On Faith

Faith: Duke senior tapped for Duke Chapel sermon

February 17, 2014 

Duke University senior Hannah Ward has been selected to give this year's student preacher sermon at Duke Chapel.

Ward, a religion major from Asheville, will deliver her sermon during the 11 a.m. worship service on Sunday. A reception after the service will be held in the chapel basement.

Her sermon, “Everybody's Perfect,” is based on a Scripture passage in Leviticus where Moses delivers the Ten Commandments, coupled with a passage in the Godpel of Matthew of Jesus' conversation with his disciples about the commandments.

Her sermon was selected after being reviewed and nominated by a committee that included representatives from both the chapel and the Religious Life staff.

“Hannah's sermon on the topic of perfection is an appropriate subject for Duke students, who often find themselves suffering under the weight of this ideal expectation,” said Meghan Feldmeyer, the chapel's director of worship. “Hannah's exploration of the passage is astute and insightful.”

Each year, Duke Chapel selects a student to preach on Student Preacher Sunday in February.

The selection process is open to any undergraduate who wishes to submit a sermon. Criteria for selection include relevance of sermon to that Sunday's Scripture, sermon delivery and appropriateness of subject matter for a chapel service.

Duke University Chapel's Sunday worship services are open to the public and are webcast live at www.chapel.duke.edu.

Black History Month

Author and educator Dr. King V. Cheek will be guest speaker Sunday, as part of North East Baptist Church's celebration of Black History month.

The service begins at 10:45 a.m. The church is located at 3204 Hwy. 55 and the pastor is the Rev. Wesley Elam.

Cheek became a dean and vice president at Shaw University at the age of 27, a post he held until 1969 when he was named president. After holding other academic posts, he and a colleague developed the Center for Leadership and Career Development in Washington.

At the present time he is engaged in launching a new non-traditional medical school in Switzerland, the United Kingdom, China and South Africa. The “College of Integrated medicine” will combine traditional western medicine with a holistic approach.

He is the author of numerous books and articles, including four novels.

Grief support program

A six-week core grief support program “Growing thru Grief,” sponsored by area Christian churches and supporting organizations, meets every Tuesday at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1200 W. Cornwallis Road.

The program begins at 4:30 p.m. with a brief lecture followed by small group discussion. Participants are asked to arrive at 4 p.m. for registration, refreshments and fellowship.

For more information, email growingthrugrief@gmail.com.

Presbyterian choir

The Presbyterian College Choir and Ringers will be in concert at Trinity Avenue Presbyterian Church, 927 W. Trinity Ave., on Thursday, Feb. 27. The repertoire for the 7 p.m. concert will be entirely sacred, including anthems, hymns and spiritual songs.

This is the only North Carolina performance on the itinerary for the choir and ringers.

The concert is free and the public is invited.

Empty Bowls benefit

Tickets are now on sale for the annual Empty Bowls benefit on March 6 for Urban Ministries of Durham. Twelve local restaurants will be serving chef-made soups in beautiful bowls being made by dozens of local artists.

Four levels of tickets are available with three of them allowing participants to take one of the bowls home.

• Soup only, $20.

• Soup & Bowl, $40: Arrive after 5:30 p.m. and take home an artist-made bowl.

• Hot Ticket, $60: Get first pick of regular artist-made bowls from 5 to 5:30 p.m. before the event opens to other ticket holders.

• Premier Ticket, $100: Select from a group of larger and more elaborate artist-made premium bowls in the half hour before the event opens to other ticket holders.

This is a family-friendly event to be held at the Durham Convention Center. Children under 6 get in free to sample soups. The evening includes a live jazz combo and the chance to learn more about the important work Urban Ministries does to feed, clothe and shelter neighbors.

Last year, Empty Bowls raised more than $50,000 to support this work.

For ticket information visit www.umdurham.org.

McPherson Lectures

The 15th annual McPherson Lectures at First Presbyterian Church on Sunday and Monday will feature the Rev. Dr. Emilie M. Townes whose theme will be “Christian Ethics, Womanist Theology and the Present Political Climate.”

Her sermon at the 11 a.m. worship service Sunday is titled “Songs of Zion,” based on Psalm 137. She will also speak at 9:45 a.m. during Sunday School in Watts-Hill Hall on the topic “Spirituality as Social Witness.”

At 7 p.m. that same day, she will make a presentation at Covenant Presbyterian titled “Does Your House Have Lions?” Covenant is located at 2620 E. Weaver St.

She will speak at 11 a.m. Monday during a seminar for clergy and interested laypersons that will be followed by lunch. Her topic is “Singing Your Song.”

Originally from Durham, Townes is dean of Vanderbilt Divinity School where she is also professor of Womanist Ethics and Society. She has been a pioneering scholar in womanist theology, a field of studies in which the historic and current insights of African American women are brought into critical engagement with the traditions of Christian theology.

She has written four books, including the ground-breaking book “Womanist Ethics and the Cultural Production of Evil.” Ordained in the American Baptist Church, Townes came to Vanderbilt from Yale Divinity School where she was associate Dean of Academic Affairs.

The McPherson Lectureship is dedicated to enriching the faith and life of First Presbyterian Church and the Durham community. It is made possible through an endowment given by the McPherson family in memory of Dr. and Mrs. S.D. McPherson Sr. and Dr. S.D. McPherson Jr.

The public is invited to attend her lectures, but RSVPs are requested for the seminar and lunch by calling the church office at 919-682-5511 or email l.francisco@firstpres-durham.org.

The church is located at 305 E. Main St. in downtown Durham.

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

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