On Faith

On Faith: Hark, the sound of tubas sing

November 19, 2013 

A benefit concert for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Peacemaking Scholarship featuring the Triangle Tuba Quartet will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday at United Church of Chapel Hill, 1321 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

The quartet includes two euphoniums, sometimes called baritone horns, and two tubas, an instrument that delivers a rich, warm sound. The concert will feature classical Bach, Mozart and Haydn to modern American music, marches and jazz. Donations are requested to support the scholarships.

Members Jack Denniston, Irv Eisen, Paul Gramann and Glenn Wilkinson perform with various groups including concert and Dixieland bands at banquets, music festivals, church services, nursing homes and weddings.

Begun in 2009, the scholarships of $1,000 are awarded to college-bound high school seniors based on their participation, study and career goals in areas of non-violent conflict resolution, global community, social justice, ecology and population.

Applications are due Feb. 15, 2014. You can find application forms and biographies of previous recipients at unitedchurch.org/peacemaking or by contacting Jack Denniston at jldenniston@att.net.

Melodramatic mystery

The Community Church of Chapel Hill Unitarian-Universalist presents the melodramatic musical whodunit “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” Friday through Sunday.

Based on the unfinished novel by Unitarian Charles Dickens, best known for “A Christmas Carol” and “A Tale of Two Cities,” and set to music by Rupert Holmes, best known for his ’80s hit “Escape, the Pina Colada Song,” this is a solve-it-yourself Broadway musical. It features numerous possible endings, chosen by audience vote at each performance. Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday with a 5 p.m. matinee on Sunday.

Tickets can be ordered in advance at bit.ly/17Y9F1t.

Get more information by calling the church office at 919-942-2050. Childcare will be provided. The church is located at 106 Purefoy Road.

Hanukkah festival

A Hanukkah festival will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Levin Jewish Community Center, 1937 W. Cornwallis Road in Durham

Hanukkah beings at sundown on Nov. 27.

Festival-goers can shop for holiday gifts for family and friends at the shuk, or marketplace, eat homemade latkes and other holiday goodies, play Hanukkah-inspired games and enjoy music and dancing.

Greek pastry sale

St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church will hold its annual Greek pastry sale on Friday and Saturday at the church, 8306 N.C. 751 in Durham.

This anticipated event will feature an eat-in or take-out Grecian cafe, serving both a spanakopita plate (spinach and feta enveloped in flaky phyllo dough) and a pastitsio plate (pasta with a ground beef sauce topped with creamy bechamel sauce).

Proceeds will benefit the North Carolina Medical Ministry and other charities. The event is sponsored by the Ladies Philoptochos Society.

Holiday dinner

A holiday dinner will be served from 10 a.m. to noon Thanksgiving Day, hosted by Chapel of the Pines Presbyterian Church in Chatham County.

The annual tradition is sponsored by the UNC Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health. It was begun 16 years ago by XDS, a nonprofit group that is now merged with the center.

Clients and patients from the center as well as the Department of Psychiatry and others in the community who need a place to celebrate Thanksgiving are invited.

Members of the center staff and church volunteers will serve the dinner.

Seasonal singing

Daniel Steinert, director of music at Christ Church in Southern Village, is gathering a 30- to 40-voice ensemble to sing seasonal music with instruments on Cantata Sunday, Dec. 15, at the church’s two worship services, 9:45 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Singers should come to the sanctuary of the church at 7 p.m. Wednesdays to rehearse and sing special Advent music. The church is located at 800 Market St. All are welcome.

Dog-friendly worship

A national church magazine as well as National Public Radio both carried a story about church services where dogs are welcome.

Research by a religion professor at Southwestern University found two Presbyterian (USA) churches that welcome dogs to weekly worship services: Underwood Hills Church in Omaha, Neb., which offers “Paws & Prayers” on Thursdays, and Covenant Presbyterian in Los Angeles which offers “Canines at Covenant” on Sundays.

Do an Internet search to view dogs snuggled next to their owners in pews and an offering plate that includes dog biscuits.

In a related happening, Westminster Presbyterian in Dallas, Texas, looked at surveys that found 40 to 50 percent of today’s households include a dog.

This information and the church’s missional attitude led them to convert a grassy space in back of the church into a dog park. The dog park is now perceived as belonging to the community, not just the church, and several park enthusiasts have become members of the congregation.

These are unique ways in which some 21st-century churches are reaching out to the world around them.

Bow wow and Amen!

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

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