Chapel Hill: Community

On Faith: Jewish group to jold talk on education

The state of public education in North Carolina is the topic for a discussion at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Levin Jewish Community Center,1937 W. Cornwallis Road in Durham.

Sponsored by Carolina Jews for Justice, the event will cover teacher pay, per-pupil spending, charter schools and vouchers and Read to Achieve/Common Core, followed by communal conversation about putting Jewish values into action on these issues.

Speakers will include Rabbi Jen Feldman of Kehillah Synagogue in Chapel Hill; Rep. Rick Glazier, member of the N.C. House education committee, a Democrat from Fayetteville; and Bryan Profitt, Hillside High School teacher and member of Organize 2020, a new caucus of the N.C. Association of Educators.

The moderator will be Joel Rosch, senior research scholar at the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy.

The public is welcome.

Purim celebration

New and prospective members are invited to the Kehillah Synagogue Megillah Reading and Purim celebration on Saturday.

Festivities will include a costume parade and contest, the raucous re-telling of the story of Purim, special activities for kids, yummy hamantaschen and Scotch tasting for grownups.

The event is set for 6 p.m. at the synagogue, 1200 Mason Farm Road in Chapel Hill.

Zen workshop

A Zen workshop will be held from 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Chapel Hill Zen Center, 5322 N.C. 86 North.

Abbess Josho Pat Phelan is the workshop leader.

In Zen meditation participants practice with the interrelationship of body, breath and mind with individual attention given to finding a position that works for each person whether they are sitting on a cushion, a meditation bench or in a chair. How to do a walking meditation also will be addressed.

This workshop is for beginners as well as anyone else who wants to review zazen practice.

Suggested donation is $20, $10 for students.

To register, call 919-967-0861.

‘Kairos Palestine’

A three-part series titled “Kairos Palestine” will be offered on three upcoming Mondays, March 16, 23 and 30, at Church of Reconciliation.

Building on the geography of the Holy Land and the sacred responsibility to love our neighbors as ourselves, Pastor Mark Davidson and the Rev. Kay-Robert Volkwijn will lead this three-week study.

The Kairos document of the South African church of the 1970s expressed the theology behind the struggle against apartheid.

The Kairtos Palestine document, issued in 2009, expressed the theology behind the struggle against Israeli occupation and dispossession. It has been described as a moment of truth, “a word of faith and hope from the heart of Palestinian suffering.”

It strongly affirms nonviolence, Christian love and calls for faithful political and economic action to relieve Palestinian suffering.

The document comes from all the major Christian leaders in the Holy Land. Interested persons are invited to explore this major Christian document with the hope for peace and reconciliation it embodies.

The study will begin at 9:30 a.m. each Monday in the chapel of the Parish House at the church,110 N. Elliott Road in Chapel Hill.

Fellowship donations

Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 4907 Garrett Road in Durham, has made donations to two organizations, one that helps Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender youths and another that works to prevent and end homelessness.

A donation of $2,147 went to INSIDEoUT, a youth-founded, youth-led organization that provides leadership opportunities and a safe space for queer youth both in and out of school.

A donation of $3,128 was made to Housing for New Hope, which works to prevent and end homelessness in Durham and Orange counties by providing increased access to health care, integrated services and housing.

The amounts were donated in the Generosity Sunday collection, a periodic program that benefits a different community organization each time.

Eno Fellowship has services at 9:30 and 11:15 a.m. on Sundays.

Charlotte Hindu temple

A new $3.2 million Hindu temple is now under construction in Charlotte. It is expected to be ready by early 2015.

The temple will have an authentic Hindu appearance and will have 13 dieties, each five feet, one inch tall and carved from marble. It will have five domes with the main dome 51 feet high and weighing 500 tons. The prayer hall will have 8,500 square feet of space.

Rajan Zed, president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said it is important to pass on Hindu spirituality, concepts and traditions to new generations. He stressed that instead of running after materialism, society should focus on inner search and realization of self, working toward achieving “moksh,” or liberation, which is the goal of Hinduism.

More than 4,000 Hindu families and temple leaders live in this part of North Carolina.

Believe it or not

Following is a believe it or not item that appeared this week in an online publication of church news.

An online check showed a much longer version of this story on the Convention's website. Attempts to talk with a communication specialist were unsuccessful, but the person answering the phone said the story is for real.

The Kentucky Baptist State Convention wants to “point people to Christ” by giving away guns at Second Amendment Celebrations hosted across the state.

In the words of spokesman Chuck McAlister, the strategy is “outreach to rednecks,” and 1,000 people are expected to attend the next event.

To lure the nonreligious into the fold, the churches are offering a handgun, shotgun, or long gun as door prizes. Winners attend church for a photo-op with their new gun, but they must pass a background check before collecting their prize.

Contact Flo Johnston at or 910-361-4135.