On Faith

Former Duke Chapel Hill Dean Wells to return for concert

June 3, 2014 

Former Duke Chapel dean the Rev. Sam Wells returns to the Triangle this week with a choir now touring in the U.S. from his new church assignment, St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London.

The now vicar at St. Martin, will preach at the 11 a.m. Duke Chapel service Sunday. He will also lead a 3 p.m. Sunday Choral Concert for Nonviolence at Lyon Park Community Center, 1313 Halley St. in Durham, where the choir will be joined by The Ready Singers of Orange Correctional Center.

Wells and Marcia Owen, director of the Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham will speak and a reception will follow. Donations for the work of the coalition will be accepted.

Wells and Owen were friends in ministry during his seven years in Durham and the two co-authored a book about that work “Living Without Enemies.” Owen said Wells suggested the concert as a fundraiser for the coalition.

The choir will perform a free concert at Duke Chapel at 8 p.m. Monday night as part of the group's “Resurrection, Ascension and Pentecost” tour.

In 2005 when Wells arrived in Durham, he didn't have to tell anybody what kind of spiritual leader he would be. His first weekend in town he turned up downtown on Sunday night helping to feed hungry people at Urban Ministries.

He was an Anglican filling one of America's bully pulpits at Duke Chapel, but his ministry was one of “being with,” a theological conviction shared by Owen whose work in the city has prompted some to liken her to Mother Teresa.

Wells has said: “God’s whole life is shaped to be with us. In other words there is nothing more fundamental than being with.”

“The talented choir from St.Martin’s will sing beautifully the Renaissance and 19th and 20th century English works,” said Duke Chapel Music Director Rodney Wynkoop. “But having insightful commentary by Sam Wells will add even more depth of meaning to the listening experience.”

The choir’s tour includes concerts in Williamsburg and Richmond, Va.; Washington, D.C.; and Baltimore, Md.

During the First World War, the Vicar of St. Martin’s the Rev. Dick Sheppard opened up the church near Trafalgar Square in London to soldiers on their way to fight in France. Since then, the church has been known as the “Church of the Ever Open Door.”

This tradition of care for vulnerable people continues today through the Connection at Martin's, a charity that cares for about 7,500 homeless people every year.

Jewish Food Festival

The Levin Jewish Community Center, 1937 W. Cornwallis Road in Durham, will host the second Jewish Food Festival on Sunday.

The festival will showcase Jewish delicacies from around the world, ranging from Mediterranean falafel, Israeli salad to New York pastrami sandwiches and chocolate egg creams.

More than 1,500 community members are expected to gather from noon to 5 p.m. for the event.

“One of the main goals of the JCC is to build community and what better way than for people to join together over a shared love of food?” said Susan Levy, executive director of the JCC.

“Seeing the joy that comes from people tasting food they haven't had since their childhood, or those who are trying something for the first time, makes this event thrilling.”

Proceeds from the festival will benefit the center’s scholarship fund.

Contact James Hepler at 919-354-4953 for further information.

Education seminar

The N.C. Council of Churches will hold a seminar on public education Monday, June 16, at United Church of Chapel Hill, 1321 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. The registration deadline is June 9 in order to guarantee lunch.

General registration is $25 and $15 for students or teachers. Make checks payable and mail to N.C. Council of Churches, 27 Horne St., Raleigh 27607.

Forinformation call 919-828-6591 or email info@ncchurches.org.

Contact Flo Johnston at flo.johnston314@gmail.com or call 910-361-4135.

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