Published: Dec 07, 2011 02:00 AM
Modified: Dec 05, 2011 06:07 PM
Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church will hold the first worship service in its new sanctuary at 314 Great Ridge Parkway on Sunday, Dec. 11, at 10:30 a.m. The Rev. Landon Whitsitt, vice moderator of the 219th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), will lead the service.
Worshipers in this 5-year-old congregation first met in February of 2006 at Captain John's Dockside Restaurant in Cole Park Plaza and most recently at North Chatham School on Lystra Road while building plans were underway. The congregation bought 12 acres of land in January of 2009 and 13 months later broke ground for the new sanctuary and the adjacent administration and education building.
Back in August, the congregation held a timber-raising ceremony in which the last of 280 timbers were erected and the final pegs driven, completing the structural framing of the new sanctuary. The timber-raising process had started in late July and involved the erection of the roof arches and insertion of 800 "trunnels" into them. No nails were used in this part of the construction.
"Trunnel" is an abbreviation of "tree nail," an ancient technique for connecting and fastening wooden structural parts using only wood pegs or dowels. This technique was especially popular in timber-frame construction and wooden shipbuilding. Fabricators of the roof arches was Dreaming Creek Timber Frame Homes in Powhatan, Va. The company was excited to work on a church sanctuary and men at the factory told members of the building committee what a beautiful space they were creating.
Church member Bob Hoerter said this week that the new sanctuary is "truly beautiful and gives the feeling of being close to God." Several years ago, he and his wife, Lynne, moved to Chapel Hill from Winter Park, Fla., to be near their oldest son and his family. They built a new home in Chatham County and were looking for a church. Driving toward Pittsboro one day, they saw a sign in the median. "We decided to take a chance on a road sign, and we love the result," he said.He now serves on three church committees, and Lynne is an elder and a member of the Session, the ruling body in a Presbyterian Church. She also chaired the Building Committee. The completion of the new sanctuary was right on schedule, having been announced as "between Thanksgiving and the end of the year."Shaw Design Associates in Chapel Hill designed the new church, and the general contractor was C.T. Wilson Construction of Durham. The total cost of the project was $1.7 million.The Rev. Mindy Douglas Adams, organizing pastor, continues to serve the church, which now has an average Sunday attendance between 100 and 140. The young church was supported by University Presbyterian in Chapel Hill and by Salem Presbytery, a geographic organization of Presbyterian churches in this area. Church in the Pines bills itself as "an inclusive congregation" in which everyone is welcome. Child care is provided during worship services on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Sunday school for all ages is held at 9 a.m.A UMC Christmas story
The children of University United Methodist, 150 E. Franklin St., will present a special telling of the Christmas story on Sunday, Dec. 11, at 6:30 p.m. in the church sanctuary. More than 100 children, ages 4 through 5, will share the story of the birth of Jesus, playing roles of Mary and Joseph, the innkeeper and his wife, wise men, animals, angels, stars, villagers, shepherds and narrators.
The children will lead the congregation in singing Christmas carols during the pageant.
The community is invited to attend this fun-filled event, followed by a short reception. For further information or for a full listing of Advent and Christmas activities at the church, visit chapelhillumc.org
.An Occupy conversation
A conversation with Occupy Chapel Hill is set for Sunday, Dec. 11, at United Church of Chapel Hill, 1321 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Steve Paterson and several participants will speak for about three minutes each on why they are involved and what they hope to accomplish. All are welcome.