On Faith

Church to celebrate 20 year of welcoming LGBTQ members

September 17, 2013 

United Church of Chapel Hill, 1321 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., has been ordaining gay and lesbian ministers and welcoming LGBTQ folks as full members of the church for 20 years.

This month the church is commemorating the anniversary with a weekend celebration. On Saturday, the church will host a morning workshop with guest Jen Jones from Equality NC addressing the recent Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage. She will also take up the question about what North Carolinians can expect from the legislature over the next few years concerning same-sex marriage, second-parent adoption and the recent ACLU vs State of North Carolina case.

The workshop from 9 a.m. to noon will include break-out sessions on the following topics:

• Gay & Christian: the Rev. Jenny Shultz, United Church of Chapel Hill

• Gay Parenting: the Rev. Dr. Brett Webb-Mitchell, member, United Church of Chapel Hill

• All Things “Coming Out”: Danny Depuy, LGBT Center, UNC

• History of Open and Affirming in the UCC: Rev. Dr. Rollin Russell, member, United Church of Chapel Hill.

• Legal Issues for the LGBTQ Community: Kelly Fairman-Stokes, attorney

• Issues Within the LGBTQ Hispanic Community: Alex Cordova, El Centro Hispano, Durham

The workshop will close with the screening of “Always My Son” by the Family Acceptance Project, and a catered lunch by Amante Gourmet Pizza of Carrboro.

The celebration will continue on Sunday with guest preacher Jasine Beach-Ferrara, executive director of the Campaign for Southern Equality based in Asheville, and champion of the “We Do” campaign in which same-sex couples seek and are denied marriage licenses across the country.

Ferrara will preach at both services of the church at 8:45 and 11 a.m. and provide details of the “We Do” campaign at an educational forum at 10 a.m.

For more information call the church office at 919-942-3540 or go to unitedchurch.org.

Sukkot celebration

Rabbi Jennifer Feldman, Cantor Jacquie Marx and members of Kehillah Synagogue invite the Jewish community to celebrate Sukkot and Shabbat Friday evening.

The festival of Sukkot is one of the most joyous Jewish holidays, celebrating the annual harvest and commemorating the 40-year period when the Israelites wandered in the desert, living in temporary shelters.

To celebrate, some Jews build and decorate their own temporary shelter called a sukkah, where they enjoy meals and socialize with family and friends.

Kehillah’s celebration begins with a dairy pot-luck dinner at 6 p.m. in the sukkah, followed by a song-filled Shabbat service at 7 p.m. and dessert at 8 p.m. Kehillah is located at 1200 Mason Farm Road in Chapel Hill.

Members of the community are welcome to attend and to bring a dairy or vegetarian dish to share. RSVP by today to Stephanie Stuchiner at admin@kehillahsybagogue.org or call 919-942-8914.

Free clothes giveaway

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

Anyone needing clothes is welcome to come. Everything is free.

Numbers will be drawn to determine the order in which people may shop. The church is at 686 Lystra Road, off 15-501.

Farmworker documentary

A screening of the documentary film “Harvest of Dignity” and panel discussion are set for Monday at Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 4907 Garrett Road, in Durham.

A co-production of Carrboro’s Minnow Media and the Farmworker Advocacy Network, the film comes 50 years after Edward R. Murrow’s 1960 landmark documentary “Harvest of Shame” and reveals many of the same injustices faced by farmworkers today.

The film screening and panel discussion begin at 7 p.m. and are open to all at no charge. The dinner presentation by Coalition of Immokalee Workers begins at 5:30 p.m. Seating for dinner is limited and a $20 donation is suggested. RSVP for the dinner to farmworkersevent@gmail.com

The panel discussion will feature the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, Witness for Peace, the North Carolina Council of Churches and the Farm Labor Organizing Committee.

This fall, the Coalition of Immnokalee Workers will receive the highly prestigious Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute’s 2013 Four Freedoms Medal, joining past honorees such as Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama.

Blessing of the Beasts

The Community Church of Chapel Hill Unitarian Universalist, 106 Purefoy Road, is offering a Blessing of the Beasts service at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 5.

Cats, dogs, reptiles, rodents and other creature companions are invited. They should be house-trained, leashed or crated and under supervision at all times.

The Rev. Gary Kowalski, interim minister, who will preside, has written books on nature, history and spirituality including “The Souls of Animals” and “Goodbye Friend: Healing Wisdom for Anyone who Has Ever Lost a Pet.”

His most recent “Blessings of the Animals: Celebrating Our Kinship With All Creation” grew out of many interspecies blessings he has done. “It includes quite a bit about the history of animal blessings, plus some fairly amusing stories,” he said.

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