 16). Greeters possessing those attributes just described will be keenly aware that, when welcoming visitors into

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the place of worship, it is of the utmost importance to recognize visitors personally and to call them by name. Calling a visitor by name sends a personal signal to the visitor that he or she is entering into a congregation that is eager to know their talents, stories and values. 3. People Want To Be Joined With Others in Offering Themselves to God in Ways That Truly Matter. People come to church needing more than friendliness. Long (2001, p. 3) asserted, “People want to join with others in giving and serving, in doing something of value for God and for the world. Symbolically, we want to place ourselves in the offering plate.” Those in the church must look around and question. Are peoples’ talents and abilities employed throughout worship? Are people in the pews singing and praying and reading and conversing and testifying and blessing and offering themselves to God? Does the energy of worship fill the whole sanctuary, or is it concentrated in the chancel? Bishop William H. Willimon (2011), former Dean of the Chapel at Duke University, wrote that hospitality should begin in the church parking lot. He said that he has made it his business to visit growing congregations to learn about why they are thriving. When he asked one of his “dynamic pastors” to name the most significant act of leadership that encouraged growth, the pastor answered, “We want church to begin in our parking lot; we’re vetting and training teams of friendly greeters who meet visitors in the parking lot, welcome them, hand them

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off to the hosts who stay close to them in the service, then invite them to lunch afterwards” (Willimon, 2011). Bishop Willimon said that he has learned that, “The main difference between a congregation in decline and one with a future is the difference between practicing the faith for the exclusive benefit of ‘insiders’ (the members of the congregation) and passionate concern for the ‘outsider’ (those who have yet to hear and to respond to the gospel).” According to Willimon, Jesus Christ died for the whole wide world; therefore, hospitality is a theological test for the fidelity of a church (Willimon, 2011).

C. Our God is a God of Welcome: What is Radical Welcome? According to Spellers (2006, pp. x-xi), “Radical Welcome” is: •

A new definition of evangelism for the 21st Century.

A direction that moves us through the mono-cultural dead end of traditional images of evangelism and beyond the boundaries of polite cultural interaction.

The transformation of human life from the isolated to the integrated.

A process by which isolated parts of a whole community are brought together in creative and compassionate ways to generate a more integrated, balanced and dynamic mixture.

A community that stays hospitable, connected, centered and open to conversation and intentional methods and practices that bring the gospel alive in communities that work for everyone, not just for the few.

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A fundamental spiritual practice about renewal, about growth, and about intelligent change.

Spellers (2006, p. 6) wondered if it were possible to reverse the effect of years (maybe generations) of alienation, marginalization and outright rejection, to transform mainline churches into the multicultural, multi-generational, inclusive body of Christ that many yearn for the church to become. Spellers passionately described the stranger, the outcasts, the poor, people of color, gay people, young adults, and many, many more. She said that, “We resonate with the church’s theology and traditions—we love our congregations and pray and labor for their health, growth and ministry” (Spellers, 2006, p.6). That does not mean that we feel welcome. How can we break down the walls that divide us? Many walls exist, including social class, ethnicity, etc. Even so, we are called to welcome the stranger recognized as one who may bring the gift of hospitality. The church has many such calls and opportunities to greet strangers in need and to extend the ministry of hospitality to them. Do we recognize these calls and are we faithfully seeking ways to extend the gospel through this ministry? Are we Episcopalians a welcoming and accepting community of believers? Do our smaller, more defined communities, our “Inner Rings,” separate us? Are our appointed groups, albeit sometimes necessary and functional, perceived as cliques, and are they non-welcoming? Do those among us share feelings of exclusion and even prejudice within some of our activities? Are we all treating each other with love? We are, after all, followers of Jesus Christ, members of God’s Kingdom on Earth, called to treat everyone with acceptance and respect as God’s children (Crow, 2011, p. 16). Crow

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concluded that, “Jesus may have been the force behind the formation of the inner ring of the disciples, but he constantly challenged those boundaries, demanding that the children be allowed to come to Him, going to dinner with questionable individuals, conversing with the women at the well, and protecting the prostitute. May we all strive to follow in the example of Christ: to use the strength of groups to do the work of God and to treat all with dignity and respect” (Crow, 2011, p. 17).

D. Love One Another a. Ubuntu Theology In a handwritten sermon, Archbishop Desmond Tutu forcefully reminded us that we are the Body of Christ who loved unto the end (Tutu, 1988). The outstanding mark of the church that distinguishes us in the world is not wealth or influence but instead, practice of the following: “A new commandment I give to you that you love one another as I have loved you, so are you to love one another. If there is this love among you, then all will know that you are my disciples” (John 13:34-35). (Battle, 1997, p.91). Tutu said that, “By recognizing the image of God in others, one comes to appreciate how God creates by relating to difference” (Battle, 1997, p. 6). Ubuntu theology, widely acclaimed by Archbishop Tutu, is the quality of interaction in which one’s own humanness depends on recognizing it in the other. Each person’s culture is important, but it is the human interaction that is most significant. Battle (1997, p. 45-46) provided an illustration, citing author and philosopher Augustine Shutte (from the research of John Heron) on the phenomenon of mutual gazing. It was on “the Zulu greeting ‘Ndibono’ (‘I see you’), coupled with the Zulu response ‘Sawubona.’ (‘Yes.’), that Shutte noted, ‘it is not the

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physical properties of your eyes that I fix on, as an eye specialist might—rather it is when I pick up your gaze, my eyes actually either simply oscillate back and forth between your eyes, or else fixate on a point equidistant between them. What I pick up is the gaze, and in the gaze the presence of a person actively present to me. And the same is simultaneously true of you.’” Ubuntu theology suggests that the “gaze” is neither European nor African but human. The important thing is that, “By recognizing one’s identity in the other, Tutu’s theology guards against the Western propensity for racial classification. Ubuntu theology seeks to show that persons are more than black or white; they are human” (Battle, 1997, p. 46).

b. Quoting Mother Mary Francis and Others “Friendship is the common denominator for every kind of love there is” (Francis, 2006, p. 12). Christ said, “Love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12). C.S. Lewis’ The Four Loves (1960, p.4) cited affection, friendship, charity and Eros, with the highest of these loves being the love of friendship. In our churches, we refer to this spiritual friendship in its broader sense. Religious friendship calls for us to be available to one another. From this came warm spontaneous sharing, spontaneous prayer at times and deep interpersonal relationship (Francis, 2006, pp. 63-64). The more open we are to God, the more open we are to one another. Building true friendship requires continual openness and availability. As we grow spiritually, we impart it to others. Each Sunday, when we “Pass the Peace,” we are giving and receiving. Reciprocity is the key. This symbolic gesture highlights the giving and receiving of God’s peace.

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As people of prayer, we strive to be open to the Holy Spirit, who shows us what to do if we allow it. As we grow in prayer, we grow in love and charity. “Charity flourishes better in an atmosphere of love” (Francis, 2006, p. 106). “Power belongs to God, and Yours, O Lord, is kindness” (Psalms 62:11-12). We have this power with one another. Kindness grows as we are open to one another (Francis, 2006, p. 89). And, in the words of Teresa of Avila: “Christ has no body on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which the compassion of Christ is to look out on a hurting world. Yours are the feet on which He is to go about doing good. Yours are the hands with which to bless now. Amen.”

c. The Need for Compassion In the autumn 2011 issue of its publication, Cathedral Age, the National Cathedral focused on “The Theme of Compassion,” our capacity to feel the experiences of others, literally suffer with them. Those writing for the Cathedral stressed the importance of increasing our understandings across cultures and between faiths. “If we have compassion it increases our ability to take on great causes. It aligns with altruism and service” (Wind, 2011, p. 2).

E. Being Present for Each Other’s Prayer, Rituals and Practices In her recent article, Paulsell posited that faith matters. “Our priests today,” she said, “learned new ways of gathering for worship as our divinity schools have become more multireligious in their teaching.” Students at Harvard Divinity School, for example, “want to be with each other as we truly are. . .we want to be present for each other’s prayers and rituals and practices. We want to be led in Torah study by the Jewish students and in Friday prayers by the

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Muslims; to listen to a dharma talk with the Buddhist students and hear a sermon with the Baptist; to be with the Episcopalian students for the Eucharist and with the Hindus for puja; to light Advent candles with the Roman Catholics, offer prayers at the flaming chalice with the Unitarian Universalists and keep silence with the Quakers” (Paulsell, 2012, p. 35). Seeing the differences between various ritual practices, holy books, music and conceptions of the divine, and observing the family resemblances and shared concerns, is what Thomas Merton called the “wider Oikoumene” of the human family. As our ministers and priests are able to share the distinctive wisdom of their traditions and are able to work across boundaries within their own communities, so will they be able to articulate a common command to “love our neighbors as ourselves” (Paulsell, 2012, p. 35).

F. Seeing the Other In a 2010 sermon, Chapel of the Cross Rev. David Frazelle spoke about vision, or seeing “the other,” in this case an uninvited woman of the city and a known sinner, in relation to Jesus and Simon the Pharisee. The woman, it turned out, was a “living example of the blessedness of the poor, the week, the merciful, and those who mourn. And, ironically, she was a better and more appropriate host than Simon.” (See sermon, attached as Appendix C.) In the story, Jesus asked Simon, “Do you see this woman? You have no water for my feet, no kiss of peace, no oil for my head, even though you were my supposed host. But this woman has bathed my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair, and kissed and anointed them. Simon, do you see this woman?” Frazelle concluded with the uncomfortable question that God puts before us: “How do we see and respond to the other? To those who belong to some category of person different from

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our own? Every time I choose whether to look a homeless person in the eye on Franklin or Rosemary, I answer Jesus’ question. Whenever a person in any category deemed unacceptable by society or morality comes and sits in one of these pews, we make our choice. Day in and day out, we answer, by our words and our actions, Jesus’ question. ‘Do you see this man? Do you see this woman? Do you see this Child of God? Do you see these downtrodden people and can you hear their cries?’ May our answer, may this nation’s answer, and for God’s sake, may our church’s answer, be ‘Yes.’”

G. Time Off to Hear the Rev. Dr. Ian Markham I took a little time off to travel to my home in Wilmington to hear the Dean of Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) speak. In my mind, I felt sure he would include some thoughts on “Hospitality,” and so he did. This delightful evening was well spent. On August 18, 2011, at 7 p.m., the very Rev. Dr. Ian Markham spoke in the Great Hall of St. James Episcopal Parish in Wilmington, North Carolina, on the topic: “A Seminary Dean’s View of the Future of the Episcopal Church.” Billed as “Atheism-Combating Academic to Speak,” on the front page of the Local and State section in the August 18 copy of Wilmington’s daily newspaper, Star News, Steelman wrote, “Despite a sharp drop in national membership and much publicized controversies, the Dean of the Episcopal Church’s Virginia Seminary thinks the denomination’s future is bright.” Steelman referred to the speaker as the Rev. Ian Markham, Dean and President of the 193-year-old seminary in Alexandria, Virginia, and quoted him as saying (in a very British accent, as I can now imagine it), “It’s a good, healthy, robust church. . .and, I think the future of the (American) Episcopal Church is the future of Anglicanism, the communion of churches with historical connections to the Church of England” (Steelman, 2012).

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Steelman further acknowledged that Markham, who has headed VTS since 2007, is a recognized scholar in Christian Ethics with a Master’s degree from Cambridge and a Ph.D. from the University of Exeter in England. This British scholar is all too aware that in the past three decades the baptized membership of the American Episcopal Church has shrunk from 3.2 million to slightly more than 2 million. The cause of the decline is largely attributable to controversies concerning the ordination of women and gays as priests and bishops. Many members and some entire parishes have left the denomination; even so, Markham spoke about thinking that, with the withdrawal of the “conservative provinces,” the remaining church has stronger factions more willing to work together. Markham believed that, “Things are going to be bumpy at the level of the primates;” but that down in the parish, the diocese, and at the seminary level, “support is as strong as ever.” (Steelman, 2012). Dean Markham delighted the audience with his knowledge of the Episcopal Church today and his opinions about the future, all delivered in classic British style. The Dean gave us hard data regarding membership, noting that church membership of 3,647,297 in 1966 is now down to approximately 2 million. Average Sunday attendance (ASA), he said, has been recorded since 1991. From 1991 to 2001, ASA rose by 18,749. In 2002, the church recorded a sharp decline of 11,926 in ASA. The decline grew in 2003. Markham suggested that the majority of congregations are very small, but the majority of Episcopalians attend large churches. More specifically, 80 percent of Episcopal churches have less than 100 people attend on Sunday; whereas, 80 percent of Episcopalians attend the remaining 20 percent of Episcopal churches, the larger churches. Despite all this, Dean Markham affirmed his strong belief that the Episcopal churches of America are here to stay and flourish. Why? He pointed to the future and the world needing the

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Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. As he noted, “Many forms of religion are very ugly.” Ours is a church that takes people into a story of continuity. Our language is beautiful; the service is great, even without the sermon; the sermon disappears before the peace, and we go right into the Great Thanksgiving. A particular strength is that our lectures/sermons have structure and form. We receive the best from the past; our liturgy is powerful, possessing flow, rhythm and life-enhancing liberty. Dean Markham cited Brian McClaren, a non-denominational pastor and thinker and the primary voice behind the emerging church, who talks about the “Episcopal moment:” the attractions of an Episcopal liturgy centuries old (rather than constructed moments before the service), a thoughtful theology and a generous expression that will attract members. We accept differences; it’s our calling. We want to live together even though we profoundly disagree. If this is not the case, Dean Markham explained, then we are in trouble. Dean Markham spoke about hospitality, admitting that the future could include some changes. The Episcopal Church needs to connect with the greater community in order to be more open to each other and all. The welcome in the Episcopal Church must be more intentional. Services must be expanded to be more inclusive and, perhaps, more alternative. Our liturgy must be explained with greater clarity. On a lighter note, Dean Markham mentioned that some say that Episcopalians are so confident in God’s love that they don’t mind skipping a week. Furthermore, as the media doesn’t fail to point out, the Episcopal Church is having trouble simply because we are not having enough babies. Dean Markham concluded that, in the end, we must continue to link with doubts. We must do the hard work of discernment; we must build bridges.

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H. Hospitality, Strangers and God’s Love In the Bible God’s welcome is Gospel hospitality; indeed, it is about the good news of hope and abundant life. As Christians, we have a welcoming faith, as we proclaim a welcoming God in Jesus Christ (Oden, 2008, p. 8). We know that early Christians practiced hospitality in welcoming the stranger because, “they were profoundly moved by God’s welcome in their lives and wanted to share it in concrete ways: tending to the contagious sick that no one would help, receiving foreign refugees seeking aid, welcoming the poor and outcasts in their communities. In fact, God’s guest list includes a disconcerting number of poor and broken people, those who appear to bring little to any gathering except their need” (Pohl, 1999, p. 16). The Gospel of Matthew suggests that the operative word is least: “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:40). “Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to me or the least of these, you did not do it to me’” (Matthew 25:45). The distinct attribute of Christian hospitality is that, in offering a welcome to the least, there is no concern for benefit to the host.

I. Theological Issues Involved in the Thesis/Project Genuine hospitality lies at the heart of the church and of the ministry that God calls us to do. We are the Body of Christ, and we are called to love one another. The Baptismal Covenant says, “Continue in the Apostle’s teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of the bread and in the prayers; proclaim by word and example the good news in Christ; and seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself” (Book of Common Prayer, pp. 204-5).

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Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1959, p. 37) included hospitality as one of the most important practices in a community of faith. According to Bonhoeffer, practicing “holy habits” is what a Christian community of faith does. As Anglicans, we are named a communion – the Anglican Communion. The word “communion” means fellowship, intimate rapport or interaction and sharing. Anglicans are in communion if they act in communion, if they gather together in worship at the table and participate (Keshgegian, 2004, p. 600). The principle of relationships is fundamental for Christians. Relationships hold the Anglican Communion together. Not only are we in relationship with Canterbury and other Anglican consultative groups, but through our relationship, we and the whole Church are enriched by offering genuine hospitality to others. “We need one another to be God’s people, to be whole, to be saved.” We are knit together as Anglicans; maintaining relationship and connection is a requirement of our identity as Christians. “It is fundamentally theological and is, in part, what it means to affirm incarnation” (Day, January 2005; Keshgegian, 2004, p. 601). The Church, as the Body of Christ, calls us to love one another. It is the ecclesia, those who belong to Christ. We affirm this as the one, holy Catholic and apostolic Church with Christ as the head of that gathered community. In baptism, we become members of Christ’s body. We profess the faith and carry on the mission given to the church; this we do generation after generation through the hospitality and word, table and service. Our gifts are used to carry the ministry of Christ in our churches, communities and the world. We serve Christ when we extend hospitality to the stranger: “I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you welcomed me”

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(Matthew 25:35). Through hospitality, we participate in the work of the church; this is our mission to be an outward and visible sign to the world (Day, January 2005). The Gospel of Matthew tells us that the greatest commandment is “to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and strength,” and the second is “to love your neighbor as yourself.” The two are inextricably connected; that is, the love of God and the love of one’s neighbor. As communities of faith, we are called to welcome, honor and love all persons. (Day, January 2005). We aim to tell the story, proclaiming the good news of God in Jesus Christ. “And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee.” The Gospel teaches us that when Jesus was teaching in the synagogue and healed the man possessed with a demon, it astonished the people so much that His fame spread throughout the region. He healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, cured the lepers, unleashed the unclean spirit in the man and brought Lazarus back from the dead. He reached out to all as no one else dared to do. He ate with sinners, healed people on the Sabbath, rebuked religious leaders and drove the moneychangers out of the temple, calling the temple “his Father’s home” (Sheay, 1992, p. 101). Unlike the scribes, whose authority derived from the words of their teachers, Jesus spoke from an inner experience, his personal relationship with God. He proclaimed the good news of the kingdom, and endured the cross and the grave for us. Now, we spread the good news and the greatest commandments: to love God, and to love your neighbor as yourself. “We gather together in word and sacrament. We sing songs of thanksgiving and praise to God. We meet the risen Christ who calls us into community and sends us out again and again and again” (Sheay, 1992, p. 103).

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As bearers of God’s love to others, we become bearers of the glory of the new life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Mark 9:2-8 tells us that Christ brought his closest friends up to a high mountain, where he was transfigured before them. Peter, James and John brought others to the love of Christ, and we, in Christian love and hospitality, are called to bring others to that same transforming love (Sheay, 1992, p. 107). That transforming love is very important to the church. The church is “where in that friendly open space heart meets heart, soul touches soul, where stories can be heard and shared, where we are no longer strangers, where we come to know that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, and where we can all rejoice with one voice in ‘Thanks be to God’” (Sheay, 1992, p.107). For Episcopalians, the two primary sacraments are Baptism and Eucharist. Jesus, who loves us so much, gives us sacraments so that we may know His unending love for us in a very personal way. Sacraments also allow us to share His love with each other and see His love in each other. As baptized Christians, we are disciples of Christ, spiritual beings, ministers for our Lord Jesus. Today, we are commanded to love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind. This is our mission in life – to know God in our heart by prayer; in our soul, as perceived by others through our good deeds; and in our minds through learning and meditating, day and night. Theologian David Brown taught us that our mission in Jesus Christ is to learn the mind of Christ, to offer the prayer of Christ and to do the deeds of Christ. In this way, we love the Lord with our whole being. We are also commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves. It is not enough that we should love; we must show this love to others. Before we can love our neighbor, we must love

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ourselves; before we can love ourselves, we must know that Jesus loves us. Time with God is personal and sacred; this personal relationship with Jesus is how we know that he loves us. Our theology is clear. Our Baptismal Covenant says, “We seek to serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves, we strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being.” As a community of faith, we are called to welcome, honor and love all persons with God’s help. As a community committed to the gospel, we are called to be a people whose lives are defined by love and whose community is characterized by compassion and caring within and beyond itself. The Catechism tells us, “The mission of the church is to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ.” And the ministry of the lay person is to represent Christ and his church. “To bear witness to him wherever they may be; and according to the gifts given them, to carry on Christ’s work of reconciliation in the world; and to take their place in life, worship and governance of the church” (Lemler, 2006, p. 37).

J. Guests, Hosts and Strangers in the Bible Offering Christian hospitality in the Bible is a moral imperative. Deuteronomy 10:19 reminds us that God’s people were once strangers and refugees taken in by God: “You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” Leviticus 19:34 says, “The alien who resides with God shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.” “The Greek word xenos means ‘stranger,’ but also ‘guest’ and ‘host.’ From xenos comes the New Testament word for hospitality: Philoxenia means a love of the guest/stranger or enjoyment of hosting guests” (Pineda, n.d., p. 1).

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And so it was in ancient times that, “Practicing hospitality reminded the covenant people that they were God’s people—that they were dependent upon God’s goodness and faithfulness for their own safety and sustenance. They, in turn, offered that to those strangers around them” (McKinley, 2003, p. 1). Consider Leviticus 19:33-34: “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. The stranger who sojourns with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were a stranger in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord Your God.” This passage is an ethical and ritual command, the commandment to love all persons, including aliens/strangers. “A goal associated with God’s nature was his desire for humans to be holy: ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” (Leviticus 19:2). Holiness means imitation Dei, the life of goodness. We as human beings must strive to imitate God by following his commandments, with the commandment to love all persons soaring high. (The HarperCollins Study Bible, p. 182). In the New Testament, Jesus is portrayed as a gracious host, and one who welcomes little children (see, e.g., Luke 18:15-17), prostitutes, tax collectors (see, e.g., Mark 2:16), and sinners. Jesus’ table companionship practice offered an invitation to the good life. It was joyfully accepted and was “an example of generosity from those who felt themselves well off and, especially when the social, moral, religious or ethnic outcasts were also present, it provided a powerfully effective illustration of the fact that the good things of life, the treasures of life, were equally available to all, and that each was equally acceptable to all” (Mackey, 1979, p. 150). In John 1:11, Jesus is shown to be one who understood what it was like to receive no welcome, even in his own home: “He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him.” Imagine Jesus, in his life on earth, experiencing “the vulnerability of the homeless

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infant, the child refugee, the adult with no place to lay his head, the despised convict” (Pohl, 1999, p. 17). Koenig (2001, p.3) said that, “The most winsome of all New Testament passages relating to New Testament Hospitality” is “do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” (Hebrews 13:2). There are significant strands contained in the New Testament revealing guest/host relationships between Jesus and all humanity. Pohl (1999, p. 20) cited two New Testament texts, Luke 14 and Matthew 25, which she said “shaped the distinction between conventional and Christian hospitality” for the Christian tradition. Luke 14:12-14 is explicit with Jesus’ instructions about invitations: “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” Matthew 25:31-40 is the story of the judgment of the Gentiles: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the King will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave

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you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’” The passage from Matthew 25:31-40 has been posited as the “most important passage for the entire tradition on Christian hospitality” (Pohl, 1999, p. 22). Dorothy Day, a woman who lived her life in hospitality to destitute persons talked about the significance of the passage: “There He was, homeless. Would a church take Him in today—feed Him, clothe Him, offer Him a bed? I hope I ask myself that question on the last day of my life. I once prayed to God that He never, ever let me forget to ask that question” (Coles, 1987, p.69). There have been various ambiguities and interpretations in the biblical texts; however, it remains that Christians must include those who are most likely to be overlooked, realizing that not only does God welcome the needy and disadvantaged, but that God is actually welcomed through these people (Pohl, 1999, p. 23). In serving as wisdom’s spokesperson, Jesus had this to say: “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Or, in showing Jesus as being the way to the Father, John 14:2 says, “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” Or, recall the words of James in a message to the community of Laodicea, a major commercial center east of Ephesus: “Listen, I am standing at the door, knocking; if you can hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me” (Revelations 3:20, The NRSV-Bible, p. 2314).

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K. Hospitality Loses Ground 1. Pohl (1999) proposed and made a compelling argument that, after being held as a very important mandate in the ancient church, hospitality “got lost” in later centuries. 2. Tocqueville (1969, p. 506) proposed that over 150 years ago, a tendency in the United States developed “Toward an individualism which disposes each citizen to isolate himself from the mass of his fellows and to withdraw into the circle of family and friends.” Certainly, this view does not harmonize with the concept of America as the great melting pot, where welcoming the stranger stands a paramount cultural tenet. As we move forward in history, “we entered a period of rugged individualism and communal concern.” The two ideals vie for supremacy. “Presently we seem preoccupied with individual autonomy of the prosperity of family and friends” (Koenig, 2001, p. ix). 3. Additionally, Koenig (2001, p. ix) proposed that Christians say that they “are no longer strangers and aliens, but citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God.” 4. There are many questions around these themes, but the key ones for us are the following: “How can we sustain and nurture hospitality so that it becomes a vibrant and life-giving practice (in the church)?” (Pohl, 1999, p. 15). And, as Donahue asked, how can we be attuned to the fears and divisions within the human heart, which cause us to erect defenses against the stranger, and how can we remove these boundaries? (Koenig, 2001, p.4). At the Chapel of the Cross and with God’s help, we are committed to answering these questions.

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L. Nouwen and Parker Enter the Discussion Henri Nouwen and Parker Palmer quite naturally come to mind when focusing on a concept as basic as “the stranger,” and the impact the concept has on our Christian faith. Reminding us that God’s love becomes apparent when we give and receive hospitality, Nouwen (1975, p.47) told us, “Ordinary guest-host relationships among humans can take on a sacramental quality. When hostility is converted into hospitality, then fearful strangers. . . become guests revealing to their hosts the promise they are carrying with them. Then, in fact, the distinction between host and guest proves to be artificial and evaporates in the recognition of the new-found unity. Thus, the biblical stories help us to realize not just that hospitality is an important virtue, but even more that in the context of hospitality, guest and host can reveal their most precious gifts and bring new life to each other.” Palmer (1981, p. 65) suggested that, “Strangers may assume the role of ‘spiritual guide’ when we find ourselves confused about where God is in our private and public lives. The stranger is not simply one who needs us—we need the stranger if we are to know Christ and serve God, in truth and love.” Additionally, Palmer had this to say about hospitality: “Hospitality is ‘inviting the stranger’ into our private space, whether that be the space of our own home or the space of our personal awareness and concern. And when we do so, some important transformation occurs—our private space is suddenly enlarged; no longer tight and cramped and restricted, but open and expansive and free. And our space may also be illumined. . . Hospitality to the stranger gives us a chance to see our own lives afresh, through different eyes” (Palmer, 1981, p. 69).

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M. Bible Stories about Hospitality The Scripture is filled with stories of hospitality. Along with Jesus’ important teachings about hospitality, there are biblical stories/narratives revealing powerful understandings about and commitments toward hospitality. These hospitality stories contain elements of surprise and even mystery. Often, God unexpectedly appears; strangers become angels; food miraculously multiplies; risk becomes blessing.

a. The Feeding of the Five Thousand, John 6:1-15 Each of the four Gospels tells a story about “the feeding of the five thousand” and the consequently implied miracle. The story is about Jesus and his disciples walking with friends in the countryside with a crowd of 5,000 men and some women and children following him. They wanted to hear Jesus’ teachings. Later in the day, when it became time to eat, Jesus asked his disciples what there was to eat; a disciple answered, “five loaves and two fish.” The story goes on to say that Jesus took the bread, broke it, and passed it around to the people; he did the same thing with the fish (John 6:9). Baskets of food remained, even after everyone had eaten. Some have tried to explain the miracle by proposing that various others in the crowd had food; when Jesus passed food to those nearby, those others did the same with their food. Still, this is a story about hospitality. Jesus demonstrated his point: Life is a banquet, even in the midst of a wilderness; this was the way in which life should be lived. In the image of this story, the “Christian ministry is about feeding and being fed.” Some need to be fed every day. The story of the feeding of the five thousand reminds us that the church must establish a connection between those who have food and those who need it (Nouwen, 1994).

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In the story, Jesus is the gracious host, feeding more than 5,000 people on a remote hillside. He later tells the people that he is the bread of life, drawing an explicit analogy: “Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty’” (John 6:35).

b. Welcoming the Stranger (Under the Oaks of Mamre), Genesis 18:1-5 The story of “Welcoming the Stranger Under the Oaks of Mamre” features Abraham and his wife Sarah. The story is perhaps most quoted for its depiction of the radical hospitality offered by God; it includes aspects of readiness, risk, repentance, and recognition. In the story, Abraham and Sarah were living in a tent under “the sheltering oaks at Mamre” for many years. It was a place to which God had called them and where Melchizedek, “the priest of the Most High God,” had blessed them. Abraham and Sarah had no descendants, though God had promised them “as many as the countless stars.” Abraham was now in his nineties, and Sarah was in her eighties. Abraham was outside of the tent when he saw three figures approaching. He immediately welcomed them, offered them food and drink and a resting place. He washed the feet of each of the strangers, and stood nearby. The strangers called for Sarah; they told Abraham and Sarah that by the time they returned next year, Abraham and Sarah would have a son. The guests, who had been so graciously welcomed, essentially became the hosts, offering Sarah and Abraham hope and the promise of a child. Whether we are most recently hosts or guests, Christians recount this story placing emphasis on the need to be ready like Abraham and Sarah. Christians must be ready to

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welcome the stranger, ready to take risks, ready to offer our world to another. This readiness implies trust that welcoming a stranger offers a closer relationship to God. The message in the story is clear: “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it” (Hebrews, 13:12). The story is “unambiguously positive about welcoming strangers--it connects hospitality with the presence of God, with promise, and with blessing” (Pohl, 1999, p. 24). The story further reminds us that Abraham’s readiness derived from years of practicing and experiencing walking with God. Abraham was open to God’s call when he left his own land for one that was alien to and unseen by him. In applying the message of this story to our lives, we must ask ourselves a question: Are we opening our hearts and listening to God, so that, when strangers come along, we are ready for gospel hospitality?

c. Two Lost Sons (The Parable of the Prodigal Son and His Brother), Luke 15:11-32 The Gospel of Luke tells a story of a man who had two sons. The father welcomed each of his sons home differently. The younger son had gone away and squandered his entire inheritance; the man welcomed his younger son home with open arms, wrapping his best cloak around him. In contrast to his brother, the older son had lived a dutiful life. The man welcomed his older son home, saying, “My son, you are always with me, and all I have is yours.” The story demonstrates that God’s welcome is always ready and available. In writing about this parable, Nouwen (1994, p. 106) reflects on his own life: “For most of my life I have struggled to find God, to know God, to love God. . . Now I wonder whether I have sufficiently realized that during all this time, God has been trying to find me, to know me, and to love me. . .

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The question is not, ‘How am I to love God?’ but ‘How am I to let myself be loved by God?’ God is looking into the distance for me, trying to find me, and longing to bring me home.”

d. Jesus and Zacchaeus, the Tax Collector, Luke 19:1-10 In this story from the Gospel of Luke, Jesus visited the city of Jericho. In Jericho, Jesus saw Zacchaeus, who had climbed into a tree in order to get a good view of Jesus entering the town. Jesus said, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your home today.” Zacchaeus hurried down to welcome him. The crowd grumbled because Jesus had decided to be the guest of one who they knew to be a sinner. “Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord. Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone or anything, I will pay back four times as much.” Jesus then declared that salvation had come to Zacchaeus’ house, and proclaimed, “For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.” The hospitality encounter in this story has several interesting perspectives. Zacchaeus joyfully received Jesus, the traveler, after Jesus, the host, demonstrated a deeper hospitality for Zacchaeus, the sinner. Jesus exclaimed that salvation had come to Zacchaeus’ house because Zacchaeus had shown himself to be “a son of Abraham.” Extrapolating on the meaning of the story, “Zacchaeus welcomed not only Jesus, but also Jesus’ message” (Arterbury, 2005, p. 145).

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e. Jesus Visits Martha and Mary, Luke 10:38-42 In this story, also from the Gospel of Luke, Jesus had entered a certain village as a traveling prophet, “where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home.” Martha’s sister, Mary, “sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying.” Martha, busy with her hospitality duties, became annoyed that Mary did not pay closer attention to expected hospitality chores. Martha implored Jesus to tell Mary to perform her many tasks. The Lord answered her as such: “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.” Martha was performing her duties as a virtuous host; Jesus was not, we believe, rebuking her. But, in this case perhaps, Mary was doing something even more valuable by simply sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to his messages and teachings. The message of this story sends a signal to the Christian host: “Do not become consumed with the duties of hospitality and thereby neglect the message of the kingdom.” (Arterbury, 2005, p. 144). Many more biblical hospitality stories exist and come to mind; however, at this point, although I love to read and share these anecdotal examples of biblical hospitality, I must move on to Chapter III to discuss the Intentional Hospitality Strategies and Practices at the Chapel of the Cross.

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CHAPTER III. THE MINISTRY OF HOSPITALITY AT THE CHAPEL OF THE CROSS

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Holy Spirit living within us, guide our hearts and minds as we welcome today all those who worship with us at Chapel of the Cross. Give us discerning hearts so that everyone who crosses our threshold feels welcomed in the spirit of your love. Help us to recognize each person as an individual sent by you who will enrich our lives. And most of all, O God, let this be a place of love and acceptance of all your children; in the name of your Child, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen. (Prayer by Valecia Harriman, Geitz, 2000.)

A. We Are Intentional and Passionate About Hospitality We are intentional, even passionate, about hospitality at the Chapel of the Cross. In an article in our church news journal, Cross Roads (August 2003) our rector, Rev. Stephen ElkinsWilliams wrote about hospitality against all odds: Dear Friends, A few Sundays ago at the time of welcoming, I mentioned to you the admonition of a Yale Divinity School preaching professor to his charges, ‘Never forget that the majority of people you face on Sunday morning almost decided not to come.’ That is good advice, not only for the preacher, but also for each of us who participate each Sunday, because

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part of our opportunity and responsibility as parishioners is to exercise hospitality. We are to welcome others, especially newcomers, who almost decided not to come. At the Chapel of the Cross, I think it is especially important that each one of us go out of the way to greet and welcome those who have taken that critical step to join us for worship. We operate under several significant handicaps! Consider that our average newcomers have first had to search diligently for a parking place and then perhaps walk a significant distance to get to the service. At the point of entering the Church or the Chapel, there is no roomy narthex in which to have friendly conversations or for welcoming and informative signs or banners. The liturgy itself may be confusing, and they may have trouble finding the place in the bulletin, the Prayer Book, and the hymnal and knowing what to respond, when to stand or kneel, and how to participate in communion. After the service, we have only a small dining room in which to offer hospitality and limited and difficult-to-find classroom space for education offerings. It is amazing that many of you made it past all those barriers! Not that we do not have much to offer those who come seeking. Our worship spaces and grounds are inspiriing and beautiful. Our liturgies are engaging and planned with great care. The reverent participation of our congregation is striking and strengthening. Those charged with preparing the altar, preaching, proclaiming the scripture, leading the music, and assisting with the service in other significant roles do so conscientiously, faithfully, and skillfully. People do find a sense of the divine transcendence (God beyond us) in our worship. Our challenge is to help people also find the immanence of God (God within and among us). Our welcoming smiles, our attentiveness to others’ needs, our friendly

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initiative, can make all the difference in helping people find the presence of God among us. If you sense bewilderment in your pew mates, be attentive to their needs. If, before or after the service, you are near people whom you are not sure whether or not you are supposed to know (!), introduce yourself anyway. You do not have to say, ‘You must be new!’ Just tell them your name. You would want them to do the same for you. All of us have many things on our minds and hearts when we come to church. We have prayers to pray, sermons to digest, people to see, even duties to fulfill. But let us also exercise the important ministry of hospitality. We may be just the messengers those who come to us need to hear God’s love for them.

B. Twelve Intentional Hospitality Practices and Strategies for the Chapel of the Cross Chapter III includes the Twelve Intentional Practices and Strategies for Hospitality at the Chapel of the Cross. I have chosen to include worship and faith formation in these intentional strategies because of their prime importance to our congregation, as demonstrated by our surveyed parishioners’ responses on the U.S. Congregational Life Survey (discussed in more detail in Chapter IV). The Twelve Intentional Hospitality Practices and Strategies for the Chapel of the Cross: I. Worship – Our Most Intentional Way of Welcoming The Stranger II. A New Mission Statement – Welcomes You With an Open Door III. A Move to Open Communion – Welcoming Others Into The Household of God IV. The Blessing of Gay Unions – Widening Our Pastoral Care and Hospitality V. Justice and Peace/Global Missions—Our Partnership With South Africa: Kwasa School and St. Peter/St. Paul Episcopal Church

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VI. Our Comprehensive Program for Welcoming Newcomers: Including The Shepherds’ Program VII. The Capital Campaign—A Light on the Hill—Building to Serve a New Parish Fellowship Hall (Emphasis Area: Hospitality) VIII. Strategic Planning (Now and In The Future) for Hospitality IX. Funeral Hospitality Ministry X. Welcoming Children With Disabilities XI. ABC Sale to Support Community Needs: A Popular Welcoming Event for Newcomers XII. Faith Formation: The Heartbeat of The Church in the 21st Century

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INTENTIONAL HOSPITALITY STRATEGY I Worship at the Chapel of the Cross— Our Most Intentional Way of Welcoming the Stranger “How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the Lord” (Psalms, 84:1-2).

a. Worship The third component of the Chapel of the Cross mission statement affirms our commitment to the sacramental worship of God, engaging the richness and beauty of the Anglican liturgy and music. We are all called to worship God, to kneel before the Lord our Maker. At the Chapel of the Cross, we are privileged to do so in beautiful and cherished worship spaces with the support of the Book of Common Prayer and drawing on the variety and depth of Anglican spirituality and music. With Baptism and Holy Eucharist at the heart of our sacramental practice, we provide a wide range of liturgical opportunities. Corporately and individually, we offer the very best we have to God in worship: in music, in preaching, in reverent prayer, in visual arts, and in gracious hospitality (Elkins-Williams, March 2011, p. 3). In this parish, we look to the sacraments as “outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace.” Knowing that Baptism and Eucharist are the two great sacraments, parishioners rated “Sharing in Holy Communion, Eucharist, or the Lord’s Supper” as the number one aspect (63%) valued by our congregation. Traditional style of worship or music was rated second with 62% of the responses, and wider community care or social justice emphasis was third with 40% of the responses. Recently, a parishioner indicated to me that her main reason for coming to worship was to participate in the Eucharist. Through the weekly Eucharist we “make Christ

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present to us, that is, to make us aware of God’s presence and action in our lives. Through our participation in this sacramental action, we are reconstituted as Christ’s body, infused with Christ’s life, and empowered to be Christ’s presence in the world” (Westerhoff, 1998, p. 18). According to Lemler (2008, pp. 94-95), meaningful worship is characterized as such: “In every instance worship and preaching must be compelling, hopeful and inviting.” Lemler suggested that worship and preaching must be transforming, bearing and reflecting God’s transforming love and power. They must engage our hearts, our minds and souls in ways that connect the worshiper to God. Deepening relationships with God and being closely connected to God are intimately related to worship and preaching. With the U.S. Congregational Life Survey, completed as described in Chapter I of this Thesis/Project, 70% of the Chapel of the Cross congregation reported experiencing God’s presence during worship always or usually. John Dreibelbis and David Gortner (Lemler, 2008, p. 47) propose four essential descriptions of preaching connected to congregational vitality. One of these descriptions is, “It is invitational: people are invited into closer relationships with God,” as well as into a community of faith. A further 66% of our survey respondents said that they experienced inspiration during worship usually or always. Lemler (2008, p. 95) also indicated that the vitality of congregational life is related to experiencing joy and transcendence during worship. Fifty-eight percent of the parishioners indicated that they experienced joy during worship always or usually, while 27% said they were awed during worship always or usually. Joyful is another of the four descriptors proposed by Dreibelbis and Gortner for connecting preaching to congregational vitality (Lemler, 2008, p. 97).

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b. Awe in Worship In writing about the centrality of worship as revealed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, The Rev. Dr. Michael Battle had this to say: “If religion is seeking to worship and praise God, then it is trying to be present, in awe, wanting to remain in a wordless, imageless experience. . . It is to let God empty us of ourselves and to fill us with God’s fullness, so that we become more and more God-like, more and more Christ-like, that we should live, and yet, it should not be we who live but Christ living in us. Then we shall be holy even as. . . God is holy, a holiness that is not static or to do with ritual purity, but a holiness that must express itself in ethical, political, economic and social responsibility for our neighbor, for the widow, for the orphan and the alien in our midst” (Battle, 1997, pp. 6-7). With regard to his personal worship, Tutu said, “I could not survive at all if I did not worship, if I did not meditate, if I did not try to have those moments of quiet to be with God” (Battle, 1997, p. 7). The parishioners of this congregation believe in the good news of the Gospel. For sure, this good news is the proclamation of hope believed by Christians to be the heart and center of our faith. Joyful worship and preaching reaffirms our faith and our hope. Awe is transcendent in its nature and, when experienced, transports the Christian worshiper into the mystery of God (Lemler, 2008, p. 95). Westerhoff wrote of the tendency toward mysticism within Anglican spirituality. He explains that in spirituality, “There are two understandings of our human quest for the experience of union with God, namely, pietism and mysticism. Pietism emphasizes immediate experiences of God and assurance of divine election, a single, dramatic, emotional conversation experience. Mysticism emphasizes a long, slow journey into union with God through spiritual discipline and

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prayer, a series of conversion experiences toward new loyalties, new convictions, and new commitments. Anglican spirituality has an inclination toward mysticism” (Westerhoff, 1998, p. 20). A total of 72% of the Chapel of the Cross worshipers indicated that they rarely experienced frustration during worship. One may guess that the other 28% have trouble simultaneously managing the Program Service Leaflet, The Book of Common Prayer and the Hymnal, a common refrain with regard to our Episcopal worship materials. Our service bulletins are beautifully designed with both regular and large print; however, we continue to evaluate their effectiveness. The third of the four descriptors set forth by Dreibelbis and Gortner to connect preaching with congregational vitality is that preaching is life related, meaning the preaching draws “a hopeful connection between God’s love and human daily existence” and “connects themes, concerns and issues of modern and even postmodern living” (Lemler, 2008, pp. 47, 97). Also, 39% of the survey responders reported that worship services and other congregational activities help them to a great extent with everyday life. As previously described, Chapel of the Cross parishioners, for the most part, are highly educated: 63% have Master’s, Doctorate, or other graduate degrees; 31% possess a Bachelor’s degree from a university or college. Altogether, an impressive 94% have completed a higher education degree. Parishioners of this educational caliber may have trouble admitting that they need help. Further, 43% of Chapel of the Cross parishioners reported total annual household income (before taxes) of $100,000 or more (the highest income bracket listed on the survey), while 18% reported annual household income of $75,000 to $99,999, and 15% reported annual household income of $50,000 to $74,999. Even given the relatively higher living expenses in Chapel Hill

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and the Triangle area, these reported incomes are high as compared to the rest of the state. If parishioners are unable to admit that help is needed, one may guess that they are financially able to “seek out” an abundance of nearby experts to assist them with all manner of issues. I note that the fourth descriptor of good preaching connected to congregational vitality is biblical preaching. However, our survey instrument did not contain a question related to this particular descriptor. Anglican spirituality is both liturgical and biblical, and it is rooted in communal daily prayer, morning prayers, noon-day prayers, evening prayers, and Compline, as found in The Book of Common Prayer. Westerhoff (1998, p. 17) noted that Anglican prayer tends to be more formal and ritualistic than prayers used by other denominations. Anglicans habitually use established written prayers rather than spontaneous, extemporaneous prayer. Our prayers are beautiful “and ordered by the Gospel narrative as manifested in the church year with its seasons and emphases.” Our prayers are shaped by the Scriptures and are prayed with the intention of shaping our relationship with God.

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c. Dr. Wylie S. Quinn III Writes about Music at Chapel of the Cross It is no surprise that 62% of our survey respondents reported most valuing the traditional style of worship or music. Our organist and choirmaster, Dr. Wyle S. Quinn III, posited that the primary purpose of church music is “the praise and glorification of God.” In his essay, “Music in Liturgy – to Create Something Beautiful for God,” he said that the music at the Chapel of the Cross falls into several categories. These wide-ranging categories of “Beautiful Music for God” illuminate for us why parishioners rank worship and music as the most valued area of our church (Quinn, 2009). The first category suggested by Dr. Quinn is the so-called “Ordinary.” Music in this category includes the fixed texts of the Eucharist: Kyrie (“Lord have mercy up on us”), Gloria in excelsis (“Glory be to God on high”), Credo (“I believe in One God”), Sanctus (“Holy, Holy, Holy”), Benedictus (“Blessed is he that cometh in the Name of the Lord”), and Agnus Dei (”O Lamb of God”); these are the musical texts of great antiquity. We also sometimes sing the other texts of the Eucharist (e.g., The Lord’s Prayer, Prayers of the People). Beautiful and complex settings of these texts are also sometimes sung by the choir (Quinn, 2009). The second category, said Quinn, might loosely be called “hymns.” The Psalms, the “hymnbook” of both ancient Judaism and primitive Christianity, are foremost among the hymnody of Christianity. In both religious contexts, the Psalms were sung rather than recited. “A second group of hymns is composed of the canticles (literally, ‘little songs’), sacred songs or poetry (almost always from the Bible) used in liturgy, particularly in the Divine Office. Some came directly from the Old Testament: Venite, Jubilate Deo, the Song of Moses, the Song of Isaiah, or the Apocrypha - Benedictus es, Domina Some of the best-loved come from the Gospel of Luke: Benedictus, Manficant, and Nunc dimitis. Others, such as Te Deum, are the

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product of Christian tradition. We characteristically open and close our services, mark transitional points in the service and the taking of communion by singing hymns. The careful selection of hymns reinforces the biblical and liturgical themes of particular services, and they can be unforgettable markers along the cycle of the liturgical year” (Quinn, 2009). Quinn categorizes a third area of music as voluntary: “Anthems, motets or organ compositions offered in worship for the praise of God and to heighten the liturgical experience of specific days and seasons. These musical offerings call upon the best and most dedicated efforts of those people in our church who are talented and skilled in music and want to put their talents to the highest possible purpose: the worship of God.” All who hear this sacred music in our church are filled up with Christ. As Hildeggard of Bingen said, a musical performance softens “heartbeats, leads in the humor of reconciliation and summons the Holy Spirit.” As parishioners, we also say that this sacred music lifts our souls. Thanks be to God for music in our liturgy. With it, we are creating something beautiful for God (Quinn, 2009). And let us not forget the singers at the Chapel of the Cross, 100 or more in number, who “sing their hearts out in worship in pursuit of that dual objective to glorify God and to lift those who hear them up to the throne of God. The Cantus Choir, Junior Choir, Senior Choir, Parish Choir, Compline Choir -- contribute hundreds of people-hours every week for most of the year. We are also blessed with a large number of gifted and generous organists who choose their music with care, practice, and finally play for the Glory of God to build up the Body of Christ” (Quinn, 2009, p. 5). Anglicans acknowledge that, “The proper role of tradition or antiquity in discerning the mind and will of God is founded upon the awareness that the Scriptures themselves are the product of tradition; tradition formed them and has interpreted them throughout history”

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(Westerhoff, 1998, p. 13). In addition, our traditions are expressed in our worship and liturgies, through propers, collects that are appointed, lessons, and prayers. Our tradition may be reformed as Anglicans are “a people who at our Baptism are incorporated into a living, changing tradition, established by a community of faith that continually strives to know and do the will of God through the use of its three authoritative sources: Scripture, reason and tradition” (Westerhoff, 1998, p. 14). Wesley (2007, p. 13) said it well: “The beauty of our way of worship is unequalled anywhere else in Christendom. The setting, the vestments, the words of liturgy, the emotional grip of the music, and the growing cloud of incense all converge to say, ‘You are on holy ground’ and to invite those present to ‘worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.’” This is surely true at the Chapel of the Cross; all four of our priests and our two deacons are committed to this atmosphere of worship. The responses of our worshipers affirm that this is the case. Finally, regarding our Episcopal tradition, we are reminded that our roots are deep. “Our tradition extends back more than 200 years; our Anglican roots more than 450 years; and both our spiritual and liturgical roots, even beyond the onset of the Reformation. Our apostolic succession unites us with Christians of every generation” (Wesley, 2007, p. 13).

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INTENTIONAL HOSPITALITY STRATEGY II Adopting a New Mission Statement – We Welcome You with an Open Door

Previous Mission Statement The Chapel of the Cross, historically linked to the University of North Carolina and the Town of Chapel Hill, bears faithful witness to the presence of the Living God on the campus, in the community, in the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, and throughout the world. We are called to: •

Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness

Learn and teach the Christian faith

Love one another

Strive for justice and peace among the people

Care for more in need

Share our many blessings

And to do all with the truly thankful hearts in the Name of Jesus.

New Mission Statement The Chapel of the Cross welcomes you with an open door. We are: •

Called by tradition and mission to minister in the heart of the University and local community

Committed to the sacramental worship of God, engaging the richness and beauty of Anglican liturgy and music

Growing as disciples of Jesus through preaching, teaching, service and fellowship

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Bringing Gospel witness to the world (The Chapel of the Cross Liturgical Calendar June – August 2011)

The new mission statement in its entirety, with reflections by the Rev. Stephen ElkinsWilliams, on the scope of meaning, is found on pages 1-3.

