On Faith

On Faith: St. Thomas More Catholic School turns 50

January 21, 2014 

St. Thomas More Catholic School, celebrating its 50th anniversary, will kick off a year of festivities beginning next week and ending in June with the St. Thomas More Catholic Church Parish Festival.

The school, at 920 Carmichael St. in Chapel Hill, will celebrate throughout the year to unite its past, present and future community members. It will honor its mission on Jan. 31 with a special school Mass at 8:30 a.m. with Bishop of the Diocese of Raleigh Michael Burbidge and a 7 p.m. Golden Jubilee Celebration featuring guest speaker Jonathan Reckford, former student and now CEO of Habitat for Humanity International.

The school will observe its legacy on May 3 with its 50th Anniversary Homecoming and Open House and will celebrate its community with the Parish Festival on June 28.

The school opened in 1964 with 94 students, 60 in grades 1-4 and 34 in kindergarten. Today the school serves 437 students in Pre-K through eighth grade. It is part of the Diocese of Raleigh and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It continues to fulfill its mission to provide education to each child in a God-centered environment.

“I feel honored to participate in this celebration,” said principal Michael Ashton.”Learning about outstanding people who have come though this community and learning about the impact the school has had on so many has been a rich and rewarding experience.”

Church concert

Rachyl Duffy on the viola and James Rice on the piano will perform at 2 p.m. Sunday at United Church of Chapel Hill, 1321 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Admission is free, but an offering will be collected to support the work of the Alamance-Orange Prison Ministries.

The duo, both students at the UNC School of the Arts, will perform works by Bach, Brahms, Shostakovich and Paganini.

Duffy, a senior studying with Sheila Browne at the school, is a member of the Winston-Salem Symphony. She has performed as soloist with the School of the Arts orchestra and with orchestras in Delaware and Pennsylvania. In high school, she was a member of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra.

Rice, who has a bachelor's degree in music education, is studying for his master's in collaborative piano. He has performed as soloist in North Carolina, Tennessee and Edinburgh, Scotland, and with such artists as violinist Jennifer Curtis, pianist Marta Felcman and the Ciompi quartet.

Grief support group

University United Methodist Church, 150 E. Franklin St., will host a seven-week grief and loss support group, beginning on Sunday, in the church's west parlor. The group is open to members of the larger community and will meet from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Sundays through March 9.

There are more than 40 events that can create the range of human emotions called grief, according to the Grief Recovery Institute. Topping the list are death of a loved one, divorce, estrangements, financial changes and health issues. Whether the loss was recent or long ago, it can limit one's ability to participate fully in life.

“I especially love witnessing the sense of hope that participants develop over the course of our time together,” said Terry Hamlet, a trained Stephen minister who co-leads the group with fellow Stephen minister Tania Osborn.

“During our group work, we present several techniques and activities that are useful in helping us process our grief,” Hamlet said. “While everything is not for everyone, almost always there is something useful for everyone. I particularly think that the group setting is very helpful because we become aware that while each of our experiences is very personal, they have similarities experienced by the others in the group.”

Call the church office at 919-929-7191 for further information or to register.

Political concert

A concert by Anne Feeney on Friday, Jan. 31, at Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will benefit the N.C. NAACP's Moral Monday Movement.

Feeney wrote the folk hit “Have You Been to Jail for Justice?” that appeared on Peter, Paul and Mary's 2003 album “In These Times.”

“It has been my privilege,” Feeney said, “to spend most of my waking hours with people who are trying to make a difference in the world … people on strike or in a union or a community organizing a drive, or defending women's rights, the environment, human rights … working to end poverty and racism and teaching peace.”

Suggested donation for the 7:30 p.m. concert is $20, payable at the door. Advance tickets for $17 may be obtained through PayPal at earis@mindspring.com.

The concert is sponsored by the Triangle Raging Grannies. For more information, call 585-314-1413.

Eno River Fellowship is located at 4907 Garrett Road in Durham.

Synagogue yard sale

Kehillah Synagogue will host its Annual Yard Sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 2, at 1200 Mason Farm Road.

The sale features low-cost clothing, furniture, toys and electronics donated by Kehillah members. Proceeds directly benefit Kehillah synagogue's Religious and Pre-School programs.

Unsold items at the end of the sale are donated to other local non-profit organizations.

Kehillah is an inclusive and engaged Jewish community that offers celebration, worship, education and social action to the Jewish community.

Help for hard of hearing

Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church has installed a Hearing Loop system in its sanctuary, made possible by a gift from University Presbyterian Church in Chapel Hill combined with other private gifts.

The church hopes that this new accessibility feature will enhance the worship experience for people of all ages with hearing loss.

Those with a T-coil-enabled hearing aid will get enhanced sound directly in their ears without special equipment. For those with hearing loss but without hearing aids, there are headphones available to borrow or individuals can bring their own earbuds and the church will provide a transmitter during the worship service.

All are welcome to worship on Sundays at 11 a.m. The church is located at 14 Great Ridge Parkway, Chapel Hill.

Send your faith news to flo.johnston314@gmail.com or call 910-361-4135.

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