On Faith

On Faith: Church World Service leader to preach Sunday

November 12, 2013 

The Rev. John McCullough, president of Church World Service, will preach Sunday at United Church of Chapel Hill, 1321 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., at both worship services.

CWS has programs in development and humanitarian affairs, advocacy for social justice and refugee assistance in the United States and around the world.

United Church will host its 24th Alternative Gift Market Nov. 23-24. Each year the market offers opportunities through CWS and the gift market to respond to a crisis or foster development throughout the world. In addition, dozens of area nonprofit agencies have tables with gifts that give twice: once to a loved one, and also to benefit the community.

Church World Service began in 1946 as a partnership of 17 denominations “to do in partnership what none of us could hope to do as well alone.” The mission: “Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, comfort the aged, shelter the homeless.” More than 65 years later, the partnership has 37 member denominations and the same mission, though where and how has changed.

Worship services on Sunday are at 8:45 a.m. and 11 a.m.

UU minister to speak

A national Unitarian Universalist minister will speak and discuss his new book “God Revised: How Religion Must Evolve in a Scientific Age” at 7 p.m. today at Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 4907 Garrett Road in Durham.

“While we have revised our concept of the universe and humanity as a result of advances in science, we have yet to revise our concept of God,” said the Rev. Galen Guengerich. “The book explores ‘a God we can believe in’ for the 21st century.”

The book recounts his own path from leaving an extended family of Mennonite preachers to seeking a modern God that does not require a suspended reality in order to believe.

Guengerich serves New York City’s All Souls Church, one of the nation’s largest and most prominent UU congregations. He graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary and went on to earn a PhD in theology at the University of Chicago.

The Rev. Deborah Cayer, minister at Eno River, said Guengerich’s visit here is significant because the Durham fellowship has a congregation of diverse beliefs, where members “need not think alike to love alike.”

“Any time we have the chance to learn about new and different ways to think about theology, we gain the chance to better understand one another,” she said. “Understanding enables us to respect each other even while we honor each other’s differences.”

This event, which includes a book signing, is free and open to all.

‘Rumi by candlelight’

“Rumi by Candlelight” will make its Triangle debut on Friday at Unity Center of Peace, 8800 Seawell School Road in Chapel Hill. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.

Presented by the N.C. Triad collective Friends Outside of Time, the evening will include poetry of Sufi mystic Rumi, read by poet and performance artist Adrian Vyner-Brooks. He will be accompanied by the original music of Betsy Bevan, piano; Will Ridenour, West African harp; and Meredith Holladay, vocal. The group will be joined by special guest Daniel Chambo on Indian flute.

“Rumi reaches across eight centuries, embraces all people and touches our hearts,” said Vyner-Brooks. “To experience his words is to discover and celebrate our own inner life and the mystery of the world.”

Friends Outside of Time is a seven-year collaboration between Vyner-Brooks, Ridenour, Bevan and Holladay focused on bringing the spirit and soul of Rumi’s poetry to today’s audiences.

To buy tickets, contact Jean Fisher at 919-968-1854 or visit the website at unitychapelhill.org.

Sanctuary groundbreaking

Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 632 Laurel Hill Road, will have a ground-breaking service for a new sanctuary at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, immediately following the regular worship service.

As planned, the present sanctuary will become the fellowship hall when the new building is completed. The church was organized in 1955 and has grown to about 45 families.

Preschool children and their families will take part in the ground-breaking service and the church’s annual Bake Sale will follow. The public is invited to attend.

Death conference

Registration materials for the inter-denominational conference “Approaching Death Within a Community of Faith” on Friday, Nov. 22 at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 940 Carmichael St., may be accessed through the conference website at bit.ly/1dWxTIs or by calling the Newman Center at 919-929-3730, ext 100.

Sponsors include Duke Chapel, the St. Thomas More Parish, the Newman Catholic Student Center Parish and other area faith communities.

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