INTENTIONAL HOSPITALITY STRATEGY III A Move to Open Communion: Welcoming Others into the Household of God

We are the Body of Christ, people transformed in their life and faith through the Spirit of God. We come together in church with faith and hope to pray and proclaim various celebrations. The celebration of the Holy Eucharist is a beginning. Here we gather “to be showered with God’s abundant grace and love, to be renewed and transformed in life, to be gifted with the powerful, playful Spirit of God, and to be enrolled in the expression of faith in which God is joined to us in this life and the life to come” (Lemler, 2008, p. 3). In love of Christian hospitality we welcome others into the household of God and proclaim Christian identity individually and corporately. The action of Holy Baptism identifies our Christian community as one of proclamation, service, and reconciliation. At its very core it is a community of hospitality and invitation. The Baptismal Covenant in the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church mirrors a baptismal theology of openness, transformation and service, and at the same time proposes a sense of empowerment, respect, and inclusion. This baptismal theology suggests an environment of welcome, hospitality and invitation to all to come and be welcomed (Lemler, 2008, p. 10). This

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invitation is a call to seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as ourselves. Our commitment is to feed the hungry, care for the sick and the lonely, visit the prisoner and provide shelter for the homeless. Can we embrace the United Nations’ Millennium Development goals calling us (among other things) to strive for justice for all people and to respect the dignity of every human being? Can we really change the world through respect, reconciliation and love? Our churches are by their very nature called to do this. We are communities called upon to “seek and experience transformation through prayer, service, fellowship and formation” (Lemler, 2008, p. 14). The Episcopal Church’s Standing Commission on Domestic Mission and Evangelism in 1998 framed a “20-20 Vision” designed “to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ.” The vision committed the Church to “being a healthy, dynamic, inviting church, reflective of the diversity of our society, deeply rooted in faith and the gospel, so that we live out our baptismal promise to be disciples who make disciples of Jesus Christ” (Lemler, 2008, p. 21). We practice holy hospitality each Sunday at the Eucharist in our church. God welcomes us to a feast provided by Him “with His own flesh and blood and thought. He offers us an ongoing opportunity to be wholly transformed” (Dolan, 2003, p. 1). Paul was clear with the Corinthians (1 Cor. 11:17-22): Without hospitality, there would have been no Lord’s Supper. The community must be nurtured and honored in order for a celebration to occur. More than just a ritual, the Lord’s Supper must proclaim and remember Christ’s death. According to Hershberger, three things happened as a result of Paul having taught

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the Corinthians about the Lord’s Supper and the hospitality that it provides. “Socio-economic barriers came tumbling down, discernment about the true nature of the believers took place, and Christ came as a guest, bringing neither grace nor judgment” (Hershberger, 1999, p.223). Professor James Farwell of the General Theological Seminary likened the opening of the Eucharistic table to the un-baptized to a practice inspired by the radical hospitality of Jesus (Farwell, 2000, p. 215). More than ten years ago, some “high-profile parishes, in conscientious defiance of the teachings of the Episcopal Church that restrict communion to the baptized, have undertaken the practice and inspired a number of other parishes to do the same” (Farwell, 2000, p. 215). A resolution came before the 74th General Convention, seeking the appointment of a task force to consider the theological and ecumenical ramifications of this new trend. The Resolution (A089), given under the Report of the Standing Commission on Ecumenical Relations, did not pass. Not everyone agrees that it is appropriate to open our Eucharistic tables without requiring the baptismal process of formation and entry. Farwell proposed that, “We should reconsider whether such an opening signifies our hospitality or simply a retreat from the field of evangelism and formation. Better than offering open communion, the Church might well consider how to hold outs its hands in invitation over the water” (Farwell, 2000, p. 238). The service bulletin of The Chapel of the Cross, until 28 August 2011, had the following words of invitation to the Eucharist: “All baptized Christians are invited to receive the Sacrament at the altar or at the standing station. Those individuals who do not receive may cross their arms and receive a blessing. Gluten-free wafers are available at the standing station; simply ask quietly. During communion, a priest is available at the baptismal font for anointing and the Laying on of Hands for those seeking healing of spirit, mind and body.”

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In September 2011, our rector published a “Dear Friends” letter in our church journal, CrossRoads, indicating the intent to change the welcoming invitation at all our Eucharistic services to the following: “All who seek God and a deeper life in Christ are welcome to receive Holy Eucharist.” Noting that these words were used in the worship leaflet of our National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., our rector had, for the last year or so, included them in the bulletins of funerals, weddings and services with more diverse congregations. Those writers emphasizing radical welcome support the removal of all exclusionary rules and barriers to inclusivity (See, e.g., Lemler, 2008; Ministry Link, 2011; Spellers, 2006). They suggest that, as Jesus was hospitable to all, so should we all be hospitable to all. As God is open to all, so should our table be open to all. In her book, Spellers called us to move toward a state of radical welcome by identifying barriers to inclusivity and offering a path for transforming the church’s vision as a gathering of all God’s children. Hers is a strong voice for a community seeking to “live into Christ’s call that ‘all may be one’” (Spellers, 2006). The very title of our rector’s letter, “Dear Friends,” harkens to our Anglican history. It reflects a welcoming invitation as the outreach and hospitality ministry of our church has grown, our drawing from biblical resources, the extension by the church of sacramental means to become part of the body of Christ, and our intent to extend the Church’s ministry to all who seek to explore the many paths to God.

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INTENTIONAL HOSPITALITY STRATEGY IV The Blessing of Gay Unions – Widening Our Pastoral Care and Hospitality

a. The Discernment Process Our rector’s letter for the parish titled, “The Day of Pentecost,” gives an historical perspective regarding the discernment process to bless gay unions. (See letter, attached as Appendix D.) Stephen reminds us that, from the time of founding, this parish has boldly followed Peter’s example in witnessing that “God is no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34). These words are inscribed on the left stained window above the altar in the church. He notes that, “Twelve women’s signatures accompanied the required twelve men’s signatures on our articles of incorporation in 1842.” The rector integrated the parish years before the civil rights struggles of the late 1950s. Pauli Murray, the first African American woman ordained an Episcopal priest in our Chapel, became the first woman to celebrate the Eucharist in the State of North Carolina (in 1977). Just recently Katherine Jefferts Schori, the first female Primate in the Anglican Communion, celebrated at that same altar thirty years later and urged us to work and to “yearn for the realization of Paul’s ancient creed, ‘in Christ there is neither slave nor free, Jew nor Greek, male and female.’” “In Christ,” she reminded us, “we are all beloved, we are all wanted, we are all of infinitely precious worth.” As part of the discernment process, our rector led parish-wide conversations about gay unions, and our church held a series of parish-wide events to educate and include. Stephen ultimately developed a booklet of his theological views and presentations titled Pastoral

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Reflections: A Presentation in the Series “A Conversation About Gay Unions.” (See booklet, attached as Appendix E.) Author Gray Temple is a University of North Carolina graduate and a Morehead Scholar. When Temple came to our church to speak about his book Gay Unions – In Light of Scripture, Tradition and Reason, we welcomed him as one of our own. I led a forum on the book, prior to Temple’s presentation. Both the forum and the presentation were widely attended and were marked with open and lively atmospheres, with members giving their own perspectives and quoting and analyzing scripture. At the end of my session, one participant asked Stephen if he planned to bless gay unions, and Stephen replied, “Yes, when I have permission by the Bishop or General Convention.” I later wrote a detailed article for CrossRoads, entitled “The Rev. Gray Temple Speaks to a Packed Audience, A Synopsis of Gray’s Presentation and Book.” (See article and related materials, attached as Appendix F.) As such, the discernment process continued for two years prior to the first blessing. In his letter, “The Day of Pentecost,” Stephen asked members of the parish to honor the moratorium the House of Bishops was observing (of approving the election of gay bishops) until the General Convention of 2006. (See letter, attached as Appendix D.) Based on the General Convention Resolution of 2003 that, “Local faith communities are operating within the bounds of our common life as they explore and experience liturgies celebrating and blessing same-sex unions,” our North Carolina Diocesan Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Michael Curry, issued guidelines for congregations in our diocese. These guidelines stated his perspective that, “The blessing of the committed life-long unions of persons of the same gender is one way our community can live the Gospels through faithful and loving pastoral care and spiritual support for each other.” By 2006, three years later after these guidelines were issued,

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we continued to give pastoral care for our gay and lesbian persons in many ways but stopped short of blessing their unions. Our parish includes many who have lived for years with a person of the same gender. These relationships are characterized by the expectations the General Convention of 2000 set forth for such unions: They are characterized “by fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect, careful, honest communication, and the holy love which enables those in such relationships to see in each other the Image of God.” In 2007, our rector, with the vestry, acknowledged that he believed that the Chapel of the Cross should move forward in following Bishop Curry’s “Guidelines in providing a pastoral service which includes asking God’s blessing on a monogamous lifelong union.” He went on to say that it would happen only “after wide and extended prayer, conversation and education in the parish and in consultation with the vestry.” (See guidelines, taken from “A Pastoral Statement from the Right Reverend Michael B. Curry to the clergy of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina,” July 1, 2004, attached in letter as Appendix D.) Five months later, on 18 October 2007, the discernment process concluded and the following motion was passed with expressions of “profound gratitude and respect for the discernment process and how it was engaged in by all who participated:” “That the vestry fully supports the Rector’s proposal to widen our pastoral care by offering the blessing of same-gender unions, following Bishop Curry’s pastoral guidelines and adopting the parish’s guidelines for blessing same-gender unions of October 2007.” (See letter, including Guidelines for Blessing Same Sex Gender Unions, attached as Appendix G.) On the day of the first blessing of a gay union, the church was full with glorious worship and robust singing. The blessing was of the union of Lee and Robert; both had been highly

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active in our parish for over 25 years. The reception in the parish fellowship hall was a lovely occasion with genuine spiritual fellowship abounding. In the midst of all the joy, the rector said to me, “Listen to this. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we heard and saw this much hope, joy and love in the parish hall every Sunday?” In the final paragraph of the rector’s letter, he expressed his gratitude for the faithful participation of all and sent an important message to those members who maintained different feelings about the discernment process. He stressed that if you found yourself in disagreement with the decision, to remember that, in this parish as in the whole Episcopal Church, we do not all adhere to the same thing. “With great humility, we all ‘see in a mirror dimly’ in this life and together we continue to seek God’s Will and the directions of God’s renewing Spirit. Each of us contributes to the building up of the Body of Christ as together we participate at the Eucharist table and are sent forth ‘to love and serve the Lord.’” On Wednesday, 12 October 2011, I conducted one of several interviews with our rector. The particular focus of this interview was to discuss the church’s move to extend our pastoral care to include the blessing of unions. Both Stephen and I view this move as a profound hospitality event.

b. Dr. Neil Pedersen on Issues of Hospitality and Sexual Orientation The Chapel of the Cross has many members who serve as leaders in the church, the community and the wider world. One such member is Dr. Neil Pedersen, Superintendent of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools. In church, Neil is readily known as “our tallest usher and hospitality greeter.” In an interview with another of our parishioners, Martha Dill, Neil spoke

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about how his Christian faith, understanding, and membership in our religious community have influenced his gratifying and always challenging work. He acknowledged that the church has provided him with a setting in which to reflect on extremely difficult and sometimes controversial decisions. Neil said, “I believe that all of us are fallible and should have the opportunity to learn and recover from our mistakes.” As superintendent, Neil has resisted zero-tolerance policies and has attempted to “strike a balance between the compassion I feel for others and the responsibility to carry out school board policies and state and federal statutes” (Dill, 2011, p. 4). Related to hospitality, Dill asked Neil if current issues in the Episcopal Church, such as the leadership of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori or the consecration of The Rev. Canon V. Gene Robinson, an openly gay bishop, had given him any insight into the role of a true leader. Neil noted that our school district had confronted issues around sexual orientation long before the appointment of Gene Robinson as the Bishop of the New Hampshire Diocese. “Our district,” he said, “is known for its acceptance of students and staff with different sexual orientations; however, harassment of individuals occasionally arises.” Neil concluded, “The Episcopal Church’s stand has confirmed the importance of continuing to take courageous and, if necessary, unpopular positions on issues related to valuing all of God’s children. I could empathize with Stephen Elkins-Williams when our church grappled with this issue. Ultimately, we must do what we believe is right, even if it results in members leaving our respective organizations” (Dill, 2011, p. 4).

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INTENTIONAL STRATEGY V Justice and Peace/Global Missions – Our Partnership with South Africa: Kwasa School and St. Peter/St. Paul Episcopal Church

We pray for people so poor that they cannot help themselves; whose subsistence crops have been destroyed by climatic disasters; for people who live in areas where rainfall is unreliable and varies from year to year. We pray for small children who die of malnutrition and AIDS and others who suffer from disease because their mothers do not understand the values of different kinds of foods. We pray for little children too young to pray for themselves. - A Prayer Written by Young People in Kenya (Angela Ashwin)

The fourth and last stanza of the Chapel of the Cross new Mission Statement is: “Bringing Gospel Witness to the World” We are urged by Jesus to be a light on a hill; in our case we are to be literally that. From the visibility of a cherished town on a hill encompassing a highly influential university, we are to let the light of the Gospel shine on the world’s darkness, those places most in need of transformation.”

“Whether it be working for the hungry and the homeless and the prisoner, speaking up for the voiceless or bringing reconciliation where there is hostility and brokenness, our ministry is not to ourselves but to others. As we promise in our Baptismal Covenant, we are to ‘strive for

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justice and peace, and respect the dignity of every human being’” (Elkins-Williams, March 2011, p. 3).

a. The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori: A Global Missions Challenge The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, has challenged our denomination to become a companion to others around the world and has challenged each of us to love and care for one another. Both challenges are rooted in the parable of the Good Samaritan, specifically in Jesus’ response to the question, “Who is my neighbor?” In Bishop Jefferts Schori’s book, A Wing and a Prayer, she sends us a message of faith and hope when she writes, “God Bless the whole world, no exceptions” (Jefferts Schori, 2007, p. 45). She implores us as Christians to look to the Incarnation, God made flesh and dwelling among us. “God’s presence among us in human flesh is a gift to all nations. None of us is worthy of the gift, no matter what the color of our skin. But the gift is given nonetheless. None of us had to qualify, none of us had to pass a test. God doesn’t require a ‘green card’” (Jefferts Schori, 2007, pp. 45-46). Bishop Jefferts Schori advises us to celebrate the Incarnation all year long as we look for God’s gifts in the people of other nationalities and traditions. She tells us to search, and then to appreciate what we find. And finally, she reminds us to, “Be ready for opportunities to share those gifts. God needs them all!” (Jefferts Schori, 2007, p. 46)

b. Global Missions Becomes a Standing Committee of the Vestry On 19 February 2009, the previously launched Global Missions Committee of the Chapel of the Cross became a Standing Committee of the Vestry. Per its committee mandate, the Committee is charged with “representing the parish in work outside of the United States. It

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pursues engagement with global initiatives of the Episcopal Church, builds partnerships across geographic and cultural boundaries, and shares in the presence and work of Christ in the world.” Our Global Missions commitment remains linked with the Chapel of the Cross’s support of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. This set of eight objectives, endorsed by the United Nations, the Episcopal General Convention, and other faith communities, serves as a framework for addressing challenges facing the world’s poorest nations. The Chapel of the Cross regularly contributes 14% of its budget to areas related to the Millennium Development Goals. The eight goals are as follows: •

Goal No. 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

Goal No. 2: Achieve universal primary education

Goal No. 3: Promote gender equality and empower women

Goal No. 4: Reduce child mortality

Goal No. 5: Improve maternal health

Goal No. 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases

Goal No. 7: Ensure environmental sustainability

Goal No. 8: Develop a global partnership for development

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c. Background on our Mission to South Africa The genesis of our connection to a mission in South Africa began at the Consortium of Endowed Episcopal Parishes and the Pre-Conference Smart Network on Missions, which focused on global missions ministry. I attended with Ann, another Chapel of the Cross parishioner. Afterward, we felt led to return home to talk to the rector about a mission, perhaps in South Africa. In my early travels to Springs, South Africa, with the hope of establishing a mission there, my heart was touched by the beautiful children, their parents, and significant others who lived in the informal settlement. Smiling children and adults welcomed us with open arms into their tiny homes, shacks made with materials gathered roadside, most with no door to close, no indoor plumbing or electricity, no running water, and usually one or two small spaces for eating and sleeping. The typical sleeping area accommodated six or more people with a cloth hanging to give a little privacy. Yet, these people washing clothes in a bowl outside were welcoming, resilient, and loving to their children. And then, seeing the little children walk through the fields from their homes to Kwasa School, alone or with an adult, was bittersweet. On the one hand, it was joyous to know that they had this little school, Kwasa, to come to. On the other hand, it was heart wrenching to know the condition of the homes they had left and to which they would later return. At second glance, however, the children looked clean and happy, skipping through the brush of the fields. And when they arrived at school, loving and caring teachers and caregivers ushered them in. Opening my eyes to a wider world, I asked, “What can I do? What can the people of the Chapel of the Cross do? How can I tell the story so that their compassion is stirred like mine?”

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The compassion overflowed in me, and I knew that I had to and could tell the story of these children to those at my church. And so I did tell the story: With prayer; presentations with beautiful pictures of the children and their lives in their informal settlements and at school; invitations for children, teachers and priests to come to Chapel Hill and to our church so that we could embrace them with loving hospitality. They came, and through their songs, dances and life stories, they stole the hearts of our parishioners. Our parish hall is often not filled when we serve food; it was at capacity on the Sunday during which we enjoyed an African lunch, complimented by African music and performance, following a sermon and forum presentation by the Rev. Sharron Dinnie, priest of St. Peter/St. Paul Episcopal Church and director of Kwasa School, both in Springs, South Africa. Since the beginning of our mission work in South Africa, financial commitment to Kwasa has been a top priority for the Global Missions Committee and the church. During the initial establishment of our partnership with Kwasa and St. Peter/St. Paul Episcopal Church, I was particularly moved by concern for the little girls and their need for further education beyond Kwasa. Their continued education has become an ongoing priority for the Chapel of the Cross. At my request, the Global Missions Committee recommends that we annually donate money for scholarships for them to attend schools beyond Kwasa. Additionally, the Outreach Committee of the Church selected Kwasa to receive special financial contributions through its “Special/Alternative Gifts” at Christmas time. Individual parishioners’ gifts have also been donated. We have maintained close connections with The Rev. Sharron Dinnie, the Kwasa School and St. Peter/St. Paul Church. We hear from Sharron on a regular basis thanking the church for

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“sharing the vision of the Kwasa Center and for participating in the process of realizing it.” She emphasizes that in South Africa, “We have tried to be true to Jesus’ injunction in Matthew 25:40, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for the least of these children of mine; you did for me”’ (Dinnie, 2006, p. 1). The following subsections deal with our outreach to Kwasa and St. Peter/St. Paul.

d. Communication with the Parish: Adult Forums According to the Chapel of the Cross responses to the U.S. Congregational Life Survey, wider community care and social justice is valued as one of the top three aspects of the congregation. The Global Missions Committee gives ongoing feedback on our ministry via our Sunday morning adult forums. As an example, the Committee presented a forum entitled, “An Introduction to Millennium Development Goals (MDA) and the Theology Behind Them.” During this particular program, each MDG goal was discussed relative to the Chapel of the Cross missions in Honduras and South Africa. At the forums, the Global Missions Committee strives to use a variety of colorful visuals, especially with pictures of the children. Often we serve food representative of the country being featured.

e. Engaging God’s Mission with South Africa Continues In early spring 2009, seven parishioners from South Africa arrived in Chapel Hill to visit us at the Chapel of the Cross. I tell the story of their visit in the article, “Engaging God’s Mission with South Africa Continues,” published in our church Journal, CrossRoads, Journal of the Chapel of the Cross. (See full article and related photographs, attached as Appendix H.)

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We are answering the call of the Episcopal Church (Policy for Action of the Episcopal Church, USA) in accepting our ‘responsibility for witnessing the Gospel through an active concern for all of God’s creation.’ The Policy for Action in Engaging God’s Mission in the Episcopal Church speaks specifically about responsibilities toward Africa and its impact on funds for HIV/AIDS relief, on pastoral care, health services and education for Episcopal congregations and dioceses; on improving education and reducing poverty; and restoring peace. It commends churches in Africa fighting AIDS, poverty, and injustice and calls on all levels of the church to partner with the Anglican churches in Africa and other agencies to implement the United Nations’ Millennium Development goals and to support efforts to address the pandemic. Seven parishioners from South Africa arrived in Chapel Hill on Friday evening, February 2, after spending time in Washington, D.C., with parishioners at St. John’s Church, Lafayette Square. Anne Henley, Martha Dill, Nancy Tunnessen, Blair Evans, Marty Hunter, Shirley Lee, Dorothy Guma, and I carefully planned the visit. Arriving on Friday and beginning with dinner at Mama Dips, the South African pilgrims met their hosts and hostesses of our parish: The Revs. Sharron and Don Donnie with The Revs. Susannah and Ralph Smith; teachers (Shelia) Phalama Radebe and (Dorcas) Neadzekile Sifunda with Linda and Alan Rimer; Warden of St. Peter/St. Paul Church, (Peet) Petrus Smith, with Martha and David Dill and students, (Promise) Xo Lile Sibiya and (Dinah) Masebatli Phalatsi, with Marsha and Andrew Pate. Many thanks to these host families for the care they provided our South African visitors.

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Saturday was spent at the Morehead Planetarium, the Ackland Art Museum with a special exhibit of Asian sculpture and African masks, and on a tour of the UNC campus. Blair and George Evans hosted visitors and parishioners for a luncheon. Saturday evening dinners included a clergy dinner at Susannah and Ralph’s home for Sharron and Don; an educator’s dinner with Martha and David for the teachers (Shelia and Dorcas) and Peet, who enjoyed watching a basketball game; and the students, Promise and Dinah, had dinner with Marsha and Andrew and their children. Again, this parish reached out in welcome in many ways. Sunday included a full day of worship beginning with the 9 a.m. service; speaking at the 10:15 a.m. forum where Sharron and other guests shared information about the school and Kwasa Center, and where Barbara Day presented a picture of the Old Well to her; and attending the 11:15 a.m. service where Sharron was the morning preacher. At this service, the rector presented a check for $1,500 from the Global Missions Committee that will enable two students to receive scholarships to attend good schools. He also presented prints of the church and chapel to each visitor. In return, Sharron thanked Stephen and the entire parish and gave him a beautiful green African stole; he immediately put it on. A luncheon was served in the dining room while pictures taken at the Kwasa Center and school were shown throughout the morning. Authentic African food was prepared by parishioners from South Africa, Setlhatsana (Dorothy) Guma (and her children, Nonkuleko and Xolani); Shirley Lee; and Marty Hunter. Foods indigenous to the area of the Xhosa people of South Africa were served: Samp (hominy); Mquosho (Samp with beans); and Morojo (greens, potatoes and carrots stew); Bobotie (meatloaf

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with a South African origin); yellow rice and curried potatoes (a South African food of Indian origin); and dessert (jelly with custard). Nancy Tunnessen, who organized the planning of the luncheon, announced that we had $1,300 to present to our South Africa friends for additional scholarships. Others generously gave, making a total of $4,219 to be sent to the Diocese of Highveld to be used under the directions of The Rev. Sharron Dinnie of St. Peter/St. Paul Anglican Church. Special thanks to our photographers, Chip Matteson and Jerry Cotton, who chronicled it all in pictures. Following lunch, the group traveled to St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Durham for an ordination service. Bishop Michael Curry was the Celebrant; the Dean and President of Virginia Theological Seminary, the Very Reverend Martha Horne, was the preacher; and our own Bill Joyner, Archdeacon of the Diocese of North Carolina, served as the Bishop’s assistant. Everyone warmly greeted the South African visitors at the reception/dinner following the service. Before going back to the Chapel of the Cross for Compline, the group relaxed for a few minutes of ‘Super Bowl’ and dessert at Barbara and Doug Day’s home. We ended this joyful and beautiful day at the candlelight sung service of Compline. On Monday morning the group was taken to Southpoint Mall for a brief time for shopping and for lunch ‘American mall style.’ Returning to the church, a group gathered to say goodbye and to take our visitors to the airport with reassurances that we would see each other again, hopefully, next year when we sojourn to South Africa. Just before departure to the airport, I asked Sharron to briefly tell me some of her thoughts and feelings regarding the visit. She said, ‘I am so touched by the amazing warmth and welcome of the church. Seldom have I experienced such hospitality in churches and

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homes. It was wonderful to be included in the life of the Chapel of the Cross and a great privilege to meet and share with the clergy. This is obviously a diverse and competent team. I felt at home, liturgically, shared the music, enjoyed the diversity, and obvious giftedness of so many. I enjoyed all the social contact with people of all ages. I will go home enriched spiritually, emotionally, mentally and relationally. We send our thanks to all for giving us this opportunity to be with each of you, and we are looking forward to where our journey together will take us. Deep gratitude to everyone for all your donations, gifts that you gave to us and to Kwasa. You will be in our hearts and in our prayers.’ May God give us the will to continue in this mission of reconciliation, justice, and equity and the power and grace to accomplish it as we do God’s work in peace and love. St. Paul tells us that the Church, as the Body of Christ, is a sign of hope and life to our broken world. Our hope is that the new relationships will deepen the spiritual life of our parish, strengthen our bonds to the world, and create closer ties between our parish and to the parish of St. Peter/St. Paul. The parish reached out with love and hospitality to our South African visitors. We invited them into our homes for fellowship, food, and rest; we were in church with them all day Sunday, and we graciously supported them financially with our contributions for scholarships for girls to attend good schools and to support the pre-primary school and Kwasa Center. This center serves children and families from the informal settlement of Vukuzenzele, many of whom live in shack dwellings as squatters and are HIV affected. The Rev. Sharron Dinnie, in her message during the morning forum and the 11:15 service, touched the hearts of many of our parishioners; their comments and notes to her

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were filled with admiration for her work. The South Africa economy has been described as an ocean of poverty, lacking the most basic resources for living. The teachers, Shelia and Dorcas, told us that the children in the village speak Zulu. The Zulu greeting in South Africa is ‘Sawbona’ which means, ‘I see you!’ The reply is ‘Sikhona’ or ‘I am here.’ At the Chapel of the Cross we have been given new eyes to love. We have looked and listened with our hearts and heard the message of Jesus: ‘Go to the least of my sisters and brothers and listen to them; you might hear me.’ In our ministry and mission with South Africa, we can witness the peace and reconciliation that these visitors have found in their strong faith in Christianity. They live in a land of pain, but through it all they find hope. Kwasa is the name of their school and center; it reminds us to ‘look to the light.’ With God’s blessing, we can learn much from this ministry with South Africa (Day, 2009).

f. Greetings from The Rev. Sharron Dinnie In August 2009, I sent a message to CrossRoads from Sharron, which I titled, “Hope Rising: Good News from Kwasa/Our Parish Mission in Springs, South Africa.” In her message, Sharron thanked us for our hospitality, friendliness and kindness, and provided an update on the Kwasa Center. This Woman of God is so committed to her church, the Kwasa Center and her community; and her tireless efforts are well known in Springs, South Africa. The good news she wanted to share was that Kwasa had finally been registered with the Development of Social Services, and as such, “is now recognized as an educational site and place of care.” As many as 50 of Kwasa’s 184 children would receive funding during the year. She informed us that two mothers had died the previous week, each leaving a little girl behind to

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make her way through life on her own. Many of the Kwasa children are living with and/or affected by HIV/AIDS. She talked about the children who were now doing so well in primary schools, many little girls like those supported by Chapel of the Cross. She visited and saw their progress and happy tears flowing; all involved realized that the children’s success would not have been possible without Kwasa. Another student, now in high school, had been appointed Deputy Head Girl. She was not only “holding her own” academically but had been recognized for her leadership qualities. Sharron emphasized that this is the aim of Kwasa—to help unlock the God-given potential in children who otherwise would not have a chance in life. Finally, she told us about her latest venture related to Kwasa. Sharron bought a house in Springs, near St. Peter/St. Paul Episcopal church, which she called Kwasa House. It was to be a house with a “home mother” for six to eight children. Promise, one of the students who had visited our church the previous March, would be one of the children to live at Kwasa House. Sharron thanked us for our generosity and acknowledged that our link with Kwasa is very precious. She sent greetings to all. (See article, attached as Appendix I.)

g. Chapel of the Cross Parishioners Visit Kwasa The Rev. Sharron Dinnie and her staff always welcome with open arms any members of the Global Missions Committee, or other parishioners, who are traveling to the Johannesburg area and wish to visit Kwasa. During the summer of 2011, Linda Haac and Julia Burns, members of the Global Missions Committee, traveled to Kwasa and spent a week with our parish partners. After South

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Africa, they traveled on to Botswana as a part of a mission team from the Diocese of North Carolina that has an official companion relationship with the Diocese of Botswana. At Kwasa, Linda observed the children and their classes and heard them sing in English and Zulu. They sang the Lord’s Prayer, among other things. The teacher explained that the school followed “the Ntataise Method” and reminded her students that the fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and faithfulness. Her article, “African Journey: the Spirit Made Manifest,” describes her journey, her visit to the settlement where the children live and her experience at Kwasa graduation and in Botswana. Linda and her travel companion, Julia, a medical doctor, were with the chairperson for the HIV/AIDS subgroup of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina and the Anglican Diocese of Botswana’s Companion Diocesan Committee. In her own article, Julia described a workshop attended by both youth and adults of the Cathedral Church in Gaborone, Botswana. The workshop’s objective was to develop a culturally and spiritually sensitive HIV/AIDS prevention program to support healthy relationships among adults and youth. The audience’s responses were most interesting, including the following positive expressions: “I am positive about HIV/AIDS.” “I am positive about embracing all God’s children and living in the light.” “I am positive about God and love.” The current campaign centers around the message, “ABC: Abstinence, Be Faithful and Condomize.” Upon returning to church in Chapel Hill, Linda and Julia presented information about their journeys at the adult forum. They were met with much audience appreciation. Margaret, another of our parishioners with great personal commitment to social justice issues, and one who often welcomes visitors to the Chapel of the Cross, traveled to South Africa. She spent the day at Kwasa, visiting and interacting, particularly with the children. And Nancy,

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a member of the vestry, also spent a day at Kwasa during her time in South Africa. On 7 November 2011, both spoke to the members of the Global Missions Committee, “filling us in” on the details of their journeys.

h. MDG Grant from the Diocese of North Carolina for Kwasa Upon learning that the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Committee of the North Carolina Diocese’s Chartered Committee for Global Missions would be accepting grant applications for projects related to the Millennium Development Goals, our Chapel of the Cross Global Missions Committee met to discuss the possibility of our submitting a grant to Kwasa. A series of meetings and events allowed for discussion about this possibility. The subcommittee, chaired by myself, met in my home for dinner, and around the table we talked our way through the grant. It was the most enjoyable grant that I have written, with a small group of parishioners, all wonderful and caring people, committed to the project. Following this event I met with Laura, a member of the committee and a graduate student at UNC (at a downtown Franklin Street restaurant—fun place!), to finalize the proposal and ready it for submission to the Global Missions Committee for approval and then for further submission to the Diocese of North Carolina by 1 October 2011. We accomplished the task with all committee members having had a voice, and with one priest associate, well versed in grant writing for our diocese, having given approval. Then we awaited word from the grant selection committee. (See grant application, attached as Appendix J.) Throughout the grant-writing process, we had communicated continuously with the Rev. Sharron Dinnie of Kwasa. We asked for input and received many great suggestions. Our grant requested funding for the establishment of a Kwasa Women’s Sewing Group, just what the

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women of Kwasa had wished for. The central goal of the project is to empower women to generate an income, enabling them to be self-sufficient and to provide for their families. The project was an extension of the Kwasa vision: Meeting the needs of the people in the Daggafontein informal settlement, breaking the cycle of poverty and assisting people to develop individual potential. In December of 2011, our Global Missions Chair, Jerry, let us know that we had received the official word: Our grant application was approved. “Thanks be to God.” We notified Sharron, and her response was extremely grateful.

i. Reflections on Our Relationships with Kwasa and St. Peter/St. Paul Has working with Kwasa and St. Peter/St. Paul in Springs, South Africa, changed the lives of the people of the Chapel of the Cross? Alkire and Newell (2005, p. 169) suggested that working for poverty reduction, at whatever level of commitment, can deepen our spiritual lives and renew us and, through us, God’s Church. We have carefully aligned the relationships we nurture with Kwasa and the people of South Africa with the Millennium Development Goals. Even though these goals may not stand officially forever, the ideals and principles they represent “are enduring, and the God who yearns for justice will not abandon them” (Alkire & Newell, 2005, p. 170). Alkire & Newell set forth a set of attributes associated with “the spirit of social justice.” These attributes, listed below, have surely been forces in the spiritual lives of our parishioners, committed as we have been to Kwasa and its children: •

A strong sense of compassion for those in need; empathetically suffering with and feeling the pain of others;

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A strong sense of responsibility for the plight of the poor; feeling like we can and must act; sensing God calling us as coworkers to serve;

A strong sense of respect for the poor as our equals before God; recognition of the poor as leaders among us, with personalities, opinions and talents;

A strong sense of peace with the limits and importance of our work; the humility to understand that all one’s life may be given in love, but earth will still not become heaven;

A strong sense of dependence on God to bring all efforts to fruition; acknowledgement that not I, but God in me, builds this house. (Alkire & Newell, 2005, pp. 171, 183).

Our journey with Kwasa has continued: We have provided additional scholarships for Kwasa girls and sent caring materials and supplies to Kwasa. Other parishioners have traveled to Springs. Articles about Kwasa are frequently published in our church journal. Our congregation prays for Kwasa by name at each Sunday service. The Outreach Committee has, on various occasions, provided Kwasa with special/alternative gifts at Christmastime. Several members of our respective parishes write and email back and forth. And, we continue to involve Sharron and others in South Africa in relevant decision-making, e.g. during the process by which we received our recent Diocesan grant. Our love for each other continues to grow, as God commands and as God promises His love for us. Chapel of the Cross parishioners have great prophetic voices and leadership skills. We act; we embrace social justice responsibilities with our time and financial resources. We also respect those marginalized in our society, and recognize them as real people who have much to

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offer us. We know the strong voice of Jesus who said, “When you respect one of these little ones, you respect me.” I recall two women at Kwasa who were helping at the school. Each of the women revealed to us that she was HIV Positive, but they were both seeking medical care and each felt confident that she would live a long time. They had turned their lives around and were each committed to “no sex ever with anyone who has AIDS.” I respected them, and told them so. I was equally impressed by their work and by the creative ways they were involved at Kwasa. Sharron often reminds us that God is at work at Kwasa, and that she is God’s helper. And, what a helper she is. Since our first visit at Kwasa, many great things have happened. The land around Kwasa has been purchased with the hope of building homes for orphans on the site; the playground has been developed with “shiny” equipment to help meet the physical needs of the children; Kwasa School has been painted inside and out; new materials, supplies, and books are available; two new homes for orphans have been purchased near the church; other churches and organizations are helping; and the list goes on. In addition to being proud and happy for these people, whom we have helped in a very small way, we accept their many gifts of grace and love to us. Proud but humble, we are blessed by their presence among us and know for sure that we have gained more from the people of Kwasa and St. Peter/St. Paul than they from us. We realize that we cannot completely change the justice circumstances in South Africa; but we are genuine in reaching out to them with our love and gifts, and they have responded mightily. The 20th Century contemplative monk, Thomas Merton, had this to say on faith and humility:

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“A humble man (or woman) can do great things with an uncommon perfection because he is no longer concerned about accidentals like his own interests and his own reputation. And therefore, he no longer needs to waste his efforts in defending them. For a humble man (or woman) is not afraid of failure. In fact, he is not afraid of anything, even of himself, since perfect humility implies perfect confidence in the power of God, before Whom no other power has any measure and for whom there is no such thing as an obstacle” (Merton, 1972, p. 190). Sharron and her compatriots are passionate about their work. We at Chapel of the Cross see God’s Spirit working within them. They are so independent in so many ways, yet they are open to God’s guidance; and they realize the extent to which they rely on help from others. Thus, working hard and creatively, we can help them. Paraphrasing Henri Nouwen’s description of a man dependant on God and others, I’m reminded of Sharron: “In everything, she seems to have a concrete and living goal in mind, the realization of which is of vital importance. Yet, she herself maintains a great inner freedom in the light of this goal. Often it seems as though she knows that she may never see all the goals achieved, and she only sees the shadow of herself in it” (Nouwen, 1972, p. 134). We have now confirmed with Sharron that a group of four from St. Peter/St. Paul and Kwasa, including Sharron, a church parishioner, and two children will be visiting the Chapel of the Cross on 27-30 April 2012. We are joining with St. John’s, Lafayette Square, Washington, D.C., with the specific help of Kaye Davis, in coordinating this visit. It was with a St. John’s group that I initially traveled to South African and began the process of forming a partnership with our church. We have been richly blessed in this relationshi, and are beginning to plan a pilgrimage from our parish soon to South Africa.

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j. Outreach to Other Areas: Global Missions and Outreach Ministry In this portion of the thesis/project, I have focused much attention on South Africa. This was intentional; I was the original representative of our church sent to South Africa in order to possibly start a partnership with the St. Peter/St. Paul Episcopal Church and Kwasa School. This we did, and we continue to grow in love and hospitality. However, if I stopped with South Africa, I would be leaving out a wealth of good information regarding our other outreach ministries. The Chapel of the Cross is highly committed to global outreach, to which 0.7% of the annual budget was allocated in 2009, an amount in accordance with the Millennium Development Goals recommendation. In subsequent years, 0.7% of the annual budget has continued to be allocated, with occasional additional special gifts to global outreach. In addition to our partnership in South Africa, we conduct outreach to the Diocese of Honduras in LaEsperanza de Jesus, San Patricio, and El Hogar ministries. Whereas I serve as the Global Missions liaison to South Africa, my fellow parishioner, Ann, serves as the liaison to Honduras. Additionally, we support the Diocese of North Carolina, St. Peter’s Daycare in MoGoditshane, Botswana, and the Episcopal Relief and Development in Alahili Hospital, Gaza. We further support the Hand in Hand Ministries, HIV Outreach Center in Belize City, and the Sams Ministry in Ecuador. At home we have annually given $27,000 plus from our annual ABC Sales, in disbursements to a variety of areas, e.g., the Augustine Project, Club Nova, the Dispute Settlement Center, Family Violence and Rape Crisis Services, Inter-Faith Council for Social Services, Our Children’s Place, Project Compassion, etc. As another example, the Outreach Ministry sponsors “Alternative Gifts” during Advent. Kwasa was selected to be a beneficiary of

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this ministry on three different occasions. The special gifts were greatly received on these occasions, helping to further financially support scholarships for Kwasa girls to continue with additional education opportunities. This past year, the “Alternative Gifts” were given to “Nets for Life” and La Esperanza de Jesus. Our deacon, the Venerable Dr. William H. Joyner, reminds us that, “In the baptismal covenant we promise to seek and serve Christ in all persons and to strive for justice and peace among all people. The key word in these promises is ‘all’—all people, near and far, those we meet and those we know only from descriptions and photographs. The outreach work of the parish is also the work of all of us through our involvement, our contributions, and our prayers. And we do this through two committees chartered to lead our parish in outreach, Outreach Ministry and Global Missions. The challenge for us is to develop opportunities to help make the world a place where God’s people flourish” (Joyner, 2009, p. 7).

k. Thoughts on Social Justice and Outreach Alkire and Newell (2005, pp. 181-182) posited that, “Maturity in the life of social justice mirrors maturity in the spiritual life. It entails a deep shift from reliance on oneself, or on one’s community, to dependence on God. God helps us with both the vision and the results. We learn to be receptive to God’s love and guidance and to recognize that our own love comes from God’s love. It’s just as St. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:10: ‘Not I, but God in me.’” Given our parish’s deep spiritual connection to social justice issues and community, one wonders if we are known as “activists.” Alkire and Newell (2005, p. 181) contrasted “activists” with “contemplatives.” However, the two attributes are naturally complementary. Soelle (2001, p. 201) reminded us of the story of Mary and Martha from the Gospel of Luke. While Martha forever busied herself with various things, Mary, contrary to the custom of

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the time, sat, listening, at the feet of Jesus. Often, the suggestion is that Mary was the wiser; that Martha’s endeavors were less valuable. However, as Soelle said, “Believe me, Martha and Mary need to be together to host the Lord and keep him with them forever, or else he will be badly hosted and be left without food.” We are called by Jesus, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, to go out, to expand and to move to the ends of the earth. Jesus sent his disciples out to be the bearers of his mission, God’s mission, in the world: “As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world” (John 17:18). Indeed, God’s mission was “fulfilled in the incarnation of Jesus and then furthered by the sending out of the disciples in the Power of the Spirit. The hungry were fed; the sick were healed; and the oppressed were set free.” In John 13:34, Jesus’ commanded, “Just as I have loved you, so you also should love one another.” The Great Commission added, “To make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). Our catechism states, “The mission of the Church is to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 855). The Chapel of the Cross is committed to participate in the Missio Dei, “Helping to make real God’s reconciling love and mission in the world.” We ask: “What can one person do?” We can participate in God’s mission. “What can the Body of Christ, the followers of Christ, do?” We, too, can participate.

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INTENTIONAL HOSPITALITY STRATEGY VI A Comprehensive Program for Welcoming Newcomers: Including The Shepherds’ Ministry a. The Shepherds’ Ministry After breakfast Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.” “Then feed my sheep,” Jesus told him. Jesus said, “I am among you as the One who serves” (Luke 22-27). Where does the title “shepherd” come from? The idea of servant leadership can be found all the way back with those featured in the Old Testament. Kings in ancient Israel were often called “shepherds.” The Lord held these rulers responsible to serve His people, to protect, guide, instruct, and cherish their subjects, not to lord over them or “fleece the flock,” so to speak (Jeremiah 23:1-8). But not until the events chronicled in the New Testament took place was the concept fleshed out in all its fullness. To get the fullest picture of servant leadership, God’s people had to wait until God Himself took on human flesh to live and die among us (Philippians 2:5-11). In Jesus, human kind could finally see the nature of true servant leadership. The Shepherds’ Ministry is another new effort of holy hospitality at The Chapel of the Cross. Designated “Shepherds” are assigned to newcomers or visitors who registered at the Newcomer’s Table following Sunday services. Shepherds function as personal connections for newcomers, walking alongside of them on their faith journey at The Chapel of the Cross and helping them to navigate the many offerings and ministry opportunities at the church. The Chapel of the Cross website quotes Rector Stephen Elkins-Williams, saying, “This Ministry of showing hospitality to strangers is the mission of the Shepherds.” In his sermon on 98    


hospitality, “Showing Hospitality,” Stephen states that, “Genuine hospitality stands at the heart of the ministry God calls us to do.” (See sermon, attached as Appendix K.) Such hospitality, he continues, which requires our time, our money, and our openness to others, embodies and expresses God’s love for all and makes it known in concrete ways. Quoting related scripture, he says, “Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” We believe that we have a comprehensive program for welcoming newcomers, and we are always exploring new avenues for continued faith formation. It is our intent to provide ready answers to newcomer questions, to introduce visitors to new friends, listen to their interests and help to plug them into well-matched small group activities within the church (e.g., Bible Study, contemplative prayer, foyer dinner groups, Sunday morning forums, Sunday school classes for their children, etc.). Through the Shepherds’ Ministry, we have offered a variety of features for newcomers: •

Newcomers’ Dinners in Parishioners’ Homes. Every few months, we invite all newcomers who have registered during that time period and been assigned a Shepherd, for a “sit-down dinner” (e.g., lasagna, salad, bread, wine, dessert and coffee in a parishioner’s home). Clergy and several parishioners (representing a variety of ages) are invited to share brief reflections. The goal is to provide an opportunity to get to know each other and share in an evening of fellowship. Following the meal, depending on the size of the newcomer group, I and another leader meet with the group, give them materials about the church and answer any questions. Often times, newcomers have asked to sign up on the spot for various church activities.

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Wine and Cheese Reception in the Parlor of the Church. On Sunday afternoons, we invite newcomers to join us in our conveniently located church parlor for a spread of wine, punch, coffee, various cheeses, breads, crackers, fruits, vegetables and small sandwiches. We invite the children of newcomers and also provide a babysitter with planned activities for the children. The events are informal. There is often a baby or two to be passed around. The hope is that the reception provides newcomers with some set-aside time to get to know each other. The rector and I, along with the Shepherd leader, typically greet everyone and answer questions. Sometimes the Shepherds introduce the newcomers. The reception is also a wonderful opportunity for newcomers to meet the clergy and those parishioners who coordinate or chair special activities and events (e.g., Foyer Dinners, the ABC Sale, committees, and ministries of the church). Thus far, we have hosted three such receptions.

Tea at the Rector’s Home. Naturally, everyone loves to go to the home of the rector. Annually, on Valentine’s Day or in early spring, the leader of the Shepherds and the hospitality chairperson send hand-addressed invitations to all of our newcomers, inviting them to tea at the rector’s home. These teas are lovely, special occasions, friendly and warm with good food; and occasionally, the opportunity to catch together the last few minutes of a Carolina basketball game on television. As with all church events, records of attendees are kept. In addition to Shepherds and newcomers, members of the clergy, hospitality leaders, a variety of other church leaders and members of the vestry attend. Time is set aside for introductions, welcomes and questions. Thus far, the rector and his wife, Betsy, a warm and generous hostess, have hosted four such teas at their home.

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Newcomer Integration Record. We have undertaken this new endeavor in order to be more intentional about helping newcomers become fully integrated into the church. Our goal is to help them nurture their talents and become leaders and members in the activities and work of the congregation. Thus far, Shepherds have walked alongside each newcomer until both are satisfied with the integration process. Additionally, Shepherds occasionally follow up with newcomers, even after they have become fully adopted members of the church. With our new electronic system, we will be better able to assist our newcomers and their Shepherds with newcomer integration. Like the gospel parable of the sower and the seed, “It is not our job to guarantee the results, only to plant the seed, water it, and watch it grow. Let us dare to leave the results to God” (Robertson, 2009, p. 109).

b. Our Comprehensive Program for Welcoming Newcomers At Chapel of the Cross, we have developed a logical progression of welcome practices to guide our newcomers through their first visits: •

Greeters and Ushers. Greeters and Ushers are stationed at the tower doors of the parish to warmly welcome everyone, especially newcomers. With a handshake and warm smile, a greeter may say, for example, “Good morning, welcome to the Chapel of the Cross. I’m Frank Holt.” Newcomers then progress into the sanctuary, where ushers again personally greet them, give them a program service leaflet, answer any questions and escort them to any preferred seat.

Service Bulletin Announcement. Newcomers attending a service at our church are welcomed by the following words in our Service Bulletin: “We welcome all

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newcomers to our church. You are invited to have coffee and tea in the parish hall following worship. Please meet at the Newcomers’ Table to visit with greeters to talk about our church and receive a loaf of home-baked bread.” The rector also personally extends this invitation each Sunday. •

Visit with Clergy at the Church Door Upon Leaving. Clergy members seek to speak to newcomers and offer them a personal welcome as they leave the church. Greeters stand close by, available to walk with newcomers to the parish hall for coffee, tea, refreshments and a more thorough welcome at the Newcomers’ Table.

Visit to the Newcomers’ Table. Following the 9 a.m. and 11:15 services, a table for newcomers is set up to welcome visitors in the parish hall. Greeters are there to welcome, talk about the church, ask newcomers to fill out a card, answer their questions, and introduce them to others who are in the parish hall having refreshments. Someone from the Bread Ministry Committee is also there to give newcomers a loaf of freshly baked bread. The Bread Ministry Committee meets on a regular basis to sample the bread and make suggestions for new ideas. This is an example of our volunteers having a great time together as they meet in the homes of members, or at the church, to bake and sample hot bread with butter, jams and jellies. Recently, we have been giving out our bread with beautiful wrappers, inscribed with words such as, “Give us this day, our daily bread.” The Newcomers’ Table is filled with helpful information about the parish. There are fliers for newcomers regarding the various ministries and activities.

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Letter from the Rector Sent to Newcomers. In the week following a newcomer’s visit to the church, our rector sends the newcomer a welcome letter, inviting all newcomers to, among other things, “Be bold and take initiative.”

Newcomer Cards. Newcomers are able to fill out cards with pertinent information. The cards are computerized, with copies sent to the Shepherd Coordinator.

Shepherd Assigned. The Shepherd Coordinator then assigns each newcomer to a Shepherd.

Shepherd Contacts Newcomer. The Shepherd calls, writes and/or emails the newcomer and seeks to get acquainted, answering questions, offering to meet for coffee or at church and reminding the newcomer that a tea or reception will be forthcoming.

Inquirers’ Class for Those Wishing to Become a Part of the Church and/or Seek Information Over a Six Months’ Period. These classes are led by the clergy and by laity as needed, as requested by the rector. Discussions center around questions like the following: o What do Episcopalians really believe? o Do you want to become an Episcopalian? o What is our identity as Episcopalians and as members of the world-wide Anglicanism? o Are you interested in being baptized, confirmed or received in the Episcopal Church? o What special Christian Educational programs are offered at the church?

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o What is “Godly Play” at church school for young children? What is it like, and how does it differ from other Christian curriculums? •

Information Newcomer Meetings. These meetings, held every first Sunday in the parlor following the services, provide an effective means for perspective members to have one-on-one conversations with the rector.

Teas and Receptions for Newcomers. Discussed in more detail above, receptions are held in the church parlor every six months and teas are held in the spring. These are very special occasions for newcomers, clergy and laity.

Newcomer Integration Record. Discussed in more detail above, our new electronic system allows us to more thoroughly assist our newcomers with development of their full potential in the church.

c. Welcoming People on Their Spiritual Journeys We welcome fellow travelers into the Episcopal Church and our parish in many ways. Our rector, Stephen Elkins-Williams, writes about it often in our church journal in his “Dear Friends” section. One such example is in the May 2011, issue of CrossRoads: Dear Friends, One of the privileges of being a parish priest is accompanying people on their spiritual journey. The richness of God’s grace at work in people’s live as they struggle with adversity, make choices about spouses or careers or places to live and worship, cope with deep disappointment or overwhelming joy, or face a difficult moral dilemma is often edifying and inspirational. The Spirit is certainly alive and well, and I am inevitably moved to rediscover that over and over again.

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Each spring I have that opportunity in a unique way as I meet with those in our Adult Inquirers’ Class and hear how they have found themselves at The Chapel of the Cross deciding whether or not to be confirmed in the Episcopal Church. Each story is different. For some, it is a rediscovery of something they had grown up with but grew away from. Maturity or children or other changing circumstances has helped them look at their faith with new eyes and new appreciation. For others, church is something they were never really exposed to in younger life, and worship has begun to fill a void they hadn’t realized before that they had. For still others, a spiritual journey begun with a spouse has drawn them here, and together they are finding fulfillment in worshipping God and serving others. Many are drawn to the particular strengths of the Episcopal Church. Some raised in a non-liturgical tradition have reached a point in their lives where they need the support and expression of regular sacramental worship. Others respond very favorably to a Church discipline that encourages freedom of thought and respect for individual conscience. (One told me that a book he read characterized our denomination a Church of love, not of law, and that he was delighted to find that to be true.) Still others are drawn by both the treasuring of tradition in scripture and creeds and liturgy but at the same time a valuing of progressive thinking and openness to the renewal of God’s Spirit. I am certainly not saying here that the Episcopal Church is the place where all Christians should live out their faith walk with God. The Spirit can lead faithful followers in many different paths. But it is gratifying to be a part of this branch of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church where different people can come in touch with the abundant life that Jesus came to bring to the world.

