Chapel Hill: Community

On Faith: Holy Week Labyrinth returns to Binkley

A Holy Week Labyrinth returns to Olin T. Binkley Memorial Baptist Church, 1712 Willow Drive, Chapel Hill sponsored by nine area congregations and groups.

The labyrinth will open at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 13, and close at 1:30 p.m. Friday, April 18. each weekday, it will be available to the community from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., except on Wednesday and Thursday when it will close at 5 p.m.

Walking is an ancient spiritual practice and a rich tool for pilgrimage and reflection. The 40 feet by 40 feet labyrinth laid out on the floor of Binkley's sanctuary is a replica of the 11-circuit labyrinth on the floor of the Cathedral at Chartres, France.

Prayer stations on the perimeter of the labyrinth provide ideas and materials for prayer to those who walk.

Children are welcome to join Boykin Bell, director of Christian Formation at Chapel of the Cross, when she introduces the labyrinth for their benefit at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 15.

Buddha’s birthday

The Chapel Hill Zen Center is holding a Buddha's birthday celebration on Sunday after the regular morning meditation.

A short talk directed toward children will be given at 10:30 a.m. The children will then have a procession to an outdoor altar where they will offer incense and bathe the Baby Buddha. Following the ceremony, a vegetarian potluck picnic is planned. Beverages and birthday cake will be provided.

At 9 a.m. the children will decorate the pagoda or “flower house” during meditation. Those who can are asked to bring balloons, bubbles and banners for the procession and flowers for decorating the pagoda.

Children, families and friends are welcome.

The Zen Center is located at 5322 N.C. 86 North, 2.5 miles north of I-40 at exit 266.


William L. Andrews, professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at UNC-Chapel Hill, will present “What did Emily Dickinson Believe?” Sunday at the Church of Reconciliation, 110 N. Elliott Road.

Dickinson was one of the preeminent religious poets in American and world literature. But what did she believe? He will lead a discussion of a few of her most thought-provoking poems to see what they tell us about the foundations of her faith.

The class meets at 9:30 a.m. in the Parish House Chapel.

All are welcome.

Men of Destiny

As part of its celebration of the 150th anniversary of St. Paul AME Church, 101 N. Merritt Mill Road, the church will hold a month-long Men of Destiny Conference during April.

Events will include weekly workshops with guest speakers on Wednesday nights such as Dr. Allen Mask and the Rev. Josephine Harris; the annual community cookout and outreach with free food, games for children and free diabetes screening provided by Piedmont Health Service; and the special Men's Day speaker, Honorable James E. Clyburn, Congressman from South Carolina and assistant Democratic leader in the 112th Congress.

Honoring Leo

An effort is now under way at the Levin Jewish Community Center at 1937 W. Cornwallis Road in Durham to honor Leo Itzak Bortiri, who had a fatal accident while traveling with his parents in Argentina.

An announcement about the effort said: “Leo was a bright-eyed 7-year-old. He was one of the first campers at Camp Shelanu; one of the first to enjoy the brand new Levin JCC building and dive into the pool.”

Over three summers and many weeks at camp, Leo learned to swim freestyle, perfected his dive off the diving board, enjoyed making challah bread, and was very proud of his Spirit Award during camp.

He is missed by many Jewish Community Center families and staff who continue to send healing thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.

The Triangle Family Shule along with Leo's parents and friends have started an effort to “adopt” one of the sea creatures on the mural at the pool's concession stand.

Every dollar raised in Leo's honor will go toward camp scholarships for this summer in the hope that other children will get to enjoy time at Camp Shelanu as Leo did.

If you wish to contribute, contact the Levin Jewish Community Center at 919-354-4936.

Nature talk

The Rev. Gary Kowalski will give a talk on Thursday, April 10, describing the journey that led him “to appreciate nature as the primordial sacrament, rediscovering the knowledge evident to indigenous people that other species are not so different from humans, but share in the emotional depths and psychic capacities that make us most fully human.”

The 7 p.m. session will be held at the Community Church of Chapel Hill Unitarian Universalist, 106 Purefoy Road, where Kowalski serves as interim minister.

He is a graduate of Harvard College and the Harvard Divinity School. He is the author of seven books on spirituality and nature including “The Souls of Animals,” “Earth Day,” “The Bible According to Noah,” and “Goodbye Friend: Healing Wisdom for Anyone Who Has Ever Lost A Pet.”

His talk is free and open to the public.

Jewish history

Professor Deborah Dash Moore, director of the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan, gave three talks at Judea Reform Congregation, 1933 W. Cornwallis in Durham Friday through Sunday.

As the annual Levin-Moscovitz lecturer, she spoke on Friday after the worship service on “Revisiting the Lower East Side in History and Memory.” On Saturday, she led the Shabbat morning study on “Brooklyn’s Jewish Worlds.” Her lecture that evening was “Upper West Side & New York’s Jewish Culture.”

Moore is one of America’s leading Jewish historians. She is the author of “City of Promises: A History of the Jews in New York.”

Judea Reform, founded in 1961, is the largest synagogue in the Triangle region with more than 1,400 individual members.

You can contact Flo Johnston at or 910-361-4135.