On Faith

On Faith: Opa! St. Barbara Greek Festival is this weekend

May 27, 2014 

The Saint Barbara Greek Festival, a popular annual event sponsored by Saint Barbara Greek Orthodox Church, is set Saturday and Sunday at 8306 N.C. 751, a half mile south of I-40 Exit 274.

Admission is free and all proceeds benefitthe church’s building fund and the American Red Cross.

The festival will feature such culinary delights as gyro (thin-sliced lamb and beef sliced from a vertical rotisserie), grilled marinade pork and chicken pita wraps, spanakopita (spinach and feta cheese filling in paper-thin phyllo dough) and pastitsio (layered pasta, ground sirloin and cheese, topped with creamy bechamel sauce).

Be sure to observe the traditional slow cooking of whole lamb on a spit (souvla) served twice a day. Traditional desserts will include baklava (spiced nuts layered in phyllo with honey syrup), galactoboureko (custard-filled phyllo with honey syrup), kourambiedes (shortbread cookies dusted with powdered sugar), loukoumades (fried dough balls with honey syrup, cinnamon and walnuts), plus an irresistible twist on a traditional favorite: Baklava ice cream sundaes.

Greek coffee prepared in a long-handled briki and iced coffee frappe will be served at the Kafenion. The Taverna will feature Greek beer.

Continuous Greek music and scheduled folk dance performances are on tap. The bouzouki band “Opa!” will perform from 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday. All are welcome to join in community dancing at any time.

Greek cultural exhibits, travel videos and tours of the Byzantine-style domed church, a Durham landmark, will be featured both days.

For olives, feta cheese, olive oil and delicious sweet tsoureki bread, festival-goers may shop the Bakaliko Grocery Store. Other shops will feature gifts, handmade jewelry, artwork, crafts and souvenirs, including Ukrainian imports, religious items and watercolor scenes of Greece by noted Raleigh artist Pantelis Zografos.

The award-winning St. Barbara community cookbook “The Grecian Plate,” now in its 11th printing, will be available for purchase.

Festival hours both days are from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Open Table benefit

A Jambalaya Dinner Fundraiser for Open Table Ministry will be held Saturday at Resurrection United Methodist Church, 4705 Old Chapel Hill Road.

The dine in or take-out event from 5 to 7:30 p.m. features an adult plate of shrimp jambalaya, salad, bread, dessert and drink and a child’s plate of chicken nuggets, bread, applesauce, dessert and drink.

Prices are $10 for adults and $5 for children.

Open Table Ministry seeks to provide a faithful response to homelessness in the community and to improve the quality of life for homeless persons by building relationships, meeting practical needs and connecting with service resources.

Its vision statement says: “We strive to foster a community where everyone is valued and all people’s spiritual, physical and emotional needs are met.”

Hymn festival

Michael Burkhardt, one of the foremost Lutheran composers and recitalists in the United States, will lead a hymn festival titled “Journeying with the Risen Christ” on Saturday, sponsored by St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1200 Cornwallis Road.

Burkhardt will direct a group of choirs and instrumentalist from Westminster Presbyterian Church in Durham, St. Philip Lutheran Church in Raleigh and the choir at St. Paul's.

The 7:30 p.m. event will be held in the sanctuary at St. Paul's and will include Scripture readings, singing and organ music, a combination of a concert and a worship service.

All are welcome

Vacation Bible School

St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, 403 E. Main St. in downtown, has begun registration and is seeking volunteers for its upcoming Vacation Bible School.

This year’s school is set June 16-20 when student adventurers will travel through the Middle Ages to a distant site each evening, learning from the lives of both Biblical and historic saints.

Children will sing, learn a new Bible story each evening and will spend time at the Street Fair where they will play games, make crafts and have the chance to learn more about each saint and the country where they lived.

Each evening session will begin with dinner at 5:30 p.m. and end at 8 p.m.

Call the church office at 919-682-5708 for registration information or to volunteer.

Singing for housing

“There’s No Place Like Home,” a concert celebrating the Beloved Community in Durham to benefit Habitat for Humanity and Housing for New Hope is set for 4 p.m. Sunday at Duke Memorial United Methodist Church, 504 W. Chapel Hill St.

Scheduled performers include Lois Deloatch, Terry Allebaugh and the Rev. Mel Williams, as well as the United Voices of Praise Gospel Choir and Cyril Murphy and Friends.

Allebaugh will be honored for his work with Housing for New Hope. The late Ben Ward, who taught philosophy at Duke University for 30 years, will be remembered for his volunteer efforts in helping to feed hungry people in the city.

Donations will be accepted at the door. A reception will follow the concert. All are invited.

Couple endow professorship

Duke University trustee Jack Bovender and his wife, Barbara, have given $1.5 million to endow a professorship at Duke Divinity School.

The professorship, to be held by the director of the Anglican Episcopal House of Studies (AEHS), will provide financial stability and a foundation for future growth of Anglican Episcopal Studies and Ministry, which was founded in 2006 to provide Anglican spiritual formation for Episcopal and other Anglican students at Duke Divinity. Currently, 30 students are enrolled in the Anglican Certificate Program.

AEHS was founded by the Rev. Dr. Jo Bailey Wells, now the chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury. Since 2013, the Rev. Dr. David Marshall has served as the director of AEHS. Graduates with the Anglican certificate have gone on to parish ministry, chaplaincy and doctoral programs, among other ministries.

Bovender is a Duke graduate and worked in the health care industry for 40 years before retiring in 2009 as chair and chief executive officer of Hospital Corporation of America, which owns and operates 164 hospitals and 106 freestanding surgery centers in the United States and Great Britain.

The Bovenders are Episcopalians and attend St. George’s Church in Nashville, Tenn., where they now live.

Pianist to perform

Pianist Andrew Tyson will be in concert Sunday, June 1, at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 82 Kimberly Drive.

The 4 p.m. program includes selections by Handel, Mendelssohn, Mozart and Schumann.

Tickets at the door are $21; those 18 and under will be admitted free.

Tyson will also appear with the North Carolina Symphony at 7:30 p.m. June 20 at Summerfest, Koka Booth Amphitheater in Cary.

Victory program

Twenty men received certificates of completion this week from the Durham Rescue Mission’s one-year Victory program.

These are men who have fought for this achievement against addictions, homelessness and bad choices from their past. Many of them are already employed.

The guest speaker for the event was Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews.

Typical of the graduates is Juan Rutz Diaz, who is overcoming addiction to alcohol and is now working as a cashier at the mission’s thrift store. He and Curtis Burwell shared their testimonies during the graduation ceremony.

The Durham Rescue Mission provides long-term shelter, counseling and vocational training to more than 400 men, women and children on a daily basis.

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

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