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On Sunday, May 1, Bishop William Gregg will come to The Chapel of the Cross and officially welcome some of these fellow travelers into the Episcopal Church, laying hands on them in prayer. Let us all welcome them as well and give thanks for the Spirit at work in their edifying lives. Stephen

d. A Stewardship Day Hospitality Event On Stewardship Day, our church service bulletins and our rector announced, “A hospitality event is planned for you today following both the 9 and 11:15 a.m. worship services. Coordinators of the various hospitality ministries will be welcoming you to join them in learning more about each ministry and offering you an open invitation to become a part of these vital church offerings.” The symbiotic timing of pairing stewardship and hospitality was indeed appropriate, as we had only recently added to our hospitality Mission Statement, “Time, Talent, Treasure and Education.” During one of my conversations with junior warden, Linda, we had discussed the relationship between stewardship and hospitality. We agreed that one aspect of Christian Stewardship is financial stewardship, but that it might be time to consider a broader and more encompassing definition. In a May 2010 speech to the diocese of Ottawa and Ontario, our North Carolina diocesan bishop, the Rt. Rev. Bishop Michael Curry, said, “As stewards, we must follow Jesus, love like Jesus, give like Jesus, and forgive like Jesus.” In our hospitality calling, we are called “to love God with our whole hearts and to love our neighbor as ourselves.” As faithful stewards we are

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called to give like Jesus and love like Jesus. And so, “kicking off” our new church year with a simultaneous celebration of stewardship and hospitality was a blessing. At this particular hospitality event, the various hospitality ministry chairs (Bread, Funeral Receptions, Shepherds, Wednesday Morning Men’s Breakfast Group, Greeters for All and Welcomers for Newcomers, Loaves and Fishes, Guild of the Christ Child and Foyer Dinners) were in the parish hall to welcome and greet, answer questions and offer an invitation for all to sign up for these ministries. We have learned that “even Episcopalians are sometimes shy” about venturing forth to become involved. The parish hall was abuzz with interaction, fellowship and members signing up for new things or coming back to things previously enjoyed. Members of the various hospitality groups “reached out” to offer explanations. These ministries all are helpful, enjoyable and an answer to God’s call “to love and care for one another.” The literature suggests that parishioners sometimes feel that there may be “cliques” within some groups. In this parish we work to dispel this notion with frequent messages such as, “You are welcome,” “Please come and join us” and “Let us tell you about this ministry.” The best invitations come from parishioners who spread the word about the various areas of hospitality ministry and their experiences in “God’s Vineyard.”

e. A Church Parlor Newcomers’ Reception, Fall 2011 On 30 September 2011, we honored our newcomers with a reception in the parlor of the church. Formal invitations were printed on cards bearing the new church logo, the Chapel on the Hill, and envelopes were hand addressed. Two weeks prior to the event, the invitations were sent; Shepherds called those who had not yet responded to follow up. I, along with the Shepherds, coordinated a celebratory menu of homemade cucumber and pimento cheese tea

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sandwiches, fruit and vegetable trays, a marble cheese board with a variety of cheeses (Camembert with mango and ginger, French brie, white Stilton with cranberries, blueberries, and English cheddar), prosecco and punch (lemonade, pineapple and mango juices, and ginger ale), small bits of brownies and lemon squares. For this event we used the church’s and members’ silver trays. Some of the trays were passed with petite cucumber and pimento cheese sandwiches and other small hors d’oeuvres. During this event, we aimed to exude warmth and compassion. The event was informal and lively, and fall flowers in various shades of orange made for an inviting atmosphere. At the end of an hour, the group was called together for introductions, questions, and the sharing of information regarding church resources, activities and invitations. One child attended with his parents, and he was kept happily occupied with books and games and the attention of one of our Associates in Christian Formation. I pointed out that the group in attendance truly represented various interesting things. Stephen began the introductions, proudly announcing the birth three days prior of his first grandchild, Walken Thomas Elkins-Williams. One couple had lived all over the country, in New Jersey, California, Florida, etc., and had chosen Chapel Hill as a town with moderate weather, a university town and a town with many cultural offerings; another couple moved here from a town in North Carolina to be near their daughter who had attended UNC and who had been married in the Chapel of the Cross; a woman in attendance told us that she had been active in the university student group when she attended UNC and that she had come back to the church because she heard that the Sunday School Program for children was good; another young woman, a “cradle Episcopalian,” had recently moved to the Cary area with a new job, searched online for nearby Episcopal churches and chose the Chapel of the Cross solely from information

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on the website; a gentleman who had recently lost his wife after being at our church for a very short time expressed extreme gratitude for the church’s help during her illness and death. The Shepherds introduced themselves, and those who served on various other church committees, groups or ministries talked briefly about them and invited newcomers to be part as they might like. Newcomers were able to draw from a large basket of materials, with copies of the latest issue of CrossRoads, the Journal of the Chapel of the Cross, the Welcome Newcomers Prayer, various pamphlets on church ministries and copies of the booklet, What it Means to be an Episcopalian. As they had been greeted at the door by the Shepherds Coordinator and given nametags color coded to identify them as newcomers, so were they personally thanked upon departure for attending. Some went on to the 5:15 p.m. service, during which two missionaries from one of our global missions’ partnership in Honduras were being introduced; all were invited to return after the service to hear the presentation from our Honduras guests and to enjoy a light supper. It had been a long and wonderful day at church, beginning with the morning services and a social hour after the 11:15 service; the Newcomers’ Reception began at 3 p.m. The Honduras presentation and dinner followed the 5:15 church service. Some, most typically our University graduate students, attended our Compline Service at 9:30 p.m. Thanks Be To God.

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INTENTIONAL HOSPITALITY STRATEGY VII The Capital Campaign A Light on the Hill: Building to Serve - A New Parish/Fellowship Hall (Emphasis Area: Hospitality)

“O God, Whose Son, Jesus Christ, calls us to be the light of the world and like a city set on a hill which cannot be hid, make us bold in your service. Enlighten our vision and enkindle our hearts that in all we do, we may fulfill your purpose. Increase our generosity that as individuals and as a parish we may be good and faithful stewards of your bounty; through Christ our Lord. Amen.”

a. A Brief Historical Overview In the 1840s, over the course or more than five years, our original Chapel was built. I’m told that it was a building unlike any other imagined at that time. In the 1920s, a radically expanded church and parish house were completed. William Erwin stated his intent in a 1922 letter to give the land and $50,000 to build the church. In his letter, he quoted Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire, Jr.: “No work is as important now under his administration than better facilities for church work at our State University.” He went on to write, “I hope the new church and the improved and enlarged Parish House may prove a blessing to many young men and women who attend the University in years to come, as well as the parishioners who reside in Chapel Hill.” Realizing that Erwin’s hope has become a reality many times over, it now is time to move forward with new visionary dreams.

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b. The Capital Campaign In 2011, Chapel of the Cross parishioners were “challenged to do something great for God,” to make a commitment to more deeply “present our ministries and prepare for those to come.” In the resulting Capital Campaign, a campaign to enlarge and improve our church building and facilities, parishioners found a way to further enable God’s light to shine on this campus and in this community, to provide facilities that welcome students and parishioners of all ages, and to offer space where people can grow in faith to love and serve the Lord and all God’s people. Thus, we launched our capital campaign with the slogan, “A Light on the Hill: Building to Serve.” In a “Dear Friends” letter to the parish regarding the Capital Campaign, our rector asked the many people who use our building each week to “dream with me that--our prayerful decisions--may draw us more closely together in the Body of Christ.” Our new building and expansion will allow our church to realize the dream of a “parish where newcomers feel at home and welcome, not only in worship spaces but also in gathering and study and discussion places.” It will allow us to realize the dream “of having a parish hall large enough and flexible enough to sustain meals and performances and fellowship events and to support receptions for funerals and weddings and other pastoral occasions, where all coming there find a place prepared for them.” It will allow us to realize the dream of having a welcoming entrance as incredible as the foundation of those who came before us. (See letter, included in Capital Campaign Materials, attached as Appendix L.) “Thanks be to God for the great gift their legacy has been to us. Thanks be to God for all that has been the ministry of the Chapel of the Cross for so many decades. Thanks be to God for all of you and for our opportunity to do something great for you.” (See prayer from A Light on

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the Hill: Building to Serve, in brochure included in Capital Campaign Materials, attached as Appendix L.) In his statement, “Giving to Support Mission,” our vestry Senior Warden, Ford Worthy, spoke comprehensively about the need to support our Capital Campaign. His statement began with our opening mission statement: “The Chapel of the Cross welcomes you with an open door,” and went on to outline four areas of importance as related to the new and expanded facilities. Fellowship and teaching are two of the four important areas discussed. As Fellowship/ Hospitality and Faith Development, integrally related to teaching, are two seminal aspects of this thesis/project, it is worth reflecting on his remarks. Worthy emphasized that fellowship, i.e., coming together with a common faith and purpose, is indispensable to our mission. He noted, however, that our existing non-worship facilities, cramped gathering areas with poor acoustics and connected by dark, narrow hallways, offered little to “welcome the newcomer or encourage fellowship.” He cited examples, including that of the church dining room, a room that seats only 100 and is made awkward by load-bearing columns constricting movement and blocking views. (See statement, included in Capital Campaign Materials, attached as Appendix L.) By contrast, our planned fellowship hall will seat up to 250. It will adjoin with a modern kitchen and have the capacity to accommodate large events. We envision opportunities to “break bread with one another,” celebrate weddings, remember the lives of our departed at funeral receptions, and more. Overlooking the University of North Carolina Arboretum, adjacent to our church property, our plans call for an adjoining parlor and terrace. And Worthy said, “Facing Franklin Street, with an entranceway that I hope will be as inspiring as the new doors to the main

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church, the new fellowship hall will quite literally signal our mission: To welcome you with an open door!” In the 2010 Combined Campaign (including both the Annual Fund and the Capital), I served as one of twelve church Captains responsible for “callers to parishioners” regarding annual pledges, capital pledges or legacy gifts. A series of events designed to facilitate our duties were held: The Division Heads of the Combined Campaign, David and Watty, both former senior wardens, led a training session for Captains. Rector Stephen “set the stage” for the meeting, reminding us of “the energetic and refreshing ways that God’s Spirit is moving in and through the Chapel of the Cross.” He noted that, in our worship services, our fellowship gatherings, etc., “There is a palpable sense of enthusiasm and commitment of care for one another, of dedication to loving God and loving our neighbor near and far.” He reminded us that we have an “opportunity to return to God in thanksgiving a portion of all that we have been blessed with.” He was very clear that, “No one should feel that they are being asked to give beyond their means. But from ‘those to whom much is given, much is expected.’” The logistics of the Campaign were discussed, followed by questions and answers. We discussed pledging – how it worked, why pledges were needed, how much each should pledge, whether pledges should be increased, how our pledges compared with other churches in our area, etc. Comprehensive information was also available in a newly developed large, picture-filled brochure. The concepts of Education, Spiritual Development and Fellowship were featured on the front cover of the brochure. (See A Light on the Hill: Building to Serve, the Chapel of the Cross. – Giving 2011, included in Capital Campaign Materials, attached as Appendix L.)

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At the end of the meeting, Captains selected the cards (containing names and demographic information) for those persons whom they wished to be on their list of callers. The meeting adjourned with prayer: “O God, whose Son, Jesus Christ, calls us to be the light of the world and like a city set on a hill which cannot be hid, make us bold in your service. Enlighten our vision and enkindle our hearts that in all we do, we may fulfill your purpose. Increase our generosity that as individuals and as a parish we may be good and faithful stewards of your bounty; through Christ our Lord. Amen.” A second training session was held for Captains and their callers. Prior to this meeting, all Captains had been in touch with our callers, explaining the various aspects of the Campaign and asking the callers to participate. Each of the persons whose names I had selected at the first planning session agreed to be callers. At the second training session, Stephen again set the tone for our gathering and mission. Watty and David gave overall explanations of the process and thanked everyone who had agreed to participate. David Ross made a presentation to the group, focusing on “Nine Important Tips for Visitors.” His tips began with a Henri Nouwen quote: “As a form of ministry, fundraising is as spiritual as giving a sermon, entering a time of prayer, visiting the sick or feeding the hungry.” An outline of his nine tips, or steps, follows: 1. Do Your Homework (i.e., make your own personal gift first; review campaign materials; think about what may interest the person/family you are visiting; try to get to know your parishioner personally; do not rush into asking for campaign gifts). 2. Build a Relationship 3. Plan Your Solicitation 4. Arrange a Meeting

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5. Discuss the Capital and Annual Giving Campaigns 6. Ask For a Pledge 7. Handle Objections 8. Secure a Commitment 9. Follow Through (See“Nine Important Tips for Visitors,” attached as Appendix M.) With such training “under our belts,” we could approach our task of calling and/or meeting with the Chapel of the Cross parishioners. We received continued support throughout the process. For example, David Dill sent all Captains and callers a list of “Reported Questions Asked of Our Callers,” and possible responses to them. As Captains and callers visited parishioners, results were sent to our Division Heads, who kept up-to-date records of all pledges. They communicated overall results to Captains, and we, in turn, to our callers. The Campaign and the process by which it was run were very successful. To express our gratitude and thanksgiving for our Campaign successes, the Captains celebrated at the home of the Dills with a lovely Sunday luncheon and gave thanks to God for the abundant harvest of pledges.

c. More about Our Buildings and Architecture and their Relationship to Hospitality Parishioners at the Chapel of the Cross proudly refer to their beautiful gothic church and chapel as “The Light on the Hill.” The U.S. Congregational Life Survey suggests that our parishioners are extremely satisfied with their worship spaces. Worship in the church is rated higher than all other areas on the questionnaire. In choosing three of fourteen areas as those

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aspects of the church most valued, 62% chose the traditional style of worship or music and 63% chose sharing in Holy Communion. Parishioners revere the sanctuary and the chapel. On the other hand, the architecture of the parish hall does not lend itself to holy and gracious hospitality. Our growing emphasis in the church on holy hospitality made us aware that the “architecture of hospitality” needed help. When the Capital Campaign was launched in the fall of 2010, we recognized that it was wise to reduce our original $20 million dollar projection in the midst of the economic downturn. Thus, some of the new architectural plans were modified, and we reworked our vision down to an overall cost of $7.5 million. Still, maintaining the emphasis on hospitality areas was a high priority. A new parish hall, as the area most associated with fellowship and hospitality, was essential. Our parishioners clearly understood that, “The church building is not only for worship and education, but for fellowship as well.” Somehow, our worship service and our building had to emit the message, “Welcome, we love you” (Hart, 2009, p. 104). Recently, our church had manifested another planned sign of architectural hospitality, by replacing old, solid wooden doors at the entrance to the sanctuary with large, glass doors. The new doors were a gift from a parishioner in memory of her husband. The glass doors say to the stranger or visitor, “Come in, we welcome you.” Passersby on Franklin Street, the main street of the Chapel Hill village, can look in and see the beautiful altar. When the altar glows with candles for our services, particularly our Compline service on Sunday evenings at 9:30 p.m., students living in the University of North Carolina dormitories, sorority and fraternity houses surrounding the church are often drawn into this worship space. Our Sunday service bulletin invites those who attend Compline to, “Set your mind on the things which are above, where Christ is,” and describes Compline as, “A sung service featuring the timeless words of the

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church, sung by candlelight to Gregorian chant and renaissance polyphony, Sunday evenings at 9:30 in the church, through May 6.” Somewhat related, students drawn into worship at the 5:15 service in the Chapel are afterward invited into the courtyard space between the church and the chapel for refreshments, lemonade during the warm weather or coffee, apple cider, or hot tea around a “pit fire” during the cooler weather. The two buildings connected by the parish hall, provide the perfect setting for fellowship and continued worship following the church service. We recognize that, in a large sanctuary like the Chapel of the Cross, the acoustics and sound systems must be sophisticated so that everyone can hear the “sung and spoken word.” Within the sanctuary, we choose not to incorporate a screen of any kind. However, in the new parish hall, alternative additions, such as “a blank surface or screen. . . something that will enable the church to show films, display overhead transparencies, and project the words of hymns on transparencies or slides,” will be possible (Hart, 2009, p. 104). Our Building Committee is well versed in recent trends related to church architecture. Indeed, the Chapel of the Cross is fortunate to have a leading liturgical design consultant, Terry Eason, on the Master Plan Steering Committee. Studying architectural trends in church buildings and remodeling is an important process for the parish. The congregation’s concept of worship and the buildings in which such worship is conducted must be symbiotic. There must be a welcoming atmosphere at all times.

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d. Interview with Terry Eason, 2 February 2012 I sat down with Terry Eason, Liturgical Design Consultant and Former Junior Warden, for a visit at the church prior to the Candlemas (The Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Temple) Service to talk about architecture and its relationship to hospitality. I asked Terry to “talk with me about some of the architectural things that were important to you and your committee as you began to plan the major renovations of our church.” “Well,” Terry said, “the committee was very concerned that we have a large fellowship hall, and they wanted the language to be ‘fellowship.’ Most Episcopal churches refer to the fellowship hall as the parish hall; in fact, most call the whole area the parish house with the parish hall as the area designated for fellowship – dining, receptions (e.g., funerals and weddings), large parish and fellowship meals (like our fall barbecue) and an annual parish meeting. With a larger space, we can expand our events for the entire parish to at least three each year: one in the winter, one in the spring (before exams to celebrate the year), and maybe one shortly after Easter. We hope to add doors to divide 40% and 60% of the space. A space of 40% could be used for an adult education class and 60% for coffee hour.” “Do you ever anticipate screens on the fellowship hall walls?” I asked. “Yes, we may do this; certainly, a suggestion has been made to have plasma screens near the elevators and when you come into the reception space,” Terry offered. “We want this reception space to be warm and inviting with someone there to meet visitors whenever they may appear.” I agreed with Terry that this was so important, to be able to welcome parishioners and newcomers throughout the day.

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“Our hallways will be wider; the building should foster hospitality. People visit in the hallways, so they should be able to flow and open into other spaces. A chair or two near a window will help, too,” Terry said. I asked Terry to talk further about essentials of hospitality. “People are attracted to our chapel and church. They are beautiful and have character and quality. When you come into our parish house, there is nothing attractive but the parlor. Some time ago, around 2001, we had a committee to ‘update the parlor’ with new upholstery, a new rug, draperies . . . the emphasis was on warm and friendly but not pretentious. We didn’t mind old furniture. We wanted elegance without being uncomfortable. It became our only room that had class and a sense of welcome. The only architecture that is friendly is the parlor. So, in our new building, it was important that our parlor again open into the fellowship hall. Our new fellowship hall will be twice the size of our present dining room in its largest form. There will be no columns like we have now to obstruct the space. It will be much more open, much taller.” I said, “I’ve seen the plans, and I especially like the tall windows, French doors, that open from the fellowship hall onto the terrace that overlooks the University of North Carolina arboretum. Wow!” “Right,” Terry chimed in. “There will be five tall windows on the west side and three on the south side. The terrace will be very nice, hopefully, with flagstone like the front of the bell tower.” We talk further. Terry added, “The new building will have a strong architectural presence like our church and chapel. We want it to last 150 years; the money we spend is good stewardship. The church will be here for generations to come. The new building will be brick, with limestone trim and a slate roof.”

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“What are you most excited about?” I asked him. “I guess I’m excited that the church is finding a way to do this. Also, I’m excited that we will have a fellowship hall for all the parishioners to gather, for weddings and funerals, and a better preschool and church school with bigger rooms and dedicated rooms for adult education.” “Yes,” I said. “I’m so excited about all of these things as well. What are our continuing challenges?” “We need another million to put new things into our new building and to finish the third floor,” Terry said. “We need another $300,000 to get more equipment for the kitchen. And still ahead, we need to tear out the rest of the Yates and Battle buildings. We need to replace them; this will not be additional space. The new building will technically be like a building for the future. We will get an entire third floor.” We concluded with how very blessed we are in this church with parishioners of all ages who have contributed and are contributing and will continue to contribute to make this dream a reality. Thanks be to God!

INTENTIONAL HOSPITALITY STRATEGY VIII Strategic Planning (Now and in the Future) for Hospitality

a. Strategic Planning for Hospitality Ministry The Chapel of the Cross Hospitality Ministry sought out the services of the Rev. Dr. William H. Morley, a consultant in the area of reorganization, realignment and strategic planning for churches, as well as a wide variety of other organizations and agencies. Specifically, he is the

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president of EXCL and an independent associate of Lominger International, a Korn and Ferry International Company. Lucky for us, he is a priest associate in our church as well. A year prior, I had worked with Bill when we met to look at a strategic plan for the Global Missions Committee. We found him most helpful; at the end of his work with our Global Missions Committee, I asked if he would do the same for the Hospitality Ministry. He graciously agreed and, in fact, was preparing to work with the vestry on another project relative to administrative realignment. Bill worked with us during three-hour sessions on two different evenings, one in May and one in June.

b. First Meeting, May 2011 At our first meeting, we analyzed “where we are” and “where we hope to go.” Each of our many hospitality ministries was “put on the table” in a chart format, listing the specific activities that were currently in place. Laid out as such, our ministry looked impressive, but we knew that we wanted to do more, heeding God’s call to love and serve one another. We left our first meeting with a Look Toward 2015 list and with Key Words/Strategic Directions to think about when we returned for our second strategic planning meeting on June 21st. Thoughts for 2015 included: •

Dividing Chapel of the Cross parishioners into “organizational cells” or geographic groupings of parishioners located in Durham, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough, and Pittsboro.

Becoming a “warm welcoming place for all,” including greater parish awareness around greeting the visitor as our most honored guest.

Increasing participation in hospitality ministries.

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Obtaining new personnel to serve as “kitchen manager.”

Our Key Words/Strategic Directions included: •

Welcome

Nurture

Quality

Build Connections and Community

Leadership of Laity

Technology

Diversity

For our next meeting, attendees were assigned to think about the following: •

The “five key strategic themes or focuses” for Hospitality.

New ideas or approaches to Hospitality Ministries in 2015.

Reflection on where the Holy Spirit is moving your thinking since our last meeting.

c. Second Meeting, June 2011 Prior to this meeting, there was much “sharing the buzz” whenever Hospitality Ministry folks saw each other (at church, in the community, at individual hospitality groups meetings and via email). Several members of the ministry emailed me with their good thoughts, such as the following: •

The large receptions are beautiful and so well received; they will be easier after construction and renovation of our parish house. Maybe we could offer a once-amonth breakfast rather than just plain coffee each Sunday. (The Presbyterians have second Sunday lunch.)

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Technology. I don’t like the idea of Steve “tweeting,” but I do think that we can use technology to build community.

Ownership of hospitality by the entire congregation. Our committees and various ministries are great, but they can be exhausting and seemingly take on lives of their own. I love the idea of each ministry in the church taking ownership of feeding the congregation occasionally—rather than just having “Marthas” in the kitchen.

I do hope we have a Kitchen Manager and a cleaning service for the kitchen. It is used so often that I think we could be much more effective by ordering in bulk. Also, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness,” and the state of our kitchen is not always “sparkling”—ditto for the campus kitchen.

I know that Bill says that we may have to cut our budget, but the Spirit is not moving me that way. When I read the list of all of our Hospitality Ministries, they all seem vital to our congregation!!

At our second meeting, Bill led the good discussion, while guiding us to a vision statement and to vital areas of ministry. He recognized members in attendance and their various ministries.

d. Further Action of Groups Within the Hospitality Ministry Since this second meeting, specific ministry groups have met to discuss the various focus areas identified in our strategic planning meetings. All ministry groups work very hard at “being the hands and feet of Jesus.” This chapter of the thesis/project focuses on the intentional strategies used for many of these ministries and gives a detailed accounting of these strategies.

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Our new foyer groups have been meeting since October 2011; Cross Ties Foyer Groups are also underway, with or without babies at the dinners. Our funeral receptions continue to be lovely and whatever the family desires, e.g.; recently, we had a small reception for 50 or so people in the parlor with a modest assortment of refreshments; in contrast, for an upcoming reception, the family of the deceased is having the reception catered; silver will be used for all food, flowers will decorate our tables; and, perhaps, wine will be served alongside the usual coffee, tea and punch. The bread ministry group has met many times and is meeting again next Monday for lunch in the parlor to taste more delicious bread, and to talk about the new bread covers made by church service children, and about changes for delivery. The Shepherds have met several times, most recently to welcome two new Shepherds. One plans to work with newcomers in the 20s and 30s age groups. The other lost his wife some time ago; she received such wonderful care from the church that he desires to give back. The Shepherds are getting ready to call their newcomers about the upcoming tea at the rector’s home in early March. The greeters again are “all abuzz” about the new newcomers’ table, suggested by one of our parishioners. The feeling is that, when newcomers see the new table in the parish hall, they will know that Chapel of the Cross is serious about welcoming visitors. We are also on the path to obtaining a new newcomers’ banner. I will meet soon with the Stewardship Committee (as requested by the chair of that committee) in order to tell them of the many hospitality ministries and our responsibility to them to be faithful stewards of God’s bounty; perhaps, we will discuss the possibility of another time, talent and treasure audit in the church.

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The list of hospitality ministries goes on. We pause to give thanks to God for all who work in this ministry, their dedication to each other and to the Body of Christ in this church.

e. Hospitality Ministry Strategic Plan In attendance at the Strategic Planning Sessions: Frank Holt, Ellen Cole, Tony Hawkins, Sandy Edgerly, Harriet Gaillard, Elaine Westbrook, Patty Courtwright, Cynthia Radding, Barbara Pipkin, Kim Williams and Barbara Day. (And with fellowship with Stephen ElkinsWilliams.) 2015 Vision: Being the Hands and Feet of Jesus in Our Community and Congregation •

Ministry of Service With Grace (Receptions, Foyers, Naomi’s Group, Dinners and Events, Funeral Receptions)

Welcoming of Newcomers and Visitors (Bread Ministry, Shepherds, Greeters)

Building Connections – Diversity (I.T. Software, Neighborhood Groups, Foyer Dinners, Home Visitation, Greeters)

Leveraging Technology (Parish Database for Communication)

Faithful Stewards (Time, Talent, Treasure, Education)

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INTENTIONAL HOSPITALITY STRATEGY IX Funeral Hospitality Ministry

There is a light in the world, a healing spirit, more powerful than any darkness we may encounter. We sometimes lose sight of this force, when there is so much suffering, too much pain. Then suddenly, the spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people who care and answer in extraordinary ways. Mother Teresa

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a. Introduction: Biblical and Theological Perspectives Our funeral receptions are for “sharing with those in need, practicing hospitality” (Romans 12:13). A funeral reception is an especially important time when host (the church) and stranger (unknown family and friends) experience holy hospitality while comforting and helping each other and during which the host and stranger roles are often interchangeable. On the road to Emmaus, in the post-resurrection story, the disciples served as hosts when they invited a stranger to their dwelling place. The stranger, of course, was the risen Christ, who later became the host at the table: “He took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them” (Luke 24:30). When hospitality is centered on Jesus Christ, the experiences of host and stranger are interchangeable. The Greek word, xenos, is the same for host, guest and stranger. “I am in the midst of one who serves.” So spoke Jesus at the Last Supper. These words call us to reach out in loving service to others, especially those who are in need. The funeral reception ministry seeks to give bereaved family members a warm and loving environment to receive friends and family. Funeral receptions provide an open and accepting time to share experiences with those suffering grief. During a time of bereavement, such as surrounding the loss of a loved one, life can be confusing. Emotions, not always understood, are best handled in an atmosphere of openness and acceptance. As St. Paul says, “So being affectionately desirous of you, we were able to share with you not only the gospel of God, but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us” (Thessalonians 2:8). Funeral receptions are a time to “share life” and “give water,” and we are called as members of the Body of Christ to “welcome others into the Body, to share the life-giving waters of which we drink so freely” (Geitz, 1990, p. 3). Parallels, drawn by reception hosts, family and

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friends, are made between church and faith stories and the attributes of the departed. Sharing stories of common faith and mutual understanding is Christian hospitality at its best. As we make room for this kind of hospitality, more room becomes available to us for life, hope and grace (Pohl, 1999, p. xiii). In his book, Reaching Out, Nouwen (1975, p.61) defined hospitality as “making a safe place for the other.” During times of loss, such a place, the church, is where one feels comfortable and cared for. The church becomes a refuge where we are able to discover God’s love for us, where loved ones can share their stories and speak the truth in words of love and hope and where the Body of Christ listens deeply with open hearts. Love is especially important at the time of a funeral reception. The church is “where in that friendly, open space heart meets heart, soul touches soul, where stories can be heard and shared, where we are no longer strangers, where we come to know that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, and where we can all rejoice with one voice in ‘Thanks be to God’” (Sheay, 1992, p. 111). In our funeral reception ministry, we strive to take care of one another, emotionally and spiritually. This ministry is offered in times of grief, loss and sickness, and in the face of any other need or adversity. The laity is very engaged in this ministry; caring for one another is at the very heart of parish life. This kind of care and love for each other is what Jesus lived out, and it is what we are called to as his disciples. It is about serving and honoring one another. Important to our concept of funeral reception ministry is that God did not create us to suffer alone; rather, God made us to care and support each other in times of need. The church plays a most significant part in this caring for others. We are The Body of Christ, committed to loving one another. We invite all, especially the grieving, to come in and find God and the Holy

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Spirit at work in our lives and in the sacred space of the church. We are called to heed the Divine invitation to be hosts, to invite all who hunger for God, whether or not they can repay, to welcome, to nourish and sustain. Biblically, the hospitality concept often centered at the table. In the New Testament, feeding and welcoming the stranger was tantamount to welcoming and feeding Christ: “I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink” (Matthew 25:35). Jesus fed the hungry crowd and gave living water to the woman of Samaria. In the Old Testament, Abraham and Sarah showed hospitality to strangers, who turned out to be messengers of God. The poor widow of Zarephath fed Elijah. Examples abound. Funeral receptions are no exceptions; they are typically built around food and drink. In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus’ ministry is defined as one of healing: “The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach Good News to the poor. He has set me to proclaim release to the captive and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18-19). People are hungry for healing in their lives. We endeavor to teach people in need about healing, to spread the word about God’s healing work and to give people the message about grief: Grief is normal. It’s how we respond to a significant personal loss. Grief is natural. It’s the human thing that we do; God created us to love and to grieve when we feel loss. Grief is necessary. It’s a healthy way to cope. If we try to avoid it or ignore it, it can last longer and cause further pain (Haugk, 2004, pp. 3–4). Nouwen (1975) said, “When we lose someone we have loved deeply, we are left with a grief that can paralyze us emotionally…when they die a part of us dies, too.” The relationship that one had with the departed greatly affects the way we grieve. It has been said that, “When you lose a parent you lose your past; when you lose a spouse you lose

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your present; when you lose a child you lose your future” (Haugk, 2004, p. 16). It’s important to help those grieving to remember that, even in those dark places and valleys where we feel lost, God remains with us. “Turn to me and be gracious for me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish” (Psalms 25:16-17). We grieve in different ways and work through issues at different times and with different feelings. The loss one person feels is completely different from that of another; one must grieve the way one needs to grieve. We remember, “I will bless you with a future filled with hope,” and, “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint” (Jeremiah 29:11 and Isaiah 40:31).

b. The Rev. Robert Dunham’s Meditation for Thelma Boyd It is ironic that, in the midst of writing this portion of the thesis/project, I paused to attend a memorial service at The United Presbyterian Church of Chapel Hill for a friend of mine, Thelma Boyd, the wife of a former colleague in the Religion Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I have attended many services at United Presbyterian and have long admired the Rev. Robert Dunham for a preaching style that touches the head and the heart in perfect harmony. For Thelma’s memorial service, I anticipated nothing less than to be inspired, filled with faith and grateful praise. To my delight, his “meditation” for Thelma was all about hospitality. It was a perfect uplifting for this woman, who epitomized the very essence of gracious, holy hospitality. I asked Bob if I could share his message in my thesis/project, and he immediately agreed. So, here it is, readers of my thesis/project. I’m grateful to Bob, and you will be, too:

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With your indulgence, I’m going to share one additional reading – just two verses from the Letter to the Hebrews, the 13th chapter, which include these words: Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. (13:1-2) We talk a lot in the South about hospitality, about gracious welcome and open tables, but the New Testament language of hospitality is more specific and challenging. The New Testament word for hospitality is philoxenia, which translated literally means “love of the stranger.” What an odd concept in our day, when xenophobia (“fear of the stranger”) is far more common. I chose that Hebrews passage and the notion of philoxenia for today in large measure because it was a quality and a trait deeply embedded in Thelma’s spirit. It was more than social graces, more than her native South Carolina friendliness at work; for Thelma it was a matter of faithfulness – the extension of grace from one who had known grace. Across several decades, first at Presbyterian College, then at Davidson, and most especially here at UNC, Thelma befriended countless undergraduate and graduate students and brought them into her home, fed them, introduced them, inquired about them, and in many cases kept in touch with them, helping strangers make connections with one another so that they didn’t feel like strangers at all…least of all with her. Don and Karen remember the rich conversations around their family table with all the people Thelma invited to join them for meals. She was a one-woman assimilation team in this church, responsible for introducing newcomers in the community to longer-term residents and church members, often over a meal at her house. She had such a buoyancy of spirit, such genuine warmth, and a capacity for making anyone and everyone feel special in her presence. And part of her ability to do so was her almost encyclopedic memory of names and faces and the fact that she kept in touch with people everywhere she had ever been. If she didn’t know you when she first met you, within a matter of minutes she had established that she knew someone in your family or one of your close friends. We joke about degrees of separation in our circles of friends and acquaintances, but with Thelma, there was rarely even a degree of separation. She astonished me with those connections from the first day I met her, and our family has often joked that if we couldn’t remember the name of someone we had met in our recent travels, we could always call Thelma. She would know. When our son moved last year to Clemson to work for Clemson athletics, Thelma asked where his office was. I told her it was across the street from Littlejohn Coliseum, 131    


and she said, “Well, you know Sukie Littlejohn was my roommate at Winthrop.” The topper, though, at least in our family’s experience, came when our daughter decided to pursue graduate work at the University of California – Irvine. We told Thelma, and her first response was, “You know, the Irvines were such lovely people.” Marla said, “You knew the Irvines?” Turns out she had met them when she was working for the Red Cross in southern California while Bunny was in the Navy. Later I would think to myself, “Well, of course Thelma knew the Irvines.” I can’t think of a handful of people she didn’t know. But such relationships don’t just happen. They are cultivated through openness to and a genuine love of the stranger and the conviction that we should be doing all we can to build bridges that span the chasms that would otherwise separate us. In Thelma’s generation, such bridges were built through laughter and conversation over meals, through friendly phone calls and gracious personal notes. I can’t help but find it ironic that in all the supposedly greater connectedness we have at our disposal today through virtual communities like Facebook and Twitter or the conveniences of text-messages and emails, we can’t even begin to approach the kind of genuine and abiding friendships and the timeless connections that bound Thelma to you and to me and to countless others like us. Our experience with Thelma was simply an experience of grace. This church is so indebted to Thelma for all the ways she served it across the years. Big things like her splendid service on the Session of this church, including service as its clerk. Big things like service on our denomination’s Committee on Theological Education and on Union Seminary’s Board of Trustees. But also the quiet, less visible, yet similarly important tasks, like sitting with children and listening to their stories, like choosing to sit next to someone she hadn’t met at church suppers instead of with her closest friends, like tending and watering the plants inside and outside the church, many of which she potted or planted herself. I think of all the hours she spent in the memorial garden of the church and how important that garden was to her. I think of the camellia blossoms that showed up on the desks of church staff members, which said that Thelma had been here and was thinking of them. I think of the way Thelma served as an unofficial source of counsel and wisdom and memory for the pastors of this church across the years, including this pastor. Thelma loved the Church – loved its worship, loved its sense of community, loved its potential, and nothing is more clear today than that the church loved her right back. In the same way she loved the University, loved this town, loved the Carol Woods community especially. Her time there was bookended by stays in the health center, for when she moved in she was recuperating from surgery. That the University, town and Carol Woods community loved her back was clearly seen in the steady stream of visitors that stopped by to see her, right up to her last days. And it was seen in the gracious care the Carol Woods staff gave her every day. 132    


With the help of a couple of our church members, we’ve been undertaking an oral history project in this congregation. The project has sought and recorded the observations and reflections of a number of our long-term members. Thelma and Bunny joined University Church in 1954, and no one in those intervening years knew more people in this congregation than Thelma, so I am especially grateful that we were able to record Thelma’s remembrances earlier this year. Her interviewer told me this weekend, “She was so wise and articulate [and] her memory so clear.” Then he said, “Her conversation, like her life, demonstrated something I find nearly miraculous, that it is possible to be observant and truthful without being negative.” And it is true; Thelma could certainly be forceful when she disagreed with a decision, but never in an ungracious way. Still, what I will remember about Thelma is simply the way she was with all of us. It made me think of something the pastor and writer Barbara Brown Taylor says in one of her books: At its most basic level, the everyday practice of being with other people is the practice of loving the neighbor as the self. More intricately, it is the practice of coming face-to-face with another human being, preferably someone different enough to qualify as a capital “O” Other – and at least entertaining the possibility that this [might be] one of the faces of God… The next time you go to the grocery store, try engaging the cashier. You do not have to invite her home for lunch or anything, but take a look at her face while she is trying to find “arugula” on her laminated list of produce. Here is someone who exists even when she is not ringing up your groceries…. She is someone’s daughter, maybe someone’s mother as well. She has a home she returns to when she hangs up her apron here, a kitchen that smells of last night’s supper, a bed where she occasionally lies awake at night wrestling with her own [anxieties and fears]. Do not go too far with this or you risk turning her into a character in your own novel, which is a large part of the problem already. It is enough for you [simply] to acknowledge her when she hands you your change. “You saved eleven dollars and six cents by shopping at Winn Dixie today,” she says, looking right at you. All that is required is for you to look back. Just meet her eyes for a moment when you say, “Thanks.” Sometimes that is all another person needs to know: that she has been seen – not the cashier but the person – but even if she does not seem to notice, the encounter has occurred. You noticed, and because you did, neither of you will ever quite be the same again… (An Altar in the World, 2009, 94-95) That word of counsel might just be as good a description of Thelma Boyd as anything I might say, because Thelma always noticed such people, always spoke, 133    


probably by the end of the conversation knew her name and something about her and who her kinfolk were. Thelma was an absolute treasure, and that’s why we miss her so today and will in the months and years ahead. It seems outrageous to speak of someone’s death at age 91 as untimely. She lived a good and gracious life for a long time; but goodness, we weren’t ready to let her go. Still, I am confident that she remains with us, even now. Her life remains with us as an invitation: an invitation to kindness and gentleness and graciousness and faithfulness and hospitality…to philoxenia, love of the stranger. Goodness, we need more of those qualities in our time. Godspeed, Thelma. We give thanks to God for you. Godspeed. Robert E. Dunham, September 12, 2011

c. Funeral Receptions at the Chapel of the Cross: Background Information Although the Chapel of the Cross boasts 19 pastoral ministries, sometimes more, for many years there was no official group that acted on a regular basis to host funeral receptions. I, along with a vestry representative who shared Hospitality Ministry with me, set about to organize such a specialty ministry. We published announcements in the Sunday church newsletter, distributed with the service bulletin, suggesting this new ministry and asking for volunteers. In addition, I called a group of members (young, older, relatively new and long term) and invited them to a planning meeting. The group enthusiastically helped establish goals and strategies to meet these goals, including volunteering to coordinate bi-weekly. Two members agreed to lead the charge, armed with a list of 20 additional on-call volunteers to help as needed. The clergy, who had previously been responsible for the ad hoc gathering of groups to assist with funeral receptions, were thrilled that we were taking the responsibility to make this a systematic and vital part of the hospitality ministry at the church. The rector of the church came to our initial planning meeting, serenading us with three songs on his guitar; the choirmaster joined us at the end of the meeting to sing, including songs 134    


to be sung by the entire group; and a new hospitality prayer was said and distributed as a bookmark. Thus, the Funeral Receptions committee had been launched. We have tried several different formats to this new ministry. For example, we tried an assigned team approach, in which teams (each consisting of a chairperson and several members) were assigned three-week-periods of responsibility during the church year. Many liked this approach, but others felt uncomfortable “holding free” three weeks at a time. Although the Altar Guild successfully employed this approach, its members primarily held responsibilities during weekends. There could be no time limits to the accessibility of our new funeral reception ministry. Our current plan uses another type of team approach. Our ministry is divided into five teams, each with a chair and five to eight members. When a reception is imminent, the parish assistant notifies the members of the teams and asks who may be able to help. A team chairperson is first to commit, followed by his or her team members, then any others from other teams with the time and inclination to help. So far, this approach has worked well, with many members volunteering in and across teams. To further assist our ministry, we now pre-order appropriate funeral reception food and keep it in our church freezer. We have an assortment of choices, including carrot cake, chocolate brownies, lemon squares, nuts and crackers. The appointed team may additionally decide to serve items such as fruit, vegetables, cheese or small tea sandwiches. Sometimes, the bereaved family calls to request, or wishes to provide, certain things. For example, a family recently wanted to be sure that we served a chocolate mousse cake, and so we did. On rare occasions, a family will have the entire event catered. In this case, the team assists with coordinating the event.

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d. Funeral Reception Committee Meeting, 11 September 2011 On 11 September 2011, following the 11:15 morning worship service, I met with members of the Funeral Reception Committee in the church parlor. At the meeting, while enjoying many good things to eat, we discussed the state of the committee and solicited suggestions for continued evaluation. Continually, we try, in a number of ways, to make the work of this ministry of highly talented and committed people, mostly women, as loving and gracious as possible. Some of our members have served for a long time; others are new. Members are always encouraged to invite new members. Overall, the committee attracts highly committed people, and it shows in the ministry. Our parishioners habitually give this committee the highest words of praise and thanksgiving. Many want to become a member of the committee following a death in their own family. Announcements are also included in the service bulletin inviting new members. One such message had just appeared in the day’s bulletin: “Hospitality Ministry: An Invitation for Funeral Reception Committee Members and Other Hospitality Opportunities. We invite you to join a group of dedicated church members who spread love and peace to family members and friends who gather for a reception following a funeral or memorial service, please call Barbara Day (818-6663) or Marty Hunter (765-5279). Also, hospitality ministry tables will be set up in the Parish Hall following both the 9:00 and 11:15 a.m. services on October 9 with information for you. Please ‘sign up’ if you would like to participate in a variety of activities. Members of various groups will be available to answer your questions. We welcome you to join us.” At this meeting, we announced to the committee the results of the strategic planning session that had taken place with the Rev. Bill Morley (as previously described, pp. 120-125).

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Four members of the Funeral Reception Committee attended the strategic planning sessions for the Hospitality Group. At the strategic planning session, five main topics were presented and discussed. The Funeral Reception Committee acknowledged them all as positive things. Finally one team member said, “Barbara, I don’t want to be out of order but could you tell us the specific recipe for the punch that had ginger ale and mango juice in it?” The group chuckled. Comments such as these remind us that we are “worker bees,” working in God’s vineyard, doing loving and caring service to those in grief. We discussed the new personnel member, Jeffrey, recently hired by the church, to serve as the “Hospitality Manager,” largely as an outcome of the strategic planning sessions for the Hospitality Group. The hospitality manager, a ten-hour-per-week commitment, is charged with keeping the kitchen clean, organized and equipped for efficacious hospitality events, including organizing gatherings after the Sunday 11:15 service. Most importantly for the Funeral Reception Committee, Jeffrey will be a primary help while cleaning up after receptions. Some committee members have a very difficult time lifting and washing heavy crystal and silver platters and trays, and Jeffrey will be able to do this with and for us. We gave him a round of applause, and welcomed him to our group. Our church employed through Club Nova, a group that helps people in our county who live with mental illness “by providing a non-residential holistic and caring environment designed to promote rehabilitation and reintegration into the community.” As Stephen explained in his September, 2010, “Dear Friends” letter, Jeffrey will accomplish tasks we need to have done and will also be an “opportunity and a witness: an opportunity for persons marginalized by our society to become a needed part of it (and for all of us to learn from that experience) and a baptismal witness to the value of respecting the dignity of every human being).”

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The timing of the Funeral Receptions Committee meeting, the beginning of the church school year, was perfect. The Sunday after Labor Day, when parishioners are back from vacation and church school begins for all ages, is always a special time, and today there was added anticipation and excitement following a “kick off” that included a dramatization of Noah’s Ark. Rector Stephen played his guitar and led the singing of “Noah, Noah;” Priests Vicky and Dick were mosquitoes, Priest David was the best raven imaginable; children dressed up as all manner of animals; and a big rainbow filled the altar area following the “flood.” When the performers and the entire congregation stood to sing, “Rise, Shine, Give God the Glory,” I knew we were off to a good year. Even with all of the excitement and genuine hospitality around us, we were all too aware that the day also marked the tenth anniversary of the horrible attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington and the crash of the third hijacked airliner in Pennsylvania. At each of our five services that day, we remembered with great sorrow those events and prayed for those who died and for those who survived. (We also pray, by name, every Sunday for each of our parishioners serving in the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. “Faith and hope are our inspiration.”)

e. Strengths of Our Funeral Reception Ministry The ministry’s membership remains strong and vital. After the first three months of the new funeral reception ministry, all twenty-three funeral reception coordinators agreed to serve during the second phase. Thirteen new people volunteered to serve as additional coordinators. All seventeen volunteers, those on-call to help serve and prepare food, agreed to serve again. Eight additional people agreed to serve for the first time, giving us a total of twenty-five

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volunteers and sixty persons directly involved in the ministry. All involved agreed that this ministry was important and significant. Some indicated that, of all of their work in the church, this was the most important. I believe that this ministry has been, and will continue to be, very successful and important for the church. The rector called recently, expressing his gratitude for the services the Funeral Reception Committee provide. We are sharing, practicing hospitality with those of God’s people in need. This newly organized, flourishing ministry has ushered in tremendous improvement in the church’s handling of funeral receptions. Our call is clear; the service is essential to the church. We are reaching out to the families and friends of those who have died, loving and caring for them in a time of great need. Our mission statement calls us “to care for those in need;” through this ministry, we do so, emotionally and spiritually. We are the Body of Christ called to follow God’s great commandment to love one another. This ministry is central to that commandment. We offer our care to those in times of grief and loss; this ministry is at the heart of parish life. It exemplifies the kind of love lived out by Jesus and what we are called to do as disciples. Our ministry is the essence of holy hospitality, revolving around loving service, and comforting and helping those who are suffering. Funeral receptions offer a time for friends and families to come together and share stories of common faith and mutual understanding; they represent a time during which the Body of Christ listens deeply with open hearts and arms. Funeral receptions are times to welcome others, family members and friends, into the family of faith where “good news” of Christ, especially that of resurrection and the promise of salvation, is proclaimed.

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Our approach is a holistic one; we invite all to participate, to be a part of the decisionmaking process and to feel ownership along the way.

A Folk Song About Servanthood and Love From Our Brothers and Sisters in Ghana, West Africa Whom do we serve? How do we serve? Where do we serve? Jesu, Jesu, fill us with your love, show us how to serve the neighbors we have from you—kneels at the feet of his friends, silently washes their feet—neighbors are rich and poor; neighbors are black and white; neighbors are nearby and far away. These are the ones we should serve, these are the ones we should love; all are neighbors to you and us—loving puts us on our knees, serving ‘others;’ this is the way we should live with you. (Hymn 602, Chereponi)

A Prayer for the Bereaved Heavenly Father, whose blessed son Jesus Christ did weep at the grave of Lazarus his friend: Lord, we beseech thee, with compassion; upon those who are now in sorrow and affection; comfort them, O Lord, with Thy gracious consolation; make them to know that all things work together for good to them that love Thee; and grant them evermore sure trust and confidence in Thy fatherly care; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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INTENTIONAL HOSPITALITY STRATEGY X Welcoming Children with Disabilities

It has been stated that, “Ninety-five percent of families who deal with disabilities do not attend church.” These families form the largest unreached mission field in America (O’Loughlin, 2008, p. 24-25). The Chapel of the Cross seeks to provide a specific welcome of God’s love to people with disabilities through the ministry of one of our two deacons, the Rev. Dr. William H. Joyner. In the words of Dr. Joyner, “This is a special group—the Chapel of the Cross parishioners, students, and our neighbors and friends with developmental disabilities—gathers in the church every month on the third Monday at 7 p.m. for special worship. With singing, stories, and hospitality, we come together to make a joyful noise, to share the worship and praise of God outside our traditional parish boundaries, and to welcome as part of our parish family many people of all ages from our community. With guitar accompaniment and hand instruments, we take particular delight in being together as children of God. In December we had our traditional Christmas pageant, with costumes and Christmas carols accompanied on the great organ. Episcopal Campus Ministry (ECM) students continued their important involvement with this service.” Parishioners often need help understanding and welcoming children with disabilities. Deacon Joyner has said, “Before anyone in a congregation is prepared to welcome children with disabilities, I believe that the leaders, congregants, and especially teachers who will be serving these children must become attitudinally accessible. Attitudes about what kids with disabilities can or cannot do and learning about how to prepare a classroom for children with disabilities

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must occur. Children with disabilities must be seen as individuals loved by God with gifts to share as well as with disabilities to be addressed.” At our church, we have cast a wide net of inclusion. We are dedicated to learning how to be inclusive of all people with disabilities, with special emphasis on our children. In doing so, we will learn that God has the power and the love to work through all of our lives.

INTENTIONAL HOSPITALITY STRATEGY XI Annual ABC Sale: A Popular Welcoming Event for Newcomers

In 2011, we held our 49th annual “Attic-Basement-and Cupboard Sale” at the church. Although partly the work of the Outreach Ministry Committee, it is an event during which many members of the Body of Christ come together for genuine spiritual fellowship and hospitality. Many of our newcomers work at this event as their first “small group” experience at the church, and they love it. They are “hooked” and want to do more. Indeed, while the funds raised are important and exciting, the greater benefit for our parish is the fellowship we all enjoy during the week. It is simply amazing to see how everyone comes together to set up, sort out, and clean up in just a week! In addition to acting as a “cheerleader” for the entire event, I participate in the sale as a greeter, seller and gift wrapper in the “Treasure Room,” a room in the church that houses the many beautiful things that parishioners contribute to the sale from their homes, their travels and their hearts. Our parishioners are very generous, knowing that all proceeds are distributed to fund various agencies in our community that support those who need our help and our love.

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The sale chairpersons said of this year’s event, “We took over the church for a week, we sorted through tons of donations, priced thousands of items, and we decorated rooms to make them appealing to shoppers. We survived a wind storm, the windows removal in the chapel, and lots of rain. But the Sale goes on, and we opened our doors on April 9 to a large crowd of eager shoppers. We raised $31,819.42 in five hours and provided low-cost goods to many who need it most. The Outreach Ministry Committee will meet to make recommendations to the Vestry on distribution of the proceeds from the sale” (Sullivan, 2011, p. 5). An example of the many ways in which the proceeds from the sale are distributed for the greater good of the community is described below in a letter from Joanna Schiestl, Sponsorship Developer for the Immigration and Refugees Program of Church World Service in Durham, North Carolina (Schiestl, May 2011). ABC Sale Funds Help Refugees: Berthe Mairounga understands the value of being empowered to get around town. A single mother with six children arriving from Chad and now living in Durham, she is somewhat isolated from her neighbors due to linguistic and cultural obstacles. Car seats are a lifeline for her to get out of the house during the day with her two small children while her four older children are at school. Two car seats, purchased with funds from The Chapel of the Cross ABC sale, have empowered her to attend English classes held at the Church World Service office. They also allow her to travel with her children as community members volunteer to escort the family to important medical appointments, and free her large family to join social outings that her friends and neighbors invite her to attend.

