Faith: Church sets schedule for Strobilus Music Series

08/12/2014 12:00 AM

08/08/2014 6:51 PM

The Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church has announced the inaugural season of the Strobilus Music Series, set for September through December.

The schedule features free performances in a range of acoustic formats including bluegrass, vocal recital, jazz, choral works and handbells.

explained the vision of the series:

“The aesthetics of the Chapel in the Pines with its rough hewn beams and expansive views of the surrounding pine forests, along with the exceptional acoustics afforded by the floors and vaulted ceilings, make the sanctuary both a unique and an ideal location for intimate acoustic performances,” says series coordinator Nathan Kotecki. “Our hope is that the greater community will visit us and experience the great local talents we have lined up for this premier season.”

Here is the schedule:

Sept. 13: Local favorites Jason and the G-Runs will kick off the series with a Bluegrass Family Tradition, a program of bluegrass and newgrass played on guitar, mandolin, dobro, banjo and bass.

Oct. 18: Tenor Mitchener Howell and bass Jay Pierson, both active vocal artists in the Triangle, will give a joint recital titled “The Highs and the Lows,” with selections including art songs, spirituals, arias and duets.

Nov. 8: Willard McKiver, known for his stirring performances with the local Martin Eagle Quarter, will sing “Extraordinary Music for Great Souls,” an eclectic program of jazz, blues and gospel songs.

Nov. 22: The Triangle based Women's Voices Chorus will present “Awakenings: Songs of New births and Origins,” a program of sacred and secular music ranging from the Renaissance to contemporary works.

Dec. 7: The Chapel in the Pines handbell choir will be joined by other area handbell groups for a rousing holiday program featuring religious and popular favorites, all played live on three or more octaves of bells.

All performances are free and open to the public with a suggested donation.

The Rev. Mindy Douglas, pastor of Chapel in the Pines, said the church has hosted performances that were well received but has never explored the full potential of its space to present music.

“The Strobilus Music Series is an exciting development for us,” she said. “We hope it will be as enriching for the neighboring community as it is for the congregation.”

Located on Great Ridge Parkway in southern Chapel Hill, the church welcomes everyone and is fully ADA accessible.

The series takes its name from the botanical term for the pine cone, which derives from the Greek “strobilos,” meaning whirlwind.

‘Raise Your Fork’

Amante Pizza in Cary is donating 15 percent of this Thursday night's profit to Chatham Habitat for Humanity in an effort called “Raise Your Fork and Raise Some Funds.”

Habitat supporters are asked to bring friends and family to have dinner or to order take-out or delivery.

Chatham Habitat works in partnership with God and people to create self-help opportunities for families to own affordable homes, improve their lives and strengthen their communities.

The restaurant is located at Cary Park Town Center, 10110 Green Level Church Road, Suite 10B. The phone number is 919-380-8410.

‘Listening with Love’

As part of a series of lay sermons at Church of Reconciliation, Nancy Corson Carter will speak on “Listening with Love; Faith that Includes all Earth Life,” at 10 a.m. Sunday.

Drawing on Scriptures from Job and the Gospel of John, Carter will suggest how person of faith can consider current threats to the global environment. Her text will refer to Bill McKibben, Larry Rasmussen, Paul Hawken, Thomas Berry and others.

Related hymns for the day include “All Creatures of Our God and King” and “I Sing the Mighty Power of God.”

The church is located at 110 N. Elliott Road in Chapel Hill.

After the service, there will be an opportunity to offer letters on local and national environmental issues. These will be sent to President Obama, members of Congress and to the N.C. Department of Energy and Natural Resources.

A former moderator of Presbyterians for Earth Care, Carter attended its national meeting at Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center in Arkansas last fall. She will describe positive models for earth care presented there.

Carter has been active in ecology and spirituality since the 1980s. She is chair of the Environmental Support Committee at the Church. The church is certified by the Presbyterian Church as an “Earth Care Congregation.”

Calming workshop

A meditation workshop titled “How to Calm and Focus Your Mind” is set from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at Kosala Buddhist Center, 711 W. Rosemary St.

The leader is Buddhist teacher Ethan Lechner and the cost is $20 with a special rate of $12 for students and seniors.

In this workshop, students will learn a step-by-step, time-honored system for learning to abide in a state of deep tranquility. With a tranquil mind, one can easily achieve a deep spiritual experience and find happiness, according to this teacher.

No previous meditation experience is necessary. Everyone is welcome.

New minister

After a year-long search, the Community Church of Chapel Hill Unitarian Universalist has called the Rev. Thom Belote as its new minister. He will begin his Chapel Hill ministry on Sunday, Aug. 17, preaching at the 10:30 a.m. service. The church is located at 106 Purefoy Road.

Belote is a life-long Unitarian originally from the Boston area. He has a degree in Religious Studies from Reed College and a Master of Divinity from Harvard.

When he was 25, he began his ministry at the Shawnee Mission UU Church outside Kansas City, Kan. While there, he worked for women's rights, campaigned for comprehensive sexuality education in Kansas high schools, testified before the Kansas City school board and the Kansas legislature.

In 2012 he received the Kansas City Choice Alliance’s Next Generation Award. He was active in such organizations as Planned Parenthood, the ACLU and the Immigrant Justice Advocacy Movement.

A religious liberal, Belote welcomes theological diversity in his congregation.

“The theology I preach and teach is accessible and meaningful to Unitarian Universalists regardless of whether they self identify as humanist, theist, Buddhist or earth-centered,” Belote said.

He and his wife, Anne, and their 2-year-old daughter are now living in Chapel Hill.

Contact Flo Johnston at or call 910-361-4135.

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