Chapel Hill: Community

On Faith: Kehillah latest congregation to celebrate solar installation

A “Solarbration” is planned at Kehillah Synagogue, 1200 Mason Farm Road, from 11 a.m. to noon on Sunday, March 13.

The festivities are designed to thank the many congregants who made donations for a major installation of solar panels on the synagogue’s roof.

The new system, for which more than $106,000 was raised, is expected to cover about 75 percent of the synagogue’s power needs and eliminate the need to burn more than 23 tons of coal annually.

The event will be held in the courtyard, moved to the chapel in case of inclement weather.

Timed to coincide with the start of the big spring and summer power season, the event will include a brief demonstration about how the system works and a discussion about how much power it has been generating.

Kehillah congregants can monitor power production online in real time through a website.

Solarize the Triangle, an organization that raises awareness about the economic and environmental benefits of using solar power in homes and churches, presented a program last week at St. Thomas More Catholic Church.

“We are not pursuing a solar project/installation at this time,” said Carlos Lima, parish administrator, “but we had about 22 people who attended to learn more about solar energy. We are hoping to help increase awareness in light of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si encyclical and engage our community in this conversation.”

Two other Chapel Hill churches have already installed solar panels, United Church of Chapel Hill in 2015 and Community Church in 2014.

Muslim speaker

Nazeeh Abdul-Hakeem, a former Durham city planner who helped found Jamaat Ibad Ar-Rahman, an Islamic center and mosque at 3034 Fayetteville Road, will read from his new book “The Athaan in the Bull City” at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 10, at the Main Library, 300 N. Roxboro St.

His self-published book recounts how Islam’s foundations in Durham rest upon the lives of black American Muslims. Over the years, the community has grown and changed as immigrants, Muslims from around the world, have given Durham a more international perspective.

The author estimates that about one-quarter of the more than 5,000 Muslims in Durham County today are black. A documentary produced by WRAL-TV in 2012 estimated there were 26,000 total Muslims in North Carolina.

Born and raised in Goldsboro as Ezekiel Louis Becton, Abdul-Hakeem earned a bachelor’s degree from N.C. Central University and a master’s degree in regional planning from UNC. After graduating, he was hired by the city of Durham and later that year converted to Islam and changed his name.

A book signing will follow the reading that is sponsored by Durham Library Foundation.

‘Star Wars’ mythology

Druscella French, a Chapel Hill novelist and cultural mythologist, will give a free lecture at the Chapel Hill Public Library from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 12.

The lecture is titled “Star Wars: The Collaboration of Joseph Campbell and George Lucas.”

It is sponsored by the C.G. Jung Society of the Triangle. Sigmund Freud mentored Jung, who mentored Campbell, who mentored Lucas, who mentored several generations of filmmakers and film-goers.

All are welcome.

Clothing closet

The Take and Wear Clothes Closet, located at Lystra Baptist Church, will be open from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 12, at 686 Lystra Road, off U.S. 15-501.

Anyone who need clothes is welcome. Everything is free.

Zen workshop

A Zen workshop with Josho Pat Phelan Sensei teaching is set for Saturday, March 19, at Chapel Hill Zen Center, 5322 N.C. 86 North.

Zen meditation emphasizes the interrelationship of body, breath and mind through being present with one’s immediate experience. Instruction will include awareness of the breath and how to practice with the mind.

Individual attention will be given to finding a well-supported position, whether one sits on a cushion, a meditation bench or a chair. Also, how to do walking meditation will be discussed.

The worship from 9:30 a.m. to noon is for beginners and anyone else wanting to review zazen practice. Suggested donation is $20, $10 for students.

To register contact or call 919-967-0861.

Holy weeks events

The Catholic Community of St. Thomas More has announced upcoming events during Holy Week, beginning on Palm Sunday, March 20, and leading up to Easter Sunday on March 27.

Five Masses are planned for Palm Sunday at 7:30, 9:15 and 11:15 a.m. and a 1:30 p.m. one in Spanish. Palms will be distributed and blessed at each Mass.

On Holy Thursday, March 24, a 7 p.m. bilingual Mass will be followed with adoration. On Good Friday, March 25, Outdoor Stations of the Cross at noon will be followed by Good Friday Mass at 3 p.m. in English.

The Easter Vigil Mass on Saturday, March 26, is at 8:30 p.m.

Easter Sunday Masses are planned at 7:30, 9:15 and 11:15 a.m. and one at 1:30 p.m. in Spanish.

St. Thomas More Church is located at 940 Carmichael St.

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