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Her family, as well as many others in similar situations, is able to get out and interact with the community as a direct result of the generosity of The Chapel of the Cross and the financial gift of the ABC Sale Grant. As a single man who arrived in Chapel Hill and moved in with extended family five months ago, Chan also understands the importance of being mobile. A few months after his arrival, Church World Service employment specialists assisted him in securing a job at a hotel, but public transportation left him two miles short of his final destination on the weekends. A bicycle purchased with funds from The Chapel of the Cross ABC sale profits allowed him to accept the job, and he mounts it proudly on the front of the Chapel Hill bus on his way to and from work, taking it down to ride the last two miles. Not only has the bicycle assisted Chan in obtaining self-sufficiency, but on weekdays when buses are available for him, he has continued the extension of generosity that The Chapel of the Cross began by loaning his bike to a friend who uses it to ride three miles to his place of employment. Stories like these, as well as many others, encourage and energize Church World Service staff because of our generous, compassionate, sacrificial community partners. What a privilege to work together to welcome some of the world’s most vulnerable populations to come and begin new lives in peace and safety here in our midst. And we are filled with great confidence and hope that the refugees we welcome will thrive here in the Chapel Hill/Durham area, largely because of neighbors as wonderful as you. Our sincerest thanks, Joanna Schiestl, On behalf of Church World Service Immigration and Refugee Program Staff

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INTENTIONAL HOSPITALITY STRATEGY XII Faith Formation: The Heartbeat of the Church in the 21st Century

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds (Romans 12:2)

The fourth component of the mission statement of the Chapel of the Cross states our emphasis on “Growing as Disciples of Jesus through Preaching, Teaching, Service and Fellowship:” (Elkins-Williams, March 2011) We never ‘graduate’ in this life as Christians, from our baptism until our physical death, we are ‘growing’ into the full stature of Christ. The articulation of the Christian faith in this parish for all ages, whether in church services, classes or newsletters, is based on this premise. Our opportunities for community with one another and for serving the needs of others are significant experiences of growth for all of us on the path to becoming followers of Jesus. (p. 3)

a. Faith Today in America In reflecting on faith in America, Patel (2011, p. 14-15) said, “Fundamentally, America is a nation where people from different backgrounds—different ethnic, racial, national, and religious backgrounds—come together to build a country. It is one of the most important things that we can do to affirm, celebrate, and strengthen that essence.” Patel went on to suggest that,

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as we develop meaningful relationships with people from other religious backgrounds, we become more open to knowledge about their religions. He proposed that we come together in interfaith projects and share our different backgrounds in areas such as hospitality, service and compassion. Patel would have us make religion a bridge of cooperation, “something that inspires service and motivates positive connections with others.” College campuses are on his high priority list. Patel views college students as having the potential to become a network of interfaith leaders. Patel (2011, p. 15) noted, “Separation of church and state is not a symbol of religion being unimportant in America; it’s a symbol of religion being very important in American.” He quoted the British writer, G.K. Chesterton, who said, “America is a nation with the soul of a church.” In Patel’s view, we have a divine call to be a nation where people from different backgrounds view their identities as bridges of cooperation.

b. Christian Education and Faith Formation “Faith is not the opposite of truth. Faith is a gateway to truth. Some people find truth through faith, and some people find truth without faith. For religious people, faith leads us to truth in the way we read the New Testament: ‘For this reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness love’” (2 Peter 1:5-7; Gellman, 2012, p. 20). According to the survey used for this thesis/project, most (86%) of our parishioners think our priests’ main duties are conducting worship or administering the sacraments. And, 91% of

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our parishioners agreed that, in general, there is a good match between our congregation and our priests. These constitute high praises for our worship services and our priests. Even so, only a handful of our parishioners indicated participation in Christian Education. Only 8% indicated that they personally value Bible study or prayer groups, and only 1% responded that they value adult church school (although 71% said that their spiritual needs are being met, and 62% said they spend time in private devotional activities, such as prayer, meditation, reading the Bible). Perhaps the very small percentages are related to the fact that, though we offer high quality Adult Forums, we do not call them “adult church school.” However, regardless of nomenclature, compared to the number of parishioners who attend church, it holds that only a small percentage goes on to church school. Christian Education is, for sure, an important part of Faith Development, and learning is expected of Christians. Our parish is filled with learners. As reported, 94% of our parishioners have higher education degrees (31% have Bachelor’s degrees from a university or college, and 63% have a Master’s, Doctorate, or other graduate degree). These learners, it seems, are satisfied to obtain their Christian education from sermons, homilies and independent study (such as private devotional activities, including Bible reading, meditation, and prayer). McVeigh (2008, pp.29-39) reminded us that the primary role Jesus filled for his followers was that of a teacher; all church leaders should be expected to teach in some way when they serve. Paul acknowledged the prominent position held by teachers in the early church: “And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts and healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues” (1 Corinthians 12:28). Also, “The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some

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prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry” (Ephesians 4:11-12). McVeigh proposed three principles that should be considered when determining how teaching ought to be incorporated into the broader ministry of the church: Christian Education should encompass all areas of ministry. A separate Christian Education program compartmentalizes education, such that it fails to infiltrate all areas of ministry within a church. Rich learning is possible through worship, preaching, service and recreational and mission trips; all offer opportunities to learn about Jesus. Our goal of Christian Education should be “to learn so that we may, with the Holy Spirit’s help, conform more and more to the image of our Lord” (McVeigh, 2008, p. 29). Learning should be given a prominent place in church. Sunday morning worship services in the church sanctuary are the central focus of all church activities. Our members at The Chapel of the Cross are clear about worship. As many as 93% of the respondents on our questionnaire indicated that they have invited friends and relatives to our worship service, and 86% say that worship services of this congregation help them with everyday living. When choosing the three aspects of the congregation most valued, 62% chose, “the traditional style of worship or music,” and 63% chose “sharing in Holy Communion, Eucharist, or the Lord’s Supper.” Further, 86% of the respondents believe that the main role of the priest is conducting worship or administering the sacraments. Regarding Christian Education, 34% of our respondents believe that the main role of the priest is to teach people about the faith. Teaching is one part of a holistic Christian education program; the program requires a prominent place and “setting aside time as a corporate body to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn” (McVeigh, 2008, p. 30).

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Christian Education should equip the Saints for ministry. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul states, “The gifts he gave were that some would be . . . pastors and teachers, to equip the Saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-13). Gifted teachers in the church fulfill their role in Christian Education by teaching the young and old so that they may grow in their faith and knowledge, and then be equipped to serve God in all areas of their lives.

c. Christian Formation at the Chapel of the Cross Some examples of our teaching include weekly church school class, Christian parenting classes, young adult outings, adult education sessions, Bible Study monthly book group, youth and adult inquirers’ classes, women’s support groups and a support group focused on growing with our aging parents. Within the ministry of Christian fellowship, some examples include Episcopal Youth Community or EYC (youth groups for Junior and Senior high students), annual fellowship gatherings of parents with children fifth grade and under, the Guild of the Christ Child for expectant parents and parents of children under two, Children’s Chapel, Godly Play, Lectio Divina scriptural prayer groups, weekly junior choir and various liturgical ministries. Many of our parishioners have been involved in Christian Formation during 2010; parishioners have participated as, among other things, Church School teachers, Children’s Chapel leaders, youth group leaders and youth council and Adult Education Presenters (Jordan, Frazelle and Bell, 2010, p. 5). Other activities include: Vacation Church School, during which children were instructed in peacemaking strategies; a Lenten series focusing on a DVD series with Harvard Professor Michael Sandel on, “Justice, What’s the Right Thing to Do?;” men and women’s study and

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fellowship groups; and a series on the Creation Cycle. A new young adult ministry group for 20to 35-year old members is actively involved in weekly Lectio Divina prayer groups, social gatherings, and outreach projects. It is uplifting to see our children in joyful worship: in Church School, including Godly Play; following a child-held cross for Children’s Chapel; dressed up as saints on All Saints’ Sunday, processing down the long aisle in order to sit up front and witness the baptism of twelve babies; the joy in parishioners’ eyes as so many small children accompany their parents to the high altar or the standing station to receive Holy Communion; or, watching with sheer amazement as a horse walks down the church aisle for the “Blessing of the Animals.” (A particularly colorful demonstration of hospitality, the “Blessing of the Animals” at our church sees dozens of parents and children line up outside with a wide variety of animals to parade down the aisle to be blessed by four priests and two deacons.) Hospitality abounds during the wreath making and “Jesse Tree” intergenerational event, as children and adults decorate the “Jesse Tree” with symbols of Jesus’ genealogy, Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah, the Virgin Mary, and the Holy Spirit (Bell, 2011, p. 7). And, what greater show of hospitality and love than that of our children giving their Advent offerings for mosquito nets for our far away brothers and sisters? We have been promoting the “Episcopal Relief and Development’s Nets for Life Campaign” for months, with the goal of raising enough money to donate a mosquito net from each parish member. The nets greatly assist the prevention of malaria for people in developing countries. Where do we go from here? A resolution was proposed and adopted at the Diocesan Convention in 2011. Entitled, “The Charter for Lifelong Christian Formation,” it implies that

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this “is a journey with Christ, in Christ and to Christ in the Episcopal Church” (Jordan, Frazelle, and Bell, 2010, p. 5). We will be evaluating our myriad of formation programs to ascertain how well they match our charge in the Book of Common Prayer to forming us into the full stature of Christ. Being formed in the faith represents everything we do in the church.

d. Gretchen Jordan and Boykin Bell, Associates in Christian Formation Gretchen Jordan and Boykin Bell, our Associates in Christian Formation, tell the story of the many and varied activities of faith formation that take place at the Chapel of the Cross, both in their writings for our church journal and in a series of interviews with me. Gretchen is clear about the goal of Christian Formation: “To provide opportunities for people of all ages to ‘grow into the full stature of Christ’ by living out the vows of the Baptismal Covenant.” She is also clear that there is a direct relationship to fellowship: “With God’s help, I will . . . continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers . . .” Gretchen situates Christian Formation within “the ministry of passing down the lifegiving teaching of our living Christian tradition; the Ministry of Christian fellowship; and the ministry of evangelism. Under each of these three categories, our parish provides rich opportunities for Christian Formation” (Jordan, 2009, p. 6). Gretchen continues with the ministry of evangelism as a part of Christian Formation. She emphasizes proclaiming the Good News and striving for justice and peace through our missions. Boykin has been involved in educating children during a variety of Sunday morning programs for five years. Christian Education connections began with her husband, Greg, who

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played the organ for Children’s Chapel. She has taught Church School, Vacation Church School and became a member of the Children and Family Ministry Committee (Balderson, 2006, p. 3). Her background and experience has proven important for her in assuming a co-leadership role with Gretchen Jordan in Christian Formation for the church.

i.

Interview with Gretchen Jordan, Associate in Christian Formation, 16 December 2011

One day, while at the church interviewing, I stopped by Gretchen’s office to see how she was feeling; she had recently been out with an upper respiratory infection. I found her at the computer in good spirits, and she told me that she had time for an interview. I’m glad. Gretchen first gave me background information about herself and her position. “I believe that my position in this office,” she started, “is to develop programs to develop skills in how to live out one’s faith, the full scope of formation. It’s liturgical; it is engagement in Outreach Ministry; it’s offering pastoral care to any in need; it’s being sensitive to the environment that God has given us responsibility for; and it is giving a voice to those who have no voice through advocacy.” “That’s a lot, Gretchen,” I said. “I know your office is a busy and essential one.” “Well,” she said, “gracious hospitality is the first stop in receiving people into the life of faith. It’s formational; if this is not done, we won’t engage them within the life of the church. It must be done within the first three months.” “I know we have a good initiation plan for newcomers. Our challenge is that if our staff members are in this church on Sunday, they should be in church school or in the dining room at the Welcome Reception. I would like for them to teach even more in Church School. Stephen

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gives an invitation of welcome every Sunday to join us in the parish hall. Greeters are there to greet them at the Newcomers’ Table. They receive a letter from Stephen welcoming them and then Hospitality sees that they get a loaf of bread. I like that our Altar Guild sends flowers to people who have needs or celebrations, a mother dies, and you may get some flowers, or a staff member completes something (i.e., Vacation Bible School), and you get flowers. These are good works of hospitality.” Gretchen and I talked about the research surrounding giving bread during a newcomer’s first week, and how important it is to deliver the bread promptly. We also talked about a Vestry Paper (published by the American Baptist Churches) that emphasizes the importance of making friends at church. The paper gives a Friendship Ratio (1:7), and states, “Friendship is the strongest bond cementing new members to their new congregation. If Newcomers do not immediately develop meaningful new friendships within their church, expect them to return to their old friends outside the church. Seven new friends are a minimum; ten, fifteen or more are better.” “A friend is more than just an acquaintance and goes beyond, ‘Hello, how are you?’ Friends have mutual interests and concerns. Friends are in touch between Sundays. Friends know spouses’ and children’s names. There is also an important time factor in this friendship ratio. The first six months are crucial. New members not integrated into a church within those first six months could already be on their way out the back door. Between 75 and 85 percent of the persons who become inactive church members do so in the first year” (Johnson and Schell, 1988). “Another thing good in hospitality,” Gretchen said, “are the Foyer Groups; small group experiences are integral to hospitality. These small dinner groups, eight to ten people that

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generally meet once a month in each other’s homes are great for meeting new friends and offer wonderful hospitality.” Gretchen told me that she has been here since 2002. She came from the Baptist tradition. I reminded her that we all know the story of how Stephen recruited her when both were at “Jiffy Lube.” She said that she likes things about both faiths, specifically the ritual of the Episcopal Church and the evangelizing of the Baptists. I told her that, although most respondents to our questionnaire didn’t choose Bible Study as one of the three most important areas in the church, many reported individually studying the Bible, meditating, reading, etc. I told her that I always hear good things from the women in the Women’s Bible Study Group. Gretchen remarked, “Our Bible Study, as you know, is on the first Wednesday of each month. We are in our fourth year in study of Scripture with biblical themes. I’m sure that there are 20 to 30 women who would rate it as a very important time in Hospitality. Also, other small group endeavors like our Women’s Retreat, upcoming in March, is our third one. We’ve done special studies, limited to 15 people; for example, we studied the book, Edge of Adventure, where we met for 12 weeks, two hours each time and with a wide age group. The commitment was that each participant must attend each time, read the book, and do the homework. Within the study framework, we became vulnerable; we were open with our faith and our struggles with our faith. We moved from acquaintances to friendships.” I told Gretchen about our being very intentional regarding follow-through for our Newcomers, with our Shepherds “walking alongside them” until they were fully integrated into the church. She thought this was great and reiterated that she “believed that some small group opportunities provide a level of hospitality like no other.” She gave some examples: “The Lenten Prayer groups, involving 10 to 15 per group and meeting at all times of the day or

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evening; seminars or groups on ‘Growing with Aging Parents,’ ‘Teens,’ ‘Widows,’ ‘Prayer Groups,’ and ‘Dinners for Eight.’” Gretchen believes that assisting our newcomers in becoming involved in activities is an important challenge. “We want people to be happy in their involvement,” she said. “And we have so many wonderful things going on. Giving of your time, treasures, and talents through volunteering requires a good match. I wish we could go to every home of every new member and really get to know them and their important gifts and talk to them specifically about all the things we have.” “I wish we could do this as well, Gretchen,” I said. “When you visit with people in their homes, that’s a different thing; you get to know more about how they feel about various activities and what may be the first step to take in volunteering.” Gretchen said that she did just that with a particular newcomer. She listened to the newcomer talk about cooking, then directed her toward the Guild of the Christ Child where the newcomer met the group and was excited to volunteer with them making casseroles. As another example, Gretchen met with an expectant mother and told her all the wonderful things we do for a new baby and his or her family. “Good story,” I said. “Now give me your ‘elevator speech’ about the Chapel of the Cross.” “The Chapel of the Cross is the oldest church in Chapel Hill. It’s a downtown church with lots of members—over 1,600. There are five different congregations with lots of programs. The worship is of Anglican formality, and the congregation is considered progressive. We do Gay Marriages, for example. I would invite you to Bible Study and Yoga or Centering Prayer. Our music is classical; we use the 1982 Hymnal and sing only traditional Anglican music. We

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do not use gender-inclusive language in our adult liturgy. We read from the NRSV Bible. We do have a variety of worship services with 5:15 being our most inclusive. Some of our population is ready and anxious to have alternative liturgy.” “Thank you, Gretchen, for sharing this important message.” I told her that I hoped she felt better, and I reached out to give her a hug; then “backed off.” She said, “I’m not contagious; I’m on an antibiotic, so you can give me a hug.” I did so, and departed for my next assignment.

ii.

Interview with Boykin Bell, Associate in Christian Formation, 15 December 2011

I met Boykin in her office to talk with her about the wide array of hospitality and Christian Formation activities that we have for the children in our parish. Boykin began by reiterating the role our youth are playing in our church’s Nets-4-Life project, volunteering their time and talent to meet our goal of raising money for the purchase of mosquito nets ($12 per net). Our church target is to purchase 1,443 nets, a number set based on our number of confirmed communicants. “Children have been intimately involved in supporting this endeavor,” Boykin said. “They participate in play acting and drama to inform our worshipers, in Church School Classes, in bake sales, in a fair with other Episcopal Churches; they help with Alternative Christmas gifts and with individual family contributions. Laura Benton, a graduate student at UNC and a member of the Global Missions Committee, is our leader. She often reminds us that the Nets-4Life project is to support the Episcopal Relief and Development fund for the prevention of malaria in Africa. Our children have taken a special interest in this project because they know

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that malaria is a deadly disease, transmitted through infected mosquito bites, and killing almost a million people every year, mostly children under the age of five.” “Reaching out to our neighbors in far-away places is hospitality at its best,” Boykin continued. “Our children have been blessed in many ways, and returning a small portion of what God has blessed us with is a lesson we strive to teach our children.” Boykin went on, “One of our most important hospitality roles in this Christian Formation office is recruiting volunteers; this is where they become involved in the church and share their gifts and talents. We especially target our newcomers, and this makes them feel welcome. Recruiting over 200 volunteers through this office, we have 29 young students, age eight and up, who volunteer in Church Chapel. We recruit youth to help with various Church School activities and events, to go caroling to the homebound; we recruit lots of adults to help with our many intergenerational Church School activities, the special worship services, and the Children’s Pageant and plays. With newcomers, we are careful to help them find a place where they give of their talents in a way that they enjoy. This is one of the hardest things; helping newcomers determine their gifts. For example, we want people who teach to be happy in this role. It’s easy to ask the same people over and over to teach, but we strive to reach out to the ‘quiet new parishioners’ to help them find a place to volunteer; this is vital to our mission to help them get involved in the church.” I paused and asked Boykin if she knew about the new component that we’d added to our Shepherds’ Ministry. “We’ve developed a very intentional format for welcoming our newcomers, and most recently we decided to add a recording system which follows our newcomers for two years and helps us be more intentional about ‘shepherding newcomers’ into church activities.”

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Boykin did know about this and liked it very much. She added, “We see some newcomers who come straight from church worship to the Children’s Chapel Service, by passing the Newcomers’ Table in the parish hall. We have the forms that our newcomer greeters collect, and we (Joy, in particular) ask these newcomers to fill it out for us, and we turn them in to the office so that they are in the welcoming process with others.” “We are working on making this a perfect system. We also made a map recently to give to newcomers who come to the Children’s Chapel. One person had a hard time finding our nursery. She needed help, so we are working on making our physical facilities user-friendly.” I thanked Boykin for this and reminded her that if she needed a designated greeter in the chapel, to let us know. Boykin continued, “I just received the sweetest email from a parent telling us how welcoming our church has been for her young child. Her child sings in the Cantos Choir and especially loved the Tinker Toys that we give to new families. You know that our parish wood makers made the Advent wreaths that we used on the First Sunday of Advent when we made wreaths and Jesse Tree Ornaments?” “Yes,” I told her, “I read your recent, ‘Jesse Tree—ABC’ article in CrossRoads. I especially liked the second paragraph reminding us that Bible stories are the core of the Jesse Tree and that the most well-known Jesse Tree is probably in a stained-glass window at Chartes Cathedral. I also observed great family hospitality during this first Sunday in Advent, as children and families made ornaments about stories of our faith, the Prophets, John the Baptist and others. And we appreciate so much the Advent calendars and the Jesse Tree companion book of devotions from your office.”

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Gretchen, sitting at her nearby desk, joined in: “I learned about these Tinker Toy wreaths in Pinehurst,” she said. “So, when I came to the Chapel of the Cross, I recruited woodworkers to make them for us. It’s a joy to watch the children and their parents filling the advent wreaths with fresh greenery and red berries to be taken home and used during the Advent Season.” “They are a wonderful hospitality and great idea,” I tell her. “Talk a little about our hospitality challenges in your office.” Gretchen joined in again: “I think it would be great if we could plan worship services the Sunday following Christmas to be led by our students. They will be home from college and universities, and those who live here will have returned from vacations. Recently, Stephen wrote about our ‘alums,’ home from school for Thanksgiving, and how great it was to see them. They, too, were excited to see one another. Many have been participants in church services throughout their many years at the church; they could lead a wonderful worship service for us. This could be followed by a social event for them.” “We have a myriad of forms here,” Boykin said. “Some people get ‘form fatigue.’ We want to know about our children so we can differentiate as much as possible for them. Our latest form is an attempt to do this. Communication, making sure everyone knows, is a problem in a large parish like ours. We email to parents and students; we have CrossRoads, our church journal; our website is constantly being updated; Facebook is popular with many; and we have Stephen’s weekly updates. Yet, we need some kind of master calendar available to all. There are some things that are definite times and others, like weddings and funerals, that have to be added to a master schedule. We are trying to improve this process.” I asked Boykin to give me her “elevator speech” about the Chapel of the Cross.

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She said, “We have a wonderful program for children, including a Children’s Chapel Program. There are many opportunities for children and youth to participate and to volunteer. We are conscious about teaching the Episcopal Liturgy. We trust that children of all ages already know God, and our programs all encourage growth (e.g., Godly Play is for children to share their understanding and knowledge of God). In our many programs, we hope the children will teach us also. Children can be full participants at the Chapel of the Cross.”

e. Best Practices for Effective Adult Faith Formation Learning from research and pastoral practice over the last two decades, Roberto and Minkiewicz (2007, pp. 10-12) offered Nine Best Practices “that contribute to effectiveness in adult faith formation.” They further described how these practices can be used to design and implement adult faith formation in congregations. Their Nine Best Practices of Adult Faith Formation are as follows: 1. Pays attention to what is going on in the lives of adults and listens very carefully to what adults are talking about. 2. Targets the times of transitions and change in the lives of adults. 3. Is centered on spiritual growth processes in the lives of adults. 4. Connects with the motivations and interests of adults. 5. Programs are guided by learning goals, and program outcomes are measured. 6. Utilizes a variety of program models to address the diversity of adult backgrounds, faith maturity interests, and learning needs. 7. Is designed using a variety of learning methods that respect the diversity of learning styles of adults.

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8. [is best cultivated in] programs that create hospitable learning environments and build relationships among adults. 9. Requires effective leadership in a variety of roles - pastors, a faith formation leadership team, and teachers. Bass (2012, p.15) called faith formation the heartbeat of churchgoing in the 21st Century: “Churches are communities of transformation—places where people come to encounter God and know God more deeply—Adult formation is the gathering and strengthening place for learning to be a Christian, for mentoring others in faith, and for practicing faith corporately. It is the heartbeat of churchgoing in the 21st Century.” Finally, let us remember that the Episcopal Church’s Charter for Lifelong Christian Formation states, “Lifelong Christian Faith Formation in the Episcopal Church is lifelong growth in the knowledge, service and love of God as followers of Christ and is informed by Scripture, Tradition and Reason” (The Episcopal Church, 2009). Our goal at the Chapel of the Cross is to follow the Charter. In our church, we embrace those tenets of faith formation emphasized within research from the Louisville Institute (Weber, 2009, p. 3). We agree that, 1. A shared, compelling vision for lifelong faith formation is essential for longterm effectiveness and sustainability. 2. Having the right leadership in place is critical to developing and sustaining lifelong faith formation in a faith community. 3. Community is essential to effective lifelong faith formation. 4. There is a strong connection between a congregation’s faith formation and its worship.

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5. Congregations are discovering that intergenerational faith formation . . .is an effective way to accomplish the goals of lifelong faith formation. 6. Congregations [should] seek to offer faith formation opportunities for young adults.

f. Young Adult Faith Formation We have a bourgeoning group of young adults at the Chapel of the Cross. Our church recognizes the importance of this group and accepts that “our future depends on how we respond today.” Acknowledging that there is very little research on best practices in young adult faith formation, authors Roberto and Hayes (2007) drew on the research study, “Congregations That Get It: Understanding Religious Identities in the Next Generation.” The study focused on 15 Jewish, Protestant, Catholic and Muslim congregations, all of which are engaging young adults in congregational life. The authors recognized that, while the congregations in the study differed organizationally, they also shared numerous characteristics in terms of approach. The major findings are as follows: •

Successful congregations recognize that young adults make an important contribution to congregational life.

Congregations engender a sense of ownership by enabling young adult congregants to create and plan their own events and by making leadership positions, both within their peer group and within the bigger congregation, available to young adults.

Successful congregations offer multiple points of entry and numerous arenas for young adults to reflect upon and articulate their own religious identities.

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Congregations should take young adults’ differing commitments to religious observance and levels of religious education into account.

Congregations engage young adults emotionally and interactively in both peer- and clergy-led worship services.

Successful congregations provide an environment that encourages questioning and provides learning opportunities for young adults who are seeking religious relevance in their daily lives.

Successful congregations encourage young adults to think critically and analytically about religious tradition and to articulate similarities and differences among traditions, so that they deepen a sense of self as a member of their own faith foundation.

In conclusion, the research seems to say (in regard to young adult faith formation) that successful religious programming for young adults “offers community and spirituality in the context of a clearly defined faith tradition” and “responds to young adults’ needs for empowerment, leadership opportunities, responsibility and accountability, as well as authenticity and accessibility.” Additionally, “a lack of specificity does not facilitate pluralism and understanding for people of other faiths. Individuals who know who they are and what they believe are able to honestly encounter differences and explore areas of spirituality” (Roberto & Hayes, 2007, pp. 11–12).

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Flory and Miller (2000, pp.234-235) analyzed 15 congregational case studies of churches that minister to young adults and identified five major characteristics of Generation X religious tendencies. Flory found that Generation X religion: •

Emphasizes the sensual and experiential, combining the sacred and the profane, and incorporating text, image, music, dance, and the body as venues for the expression of religious beliefs.

Is entrepreneurial in finding cultural and institutional space to create new religious expressions based on their existing lifestyle interests.

Is similar to “Baby Boomer” religion in that it emphasizes personal identity, religious experience, and spiritual seeking; but it differs in that it roots the quest for religious identity in community, rather than a more purely personal spiritual quest.

Holds race, ethnic, and gender diversity, and inclusiveness, as an explicit goal.

Is insistent on an “authentic” religious experience that acknowledges the ambiguities, trials and successes of life, both on the part of the individual and as found in the religious communities that “Gen Xers” choose to join.

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C. Come and See: Think Broadly About an Invitation to the People Out There in the World In a sermon given on 15 January 2006, the Second Sunday after Epiphany, our deacon, the Rev. Dr. William H. Joyner, Jr., invited us to “Come and See” and to think broadly about an invitation to the people out there in the world. He reminded us that our task is not to challenge those whom we call with a checklist of beliefs or behaviors that are prerequisites to belonging to the Family of God. The early church did not develop and grow because people believed and then came into a community. It developed by being in the world, seeing the people of God in the world, and bringing them into the community of the New Testament. Our witness may not be to proclaim a story, or even a vision in the abstract. Our call may be the call of Philip to Nathanael: “Come and See.” Come and see what the people of God are doing; come and see what is happening when a family of Jesus’ followers gets together; come and see how as part of that family there is more than enough work to go around, but also more than enough love to go around. The path to Jesus may not be “believe and then come into the Church;” rather, it may be as it was in the early church, “come into our family and come to believe.” We may think we are not witnesses. In fact, we’re the only witnesses God has (Joyner, 2005). A song, part of our Episcopal Campus Ministry Repertoire, says it well. God sings, and we respond:

I, the Lord of sea and sky, I have heard my people cry. I, who dwell in dark and sin, my hand will save. I, who made the stars of night, I will make their darkness bright. Who will bear My light to them? Whom shall I send?

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Here I am, Lord. It is I, Lord. I have heard you calling in the night. I will go, Lord, if you lead me. I will hold your people in my heart.

When we honor the sacred art of hospitality, we are being called to radical openness. We are willing to be changed by encounters with others, strangers out in the world. Hospitality defines us as a community of faith, reaching out to diverse cultures in many creative ways that may be helpful to a variety of inquirers. There may be seekers or non-believers who may respond to various kinds of spiritual hospitality. This may be transformative for some. Our world is religiously diverse, and new paths of authentic spirituality and hospitality may be needed for some to “Come and See.” Deacon Joyner reminded us that we should understand “that the Call of God is not always going to come to us in church.” Philip Newell says that, obvious as it is, we have to remember that Jesus wasn’t born in a church; he was born in the world. The Word of God, the Word in the beginning, the Word made flesh, the Word detailed in the prologue to John’s Gospel, comes to us from the world, and if we aren’t listening for the Voice of God in the world, we may miss it entirely (Joyner, 2005). Not only must we be prepared to hear God’s voice through the people we meet, we must also be prepared to be the vehicles of God’s call to others. We are not only the called, but we are the callers. We are the Andrews and Philips of today. We are not there to take people out of the world and into the Church, but to bring people to see and consider their relationship with God and with each other—in the world.

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CHAPTER IV. ANALYSIS OF THE DATA

Chapter IV provides an analysis of the data, both qualitative and quantitative for this thesis/project. An overview of the U.S. Congregational Life Survey (quantitative) is presented, with its analytical data, and is embedded throughout the thesis/project. The researcher used the seven Strongest Correlates and the nine Strong Correlates of Financial Health of Episcopal Churches, as defined by TENS, 2011, and related each to findings of the statistics in the U.S. Congregational Life Survey responses of the Chapel of the Cross parishioners. In this chapter, an analysis of the Correlates is given (quantitative). In addition, the researcher conducted 33 interviews, six clergy, two staff and twenty-five laity, all members of the Chapel of the Cross (qualitative). The write-up of each interview is presented in this chapter as listed. Please note that some have been placed in Chapter III, as they relate strongly to a particular hospitality strategy. These interviews were coded for themes, together for the clergy and staff, and for the laity, and an analysis of these interviews is presented.

A. The U.S. Congregational Life Survey/Quantitative The statistical data collected for this thesis/project were gathered from the International Congregational Life Survey (ICLS), first initiated in 1999 as a collaborative effort between Australia, England, New Zealand and the United States (Woolevar & Bruce, 2002, p. vii). The ICLS project was conducted in April and May of 2001. More than 12,000 congregations and 1.2 million worshipers participated. The Chapel of the Cross Episcopal Church was a later participant in the study, with 358 worshipers completing the survey at the 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m., and

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5:15 p.m. services. Chapel of the Cross parishioners filled out the survey immediately following each service. This researcher believes that all worshipers age 15 and older at each service, except for a very few, maybe one or two, stayed to complete the survey. The overall goal of the study was to view the American religious landscape and to understand the sacred in an increasingly secular world. Additionally, the study aimed to demonstrate God’s creative work in the world and lead to possible changes for greater effectiveness. On a congregational level, the study was intended to help congregations sharpen their focus and open doors to new possibilities. This was accomplished by asking questions centrally focused on the following larger general questions: 1. Who attends religious services? 2. Why do they go? 3. What makes American congregations and parishes work? 4. What is the role of our culture and society in shaping the future of congregations? (Woolevar & Bruce, 2002, p. 3) Funded by the Lilly Endowment, Inc., and the Louisville Institute grants, the scope of the survey was immense. Described as a national study of more than 300,000 worshipers, it is the largest and most representative profile of worshipers and congregations ever developed in the United States. Four dimensions of congregational life were explored: 1. Spirituality and faith development; 2. Activities and relationships within the congregation; 3. Community involvement; and 4. Worshipers’ vision for the congregation’s future.

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The survey further explored the ways congregations and parishes help people grow in their faith through their worship life and other congregational activities, including the internal workings of a congregation, such as worshipers’ participation in congregational groups, their sense of belonging and their assumption of leadership roles. The survey also explored community, including the congregation’s provisions to the community, with some emphasis on invitations to newcomers to attend worship services and other such activities within the congregation. Specific categories of worshipers, such as first-time attendees and frequent attendees were investigated. The survey additionally attempts to capture respondent views regarding the future direction of the congregation (Woolevar & Bruce, 2002, pp. 4-5). The findings from this survey, as administered at the Chapel of the Cross, are cited throughout this thesis/project, as related to the particular topic of intentional hospitality. While numerical facts are given, the main emphasis for Chapel of the Cross in analyzing the data in the survey was to continue to discern what God is calling us to do in this church.

B. Analysis of the Seven Strongest Correlates of Financial Health of Episcopal Churches as defined by TENS, 2011, as related to the Chapel of the Cross U.S. Congregational Life Survey

1. Congregation is “spiritually vital and alive.” After analyzing responses on the U.S. Congregational Life Survey, parishioner response to the survey section entitled, “Growing Spiritually” showed this to be the Number One Strength of the Chapel of the Cross. Specifically, 82% of respondents indicated feeling that their spiritual needs were being met in their congregation. Additionally, 62% reported spending time at least a

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few times a week in private devotional activities. Further analysis shows that congregations and parishes in the 80th percentile or above in this category, i.e., where “Growing Spirituality” responses ranked high, also tended to be doing “well” in other areas. Worshipers in these congregations are more likely to have a strong sense of belonging in the congregation, the Number Four Strength of the Chapel of the Cross; worshipers are more likely to experience meaningful worship in the congregation, the Number Two Strength of the Chapel of the Cross; and worshipers are more likely to have started attending the congregation in the last five years, the Number Eight Strength of the Chapel of the Cross. At the Chapel of the Cross, our space for Church School activities is limited, a fact of life that will improve as the church moves forward with plans to add additional space with the new parish hall and building project. Additionally, with only 24 spaces on church property, parking remains an issue for us, as it is for many downtown Chapel Hill churches. Parishioners of the Chapel of the Cross are lucky to be able to take advantage of free parking in the adjacent Morehead Planetarium parking lot, as well as street parking on both sides of Franklin Street and the municipal parking lot a block away from the church. Approximately 30 teachers are involved in our Church School offerings on Sunday. These teachers come from our growing number of new families, as well as from our longtime member families. We are extremely blessed in this community to have excellent retirement centers, where the Church regularly offers worship services and provides hospitality and outreach. The retirement centers include Carol Woods, at which we offer two services each month, and The

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Cedars, Carolina Meadows and Galloway Ridge, at which worship services are offered once each month. The five services offered each Sunday in church play a huge role in our congregation being “spiritually vital and active.” Beginning at 7:30 a.m. with a Eucharist service and ending with Compline at 9:30 pm, with 9 am, 11:15 am and 5:15 pm services in between, a wide array of services from which to choose is available. Faith formation activities throughout each week are also varied, well planned and guided by excellent leaders. The following is the list of faith formation activities offered by the Chapel of the Cross during the months of September and October 2011: a Women’s Retreat at Trinity Centre; an Episcopal Conference at the Episcopal Conference Center at the North Carolina coast; The Creation Cycle (Water), with an Emeritus Professor in Earth and Ocean Sciences from Duke University; The Creation Cycle (Air), with a professor of Environmental Sciences and Engineering from the University of North Carolina; a NOOMA, an event named after the phonetic sound of the Greek word “pneumia,” meaning both breath and spirit; a series of short videos made by a contemporary theologian and pastor; The Creation Cycle (Sun), with a Chapel of the Cross parishioner and authority on sustainable energy; “Growing With Our Aging Parents” Support Group, led by an attorney and clinical social worker; “Newcomer Orientation,” led by our rector and other staff members; “Living in Turbulent Times: Can I Adopt a Theology of Abundance?” led by our rector and parishioners; “Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture,” led by a parishioner and Duke University administrator, using Brevar and Child’s book by the same name; The Torah; the Episcopal Church 101, Part I, led by our parish clergy; “Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture: The Major Prophets,” with a Duke Divinity School professor; “Veni Spiritus: The Practice of Silent Meditation that Deepens Your Qualities

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of Wisdom and Compassion,” led by a retired priest from New York; and “The Acts of the Apostles,” led by one of the church’s Priest Associates, a former University of North Carolina professor. Lists of faith formation offerings from other months are similarly extensive and thought-provoking, a primary reason, perhaps, that 82% of those Chapel of the Cross parishioners surveyed reported feeling that their spiritual needs are being met in their congregation.

2. Congregation has a “clear mission and purpose.” When asked whether their congregation has a clear vision, goals or direction for its ministry and mission, 40% of our surveyed parishioners responded, “Yes, and I am strongly committed to them,” and 38% responded, “Yes, and I am partly committed to them.” Only 6% of our surveyed parishioners responded, “I am not committed to them.” Further analysis of the U.S. Congregational Life Survey reveals that congregations and parishes in the 80th percentile or above in this area, i.e., where the category of “Looking to the Future” ranked high, also tend to be doing “well” in other areas. Worshipers in these congregations are more likely to have a strong sense of belonging to the parish, the Number Four Strength of Chapel of the Cross; and worshipers are more likely to have started attending the church in the last five years, the Number Eight Strength of the Chapel of the Cross. Within the past five years, the Chapel of the Cross mission and purpose statement has been clarified and rewritten. The tone is much more welcoming, beginning with the opening statement, “The Chapel of the Cross welcomes you with an open door.” We have blessed two gay unions in the past four years. We have launched a capital campaign for major construction on our parish hall, including the reception and dining room

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area, church school classrooms, clergy offices, etc. Parishioners are likely aware of these indications of strong mission and purpose; however, individual parishioners may not know specifics.

3. Congregation has a larger proportion of members involved in recruitment and evangelism. “Sharing Faith” was the survey area ranked as our church’s Number Seven Strength. Thirty-five percent of our surveyed worshipers indicated having invited a friend or relative who does not currently attend anywhere to a Chapel of the Cross worship service within the previous year. Twelve percent indicated that they are involved in outreach or evangelistic activities in their congregation. Parishes or congregations in the 80th percentile or above in this area, i.e., where “Sharing Faith” responses ranked high, also tend to be doing “well” in other areas. Worshipers in these congregations are more likely to participate in parish activities, the Number Three Strength of Chapel of the Cross; they are more likely to have empowering congregational leaders, the Number Nine Strength of Chapel of the Cross; these worshipers are more likely to have a strong sense of belonging to the congregation, the Number Four Strength of Chapel of the Cross; and they are more likely to have started attending the congregation in the last five years, the Number Eight Strength of Chapel of the Cross.

4. Congregation is willing to change to meet new challenges. Related to this particular Strongest Correlate of Financial Health, the US Congregational Life Survey measured the percentage of worshipers in a congregation who felt “always ready to try something new.” At the Chapel of the Cross, this percentage of surveyed worshipers was

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35%. This category, related to “Looking to the Future,” was the Number Ten Strength of the Chapel of the Cross. When congregations are in the 80th percentile or above in this area, worshipers also tend to have a strong sense of belonging to the congregation, the Number Four Strength of the Chapel of the Cross, and worshipers tend to have started attending the church within the last five years, the Number Eight Strength of the Chapel of the Cross.

5. Congregation emphasizes adult religious formation. Several areas of the questionnaire relate to religious formation, although not necessarily specifically to adult religious formation. To the question, “Are you regularly involved in any group activities,” 22% of our surveyed parishioners responded that they were involved in prayer, discussion or Bible study groups. To the question, “How often do you spend time in private devotional activities (such as prayer, meditation, reading the Bible alone),” 42% of our surveyed parishioners replied, “Every day or most days,” and 20% replied, “A few times a week.” Only 2% of our surveyed parishioners replied, “Never.” The survey presented the statement, “Some people feel they came to faith gradually. For others, it began at a definite moment of commitment.” To the question, “Have you ever experienced such a moment of decisive faith commitment or conversion,” 36% of our surveyed parishioners responded, “No, I’ve had faith for as long as I can remember;” and 35% responded, “No, I came to faith through a gradual process.” A related survey question asked, “Which of the following five statements best describes your readiness to talk to others about your faith?” Sixty percent of our surveyed worshipers responded, “I mostly feel at ease talking about my faith and do so if it comes up.”

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Specifically related to the formation question, the survey asked worshipers how often they attend Adult Christian Education or formation activities at this church. For the Chapel of the Cross surveyed worshipers, the highest response rate was for, “Never,” chosen by 38%. And, 30% of surveyed worshipers responded, “Less than once a month.” Further, 12% indicated that they attended such activities seasonally, such as during Lent.

6. Congregation emphasizes Church School. This statement relates to the survey area, “Participating in the Congregation,” the Number Three Strength of the Chapel of the Cross. Fifty-four percent of our surveyed worshipers indicated that they are involved in one or more small groups, such as Sunday School, prayer, or Bible study discussion groups. This question received the second highest response rate in this survey area from our worshipers. Sixty-six percent of surveyed worshipers indicated that they “attend worship services usually every week or more than once a week.” When asked the more direct question, “Are you regularly involved in any group activities here,” 17% of our surveyed worshipers responded, “Yes, in Sunday School, Church School or Sabbath School.” As mentioned previously in this thesis/project, the survey was administered to our congregation during the summer, a time when Church School is not offered; and, therefore, a time when many families with children who attend Church School during the year typically attend services less frequently. In a list of fourteen possible aspects of the congregation most valued by surveyed worshipers, “Adult Church School or Sabbath School” was only chosen by only 1%. This was the lowest response rate given to any of the possible aspects, other than “Contemporary Style of

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Worship or Music,” which also was chosen by only 1% of surveyed worshipers.

7. Congregation is not in conflict over finances. The U.S. Congregational Life Survey asked worshipers, “If there has been any conflict in this congregation in the past two years, what was the conflict about?” The question was followed by a list of thirteen possible topics; respondents were asked to mark any and all that applied. At the Chapel of the Cross, the topic “Issues of Homosexuality” was chosen by 65% of the respondents, the topic “A New Building or Renovation of An Existing Building” was chosen by 64% of the respondents, and the topic “Finances” was chosen by 15% of the respondents. These were the three topics with the highest response rates.

C. Analysis of the Nine Strong Correlates of Financial Health of Episcopal Churches as defined by TENS, 2011, as related to the Chapel of the Cross U.S. Congregational Life Survey

1. Congregation has worship that is joyful. On the U.S. Congregational Life Survey, Chapel of the Cross worshipers were asked whether they experienced joy during worship always or usually. A total of 58% of respondents answered, “Yes.” Related scores under the “Meaningful Worship” section of the survey were as follows: 72% of respondents reported experiencing frustration during worship rarely; 70% reported experiencing God’s presence during worship always or usually; 67% reported experiencing inspiration during worship always or usually; and 64% reported experiencing

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boredom during service rarely. Of the ten congregational strengths, the “Meaningful Worship” section of the survey was Strength Number Two for Chapel of the Cross.

2. Congregation has worship that is inspirational. For Chapel of the Cross worshipers, “Inspiration” was the third highest ranked experience under the “Meaningful Worship” section of the survey. Sixty-seven percent of respondents reported experiencing inspiration during worship always or usually. Two other experiences received higher rankings by survey respondents. These were as follows: 72% reported experiencing frustration during worship rarely, and 70% reported experiencing God’s presence during worship always or usually.

3. Congregation emphasized Community Service. Overall, the section of the survey concentrating on “Focus on the Community” was Strength Number Six at the Chapel of the Cross. Receiving the highest percentage response of any other question on the survey, 89% of worshipers indicated that they had contributed to charitable organizations other than their congregation. Receiving the second highest percentage response, 87% of worshipers indicated that they voted in the last presidential election. Our congregation achieved an overall score putting it in the 96th percentile of congregations, meaning that only four percent of all congregations scored higher than the Chapel of the Cross. Because our percentile scores in “Focusing on the Community” are so high, it seems worthwhile to report responses for individual questions in this section of the survey from all congregations that participated in the survey:

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74% indicated involvement in social service or advocacy groups through the congregation;

97% indicated involvement in social services or advocacy groups in their community;

98% indicated contributing to charitable organizations other than their congregation;

97% chose wider community care or social justice emphasis as one of the three most valued aspects of their congregation;

95% reported having worked with others in the last year to try to solve a community problem; and

87% reported having voted in the last presidential election.

4. Congregation emphasizes personal prayer and devotions. The section of the survey regarding “Growing Spirituality” was Strength Number One at the Chapel of the Cross. Sixty-two percent of our respondents indicated that they routinely spent time at least a few times a week in private devotional activities, while 82% reported feeling that their spiritual needs are being met in their congregation. 5. Congregation emphasizes Youth Ministry. The section of the survey dealing with “Caring for Young People” was Strength Number Five for our congregation. A total of 78% of the worshipers whose children still lived at home reported that their children also worshiped at Chapel of the Cross. Fifty-five percent indicated being satisfied with our congregation’s offerings for children and youth (under 19 years of age). Twelve percent indicated that ministry for children or youth was one of the three most valued aspects of their congregation.

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6. Congregation works for social justice. When asked to choose up to three options (of fourteen) for the aspects of the congregation most personally valued, 40% of Chapel of the Cross worshipers chose “Wider Community Care or Social Justice Emphasis.” The only two options chosen by more worshipers were, “Sharing in Holy Communion, Eucharist, or the Lord’s Supper,” chosen by 63% of respondents, and “Traditional Style of Worship or Music,” chosen by 62% of respondents. The importance of social justice issues to our congregation is also evident in viewing survey responses in relation to the third Strong Correlate, “Congregation Emphasizes Community Service” (see above). In the above section on the third Strong Correlate, various areas, closely related to social justice issues and indicating strong focus on the community, are set forth. As mentioned above, our congregation’s strong responses in relation to these areas place the Chapel of the Cross in the 96th percentile nationally for this Correlate. 7. Congregation spends proportionally more on mission and program support (and proportionally less on facilities and staff). As a large church with high programmatic offerings in all areas, the Chapel of the Cross spends 55% of its budget to support staff. We greatly need our four full-time clergy, our two deacons (unpaid), our six Priest Associates (unpaid), our choirmaster and organist, and a host of other very important persons, both paid and unpaid. Our church may be an exception to this seventh Strongest Correlate, as may be supported by examining the success of the myriad of programs and offerings described throughout this thesis/project.  

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8. Congregation contacts its visitors in multiple ways. The section of the survey dealing with “Welcoming New Worshipers” corresponds to the Strength Number Eight for the Chapel of the Cross. Our church’s overall score related to “Welcoming New Worshipers” was 32%. Because “the ministry of hospitality” is the primary emphasis area of this thesis/project, it is worthwhile to examine the breakdown of worshiper responses to the question, “When you attended this congregation for the first time, were you recognized as a visitor in any of the following ways?” •

74% of respondents reported having been greeted by the priest during or after the worship service;

46% reported having been invited to a fellowship time or coffee hour after the service;

31% reported having been asked to complete a visitor card or sign a pew card; and

30% reported having been greeted by members seated nearby during services.

9. Congregation has more college graduates. At the Chapel of the Cross, 63% of respondents reported having a Master’s, Doctorate or other graduate degree. And, 31% reported having a Bachelor’s degree from a university or college as their highest level of education.

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D. Interviews with 33 Parishioners of Chapel of the Cross a. The Clergy i.

The Rev. Stephen Elkins-Williams, Rector 12 October 2011 Interview

I began by thanking Stephen for his valuable time and telling him that my doctoral students at the University of North Carolina had started giving their interviewees five dollars for their time and input. I remarked as how he didn’t need five dollars, but that a fresh fall apple was my treat for him. I wanted him to enjoy these interviews because we have had many and would continue to have more. I first reminded him that the three most valued aspects of the church, as ranked by the 358 worshipers who had completed the questionnaire, were worship, Holy Communion, and community/social justice outreach. We discussed these areas, along with their theological underpinnings, and I shared with him my approach in presenting them in my thesis/project. We discussed at length our move in the church to extend our pastoral care to include the blessing of gay unions. Both of us viewed this move as a profound hospitality event. Stephen and I concluded our time with my discussing with him the many ways we have intentionally welcomed newcomers. I also shared with him several additional ways that I’ve found from my research or experienced in visiting other churches (e.g., a virtual tour of the church, a notebook in each pew for newcomers to fill in, greeters in the parking lot). We had fun talking about these; Stephen is very open and committed to supporting new ideas for welcoming the stranger. Lastly, we discussed “Journey in Faith with our Newcomers,” a new form we had started using. The form will better enable us to follow our newcomers as they integrate, to ensure their full participation in the parish.

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1 December 2011 Interview Today, Stephen and I together looked at a report done by Kirk Hadaway from the Office for Congregational Research, DFMS. The report, entitled “The Trends in Giving, Going, and Belonging in the Episcopal Church,” examined the seven “Strongest” and nine “Strong” Correlates of Financial Health contained in this report and related each to evaluation of items contained on the U.S. Congregational Life Survey. Stephen and I examined all sixteen correlates, discussed each, suggested possible rationale for the research findings and hypothesized reasons for the findings. These comments, as appropriate, have become a part of this thesis/project. First, it was useful to compare our church’s responses with these Correlates. We could easily analyze our responses in light of each of the Correlates, since the report corresponded naturally with the U.S. Congregational Life Survey questions. Additionally, although the Correlates specifically pertained to church financial health, we felt that we could appropriately substitute “hospitality health” for “financial health,” as each Correlate related to our broad definition of hospitality. Although the worshipers who completed the survey at the Chapel of the Cross were highly committed to filling out the information, with close to 100% of the worshipers at the three services surveyed remaining after service to complete the questionnaire, it was summertime when we administered the questionnaire. We know that in the summertime, fewer people with children tend to attend services. Therefore, many of the questions related to, for example, Church School, may have had a different response rate given that a high percentage of the relevant population may not have attended that particular Sunday.

