A Message From Our Vicar Dena
In these first two months at Church of the Advocate, with the guidance of many, I am getting more and more oriented to the Red Door ministries. I have an increasing understanding and appreciation of Trinity’s role in supporting COA as they provide us with physical space and support our presence and ministries. Teams from area churches join us on Sundays to provide the meals, and as they come to serve, they also join in worship with us. Musicians from churches in the Diocese provide inspiring music each week. Brother John Huebner is an anchor of Franciscan spirituality and good teaching that shapes our liturgy and formation. All this dependable involvement weaves together to form a strong foundation for our ministry.
Deacon Tim Ervolina has been coordinating the delivery of food from the Food Connection and has been hands-on with the crew and volunteers in the kitchen during the interim time. His experience as a leader in non-profit organizations is a gift to us and he brings grant writing/development skills to the table. Most of all, he has a heart of passion for the poor and disenfranchised and is a true deacon in every way!
The Good Works! Crew is recruiting new members and in the new year, we will reconnect with area agencies that have “employed” the Good Works! Crew in the past and will develop new sites. This ministry provides the support necessary for the unemployed to gain skills in stable conditions, with the goal of successful employment. We provide free counseling, transportation and a context of accountability that really seems to work!
I have been happy to discover that at the core of everything is the kerygma, the proclamation, of COA. In this Advent season of waiting and watching, being at Church of the Advocate is like being in the presence of Gabriel proclaiming the Good News. From what I am experiencing, our primary purpose is to live faithfully as a worshipping community, a body of Christ, that exists as a peaceful and Spirit-filled haven for all. As I witness this humble, welcoming, and vulnerable community, I see that it could not exist without the support of the Diocese of WNC and Trinity. I’m grateful to be part of everyone who is responding to God’s call to enter into the Red Door!
Dena B. Whalen (The Rev. Dr.)
Vicar, Church of the Advocate