Chapel Hill: Community

On Faith: Zen Center sets talk, night classes

By Flo Johnston

Sojun Mel Weitsman, Roshi, abbot of the Berkeley Zen Center, will give a public talk at Chapel Hill Zen Center at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

He was a disciple of Suzuki Roshi, author of “Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind” and founder of the San Francisco Zen Center.

Also, the center has announced a series of Monday night classes on Beginning Zen Practice taught by David Guy from 7:30-9 p.m. Sept. 14 to Oct. 26.

The cost is $60, payable on the first night. This will be contributed to the center. Partial scholarships are available. For more information call 919-967-0861.

David Guy has been practicing meditation since 1991 and regularly gives sitting instruction at the Chapel Hill Center. He has co-authored two books with Larry Rosenberg of the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center.

The Chapel Hill Center is located at 5322 N.C. 86.

Yard sale

University United Methodist Church, 150 E. Franklin St., will hold its annual community yard sale from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

The sale will feature clothing, toys, books, collectibles, furniture and household items, all intentionally priced low as a service to the community.

The sale held at the church raises money to support victims of domestic violence, people with mental illness and the poor.

Hindu art

“Art from Southern and Western Asia” exhibition at Ackland Art Museum is displaying various Hindu gods until Dec. 31.

Made of sandstone, granite, phyllite, green schist, bronze and copper, various Hindu deities include Vishnu, Garnesha, Parvati and Varaha in addition to Shiva Linga and Saint Sambandar. Some of them are as old as second century and have never been displayed.

Ackland also conducts yoga sessions in its galleries which include yoga poses inspired by the art in the gallery.

The Ackland that has more than 17,000 works of art in its permanent collection is located at 101 S. Columbia St. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Organ Scholars

Duke Chapel has begun a new Organ Scholars program that will train organ students in sacred music.

The first two scholars in the program are Jordan Prescott and Eric Surber.

The chapel is launching the program along with a new weekly worship service, Choral Evensong, which will take place at 4 p.m. Sundays in the Divinity School's Goodson Chapel. The two scholars will play at the Evensong service and be joined by the Evensong Singers, a new auditioned choir at Duke Chapel.

Chapel organist Christopher Jacobson will oversee instruction of the scholars and conduct the choir during Evensong services.

The Evensong service, beginning Aug. 30 and open to the public, is based on the traditional Order for Evening Prayer in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England. In addition to Scripture readings and spoken prayers, most of the music is sung by the choir as a prayer and an invitation to peacefully contemplate God's beauty and glory.

Prescott, a native of Greenville and an undergraduate at East Carolina University is studying organ performance. He has had music positions at St. Paul's Episcopal in Greenville and First Christian Church in Farmville.

Surber, a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill studying journalism and organ, is a native of Greensboro. He is active in the Episcopal Church, playing organ for evening services and singing in two choirs at Chapel of the Cross in Chapel Hill.

25th anniversary

As part of the year-long celebration in appreciation of the 25th anniversary of its pastor Dr. Mitchell Simpson, University Baptist, corner of Columbia and Franklin streets, will have a special 11 a.m. worship service on Sunday, Sept. 20.

Local musician and songwriter Charles Pettee will be joined by founding member of his group FolkPsalm to provide a musical sermon.

FolkPsalm is a musical exploration of the Book of Psalms, led by lifelong bluegrass musician Pettee. The group performs at churches and festivals throughout the Southeast and has performed repeatedly at N.C.'s prestigious MerleFest. It holds the distinction of being the only bluegrass-based ensemble ever to perform at Duke Chapel.

Pettee was fascinated with the Psalter and recognized these ancient Hebrew prayers were originally, and essentially, folk songs.

He set out to render these poems in a bluegrass-based style. The goal in these musical settings is to allow listeners today to experience these prayer songs in as unaffected manner as the original participants.

Professor Ellen Davis at Duke Divinity School is a longtime consultant for Pettee's translations into song lyrics.

All are welcome to attend.

Contact Flo Johnston at or call 910-361-4135.