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To the same point, but more generally, the demographics of the worshipers on a particular Sunday obviously could affect the percentage rate of responses. On this particular Sunday, those who were in attendance indicated how often they go to worship services at this congregation. The responses were as follow: •

6%:

This is my first time

1%:

Hardly ever or special occasions only

1%:

Less than once a month

3%:

Once a month

23%:

Two or three times a month

58%:

Usually every week

With 81% of the respondents indicating regular attendance, one can surmise that the respondent group was familiar with the church overall; however, the demographic does not indicate who, for example, may be familiar with and interested in Church School-related activities, in terms of age of respondent, other members of the family, etc. The survey indicates that 89% of respondents have been attending from 1 year to more than 20 years, with the largest percentage (28%) indicating attendance for more than 20 years. Only 17% of the worshipers who completed the survey instrument indicated that they regularly attended Sunday School, Church School, or Sabbath School; additionally, 42% indicated that they were not regularly involved with group activities. However, 22% indicted involvement in prayer, discussion or Bible Study groups, and 34% said that they were regularly involved in fellowship, clubs, or other social activities. Thus, the high percentage (42%) indicating no regular involvement with group activities may be explained by the timing of the administering of the survey, i.e., since we have no Church School during the summer, the worshipers in church

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services on this particular Sunday may not have been those with children, those that regularly participated in Church School. Finally, Stephen and I discussed the church budget and the wide variety of community organizations in which the church participates financially and personally. Stephen promised to send a copy of Bill Moreley’s Strategic Plan for the Parish to me. I then left Stephen to pick up a copy of our latest budget. 19 February 2012 Interview

We began by discussing how Stephen had originally come to our church. Thanks to

Stephen’s wife, Besty, I was already familiar with the story of a young Jesuit priest who had met Betsy in Seattle while she was involved in a year of volunteer service. They had fallen in love and married, and then Stephen applied to be an Episcopal priest. After Stephen was received as an Episcopal priest, Betsy, who had grown up in Durham, longed to return to the area, and so they did. Stephen filled in the rest of the story. “I was met by Peter Lee, the rector here at that time,” Stephen said. Lee has gone on to serve as the Bishop of Virginia, the Interim Dean at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, and then Dean of General Theological Seminary. At the time of this writing, Lee is the Interim Dean of the American Cathedral in Paris. Through this time, he has maintained Chapel Hill as his home. “Along with Peter, the Vestry and parishioners with whom I met,” Stephen continued, “I was very attracted to the closeness of the church to The University of North Carolina, both historically as well as in mission. Secondly, I picked up the bulletin and saw multi-faceted activities of the church. It was very impressive. And third, at the social gathering with Peter, I was attracted not only to the friendliness of those gathered but struck by the incredible resources that the people brought—education, dedication, capabilities and open mindedness. It was no

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longer that this was a job close to Betsy’s home; rather, it was a place where I knew I would love to work. And, I must say that the beautiful gothic architecture impressed me mightily as I imagined the sense of liturgy found inside and the worship space it fostered. It also fit with my Jesuit tradition.” Stephen and I discussed this transition. He had attended Jesuit high school and then spent two years in a Jesuit college, working towards a double major in Theology and Philosophy. This formation time, his being a Jesuit for fourteen years, including three as a Jesuit priest, was and has been a huge influence in Stephen’s prayer life, spiritual discipline and philosophical training. Stephen has traveled with me on the journey of this thesis/project, and his thoughts are included often throughout; however, I decided to question him about hospitality, just as I had our other priests. So I asked him, “What do we do in this church that represents the best we offer in holy, even radical, hospitality?” He began with our opportunities for worship: “Every Sunday we offer five services: A small congregation at 7:30 a.m. in the Chapel; 9:00 and 11:15 a.m. services, larger in size, in the Church; a smaller service at night, at 5:15 p.m., in the Chapel; and Compline at 9:30 p.m. The liturgy at all services is beautiful, as is our music. We have a professional, traditional choir at the 11:15 service, where one is required to speak Latin and German; a Children’s choir at the 9:00 service; and a regular adult choir two Sundays of the month at the 5:15 service, along with a variety of volunteer organists. It’s great variety—everyone feels welcomed and can find a place within our variety of services. The high quality is consistent.” Stephen continued, “We pay attention to older adults, young adults, high school and college students, small children in our Children’s Chapel—all are nourished and welcomed in the liturgical scheme. And, we regularly carry our worship out to our retirement centers: Carol

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Woods desires Rite I, Carolina Meadows Rite II, The Cedars and Galloway Ridge, whatever they choose. Their worship revolves around their common interest within their community and helps people find their place and bring them to the Chapel of the Cross. Our highest percentage of staff times goes into worship—our hymns are carefully matched with the scripture - and we show a high reverence for the seasons.” “You will be pleased to know,” I said to Stephen, “that every person I interviewed thinks our worship is the very best: ‘magnificent,’ ‘beautiful,’ ‘over the top,’ ‘wonderful,’ are all descriptors that have been suggested. One person would like Rite I every Sunday; most prefer Rite II; our worship and the Eucharist are the top two things our parishioners suggest that they value most in this church.” Stephen went on, “The second area of broad hospitality lies within what we offer in other ways; things, for example, to connect young families, such as Sunday church school, Children’s Chapel, our weekly pre-school, junior choir, acolytes, EYC, programs for parents centering on parenting and other topics of interest to them that they suggest and we suggest as well. The communication between these young families and their children is incredible. For those who have no children, adults have a wide variety of activities from which to select, including our outreach programs such as Habitat, AIDS Ministry, Prison, Interfaith Council, our Global Outreach, and many others. Our global missions that you and Ann started after attending the CEEP Conference in New York have been a blessing for this parish . . . you in South Africa and Ann in Honduras.” “Yes,” I said, “Ann has coordinated the Honduras Mission, and I the South Africa, but we also work together on everything with a wonderful Global Missions Committee led right now by Jerry. We hope to plan a pilgrimage to South Africa within the next two years. And you

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know that Sharron Dinnie, the priest at St. Peter/St. Paul in South Africa, and her group will be visiting our parish April 27th – 30th.” “I’ve asked her to preach at both the 9:15 and 11 a.m. services,” Stephen said. “The Gospel Lesson is about the Good Shepherd.” “This will be great,” I said. “And the Committee will begin planning for their visit this coming Sunday.” We moved on to discuss all of the many things that we do in Adult Education. “Variety is a top priority for those ministries for adults,” said Stephen. “We aim for everyone to feel a connection to something important to them. And, we want to remember Episcopal Campus Ministry (ECM); this is our basic mission territory; it’s part of our DNA, having been founded by a university professor and located on campus for our university students. We intentionally welcome our students along with our many efforts of welcome, such as notices in our bulletins, newcomer gatherings, and our pastoral care. We have not only four priests and two deacons but also many active groups, including good Samaritans and our prayer chain, as well as a ‘total package’ now for welcoming the strangers among us.” “It’s amazing how this church has grown and changed over the years,” I added. “We have so many resources, particularly human resources in this parish. But there are always challenges that we try to turn into opportunities.” “Like how to best marshal and utilize all of the resources of this parish,” Stephen agreed. “Facilities, yes, but particularly our people and formal resources are a challenge. We are big today. In 1984 when I became rector, our annual giving pledges were $300,000. Today they are $1.3 million, plus, and we have just completed a capital campaign with $6 million in pledges. There is still more that we love to share with the world. We are still trying to utilize all of our

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talents and interests and putting everyone in positions where they can make a difference. I hope that it will never go away.” “I’m sure it won’t go away,” I said. “This church with its history, its location, and most importantly, its people, is here to stay and continue to grow spiritually; I believe it will remain forever.” “I believe this is true,” said Stephen, “but we must focus on priorities. People come with ideas, and we make it happen. There must be a balance of what we can do best.” We talked about our upcoming Vestry retreat and strategic planning -- so important as we move forward into the future. Earlier, the management consultant’s report was presented to the Vestry and now a wider vision of Parish Ministry with priorities will be a part of our strategic action plan. We talked about changes in our society and how communications in an everwidening format must be a top priority for us. “You just can’t underestimate the future impact of technology,” Stephen said. “We are successfully managing to send 1,300 plus Friday emails every week in my report to the church.” I added, “And it has been so successfully received. The links are wonderful, too. Easy access to so many things, including audio sermons.” “Communicating with our parishioners is one thing,” Stephen continued. “Our opportunities include communicating with those who have been raised with no Christian faith or perhaps someone who was baptized but has not attended church for a lifetime. Look ahead for years . . .” “And what do you see?” I asked. “Well,” answered Stephen, “we will have a beautiful two-story parish hall, seating 200 comfortably and 350 for a reception. We have paid special attention in the parish hall to

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hospitality and placed an emphasis on welcome. We will have much more space for classrooms, outreach, and receptions of all kinds, especially receptions for newcomers, funerals, and weddings. The kitchen will be larger and well planned.” I added, “And the parish hall will open onto a beautiful terrace overlooking God’s Garden, the arboretum of The University of North Carolina. The setting for hospitality, especially welcoming the stranger among us, will be unlike anything we have imagined until now.” “You will have a new rector and possibly a very different staff,” Stephen said. “Let’s don’t talk about that,” I suggested. “We have plenty of time to think futuristically in that direction. I can’t imagine that you will have been with us for thirty plus years and still you are so very young and young looking. There will be plenty of wonderful things in store for you.” “When I came,” Stephen offered, “the lay leadership here was very strong. This will continue; I feel confident about this, and an additional part of our building may also be replaced. We have permission from the town to do this up until 2022.” I asked Stephen to give me the “elevator speech” he would give to a prospective rector in San Francisco or Chicago. Stephen began: “The Chapel of the Cross is a stimulating parish to do ministry in, given its history, its location, and its people and multi-active ministries. It doesn’t get old. Every day there is something new. One can be here a long time and it will still feel fresh and engaging. I’ve been at the Chapel of the Cross for 30 years and am glad to come every day. I’m intrigued at all the amazing things we accomplish. This has to be a ‘plum job.’”

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I thanked Stephen for the wonderful things he and God make happen at this church and for his traveling with me on a journey that has been a pleasure and for which I am deeply grateful.

ii.

The Rev. Tambria Elizabeth Lee, Associate for University Ministry

In an article in the Chapel of the Cross 2009 Annual Report entitled “Hospitality and Fellowship,” Tammy said, “We long to be shaped in the image and likeness of God and that is what spiritual formation is all about. That formation is intimately linked to table fellowship” (Lee, 2009). Tammy writes and preaches about hospitality and fellowship quite often. (See, e.g., sermon, attached as Appendix N.) In “Hospitality and Fellowship,” Tammy wrote, “Jesus spent a lot of time sitting at tables with friends and strangers; there was food and drink and conversation. The institution of the Last Supper, which we know as Eucharist, is one such event. Our parish identity is shaped by our table fellowship. Starting on Sunday morning at Eucharist, it continues through the coffee hours and in the Christian Education classrooms. We break bread with students on Tuesdays, choir families on Wednesdays, foyer dinners and young adults on Thursdays, and on it goes. We share coffee with friends and strangers; we show up on the doorstep of a grieving family in true Southern form with a meal. All are welcome at our table; and when we make that clear, it changes the way people understand us and the way we shape our values as members of the household of God” (Lee, 2009, p. 8). Tammy also serves as chaplain for Episcopal Campus Ministry (ECM). Hospitality, worship and more abound among our group of university students. For many, Christian leadership and formation has been a part of life since birth. The love and hospitality they bear

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for each other can be seen as they participate in so many activities and events. At Compline on Sunday night at 9:30, Tammy reported that, “Over a hundred students and friends gather to refresh their spirits and seek guidance for the coming week. The only common denominator of the Compline community is love of silence and incense and candlelight and real anonymity” (Lee, 2009, p. 3). During Tuesday evening fellowship, everyone is welcome at the table, and there is plenty of good food for all. Students also attend and participate in: student-led late night ecumenical worship services, largely comprised of prayer and praise; Bible Study groups for faith formation; an Exodus group of seniors preparing to graduate; warm and caring hospitality groups, formed to remember birthdays and accomplishments, share sorrows and generally care for each other; various projects, missions trips, Interfaith Council, Relay for Life, etc. In addition, students participate in various church groups, including the Shepherds’ Ministry and serve in worship services on Sunday as acolytes, readers, greeters, on the Altar guild, etc. (Lee, 2009, p.3). I interviewed Tammy in order to focus on her views about hospitality in our church.

22 February 2012 Interview Sometime ago, each of our priests shared the story of his or her spiritual journey with the parish. I reminded Tammy that I remembered her story, but for the record and following the format of others interviewed, I asked Tammy to briefly recount how she came to Chapel of the Cross. “I was called here,” she said, “at a time when I was interviewing in three or four places. When the Chapel of the Cross ‘popped up,’ I knew it was different. It had location and history, and it provided opportunities to work where I would have the most freedom to exercise my

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talents. The ad ran for a week in ‘The Living Church.’ I called Steve, and he said, ‘come down the day after tomorrow.’ And I did. I was in Chicago working on a Doctor of Ministry degree at the time, having graduated from Yale. I knew the Chapel of the Cross was a good fit for me.” “Well, it has been good for you and you for us,” I said. “Talk some about the good things we do in hospitality here.” “There are so many great things,” Tammy said. “We are especially mindful or have the intention to reach people who are going through transitional times. They may need food, a reception and a space to be married. For new people, we are ‘Johnny-on-the-spot’ with a complete program.” “Welcoming students is also something we do well,” she continued. “We’re happy to provide this welcome for all students who identify themselves as Episcopalians. We’ve tried several outreach approaches with the University, and we are now part of an on-line forum through which we advertise. Our diocese has a new program called, ‘Just One Thing.’ As part of the program, every clergy person in the state is asked to send the names of any students from his or her parish to the appropriate people at the colleges and universities that the students plan to attend. We at Chapel of the Cross also send out letters to every clergy person in the state, as well as to every diocese in the United States.” “As a professor at UNC, I know how great our students are,” I added. “Our campus ministry is one of our most important welcoming programs. It is a full time job in itself, isn’t it?” I asked. “I really enjoy it,” Tammy replied. “And, yes, it could totally be full time. Unfortunately, I can’t do two full time jobs, although I try. If I’m with someone who is dying, I might also be expected to be at a student meeting or a Bible study. The students do understand

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since they are a part of the entire life of the church here…not separated…they may well know the parishioner who is dying. Our students are free participants in our church just like everyone else. They are members of the church; they are greeters, altar guild members, acolytes, lectors, etc. Every Tuesday night, we meet for dinner. Once a month, we go out . . . to a play, iceskating, to watch the Super Bowl, to the State Fair; usually we do these types of things on Friday nights.” I pressed on, “I’ve heard about one wonderful thing you do for our UNC students during exam time.” “Yes,” Tammy replied. “We feed them every day during exams, and sometimes in conjunction with a daily office. We’re also available twenty-four hours a day during this time. Our students, as you know, are very eager to do well, and they put a lot of stress on themselves. This past semester, we brought in a masseuse to give the students free massages.” “I heard about that too. One student told me that it was fabulous. I was also told about your recent Valentine’s Day event. Talk about that,” I said. “We work hard to be open and inclusive,” Tammy began. “Our Valentine’s Day dinner was a Rainbow Coalition event. This is what church should be about – connecting with everyone, gay and lesbian, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish. For the Valentine’s dinner, the rule for attending was to bring someone whom you did not know until you invited them.” “This is so great,” I added. “Encouraging a more open connection for our UNC students and helping them develop meaningful understandings of others from different religious backgrounds and ethnic groups. Food and hospitality are surely good avenues for this.” “I wish that we could make it clear to everyone how much church matters,” Tammy said. “Giving time, for example, is so important in a church family. We try to be the best we can

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be…to offer the best of what we have. We offer a place to gather and to grieve. I can remember situations when people had no one except our church to care for them -- no family. Without us, there would have been no gathering. We do it. We are called to live out our Baptism. God expects the same things for priest and laity. We are called to welcome the stranger at the door, and yet often a parishioner will come and find one of the clergy because they are frightened of the stranger and don’t want to have to meet their need. That is what they pay us to do, they might say. But, this is a journey of faith, a spiritual path that we are all on together. Not everyone comes here expecting his or her life to be changed. I expect God to say something to me – the nature of our work here is to make it possible for everyone to be welcomed.” Tammy paraphrased from Isaiah, “Ho everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; he who has no money, come buy and eat; all you who come to the table, the Lord God is preparing for all people a feast of fat things. On this day we have waited fully for God, and He has shown up.” “We welcome all people here; their beliefs may vary, and that is okay. We are on the side of generosity of spirit, time and talent. Offer the best of what you have rather than the least of what you have. I believe that the church should be nicer than our homes. ‘Where your treasure is, there your heart is.’ When we allow our earthly treasures to determine our value is when we lose sight of God being our biggest value.” We paused to talk about how our parish hall looks today, and how it will look after the renovation. For now, our parlor is our best-looking place, although the parlor furnishings need updating. We discussed the fact that “all of the church silver” has been shined and is ready for more frequent use. “We want our worshippers and friends from in and out of town to feel that we believe they are important,” said Tammy. “We believe, as do the Benedictines, that ‘you welcome Christ in every person.’ It matters that we do the best we can for people.”

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I asked Tammy to give me her brief “elevator speech,” the speech she would give to someone who was moving to Chapel Hill and looking for a church. Tammy began, “I would ask them to tell me what church means to them. I would then gear my comments to the areas to which they are drawn. I would tell them about the clergy. Can they preach? Do they make room for others? Do they focus on others, or just on the needs of the Chapel of the Cross? I would let them know that there isn’t a better worship experience to be found. The worship experience at Chapel of the Cross is comparable to that of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. or to those of the big churches in New York City. I would let them know that we are committed to being open and inclusive. We have been on the cutting edge for a long time. At our church, you would be more likely to be questioned for what you have on rather than for what you believe. We make a worship environment open to everyone. It’s all about respecting the feelings of those around us, those in the pews. We will work with you regardless of where you are in the spectrum of belief. By the grace of God, we dive into the future.” Tammy continued on, “We celebrate the fullness of the liturgical calendar. The music is wonderful. Some feel that we should move over to newer alternatives.” (I shared with Tammy that the U.S. Congregational Life Survey showed that, when selecting two options out of eleven, 81% of worshippers preferred traditional hymns and 44% preferred classical music or chorales, while only 12% preferred contemporary hymns and 10% praise music or choruses.) “College students,” Tammy said, “are full participants in the Body of Christ. They are treated like all others. There is certainly a place for them here. And, if you are a person outside the mainstream belief, life practice or sexual identity, you will find a place here. We do not discriminate. We are snobs about liturgy. We have a fabulous program for children. We do pastoral care very well. If we know that there is something going on with you, we will take care

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of you. We are a big church, and that is part of our challenge. Even when dealing with life and death emergencies, we are grounded in the rhythm of the church’s daily events.” “We have good adult education, and our outreach here and abroad is great. We cover all the bases. Our challenge today is that we are living in a time where there is less disposable time. We have to be careful that people stay invested. Where they put their time is very important, lest they become disinterested.” I thanked Tammy for our two-hour interview/visit. Outside her office is a big “Carolina blue” banner imprinted with a Tarheel foot and inscribed, “The Chaplain is in.” We both recognized that she would miss her sunny office, upstairs, with two large windows overlooking the Morehead Planetarium. Construction will begin soon.

iii.

The Rev. Victoria Jamieson-Drake, Associate for Pastoral Ministry 8 December 2011 Interview

Vicky and I began by talking about her many pastoral responsibilities. While serving as a priest, pastor, and teacher, she also leads the parish in pastoral ministry. She is liaison to many groups and committees in our church, including the Global Missions and Spiritual Life Committees, AIDS Care Team, Foyer Dinner Groups, Good Samaritans, Parish Care Visitors, Prayer Chain, and Elder Ministry. “Along with all of those activities,” I said, “you still have time to exude a spirit of hospitality. Talk a little about how you feel about hospitality in our church.” “One of the main things to me,” Vicky said, “is when we walk in the Peace and say, ‘The Peace of the Lord be with you.’ We greet each other with handshakes, hugs and sometimes we walk across the aisles. At the door on Sunday morning, I make a point to greet everyone by

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name. I introduce people to each other and try to connect people with similar interests. When there is a newcomer, I ask a church parishioner to accompany them to the Newcomers’ Table in the Parish Hall. I can tell when some linger and want to talk with me. I happily tell them to call me in my office for an appointment. Sometimes, I’m late for Coffee Hour because I’m visiting outside with newcomers.” “Our newcomers, and also long-time parishioners, appreciate very much when the clergy are able to be with us during social times,” I said. “One member of the Hospitality Committee told me that she had noticed how visitors and parishioners ‘hang around longer’ to visit and socialize when they are with clergy during coffee/refreshments time.” We moved to talk about another hospitality area important to Vicky and to the church, the Healing Station. Vicky said that, “When I say, ‘I lay my hands upon you in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, beseeching him to uphold you and fill you with his grace, that you may know the healing power of his love,’ this is powerful hospitality.” “Our funerals and receptions speak to the wonderful hospitality that we have in our church,” she continued. “Telling the story of how God’s love has unfolded in this person, how each of us is an expression of God’s creation, and how God’s story is told in their life is so very important. We are connecting this person to God, and we give thanks that some grace will sustain us. We end up on a note of comfort, and that is that God’s love is eternal and never dies. As we tell the story of who this unique individual was, how the image of God was manifested in him or her, we realize the need of the family for comfort.” I concluded by noting that funerals in the Episcopal Church, and particularly at the Chapel of the Cross, are simply beautiful, comforting, motivational—whether held in our main sanctuary or in our chapel. They provide times for the deepest worship. And, being able to

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process outside to the church’s front lawn and small manicured garden with the standing cross, in order to bury the ashes of the deceased in a small grave, with family members and friends putting the dirt on top, it is truly special. During these times, the cars on Franklin Street continue to buzz by, reminding us that our town, our world, is always moving forward, and that God is in charge. (Sometimes, of course, we go to a cemetery for the burial and committal; the old Chapel Hill Cemetery, just a few blocks from our church, also offers a beautiful place, surrounded by trees and some flowering plants, to rest in God’s love and peace.) At this point in the interview, Vicky had to leave for an important commitment. I thanked her, and told her how much we appreciated her. We promised to continue “talking hospitality.” 15 December 2011 Interview Vicky and I met later to continue our conversation. We talked about connections within the congregation and discussed a number of things. “I wonder,” Vicky said, “whether people like the lecture format of some of our adult forums, or would they prefer a more informal approach? We don’t have large attendance at our church school functions on Sunday morning, but those who do come remain faithful.” I asked, “What about more evening classes with ‘small group’ ministry for adult Christian formation?” Vicky continued, “I think there is a place for small groups to come together, for adults who are asking the spiritual questions. These groups could have programs that foster building community. Programs that emphasize justice issues, hospitality, welcoming the stranger, and pastoral care all seem to thrive. I also think that we like structure -- quality control. We like the Prayer book, and we like to follow the rules.”

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I asked, “What do you think are our top three hospitality attributes? Those that you would mention to people inquiring about our church?” With enthusiasm, Vicky named funerals and receptions, welcoming our young families and visiting the homebound. I asked Vicky to talk a little about each. She began, “Funerals are our top priority. We truly address the needs of the family. If the family wants a certain kind of music, we provide it: guitar, gospel . . .Van goes all out for families. We bring comfort to our families, liturgically and pastorally, with our funerals and funeral receptions. Hospitality is warm and comforting and lovely.” She continued, “We welcome young families. Gretchen is systematic about contacting families, connecting them with the Children’s Ministry. We also reach out to new babies through the Guild of the Christ Child. If children are cared for, you believe it is a good place for them. And, we also welcome the young adults at newcomer receptions and teas and all the other good ways that we welcome parishioners.” “About the homebound?” I reminded. “That is truly pastoral care at its finest. We have a good group of parishioners who visit people who can’t get to church. We talk with them and often leave them laughing. We treat them like guests,” Vicky said. “And then,” she went on, “we have support teams who care for practical needs. They have given parties for the homebound. It’s like hospitality for those in crisis. ‘Let us throw the party for you,’ a team may ask. We’ve had parties in nursing homes or even in the home of a member of the support team. Sometimes, in nursing homes, we reach out to those who are not members of our church; it doesn’t matter. We reach out to them, offering pastoral care.”

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We ended our conversation by emphasizing the importance of the Shepherds in welcoming newcomers. Vicky particularly liked the addition of a more formal system to help each newcomer find the right path in our church. She said, “In our new building, we will see some important things for making our church more welcoming -- more and clearer signage and more space for our many hospitality events.” Finally, I asked, “How would you like for us to improve our gracious and holy hospitality?” She answered quickly, and I realized that this is something she has thought about for some time. “Making sure that there is some contact with every household every year, at a minimum, phone calls and not just in the annual giving campaign. We’re a big church, but we need to make contact and not just for crisis ministry.” I again thanked Vicky as she prepared to leave to visit and have tea with a parishioner, also an author. “Enjoy!” I said. “And tell Elizabeth we look forward to seeing her soon at church.”

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iv.

The Rev. David Frazelle, Associate for Parish Ministry 11 December 2011 Interview

David’s story began with his entry into the church “as an 18-year-old and receiving hospitality.” He showed up at All Saints’ Chapel on the Sewanee Campus, looking for someone to talk to regarding his not wanting to join a fraternity. “Clergy were available,” David said, “and availability is an important piece of hospitality that we can offer each other. On a larger perspective for someone in church it’s a different way of familyhood. ‘Rush’ was going on at Sewanee, and I needed a careful listener. I found this, and it opened doors for me.” “There are two other significant pieces,” David said. “Having people living in my dorm who were involved at All Saints’ Chapel. It was like a radical welcome, when a junior or senior accepts you for no apparent reason. Acceptance and welcome. I went to church with him and met people who were welcoming. I didn’t have to be funny or bright; it was experiencing God’s welcome incarnate through these new people.” David said that he kept hanging around these people. He had not been baptized; he didn’t know that he had not been baptized; he was participating in the Eucharist, and it felt awkward. He felt it was significant that he was being welcomed to participate and be involved and receive this Sacrament. He called his mother to ask when he was baptized, and she told him he had not been baptized. He was now a catechumen, and they were accepting. This was his senior year at Sewanee. The Eucharist welcome was wonderful for him. David offered, “The important pieces were how beautifully and clearly the symbols of the Eucharist spoke to me of God’s welcome of us, so inviting to be a part of God’s story. The pieces included real Baptism and free inclusion into God’s family. I learned the importance of

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the Eucharist as a strengthener of the bonds in Christ and each other, and as a means of fellowship with each other.” “Christ welcomed us,” he continued, “just as Paul said. I still retain my sense of the importance of clearly communicating liturgy in word and symbol, of being transparent. It’s God’s story. People have instilled in me the power of the open door -- careful listening. The chaplain did some spiritual direction through conversions, creating a welcoming space for people to explore their own stories and what they have to do with the death and resurrection of Christ, with God welcoming us in these corporate acts. Being present and available and carefully listening is what it is all about, listening for how God is directing us.” I asked David to talk about his specific work and how it affects hospitality and welcoming newcomers in this church. He began with one of his three main areas. “Helping to build…” he started. “Actually God does the building. And I, along with others, nurture a youth community that is welcoming and accepting.” David mentioned his youth community mission trip to rural Tennessee. “We had in this youth group a bunch of juniors and seniors in high school,” he said. “Some were from EYC, the Youth Inquirers’ Class, and just like in our community, we try to build community around core Christian faith. We had a very diverse group, a football player, drama students, a rugby player, a very scholarly student committed to big band jazz. These kids were so very comfortable with each other. They came from different schools, but they found joy and delight in each other’s presence. How did it come about? Creating a community based on God’s welcome of people.” “At church we share our personal timelines. We practice basic good listening. We share our highs and lows. We get to know each other’s stories. We share prayer requests and common meals. We pray together, celebrate Eucharist and corporate acts of mercy. The Holy Spirit binds

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us together, reflecting the Trinity. We welcome each other and pour ourselves out to each other. There are ninth graders to just-graduated young people. We meet every Sunday evening in EYC.” Second, David focuses on people planning to get married. “This is also an area that I enjoy very much,” he said. “We have a system worked out with all the priests and the church and chapel. The church is represented by me or one of the other priests. I welcome the couple and ask them to talk about how we at the church can welcome them and their wedding into the church. And, I ask them to talk about what God is up to in their lives.” The third area of David’s focus is “Cross Ties,” a church group for those in the 20s and 30s. David explained, “It’s based on the recognition that there are many people in their 20s and 30s with no clear way to get together. Some came to weddings or Baptisms, and there was no logical next step after the Sacramental rite.” I told David that I happened to be meeting with two of his Cross Ties people, Laura and Carolyn, that very afternoon in order to discuss the Shepherds’ Ministry. We had needed some younger people to become a part of the Shepherd group. Laura had expressed interest in working with graduate students, and with a new baby, Carolyn was a good fit to work with those newcomers with babies and young children. David remarked that this was a good forward step. He then continued, “We try to do a lot with outreach and fellowship. We have larger gatherings per quarter as well; for example, we recently had a dinner for Cross Ties participants, scheduled at the lake. We were ‘rained out,’ so we had the dinner at my home. We find ways to engage the Gospel and our graduate students. Events like this blend fellowship with theological reflection. Our new website features some of the content of our activities.”

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I asked David to briefly comment on challenges that we faced regarding hospitality and fellowship. “It’s the challenges of a big church,” he said. “A prominent one is knowing how long everyone has been here. This takes some asking, and this can be awkward.” As David is a graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary, I mentioned that I had recently heard our VTS Dean, Dr. Ian Markham, speak at Saint James Parish in Wilmington on this very topic. Dr. Markham had essentially advised us not to worry if we didn’t fully remember a fellow church member, or how long they had been attending the church. The important thing was to robustly speak to people, to welcome them, to be genuinely glad to see them. David continued, “Space, of course, is also a challenge, and parking is and will continue to be a challenge.” David added that, “Newcomers often find the way to the nursery to be a challenge. Do I go upstairs or down, take the elevator or walk, and where is the signage all along the way?” We discussed the fact that we continue to work on this issue since “the nursery is one of the most important welcome features for parents with a baby.” David left for his next assignment; I saw him again that night around 7:00 when he finished officiating at the evening service in the chapel. I was in the midst of interviewing a “returning newcomer,” one who had been to our church as a graduate student at UNC and had returned to Chapel Hill to live with her husband and young son, Preston. David warmly welcomed her and chatted with her about his seeing Preston in Children’s Chapel the previous Sunday—another sign again of warm welcome and Christian hospitality.

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v.

The Rev. Dr. William H. Joyner, Deacon

“Preach the Gospel always, and sometimes use words.” This advice is from St. Francis of Assisi, one of history’s most famous deacons. Deacons are called to bring good news to a hurting world, focusing their ministry on the poor and marginalized. Our Prayer Brook tells us that deacons are called to “a special ministry of servant hood directly under (the) bishop” to serve “all people, particularly the poor, the weak, the sick, and the lonely,” and “to show Christ’s people that in serving the helpless they are serving Christ Himself.” The Rev. Dr. Bill Joyner is one of the two deacons at the Chapel of the Cross. His Outreach Ministry primarily focuses on people with developmental disabilities and Habitat for Humanity. Bill works with many university students in special worship. He also serves as Archdeacon of the Diocese of North Carolina.

15 December 2011 Interview Bill and I met in the Rector’s Conference Room to talk about hospitality in the church. He began by saying that he thought one of the most important things that we do in welcoming is in the ministry to the University of North Carolina students. This, he says, is not a separate ministry; rather, it is integral to the entire parish. We have students involved in ECM; long-time parishioners are involved, and our students participate fully in worship, as acolytes, hosts for meals and other events; our students are in the Johnston Intern Program, a program providing avenues to work toward social justice, among other things, and in confirmation classes. Bill continued, “This ministry started years ago and continued to be very strong. Our doors are always open to students. They grow into Cross Ties, a ministry for young adults and

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those in the 20s and 30s age groups. There are many connections. The fact that we are right on campus and students see a church among them is very hopeful.” “Talk a little about our welcome outside the university,” I said. “It’s all around us. We are a part of it, and we all love it. But we also have a wide diversity outside the university.” Bill responded, “In terms of being welcoming, our congregation extends out to all who will come. We are reminded that God’s people extend beyond the doors of the church. We work with an AIDS Care Team ministry and a prison ministry; we are involved with InterFaith Council for Social Services, providing food, shelter and other services to those in need; we build safe and affordable housing through Habitat for Humanity and with Justice United, serving over 5,000 families in Orange County. We are all children of God, and we need to help everyone see that we are not doing these things to evangelize, but to make sure the vision of the Christian Church is exemplified.” “What challenges us in hospitality ministry?” I asked. “I’m bothered by ‘challenge,’” Bill said. “It is both a challenge and a blessing. We offer many things with good response. For example, we offer a 9:00 service with children, and 11:15 and 5:15 services for people who like to come at these times of the day. The challenge is to build a sense of community among all. I wouldn’t give these up, along with our many offerings of education and outreach, but it is a challenge. Our Compline service at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday is wonderful, with 75 or more people attending. This is a community unto itself.” “How did you happen to come to this church, Bill?” I asked. “I came fourteen years ago,” Bill said. “The bishop asked if I knew a parish in the area. Of course, I knew, my daughter was a student at UNC, getting her Ph.D. in psychology. I came and was welcomed at the church. I asked to meet with Stephen; he remembered Holly. I told

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him that the bishop had asked me to talk with him; we made an appointment with Bishop Johnson. Martha Hart welcomed me and was so nice to me. The rector and other priests were most welcoming. I came from a small church that seats 100 people. My daughter, Holly, taught Sunday School and confirmation classes with David.” “Bill, you travel a great deal, and I suspect that you have met people wanting to know about the Chapel of the Cross. What would you say to them?” I asked. Bill responded, “This is a church right in the middle of the University of North Carolina; students and faculty are a great part of it. The clergy here care about mercy and justice in the world. The church has a strong outreach program. It will be a welcoming place for you and there will be a place for you. You can be fed at the table.” I thanked Bill as he left to attend a vestry meeting, to serve as the voice for outreach and global missions.

vi.

The Rev. Margaret Silton, Deacon

The Rev. Maggie Silton is the other of the two deacons at the Chapel of the Cross. She is also involved in Outreach Ministry, serving on the Board of the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service. Her voice may also be heard through her teaching and preaching, particularly on behalf of the marginalized or voiceless. Maggie is particularly involved with parishioners at Inter-Faith Council (Elkins-Williams, November 2011, p. 3). Maggie offers great love, care and other services of hospitality to those suffering with mental illness. In a recent article for CrossRoads, she said, “People with mental illness aren’t of another species. People with mental illness are our mothers and fathers and our sisters and brothers. People with mental illness may be our children. People with mental illness may even

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be us” (Silton, 2011, p. 11). Maggie works with organizations like Faith Connections on Mental Illness, dedicated to enabling understanding of mental illness through education, advocacy, and support. She is also involved with other faith communities, helping to sponsor an annual conference; this year the conference theme is “Mental Illness as a Spiritual Journey: Creating Caring Communities” (Silton, 2011).

23 January 2012 Interview I found Maggie during the coffee hour following church service and asked if she had a few minutes to talk with me about hospitality in our church. She graciously agreed. I asked her to give me a little background on her coming to our church. She replied, “It’s simple; I came as a deacon one-and-a-half years ago. The process is in place for a deacon’s assignment.” “What do you think and know about hospitality in our church?” I asked. She said, “There is a great deal of room for improvement. For example, our parking situation; I have a friend who wanted to come to this church. She tried three Sundays and said, ‘Forget about it.’ I’ve heard this story from other people as well.” I agreed, “Parking is a real problem; it’s true for many downtown churches. We are blessed to be able to park at the Morehead Planetarium parking lot (directly next to our church lot) on Sunday without charge. Many people park on both sides of the street and in the municipal parking lot a block away. But still, there are those who especially want to park in the church lot, and we have so few spaces.” Maggie continued, “The reputation of this church is mixed. When people heard that I was coming to this church, half of the people said it was a wonderful church, great involvement

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with the university; others said, ‘I tried and no one ever talked to me.’ I think this is true. We have people who are greeters, but we don’t know their names unless they wear their nametags, which they don’t always do.” I asked, “How about our funerals and receptions? I know you have participated in this area.” Maggie replied immediately, “Yes, funerals are very well done, and the receptions are, too. There is great latitude in letting the people participate, and this is good.” We talked a little about how this has changed in recent years. She added, “We really need nametags; we need them not just for the clergy; they are for people to know each other. I have suggested that we use them, the kind that are magnetized and don’t destroy your clothes; they are six dollars a piece.” We talked about how others have suggested nametags, but that this does not seem to be a priority in the church. “For this to happen,” Maggie said, “it has to be made a priority by the rector. Saying ‘Welcome’ to newcomers is a priority. When the greeters see the nametag, they can call each other by name. It’s part of going out and making disciples.” I mentioned that it was interesting we were talking about nametags and other ways to recognize each other. Just last evening we were talking about methods of identification at a Shepherds’ meeting. I had shared with them an idea from another Episcopal church. At this church, parishioners had coffee cups of one color and newcomers of another color. The Shepherds had not been impressed. They felt that a system like this separated the group too much. “I heard a powerful story recently,” Maggie said. “It was about an Episcopal priest who grew up in England, un-churched. He was traveling one summer and spent time in an Anglican

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Community. He was so impressed by how much they loved each other. I contrast that with the feelings of my neighbor, who says that she loves to come to this church because no one notices her.” I replied that we did have a variety of people who worshiped in different ways. I asked Maggie to talk a little about aspects of this church she thinks are positive, knowing that we appreciate her and realizing that she has been here for just under two years. She responded, “I love the music. That we monetarily support community needs is great. And, worship is good. I realize that we still use the version of the Bible with patriarchal language; you could not use that version in term papers in Divinity schools now. We still use Rite I; maybe we could use this only at the 7:30 a.m. service.” Maggie returned to the parking problem. “I have suggested that we might try satellite parking here like St. Peters in Charlotte had at one time. We could save some church spaces for newcomers and those who need help. Of course, there would be some who would not agree. I was once one of them. But, at St. Peters, when I saw the rector’s wife with her three children, including a toddler, using the satellite parking lot, I changed my attitude.” “Give me your ‘elevator speech’ about the Chapel of the Cross,” I asked. She said, “We have good liturgy at the Chapel of the Cross and good outreach to the community. As a newcomer, you may need to go a couple of times and see what it is really like. It’s a big church, good and bad. It might be harder to get to know people, but you have more choices and a big variety of times to go to church service.” Maggie and I spent the next few minutes discussing the events of the North Carolina Diocesan Convention, held the previous two-and-a-half days in Winston Salem. We ended by

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discussing Bishop Curry’s advice to go out into the community, meet people in places where you do not usually recruit people (e.g., coffee shops), and invite them to church. I thanked Maggie and told her how much we appreciate the work that she is doing as our new deacon.

b. The Staff i.

Gretchen Jordan, Associate for Christian Formation

16 December 2011 interview with Gretchen Jordan is included in Chapter III, under Intentional Hospitality Strategy XII, Faith Formation. (See pp. 152-156.) ii.

Boykin Bell, Associate for Christian Formation

15 December 2011 interview with Boykin Bell is included in Chapter III, under Intentional Hospitality Strategy XII, Faith Formation. (See pp. 156-160.)

c. Laity i.

Carolyn and Laura, active in Cross Ties 12 December 2011 Interview

Both Carolyn and Laura are active in Cross Ties, a group of young adults who meet for friendship, dinners, events, service, Christian formation and worship. The genesis of this interview was an interest expressed by Carolyn to Laura to become a Shepherd, primarily to serve the Cross Ties age group. I hoped very much to bring Carolyn in for the Shepherds’ Ministry. We met in the church parlor at 5 p.m., and I thanked them for coming at a time when they were usually on their way home. We talked about the Shepherds’ Ministry, and Carolyn

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expressed a deep interest in becoming a part of this group and working with newcomers in the Cross Ties age group. I told her that I would pass her name along to Patty Courtwright, our Shepherd Coordinator, and that we would have a get-together soon to discuss this new role for her, perhaps a time for all Shepherds to come together. I asked each young woman to talk a little about how they came to the Chapel of the Cross. Carolyn began coming when she was an undergraduate at Carolina in the fall of 2000. She met students on campus who invited her to come to Episcopal Campus Ministry (ECM). “I became very involved,” Carolyn said. “I was Catholic, but it didn’t matter. I went on mission trips and participated in everything. It was great hospitality. I got married to a Mormon; the Catholic Church simply didn’t fit, but he enjoys it here, especially the sermons. I like the church community. We’ve been here less than two years.” Laura came here for graduate school in the sciences area, having had a number of “notso-great” experiences in Episcopal churches. “I ‘tried to do Christianity’ without a church community, then tried going to several different churches,” Laura said. “Somehow they ‘didn’t fit,’ so I came here. I heard the sermons, and I started the Inquirers’ Class. That was December two years ago, and I was confirmed in May 2010.” Laura said she was raised Atheist or Agnostic and sometimes Catholic. But when she told the Catholic Church “that she believed in Jesus, that was not enough.” She was told that, “no woman can be clergy, and birth control is not allowed.” When she moved to Virginia and began attending an Episcopal Church, she “really started getting into my faith.” She began to teach Sunday school and getting involved; she then moved to another area and another Episcopal Church.

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“This church was not welcoming,” she said. Laura described going to this church on Christmas Eve for the Christ Mass. When she arrived at church, she was met by people outside who said, “We do not have any room here; you will need to go to another church.” “This,” she said, “was reminiscent of ‘No room in the Inn.’” In the same church, she was singing one Sunday morning when someone touched her and said, “Don’t sing so loudly; you don’t have a good voice.” “Here,” Laura continued, “we throw open the door and invite you in.” Carolyn spoke up, “As a member of ECM, everyone was very welcoming. I did not yet belong to this church, but it did not matter that I was not an Episcopalian. Then I visited the Newcomers’ Table, went to the Welcome Reception at Stephen’s home and liked it very much. I liked the fact that there were people of all ages there.” I asked Carolyn about her involvement in Cross Ties. She said that she enjoys it very much and believes that the group is really “taking shape.” “We’ve had dinner for eight (four couples), and we all have children and bring them to dinner,” she added. “We hang out together in the best of fellowship. We just had a Holiday Party in this church parlor last Sunday. It was a lot of fun, with food, drinks, and music.” Carolyn remembered another important hospitality event, the Annual Parish Picnic that she attended as an undergraduate. Now returning eight years later (and with a baby), she attended the picnic again and saw people she had known when she was in ECM. “I was so happy to see people like Bob and Mary at the Annual Parish Picnic,” she said. “I just love them to death, and I love to see them. It’s been great for me, returning to the church and seeing people I knew when I was a student at the University—people like Laura and Sid Alexander; their daughter, Laura Cole, is my best friend.”

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Laura jumped in, “I really don’t remember being reached out to, but I know a good system is in place for that. I just jumped in and went to the Inquirers’ Class and from there to the Global Missions Committee.” I reminded Carolyn that Laura was on the committee that wrote a recent grant for our partnership church and school, Kwasa, in South Africa, and that we had just received official word that the grant had been approved by our diocese. “In addition, this was my first social circle,” Laura said. “And I began to know other parishioners. I also became a part of my most important group, The Centering Prayer Group.” Laura was asked to teach a Church School class but first wanted a more spiritual foundation. She does now teach a Church School group and also leads the Lectio Divina group (described further below). I thanked both of these young women for their time and many contributions to the church. Carolyn reiterated that she wanted to be a Shepherd for the Cross Ties age group. I said that I would be in touch about this soon with Patty Courtwright, Shepherd Coordinator.

Lectio Divina The prayer exercise of Lectio Divina, often referred to as “Praying the Scriptures,” is offered weekly at Chapel of the Cross. Most recently, it was initiated by our youngest priest and has spurred others to take leadership roles within the prayer group (e.g., a young member of the vestry and recent University of North Carolina law graduate; UNC sciences graduate student, Laura, interviewed above; etc.) It continues to grow in popularity, as a growing cross-section of our members discovers such an ancient and meaningful method of prayer.

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I personally experienced Lectio Divina during a small group worship session before a church service at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Austin, Texas. I was very much drawn to the ancient Benedictine prayer. I was instructed to listen “with the ear of my heart” for a word, phrase, sound or image that might hold a special resonance for me. The idea, as I came to understand, was that this word or image (e.g., comfort, challenge, assurance) could take us to a place of introspection and deep reverence. In addition to falling in love with the word and experiencing the goodness of God, members of the group felt a special closeness to each other. For a full discussion of Lectio Divina, see, e.g. Blythe (2006, pp. 45-47) and Jenkins (2007, pp. 12-13).

ii.

Cecilia and Brent, a newly married couple with two boys 13 November 2011 Interview

I interviewed Cecelia and Brent, a couple newly married as of June 2010. Each has a son from a previous relationship; the boys are ten months apart in age and have bonded well as brothers. Cecelia moved here from another town in North Carolina; Brent has lived in Chapel Hill for some time. Both were members of the Catholic Church. Brent grew up very involved in the Catholic faith; he was an altar boy, and his grandmother thought he might become a Catholic priest. Cecelia, though baptized early into the Catholic Church, did not attend regularly, as was the case with her parents. She sent her son to a small, private Catholic school but longed for a religious change. She liked Mass, the pomp and circumstance of the Catholic Church, but wanted a church “without guilt.” The Episcopal Churches, she thought, represented all the good things,

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and she wanted that for her son. When she moved to Chapel Hill, she knew she wanted to establish a “church home” for her now two boys. The Chapel of the Cross was the first church that she visited in Chapel Hill. “It was so welcoming on the very first Sunday that I attended church here,” she said. “Stephen was preaching; he seemed so genuine; there were many children in the church, everyone smiling. Everyone acted like they did not seem to mind if children were children. The parents mirrored the way we parent, lots of joy. Many people were young but a definite mix. I felt great that there seemed to be many in their 30s. Stephen made the announcements and said that they were happy to have us here. I have not had that experience. Many churches . . .I don’t know about Chapel Hill, the Chapel of the Cross is my first and only church visited . . .but if you aren’t raised here, you don’t belong. Many people here said ‘Hi,’ came up willingly to welcome me; the culture here is really healthy.” Turning to Brent, I said, “I want to talk about your experience at the Newcomers’ Welcome Table in the parish hall; but before that, Brent, Cecelia has given me great information. How about you? Is your story different?” “Mine is very different,” Brent replies. “I was raised strict Roman Catholic, altar boy, church every Sunday. Though my grandmother thought I would be a priest, there was something lacking for me in church. I felt that there was a spirit of being damned in the church; and that one must redeem oneself in God’s eyes. There was a negativity that never sat well with me. There is something about it that teaches you to feel bad about yourself, a sense of hypocrisy. I drifted away from church as a teenager.” “Well, we are surely glad that you have chosen to come to the Chapel of the Cross,” I replied.

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“Personally, I’m not so excited about going to church,” replied Brent. “But I love my wife, so I come with her. I work long hours in a counseling group.” Cecelia indicated that she is staying at home for now, having just completed a Master’s Degree at Wake Forest University. “Isn’t it great going back to school?” I asked. She said it was wonderful and that she loved the Liberal Studies program at Wake Forest. She is concentrating her time right now on their two boys, getting them indoctrinated into the Chapel Hill community. Both are taking piano lessons and both are in Boy Scouts. Brent complimented Cecelia on being so good with the boys. “She is patient and helpful with them in everything, and they respond to her so well. She helps them in their music and homework, takes them to Boy Scouts and to church.” “What else would you like to tell me about this church in the short time that you have been here,” I asked. “Well, it’s the leadership of the church. That’s a big reason why we chose the Episcopal Church. Stephen has been there for me,” Cecelia said. “I came to church three times with the children, and then asked Brent to come. He had initial reservations, but Stephen helped him turn the corner.” “He has been very devoted to the boys; he knows them and their struggles. Cecelia has met with him. She read the bulletins, and met with Stephen about getting involved,” Brent explained. “How have you gotten involved beyond attending church services?” I asked. “I’ve been delivering flowers at Stephen’s suggestion, and the Altar Guild is finding a spot for me on one of the teams. I have emailed them back and forth, and they have been

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helpful. I’ve also gone to talk with Stephen with the boys. He has been phenomenal. He arranged for one of our sons to be baptized last Sunday, All Saints’ Sunday, even though it was very important for our son to attend the Boy Scout Saturday event, so he was unable to attend the church orientation on Saturday. Stephen worked it out for me to attend, and baptism went just fine,” Cecelia said. “Don’t you just love All Saints’ Sunday?” I asked, “And did your other son dress up as a saint, walk in and sit up front for the baptisms of the other children and his brother? I was so very sorry that I had to be away in Indianapolis last Sunday and missed our service here and the baptisms; but I went to Christ Episcopal Cathedral, and it was great also.” I was curious that Cecelia had not talked about the Newcomers’ Welcome Table on the first Sunday that she was here, so I asked, “Did you go to the Newcomers’ Table on your first visit to the church?” She replied, “No, it took me a couple of weeks to find it; actually, I went on my third Sunday here, and that was fine. Everyone was very welcoming.” “How about bread? Did someone give you a loaf of freshly baked bread?” “They did,” she replied, “And I was glad to receive it.” (I paused here in my writing up of this interview to wonder if maybe Cecelia was so busy getting her boys in and to Church School that she did not make it to the Newcomers’ Table. At any rate, it turned out fine in this case, but I still suspect that we miss a few newcomers now and then from the church to the parish hall and the Newcomers’ Table.) “Has a Shepherd called you?” I asked.

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“No, but it’s okay,” she told me. “I’ve been busy figuring out my new life.” I suggested that it sounded like Stephen had been her Shepherd; he is, in fact, our lead Shepherd; this is his flock. Brent chimed in, “Cecelia is very good at figuring things out. She is independent about things like that.” They indicated that they have been allowed and encouraged to participate at their own comfort levels, and they like it. “The Blessing of the Animals was a new thing for us,” Brent said. “It was a first for the boys, too. They brought their hermit crabs, and they were blessed inside their ‘houses.’” Both Cecelia and Brent said they enjoyed the Newcomers’ Receptions, met lots of new and interesting people and are getting information about “Inquirers Class” with Stephen. I thanked them, told them how happy I was to get to know them better and asked if I could go with them to “pick up” the boys from their Church School class so that I could meet them. I did meet them, shook their hands and told them that I was glad they were coming to the Chapel of the Cross. I won’t soon forget these two young and handsome boys, dressed in their sport coats and happy ties. iii.

Erin and Bill, young couple, moved from Dallas, Texas 18 December 2011 Interview

Erin and Bill, a young couple with two children, moved from Dallas, Texas, to Chapel Hill last summer and immediately began looking at churches. They explored two in Chapel Hill and one in Hillsborough before deciding on the Chapel of the Cross. “Why,” I asked, “did you choose this church? I’m so glad you did.”

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“We liked the Newcomers’ Welcome Table and their orientation to the church. We sat in the parlor, and it just happened that this was the day the rector was giving a special welcome to Newcomers. We had a good overview about the structure of the church. We have two boys, and we liked what we heard about Church School and the nursery. We met some other couples with children, and this sort of tied us to this church—seeing others with kids.” “We do have a wonderful and growing number of young couples and children,” I said. “I was up in the nursery this morning, and I saw four babies, each in the arms of our nursery staff. It was a good environment.” “Yes, our youngest likes it very much.” I added that my grandson, William, five years old, loved the nursery and stopped by to visit the staff often, even today. “What might you like to change about Hospitality here?” I asked. Erin replied, “There seems to be a gap in things for younger parents. We’ve been here for only four months, so this might change.” I asked for an example. “Well, we did receive a warm welcome at the Welcome Table in the parish hall, but when we arrived at church and asked where we could find the nursery, the person greeting us said, ‘We’re not sure, just go that way, and I’m sure you will figure it out.’ That was confusing to us, but we met another couple, and they helped us.” “I’m so sorry about that,” I replied. “You know the nursery is in a round-about direction, and sometimes hard to find; even today, my husband asked if the Godly Playroom were upstairs or down, and if he should use the elevator.” I’m reminded that we now have maps that we can

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pass along to our greeters. Just a couple of days ago, Boykin told me that they had recently made a new map of our building focusing on the places where children usually gather. “Have you found out about Cross Ties?” I ask. “Yes, we have. David asked me to be on the organizing committee,” Erin responded. “The participants are mainly graduate students without children. This is a newer group, and we’re just getting organized.” I told them that in an interview earlier in the week I had heard about a new foyer group that met for dinner and brought their young children. Bill remarked, “This is a great idea we would like since we are new and really don’t have babysitters. Also, this would provide some playmates for Carter and Owen.” “Emily and David have been great. We knew about them before we arrived from Texas. I had been a graduate student at UNC. They have been very welcoming and helpful in connecting us to things in church,” Erin said. “David asked me to be on the Organizing Committee for Cross Ties.” Even so, Erin and Bill indicated that they had not found any young couples to “reach out” to. Bill suggested that it might be due to the fact that they arrived in the summer and have been here only a short time. They explained that they sit in the last three rows in church with their children. “It’s very different from our former church,” Bill said. “But, we realize that it was a much smaller church. There is not a lot of interaction with the two thirds of the church up front.” I asked if either of them would like to serve on a committee. Erin responded that it seemed somewhat arduous. She had read that, to be on a committee, you had to fill out a form and make a three-year commitment.

