On Faith

Levin Jewish Community Center to host marriage-rights talk

August 20, 2013 

Lennie Gerber and Pearl Berlin grew up in Brooklyn in the 1940s, fell in love in the Midwest and made a life together in North Carolina. They have been together for 47 years and are the subject of the documentary film "Living in th Overlap."

PICASA — Courtesy of Levin Jewish Community Center

The first event in a new series, “Jewish Community Center Conversations: Love & Equality,” will feature outtakes from a documentary film and a panel discussion on marriage rights in North Carolina.

The event is set for 3 p.m. Sunday at the Levin JCC, with a pre-program reception from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets for the reception with a reserved seat are $36. General admission is $12, and $8 for JCC members.

The panel discussion will include Lennie Gerber and Pearl Berlin, Marcie and Chantelle Fisher-Borne, and Lydia Lavelle.

Gerber and Berlin grew up in Brooklyn in the 1940s, fell in love in the Midwest and made a life together in North Carolina. They have been together for 47 years and are the subject of the documentary film “Living in the Overlap.” As the state nears the year anniversary of the vote on Amendment One effectively banning legal same-sex marriage, the couple recently celebrated their wedding at Beth David Synagogue in Greensboro.

The Fisher-Bornes are plaintiffs in the 2012 lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in Greensboro on behalf of six same-sex couples and their children. The suit challenges the state’s ban on second parent adoption, a process by which one partner in an unmarried, gay or straight couple adopts the other partner’s biological or adoptive child.

Lavelle is a Carrboro alderwoman and law professor who was recently involved in reviewing the Supreme Court ruling on Prop 8. She teaches Sexual Identity and the Law and State and Local Governmental Law at N.C. Central University School of Law.

“We embrace the opportunity to celebrate the lives of those fighting for equal rights and gender equality,” said Steve Schauder, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Durham-Chapel Hill. “Fighting for justice is one of the highest Jewish values that there is, which is why I am delighted that the Levin JCC is providing a platform for such an important conversation to take place.”

The Levin JCC is located at 1937 W. Cornwallis Road in Durham.

Willimon book reading

Hillsborough Presbyterian Church, 102 W. Tryon St., will host a book discussion and signing by retired United Methodist Bishop Will Willimon of his first novel “Incorporation” at 7 p.m. Sunday

Willimon is a professor at Duke Divinity School and the former dean of Duke Chapel. “Incorporation” has been described as “a wild ride through the 21st century church” as the author exposes the underbelly of a totally fictional mega-church whose staff and members readers may recognize in their own congregations.

Bike-friendly church

With bike racks, water fountains and ample places to rest, University United Methodist Church, 150 E. Franklin St., offers a cyclist-friendly environment for guests and members alike.

The church, which is open throughout the week for community groups and visitors, was recently recognized by the Carrboro Bicycle Coalition as a “Carrboro-Chapel Hill Bicycle Friendly Business.”

“We consider our hallways to be extensions of Franklin Street,” said lead Pastor Carl King. “We’re thrilled that Chapel Hillians enjoy our facilities as their own. Parking your bike, using the restroom, stopping for a quiet time of prayer are all opportunities for University UMC to show God’s hospitality to all.”

Members of the community are invited to bike downtown, park their bikes at the church and enjoy both the church and all that downtown offers.

Children’s service

A special Back to School Service for young people is set at Emmanuel AME Church, 2018 Riddle Road, during the 10 a.m. worship service Sunday.

Parents are invited to come and bring children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The Rev. Jason D. Thompson, a youth minister from Chicago, a native of Hillsborough and an out-of-town-member of Emmanuel, will preach on the theme “It Takes a Village to Raise a Child.”

Clothes Closet event

The Take and Wear Clothes Closet located at Lystra Baptist Church will be open from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 24.

Anyone needing clothes or students needing clothes for back-to-school are welcome. Everything is free. Numbers will be drawn to determine the order in which people may shop.

The church is at 686 Lystra Road, off U.S. 15-501.

Jewish Chorale auditions

The Triangle Jewish Chorale will hold auditions for additional singers in all sections for the upcoming fall and spring seasons.

The chorale will prepare a whole program of selections based on texts from the Psalms from popular settings by the Melodians (a la Bob Marley) to classical ones by Lewandowski and Schubert.

In the spring, the chorale will hold some one-day workshops open to the public with guest conductors and vocal teachers.

The Triangle Jewish Chorale performs vocal works in concert for special occasions and in celebration of community events. Lorena Guill is the conductor.

To sing with the chorale, one needs a rudimentary knowledge of musical notation, but singers do not have to be Jewish.

Regular rehearsals are held on Tuesdays from 6:55 p.m. to 8:55 p.m. at the Levin Jewish Community Center, 1937 W. Cornwallis Road, Durham.

The first audition for the fall will be Tuesday, Aug. 27. Contact Bernard Most at bmost@nc.rr.com or call 919-493-1288 for further information.

Wesley celebrates move

The Wesley Campus Ministry at UNC will celebrate its new location on East Franklin Street with an open house from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday.

The Wesley Loft, located above Krispy Kreme, is what Amanda Dean, campus minister and executive director, says is “a manifestation of a vision God gave us several years ago when we began our discernment process of Wesley’s future.

“We are excited to reach out to more students than ever before and are praying for God’s guidance as we begin again at 157 E. Franklin St.,” she said. “We are excited to offer students a place to come and visit with one another in our lounge, grow in their relationships and knowledge of faith in our small group room and find refuge and quiet in our prayer room.”

The ministry will have weekly meals in the fellowship hall at University United Methodist, and Wesley Worship will continue to take place on campus in Chapman Hall, room 201 on Sunday evenings.

Play and ice cream

“Once Upon a Parable,” a children’s musical, is being produced by Christ United Methodist Church’s fifth annual day camp for musicians and actors, ages 4-18.

This production will take place at Christ Church in Southern Village at 1 p.m. Thursday. An ice cream sundae reception will follow the performance; all are welcome.

Death Cafe meeting

The first meeting of the Chapel Hill Death Cafe from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday at Unity Center of Peace, 8800 Seawell Road.

Founded by Jon Underwood and based on the work of Swiss sociologist Bernard Crettaz, Death Cafe was launched as an opportunity for people to come together to share their fears and questions about death and dying in a safe, supportive environment with nourishing food, refreshing drinks and cake.

The Rev. Rosemary Hyde, ordained interfaith minister and co-minister at Unity will facilitate.

She is a board certified clinical chaplain and when asked about the pertinence of such an event said, “We have an interest in it, and indeed the fact that we will all share in this experience is a huge motivator for making the most of our lives. It propels our search for authenticity, our yearning for spiritual connection, our desire to leave a positive legacy for our families and communities.”

Started in the United Kingdom, the first U.S. Death Cafe was offered by Lizzy Miles. For more information on the movement go to deathcafe.com.

Those in need of a traditional grief support group are invited to attend Unity’s new monthly Grief and Spirituality Support Group. It will hold its first meeting from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 27 at Unity.

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