On Faith: New hymnal writer to help celebrate Durham church milestone

CorrespondentMarch 25, 2014 

A North Carolina theologian and scholar, who chaired the committee that created the new hymnal “Glory to God” for the Presbyterian Church USA, will lead a discussion of hymn writing and will preach at Westminster Presbyterian Church on Sunday as part of the church’s yearlong celebration of its 50th anniversary.

Mary Louise Bringle, a professor of philosophy and religious studies at Brevard College, is an award-winning hymn writer whose original texts and translations appear in the hymnals of numerous denominations in North America and Scotland.

Her latest is the hymn “We Hunger, God,” commissioned by Westminster to honor this milestone in its history.

During a 9:45 a.m. gathering in the Music Room of the Holderness Mission Center, she will speak on the complexities and controversies involved in the process of giving birth to a new hymnal.

Discussions will continue after the morning service over a catered lunch at noon in the fellowship hall.

Visitors are welcome. Sunday services are at 8:30 and 11 a.m. The church is located at 3639 Old Chapel Hill Road.

Mid-week Lenten services

St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1200 W. Cornwallis Road, will continue to offer mid-week Lenten services at 7 p.m. each Wednesday through April 9. The services are preceded by dinner to which all are welcome.

The church will also host the interdenominational Lenten Lunch at noon today, March 26. The Rev. Ginger Brasher-Cunningham of Pilgrim United Church of Christ will speak.

The lunch on April 2 will be held at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, 82 Kimberly Drive, and the Rev. Scott Anderson of St. Paul's will speak.

The final lunch for this season is April 9 and will be hosted by Pilgrim UCC, 3011 Academy Road. Father Bob Kaynor of St. Stephen's Episcopal will speak.

Coalition luncheon

The Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham's monthly Community Luncheon is set for noon Thursday.

Chief Assistant District Attorney Roger A. Echols Jr., a candidate for Durham district attorney, will discuss ways of repairing the harm of violence in the community.

Previous luncheon speakers have emphasized the critical role the District Attorney's office has in promoting mediation, victim advocacy and court diversion for youth.

Lunch, catered by Core Catering, is provided. No RSVP needed. All welcome.

New Yates pastor

Yates Baptist Church, 2819 Chapel Hill Road, has called the Rev. Christopher Ingram to be its next senior pastor.

A special service of installation and celebration is set for 11 a.m. Sunday.

Special speakers will include Andy Wakefield, dean of Campbell Divinity School and the interim pastor at Yates; Curtis Freeman, professor of theology and director of the Baptist House of Studies at Duke Divinity School; the Rev. Kathy Gore Chappell, leadership development coordinator with Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina; the Rev. David Moore, senior consultant for pastoral ministries at the Baptist State Convention; and John Saunders Jr., director of missions at Yates Baptist Association.

A reception in the church fellowship hall will follow the service.

Ingram is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Duke Divinity School. Previously, he was senior pastor of First Baptist in Elizabeth City and has served at other churches in Eastern North Carolina and Raleigh in other capacities.

He and his wife, Jeanell Cox, have three sons.

Heidelberg Catechism

A six-week discussion series on the Heidelberg Catechism began last Sunday at First Presbyterian Church.

Led by Jonathan Nelson, the series will be based on “Living the Heidelberg: the Heidelberg Catechism and the Moral Life” by the late Allen D. Verhey, former professor of Christian Theology at Duke Divinity School.

Verhey had planned to lead this discussion himself; however, he died on Feb. 26. Nelson, who is teaching the course to honor the memory of Verhey, is currently finishing a master's degree in theology at Duke Divinity and is a candidate for ordination in the Presbyterian Church USA.

These discussions will take place at 9:45 a.m. on Sundays in the Watts-Hill Hall at the church. All are welcome. The church is handicap accessible and located at 305 E. Main St. in downtown.

Holderness honored

The Rev. Haywood Holderness, retired pastor of Westminster Presbyterian who continues to live in Durham, recently was honored by the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina for his leadership and dedication to hunger relief efforts.

He received the Hunt-Mortgridge Award instituted by the Food Bank in the names of James B. Hunt Jr, former governor, and John P. Mortgridge, chairman emeritus of Cisco, who both gave years of service to the Food Bank.

YO:Durham is currently merging with Partners for Youth to become Partners for Youth Opportunity.

The mission of the merged organization is to partner with the community to provide Durham youth with opportunities to connect, develop and contribute through mentoring, employment and educational support.

Julie Wells is the executive director of the merged group.

Carlton Koonce, a correspondent for The Durham News and current teen mentoring coordinator at the Durham VOICE community newspaper, will be the new internship and mentor coordinator at Partners for Youth Opportunity.

He will oversee the recruitment, training and support of PYO's volunteer mentors and paid internship sites.

The merged organization will continue to offer a Summer Career Academy, community-based mentoring, academic support and paid internship placements on a year-round basis.

This means that students who have benefited from YO:Durham's workforce development focus will also receive more intensive academic support and mentoring and students in Partners for Youth will benefit from the more in-depth workforce readiness programming that YO:Durham has provided.

Yo:Durham began as a project supported in part by Durham Congregations in Action.

Contact Flo Johnston at flo.johnston314@gmail.com.

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