Born at the height of the civil-rights movement, Durham’s Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, which also serves the Chapel Hill area, will mark its golden anniversary Saturday and Sunday, April 16-17, with a music gala and a special multicultural service.
A short concert will be performed by the ERUUF musicians at 7 p.m. Saturday followed by a reception with desserts, a photo memory wall and music by the ERUUF Jazz Collective. No tickets needed.
Sunday, April 17, the Rev. Leslie Takashi, a former member of the fellowship and champion of multicultural themes who’s now in Walnut Creek, California, will deliver the sermon.
Universalists were active in Durham from 1900 to the 1920s, and a Unitarian fellowship had been a presence in the Durham/Chapel Hill area since 1949. After two Unitarians, the Rev. James Reeb of Boston and Viola Liuzzo of Detroit, were killed in Selma, Alabama, in 1965, people sought to form a fellowship in Durham.
Responding to a small newspaper ad from the Unitarian Universalist Association in Boston, Georgie Searles taped a dime to a card and got information. On April 17, 1966, 45 people met at the Durham Holiday Inn and signed the application to become the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Durham and Chapel Hill.
From those 45 members, the congregation has grown to about 600 members and another 300 active participants in the community.
The budget of $900,000 supports three ministers and a staff of eight, including directors for administration, religious education and music.
Each year ERUUF donates about $25,000 directly to local nonprofits and causes, including Durham CAN and Durham Congregations in Action. The fellowship provides free office space to Durham CAN, and this year the fellowship’s team raised $2,770 for the Durham CROP Hunger Walk.
A centennial celebration service at First Presbyterian Church, 305 E. Main St., looking back on the past 100 years, will be held at 11 a.m. Sunday, April 17. Former pastor, Dr. Wallace Alston will preach and former associate pastor Dr. John Rogers and his wife, Anne, will be guests at the service. A luncheon will follow.
The church was founded in 1871 and has been located at the corner of Roxboro and Main streets since then. The present sanctuary was dedicated May 16, 1916.
Photos taken by photographer and First Presbyterian member Walter Shackelford over past decades will be on display. A timeline depicting the church’s history will be displayed in the church foyer.
The public is invited. The church welcomes individuals of every age, race, nationality, gender, ability, sexual orientation and economic circumstance to participate fully in the life of the church.
The annual spring salad luncheon, a fund raising event sponsored by church women at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, 403 E. Main St., will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 26, in the church parish hall.
Tickets at the door are $8 and proceeds will support projects of the women’s group.
Parking is available in the church parking lot or on the street.
‘Making a Killing’
The Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People and the Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham are among sponsors of the screening of “Making A Killing” at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 12, at Umstead Park United Church of Christ, 8208 Brownheigh Drive, Raleigh.
The film tells stories of how guns and the billions in profit they provide affect the lives of everyday Americans. The film will highlights resistance from gun companies and the NRA to legislation controlling weapons.
St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church’s Faith & the Arts Series will host a poetry reading by Michael McFee at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 17.
McFee is a poet and essayist originally from Asheville. He earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UNC and began teaching there in 1990. He is a professor of English in the Creative Writing Program.
He has published 10 books of poetry, including the collaboration “To See” poems paired with photographs by Elizabeth Matheson. His poems and other works have also appeared in the New Yorker, The Atlantic, Our State and Slate.
This April marks the 20th anniversary of National Poetry Month, begun in 1996. It has become the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers and poets celebrating poetry’s vital place in our culture.
The Faith and the Arts Series began in 2010 as a result of the church’s desire to be more intentional in their support of the arts and artists; to challenge and deepen faith through exposure to the arts; and to use sacred space as a setting for artistic expression.
The church is located at 210 St. Mary’s Road in Hillsborough.
South Durham Church, which worships at 9 a.m. Sundays at Pearsontown Elementary School, 4915 Barbee Road, is inviting the community to a spring clean up outside Southwest Elementary School, 2320 Cook Road, from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 16. The group will also do some landscaping and planting for the spring.
Games for kids and free lunch after the cleanup, courtesy of Southwest Elementary School and Marco’s Pizza, will enhance the event.
South Durham Church will continue events throughout the year to serve the city and offer opportunities for residents to get involved.
The assembly lunch of Durham Congregations in Action will be held from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, at Holy Infant Catholic Church, 5000 Southpark Drive. A panel discussion regarding reform proposals for Durham’s Civilian Police Review Board will be featured. Lunch is $7 and all are invited.
Sacred Visitation at Judea Reform Congregation, 1933 W. Cornwallis Road, will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 16. All are invited to the shabbat service and luncheon to followed. A Q&A with Rabbi Larry Bach will follow lunch.