On Faith

On Faith: New minister coming to St. Luke’s

July 1, 2014 

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 1737 Hillandale Road, has called the Rev. Helen Svoboda-Barber as its next rector. She will begin her ministry here in August.

She has been the rector of Harcourt Parish at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, since 2004.

She has a master of divinity from Seminary of the Southwest, graduating in 1998. She was ordained in the Diocese of Kansas in 1998 and expects to complete a doctorate of ministry in 2016.

She is married to Shawn and they have two sons, Charlie, 10, and Luke, 7.

ERUUF donations

The Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 4907 Garrett Road, has donated $7,441 to three nonprofit agencies working to decrease violence and to improve services for the disabled and Hispanics.

• $1,649 to Alliances of Disability Advocates-Center for Independent Living, which helps people with disabilities to live independently and become full participants in society.

• $3,784 to El Futuro, which provides bilingual and culturally informed behavioral health treatment for under served Spanish-speaking individuals and families.

• $2,008 to the Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham, whose mission is to prevent and rectify the injustice of violence that segregates our city and diminishes our humanity.

The total amount was donated in three recent Generosity Sunday collections, a program that benefits a different community organization each time.

Eno River holds services at 10:30 a.m. Sundays during the summer and 9:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. during the school year. All are welcome.

Last-minute openings

Dr. Harold Koenig, director of Duke Spirituality and Health Workshops, announced this week that the 5-day summer research workshop Aug. 11-15 will accommodate a few last-minute registrants.

The workshop, Koenig said, is the only place in the world where specific training on how to conduct research on religion, spirituality and health can be obtained from researchers active in the field for more than 25 years.

Contact Koenig at email Harold.Koenig@duke.edu.

Same-sex vote

The top legislative body of the Presbyterian Church USA has voted to recognize same-sex marriage in its church constitution.

The amendment, approved 429 to 175 by the Presbyterian General Assembly meeting in Detroit recently would add language that marriage can be the union of “two people,” not just “a man and a woman.” It requires approval from a majority of the 172 regional presbyteries, which will vote on the change over the next year. (Presbyterians don’t usually do anything in a hurry, so don’t expect to see any immediate change on this issue. Voting in the presbyteries will take place as they normally meet during the coming year.)

The assembly also passed a separate measure, voting 371 to 238 to allow ministers to preside over gay weddings in states where such unions are legal. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia recognize same-sex marriage. North Carolina is not one of the 19 states.

In 2011, Presbyterians voted to ordain clergy who have same-sex partners, but ministers were still barred from celebrating gay marriages.

The Episcopal Church started allowing same-sex marriage blessings last year.

The United Church of Christ has allowed same-sex marriages since 2005.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America allows individual church ministers to make decisions on gay marriages.

New Habitat home

Karen Ramsey and her son, Randall, moved into their new Habitat for Humanity home on Monday.

Karen’s journey is another success story from the Durham Rescue Mission.

Once addicted to drugs, alienated from family and friends, she had given up custody of her son. It was then she went to the mission for help.

She has since graduated from the mission’s Victory Program, regained custody of her son and found temporary work when former County Manager Mike Ruffin hired her as a receptionist for the Durham County Government office.

Today she has a permanent job with the Durham County tax office.

Each day, the Rescue Mission provides shelter, counseling and vocational training to more than 400 men, women and children.

Reach the mission at 919-688-9641 or visit durhamrescuemission.org.

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

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