The Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, who has served Covenant Presbyterian Church since 1996, has said goodbye to his congregation on Weaver Street and to Durham where he has been a public advocate for social-justice issues.
He began a new ministry this week as director of the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s Office of Public Witness in Washington, D.C.
“It is humbling to be called to this position,” Hawkins, 57, said. “This is a calling from God, and I feel I’ve been led to this. I see this as the next step in my call to ministry.”
Hawkins, who was interviewed 10 times before being hired, has been a leader of the Moral Monday Movement since its start in 2013 as well as a member of the N.C. NAACP Executive Committee. He has spoken before congressional and state legislative leaders.
The Washington Office of Public Witness is the advocacy office of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), which applies biblically and theologically based insights to public issues.
Hawkins and his staff of four will visit national policy makers, write letters, make phone calls and occasionally testify before Congress or facilitate the testimony of church leaders. He expects to be on the road about half the time. His wife and two children will remain in Durham through the school year.
Prayer for justice
St. Philip’s Episcopal Church and the N.C. Council of Churches will hold a service to pray for justice and reconciliation in the nation and world at 6 p.m. today, Jan. 18.
As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is remembered and the inauguration of a new president nears, folks are invited to bring concerns, fears and hopes to this vigil.
Participants also are invited to bring a dish to share in a meal after the vigil and to bring a donation for the Food Pantry at Urban Ministries of Durham.
St. Philip’s is at 403 E. Main St., Durham.
A class for beginning Zen practice is set for 7:30 to 9 p.m. Mondays, Jan. 23 to to Feb. 27, at the Chapel Hill Zen Center.
Instructor David Guy will introduce students to meditation and give them support as they develop a daily sitting practice.
Cost is $60, payable the first night. Partial scholarships are available.
The Zen Center is at 5322 N.C. 86, Chapel Hill.
The Annual Service of Prayer for Christian Unity is set at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, at First Presbyterian Church, 305 E. Main St., Durham.
Keynote speaker is the Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, new director of the Office of Public Witness for the Presbyterian Church (USA) in Washington, D.C.
This is an ecumenical celebration and calls for unity among diverse Christian traditions as the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation commences. The student chorus from N.C. Central University will sing.
Overcoming the stigma of mental illness will be the focus of an event 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24, at the Chapel Hill Public Library.
Community members Tim and Dawn Woody will discuss their daughter’s mental illness and how they are overcoming the stigma related to it.
Patrick Corrigan’s book “Coming Out Proud to Erase the Stigma of Mental Illness” will be highlighted.
The event is co-sponsored by NAMI Orange, Faith Connections on Mental Illness, Mental Health Community Connections, Children and Youth, and Stand By Me NC.
Faith & the Arts
Dr. Thomas Colley, a retired Lutheran pastor, will present a “Faith & the Arts” lecture at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 210 St. Mary’s Road, Hillsborough, at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 22.
The lecture, titled “Parable & Art: A Kaleidoscopic Relationship,” will suggest readers of parables understand them primarily as art rather than anything close to interpretive science.
Colley taught religion and philosophy at Nathaniel Hawthorne College, Lenoir-Rhyne University, Catawba Valley Community College and Osher Life-Long Institute at Duke University. He and his wife are members of St. Matthew’s.
Durham Christian Women will hold its “New Year, New Look” luncheon and program at 9:45 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, in the Commons Dining Room at Croasdaile Village, 2600 Croasdaile Farm Parkway.
Part of the program will include lessons on obtaining and maintaining beautiful skin.
The speaker is Edwina Monroe, whose theme is “Fill My Cup, Let it Overflow.”
The event includes a hot buffet lunch. $10.
A light supper at United Church of Chapel Hill, 1321 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., will be served Wednesdays from today, Jan. 18, to Feb. 1 from 5:45 and 6:30 p.m. Classes for adults and youth will follow supper.
Class topics include Grow Old With Me, Chip Baker and the UCCCH Health and Wellness Team; Navigating Life’s Transitions, Aly Breisch, parish nurse; UCC History and Theology, Dr. Rolin Russell; White Privilege, Let’s Talk, Sacred Conversation on Race; The Authentic Amadeus: The Transcendental Music of Mozart and its Place in an Age of Reason and Revolution, Alex Anderson; and an Art class.
For presidential inauguration weekend on Sunday, Jan. 22, Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 4907 Garrett Road, Durham, plans a special program using some of the music from the Broadway smash “Hamilton.”
Professional singers and instrumentalists will bring the music to life in a joyful and spiritually connected celebration of democracy.
The artists include:
▪ Orlando Parker Jr. of Raleigh, singer-songwriter, model and actor.
▪ Pablo Vega, veteran of theater and professional a cappella singer, owner of The Workshop, a recording studio in Durham.
▪ Durham native Alexis Nelson, recent graduate of NCCU with degree in Vocal Performance. For advanced theater study, she will attend the American Musical Dramatic Arts College in New York.
▪ Avante, eight singers from Durham who perform a unique repertoire ranging from contemporary choral works to cutting edge jazz with a modern flair.
The Rev. Deb Cayer, who planned the event with Music Director Kevin Badanes, said, “ERUUF will rededicate itself to liberal religious values such as freedom, respect, diversity and vitality in support of our vision of a world community with equity and justice for all.”