The FeST (Festival of the Episcopal Women’s Sewing Society Tree) at St Matthew’s Episcopal Church, will be held Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 3-4, in the historic church’s two parish halls at 210 St. Mary’s Road, Hillsborough.
The sewing circle dates back to 1866 when church women got together to knit, crochet and sew articles to help the needy and to furnish the church. One hundred and fifty years later, members are still creating handmade items to sell at this annual event.
This year’s FeST will feature handmade modern and traditional quilts, knitwear, hand-sewn purses, hats, scarves and embroidered items.
Over the years, the event has expanded to include pottery, paintings, stained glass, soaps, potted herbs, garden art, birdhouses and jewelry.
The Ordinary Cafe will be open for lunch and will offer homemade chili, brunswick stew and lentil soup. A meal includes soup or stew choice, homemade cornbread or whole grain hearty bread, apple cider, coffee and tea.
In the last seven years proceeds have been $10,000 to $15,000. The vestry matches whatever is raised so the amount given to community doubles. Last year’s FeST benefited Habitat for Humanity of Orange County, the Durham Literacy Center and Alamance-Orange Prison Ministry.
Hours on Saturday are from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. Raffle drawings for a newly renovated Federal style wooden dollhouse and gift baskets will take place at 3 p.m. Sunday. Raffle ticket holders do not have to be present.
St. Matthew’s was constituted as an Anglican Church by King George of England in 1752. After the Revolutionary War, the church was established as an Episcopal Church and the present building was constructed from 1822-1824.
The Sisterhood at Beth El Synagogue on Watts Street in Durham will host a Hanukkah Bazaar from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4.
Vendors will sell potato latkes, toys, Judaica, fabric arts, photography and popcorn. AKA Jazz will provide live music.
A portion of the proceeds from the bazaar will benefit the congregation’s religious school.
Hanukkah is the Jewish holiday that begins this year at sundown Dec. 24. It celebrates the return of the temple in Jerusalem to Jewish control in 165 B.C. and commemorates a miracle in which a small amount of oil used in the liberated temple lamp burned for eight nights.
Today, an eight-day holiday is observed in Jewish homes with candles, festive foods, games and gifts exchanged among family and friends.
The Triangle Jewish Chorale will perform two upcoming concerts.
The first is at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, at the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh, 2110 Blue Ridge Road. The second is at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church on the corner of Cornwallis and Pickett roads in Durham.
These concerts offer an opportunity to hear two original pieces commissioned by the chorale and written by North Carolina composers: Allan Friedman’s “Kabbalat Shabbat Variations (world premiere) and Alejandro Rutty’s cantata “Down Home” that the Chorale first performed in April 2013.
The program centers on the experiences of Jewish immigrants’ arrival in new lands they hoped to transform into their homes.
Advent communion services at First Presbyterian Church, 305 E. Main St. in downtown Durham, will be offered from 6 to 6:30 p.m. today, Nov. 30, and on Dec. 7 and Dec. 14. The service will be preceded by 15 minutes of caroling by candlelight on the Main Street church steps at 5:45 p.m. All are welcome.
On Sunday, Dec. 4, the Advent Festival and Alternative Giving Fair will be held following the 11 a.m. worship service. The event will feature nonprofits in the community offering gifts and donation cards to benefit their agencies.
These include Cafe Justo, Families Moving Forward, Housing for New Hope, Threshold, Our Children’s Place, StepUp Ministry, Prevent Child Abuse NC, Durham CAN, First Presbyterian Prayer Shawl Ministry, SEEDS/Farm Church, Senior PharmAssist, Human Kindness Foundation, Urban Ministries, Wheels4Hope, Donate Life, Habitat for Humanity, Student Farm Workers and Welcome Baby.
District attorney talk
The Community Luncheon Roundtable will meet at noon on Thursday, Dec. 1, in the fellowship hall at Shepherd’s House United Methodist Church, 107 N. Driver St.
Durham District Attorney Roger Echols will speak on the topic “State Funding of the DA’s Office.” Echols will focus on Durham County’s need for more funding and the necessity for public support to secure these resources.
Also, Mark Daughtridge will share experiences from climbing to the top of Mt. Kilmanjaro where he flew prayer flags of the Religious Coalition for a NonViolent Durham from the summit. Daughtridge has raised more than $5,000 to support the coalition’s work.There is no charge for lunch.
Also on Thursday, the coalition’s Circle of Hope and Healing for loved ones of homicide victims will gather at the church at 6:30 p.m. for a time to share experiences of grief in a safe, non-judgmental place. All are welcome. Entrance is in back of the church building.