Chapel Hill: Community

March 25, 2014

On Faith: As Duke Chapel goes, others may choose to follow

During last Sunday’s worship service at Duke Chapel, the presiding minister announced the chapel had decided to return to a traditional version of the Apostles’ Creed, which includes the statement Jesus “descended into hell.”

During last Sunday’s worship service at Duke Chapel, the presiding minister announced the chapel had decided to return to a traditional version of the Apostles’ Creed, which includes the statement Jesus “descended into hell.”

He said the return was motivated out of the theological and pastoral conviction that this line of the creed forcefully reminds the church that Christ’s presence goes with Christians, even to the darkest and most tortured parts of their lives. Even hell is not beyond the bounds of Christ’s presence, graces and redemption.

Literate church folks know there are many seemingly small items like this on which denominations and independent Christian groups have differences.

Another one, for example, comes to mind: In the Lord’s prayer, the Presbyterian Church uses “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors” and it seems the rest of Christendom uses, “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

Changing a worship practice at the chapel does not suggest that other Christian groups or denominations may follow suit; however, a change like this will not go unnoticed, especially since it comes from a place associated with Duke Divinity School where major theological minds and influences converge.

Although Duke Chapel is located at Duke Divinity School, the chapel is a non-denominational place of worship. As such, it provides worship space for 27 different faith groups on the university campus and over the years has had chapel deans from a variety of denominational backgrounds, including Quaker, Presbyterian, United Methodist, Anglican and Baptist.

The present dean, the Rev. Luke Powery, is the first Baptist and the first black dean to serve the chapel congregation.

‘Talking Taboo’

Erin Lane, co-editor of “Talking Taboo,” a new collection of essays from 40 American Christian Women Under 40 who speak about the unspeakable experiences of faith, will be at Christ United Methodist Church, 800 Market St. in Southern Village for a Meet the Author event from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. today, March 26.

Then, from 6:30 to 7:30, she will read briefly from her essay “Married Without Children” in Room 4 at 105 Market St. located next door to the main church building. She will lead a conversation on how women can stop holding back and start speaking up.

This event is free and open to the public.

Misjudging others

In response to the challenge to “Open New Doors to Change Lives,” the Charles M. Jones Peace and Justice Committee of the Community Church of Chapel Hill Unitarian Universalist has invited Steven R. Feldman, M.D., Ph.D, to give a talk, “Compartments: How Smart, Caring People Misjudge Others,” in the sanctuary at 7 p.m. today, March 26.

Feldman is Professor of Dermatology, Pathology and Public Health at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, where he also directs the Center for Dermatology Research. He teaches and also is the author of the book, “Compartments: How the Brightest, Best Trained, and Most Caring People Can Make Judgments that Are Completely and Utterly Wrong.”

He has addressed conflicts in health care and in other professional groups and organizations to uncover strange behaviors and hidden truths. In his view the world currently is completely compartmentalized, a condition that makes for conflicts in daily life.

The church is located at 106 Purefoy Road.

Pilgrimage in England

School of the Pilgrim, a religious nonprofit in Chapel Hill, is offering St. Cuthbert’s Way, a pilgrimage between Melrose Abbey and Lindisfarne, England, also known as “The Holy Isle.”

Pilgrims will meet on the night of Sunday, May 25, at Melrose Abbey and end the pilgrimage on Thursday, May 31, on Lindisfame, a distance of 65 miles, or 13 miles a day.

The cost for this pilgrimage, which includes tents with cots, tables, chairs and lights and three meals per day, plus transportation of all materials is $900. There is space for 12 pilgrims. A deposit of $50 is needed by March 31.

For details, contact the Rev. Brett Webb-Mitchell at 919-444-9111 or

‘Choosing Africa’

A book reading at Hillsborough Presbyterian Church featuring Susan Bauer’s “Choosing Africa,” canceled because of inclement weather, has been rescheduled for Sunday, April 6.

The event will be held at 7 p.m. at the church, located at 102 W. Tryon St.

The author will speak about her six years spent teaching and traveling in post-Apartheid Africa in the late 1990s.

A reception will follow the presentation. All are welcome.

Worship workshop

United Church of Chapel Hill, 1321 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., will host a Worship and Music Workshop from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, led by the Rev. Dian Jackson and Thomas Vanhook Jr. of Mt. Zion United Church of Christ in Rockingham.

The event will focus on leadership development, building/re-designing a music ministry and the relationship between the pastor and minister/director of music in promoting an effective worship experience.

Other speakers will include the Rev. Brent Bissette and the Rev. Carta Gregg, along with musicians who have credentials in church music ministry.

For questions and registration information, contact Dian Jackson at 910-997-3739.

LGBT discussion

Also at United Church of Christ, is an upcoming workshop on LGBTQ concerns for congregations in the Southern Conference of the United Church of Christ.

It is set for 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 6, and will be led by the Rev. Michael Schuenemeyer, executive director for the UCC office for health and wholeness, and the Rev. Andy Lang, executive director of the UCC Coalition for LBGT concerns.

For information, contact the Rev. Gail D. McAfee at

Contact Flo Johnston at

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