On Faith

Faith: Church of Reconciliation celebrates expansion

October 8, 2013 

The Church of Reconciliation, 110 Elliott Road in Chapel Hill, is completing a renovation of its worship space and an addition to the fellowship hall.

The project, budgeted at about $1 million, was envisioned over many years. Planning and design occurred from 2011 to 2012 with Bizios Architect of Durham. CT Wilson Construction Co. of Durham, completed the work in early October.

The first worship services in the renovated space will be the Sundays of Oct. 20 and 27 at 11 a.m. The four Sundays of November will have special services for dedication and celebration of the completed project.

“The building is spectacular, but the building is just a building if we are not in it,” said the Rev. Katie Ricks, associate pastor. “As you enter the narthex, you travel across decking with river rocks on either side, a visual reminder every time you walk through the doors, of your baptism, of your welcome into God’s family, a family that always has a space at the table waiting for you.”

The worship space has expanded from 2,500 square feet to 3,330 square feet, providing more seating for services, concerts and other special events.

Pam Rivers, co-chairwoman of the building committee, said the congregation wanted a welcoming and bright space to express openness and a strong sense of spirit.

“The building complements the natural beauty of its forested setting with expanded connections to the outdoors,” she said.

The new fellowship hall can seat 100 people for meals, music and other gatherings. It will continue to be available to the community for rent and for weddings and meetings.

Although modest in design, this addition includes a new kitchen, new bathrooms, storage spaces and improved energy efficiency. A pavilion and a large patio provide an inviting entry and an outdoor gathering space.

Bizios Architect led a participatory, consensus-driven design process that engaged the congregation and its building committee and spanned the entire project process from conceptual design through construction.

“The project represents a wonderful union of the congregation’s sense of worship and design values,” said Georgia Bizios, architect. “Everyone on the team brought passion and commitment to create a truly special building that respects its occupants, their resources and the environment.”

CT Wilson’s project manager Peter Hausmann summarized the project in a recent building update to the congregation.

“The size, scale, detail and warmth of the fellowship hall, sanctuary and narthex will be a delight to the congregants,” he said. “It’s a lovely and special place to gather and worship.”

During the past year of construction, the Church of Reconciliation has held worship services in the assembly hall at Carol Woods of Chapel Hill.

‘Song Cycle’ at St. Matthew’s Oct. 17

Song The performance of “Call and Response: A Song Cycle” with poetry by Jerry Eidenier and music by Megan Whitted is set for 7 p.m. Oct. 17 at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 210 St. Mary’s Road, Hillsborough.

The performance will include commentary on the collaboration of poet and musician and musical support from Mary Rocap, Lise Uyanik, Cindy Stevens and the St. Matthew’s Women’s Singing Circle.

Eidenier is the author of “Draw Flame,” “Catch Fire” and “Sonnets to Eurydice” and is in the process of publishing a new collection of poetry.

Eidenier and Whitted began collaborating in 2010 when he shared six poems that he thought would lend themselves to a musical setting. The completed cycle of 10 songs and poems is called “Call and Response” as it reflects the conversation between two creative voices.

St. Matthew’s Faith & the Arts Series began in 2010 with the expressed goal of being more intentional in the support of art, rather than simply thinking of art as a support for other activity. The church believes that offering a sacred setting for performances changes the performer, the performance and the audience.

A reception will follow the performance.

Catholic school seeking former students

Part of Chapel Hill’s St. Thomas More Catholic School’s celebration of its 50th anniversary in 2014 is an ongoing attempt right now to seek out former students, parents and staff to update its school database.

Graduates as well as those attending the school for a period of time and/or a former school parent or staff member are asked to go to school.st-thomasmore.org/alumni and enter contact information.

Kehillah names pre-school head

Harriet Barbour is the new director of the Kehillah Jewish Preschool, now licensed by the state to offer full-day as well as half-day programming.

She is a level III child care administrator, the highest level in the state, and will bring a wealth of experience to the preschool as it makes the transition to a full-day schedule.

Throughout her career, she has pursued her passion for working with children and their families. She has served as director for the Johnston County Community College Child Development Center, was twice recognized as a Champion for Children in Johnston County, and has experience as a teacher, developmental play therapist, assistant director and faculty instructor of early childhood education.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Studies from the University of Tennessee and has served as an intern in the Child Life Program at Johns Hopkins Medical Center.

The Kehillah Preschool is located at Kehillah Synagogue, 1200 Mason School Road.

Buddhist bazaar

The Won Buddhist Temple is holding its annual Bazaar from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Korean food, meditation clothing and other temple items will be sold along with crafts, books and tea sets. Tours of the temple and short talks on Buddhism and meditation are also available for anyone who is interested.

The public is invited. The temple is at 8021 Old NC 86, a mile north of Calvander. Further information is available by calling 919-933-6949 or visiting wonbuddhismNC.org.

Historical Jesus

Harvard educated author Gary Kowalski will lead an adult seminar examining the life and message of the historical Jesus at the Community Church of Chapel Hill Unitarian Universalist, 106 Purefoy Road., starting on Sunday with a sermon on “Jesus and the Politics of Compassion.” Services are at 9:30 and 11:15 a.m.

During coming weeks, the services will be followed with a book discussion of Marcus Borg’s “Meeting Jesus Again For the First Time.”

The services and discussions are open to the public. Visit c3huu.org for reading suggestions.

Send your faith news to flo.johnston314@gmail.com

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