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I reassured her that it should not be an intimidating process and that we would be happy to invite her to join the committee of her preference. Erin agreed and said that, when fully settled, she would like to be on a committee. (She is now on the organizing committee for Cross Ties, and she does some communication for the group.) They both recalled a party at David and Emily’s house and indicated looking forward to more opportunities for friendship-based spirituality every month. Bill suggested that offering something after church, e.g., a Young Couple’s Forum would be helpful. He remembered sessions for parents of teenagers being offered and said he would welcome this kind of thing for parents of younger children. So far they had not been able to find the forums to connect to the younger couples. “Do newcomers all receive a Shepherd?” Erin asked. “Yes, they do if they desire one,” I replied. “Do you have a Shepherd?” “No, but we would like one,” Erin said. Bill suggested that perhaps because they first visited in the summer, they “slipped through the cracks.” “That should not have happened,” I said. “But it just shows that we don’t have a perfect system. I’ll be in touch with the Coordinator of the Shepherds, and she will find one for you.” Erin mentioned that she had heard about the Shepherds, and that they sounded helpful. She thought a Shepherd might help to connect them to various things. I told Erin and Bill that connecting Newcomers to various activities was our goal and that we were attempting to be very intentional about it, including adoption of a new data base to better follow and walk beside our Newcomers, as they desired, for up to two years. They liked this idea. “Did you get bread at the Newcomers’ Table?” I asked.

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“No,” they replied. “But we know about the bread, and again, maybe it was because it was during the summer that we arrived.” I explained that, again, I was sorry; we did have some changes and a new organization format for the Bread Committee, no excuses though. The new Bread Committee had met several times to try new recipes; Stephen and I had both attended a tasting event at the home of Sandy, the Bread Ministry Coordinator. The new committee had also started giving bread to Newcomers at the Welcome Table on Sundays. We liked the idea of delivering it to the home during the first week following a newcomer’s visit, but we had been finding no one at home these days. I made a mental note to have bread delivered to Erin and Bill’s home or to give them a loaf at church. I asked them to give me their “elevator speech” if someone was moving to Chapel Hill and looking for an Episcopal Church. “The Chapel of the Cross is a large church with different opportunities to get into an organized group. There is a wonderful Children’s Ministry. They take good care of children. The Children’s Choir and Adult Choir are exceptional. There have been several services that we are in awe of. My mom is here today (third Sunday in Advent with Lessons and Carols), and she has enjoyed it.” I told them that Stephen and I had talked about having a “Bring a Friend Day” at church. Erin and Bill thought this would be a good idea. “Maybe it will be a specific time to encourage everyone to reach out to people whom they don’t know,” they suggested. We concluded with Erin and Bill deciding that they would like to be greeters. I told them that Frank Holt is the coordinator for the greeters and that they should call and tell him that they would like to be greeters and that I would also tell him. (I did so and suggested to Frank that it

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might be time for a little “refresher course” with greeters, in order to bring them up to date with the new research and ideas.)

iv.

Frank, Coordinator of the Greeters 29 January 2012 Interview

On the Sunday morning that I interviewed Frank, I found him at the Newcomers’ Table talking to Erin and Bill, a couple that I had previously interviewed, and who I had recommended he invite to be greeters. A few minutes later, Frank joined me in the Rector’s Conference Room to talk about the greeters. Frank told me that he had come to the Chapel of the Cross in 1997 after getting a job at UNC. He found “the operation very impressive” and knew that he wanted to get involved. When he contacted church personnel, he was asked if he might like to coordinate the greeters. According to Frank, he thought, “Yes, I can do this. I can talk to people about greeting.” “Lou taught me about the calendar,” Frank continued. “It has changed since then. The coordinators of certain programs let us know important dates for people to get involved, and then we take the dates and fit them into the calendar. The scheduled dates are sent to the office and put into the liturgical calendar. I like the new approach; I have a template, and it works great.” “Talk to me about hospitality,” I said. “The good thing about hospitality here,” he said, “is getting the right people to do the job. These people must like to greet the stranger. You take the attitude of learning from them. Recruit people who like to do this and then the rest falls into place. When I get into a shortage, you meet people, like Erin and Bill. You know when they are a natural fit, and they are. They will relate to a wide audience, and they will be taking on a leadership role.”

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I responded, “I’m very glad to get these newcomers involved in something that they will enjoy.” Frank continued, “I think that the work our greeters do is the most vital thing we do. We just can’t risk having someone who does not relate to the newcomer. In the parish hall at the Newcomers’ Table we want the greeters to be very engaged.” I told him that I’ve talked with newcomers who have said just that: They want greeters to engage them in conversation and then introduce them to someone else. It would be good if other parishioners would do this too, i.e., introduce a newcomer to someone else. “The service will be a success; we know that. I think that everyone who sits in a pew here will like it,” Frank says. “That is really holy hospitality,” I said. “Did you see the bread wrapped in pretty cloth today at the Newcomers’ Table?” “Yes,” he said. “It is a very nice gesture. We give them something to take away.” “What challenges do you see for us, Frank?” I asked. “Well,” he said. “when we get the new building, we may need a monitor with a schedule and the many activities that we have on it. People are accustomed to this, an HD clear image. To organize what is going on electronically is a good way to present the information. It should look good with a type style that is informative but not persuasive. It should be progressive.” “Frank,” I said, “what are we going to do without you when you move to Warrenton? We will surely miss you. If you should run into someone who is moving to Chapel Hill and looking for a church, what would you say to them?” Frank said, “I would tell them to go to the Chapel of the Cross because of the music, the diversity and the priests. We have multi-activities; for example, we have Foyer Dinner groups to

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help you get to know people in an intimate setting. Get a copy of our parish directory and see all of the many activities. This is a dynamic parish. It’s the place to be. If you utilize it, you can’t top it. Go to coffee hour and speak with the people at the Newcomers’ Table. They will give you a good orientation to the church.” Before leaving, Frank and I talked about meeting with the greeters next Sunday. We needed to bring them up to date on the new hospitality table and the new newcomers’ banner. Frank planned to email each greeter to invite them to next Sunday’s meeting. I promised to invite Stephen to come.

v.

Harriet, Immediate Past Junior Warden, Former Stephen Minister 5 February 2012 Interview

When Harriet helped with a recent funeral reception, I realized that she had an interesting initial experience coming to the Chapel of the Cross and that she had traveled through several passages before embedding her roots here. I asked if she would meet me after church the following Sunday to talk about hospitality, and she happily agreed. I began our interview by asking her to talk about her initial experience coming to Chapel of the Cross and how she had finally arrived to stay She explained that she had initially come in 1995, at a time of change in her life. She had decided to return to school to complete a degree at UNC. Prior to this, she had attended a Baptist church in Virginia for two years. She was beginning anew and had attended an All Saints’ convent for a week. “It was there,” she said, “that a priest, when learning that I was moving to Chapel Hill, advised me to go to the Chapel of the Cross and that I would find a home there. I did try to come

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here,” she said. “Two or three times. I don’t remember anyone speaking to me. So, I tried another Episcopal Church. It was an entirely different experience there.” “How was it different?” I asked. “Well,” she replied, “they gave me a visitor’s name badge. These badges were on a kiosk out front with names of parishioners on them and with a space for a visitor to fill her name in. There was a welcome table outside, as well, where people saw you as a visitor and welcomed you. When I went up for Communion, the priest said my name, having seen it on my name badge. I stayed at that church until the rector left, for five years. After church at the reception many people, seeing my newcomer badge, came up and spoke to me. It was a big difference in welcome.” “What caused you to come back,” I asked. Harriet continued, “While I was at Hospice and a social worker, I worked with Dick’s family; his wife subsequently died. I had been divorced for some time. After a period of time, Dick and I married. I started going to an Episcopal church in Durham. There was a wonderful group of people there.” We paused to share stories of people whom we both know from the church in Durham. “Okay, so how did you finally make it back here?” I asked. “Dick and I liked it here in Chapel Hill with my son and his son and daughter. His daughter really wanted to come to the Chapel of the Cross, and over time we decided to do so. Dick still supports the Stephen Ministry Program at our church in Durham, and we return for a visit sometimes.” I asked Harriet, “So, you are going to Boston next week; and if someone asks you about an Episcopal church in Chapel Hill, what will you tell them?”

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Harriet said, “I would begin by telling them to go to the Chapel of the Cross. There is great hospitality there. It’s very strong and inclusive. It starts with the Guild of the Christ Child and ends with a beautiful funeral reception. Parishioners make a concentrated effort to be there for each other. Newcomer activities and outreach have dramatically improved in the past years. You will be welcome and invited to participate in many good things.” “Thank you, Harriet,” I said. “I must go now and get ready for our next service.” “One more thing,” Harriet offered. “I would like to see the greeters and ushers use nametags so that people will know who to ask questions. Vestry members should also go to the receptions and wear their nametags. Clergy should also be there, not all of them, but some representation. I’m not being critical, because as a vestry member I was not always there either.” “Thanks so much again, Harriet,” I said. “Have a wonderful time in Boston. Watch out for the snow and enjoy it.”

vi.

Heather, came originally to the Chapel of the Cross for the Preschool Program 10 December 2011 Interview

I was due to interview someone who had been unable to attend church that particular Sunday, when I saw Heather, sitting alone on the sofa in the Church Parlor. I knew she had led a previous ABC Sale and was also active in Children’s Ministry. Sitting down beside her, I asked if I could interview her for some research that I was doing in the church focusing primarily on hospitality. She smiled a warm smiled and said, “Yes, of course.” I asked her to tell me about how she had come to the Chapel of the Cross.

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She said, “I moved to Chapel Hill in 2000 pregnant with Harrison. We were members of a Catholic Church here, and Harrison was baptized there. We did not attend regularly. It may have been that we were new to the town, but we did not feel any outreach as new members or as new parents. A friend told me about the preschool (Monday through Friday) at Chapel of the Cross. We applied, and Harrison, who’s now eleven, came at two years of age. We began coming to church here.” “So, our first welcome to the church was through the preschool,” she continued. “I met many families in preschool and many new friends who came to this church—Christina, Jill, and Kathryn. Nine years later we are still good friends, as are our children. They go to EYC together. They are in choir and acolytes.” “What was the welcome in the church like?” I inquired. “The welcome here was great,” she said. “I filled out the card at the Newcomers’ Table; a fresh loaf of bread was delivered to my home the next week, and I got a phone call from Gretchen saying it might be good to teach the two-year-old class. I told her that I was not a member of this church, and she said, ‘No problem, you are going to sit and hold babies.’ A couple of years later I went to Adult Inquirers’ Class and became a member of this church.” “I know that you have been very involved in your faith journey in this parish,” I said. “Talk a little about this.” “Church for me,” she started, “revolves around the kids. I joined the Children and Family Ministry Committee, which, among other things, has responsibility for Church School each week, runs Vacation Church School in the summer, organizes the children’s Christmas Pageant, the Jesse Tree ornaments and Advent wreaths, intergenerational activities and caroling to the homebound, which I ran for years.”

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“Thanks for all that you do with and for our children,” I said. “There are some other highlights,” she said. “I went to the Women’s Retreat at Trinity Center; in fact, I’ve gone several times. We do have a theme each time and engage in a number of spiritual activities in addition to hanging out and walking on the beach. This is wonderful hospitality between women. Another important hospitality group in which I am involved is the Guild of the Christ Child.” “Oh, yes, that is important.” I said. “Tell me more about what you do.” “Well,” she replied, “we reach out to new parents. Jennifer is in charge. When someone is going to have a baby, one of us gets assigned to make contact to let the parents know about our resources at the church. The important one is the prayer service, Thanksgiving for the birth of a child; on the way home from the hospital, the baby is brought to the church chapel for this blessing and prayer service. We also take a meal, along with a gift bag, to the home. The gift is, for example, a small quilt, a wooden cross (to hang on the baby’s bassinette), or a cap.” “I’m sure parents are most appreciative of this reaching out with love and affection for the birth of their new baby. This is truly hospitality at its best,” I said. “I’ve heard and read that the nursery in a church is one of the most important areas. How about our nursery? Is it one where you would happily bring your baby?” “I think our nursery is okay; it’s small, but clean and warm,” she says. “But, I have not worked specifically in the nursery. I’ve worked with the two-year-olds in church school, as well as four-year-olds. I’ve also chaired the ABC Sale with Mindy. Mindy was the friend who introduced me to this church. Stephen asked us if we would run the ABC Sale together. I’ve also worked in the Accessories Room, chaired the whole sale, worked in the Treasury Room and now I chair the Furniture Room. Hospitality in the ABC Sale is huge, not only for our church but for

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the broader community. We get rid of everything. I often sell at low cost to people who need it. We give all the proceeds back to the community. And 99% of those who receive the support are extra deserving.” “What do you think our hospitality challenges are?” I asked. “We have a growing number of young families that are a vital part of our church.” She answered, “Sometimes younger families may get overlooked with so many good programs in the church. But, you are right; we do have many young families who are vocal and leaders. They will stand up for our needs.” Heather’s daughter, Rachel, appeared. I greeted Rachel and thanked her mom for the good interview. I then turned to Rachel. “Rachel, your mom has told me about your coming to this church. Have you liked being here, and are you involved in certain things?” Rachel replied, “I’ve been coming here since preschool, and so I feel comfortable and at home here. We are here each week for choir practice and for a potluck dinner. I play on the playground; I’ve been doing this since childhood. I like being with David in EYC on Sundays. I’m also a member of the Youth Council and serve as the middle school representative. We meet once a month and talk about things like our mission trips. I’m old enough to give my opinions on what we should be doing.” She paused, and I said to her, “You’ve been coming here a long time and are very involved. What is your opinion about a person your age who comes to church for the first time? Would your group welcome the person and be happy to have a new person around?” She smiled and said, “Yes, everyone can give their opinions on things; we all sit together; we are an inclusive group.”

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I thanked mother and daughter for their time before lunch on this pretty, although cold, Sunday, and am happy to have also talked with Rachel.

vii.

Jessica, a UNC student who lives in our Church 28 January 2012 Interview

On Sunday, I saw Jessica, a senior at UNC and a Lay Eucharistic Minister and leader in ECM, sitting at the “reception desk,” as she often does. I asked her if we could talk soon about hospitality in the church. “Yes,” she agreed. “I could do this on Tuesday just before the ECM Group meets.” “Great,” I said. “I’ll meet you at 4:30 in the Rector’s Conference Room.” And so we met. I told Jessica that I knew her because of her many activities and responsibilities in the church but that I did not know about how she had come to the church. I asked her to talk a little bit about it. Jessica began, saying that, as a freshman at UNC, she had come at the insistence of her friend, Libby. “She told me,” Jessica said, “that I just had to come here.” At the time, Libby worked for the Bishop and had been a member of our church. Jessica attended Nativity, a small church in Raleigh, and when she came to the Chapel of the Cross, as she describes it, “I felt terrified by the size—I felt very small. No one approached me. So, the next Sunday I started walking to Holy Family (another church in Chapel Hill); I crossed six lanes of traffic. Everyone noticed me, instantly. Many offered to drive me. They said, ‘Come to dinner on Wednesday.’ It was great. There was a big thing missing, though. No ECM, and I missed a youth presence.”

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Jessica met a group of students at “Fall Fest,” a downtown street festival. They invited her to come to ECM and join them. “They became my very best friends,” she said. “Hanna, Hart, Mary, Mary, and Sophia; they still are. Of course, I have friends from other places—Methodists, Baptists.” “Do they come here for ECM?” I asked. “Yes, they do, and they come also for a service sometimes.” I told Jessica that I understood that ECM is a very welcoming, inclusive group and that having “best friends” does not deter the welcoming spirit towards everyone. She replied, “Yes, that’s true; it’s the age. Now, we know who we are. It’s very different at a younger age, where you are not quite sure of yourself and fear that you may lose a friend to someone else if you let a new person in. It’s a developing cycle—we’re always seeking new friends and inviting others to join our groups and working connections.” “Tell me more about ECM and how this has been a place of hospitality for you,” I said. “ECM has changed who I am and has made me who I am,” Jessica responded. “There is a wonderful sense of community, many varied programs. We can sit together at table and also be involved with others in the church. I loved being at the Diocesan Convention. So much comes to us, and I want the parish to know how much it means to us.” When I asked Jessica what she liked most about being here, she said, “I live here in the church; I sleep on a pull-out sofa in the Women’s Choir Room. This is a new thing this year— usually there are two male students who live in the church. I’m the only woman. I hear the organ playing in the background. I study in the room, on campus, in the ECM Center, the church library and in the basement.” “Where in the basement?” I asked.

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“In Room 3, there is something cozy about that room. I lock up, open doors, put out tables and chairs; I acolyte, serve as a LEM, and love doing all of this.” I ask Jessica if she had noticed a different table for newcomers this past Sunday. I explained to her that it was a suggestion from one of the parishioners I had interviewed. He had mentioned that if we wanted to be serious about the Newcomers’ Table, we should get a different one and do away with the rather shabby card table. It was good advice. We had asked Stephen if we could use the lovely mahogany table in the Rector’s Conference Room and he had agreed. We also talked about Raleigh, her school in Raleigh, and my connections there. We shared some stories about Longview and Enloe Schools. Then I asked Jessica to think more about hospitality. She responded, “Hospitality is so important. It’s almost impossible to reach out to every newcomer. Deacon Maggie and I have talked about getting nametags. Jeffrey is cooking up some good things for after church: scones, cookies and small cakes with frosting. I would recommend that folks within certain age groups reach out to each other to try to make connections.” I reminded Jessica about our Shepherds, and we talked about their role. Jessica thought that they would be good for ECM members as well, because many come to ECM but not to church. I told her that I would speak to Tammy, as Chaplain to ECM, about this, and Jessica committed to do so as well. “We start out with about 50 students in the fall, but membership does dwindle down after Fall Fest. We give out coupons for food at this time, and many come for our good food. But there are so many things available on our campus; the choices are great. I wish they could get involved in our worship services.”

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“Jessica,” I said, “suppose you go to Santa Barbara for graduate school, and someone asks you to recommend a church in Chapel Hill. Give me your ‘elevator speech.’” “I would talk about our worship services. They are vibrant; so is the entire community. No matter what your age may be, you would like the organ and the music. Our worship services are usually Rite II, but we have Rite I on occasion. At 5:15 in the afternoon we have worship services in the Chapel followed by refreshments in the courtyard. Many love the Compline service at 9:30; it’s about 30 minutes with candles and songs. I have a Baptist friend who comes every Sunday night; he says that it is incredible—the chanting, the candles, the incense make for a great setting for worship and to just let yourself be.” I thanked Jessica and asked her if there were anything else she wanted to share with me. She responded, “I went to Kanuga, the Episcopal Conference Center in Western North Carolina, for a summer program and loved it. I met many people. Later the Kanuga Board sponsored me on a trip to the Holy Land in the summer of 2010. They helped me raise money to go; and I wrote a book about my experience, and it was published. It is sold at Kanuga.” The title of Jessica’s book is, “Into the Holy Land: A Pilgrim’s Perspective.” “This is wonderful, Jessica,” I said. “You have given much to the church, and the church in return has blessed you as well. I look forward to getting a copy of your book the next time I’m at Kanuga. Good luck, and let me know when you hear about graduate school.”

viii.

Joseph, Member of the Vestry and Personnel Committee 11 December 2011 Interview

As I was completing an interview in the Rector’s Conference Room, Joe walked in to attend an upcoming Personnel Committee Meeting. I welcomed him and told him that I would

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like to interview him about hospitality in the church. He replied that he would be happy for me to interview him but that he knew nothing about hospitality. I replied, “How can that be? You serve with me often at the altar as a Lay Eucharist minister. You’re a member of the vestry and Personnel Committee of the church, and yet you don’t know about hospitality?” “When I came to the church 55 years ago, hospitality was a quick and easy process. The first day here, living in Pettigrew Dorm, I came to this church, knocked on the rector’s door and asked if he needed an organist. The rector said, ‘Yes. This Sunday.’ It was 1956, and the church was starting a family service. The choir director and organist were UNC students. So, I became the organist immediately for two years, and then I took over both the 9 and 11 a.m. services through law school. Then I left and went to Yale.” “As organist,” he continued, “I was supervised by two people, Lonnie London and Jimmy Taylor. They knew everyone, and we started a junior choir. I got to know Phyllis Barrett and Mary Arthur Stoudemire. And, once you knew these people, for sure, you knew others. They introduced me to everyone; I met so many people through them. They invited me to their houses for meals and fellowship. There were no more than 400 total communicants at that time. The children’s sermon was always at the 9 a.m. service. We had a different service every week. During the first week we had Morning Prayer; the second week we did the First Office of Instruction (Teaching the Catechism); the third week we did the Second Office of Instruction; the fourth week we had Holy Communion; and the fifth week we had Litany and Ante-Communion. We stopped this with the new prayer book. The lowest attendance was on Communion Service.” “Why?” I asked.

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“Because,” he replied, “the rector allowed no one at the altar except himself. He gave the wine and bread, and no one left the altar until the entire group was served. We left church around 1:30.” “Thank goodness that has changed!” We both agreed. Now we have five services each Sunday with the Eucharist at each of them other than Compline at 9:30 p.m. “It was a smaller place then,” Joe continued. “Now we have these five services, and it splits the church so that we don’t know each other. If we have a problem with hospitality, that may be the reason. Did you know, Barbara, that 68% of Episcopal churches in America have less than 50 people in attendance on Sunday morning?” “Yes,” I said. “And 80% have less than 100 people on Sunday. And 20% of our Episcopal churches contain 80% of our members.” We concluded our talk since the Rector’s Conference Room was beginning to fill with members of the Personnel Committee. Former UNC Chancellor Moeser was there, and we all greeted him warmly. I left, wishing all of them a good meeting and thanking Joe for the discussion.

ix.

Lee and Robert, first to receive a Blessing of a Gay Union in our Church 10 December 2011 Interview

Lee and Robert graciously met with me one Sunday morning following the 11:15 service and reception in the parlor and the welcoming of newcomers. Lee had just sung in the choir, and Robert had coordinated the work of the acolytes. I particularly wanted to interview them because they are such a great couple and were the first gay couple to receive the Blessing of a Gay Union in the Chapel of the Cross.

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We began with my asking them to tell the story of their coming to Chapel of the Cross and of their welcome at the church and journey in faith in our parish. Robert began, noting that he was a so-called Army brat, traveling all over the world and growing up in Protestant Army Chapels. When he was eight years old, his father died; and he moved to Winston-Salem and was baptized in a Presbyterian church. After studying organ in high school, he became a part-time church organist. He went to college at Duke University, where his best friends were Episcopal and Catholic; so he went often to the Newman Center and the Chapel of the Cross. It was in 1974 during his sophomore year that he remembers first visiting the Chapel of the Cross during the first Easter Vigil held at the church. He remembers the beautiful advertisements about the Great Vigil of Easter and his desire to be a part of it. He liked the Episcopal Church; and when he went home for Christmas, he attended the Christ’s Mass at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. He also came to the Holy Week services and was drawn to the drama of Holy Week, which he said, “changed his life.” While studying for his Ph.D. at Duke, he came often for Evening Prayer, and it was here, at his first Evening Prayer that he met parishioner, Phil Reese, who welcomed him. During this time, Robert often attended the church anonymously (by choice). He was in the midst of the “coming out process” but not everyone knew he was gay. Robert remembered, “Peter Lee was at the door welcoming me; people were friendly but not pushy, and I loved the liturgy.” I replied, “The liturgy was one of the main things that welcomed you and of course the Eucharist, it seems.” “Yes, it did and still does,” he said. “I very much like the liberal Catholic tradition and the progressive social conscious.” He was also a regular attendee at Campus Ministry where weekly on Wednesday evenings at 10 p.m. a Eucharist was celebrated.

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“It was a packed house each time,” he said. I said, “The Student Ministry is a great form of hospitality here, isn’t it?” Robert replied, “Yes, it is, and the form it takes really relates to who is chaplain at the time. Today, students seem to enjoy the Compline Service at 9:30 p.m. on Sundays.” Lee joined in, noting that he grew up “rooted in place” in Philadelphia in a life of faith and active participation. Faith was at the center of everything; this was a time when children were not “over-programmed.” Said Lee, “My parents never had to strong arm me into going to church; their own excitement and pleasure was so palpable.” Lee’s parents were very involved in leadership positions in the Presbyterian Church, ironically, largely in hospitality and outreach. Lee felt a call to ministry in his teens. He attended Penn State and Temple Universities and later went to Princeton Seminary. During his last year in Divinity School, he came to grips with his sexuality and “slammed the brakes on ordination and went instead to New York to work for a publishing company.” In New York, Lee remembered his grandfather’s roots in the Episcopal Church and divided his time between three churches: Fifth Avenue Presbyterian, Riverside, and St. Thomas Episcopal. He later moved to Durham for a new job and became involved in Duke Chapel, singing in the choir. He met the Quinns through various music department events at Duke. Lee recounted his fond memories of his time after first moving to Chapel Hill, when he lived on North Street. He used to love walking around the corner to the Chapel of the Cross, where his landlady, Margarita, and the choir director, Van Quinn, helped with the welcoming process. Lee said, “Before I left the pew on my first Sunday at the Chapel of the Cross, I knew that I loved the liturgy here. Several welcomed me on this first Sunday; one person turned

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around and told me I had a wonderful voice and should sing in the choir; another couple came up and welcomed me; and then I met Peter Lee who was at the door, and who said, ‘I’ll be glad to see you again,’ noting that his family lived right across the street from where I lived. That afternoon the phone rang, and Van Quinn was calling to welcome me. He said, ‘I expect to see you at choir practice.’” Lee said that he soon visited Peter to talk about his spiritual life. Peter invited him to edit Crossroads, which he did for several years. “Stephen arrived as Associate Priest,” Lee said, “and Peter suggested that we should do more in Adult Education. He asked me to work with Stephen to revitalize Adult Education. My welcome became involvement.” I asked Robert and Lee to talk with me about their life together. In July of 1983, “friends in common,” one a fellow graduate student and the other a member of the Chapel of the Cross choir, introduced them. For a time they remained apart; they then decided it was time to be together. In 1985, they set up household together and felt very established. Robert had completed his Ph.D. and was offered a job teaching out of state; he was away for a year. At this point in the story, Robert recalled something about the church that was very important to them. Just before he had left, Anna Louise, an Associate Priest at the church at the time, called to invite them out to the Hotel Europa for drinks. It was the first time they had been invited out as a couple; it was especially significant that a member of the clergy had asked them. It was a symbol of the fact that, throughout the parish, they were explicitly known as a gay couple. Lee was invited to work with EYC and Robert with acolytes. They became surrogate parents to many of the young children in the parish and are godparents to one of their former student’s son.

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There was talk in the parish in the early 2000s about the Blessing of Gay Unions. “Stephen deserves due credit,” they told me, “because he was beginning to feel that the Spirit was speaking and it was time to do this; we had been speaking about it for some time and now it seemed time to do it. We were blessed at the altar here, and we wear our rings.” “What joy,” I replied, and reminded them of Stephen’s remark to me during their reception in our parish hall: “Listen to this. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we heard and saw this much hope, joy and love in the parish hall every Sunday?” I asked, “Can we talk a little now about how you perceive hospitality, broadly speaking, in our church today, and what you perceive as our challenges?” Lee responded, “I think it is sometimes shaky. There are so many services, and they are all great, but it divides the people; and it’s harder to be friendly with someone you don’t know. If you want to show up for church and simply be anonymous, you can do this. On the surface, we do so much and so well, people may think there may not be a place for them.” “Our strength is in our Eucharistic faith,” Robert said. “We are a University church. We must concentrate on our University community. We may sometimes neglect our outreach to them.” They continued on, telling me, “We are great, the best at organizing and running things, but we could improve on all of it. I think we should look way beyond our parish campus and move into the world, reaching out into the larger world. We could improve on coming out of ourselves and looking at the people who could come here. It’s easy to get caught up in our own conscious. What about other people who enter these walls for the first time and what they need? When we are not looking at the altar, we should be looking at the people. It’s not so much about launching programs but about all having an open attitude to embrace all who come. It’s really

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living it. When our clergy participate, and we frequently see one of them, they often have a different sense of energy. People tend to stay around longer when they see clergy who are out up front. I’m not so in favor, for example, of vestry wearing nametags, lay or ordained. Let’s concentrate on not just talking about it, but doing it. And, our current facilities do not encourage welcome. The Welcome Table in the parish hall is an old broken card table. The parish hall looks cold. Perhaps we could set up a few small, round tables with coverings?” We talked about how this will change with our new building. We also explored a few new possibilities. Finally, I told them, “You have been faithful servant leaders for a long time in this church. If you were in New York today and someone told you they were moving to Chapel Hill and wanted to hear about the Chapel of the Cross, what would your ‘elevator speech’ be?” They answered, “We work hard at the Chapel of the Cross to keep God at the center, and our worship reflects that. We have full and broad programmatic offerings. Because we are large with five services every Sunday, it might be important to get a couple of mentors and guides. Ask one of the clergy to fix you up as you leave the doors of the church and go into the parish hall. Who we are in this location, adjacent to the University of North Carolina, distinguishes us from others. If the Chapel of the Cross seems not to fit, we have two additional Episcopal Churches in Chapel Hill, Church of the Holy Family and Church of the Advocate.” I thanked them for their time and the great interview.

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x.

Leslie and John, came poised to like the Chapel of the Cross Interview, 1st Sunday in Advent, 2011

Leslie and John have been coming to the Chapel of the Cross for a year, since the first Sunday of Advent 2010. Leslie grew up Presbyterian and John Russian Orthodox. They formerly lived in Sanford, North Carolina (approximately 45 miles southeast of Chapel Hill), and moved to Chapel Hill in May 2010. They visited a number of churches in Chapel Hill, attended one that reminded them of “a theater in the round,” and another on Thanksgiving weekend where no one spoke to them. Leslie’s parents had attended with them, and they, too, felt no welcome. “Maybe it was because it was Thanksgiving Day,” Leslie said, “and everyone was ‘into family.’” So on the following Sunday they attended service at the Chapel of the Cross. “We came to the Chapel of the Cross poised to like it,” Leslie continued. “We saw Barbara, a real estate agent we had met while searching for a home in Chapel Hill. We felt an immediate ‘welcome’ from Barbara and from another greeter at the service.” “We pressed the flesh,” added John, “and we were off to a great start.” “What was your next remembrance of welcome?” I asked. “Oh, it was the moment when Stephen welcomed us at the time of the announcement and invited us to come to the Newcomers’ Table in the parish hall; he also invited us to have coffee,” John said. Leslie continued, “That welcome was just right for us; we had gone to another church where on the very first Sunday that we were there, the minister asked all visitors to stand and introduce themselves; I understand that newcomers in this particular church introduced themselves three Sundays in a row; that was not the way for me; however, I think some newcomers may have liked it.”

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When Leslie and John approached our Newcomers’ Table, they again saw Barbara who was “on duty,” and she again told them how happy she was to see them. Barbara had immediately introduced Leslie and John to Stephen. John emphasized the importance of meeting the rector on their first day. “We didn’t know the rector; in fact, we were not sure what a ‘rector’ was; however, because we know Stephen as the minister who welcomed us in church, we knew that he was a minister and that was important. We met a bunch of people that day. The timing was great, and it was the beginning of Advent; we learned about Feast Day, Lent and Ash Wednesday.” “We were looking for a church,” Leslie said, “and so we were open to a new one. We planned to go for four Sundays in a row. So we went every Sunday during Advent and for Christmas. We signed up for the Adult Inquirers Class with Stephen. Gretchen invited us to an Adult Faith Group; we went to the adult forums on Sunday; we learned about the missions of the church, the Guild of the Christ Child, Woodcutters and many things that are available at this church.” Leslie proudly told me that she is now on the Education Committee and John beamed that, “We have had all of our questions answered. We have been learning about the Book of Common Prayer; we do a daily prayer, the daily office and a morning prayer; we can do these things at home. I like this orderly way, and the prayers are great.” “We are into the liturgical calendar, and we follow it,” said Leslie. “Whatever was in the bulletin, we tried to go to it. We went to the sessions on the Lord’s Prayer at the Kopps’ house; I went to the Women’s Social Group, and we are looking forward to the new church directory so that we can recognize the names of people whose faces we know.”

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“You came to the reception for newcomers at Stephen and Betsy’s home, didn’t you?” I asked. “Oh, yes, we did, and we enjoyed it very much; I learned about Arnold Palmer Tea—you mix lemonade with tea, and it’s very good,” John said. Leslie went on, “We always enjoy get-togethers at the church; there are many families we know; some are from our Confirmation Class; there could be more outreach, but it’s not a problem for us because we are always together. We don’t really have a peer group, but this is not a cold church.” “How do you like our building, our physical spaces?” I asked. “Do we have good signage? Can you navigate this place easily?” John immediately responded, with passion. “I like this church building; I don’t want to ruin the character of this building; I like the old beams, the fireplace, the parlor with the fireplace, although I’ve never seen the fireplace working; I don’t want the new construction to take away the character of the church and the chapel.” I replied, “Many feel very passionate about the beautiful gothic structure of our church and our chapel; I don’t believe we have any plans to change any of that with the new construction.” I then asked them to talk a little about the worship at the church. Leslie replied, “We love the worship; we love the liturgy; it is fully engaging and just right for us. I grew up in church through high school, and then I stopped. So, I admit I was poised to be open and wanted it to work for me. For a while we alternated between the 9:00 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. services, but now go mainly to the 9:00 service.” John admitted, “Sometimes passing the peace is a bit awkward; I wonder how it might work if Stephen said something like, ‘Look around, welcome at least five people, cross over the

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aisle if you like.’ And sometimes I come in and am not in a social mood, and I’m just here to worship God. If Stephen says it is a part of worship, then you respond.” I asked, “How do you feel about the sermons in our church? I’ve been reading that good sermons are biblical, joyful and filled with a sense of God’s presence and mystery.” “Yes,” replied Leslie. “They are filled with mystery; I am moved by the sermons. There is a cerebral element that shifts to a heart element. They make me use my mind and work through the logic of things that don’t always make sense. Our clergy have many strengths and different styles. They are a good symphony. They have a positive influence on our church community; they enrich our spiritual life, and they support an engagement of service.” “Quoting Ken Stein,” said John, “in our church, there is a sense that there are the faithful and pious. They are not fundamentalists; they believe in God and want to do God’s will. Unlike some churches, there was a lack of true belief; nothing works, going through motions out of social pressure. There is a genuine sense of commitment to God that justifies them to go out and act as Christians. We can have social outlets in our daily lives with people who come to this church. I like the fact that this church appreciates that it is okay to question and have doubts. We are allowed to doubt. God gave man reason. The Bible contains information that is fallible, not immutable. Some things may be true that were not true yesterday.” “I do get the sense that some people might want to move on political issues,” Leslie said. “Like with our educational offerings, like statements of support for political things. We don’t support that.” “I really like the unique development of the Anglican Church. There is no single doctrine, like our move to open communion. Now that’s the greatest maker of hospitality; it’s mind blowing and wonderful,” said Leslie.

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“And, we like the incense,” John said, “There is something about an acolyte walking down our long aisle with a thurible that moves me. The preparation of something to come. We did it the very first time we came, the timing was quite a marvel; we got here, and the procession was with incense. This is what we’re talking about.” “This church embraces different kinds of faith involvement: centering prayer, Lectio Divina, Compline, and a variety of ancient forms of prayer,” I said. “Have you participated in any of these?” “Yes, and we like those special things,” replied Leslie, “Like the laying on of hands, where one may have been hurt and not feeling able to forgive; we did not know about this, but Stephen told us a story about it; he said that he had not forgiven a friend for something and did not particularly have a use for the laying on of hands. When a friend convinced him to go up, he did so, and he was relieved of this burden; it was like the burden vanished.” Leslie continued, “At the ‘Blessing of Medical Hands’ last Sunday, I was particularly moved. As a physician, the laying on of hands had a way to connect me with my work. About two-dozen people went up for this blessing. I had an email inviting me to come. I was on call, but arranged to come to church as well. I should have held my cell phone up to have that blessed as well. But this blessing was for me, an extension that God works through me. It’s my own personal health. My hands are blessed. I’m fortified to go out into the world.” I concluded, “Thanks so much for your time and for sharing your wonderful story regarding your welcome to this church and your initiation into the many activities that you are both so involved in. Your faith is strong and growing. We’re so glad you are here with us at the Chapel of the Cross.”

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xi.

Linda, Vestry Member 18 December 2011 Interview

In December 1992, Linda married an Episcopalian. “I didn’t know the Episcopal faith,” she told me at the start of our interview. “And I was really too busy in my new environmental state position to get seriously involved in church. I came to the 5:15 p.m. service, gradually starting and sitting in the back pew because I didn’t know if I should stand, sit, or kneel. However, during this time, I had an epiphany. I went to London for a nephew’s graduation, and I attended an Anglican Church. For some reason I felt as if I belonged; I felt at home with the ritual.” Linda continued, “I was still a shy and retiring violet in the back row at the Chapel of the Cross. But one Sunday during the Eucharist there was talk about creation. I wrote a letter to Stephen telling him that I liked this since Environmental Policy was my doctoral degree. He suggested that we meet to talk about this and asked me if I wanted to serve on the Environmental Stewardship Committee. I’ve served on it for 12 years.” Related to her work on this committee, Linda has written many articles for CrossRoads. She continues to come to the 5:15 p.m. service. “Talk to me now, as a member of the vestry,” I said, “about how you view hospitality in this church.” “Well,” she said, “I see hospitality as being a huge part of stewardship. We are reaching out to others in a warm and welcoming way, giving of our time and talent and treasures. Stewardship is not just about giving money. We can give money, but it’s not the same as having our heart in it. I’ve served on all of these committees in the church, and now I chair the Stewardship Formation Committee.” “What changes would you like to make?” I asked her.

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“Well, you do a lot of wonderful things in hospitality. I was not aware of all these things until I met with your Hospitality Group that evening at the restaurant. I would like to inform and institutionalize all these things. We’re getting new technology, so our database is going to be better. Communication is the key in a big church like this. We need a parish calendar; things get ‘testy’ when the schedule gets overlapped.” I told her about how we are tapping into this new database to help our Shepherds do a better job at being intentional in following our Newcomers until they are happily involved in the church to their desired degree. We propose to do this for up to two years after a newcomer’s arrival at the church, according to the particular newcomer’s comfort. “I like this very much,” Linda said. “And we can do it with our new technology.” We continued to talk about our challenges. “I think,” she said, “that we need to take greater advantage of our social media.” Linda had just participated in a webinar from CEEP (Consortium for Endowed Episcopal Parishes) called, “I Tweet for Jesus.” We talked about the fact that we have many parishioners who did not participate in social media, and so our transition to “paperless” would have to be gradual. I asked Linda to tell me her “elevator speech” about the Chapel of the Cross. She said, “The Chapel of the Cross is the best church; it’s right downtown. There are five services. You can go to church on Sunday as early as 7:30 a.m. or as late as 9:30 p.m. In between, you can come at 9 a.m., 11:15 a.m., or 5:15 p.m. It is an extraordinarily beautiful place, most exquisite, wonderful with four fabulous clergy. We have wonderful children’s programs and Sunday School. Even though we are big, we work on being welcoming. We welcome all people.”

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Finally, Linda and I talked about a couple of ideas. She mentioned that she had attended a church where everyone wore nametags. We discussed the notion that this did not seem to be a “nametag church.” She mentioned the possibility of different colored coffee cups at coffee hour, one color for regulars and one for visitors. I promised to run this by Stephen. We then thought it might be prudent to investigate whether washing mugs in hot water every Sunday was more or less environmentally friendly than using recycled throw-away cups. This is Linda’s territory; she said she would check on this. I thanked her for her service on the vestry and her care “in keeping us green.”

xii.

Lindsay, “Cradle Episcopalian,” now lives in Cary 30 October 2011 Interview

I began our interview by saying, “Thanks so much for coming, Lindsay. I’m anxious to hear your story about your coming to the Chapel of the Cross. We’re so glad you did.” Lindsay, who has been attending our church for only three months, said, “I was born and raised Episcopalian. My home is Winchester, Virginia. I went to a small and beautiful Episcopal Church there with stained glass windows and what we refer to as ‘High Church.’ When I went to Radford University (I’m a graduate of Radford), I needed to be ‘grounded,’ and Canterbury House, a house for Episcopal students and also Lutheran students, provided that for me. It was a house for Episcopal ministry, and I became President and loved it. We had Wednesday meetings, and people from the church would bring home-cooked meals and serve us. We made many friendships there.” “Tell me about the church,” I asked. “Was it the home of the Canterbury House?”

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“Yes, it was,” Lindsay said. “Canterbury House had its own facility where we could worship, eat, and hang out. The church was Grace Episcopal; it was a different experience for me, more laid back than my more High-Church experiences at Winchester with ‘sung Communion,’ for example. The rector of Grace would come to Canterbury House for discussions and open forums. We had a 5:30 p.m. service and then ate this delicious homecooked meal. Grace Church’s hospitality was warm and friendly. We were a close group. Lucinda, the housemother at Canterbury House, would call and remind me to come to church. University students like to ‘sleep in’ sometimes, but she reminded us that we needed to be there. The church held a recognition day once a month for students at Canterbury House. There was a social hour with good food. We wore nametags and everyone welcomed us and got to know us. I became a big part of the church. I ‘dog-sat’ for the priest and supported other students, such as Sorority Groups that wanted to use Canterbury House. So, from a hospitality perspective, it was a good church.” Lindsay continued, “I came to Chapel Hill to visit a friend and to job hunt. I was struggling to find a job and frustrated; I needed to find a church again, to become grounded and establish a routine. There was no question that I would look for an Episcopal church, so I Googled ‘Episcopal Church in Chapel Hill.’ The Chapel of the Cross website appealed to me; the church had an old church appeal, like my church at home, a Civil War era church.” I asked Lindsay if the website were the only way she had learned about the church. Had her friend known about it? She replied, “No, I just Googled, liked it, and started coming before I got a job.” “What was it like when you came to our church for the first time?” I asked.

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“Well, I came, got greeted at the door and asked the bulletin guy where all the designated rows were located. Back home,” she told me, “my family sat in row sixteen; my family had done this for a long time. You know, the Smiths sit in the front row, the Jones on the left side, row whatever—it’s the Episcopal way. So, I didn’t want to intrude in someone’s space. We are creatures of habit. It’s just an Episcopal thing. You always sit in the same seat. I didn’t want someone to say that I stole their seat.” I remarked to Lindsay that while someone may tend to sit in the same place every week, we really don’t have assigned seats. I told her that, in fact, on a visit to an Episcopal church in Florida, the priest made a brief announcement before the procession began. He welcomed everyone and asked that if anyone were sitting in the same seat as last Sunday, to please get up, greet the persons on your right and left and find another seat. “This is a warm and welcoming church,” he said. “We practice great hospitality.” Learning that seats were not assigned at the Chapel of the Cross, Lindsay said she had initially sat close to where she sat at home: Right side, not middle, not left. I asked if anyone spoke to her. “Yes,” she said, “I sat in a row with a person who had children, and she looked very welcoming. Her name was Erin, and she told me that she was a new parishioner. We talked; she gave me her card and told me about CrossRoads, the Journal of the Chapel of the Cross. She also gave me her email and told me that if I needed anything, to be in touch with her. David also welcomed me, along with Erin, and we went to coffee hour and talked.” I asked about the Newcomers’ Table in the parish hall, and if she had met anyone there. “Yes,” she answered. “I found it and filled out the newcomer card. We had small talk, maybe pressured small talk.”

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“How could we have made this better for you?” I asked. “I would like for them to have introduced me to other people who were there and engage with me for a while, really getting to know me. I liked the bread that they gave me at Newcomers’ Table. We had just lemonade, no food, no coffee.” At this point, Lindsay had to leave to teach her Church School class. She mentioned that she was very pleased that, after only three months, she had been asked to be a teacher here. Her college education had prepared her to be a teacher, and so she was grateful for this new opportunity. Before she left, Lindsay also indicated that she had joined the younger adult group in Lectio Divina, an activity often followed by pizza on Franklin Street. She said that it is a little difficult for her to attend these sorts of evening activities since she lives in Cary, thirty miles east of Chapel Hill.

xiii.

Mary and Bob, long-time Associates of Episcopal Campus Ministry 26 January 2012 Interview

One Sunday, I asked Mary and Bob if they could meet me on Tuesday evening, either before or after Episcopal Campus Ministry (ECM). They agreed, and so we met in the Rector’s Conference Room at the time of day that I call my favorite time, the “Golden Hour.” In fact, as the sun went down, Mary asked if we wanted to turn on the light, and Bob and I replied, “No,” in unison. We liked the ambiance as it was. Mary and Bob have been here a long time. Mary was the Chapel of the Cross receptionist for 11 years, and Bob is the former junior warden. Both have been involved in ECM for 20 years. Though I have known and loved these two special people for many years, I did not

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know the background in their coming to this church. I asked them to talk about how and why they came to the Chapel of the Cross. Bob began by saying that it had been more about him than Mary. He had transferred to the area in March 1986 for his work. Mary had stayed in Jacksonville, Florida, so their girls could finish high school. During his first months here he looked around at churches and houses. “Being a ‘cradle Episcopalian,’” he said, “there was no question that it had to be an Episcopal Church. I looked in the Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill areas. The hospitality here struck me as being welcoming, especially Chris Bowes, wife of Watty.” Mary interrupted, “Barbara, it was that Chris had red hair, and Bob is taken with red hair.” Bob replied, “It was that she was warm and welcoming in her talking with me. I had already decided that this was the place for me because of the traditional nature of the architecture. I grew up in a traditional church in Port Arthur, Texas, and in Brownsville, Texas, after I graduated from college; and this church struck me in that it felt like home. It didn’t matter whether a lot of people spoke to me. It always disturbs me when people say that people are not warm and friendly. It’s like hearing that people leave the church because of a rector or a priest. You don’t stop going to church because you don’t like the rector or the preacher. They are not the church. So, Mary came in June; we began attending and liked it.” “On the very first Sunday that I was here,” Mary said, “the bulletin indicated that the church was looking for a receptionist. Both of our girls were going to college; our son was already in college, so I applied. I can surely talk on the phone. So it was the little Chapel that sold me. That light behind the cross on the altar. You could see it from Franklin Street any time you drove by at night. Years ago when we did not have air conditioning in the Chapel, the doors

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were always open, and the lights were on 24 hours every day.” We continued talking about how the Chapel is used often by students. I shared that when I was a graduate student at Carolina, I had often come to the Chapel to pray. Mary continued, “The first time that we came to church together, it was at the 10 a.m. summer service and nine babies were baptized. It scared us to pieces, so we started going to the 5:15 service. It was great for our family. The university students were very informal. They wore shorts, t-shirts and some came barefoot.” Bob said, “Any church where that is okay has to have something going for it. Where we grew up, women had to cover their heads; acolytes were not allowed to wear tennis shoes. This was a good setting for our girls, who dressed however they desired.” “Is there a dichotomy here?” I asked. “Yes, there is,” Bob answered. “We are here on Tuesday evening for the university students who play their guitars, and we love it but not for the 11:15 service. I avoid the word conservative; I suppose I am conservative -- fiscally conservative very much—but not so much when it comes to the church.” Bob moved on to talk about the prayer book. “Years ago, many were upset about the prayer book. We grew up with the 1928 prayer book, the Book of Common Prayer. Someone told me not to worry about using a new prayer book; our services now are older than 1928, like the Easter Vigil, the Eucharist Services, and All Saints’ Day.” “Now,” Bob continued, “I’m not a big one for inclusive language, but I don’t get upset about it one way or the other; maybe it’s because I’m a man, and I’m not excluded.” Mary remembered an inclusive example, “I’ve heard a priest say, in one of our Eucharist services, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and then they may add Sarah, Rebecca, and Rachel. I was

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raised Presbyterian, and it was okay to be marginalized. We attended Sunday school but we surely did not have an opportunity like Bob had growing up in the Episcopal Church to be a lay leader by seventh grade, or to sing in the adult choir when he was just a boy but had a deep voice, or to serve as an acolyte.” We noted that today, this had changed, depending on the church. “I became an Episcopalian as soon as we were married,” Mary continued. “We loved seeing our children grow up in the Episcopal Church and have the opportunity for so many things.” “How many years have you been participating in the ECM?” I asked. “For 20 years,” Mary said, “and the way we got started was fun. The college students would come to the office and ask for the credit card to buy food for Tuesday evening. Laura Elliott was one of the students. One day she told me she needed a place to live; I told her that if she had a car she could stay in our home in Durham. She invited us to come to ECM. That was in the early 90s, and I felt as if I could not turn her down. We loved the fellowship, being with the students, the guitar music and the singing, and the way they planned their own worship.” Bob enthusiastically joined in, “Speaking of good hospitality, in this group everyone is included. The shy, the ‘strange,’ all are a part of the group. An example is we go on a beach retreat at the beginning of the school year. Those who go become friends, but they come back and include everyone. You would not know who went to the beach and who didn’t. These are not your ‘average teenagers;’ these are really exceptional young people. For the past 20 years we have been with many.” “Are you advisors or leaders for them?” “No, we are none of these; we are just there, and we may lend a little influence now and then,” Bob replied.

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“I know that you do,” I added, “because I’ve known many of these students through the years. And they surely do value you and Jean and Pete Desaix. Jean is a faculty advisor from UNC.” Mary wanted to add more about hospitality in the church. “We have come a long way in this church in hospitality, and there are so many new things now,” she said. “I remember when the first Hospitality Ministry Committees or guilds were created, and they were led by Barbara and David Specter. Now we have greeters every Sunday in the room, newcomer classes every fall and spring, green cards for newcomers to sign up at the Hospitality Table, refreshments between the 9:15 and 11:15 services, Good Samaritans, Guild of the Christ Child and those beautiful funeral receptions, teas and receptions for newcomers, Bread Ministry and the Shepherds’ Program.” “Wow,” I said, “Mary, you are really in the know; I’m afraid that not everyone is as educated about our Hospitality Ministry as you are. Someone recently told me that we needed to publicize all the good things that happen in hospitality to the church on a more regular basis.” “Well,” Mary said, “Bob and I are especially interested in hospitality because of our involvement.” “How about our challenges? What do you think are our top three?” I asked Mary replied, “Twenty-seven years ago our letter of welcome from the rector was all that happened; I did like that letter so much because it said, ‘be bold and take the initiative.’ It’s still true today. We have been a parish where you could get lost if you didn’t take the initiative. Another area related to being bold: If, for example, you want to be a lay leader, you may have to say it more than one time. But if you take the initiative, it will usually happen.”

