On Faith

On Faith: Kehillah to host noted rabbi

October 23, 2013 

Rabbi Menachem Creditor

  • Free film screening

    A free film screening of “Jewish Soldiers in Blue & Gray” will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro.

    Allegiances during the War Between the States split the Jewish community as deeply as it did the nation at large: some prominent Jews, including Jewish slave owners, cited the Torah to justify slavery, while others were leaders in the abolitionist movement or established their synagogues as stops on the Underground Railroad.

    The 86-minute documentary will be followed by a panel discussion led by Robert Marcus, Civil War historian, and Leonard Rogoff, Southern Jewish scholar.

Rabbi Menachem Creditor, named by Newsweek as one of the 50 most influential rabbis in America, is the first Simone and Martin Lipman Scholar in Residence at Kehillah Synagogue, 1200 Mason Farm Road, Friday through Sunday, Oct. 25-27.

He will speak at 7 p.m. Friday on “Nature, Noise, Darkness and the Divine.”

On Saturday he will give a morning address “Who Do You Face When You Pray (& Why!)” at 11:30 a.m., followed by lunch and “What Would Jeremiah Do?” at 12:30 p.m. A dessert reception with a text teaching on “The Cosmic Impact of Human Action” will begin at 7:30 p.m.

At 9:30 a.m. Sunday he will lead a family discussion “Walking with God.”

Creditor serves as the spiritual leader of Congregation Netivot Shalom in Berkeley, Calif. He is an author, musician, teacher and activist who has worked in Ghana with American Jewish World Service and in the White House with groups such as the PICO National Network to amplify a prophetic Jewish voice in the world.

The Scholar in Residence program honors Simone and Martin Lipman, whose passion for Judaism, Jewish education and Kehillah Synagogue touched all who knew them.

New assistant minister

Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 4907 Garrett Road, Durham, has a new assistant minister, the Rev. Dr. Xolani Kacela.

He grew up in a military family in Oklahoma, holds Ph.D. and Master of Divinity degrees from Brite Divinity School in Texas, an MBA from Boston University and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Morehouse College in Atlanta.

Kacela, a commissioned Air Force officer and chaplain, was deployed four times, including a six-month stint at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, during Operation Iraqi Freedom. A graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, he will continue serving in the Air National Guard as he serves the Eno River Fellowship.

Recently married to the former Tamara Henderson, Kacela has special skills in family and couples counseling, grief counseling and crisis care. He is particularly passionate about interdisciplinary conversation and multi-faith dialogue.

The new assistant minister’s avocations include music, traveling, indoor cycling and learning Spanish.

The senior minister at Eno River is the Rev. Deborah Cayer.

Breast cancer talk

The Health Awareness Committee at St. Paul AME Church, 101 N. Merritt Mill Road, will have a panel discussion at 7 p.m. tonight, Oct. 23, marking October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The panel will include breast cancer survivors from the church family, who will share personal stories and talk about the role their faith played in their recovery. A pink tea will follow the program.

All are welcome.

Lee Smith reading

St. Matthew’s Episcopal, 210 St. Mary’s Road, Hillsborough, will host an 8 p.m. reading Friday by Lee Smith from her new novel “Guests on Earth.”

The book was inspired by a real event, the 1948 fire that swept through Highland Hospital in Asheville, killing nine women, among them Zelda Fitzgerald, the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald, a celebrated American writer.

This reading is part of a “Celebrate Lee Smith Week” so designated by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance and Algonquin Books in Chapel Hill. It is the 45th anniversary of the publication of Smith’s first novel, “The Last Day the Dogbushes Bloomed.”

A reception will follow the reading.

Memorial service

St. Thomas More Church, 940 Carmichael St., is offering “In Memorium,” a service for remembering those who have died during the past year.

The program will include special music by the Schola Cantorium of St. Thomas More, including choral music by Nestor, Handel, Berthier, Noble and Petrich. Vocal soloists are Aileen Sutler, Will Begley, Laura MaKay-Gondek, Tom Stumpf, Hal Crain and Lauren Machos. Roger Petrich will direct. Keyboard pieces by Bach, Brahms and Liszt will be presented.

This program, set for 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3, is free and a reception will follow.

Free choral vespers

Free, public choral vespers are held at Duke Chapel at 5:15 p.m. Thursdays. This is a 30- to 40-minute candlelight service that includes Scripture readings, prayers and sacred music by the Duke Vespers Ensemble that leads the choral portion of the service.

On Friday, Oct. 25, the Vespers Ensemble will perform a concert titled “The Leipzig Legacy: Bach and His Predecessors” It begins at 8 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Featured musicians are Beverly Biggs, Elaine Funaro, Dr. Robert Parkins and Dr. Lex Silbiger on the Bach harpsichord concerto.

Merritt’s craft fair

Merritt’s Chapel, 1090 Farrington Point Road, will hold its annual Craft Fair on Nov. 3. A wide array of crafts and products will be sold as well as the usual culinary delights, biscuits, Brunswick stew and a smorgasbord of desserts.

For more information go to www.merrittschapel.org or call the church office at 919-968-1184.

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