United Church of Chapel Hill will host denominational leaders from the United Church of Christ and officials from Andover Newton Theological School over the weekend as they take part in the “Moral March on Raleigh” Saturday.
The group will include about 30 students led by Nick Carter, president of Andover Newton Theological School, and Maria Teresa Davila, assistant professor of Christian ethics st the school, as well as denominational officials the Rev. Geoffrey Black, general minster and president; the Rev. J. Bennett Guess, executive minister of Local Church Ministries; and the Rev. Linda Jaramillo, executive minister of Justice and Witness Ministries.
The Moral Monday Movement began last year, led by the Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP. Organizers predict thousands of marchers from across the state this weekend will call out Gov. Pat McCrory, House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate leader Phil Berger on policies regarding voting rights, education, the environment, health care and women's rights.
The Rev. Richard Edens, co-senior pastor of the United Church of Chapel Hill, said it makes sense that leaders of the UCC denomination would come to North Carolina for this event.
“The UCC is a distinct and diverse community of Christians that come together as one church to join faith and action,” he said. “With more than 5,100 churches and 1.1 million members across the U.S., the UCC serves God in the co-creation of a just and sustainable world. The UCC is a church of firsts.”
The United Church of Christ was the first historically white denomination to ordain an African-American, the first to ordain a woman, the first to ordain an openly gay man and the first Christian church to affirm the right of same-gender couples to marry, Edens said.
Carter will preach at United Church 's worship services, 8:45 and 11 a.m. Sunday, and Davila will hold a teach-in at 4 p.m. Saturday and another at 10 a.m. Sunday at the church. In addition, she will preach at the 6 p.m. worship service at Iglesia Unida, the Spanish language church tht is part of United Church of Chapel Hill.
Andover Newton is the nation's oldest graduate school of theology and is affiliated with both the United Church of Christ and the American Baptist Church. Carter, the first non-academic to head the theological school, is committed to preparing a new generation of religious leaders with an emphasis on what he calls “interfaith border-crossing skills,” the ability to meaningfully engage and work with people who think, speak and worship differently.
An exhibit “Forward Together: Images of Moral Mondays” now on display in the fellowship hall at United Church of Chapel Hill,1321 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., will continue through Saturday. The exhibit features photographs by Dave Otto, oil paintings by David Taylor and narratives by Chapel Hill activist Harry Phillips.
The Tibetan monks from the Drepung Gomang Monastery will perform their Tibetan Cultural Pageant at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, in the ArtsCenter's Rhoda Wynn Theater, 300 E. Main St. in Carrboro.
The event marks the beginning of a long-term sponsorship by the ArtsCenter to continue to host and promote the Sacred Arts Tours in the United States.
The event Wednesday will include dance and pageantry that has held a special place in Tibetan culture for hundreds of years. These traditions help to inspire strength and playfulness or celebrate the attainment of wisdom. Included in the pageant will be the popular Snow Lion Dance and a demonstration of Debate as it is practiced in the monastery.
Sunday at 1:30 p.m., the monks will hold an opening ceremony for the construction of a sand mandala. Mandala construction will be in the Public Gallery at the ArtsCenter and will continue during the week from Feb. 10 -14, beginning at 10 a.m.
On Saturday, Feb. 15, at 1:30 p.m. a deconstruction ceremony will be held and sand will be given to those attendees who want it. During mandala construction, the monks will also sell Tibetan crafts made by the Tibetan refugee community with all proceeds going to their monastery in India.
Pastor to be installed
Pastor Installation Weekend is on tap Wednesday and Sunday at First Baptist Church, 106 N. Roberson St., when the Rev. Dr. Rodney L. Coleman will become the congregation’s sixth pastor.
The installation preacher, the Rev. Haywood Smith of St. James Baptist Church in Leasburg, will preach at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Guest preacher Haywood Gray, executive secretary of the General Baptist State Convention in North Carolina, will preach at the 11 a.m. worship serviceSunday.
UU leader to speak
The Rev. William F. Schultz, an international human rights leader will be in the Triangle this weekend to speak at two Unitarian Universalist churches and participate in the Moral March on Raleigh Saturday.
Former executive director of Amnesty International and now president and CEO of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, Schultz will speak at a potluck dinner in the fellowship hall at Eno River Unitarian Universalist Church, 4907 Garrett Road in Durham.
On Sunday, he will preach at the UU Fellowship of Raleigh and in the afternoon, he will be the main speaker at the ordination ceremonies for Nathan “Nato” Alan Hollister of Carrboro as a Unitarian Universalist minister in the sanctuary at Eno River, 4907 Garrett Road.
Hollister, 33, is the son of Eno River members Alan and Susan Hollister and grandson of founders of the fellowship Bill and Fran Hollister. A graduate of Meadville-Lombard Theological School in Chicago, he lives in Carrboro where he leads the recently established Mutual Aid Carrboro, a social justice mission.
On Saturday, Schultz and the Rev. Peter Morales, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association, along with members of many Unitarian Universalist congregations, will participate in the Moral March on Raleigh regarding social-justice issues in North Carolina.
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