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Bob said, “We have such diversity here, and that is good; just think, we have four fulltime priests.” Mary added, “Our Christian Education programs are diverse and good; it can frustrate you to death if you are on the Altar guild and can’t attend on a given Sunday. Some programs are quite academic and go right over some peoples’ heads but then we have others, for example, on how to raise your children. Diversity’s over the top, music and worship can be over the top, too.” Bob continued, “Isn’t it great that we have five diverse services every Sunday, with such wonderful liturgy and variety? We have Rite I and Rite II, Wednesday mornings we use the 1928 Prayer Book; Stephen got special permission from the Bishop to do that.

You can be just

as involved or not, as you wish to be, in all of these services. You probably won’t hear any better preaching anywhere. And, the junior and senior choirs, I truly don’t believe we could hear any better if we went to New York City. A challenge for our priests is that we want their time and attention, especially on Sunday when they are very busy. We want them to be with us at all receptions, meeting and greeting us all, as well as new people. It’s hard to worship in the worship service where you are preaching. One thing I’ve learned in lay reading: Try to pray the prayer, not just read it. It’s a challenge.” I thanked Bob and Mary as they headed off to eat and engage in fellowship and worship with the ECM at their regular Tuesday night meeting.

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xiv.

Patty and Rick, Shepherd Coordinator and Committee Member 22 January 2012 Interview

I knew that Patty and Rick were very involved with the church. Patty is our Shepherd Coordinator and serves as a greeter. And Rick, formerly a Church School teacher, is now a member of the Adult Education Formation Committee. So, we began the interview with Rick and Patty sharing how they had initially found their way to the Chapel of the Cross. Patty indicated that she was raised in the Episcopal Church; and when she came to Carolina she lived in Spencer Dorm adjacent to our church property. “It was the natural thing to do,” Patty said. “Rick was Catholic, so we alternated between the Newman Center and the Chapel of the Cross.” Patty insisted on getting married in the Episcopal Church and Rick agreed. “In fact,” Rick said, “we went to ‘Pre-Canaan training’ with Bill and Judy Eastman in this church.” We talked a little about “Pre-Canaan Training,” and decided that it was probably Catholic language for our pre-marital counseling. I made a mental note to talk with Stephen about it. Patty continued and explained that just before her marriage, her dad had a heart attack and could not leave Connecticut to come to Chapel Hill; so they were married in Connecticut. They have been coming to this church ever since. Patty said, “Our attendance was sporadic at first, and then our daughter, Laura, came along. When she was two-and-a-half, we took her to the Christmas Pageant. Laura loved this, seeing the angels and the baby Jesus in the crèche. A few months later she asked when we were going back to the Christmas Church. That did it.” I replied, “And a little child shall lead them; what a great story.”

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Patty and Rick explained that Laura then wanted to come to Church School. When first asked how she liked it, she had replied, “Yes, I like it; it’s fun, but they sure talk about Jesus a lot.” Laura is now almost 22. In the late 90s, Patty was a Sunday school teacher. Rick also taught Sunday School from 2005 until 2008. Rick told me that he now values liturgy, due in part to his background in the Catholic Church. I asked if our church felt like his Catholic Church; and he replied, “With Vatican II, things changed so much. We went from Latin to English; the altar was turned around; the priests faced the congregation. My brother calls our church ‘Catholic Light.’” His brother is a parishioner at St. Andrews in Greensboro; his wife was raised Baptist. “We are very ecumenical, and we have an interesting story to tell you about our coming to this church,” Rich said. “As students, Patty and I went to the Baptist Student Union for fellowship.” Patty continued, “I met a friend who lived in Spencer Dorm and she really wanted me to go with her; this friendship led us to the group dinner at the Baptist Center every Wednesday night. We soon had a group of students, all of whom went to a variety of churches on Sunday and met at the Zoom Zoom for dinner. We are still friends many years later. We meet for a gettogether on occasion. It was the hospitality and fellowship that brought us together and keeps us together.” “What is good about the hospitality in this church?” I asked. Rick responded, “I like the coffee between the 9:15 and 11:15 a.m. services. My perception, however, is that 10% of the people do 90% of the work. There are not enough shared responsibilities; people get coffee and move on to the Adult Forum or Church School. They

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seem to stay a little longer when the clergy are there. I realize that some people really don’t want to engage.” I inquired as to whether they had been to the coffee/refreshment time following the 11:15 church service. We talked about the fact that, after the 9:15 church service, there are only a few minutes before the Forum and Church School begin; and most of those who remain want to attend these events. Still, the receptions are wonderful with great variety. Sometimes they were enriched with refreshments, as well as coffee prepared by our faithful Loaves and Fishes group; and currently, by our new Kitchen Manager, Jeffrey. Jeffrey is developing a fantastic reputation for baking hard-to-resist cookies, scones and other baked goods. Ironically, at this moment in the interview, Jeffrey comes in offering “hot-from-the-oven” chocolate chip cookies. After sampling a cookie and thanking Jeffrey, Rick said, “Can I ‘soapbox’ a little here? Our church here, in my experience, is more like the Catholic Church I grew up in rather than other protestant churches. In the Catholic Church, you attended a church based on where you lived. You belonged to that church. My limited view of another protestant church, smaller and in a rural area, is that, there the church belongs to you. Everyone takes responsibility for the church; the church brings out the people; everyone cleans up; most come to every Wednesday night supper, etc.” Patty responded, “Our church is very different. We have five different services. We experienced this at Christmas this year; we attended the 7:30 service. It was like being in a different church. I knew almost no one and thought, ‘Am I in my church?’ We didn’t feel comfortable; we felt like strangers.” We paused and I shared a conversation Stephen had mentioned during which someone had said to him, “Who are all of these people? I recognize so few of them.” And Stephen had

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said, “I consider these Christmas Eve services to be very important; in fact, the sermon I preach may be the most important one I preach all year, because there are people here tonight who will not return until the next Christmas Eve.” We discussed the fact that these Christmas Eve services are often comprised of people from all five Sunday services, visitors in town to visit family, and those few who may attend church only at Christmas or Easter. We all agreed that this was a time when welcome should be at its best. Patty continued about hospitality, “Of course, I think our Shepherds do a wonderful job in welcoming and shepherding our newcomers. The greeters every Sunday in the foyer are so very committed to welcoming everyone, as are the greeters at the Newcomers’ Table in the parish hall during coffee hour. Not everyone knows about the good work of the Shepherds; we don’t publicize all the good things we do. We must widen our net.” We paused again as I told Patty and Rick about the bread given out at the Newcomers’ Table. I told them that this morning when I checked the newcomers’ box, there was a bag from Boykin with a note that the enclosed bags and cloths had been made by the children in the church school and that we might like to use them in our Bread Ministry. I looked inside and found beautiful cloths for wrapping the bread. I pulled out a Carolina blue cloth with the lovely inscription, “Give us this day, our daily bread.” I immediately wrapped a loaf of bread with it and put it on the Newcomers’ Table. I wish everyone could have seen the face of the newcomer when she received the bread. “We are such a wonderful church,” Rick said. “But more people could reach out more. We will always have those who come to church and go home immediately, but we always enjoy having friends at church and visiting with them.”

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Patty and I then talked about how great the teas and receptions for newcomers are. These were always well-planned activities with well-planned purposes. I wondered whether we needed more “gatherings” planned for a specific purpose? Would our people reach out in a different way if invited to a particular event at a specific time? Perhaps we could learn a lesson from the gracious and holy hospitality evident at our newcomers’ receptions and teas. I asked Patty and Rick to give me their “elevator speech” about the church. Patty said, “I would tell them to think about coming to the Chapel of the Cross. It’s a wonderful place to get to know the church, the university and the community. There are so many ways to be involved. You can jump in and really get involved, and you can wait— whatever suits your style. Also, the language of the liturgy is absolutely beautiful.” Rick added, “My pride in being here, with my daughter, is that we have two female priests. It’s a huge plus for me to have female priests, as it was not part of my background in the Catholic Church. There is a wonderful grace that comes through our liturgy and our music. The language is beautiful. And, I value the way the sermons are offered—they engage your intellect -- it’s about stimulating thoughts of God’s role in your life. It’s not about making you feel guilty. We have driving forces working to expand our buildings for diversity. We open the doors to so many organizations in our community. This sense of supporting people in many ways makes us very proud of our church.” I thanked Patty and Rick for their time and for all the good works they do in our church.

xv.

Roslyn, returned to Chapel Hill to finish her UNC nursing degree 11 December 2011 Interview

Roslyn moved to Chapel Hill in 1984 to finish a nursing degree at UNC then worked in the Intensive Care Unit at UNC Memorial Hospital. In 1985 or 1986 she discovered the Chapel 263    


of the Cross. With a busy work schedule, she didn’t have much extra time; she was drawn to this church because of its beauty, location, and rituals, and the many different services offered throughout the week. “I came often on Thursdays for the 5:15 p.m. service,” she said. “I found it peaceful in my world, which was chaotic working the night shift. Then, I moved and grew apart from the church for various reasons. I remarried and continued to grow apart from the church; even though I was not so involved, I felt God loved me through this church. I was not involved in a typical student life. I lived off campus.” I had met Roslyn’s husband, Pablo, and her son, Preston, at a recent reception for newcomers at the church. “When did Pablo enter your life?” I asked. “After I received my Master’s Degree in Nursing and Public Health, I began to work for Kaiser Permanente as a nurse practitioner. I also worked in Student Health at UNC on weekends.” “Did both of you find a church home after marriage and Pablo’s arrival in Chapel Hill?” I asked. “Yes, we did; it was a large church, and we were there for five years,” Roslyn replied. “Was there a particular reason you left the church and chose the Chapel of the Cross?” I asked. Roslyn said, “There were practices of leadership we did not agree with, and we became disillusioned. I came here for special events and liked it here. I also liked the format of the services. We had attended the Inquirers’ Classes at St. Bart’s around 1988 to 1990, and we were confirmed. Now, I feel as if I could go to an Inquirers’ Class all over again here. I feel it is now time to meet new people and give back. I’m going to Advent Quiet Day this Friday and to the

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Christmas Play. I want to learn the symbols of the church and the church colors, for example, and eventually I may want to teach the children.” I asked, “How about Preston, does he enjoy coming to church and Church School?” Roslyn smiled and said, “He likes it very much; the first Sunday that we came, he especially liked the lemonade and the food after church. There is something nice about the smell of the food. And, he wanted to go back for the food the next time that we came to church, but I reminded him that the food and lemonade were just for Newcomers like it was for us when we came as Newcomers.” “Oh,” I said, surprised. “Did you think that because the Newcomers’ Table was located in the parish hall where the lemonade and food were served that it was only for Newcomers?” “Yes, is it not just for Newcomers but for everyone?” Roslyn asked. I apologized for the misunderstanding and invited her to please take Preston after the service to enjoy the refreshments, as they are for everyone. I also made a mental note to work on clarifying this in the parish hall. “Having Preston,” she said, “opens up all the possibilities for friendliness. Gretchen and Boykin have both welcomed us. Marcia emailed me and got me on the list for Friday Notes by Stephen. Friendliness is a two-way street you know. If you wanted to, you could come here and maintain complete anonymity, but we do not want to do this. After Children’s Chapel, I brought Preston into the big church for Communion. Pete and his wife, Hannah, welcomed us, and Preston and I sat with them.” “I’m glad that so many have helped you feel welcome,” I said. “There are so many people here that all of the priests can’t know everyone immediately.”

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“Vicky took the time to ask if I were new, and she noticed Preston; she did not hurry us through the line. She showed genuine interest in me. That’s why I’ve emailed her; she reached out to me, and I’ve reached out to her.” “Reaching out is very important.” I asked her whether Preston has so far felt comfortable at the church. He appeared to feel very comfortable at the Newcomers’ Reception in the church parlor; I watched him interacting and playing with Boykin there. “Yes,” Roslyn said. “There have been possibilities for involvement with other children and their parents to get together. We did this recently at the Bateman home. Preston goes to a Spanish Immersion School. I would love to see this church be more culturally varied. We need more color, to be more racially and ethnically varied. Our previous church was more racially mixed, and it felt good. I’d like to meet more people and build relationship.” “This is wonderful,” I told Roslyn. “You can do as much as you like and have time for. If I can help you become a part of anything, I will do so.” We talked for a while longer about her job with Kaiser Permanente as a nurse practitioner and about her desire for Pablo to come to church with her. She said that Pablo likes to do things with his hands; and I reminded her that we have three very special groups in the church that he might like to be a part of, and that they would surely welcome him. Our Habit for Humanity group builds two houses every year; our Woodcutters group, which cuts wood and delivers it to those who need wood for fire to keep warm in the wintertime; and our Tinker-Toy Woodbuilders Group, which does the fine-motor cutting for making our wooden wreaths. I thanked Roslyn for our visit, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and made a note to call our liaisons for Habitat, Woodcutters, and Tinker Toys Woodbuilders.

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xvi.

Susan, “cradle Episcopalian” who loves Rite I and wishes we used it more 15 January 2012 Interview

Someone suggested that I interview Susan, given that she had “definite opinions” about hospitality. I called her and asked if she would meet with me to talk about hospitality in our church. She enthusiastically said, “Yes, I would love to.” I asked Susan to begin by telling me a brief story about her life in the church. She began by saying that she was a “cradle Episcopalian;” and so glad to be, baptized in Washington, D.C., in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on K Street. She emphasized that this was a “high church,” and I agreed, telling her that I had visited St. Paul’s on Maundy Thursday as a student at Virginia Theological Seminary. Her family had moved back and forth between Utah and Washington, D.C., for several years. “I love Rite I,” Susan said. “I like all the old Liturgy; we don’t do Rite 1 as often as I would like at the 9:00 am service. In addition to the old Liturgy, I like the ‘smells and bells’ associated with traditional old church services.” Growing up in Salt Lake City , Utah, she attended several Episcopal churches, and was a member of several junior choirs, including St. Mark’s Cathedral. “I wanted to be an acolyte,” Susan said, “but I recall that only boys were allowed.” We paused to talk about the junior choir there. Susan continued, “Our junior choir here is very structured, very serious. I remember much less of a time commitment for members when I was in choir.” I added that one of the early attractions of this church for me had been the junior choir for our daughter, Susan Douglas. “Dr. Quinn is an amazing choirmaster and organist,” I said. “I cry

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every Sunday during ‘Lessons and Carols’ in Advent when our junior choir processes with ‘Once in Royal David’s City.’” “Yes, that is a beautiful event,” Susan agreed. “Neither of my children who is in the junior choir wants to continue; it seems that it is not on their spiritual path. I agree with you; Dr. Quinn is amazing. I think that practicing once during the week and the commitment every Sunday, as well, is so demanding for my children. We moved here four years ago with groups already formed; it’s true for adults as well.” I pressed on here and asked if she thought the groups were a little exclusive. “We have wonderful people here,” she said. “They are inclusive, and they are exclusive. Being inclusive to me means that you look around outside the group and invite others in. It appears to me that those in the 20s and 30s in our church are great at this. At my church in California, we were very inclusive; we knew each other well. During junior choir, moms got together and socialized at church. We might bring our knitting, and then we had a pot luck dinner.” I said, “I thought that we had a pot luck dinner following choir rehearsal on Wednesday nights.” “We do,” Susan replied, “but moms scatter; at 4:15 some moms drop their children off and come back later for them.” Susan and I discussed our church being a large one, and the fact that her church in California was about a third of the size. We also talked about the good news that there are many families that have formed strong friendships through church, beginning when their children were toddlers and in our church preschool program. The parents and their children have grown up together and formed the closest of friendships.

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We then talked about receptions for newcomers, during which newcomers often got to meet parishioners who had come from the same state. I added that we needed to be more intentional about introducing ourselves with emphasis on where we had previously lived. “So, what brought you to Chapel Hill?” I asked. “Well, during my married life, we have moved around quite a bit: back to D.C., Utah, Illinois (Chicago), California (Bay Area). Four years ago, my husband, who is an attorney, accepted a job in Chapel Hill.” “Do you like it here?” I wondered. “Yes, we live in Meadowmont, and our children are at Culbreth Middle School and Rashkis Elementary.” I asked Susan, “How did you choose the Chapel of the Cross?” “I drove by and saw the building; I also looked at it on the Web. I like old churches, so I came here one Sunday; then I visited a more modern church with a laid-back atmosphere, and it was not traditional enough for me. The space was modern; the liturgy was modern; they did Baptism by immersion; this was not a good fit for us. My husband is not religious, but even he said that this was not his choice. Not one person spoke to us. After a return visit, we chose the Chapel of the Cross as our church home. The church itself felt so comfortable and familiar, and it was an easy decision.” “You’ve had some interesting experiences,” I said. “Let’s talk about your welcome at the Chapel of the Cross a bit more. Did you have bread delivered to your home during the first week that you attended church here?” “Yes,” she responded, “but we were out of town, and the bread was ruined when we returned. It was such a nice thought, though.”

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We talked about how we are now trying the new approach of giving the fresh loaf of bread at the Newcomers’ Table in the Parish Hall. So many people are not at home during the day; they are at work or out of town, so we are trying a new approach. “How else have you felt welcome here?” I asked. “In California,” she responded, “I taught Sunday School and Godly Play, and that was an automatic entra. Here, Gretchen Jordan welcomed me and asked me to teach in our Church School. This is my thing, and it has kept me here. The group of teachers here is loving and committed, not only for the school year but for Vacation Church School as well. Chapel of the Cross does a great job reaching out and inviting children from the community to attend whenever possible. I love the Liturgy here, even though I prefer Rite I all the time. I love the old language, and I feel after reciting the old Rite I confession, that I have truly confessed all my sins.” Susan continued, “It’s poetry to me. I like old churches, because I don’t want it to be like anything I do all week. I want the host not a piece of bread. The feel of the host on my tongue is something that I love. I was taught never to chew but let it melt on your tongue. I love the intergenerational things; I really like this . . . most of the friends are of different ages; during Lenten Studies, we have all ages, couples with babies in the foyer, the Marcus Borg book, Bible study, Marcia Mount—Shoop Study (she is the author of Let the Bones Dance). We have wonderful faith formation series and activities here. The problem is, if you are a church school teacher like me, you can’t attend those offered on Sunday morning at church.” “Is there anything else you want to say to me about hospitality in our church?” I asked She said, “Anything that we can do to help people to do even more is reaching out to each other. The Shepherds are great with heart and nurture. At my other church, we asked the

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vestry to pray by name for each newcomer. I also think we could group people with particular interests.” We paused to talk about the Shepherds in our church. I invited her to come to a Shepherds’ Meeting on Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the Rector’s Conference Room. She said she would be delighted to come. I concluded by asking her to give me her “elevator speech” about the church if a friend from California were moving to Chapel Hill. Susan began, “I would tell them to try the Chapel of the Cross. You may have to work a little bit; don’t expect people to all greet you. It’s worth it once you get to know people.” Susan paused, and I pressed her further. “What else? Would you talk about some specific things that we do in the church that especially please you?” “Yes,” she said. “I would tell them that we have a wonderful church school with Godly Play; we have intergenerational activities; and we have great music that is beautiful and traditional, and I like singing ‘The Lord’s Prayer.’” I thanked Susan, who was on her way to a journal writing workshop in the church Library.

xvii.

Terry

February 2, 2012 interview with Terry is included in Chapter III under Intentional Hospitality Strategy VII, The Capital Campaign. (See pp. 118-120).

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xviii.

Vivian, Communications and Vestments Coordinator 19 February 2010 Interview

I saw Vivian, a Communications Associate for the church, coming into the church with newly cleaned vestments. I asked her if we could talk “hospitality” for a few minutes, and she graciously agreed. Although I’ve known Vivian for some time, as she helps us “vest” every Sunday, I did not know her background prior to coming to the Chapel of the Cross. I asked her about it. Vivian said, “In 1963, I came as a freshman to UNC for nursing school. Growing up as an Episcopalian, I knew that I wanted to find an Episcopal church in Chapel Hill. The Chapel of the Cross was within walking distance of the nurses’ dorm, so I came and found a connection with a world of all ages of people, who didn’t care about my grades at the university but about me. I became a part of the Canterbury Club, which was like ECM today. I subsequently met Barney Varner; we married after graduation, since you could not be married at that time and go to nursing school. We moved and lived in New York for a year and returned to Chapel Hill and the Chapel of the Cross. Barney went to Inquirers’ class; he became an Episcopalian, and our children grew up here.” “Good story,” I told her. “Now talk to me about what you think is good regarding hospitality in this church.” “It’s the openness of this parish to all ilk of life,” Vivian said. “We are physically a variety of assorted colors; we marry people of different colors; people from any walk of life would be welcome; this is not always obvious, but as I told the newcomers, who questioned our diversity, ‘Just look at our directory.’”

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“Now I’m moving into something we don’t do so well,” Vivian continued. “We don’t say, ‘I don’t recognize your face. Welcome to the Chapel of the Cross.’ We don’t all spot the stranger. We depend on the Hospitality Group to welcome the newcomer and assume that they will take care of it. They do a good job, but we don’t get everyone involved. We need to empower everyone to welcome. Also, we need to respect the person who says, ‘I’m too busy to get involved. When I retire, I’ll be more active.’ We have some parishioners who feel this way. They want a step-by-step approach.” “Yes, you are right,” I agreed. “Hospitality should be the business of each parishioner. Our clergy have spoken about it from the pulpit. We must continue to emphasize this in a variety of ways.” “Our clergy are wonderful, but we are so big,” Vivian said. “We don’t know the problem unless someone calls and tells us.” “Now, how about your elevator speech?” I asked Vivian. “What would you say to a stranger you may meet out of state who is moving to chapel Hill and wants to know about an Episcopal church?” Vivian replied, “First, I would ask them what they are looking for. I would tell them that we have three Episcopal churches in Chapel Hill, and each has a totally different flavor. I would tell them about each, and for the Chapel of the Cross, I would say, ‘If you would like a large church and want some anonymity, the Chapel of the Cross would be a good fit. We have an open attitude. We have exquisite liturgy. If you are a musician who likes a more formal style of music, this is the place. We have a diversity of preaching styles, skills and action groups. Our Adult Education and youth programs are strong. We have connections with the university, a

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priest associate for University Ministry. We are a parish with a great deal of variety and outreach. We are fiscally and physically strong; there is a whole lot going on in this parish.’” Vivian paused and said, “I think we may be on the top floor in the elevator now.” I laughed and thanked her for her interest, her remarks and her many services to the church. She has been here a long time and is very involved.

E. Analysis of Interviews with Parishioners Between November 2011 and February 2012, I interviewed 33 parishioners. The interviews were approximately an hour and a half each. What a pleasure it was to talk with these committed and holy people, who desire the best for our church, who value the many wonderful things that happen here, and who so generously and graciously give of their time, their talents and resources. I’m deeply grateful for their participation in this study. The analyses of the interviews of the laity and the clergy and staff are presented separately.

a. Laity The interviewees represent a wide diversity: Time spent at this church ranges from less than one year to fifty-five years. They come from many states, including Florida, Texas, Connecticut, North Carolina, New York, Virginia, California, Pennsylvania, Utah, and the District of Columbia. Of those who mentioned previous church affiliations, four were “cradle Episcopalians,” nine were former Catholics, two Presbyterians, one Russian Orthodox, one Mormon, and one non-denominational. Eight of the interviewees came to Chapel Hill as undergraduate and graduate students. The following are themes identified during analysis of the laity interviews.

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Theme One: Receiving a Warm Welcome “Receiving a warm welcome” was a theme of the interviews that was viewed very positively by almost all the laity interviewees; they expressed liking the church’s overall comprehensive approach to welcoming our newcomers and specifically cited the following: Being greeted warmly at the door for Sunday services; receiving a welcome from the rector during announcements, and being invited to visit the Newcomers’ Table in the parish hall; receiving another welcome at the Newcomers’ Table, as well as introductory materials to take home; receiving a loaf of freshly-baked bread at the Newcomers’ Table; being introduced to other people while having “refreshments” after the 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. services; receiving a letter of welcome from the rector advising newcomers to be bold and take initiative within this large church; being assigned a Shepherd and having someone walk with them on their faith journeys in this church; attending a Newcomers’ Reception in the church parlor or tea at the home of the rector and his wife, Betsy; and getting involved in various church activities, committees, groups, etc. Relative quotes included the following: •

“We liked the Newcomers’ Welcome Table and their orientation to the church. We sat in the parlor, and it just happened that this was the day the rector was giving a special welcome to Newcomers. We had a good overview about the structure of the church. We have two boys, and we liked what we heard about Church School and the nursery. We met some other couples with children, and this sort of tied us to this church—seeing others with kids.”

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“It was so welcoming on the very first Sunday that I attended church here. Stephen was preaching; he seemed so genuine; there were many children in the church, everyone smiling. Everyone acted like they did not seem to mind if children were children . . . Many people here said ‘Hi,’ and came up willingly to welcome me; the culture here is really healthy.”

“I became very involved. I was Catholic, but it didn’t matter. I went on mission trips and participated in everything. It was great hospitality.”

“I ‘tried to do Christianity’ without a church community, then going to several different churches. Somehow they didn’t ‘fit,’ so I came here.”

“We came to the Chapel of the Cross, poised to like it—we felt an immediate welcome by Barbara, a real estate agent . . . We pressed the flesh, and we were off to a great start . . . The timing was great, and it was the beginning of Advent; we learned about Feast Day, Lent and Ash Wednesday.”

“It was the Holy Week Services, and I was drawn to the drama of Holy Week. It changed my life.”

“Gretchen and Boykin have both welcomed us. Marcia emailed me and got me on the list for Friday Notes by Stephen . . . After Children’s Chapel, I brought Preston into the big church for Communion. Pete and his wife, Hannah, welcomed us, and Preston and I sat with them,”

“Vicky took time to ask if I were new, and she noticed Preston; she did not hurry us through the line. She showed genuine interest in me.”

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“. . . our first welcome to our church was through the preschool. I met many families in preschool and many new friends who came to this church . . . Nine years later we are still good friends, as are our children.”

“Hospitality in the ABC Sale is huge, not only for our church but for the broader community . . . I often sell at low cost to people who need it. We give all the proceeds back to the community. And 99% of those who receive the support are extra deserving.”

Additional comments with a slightly different tone include the following: •

“I would like for [the people at the Newcomers’ Table] to have introduced me to other people who were there and engaged with me for a while, really getting to know me. I liked the bread that they gave me at the Newcomers’ Table.”

‘“I came to the 5:15 p.m. service, gradually starting and sitting in the back pew, because I didn’t know if I should stand, sit or kneel . . . I was still a shy and retiring violet in the back row at the Chapel of the Cross. But one Sunday during the Eucharist, there was talk about creation.”

Theme Two: Getting Involved in the Church A second theme in the laity interviews was the interviewees getting involved in the church. The laity interviewees mentioned 32 different activities; some of these 32 were mentioned more than once, e.g., Church School is mentioned four times. The fact that the diverse pool of interviewees is involved in this number of activities indicates that the church offers a wide variety of ways to get involved. The stories of how these parishioners got involved are many and varied. I’ve selected just a few:

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“. . . Gretchen Jordan welcomed me and asked me to teach in our Church School. This is my thing, and it has kept me here.”

“I wrote a letter to Stephen telling him that I liked [his sermon] since Environmental Policy was my doctoral degree. He . . . asked me if I wanted to serve on the Environmental Stewardship Committee. I’ve served on it for 12 years.”

“Emily and David have been great. We knew about them before we arrived from Texas. I had been a graduate student at UNC. They have been very welcoming and helpful in connecting us to things in church. David asked me to be on the Organizing Committee for Cross Ties.”

“I’ve been delivering flowers at Stephen’s suggestion, and the Altar Guild is finding a spot for me on one of the teams.”

“When I came to the church 55 years ago, hospitality was a quick and easy process. The first day here, living in Pettigrew Dorm, I came to this church, knocked on the rector’s door and asked if he needed an organist. The rector said, ‘Yes, this Sunday.’”

“We signed up for the Adult Inquirers’ Class with Stephen . . . Now I’m on the Education Committee . . . We have had all our questions answered. We have been learning about the Book of Common Prayer; we do a daily prayer, the daily office and a morning prayer; we can do these things at home. I like this orderly way, and the prayers are great.”

“Stephen arrived as Associate Priest and Peter suggested that we should do more in Adult Education. He asked me to work with Stephen to revitalize Adult Education. My welcome became involvement.”

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Theme Three: Expressing Love and Great Appreciation

Intrigued by all the many interviewees who mentioned the things about our church that

they loved and greatly appreciated, I selected this as a theme area. Quotes touching on this love and appreciation include the following: •

“I love the Liturgy here, even though I prefer Rite I all the time. I love the old language, and I feel after reciting the old Rite I confession, that I have truly confessed all my sins. It’s poetry to me.”

“I love the intergenerational things . . . I really like this . . . most of the friends are of different ages; during Lenten Studies, we have all ages, couples with babies in the foyer, the Marcus Borg book, Bible study, Marcia Mount—Shoop Study (she is the author of Let the Bones Dance). We have wonderful faith formation series and activities here.”

“I was so happy to see people like Bob and Mary at the Annual Parish Picnic. I just love them to death, and I love to see them.”

“Church for me revolves around the kids. I joined the Children and Family Ministry Committee. We go caroling to the housebound; we are in charge of the Jesse Tree ornaments and advent wreaths; we sponsor Vacation Bible School, and the kids love this; and we are in charge of the Children’s Christmas Pageant.”

“We are here on Tuesday evenings for the university students who play their guitars, and we love it.”

“When [Laura] was two-and-a-half, we took her to the Christmas Pageant. Laura loved this, seeing the angels and the baby Jesus in the crèche. A few months later she asked when we were going back to the ‘Christmas Church.’”

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The following quotes deal with the interviewees’ love and appreciation for the Chapel of the Cross worship and sermons: •

“Yes, they are filled with Mystery; I am moved by the sermons. There is a cerebral element that shifts to a heart element. They make me use my mind and work through the logic of things that don’t always make sense.”

“We love the worship; we love the liturgy; it is fully engaging and just right for us.”

“At the ‘Blessing of Medical Hands’ last Sunday, I was particularly moved. As a physician, the laying on of hands had a way to connect me with my work. About twodozen people went up for this blessing . . . I was on call but arranged to come to church as well. I should have held my cell phone up to have that blessed as well. But this blessing was for me, an extension that God works through me. It’s my own personal health. My hands are blessed. I’m fortified to go out into the world.”

“I really like the unique development of the Anglican Church. There is no single doctrine, like our move to open communion. Now that’s the greatest maker of hospitality; it’s mind blowing and wonderful.” Theme Four: Particularly Important Words There is a strong connection between Theme Three, those aspects of the church for which

the laity interviewees expressed love or great appreciation, and the current theme, those sayings that are particularly important to parishioners. There is overlap here. Following are quotes on things that are particularly important to parishioners: •

“. . . We like the incense. There is something about an acolyte walking down our long aisle with a thurible that moves me. The preparation of something to come. We did it the

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very first time we came; the timing was quite a marvel; we got here, and the procession was with incense. This is what we’re talking about.” •

“. . . I think our Shepherds do a wonderful job in welcoming and shepherding our newcomers . . . Not everyone knows about the good work of the Shepherds; we don’t publicize all the good things we do. We must widen our net.”

“The Greeters every Sunday in the foyer are so very committed to welcoming everyone, as are the greeters at the Newcomers’ Table in the parish hall during coffee hour.”

“My pride in being here, with my daughter, is that we have two female priests. It’s a huge plus for me to have female priests, as it was not part of my background in the Catholic Church. There is a wonderful grace that comes through our liturgy and our music. The language is beautiful. And, I value the way the sermons are offered—they engage your intellect; it’s about stimulating thoughts of God’s role in your life. It’s not about making you feel guilty.”

“Our Christian Education programs are diverse and good; it can frustrate you to death if you are on the Altar guild and can’t attend on a given Sunday. Some programs are quite academic and go right over some peoples’ heads, but then we have others, for example, on how to raise your children.”

“The Blessing of the Animals was a new thing for us. It was a first for the boys, too. They brought their hermit crabs, and they were blessed inside their houses.”

“We reach out to new parents. When someone is going to have a baby, one of us gets assigned to make contact to let the parents know about our resources at church. The important one is the prayer service, Thanksgiving for the birth of a child; on the way

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home from the hospital, the baby is brought to the church chapel for the blessing and prayer service.” Theme Five: Reasons for Coming Many laity interviewees provided such specific reasons for coming to this church, that they deserved a thematic area for themselves. Specifically, the five worship services every Sunday, with the wide variety of times and worship styles, and the liturgy and music, including junior and senior choirs, were mentioned often. Children’s programs, the nursery, the preschool weekly program and adult information sessions were other popular reasons cited for coming to Chapel of the Cross. A few other specific responses are included below: •

“Personally, I’m not so excited about going to church; but I love my wife, so I come with her.”

“Well, it’s the leadership of the church. That’s a big reason why we chose the Episcopal Church. Stephen has been there for me. I came to church three times with the children and then asked [my husband] to come. He had reservations, but Stephen helped him turn the corner.”

“Being a ‘cradle Episcopalian,’ there was no question that it had to be an Episcopal Church . . . I decided that this was the place for me because of the traditional nature of the architecture.”

“I like this church building; I don’t want to ruin the character of this building; I like the old beams, the fireplace, the parlor with the fireplace, although I’ve never seen the fireplace working; I don’t want the new construction to take away the character of the church and chapel.”

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“In our church, there is a sense that there are the faithful and pious. They are not fundamentalists; they believe in God and want to do God’s will . . . There is a genuine sense of commitment to God that justifies them to go out and act as Christians . . . this church appreciates that it is okay to question and have doubts. We are allowed to doubt. God gave man reason. The Bible contains information that is fallible, not immutable. Some things may be true that were not true yesterday.”

Theme Six: Challenges Many of the interviewees were quite specific when asked about the challenges facing the church. The following quotes touch on these challenges: •

“. . . when we arrived at church and asked where we could find the nursery, the person greeting us said, ‘We’re not sure, just go that way, and I’m sure you will figure it out.’”

“Sometimes passing the peace is a bit awkward; I wonder how it might work if Stephen said something like, ‘Look around, welcome at least five people, cross over the aisle if you like.’ And sometimes I come in and am not in a social mood, and I’m just here to worship God.”

“We have wonderful people here. They are inclusive, and they are exclusive. Being inclusive to me means that you look around outside the group and invite others in. It appears to me that those in the 20s and 30s in our church are great at this.”

“We could improve on coming out of ourselves, and looking at the people who could come here. It’s easy to get caught up in our conscious . . . When we are not looking at the altar, we should be looking at the people.”

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“. . . Our current facilities do not encourage welcome. The Welcome Table in the parish hall is an old broken card table. The parish hall looks cold. Perhaps we could set up a few small, round tables with coverings?”

These following challenges were mentioned along with advice: •

Interviewees suggested that the church start a young adult forum group since the current adult forum seems to attract an older group;

Interviewees liked the idea of a “Bring a Friend” day at church. Such a day would provide a specific occasion to reach out to new people;

Interviewees suggested that the church be intentional about connecting people who come from out of state to our church, especially newcomers from the same state. Such introductions could easily be made at Newcomer receptions and teas.

Interviewees suggested getting the Vestry involved in knowing new members and asking them to pray by name for new members at their Vestry meetings.

Other Interesting Pieces that Stand Alone •

“I was welcomed and liked participating at my own comfort level; for example, I missed the Newcomers’ Table my first time here; this was no problem. I went to it the third Sunday I was here and received bread then. I didn’t get assigned a Shepherd immediately, and that was fine. I’ve been busy getting my own life together.”

“[Bread was delivered,] but we were out of town, and the bread was ruined when we returned. It was such a nice thought, though.”

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“There was no question that I would look for an Episcopal church, so I Googled ‘Episcopal Church in Chapel Hill.’ The Chapel of the Cross website appealed to me; the church had an old church appeal, like my church at home, a Civil War era church.”

b. Clergy & Staff Because some of the themes important in the laity interviews did not figure as prominently in the interviews of the clergy and staff, due to position within the church and perspective, not all of the themes discussed above are analyzed, or analyzed separately, in this section.

Theme One: Receiving a Warm Welcome •

Gracious hospitality is essential o A good initiation plan o Invitation by the rector o Greeters o Newcomers’ Table o Welcome letter o Bread Ministry o Altar Guild sends flowers for various things o “Johnny-on-the-spot” with a complete welcoming program o Creating a map to help newcomers

Friendship is important

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o Bible study, yoga, centering prayer o Newcomer welcoming process involves many people o The Eucharistic Welcome o Power of open door and careful listening o Greetings at the door on Sunday

The following quotes touch on Theme One: •

“Gracious hospitality is the first step in receiving people into the life of faith . . . if this is not done, we won’t engage them within the life of the church. It must be done within the first three months. I know we have a good initiation plan for newcomers.”

“We see some newcomers who come straight from church worship to the Children’s Chapel Service, by passing the Newcomers’ Table in the parish hall. We have the forms that our newcomer greeters collect, and we . . . ask these newcomers to fill it out for us, and we turn them in to the office so that they are in the welcoming process with others.”

“We are working on making this a perfect system. We also made a map recently to give to newcomers who come to the Children’s Chapel. One person had a hard time finding our nursery. She needed help, so we are working on making our physical facilities user-friendly.”

“. . . the Foyer Groups . . . small group experiences are integral to hospitality. These small dinner groups, eight to ten people that generally meet once a month in each other’s homes, are great for meeting new friends and offer wonderful hospitality.”

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“The Eucharist welcome was wonderful . . . The important pieces were how beautifully and clearly the symbols of the Eucharist spoke to me of God’s welcome of us, so inviting to be a part of God’s story. The pieces included real Baptism and free inclusion into God’s family.”

“People have instilled in me the power of the open door, careful listening . . . creating a welcoming space for people to explore their own stories and what they have to do with the death and resurrection of Christ, with God welcoming us in these corporate acts. Being present and available and carefully listening is what it is all about -- listening for how God is directing us.”

“At the door on Sunday morning, I make a point to greet everyone by name. I introduce people to each other and try to connect people with similar interests. When there is a newcomer, I ask a church parishioner to accompany them to the Newcomers’ Table in the Parish Hall.”

“For new people, we are ‘Johnny-on-the-spot’ with a complete program.”

“Welcoming students is also something we do well.”

“As part of the program, every clergy person in the state is asked to send the names of any students from his or her parish to the appropriate people at the colleges and universities that the students plan to attend. We at Chapel of the Cross also send out letters to every clergy person in the state, as well as to every diocese in the United States.”

“We feed them every day during exams and sometimes in conjunction with a daily office. We’re also available twenty-four hours a day during this time.”

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“Our Valentine’s dinner was a Rainbow Coalition event. This is what church should be about – connecting with everyone, gay and lesbian, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish. For the Valentine’s dinner the rule for attending was to bring someone whom you did not know until you invited them.”

“We are called to welcome the stranger at the door, and yet often a parishioner will come and find one of the clergy because they are frightened of the stranger and don’t want to have to meet their need. That is what they pay us to do, they might say.”

“We welcome all people here; their beliefs may vary, and that is okay. We are on the side of generosity of spirit, time and talent.”

Theme Two: Getting Involved in the Church •

Greeting and recruiting over 200 volunteer newcomers

Raising money to support purchase of mosquito nets for prevention of malaria in Africa

Nurturing a youth community that is welcoming and accepting (EYC) o Mission trips o Sharing personal timelines

Christian welcome with spiritual formation

Multi-faceted activities

Five worship services every Sunday

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The following quotes are related to Theme Two: •

“With newcomers, we are careful to help them find a place where they give of their talents in a way that they enjoy . . . we want people who teach to be happy in this role . . . we strive to reach out to the ‘quiet new parishioners’ to help them find a place to volunteer; this is vital to our mission to help them get involved in the church.”

“Children have been intimately involved in supporting [the purchase of mosquito nets for the prevention of malaria in Africa], participating in play acting and drama to inform our worshipers, Church School Classes, bake sales, a fair with other Episcopal Churches, participating in Alternative Christmas gifts and helping with individual family contributions.”

“Reaching out to our neighbors in far-away places is hospitality at its best. Our children have been blessed in many ways, and returning a small portion of what God has blessed us with is a lesson we strive to teach our children.”

“One of our most important hospitality roles in this Christian Formation office is recruiting volunteers; this is where they become involved in the church and share their gifts and talents. We especially target our newcomers, and this makes them feel welcome. Recruiting over 200 volunteers through this office, we have 29 young students, ages eight and up, who volunteer in Church Chapel.”

“Actually God does the building. And I, along with others, nurture a youth community that is welcoming and accepting. [On a recent youth community mission trip to rural Tennessee], they found joy and delight in each other’s presence. How did it come about? Creating a community based on God’s welcome of people.”

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“At church we share our personal timelines. We practice basic good listening. We share our highs and lows. We get to know each other’s stories. We share prayer requests and common meals. We pray together, celebrate Eucharist and corporate acts of mercy. The Holy Spirit binds us together, reflecting the Trinity. We welcome each other and pour ourselves out to each other. There are ninth graders to just graduated young people. We meet every Sunday evening in EYC.”

“We try to do a lot with outreach and fellowship. We have larger gatherings per quarter as well; for example, we recently had a dinner for Cross Ties participants, scheduled at the lake. We find ways to engage the Gospel and our graduate students. Events like this blend fellowship with theological reflection.”

“Variety is a top priority for those ministries for adults. We aim for everyone to feel a connection to something important to them. And, we want to remember Episcopal Campus Ministry (ECM); this is our basic mission territory; it’s part of our DNA, having been founded by a university professor and located on campus for our university students.”

Themes Three and Four: Expressing Love and Great Appreciation, and Particularly Important Words •

Acceptance and welcome

The Eucharist

Funerals and receptions

Saying the peace

The healing station

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Beautiful gothic architecture

Beautiful liturgy and music

Professional choir

Children’s choir

Regular adult choir

Professional organist/choirmaster

All are welcomed and nourished

New parish hall for hospitality

Christian formation o Christian parenting classes o Church school o Young adult outings o Adult education sessions (variety) o Bible Study Monthly Book Group o Youth and Inquirers’ Class o Women’s Support Group o Worship to five retirement centers o Wide variety of activities for children

Outreach Ministry o Foyer Groups o Women’s Bible Group o Women’s Retreats o Book Study

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o Shepherds o Recruiting volunteers o Incredible resources o Global Missions (South Africa and Honduras) o Large variety (e.g., Habitat for Humanity, Interfaith Council, Good Samaritans)

The following quotes touch on the main emphases under Themes Three and Four: •

“We are especially mindful or have the intention to reach people who are going through transitional times. They may need food, a reception and a space to be married.”

“Funerals are very well done, and the receptions are, too. There is great latitude in letting the people participate, and this is good.”

“Our funerals and receptions speak to the wonderful hospitality that we have in our church. Telling the story of how God’s love has unfolded in this person, how each of us is an expression of God’s creation, and how God’s story is told in their life is so very important.”

“I believe that [Christian formation] is to develop programs to develop skills in how to live out one’s faith, the full scope of formation. It’s liturgical; it is engagement in Outreach Ministry; it’s offering pastoral care to any in need; it’s being sensitive to the environment that God has given us responsibility for; and it is giving a voice to those who have no voice through advocacy.”

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“. . . small group opportunities provide a level of hospitality like no other . . . the Lenten Prayer groups, involving 10 to 15 per group and meeting at all times of the day or evening; seminars or groups on ‘Growing with Aging Parents,’ ‘Teens,’ ‘Widows,’ ‘Prayer Groups,’ and ‘Dinners for Eight.’”

“One of our most important hospitality roles in this Christian Formation office is recruiting volunteers; this is where they become involved in the church and share their gifts and talents. We especially target our newcomers, and this makes them feel welcome. Recruiting over 200 volunteers through this office, we have 29 young students, age eight and up, who volunteer in Church Chapel.”

“. . . availability is an important piece of hospitality that we can offer each other. On a larger perspective for someone in church it’s a different way of familyhood.”

“It was like a radical welcome, when [someone] accepts you for no apparent reason. Acceptance and welcome . . . it was experiencing God’s welcome incarnate through these new people.”

“I learned the importance of the Eucharist as a strengthener of the bonds in Christ and each other and as a means of fellowship with each other. Christ welcomed us, just as Paul said. I still retain my sense of the importance of clearly communicating liturgy in word and symbol -- of being transparent. It’s God’s story.”

“One of the main things to me is when we walk in the Peace and say, ‘The Peace of the Lord be with you.’ We greet each other with handshakes, hugs and sometimes we walk across the aisles.”

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“When I say, ‘I lay my hands upon you in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, beseeching him to uphold you and fill you with his grace, that you may know the healing power of his love,’ this is powerful hospitality.”

Theme Six: Challenges •

Plan a student-led worship service

Communication; a master calendar

Size of church

Lack of space

Finding the nursery

Parking

Mixed reputation

Nametags debate

Patriarchal language

Rite I vs. Rite II

Connection within the congregation

Small groups; inclusiveness; exclusiveness

Marshaling and utilizing all of our resources

Utilizing all of our talents and interests

Getting everyone involved

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The following quotes touch on the main emphases under Theme Six: •

“I think it would be great if we could plan worship services the Sunday following Christmas to be led by our students. They will be home from college and universities, and those who live here will have returned from vacations . . . they could lead a wonderful worship service for us. This could be followed by a social event for them.”

“Communication, making sure everyone knows, is a problem in a large parish like ours. We email to parents and students; we have CrossRoads, our church journal; our website is constantly being updated; Facebook is popular with many; and we have Stephen’s weekly updates. Yet, we need some kind of master calendar available to all. There are some things that are definite times and others, like weddings and funerals, that have to be added to a master schedule. We are trying to improve this process.”

“It’s the challenges of a big church. A prominent one is knowing how long everyone has been here. This takes some asking, and this can be awkward.”

“Space, of course, is also a challenge, and parking is and will continue to be a challenge.”

“There is a great deal of room for improvement. For example, our parking situation; I have a friend who wanted to come to this church. She tried three Sundays and said, ‘Forget about it.’ I’ve heard this story from other people as well.”

“I have suggested that we might try satellite parking . . . We could save some church spaces for newcomers and those who need help. Of course, there would be some who would not agree.”

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“The reputation of this church is mixed. When people heard that I was coming to this church, half of the people said it was a wonderful church, great involvement with the university; others said, ‘I tried and no one ever talked to me.’ I think this is true. We have people who are greeters, but we don’t know their names unless they wear their nametags, which they don’t always do.”

“We really need nametags; we need them not just for the clergy; they are for people to know each other. I have suggested that we use them, the kind that are magnetized and don’t destroy your clothes; they are six dollars apiece.”

“[Another perspective is that] of my neighbor, who says that she loves to come to this church because no one notices her.”

“Newcomers often find the way to the nursery to be a challenge. Do I go upstairs or down, take the elevator and walk, and where is the signage all along the way? . . . the nursery is one of the most important welcome features for parents with a baby.”

“I realize that we still use the version of the Bible with patriarchal language; you could not use that version in term papers in Divinity schools now. We still use Rite I; maybe we could use this only at the 7:30 a.m. service.”

[On whether people preferred the lecture format of some of our adult forums or would prefer a more informal approach]: “We don’t have large attendance at our church school functions on Sunday morning, but those who do come remain faithful.”

“I think there is a place for small groups to come together; for adults who are asking the spiritual questions. These groups could have programs that foster building community. Programs that emphasize justice issues, hospitality, welcoming the stranger, and pastoral care all seem to thrive.”

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[On improving our gracious and holy hospitality]: “Making sure that there is some contact with every household every year, at a minimum, phone calls and not just in the annual giving campaign. We’re a big church, but we need to make contact and not just for crisis ministry.”

“Elevator Speeches:” •

Wonderful children’s program o Opportunities to participate and to volunteer o Conscious about teaching the Episcopal Liturgy o Offer Godly Play o We trust that children know God; we encourage growth o Children can be full participants here

Variety and number of programs

Worship – strongly Anglican

Progressive congregation

Classical music

Gender inclusive language

Variety of Sunday worship services (five times and two places)

Exquisite liturgy

Shepherds’ Ministry

Community support (monetary)

Funerals and receptions

Young families

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Visiting the homebound

Openness to all ilk of life

Connection with the community

Stimulating parish in terms of history, location, people, multi-active ministries

Towards the end of each interviews, I typically asked each interviewee for a brief “elevator speech;” what they might say to someone moving to the Chapel Hill area and looking for a church. Excerpts from some of these speeches are included below: •

“There are five different congregations with lots of programs. The worship is of Anglican formality, and the congregation is considered progressive . . . Our music is classical; we use the 1982 Hymnal and sing only traditional Anglican music. We do not use gender-inclusive language in our adult liturgy. We read from the NRSV Bible. We do have a variety of worship services with 5:15 being our most inclusive. Some of our population is ready and anxious to have alternative liturgy.”

“We have a wonderful program for children, including a Children’s Chapel Program. There are many opportunities for children and youth to participate and to volunteer. We are conscious about teaching the Episcopal Liturgy. We trust that children of all ages already know God, and our programs all encourage growth (e.g., Godly Play is for children to share their understanding and knowledge of God). In our many programs, we hope the children will teach us also. Children can be full participants at the Chapel of the Cross.”

“We have good liturgy at the Chapel of the Cross and good outreach to the community. As a newcomer, you may need to go a couple of times and see what it is

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really like. It’s a big church, good and bad. It might be harder to get to know people, but you have more choices and a big variety of times to go to church service.” •

“The Chapel of the Cross is a stimulating parish to do ministry in, given its history, its location, and its people and multi-active ministries . . . I’m intrigued at all the amazing things we accomplish.”

“Funerals are our top priority. We truly address the needs of the family. If the family wants a certain kind of music, we provide it: Guitar, gospel . . . Van goes all out for families. We bring comfort to our families, liturgically and pastorally, with our funerals and funeral receptions. Hospitality is warm and comforting and lovely.”

“We welcome young families. Gretchen is systematic about contacting families, connecting them with the Children’s Ministry. We also reach out to new babies through the Guild of the Christ Child. If children are cared for, you believe it is a good place for them. And, we also welcome the young adults at newcomer receptions and teas and all the other good ways that we welcome parishioners.”

[About our care for the homebound]: “That is truly pastoral care at its finest. We have a good group of parishioners who visit people who can’t get to church. We talk with them and often leave them laughing. We treat them like guests. We have support teams who care for practical needs. They have given parties for the homebound. It’s like hospitality for those in crisis.”

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CHAPTER V. THE FUTURE

A. Looking Ahead in the Ministry of Evangelism The Episcopal Church’s Standing Commission on Domestic Mission and Evangelism in 1998 framed a “20-20 Vision” designed “to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ. We commit to being a healthy, dynamic, inviting church, reflective of the diversity of our society, deeply rooted in faith and the gospel, so that we live out our baptismal promise to be disciples who make disciples of Jesus Christ” (Lemler, 2008, p. 21). Can or should the ministry of evangelization be more informed and intentional in our parish as we look to the future? There is the realization that friendship and faith are gifts of the Holy Spirit. Augustine describes friendship in The Confessions as “a bond between souls that cleave to each other through the ‘love poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given to us,’ that is as the gift of the Holy Spirit who is the Lord” (p. 56). Both faith and friendship are given and received. Vanier (1989, p.271) proposed that, “Members of a community should pray for this gift of welcome. For it is truly a gift. Our hearts must be opened to welcome. This gift is love, and love for the different and the unexpected. And this love comes from the Father. We must ask for this love and expect it to be given. Genuine welcome is energy of peace felt and appreciated.” This gift of the Holy Spirit, faith, helps us to open to God with trust and transparency, as does friendship, which is also an exercise in trust. Whether friendship is human or divine, it requires an enduring fidelity or trust (Baucom, 2008, p. 173). Through the process of faith formation/development, we learn to trust in God and recognize Christ as a friend, as Jesus

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recognized his own disciples: “I do not call for servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; I have called for friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father” (John 15:15).

B. The Catechumenate: A Context for Christian Evangelism, Faith Development and Welcome “The catechumenate may not only renew traditional ministries (of deacons, catechists, and sponsors); it may also catalyze the growth of other less ordered, more informal ministries: that of evangelists and healers, song leaders and storytellers, specialists in hospitality and in spiritual direction. Such diversification may help de-clericalize the church’s ministry. It may give fresh substance to the phrase ‘priesthood of all believers’ and may help us again see that ‘Laos is a priestly name for priestly persons’” (Harmless, 1995, pp. 10-11). In our parish we have a strong emphasis on an Inquirers’ class, preparing persons for Baptism and Confirmation. According to Baucom, the catechumenate program generally refers to all those who are being prepared for baptism and Eucharist, and for full inclusion into the church. “More specifically, it refers to the middle stage of the catechumenate, which could normally last anywhere from one to three years” (Baucom, 2008, pp. 144-145). Sponsors play an important role in this process as well; they accompany the inquirer through faith development and the various stages of the catechumenate. The task of the catechist is to be the instructor of the faith (Schewern, 1999, p.366). The term “catechist” comes from the Greek word “Katecheo,” meaning to instruct. “Those who are taught the word must share in all good things with their teacher” (Galatians 6:6). In Paul’s letter

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to the Ephesians, he says, “The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers” (Ephesians 4:11). The period of instruction that encompasses the catechumenate program lasts at least through Advent and Epiphany. Historically, the catechumenate was often like the Israelites’ instruction in the desert following their delivery from Egypt, a space of days during which the law of God was taught. It was a time when one was instructed in praying, a time of birth and a time when catechumens were being readied for baptism. Instruction included worship, studying the word and social service work. Instruction was balanced with ritual and moral formation (Keifert, 1992, pp. 103–104). The catechumenal process, with its practices, may be an area that the Chapel of the Cross decides to explore as a different way for us to bring seekers and emerging Christians into our parish. The process represents a longer and more formal approach to faith development and evangelism. Some say that the Episcopal Church does not often talk about evangelism, yet the Bible is pretty clear: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). The Episcopal Church has endorsed this message, as it was inscribed over the altar in the Virginia Episcopal Seminary Chapel for all chapel attendees to see, read and pray about on a daily basis. Angerer (2011) proposed three radically different approaches to evangelism: 1. The approach Paul used in Athens was one of reason and logic; it was an intellectual approach to win people to Christ. He used a reasoned argument as he went into the heart of the Athens community. We, too, reach out to the strangers to welcome them

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into our community of faith, offering them holy hospitality, as they participate in our worship (Acts 17). 2. Dorcas offered another approach to evangelism, the offering of service. She is described as being “devoted to good works and acts of charity” (Acts 9:36). When Dorcas died, the people called for Peter to come and bring her back, and so he did. Dorcas spent her life in service to others, offering, for example, help to widows and those in her community most in need. Her evangelism was her service; this is a style of evangelism we can all emulate. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘what are you doing for others?’” 3. Levi, the tax collector, provides the third approach to evangelism. Levi is called to follow Christ, and he invites Christ to a large banquet with many people (Luke 5:27). We, too, can invite people, those of faith as well as strangers and seekers, to our banquets. Levi’s evangelistic approach is a wonderful expression of radical hospitality. Using these three approaches to evangelism, can we at the Chapel of the Cross do even more? Can we use logic and reason to win people to Christ; can we give even more of our time, talents, and financial resources in service to others; and can we devote ourselves to radical hospitality as we invite and welcome the strangers, the marginalized into our “great banquet?” Do our actions reveal that we know how our church and the Kingdom of God are counting on us? Leading a recent “boot camp” on evangelism, the Rev. David Gortner (2011, p. 12) had this to say: “Evangelism matters, and it is at the heart of who we are as Christians. We have pledged ourselves in baptism: To seek and serve Christ in each person we encounter; to proclaim

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by word and example the good news of God in Christ Jesus. Words matter and not ALL words matter. The language of the heart matters.” According to Dr. Gortner, lives of witness matter. These are “lives where word and deed are unified, where the Holy Spirit is expected, where words reflect the poetry and drama and comedy of life blessed and infused and redeemed by God, where the washing of feet is accompanied by conversation that invites understanding” (Gortner, 2011, p. 12). He reminded us to open our eyes, ears and hearts to witness God at work in the lives of others, even in very unlikely situations.

C. Strengthening the Church’s Mission and Health When the 77th Convention of the Episcopal Church convenes at the Convention Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, on July 5 through 12, 2012, the Chapel of the Cross delegates and others from our parish will be there. They will gather with “two hundred bishops and twelve hundred deputies and alternates plus several hundred support staff, exhibitors, and visitors from the United States, several Central American countries and various church entities in Europe. They will be drawn together to worship, study, interact with each other and enact legislation that will provide structure for the life of the church” (Murrell, 2010, pp. 12–13). One subject that seems sure to appear on the 2012 agenda is “the creation of liturgical rites celebrating the marriage of two people of the same gender.” The Chapel of the Cross has already blessed gay unions, using rites with diocesan bishop approval. Our wise leadership in this matter at the Convention could help to strengthen the health and mission of the whole Episcopal Church and lead the Church to better embrace holy hospitality and pastoral care, as our discernment process and resulting ministry has so effectively done in our parish.

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The following principles and tenets would improve the health of our church and focus the direction of its mission for the future: We must continue to live and grow in mission-focused communities of faith that “recognize the seeking and searching of people and focus on hospitality and inclusion (rather than much of exclusion present in the modern version of church life). Practices of inclusion (particularly Eucharistic worship, hospitality, creation of a ‘safe place,’ welcoming those who are different and transparent with humility) invite and incorporate seekers” (Gibbs & Bolger, 2005, p. 126). We must be intentional about giving “attention to serving and inviting the vast number of people who seek God but who are outside the community of the local church . . . this begins with awareness that there is indeed a broad variety of spiritual styles” (Lemler, 2008, p. 155). As Richard Foster reminded us in Streams of Living Water, “Today a mighty river of the Spirit is bursting forth from the hearts of women and men, boys and girls. It is a deep river of divine intimacy, a powerful river of holy living, a dancing river of jubilation in the Spirit, and a broad river of unconditional love for all people . . . Today our sovereign God is drawing many streams together that heretofore have been separated from one another” (Foster, 1998, pp.11-14). Lemler (2008, p. 158) said that, “if we are to survive and grow, we must change—as congregations, as leaders, as the church itself.” Our parish is in the middle of big changes. Let us remember that as our buildings are changed, people are changed, and our parish is transformed, and our hearts are renewed and restored through the Grace of God. We do have good news to proclaim, share and live. Times of transition offer a unique opportunity to look back on what we have done in responding to God’s call and how we have led with faithfulness and courage. Now as we

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encounter new thresholds of possibility, God is calling us to be bold and courageous in our loving service to each other and in building anew a firmer foundation for Christ. As we journey in faith and transformation, may we embody a fully engaged “Christian life in worship, Bible reading and reflection, prayer, and hymns and songs that lift the soul” (Lemler, 2008, pp. 142, 145). Each and every one of us who enter our glass doors must strive for hospitality, helping to maintain a parish that is open, invitational and welcoming, reflective of the hospitality of God and where all are sustained and nurtured. Our parish members are warm and caring to each other; we must make sure that our newcomers experience this warmth and care also. We must continue to be, and to more freely embrace, “a community of invitation and hospitality that recognizes and respects the spiritual searching and seeking that is going on inside and outside our congregation” (Lemler, 2008, p. 157). As we move forward with a new strategic plan and plans for action, let us pray for clarity of vision, the right and necessary resources and a commitment for renewed strength and energetic revitalization and transformation. “O God of unchangeable power and eternal light; look favorably on your whole church, that wonderful and sacred mystery: By the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, Your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 280).

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D. Transformational Change The road to transformational change, though fraught with challenges, leads to significant improvement. During the writing of this thesis/project, the Chapel of the Cross has been involved in a process of change led by the Rev. Dr. William H. Morley, Priest Associate in our church. John Kotter (1996, pp. 17, 18) described seven dimensions and stages in the process of intentional leadership for and in the midst of change: 1. Creating a guiding coalition: Putting together a group with enough power to lead the charge and equipping them to work as a team. 2. Developing a vision and a strategy: Envisioning the future and developing a strategy for the goals and steps that will lead into that future. 3. Communicating the change vision: Finding many ways of communicating the new vision and using coalition for that purpose. 4. Empowering broad-based action: Working through obstacles and resistance and empowering movement for change and transformation. 5. Generating short-term wins: Planning for, acknowledging and affirming improvements and visible actions that embody the hoped-for-future. 6. Consolidating gains and producing more change: Reinforcing actions and removing those elements that are not consistent and congruent with a new culture. 7. Anchoring new approaches in the culture: Consistently interpreting the new character of the culture, articulating the connections between new behaviors and organizational success, and developing various means to ensure leadership development and succession.

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Like most mainline churches, the Episcopal Church has seen a decline in number of churches during the past several decades. Lemler primarily attributed this decline to the fact that, “We have not envisioned and become engaged in ministries of evangelism, invitation and hospitality in our congregation in ways that meet the present rapidly changing world around us” (Lemler, 2008, p. 18). He rejected the notion that our decline is due to moral and ethical changes in the Church and urges us to embrace the missions of evangelism and welcome for a new century. That the Episcopal Church is identified as a hopeful church, a church of openness, spiritual vitality and mutual respect, is a favorable sign for the future. We are not a church that takes a judgmental stance on people or their lives. The Episcopal Church can connect well with our post-modern world. Every level of decision-making involves key people. Our respect for inquiry is genuine; a variety of spiritual approaches and styles are encouraged within our rich tradition of spirituality. Even so, Lemler said (2008, p. 19), “We simply must change: We must become much more intentional in our focus on proclamation and invitation.” He suggested that our time-worn customs of worship and community life have allowed us “to turn in on ourselves, and to have patterns of community life that are unintentionally closed to newcomers. Our worship must change. Our modes of communication, advertising, and welcome must change.” Our congregations must reach out and help people in the midst of life changes by offering transformative experiences.

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E. The Primate and Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church Speaks about the Future The Most. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Primate and Bishop of the Episcopal Church, spoke at the Convention of the Diocese of North Carolina on 20 January 2012. At the convention, she told us that our diocese is “invited to be a mountain of peace, a tower of justice, a community raised up to build heaven on earth” (Jefferts Schori, 2012, p. 1). Reminding us that God is with us and within us, among us and all around us, she said, “We still focus on holy sites, places that have been hallowed by the prayers of many through the ages” (Jefferts Schori, 2012). “Jesus is still calling us out,” she told us, “wanting us to ‘go’ out into fields ripe for harvest” (Jefferts Schori, 2012). She instructed us to go out and become a mountain and a fountain of God’s love for the whole world. Further, she challenged us to build communities where others can meet God and learn holy ways of living. She gave us a warning to be alert; there are wolves out there, but to go anyway, relying “on the hospitality of those you meet.” She continued, “When you find a welcome, share a meal, heal the sick, here is the kingdom of God. Here we can build a community of peace—it’s Isaiah’s heavenly picnic on the mountainside” (Jefferts Schori, 2012). “On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear. And he will destroy on this mountain the shroud that is cast over all peoples, the sheet that is spread over all nations; he will swallow up death forever. Then the Lord God will wipe away the fears from all faces” (Isaiah 24:6-8).

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“This is the kind of mountain that we’re supposed to become,” she told us. “It’s meant for this life—not just after life” (Jefferts Schori, 2012, p. 2). She reminded us that Jesus worked at being this kind of mountain. “He fed people, and he ate with them—even the scandalous types. He healed people right and left, whether they said ‘thank you’ or not. And he told people about God’s dream for a healed world” (Jefferts Schori, 2012, p. 2). She reminded us that God’s mission has a church as partner—with work to do—creating communities, one household, one city, and one mountain picnic at a time. We were made for relationship with God, as well as other human beings, so her advice was to sit down and spend some holy time because the healing and hope will come from being in community. Finally, she advised us to “go to Starbucks and sit. Find a mountainside and start listening to companions and your own heart. What are we willing to leave behind in order to travel light and receive hospitality? That’s mountain building work, all of it. North Carolina, mountain of justices—almost heaven, for there will need to be little mountains in every part of Galilee drawing in the liturgy and hurting to a banquet of peace and justice. And then the whole earth WILL rejoice” (Jefferts Schori, 2012, p. 3).

F. Our Bishop Speaks About “The Church in 21st Century Galilee” In his pastoral address to the 196th Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina on 20 January 2012, the Right Reverend Michael B. Curry, Bishop of North Carolina, spoke passionately, as he is well known to do, about “The Church in 21st Century Galilee.” He likened the Episcopal Church to Galilee, as a missionary church that is focused outward, stepping outward. It is the Church “that doesn’t wait for the world to come to it but, instead, follows Jesus out into the world” (Curry, 2012).

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Bishop Curry pressed further toward a goal for the Diocese of North Carolina: To “teach reconciliation through interfaith peace education, which helps create understandings and friendship across cultural, religious, and ethnic divides” (Curry, 2012). He cited Paul’s letter to the Ephesians (2:14), noting that it said that Jesus died to break down “the dividing wall” that separates us from God and from each other as Children of God, who are meant to be God’s family (Ephesians 2:14). How might we change? Bishop Curry’s challenge to us was to move forward to reflect Jesus’ radical welcome in our churches. In doing so, he encouraged us to move out beyond our church door. He promised that we could do more in our Episcopal tradition, “including house churches or even churches out on the streets” (Curry, 2012, p. 8). He invited us “as we lean forward” into this missionary movement to join him in an online book study during the Easter season, as we live out Jesus’ resurrection and his journey to Galilee. The book he recommended, Christianity after Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening by Diane Butler Bass, will soon be published. (It is now published and was available at CEEP as of March 2012). Are we at the Chapel of the Cross ready for this challenge of a “Galilee movement?” The bishop acknowledged that it would be daunting and that our mission field would be more and more complex, even uncertain. But he bolstered our fortitude with the following powerful words: “There is something rich and strong and good and holy within this Church. It may be that deep within and among us we know we already have what we need for this hour. Maybe we just need the Spirit to help us to name it, claim it and proclaim it with our lips and in our lives. We already have what is needed—a God to commend--a loving and liberating Lord to follow—a

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gospel that is good news to proclaim. A way of being Christian that is faithful and orthodox, loving and compassionate, open and generous—a way of following Jesus that is radically welcoming toward all and unafraid to proclaim, as the saying goes, that ‘God loves you, no exceptions!’ A church witnessing to these extraordinary truths has a message for this moment. This is the truth for the 21st Century. This is a voice for the times. This, in fact, is the accent of Galilee” (Curry, 2012).

G. Our Rector of the Chapel of the Cross Speaks About the Future The week following the Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, our rector, the Rev. Stephen Elkins-Williams, sent a “Dear Friends” message to the Chapel of the Cross parishioners. In the message, he told us that the theme of the Convention had been, “Welcome to Galilee,” a place very much like our world today: “Unpredictable, religiously and culturally polarized, unstable, diverse, rapidly changing” (Elkins-Williams, January 2012). “Our diocese,” he said, “is challenging itself and all its congregations to ‘go into Galilee and meet people where they are.’” He reminded us that Jesus chose to meet his followers in Galilee after his resurrection. We, too, are being challenged to “live out the Gospel in the way only your church can do in your community” (Elkins-Williams, January 2012). Stephen told our congregation that to get started, or as a catalyst, each congregation had been given $100 to start a new initiative. He asked for stories and suggestions on how we might do this. He welcomed us to share ideas to use this gift for creative mission. As a result, so many possibilities would be offered, and choosing would be difficult. We are a thoughtful, creative, “strong and good and holy Church, committed to faithfully meeting the challenges set before us. We have a way of being Christian that is faithful and

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orthodox, loving and compassionate, open and generous—And, we have a way of following Jesus that is radically welcoming toward all” (Curry, 2012). As the new mission statement of the Chapel of the Cross proclaims: The Chapel of the Cross welcomes you with an open door. We are:  Called by tradition and mission to minister in the heart of the University and local community  Committed to the sacramental worship of God, engaging the richness and beauty of Anglican liturgy and music  Growing as disciples of Jesus through preaching, teaching, service, and fellowship  Bringing Gospel witness to the world.

H. Our Rector Speaks: Change and the Future is on Our Mind In another of our rector’s “Dear Friends” pastoral letters to the parish, he emphasized leadership in our church. “Leadership,” he said, “has been an important part of the ministry of our church” (ElkinsWilliams, February 2007). He cited examples within our diocese: Members and staff are serving as the Secretary, the Treasurer, the Arch Deacon, a Trustee, two members of the Diocesan Council, the chairperson of the Perrick Village Board of Trustees and in other significant roles. Our Johnson Intern Program is at the top of the Episcopal Church’s Young Adult Formation programs. Stephen gave another leadership example: Our diocese is moving to a strong emphasis on regional ministry; that is, local congregations working together in common ministry. Hospitality and programs between three Orange County parishes, the Church of the Holy Family

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in Chapel Hill, St. Matthew’s in Hillsborough, and the Chapel of the Cross, are well known and received. The three parishes help to initiate and support the Church of the Advocate. We lead and grow in Mission and Outreach and offer opportunities for spiritual growth and nurturing our faith. He acknowledged our wide-ranging worship with a strong music program blessed with the gifts and talents of many parishioners. And, mentioning the fact that our souls are fed through opportunities such as participating in our Lenten prayer groups, or practicing Centering Prayer or Quiet Days, Stephen reminded us that “man cannot live on activity alone;” we must take advantage of the opportunities that strengthen our faith and nourish the faith of others around us. Our vision for the future of this parish reflects our common mission as we move forward together in dynamic ministry. It is still being shaped as we move forward. Though the scope and cost of our present and future needs may seem daunting, we can be “Encouraged by two groups of our predecessors who courageously faced the challenge of conceiving and building our Chapel and of moving beyond that familiar paradigm to construct the church” (Elkins-Williams, February 2007). His final challenge was to take advantage of that “same opportunity, as they did, to affect significantly the ministry of the parish for generations to come” (Elkins-Williams, February 2007). With this I add, paraphrasing Stephen, “We look forward to the future and to serving God with you in this parish by doing all such good works as God has prepared for us to walk in.” As the Rev. Dr. J. Barney Hawkins IV said, “We do not form leaders who will spend their time maintaining the church as it is. We form leaders who are about God’s mission in the world—men and women who seek the mind of Christ in all things. We want to form leaders who lost their lives in service so that the world will be given life” (Hawkins, December 2011, p. 19).

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I. The Chapel of the Cross Looks to the Future While the Hospitality Ministry parishioners were meeting with Bill Morley, the vestry and the church were also involved in strategic planning for the future. In a report to the vestry, 27 October 2011, Dr. Morley presented an Executive Summary of the Chapel of the Cross Administrative Realignment Project. While this is not a part of my thesis/project, it is important to note that our church seeks to study itself on a regular basis to discern what God wants us to be and do. This thesis/project looks to our future, just as Dr. Morley’s work in strategic planning with the Hospitality Ministry projected our vision and actions toward 2015. Dr. Morley’s report included a section entitled, “The Corporate Church of the Future— What will the Chapel of the Cross Look Like?” In his book One Size Doesn’t Fit All (1999), Gary McIntosh wrote about the large church as a multiple-call organism in which there are too many people to know everyone; there are numerous groups, classes, and services where people can become involved; and Church leadership is representative of several groups, classes, and cells. In other words, the church is a congregation of congregations. The Chapel of the Cross is currently bridging between being a “Professional” and a “Strategic” Church. As we continue to grow, so will the number of groups, classes, and cells that make up our ministry. Therefore, we know that administrative, organizational and leadership structures will need to adapt to this ever-increasing complexity. McIntosh (1999) found that increasing complexity affects the following aspects of a congregational system: •

The organizing principle that governs adaptation and decision making;

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The foundational way in which growth and assimilation are managed;

The style of pastoral leadership that works effectively;

The way in which the staff team functions;

The identity and focus of the governing board, the vestry.

As part of the church’s strategic planning for the future, various recommendations have been made regarding how we can more effectively leverage stewardship resources, weather risk factors, and grow new categories for the corporate church, in order to align our ministry and resources with our mission statement. We will continue to consider the human capital requirements and financial resources necessary to meet new or changing directions for ministry; linking people with the appropriate skills, talents, and leadership abilities to those missions within our clearly-defined strategic direction is also crucial. Dr. Morley also made recommendations for the rector and vestry, staff, and each committee of the parish to engage in a strategic planning process every three years, creating short-term and mid-term strategies with specific dates for each. Finally, Dr. Morley made recommendations for the church’s consideration; one of these, the recommendation on, “Communicating and Feeling,” is related to hospitality. “Communicating and feeling” in a large corporate church is difficult. One strategy is to break up the congregation into “neighborhood groups,” which would allow the vestry and lay leaders in those neighborhood areas a greater opportunity to get to know our parish family, communicate important news and solicit feedback, develop a greater awareness of people’s talents and willingness to serve in parish ministries and activities, and serve as a great vehicle to incorporate more new members into the parish family.

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J. “Let Us Grow Together” In a sermon preached at the Washington National Cathedral on 17 July 2011, Pentecost V, the Rev. Dr. J. Barney Hawkins IV quoted a Jesuit poet who invited us to live in life’s garden with contradictions: Wheat and weeds: let them grow together. Arabs and Jews in Palestine: let them grow together. Documented and undocumented aliens: let them grow together. Immigrants and Native Americans: let them grow together. Blacks and whites of South Africa: let them grow together. Sikhs and Hindus of India: let them grow together. Rich and poor, humble and haughty: let them grow together. Those whose thinking is similar and contrary: let them grow together. Winter, spring, summer, fall; let them grow together. All seasons of one’s life: let them grow together. Joys and sorrow, laughter, tears: let them grow together. Virtue and vice: let them grow together. Wisdom of the East and West: let them grow together. All contrarieties of the Lord: let them grow together.”

Dr. Hawkins added his own verse to the poem: Muslims and Christians: let them grow together. Gays and straights: let them grow together. Liberals and conservatives: let them grow together.

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Republicans and Democrats: let them grow together. Able and handicapped: let them grow together.

The Mission Statement of the Chapel of the Cross invites us all to grow together. We welcome all with an open door. Just as the “Washington National Cathedral stands as a sacred and welcoming place where people come to pray, commemorate, celebrate, and mourn” (Canon, 2011), we, too, come together for the same at the Chapel of the Cross. As our Mission Statement sets forth, we are “committed to the sacramental worship of God and engaging the richness and beauty of Anglican liturgy.” Both churches are historic landmarks: The Cathedral, a national symbol of faith in the United States of America, and the Chapel of the Cross, called by tradition and mission to minister in the heart of the University of North Carolina and the local community of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Through preaching, teaching, service and fellowship, we grow as disciples of Jesus. Both churches bring Gospel witness to the world, promoting peace and justice. Reason, one of the hallmarks of our unique Anglican understanding, offers opportunities to deal with and accept contradictions. The Rev. Dr. John H. Westerhoff (1998) once said that, we are “a people called Episcopalians. Welcome to our peculiar way of life.” We Episcopalians pray that the church be “bound together in love and obedience (to God),” that it “may be united in one body by the one Spirit” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 255). Former Presiding Primate and Bishop, the Most Reverend Frank T. Griswold III, told us that the Episcopal Church does not offer any final or absolute answers to the conflicts in ourselves or in our society. He affirmed, however, “That as a community grounded in prayer and

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worship, we are seeking to know God’s will and, by the grace of God, to do God’s will in all the areas of human concern that are the responsibility of those of us who believe in Jesus Christ” (Webber, 1999, p. VII). And so, with holy hospitality, The Episcopal Church Welcomes You and invites all to join us to gain a better understanding and a fuller knowledge of our faith community. Become a part of the body of worshipers seeking to know the risen Christ as we live our lives in a very complex, yet wonderful, world. (Webber, 1999, p. VII).

K. Closing We, as parishioners of the Chapel of the Cross, are committed to making improvements in our spiritual lives. Loving one another and reaching out in genuine spiritual fellowship is a worthy goal for all. Moving toward “radical welcome” is and has been a priority. We have come far in this church. But there is always farther to go. Dean Markham of Virginia Theological Seminary noted that because Episcopalians think it okay to miss church on Sunday, we generally do not know each other well. Could we commit to going to church every Sunday no matter where we are? Could more people join our contemplative prayer? Episcopalians have a reputation as readers, learners, committed to lifelong inquiry. Could more people join Bible Study groups? Are we reaching everyone who desires a partner on this faith journey? Are we welcoming all who would like to be a part of this ministry? When we “pass the peace” each Sunday and say, “The Lord Be with You,” and “And also with you,” do we linger long enough so that our body language and actions bear out the meaning of our utterances? The U.S. Congregational Life Survey demonstrates that, overall, parishioners are very satisfied with the Chapel of the Cross. Do we show it, and do we invite

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others to experience our satisfaction with us? After church service, do we have coffee in the parish hall or parlor and make an effort to converse with people we don’t know? Are we happy to see them, and do we greet them accordingly? Are we paying attention to those listed in the service bulletins, or on the parish administration door, or on our website (as updated each week by our rector), those who we say are “in our prayers?” Do we “reach out to them” by sending a card, or calling, or visiting? Do we offer our time, our talents, and our services to the church? Congratulations to so many who do and the wonderful services they so freely give. Have we found “creative ways to help Christians be disciples of Jesus in the true sense of the word and learners at the foot of our Lord and Savior?” (McVeigh, 2008, p. 29). This we believe: That God calls us to be Christ’s community of faith and moral discourse in Chapel Hill and the University: •

Worshipping with enthusiasm and joy;

Proclaiming God’s truth with boldness and confidence;

Equipping all members for ministry in today’s world;

Reaching out with compassion and love to all who are in need; and

Constantly seeking peace and justice for all of God’s children. (University Presbyterian Church, 2010, p. 52)

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L. I Have Loved Telling the Story of the Intentional Practices and Strategies of Hospitality (Our Faith In Action) at the Chapel of the Cross It has been a joy and privilege to “tell the story” about this great church. We are faithful to our heritage, including 170 years of history. We value most highly worship and music, the Eucharist or Holy Communion, and peace and social justice issues. We proudly claim the first black woman, The Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray, who was ordained as an Episcopal priest 35 years ago in our Chapel and whose 30th anniversary was celebrated in 2007 with our Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding in the same Chapel. With permission of our diocesan bishop, the Rt. Rev. Michael Curry, we have celebrated the unions of three gay couples; and our service bulletin’s invitation to communion is set forth as follows: “All who seek a deeper life in Christ are invited to receive the sacrament at the altar or at the standing station. Those individuals who do not receive may cross their arms and receive a blessing. Gluten-free wafers are available at the standing station: Simply ask quietly during Communion, a priest is available at the Baptismal font for anointing and the Laying on of Hands for those seeking healing of spirit, mind, and body.” Our church world is shaped in Scripture and Christian practices. We practice healing prayer every Sunday and at other special times; we are grateful for our intentional holy hospitality program that welcomes newcomers in a comprehensive manner, with Shepherds seeking “to be companions to newcomers on the road” to full inclusion into the church (Gortner, 2008, p.34); we offer retreats for all, for women, and with special themes; we practice silent and quiet days; we combine stewardship with a love for each other; we surround ourselves with many and varied faith formation activities during the day, at night, and on weekends, and with leaders from our parish, The University of North Carolina, Duke University and elsewhere;

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regularly, each week, we offer spirituality workshops and Bible study, centering prayers and Lectio Divina. Our largest evangelistic thrust is in our campus ministry, the Episcopal Campus Ministry (ECM) of the University of North Carolina. University ministry has been an integral part of what God calls us to be and do. We were founded by a University professor, and in the midst of the campus, this parish has always been involved with student ministry. Students meet each Tuesday for fellowship, worship and dinner, and at other times for retreats, services, prayers and social activities. As a faithful parish, five worship services are offered each Sunday, beginning at 7:30 a.m., and ending with Compline at 9:30 p.m.; we carry our worship services, bimonthly or monthly, to our four retirement communities. Our Church School, although cramped for space, offers wonderful programs for children and adults, including Godly Play for five-year-olds. Our church building hosts many agencies and groups from and to the community, an extension of our baptismal covenant to seek and serve Christ in all persons. Examples include Alcoholics Anonymous, Girl and Boy Scouts, Project 5000 (a group providing food to local families), Resettlement of Burmese refugees, Interfaith Council cook teams, Habitat for Humanity Partnership, St. Paul AME Church and more. Our parish is involved in outreach for over 60 different programs through the Outreach and Global Missions Committees. Our outreach extends far beyond our community to South Africa and Honduras where we love fulfilling partnerships. We believe with Augustine that this is the way that God mixes souls together. We pay attention to issues regarding strategic planning that focus on identity, vision, organization, reorganization, resources, and a healthy corporate identity (Mead, 1972) and as

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such have undergone in the past year a study led by the Rev. Dr. Bill Morley. We know what Adams said regarding chaos and chaos theory: that, “chaos often breeds life and order breeds habit.” However, we have strived to work harmoniously in our reorganization. We have two new strategic plans, one for the church’s entire administrative structure and one specifically for Hospitality Ministry. There are definite trends of optimism in this parish for the future. This is evident by the fact that 77% of the parishioners that completed the U.S. Congregational Life Survey strongly agreed that, “this congregation has clear vision goals or direction for its ministry and mission.” For whatever challenges us, we are reminded to seize the moment with heart and hope. We are embracing transformational change, particularly in our administrative structure and with our plans for a new parish hall. We realize that courage and patience must be intertwined, as they are the reservoirs of hope for proactive change. And, we believe that we can be innovative within our traditions. We continue to look for ways that all who come through our open doors can find faith and hope in their lives. Hospitality is the underpinning of what makes Jesus un-missable in our church; we are God’s Beloved, the Body of Christ. Our bishop and our rector are challenging us to go outward beyond ourselves to places where we have not gone before. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). As we continue to look to the future, we are asking, are there stirrings out there of “a new spiritual awakening, a vast interreligious movement toward individual, social and cultural transformation . . . designed to enliven the heart and empower people to transform the world? We can love God and neighbor better. When and if the time comes, we will all be one in

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communion with God . . . loving each other . . . this awakening will not be the last in human history, but it is one awakening. It is up to us to move with the spirit instead of against it, to participate in making our world more human, just and loving” (Bass, 2012, p. 269). At the March 2012 CEEP Conference, John E. Harris, Jr., President of the Union of Black Episcopalians spoke, quoting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Where do we go from here? Chaos or community?” Harris went on to say, “The call for a worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one’s tribe, race, class and nation is, in reality, a call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all people. This often misunderstood and misinterpreted concept has now become an absolute necessity for the survival of humankind. Love is the key that unlocks the door, which leads to ultimate reality. This Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, and Buddhist belief about ultimate reality is summed up in the First Epistle of St. John: ‘Let us love one another: for love is of God: and everyone one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God. For God is love…If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfect in us’” (Harris, 2012). At the same CEEP Conference, during which “faith in action” stories filled our hearts and minds and lifted our spirits, we were invited to imagine a different future in which we were “becoming God’s courageous community.” We were encouraged to be bold in our thinking and to find the courage to use our moral imaginations and truly change the world. As pilgrims, we understand that, in the contemporary world, the Gospel means that we never fully arrive. We just keep telling stories along the way (Bass, 2004, p.102). Let us not forget that “our Lord was unafraid to dispense with boats altogether and walk on water” (Bass, 2004, p. 104).

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Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine: Glory to God from generation to generation in the Church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever.

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Definitions Acolyte: Lay person who assists in worship by performing such functions as carrying the processional cross or crucifix, lighting and extinguishing candles, holding candles at the reading of the gospel, helping with the collection of the offering, and the presentation of the bread and wine, usually while wearing an alb or other vestment (Wall, 1985, p. 8). Advent: The first season of the church’s liturgical year, beginning on the fourth Sunday before Christmas (Advent Sunday) and running until the first Eucharist of Christmas. Advent is a season of preparation for remembering Christ’s incarnation at Christmas and for the fulfillment of his promise to return in power and great glory (Wall, p. 9). Bill: The Ven. Dr. William H. Joyner, Deacon at the Chapel of the Cross. Bill: The Rev. Dr. William H. Morley, Consultant in Strategic Planning. Book of Common Prayer (BCP): The book that makes it possible for the Episcopal Church to be a pragmatic church which understands its identity through participation in corporate worship. The Prayer Book is essential to the character of the Episcopal Church because its use holds together congregations with very different styles of worship and emphasis within the broader traditions of Christian believe and practice (Wall, p. 29). Boykin: Boykin Bell, Associate for Christian Formation at the Chapel of the Cross. Candlemas: The feast also known as the Presentation of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Temple, or the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, observed on February 2. The name comes from the tradition of blessing candles at this feast and carrying them in procession; extensive use

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of candles in procession and to light the church is still characteristic of the ceremonial for this day (Wall, p. 34). Catechumens: In the early church, those preparing during Lent for baptism at the Easter Vigil (Wall, p. 39). CEEP: Consortium for Endowed Episcopal Parishes Compline: The last of the traditional monastic offices, Compline was said just before bedtime. Cranmer, in 1549, consolidated Compline with other afternoon offices into Evensong. The Prayer Book of 1979 restored Compline as a late evening office to be used in addition to Evensong or by itself (Wall, p. 52). COTC: Chapel of the Cross Parish David: The Reverend David Frazelle, Associate for Parish Ministry at the Chapel of the Cross. ECM: Episcopal Campus Ministry Eucharist: From the Greek word meaning “Thanksgiving;” now, perhaps, the most common name for what is known as the Holy Communion, the Lord’s Supper, or the Mass (Wall, p. 71). EYC: A group of young people who meet, socialize, play, participate in community service, worship and explore social and personal issues in an atmosphere of Christian fellowship and support. Junior EYC includes people from sixth through eighth grades; Senior EYC includes people from ninth through twelfth grades.

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General Convention: The official governing body of the Episcopal Church. The General Convention meets every three years for a period of ten days to two weeks (Wall, p. 78). Gretchen: Gretchen S. Jorden, Associate for Christian Formation at the Chapel of the Cross. Incense: Pellets of aromatic gum which are burned in a thurible or censer, a metal pot, usually of brass, into which disks of charcoal are placed and lighted. When the charcoal is hot, the gum is spooned into the thurible from its container (an incense boat), and the perforated cover of the thurible is lowered. As the incense pellets burn, they emit a pungent aroma of smoke. Incense has been part of Christian worship since the beginning; today in parishes where its use is part of local ceremonies, it is carried in procession and is also employed to prepare both priest and people for worship, at the reading of the gospel and the preparation of the altar for celebration of the Eucharist, to contribute to the honor, festivity and solemnity of the occasion (Wall, p. 89). Jesse Tree: Functioning like the Advent calendar, the Jesse Tree provides for each day in Advent a story from the Old Testament of one of Jesus’ forbearers and a symbol that can be cut out and attached to a tree of some sort. This can be a highly effective center for family devotion in Advent in conjunction with the Advent wreath (Wall, p. 91). Laity: From the Greek word “laos,” meaning “people.” The laity is really all the people of God, including the non-ordained and the ordained, but conventionally the word is used to refer to non-ordained Christians. Only members of the laity can be elected to vestries or vote in the lay order of Diocesan Convention or General Convention (Wall, p. 94).

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Liturgy: Derived from two Greek words meaning “Work of the People;” the public prayer and worship of the people of God gathered in community; also, the texts of the rites that enable public worship to take place (Wall 100). Maggie: The Reverend Margaret Silton, Deacon at the Chapel of the Cross. Maundy Thursday: Thursday of Holy Week, on which the church remembers Christ’s institution of the Eucharist and, in some places, observes the ceremony of the washing of feet in remembrance of our Lord’s washing the feet of his disciples (Wall, p. 105). Patty: Patty Courtwright, Coordinator of the Shepherds’ Ministry. Peace: Ancient sacramental greeting of the faithful in the Eucharist, a sign of love and union in Christ (Wall, p. 126). Rector: Usually, the Chief Sacramental Officer and professional ordained person in a parish, who is called by the vestry. Other clergy who work for a parish are on the staff of the rector (Wall, p. 140). Rite One: The rites of Eucharist, Morning and Evening Prayer, and Burial, which are written in a liturgical language in imitation of Elizabethan English. A comparison of the texts of these rites with the texts of the Elizabethan Prayer Book makes clear that over time the original language of the Prayer Book has been changed in a variety of ways to make it seem more appropriate for use in formal worship. The Rite One services combine that language with the results of liturgical scholarship to produce traditional-sounding rites with the integrity that modern knowledge can bring (Wall, p. 143 – 144).

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Rite Two: the rites of Eucharist, Morning and Evening Prayer, and Burial in contemporary language (Wall, p. 144). Ritual: Originally, a word referring to the text of liturgical services. It has now come to refer instead to how the rites are done and is thus similar in meaning to the term ceremonial (Wall, 144). Sacrament: According to the Catechism, sacraments are “outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace, given by Christ as sure and certain means by which we receive that Grace.” The Episcopal Church recognizes the two sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist as biblical and as essential to the church (Wall, p. 147). Stephen: The Reverend Stephen Elkins-Williams, Rector at the Chapel of the Cross. Tammy: The Reverend Tambria Elizabeth Lee, Associate for University Ministry at the Chapel of the Cross. Vestments: Special items of clothing worn by clergy and layfolk in the conduct of public worship (Wall, p. 171). Thurible: The metal pot on a chain, with a movable lid and air holes, in which incense is burned. The chain allows the pot to swing gently, releasing smoke through the holes. It is carried in procession and used to cense the gospel book before the reading of the gospel and the altar at the offertory as part of the preparation for celebrating the Eucharist (Wall, p. 165). Vestry: Group consisting of the rector of a parish and lay folk elected by the congregation at the annual parish meeting to be the legal convening and decision-making groups in the parish (Wall, p. 171). 330    


Via media: Latin for “middle way;” a claim sometimes made for the Episcopal Church and Anglicanism in general (Wall, 1985, p. 172). Vicky: The Reverend Victoria Jamieson-Drake, Associate for Pastoral Ministry at the Chapel of the Cross. Washing of Feet: Rite performed in some places on Mundy Thursday in commemoration of Jesus’ washing the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper (Wall, p. 175).

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Robertson, C. K. (2009). Transforming stewardship: The Episcopal Church of the 21st century. New York, NY: Church Publishing, Inc. S. Dinnie, S. (“Looking back on 2006,” personal communication, 2006). Schewern, E. (1999). Encyclopedia of Christianity (Vol. 1). (E. Fahlbusch, J. S. Mbiti, J. M. Lochman, J. Pelikan, L. Vischer, Eds.). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. Schiestl, J. (2011, May). ABC sale funds help refugees. CrossRoads Journal of the Chapel of the Cross.   Sheay, V. M. (1992). Developing a ministry of evangelism through hospitality at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. Trenton, NJ: Drew University.   Silton, M. (2011, March). Mental illness and communities of faith. CrossRoads, Journal of the Chapel of the Cross.   Soelle, D. (2001). The silent cry: Mysticism and resistance. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press. Spellers, S. (2006). Radical welcome: Embracing God, the other, and the spirit of transformation. New York, NY: Church Publishing, Inc. Steelman, B. (2012, August 18). Atheism-combating academic to speak. Star News. Sullivan, M. (2011, May). 49th annual ABC Sale. CrossRoads Journal of the Chapel of the Cross.   The Episcopal Church. (2009). The charter for lifelong christian formation. In The Episcopal Church. Retrieved from http://www.episcopalchurch.org/adult   de Tocqueville, A. (1969). Democracy in America. Garden City, NY: Doubleday. Tutu, D. “Trinity Sunday sermon,” [All Saints Church] Somerset West, South Africa. 29 May 1988.

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University Presbyterian Church. Old Testament texts every Christian should know. Chapel Hill: University Presbyterian Church, 2010. Vanier, J. (1989). Community and growth. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press. Wall, Jr., J. N. (1985). A new dictionary for Episcopalians. San Francisco, CA: Harper Row. Webber, C. L. & Griswold, F.T. (1999). Welcome to the Episcopal Church: An introduction to its history, faith, and worship. Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse Publishing. Weber, J. (2009, Fall). Special research report: Ecumenical study of lifelong faith formation. Lifelong Faith. Wesley, J. (2007, October). The Episcopal Church at its best. The Living Church. Westerhoff, J. H. (1998). A people called Episcopalians: A brief introduction to our peculiar way of life. Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse Publishing. Willimon, W. H. (2011, September 28). Welcome others as Christ has welcomed you. In A Peculiar Prophet: The Blog of Bishop Will Willimon of the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church. Retrieved 2011, from http://willimon.blogspot.com/2011_09_01_archive.html Wilson, J. R. (1998). Gospel virtues: Practicing faith, hope, and love in uncertain times. Downers Grove: Intervarsity. Wind, J. P. (2011, Autumn). The theme of compassion. Cathedral Age. Woolever, C., & Bruce, D, (2002). A field guide to U.S. congregations: Who’s going where and why. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press. Woolever, C.A. (2003). Profile of numerically growing vongregations: Finding from a national sample of congregations. Hartford Institute for Religious Research. Hartford, CT.  

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Woolever, C. A. (2006). U.S. congregational life survey project. Hartford Institute for Religious Research. Hartford, CT.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

My first expression of gratitude and warmest thanks go to the priests and parishioners, the Body of Christ, of the Chapel of the Cross Episcopal Church, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It is their vision, commitment and deep faithfulness that have made this story of intentional Christian practices possible. They lead and serve with “wisdom and courage” and their stories are filled with faith, creativity and moral imagination. Many blessings have come to me from this sacred and holy place. The people of the Chapel of the Cross are loving, kind and generously helpful. On the day I asked them to complete a questionnaire, 358 people did so (at the 8:30 am, 10:00 am and 5:15 pm services). One or two people may have had to leave; I am not entirely sure. The attendees to all three services listened to my request and responded, some for over an hour. To all respondents, I am extremely grateful. To the six devoted clergy, four priests and two deacons of this church, I give thanks for their gracious and holy acts of hospitality for the whole church and for me. Their commitment to inspirational, intellectual and deep spiritual liturgy and their joyful and hopeful preaching is a blessing to all who come through our open doors. Our rector, the Rev. Stephen Elkins-Williams, has supported this thesis/project and my study all along the way. Throughout this thesis/project, you will read his wise words and recognize his careful leadership of our parish. Having a rector who is gifted in many areas, and who leads a great church like this one with the aspects of a leader, teacher and friend, has been a tremendous asset. He knows that I am grateful.

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And to the entire Hospitality Ministry Group, comprised of some of the most dedicated, caring and humble servants of God I have met, I offer thanks. You have shepherded our new members; traveled with them on their journeys of faith; loved and comforted our grieving parishioners; baked and delivered the most delicious homemade bread; greeted our newcomers with generosity, receptivity and reverence; hosted, with Stephen and Betsy and other church parishioners, beautiful teas and receptions for newcomers; served delicious food with care and attention regularly and on special occasions; welcomed and prayed for our babies and their mothers; and for all who are sick or who have died, opened our arms and hearts; planned a great diversity of faith formation activities; spread wide our doors to a wonderfully diverse congregation; and given generously to our church and community, and to the world. To the thirty-three parishioners whom I interviewed for this thesis/project, I’m grateful (as will be the readers) for their stories of journeys in faith and their narratives regarding hospitality in our parish. It has been my pleasure to get to know them even better and to share their inspirations, insights and visions about our church. To the faculty and staff at the Virginia Theological Seminary, heartfelt thanks. I was told by a former VTS faculty member and then parishioner of the Chapel of the Cross, the Rev. Dr. Locke Bowman, that I would be “formed” if I attended Chapel at VTS every day, and so I did; that, I would learn from the best seminary faculty in the world, and so I have; that, I would have “table fellowship” daily with faculty, staff and fellow students and would leave with a “cup that runneth over,” and so I have. And, to the Rt. Rev Michael Curry, Bishop of the North Carolina Diocese, who gave me permission to go to VTS, I’m most appreciative; to the Very Rev. Martha Horne, then Dean and President of VTS, who from the beginning provided wise counsel and guidance, and who

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remains a source of inspiration to me; to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at VTS, Dr. Amy Gearey (now Dyer), who, along with President Horne and Dean of Students, Rev. Marge McHaughton-Ayers, interviewed me for admission and said, “Come, join us. We would love to have you;” and for Dr. Gearey Dyer’s invaluable help in academic advisement for my diploma in Anglican Studies and her genuine fellowship and friendship throughout my study; to Carol Dawson, then Director of Housing at VTS, who found the most perfect apartment for me with Seminary students who have become lifelong friends; and to so many VTS Seminarians (and, now, clergy friends) who continue to journey with me on our spiritual paths: Carol, Ty, Fred, Hillary, Rebekah, Gail, Jason, Leslie, John and Harrison, “I Give Grateful Thanks.” And very importantly, to my doctoral committee: the Rev. J. Barney Hawkins IV, who was the Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program and Professor of Parish Ministry when I entered the program, and whose care of me from beginning to end, both academically and personally has been the best possible. He allowed me to take a brief leave to serve as an International President although he did not recommend it; he felt that I had led enough professional organizations and should, instead, write my thesis/project and continue my strong church involvement. But, he allowed it, and I’m tremendously grateful. To Dr. Michael Battle, my professor first at Duke University Divinity School and then at VTS as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Theology, from whom I learned about a strong spirit of reconciliation and Ubuntu as well as a quiet and gentle reverence for all God’s children. To the Rev. Graham Bardsley, retired Presbyterian minister, who wisely led doctoral students with their case studies and who encouraged my zeal for “cases,” having done leadership ones for my Ph.D. program at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Dr. Bardsley was an inspiration to my

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cohort at VTS and to me, and continues to inspire us to this day, among other things with his passionate devotion to the care of Hospice patients. And to my family, I offer thanks for their love and support of my journey in life and faith: my husband, Doug Day, who has encouraged my study for two doctoral degrees as well as my many travels, for business and speaking, all over the world (most often, without him). He has accompanied me many late nights to the Duke University Divinity School and University of North Carolina libraries; he has traveled to Alexandria, Virginia to visit me when I lived there while studying at VTS. His love and encouragement are beyond normal expectations. And to my daughter, Susan Douglas, her husband, Billy, and my grandsons, William III (“Grandmommy, will you soon be finished with your writing so I can stay overnight?”) and Henry Douglas, who bring me much joy and happiness, and who have loved me all along the way, though they would have preferred more “quantity time” and less time on my part in the library. And to my God children whose faith journeys are an inspiration to me; one, Barbara, is a seminary student at Union Theological Seminary in New York. To my friend, Eileen, who is always available with love and support. And to my Delta Kappa Gamma “sister,” Mary, my friend and travel companion, for her loving spirit and genuine support. Deep gratitude, also, to the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International for Key Women Educators and the North Carolina, Eta State, Delta Kappa Gamma Society. I have been privileged to serve as President of both of these great organizations. I offer deep appreciation for their scholarships for doctoral study and for the friendships and love of so many “sisters” in these organizations that promote “Professional and Personal Growth of Women Educators and Excellence in Education” to over 100,000 key women educators in seventeen countries.

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To all these special people and more my gratitude goes out, especially to Patty, Kelley and Katie, and many more, for their help, encouragement and friendship. I again give grateful thanks. Barbara Day Professor and Chair Wife, Mother, Grandmommy, Godmother and God Grandmommy Lenton Season, March 2012 Chapel Hill, North Carolina

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Appendix A: The Episcopal Church U.S. Congregational Life Survey

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Appendix B: “Beloved,” Sermon by the Rev. David Frazelle, Associate for Parish Ministry at the Chapel of the Cross, 8 January 2012

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Appendix C: “Do You See?” Sermon by the Rev. David Frazelle, Associate for Parish Ministry at the Chapel of the Cross, 13 June 2010

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Appendix D: “The Day of Pentecost” Letter to Congregation from the Rev. Stephen Elkins-Williams, Rector at the Chapel of the Cross, 27 May 2007

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Appendix E Pastoral Reflections: A Presentation in the Series “A Conversation About Gay Unions,” the Rev. Stephen Elkins-Williams, Rector at the Chapel of the Cross, 24 April 2005

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Appendix F “The Rev. Gray Temple Speaks to a Packed Audience,” Barbara Day, Ph.D., 10 April 2005; “Synopsis of Temple Book on Gay Unions,” Barbara Day, Ph.D., 10 April 2005; and “Gray Temple, Gay Unions – In Light of Scripture, Tradition and Reason,” Reading Guide, Barbara Day, Ph.D., 10 April 2005

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Appendix G “Dear Friends,” Letter to Congregation from the Rev. Stephen Elkins-Williams, Rector at the Chapel of the Cross, 25 October 2007

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Appendix H “Engaging God’s Mission in South Africa,” Barbara Day, Ph.D., August 2006

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Appendix I “Hope Rising: Good News from Kwasa/Our Parish Mission in Springs, South Africa,” Barbara Day, Ph.D., August 2009.

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Appendix J Grant Application, Chapel of the Cross Episcopal Parish

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Appendix K “Showing Hospitality,” Sermon by the Rev. Stephen Elkins-Williams, Rector at the Chapel of the Cross, 2 August 2004.

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Appendix L Capital Campaign Building Materials, 2010-2011

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Appendix M “Nine Important Tips for Visitors,” David Ross, 2010.

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Appendix N Sermon by the Rev. Tambria Elizabeth Lee, Associate for University Ministry at the Chapel of the Cross, n.d.

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Barbara Day's Doctoral Thesis - Virginia Theological Seminary  

Barbara Day's Doctoral Thesis - Virginia Theological Seminary

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