Durham News

On Faith: Thursday roundtable to focus on helping suspended kids

Flo Johnston
Flo Johnston Chris Seward

The Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham will hold its Community Luncheon Roundtable at noon Thursday, March 24, at Shepherds House United Methodist Church, 107 N. Driver St.

Pam Gray, executive director of REBOUND, Alternatives for Youth, will discuss the program’s work with high school students who are on short-term suspension from school.

REBOUND is a local nonprofit organization that uses a strengths-based approach to mitigate negative effects of suspension by providing a safe space where academic and personal supports can help students return to school with strengths and focus.

Lunch will be provided. Enter the fellowship hall through the back of the church near the playground. All are welcome.

REAL Durham

REAL Durham will hold an interest meeting from 7 to 8 p.m. today (March 23) in the commons area upstairs at Antioch Baptist Church, 1415 Holloway St.

REAL Durham is an anti-poverty initiative housed under Durham Congregations in Action.

Those who attend will learn about the work of the group, a community development initiative, whose goal is to increase financial health and stability and build a more equitable city.

Holy Week events

Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 1320 Umstead Road, will hold a 7 p.m. Maundy Thursday, March 24, service with “The Living Last Supper,” a joint worship service with Mt. Sylvan United Methodist Church in the Aldersgate Family Life Center. It will include music by an orchestra, a joint choir as well as drama and Holy Communion.

The two churches will worship together at 7 p.m. on Good Friday. This is traditionally a solemn but hope-filled Tenebrae (service of darkness) with scripture readings and song. It will be held at Mount Sylvan, 5731 N. Roxboro Road.

Easter Sunday, Aldersgate will have a sunrise service at 6:30 a.m. in the columbarium area at the church. Youth of the church will serve breakfast at 7 a.m. in the Family Life Center.

Three Easter worship services at 8:15, 9:30 and 11 a.m. are scheduled.

The sanctuary at First Presbyterian Church, 305 E. Main St., will be open for prayer during Holy Week.

Maundy Thursday, a 7 p.m. worship service with Holy Communion will be led by the Rev. Sam Miglarese. A light supper will be served at 6:15 p.m. in Watts-Hill Hall before worship.

On Good Friday, Stations of the Cross, a spiritual pilgrimage in the downtown area using Holy Week texts, will begin at noon at St. Phillip’s Episcopal Church, 403 E. Main St., and end at First Presbyterian.

On Easter Sunday, First Presbyterian will have 9 a.m. Holy Communion in the church garden with Sunday school following at 9:45 a.m.

The Rev. Marilyn T. Hedgpeth will preach at the 11 a.m. service. Participants in the service are invited to “Flower the Cross” in the courtyard.

The One Great Hour of Sharing Offering will be received to provide relief to hungry, poor and oppressed people and those affected by natural disasters.

Holy Week events at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 1200 W. Cornwallis Road, include Maundy Thursday worship at noon and 7 p.m. with Holy Communion and Washing of Feet; Good Friday services are at noon with Stations of the Cross and a 7 p.m. Tenebrae service; Easter Sunday worship is at 8:30 and 11 a.m. with an Easter breakfast at 9:30 a.m. and a children's egg hunt at 10:15 a.m.

Devotion waning

New research from Duke University and University College London suggest that American devotion to religion is waning, a decline mirrored across the Western world.

The steady drop of Americans who claim religious affiliations, attend church regularly and believe in God is driven by generational difference, the study finds.

The study examined U.S. Data from the General Social Survey, conducted every two years, and compared it with similarly broad data from Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The U.S. decline has been so gradual that until recently scientists have not had enough data to be sure the trend was real, said Mark Chaves of Duke, a co-author of the study.

“The U.S. has long been considered an exception to the modern claim that religion is declining, but if you look at the trajectory and the generational dynamic that is producing the trajectory, we may not be an exception after all, “ said Chaves, a professor of sociology, divinity and religion.

This slow drip is generational. A few examples.

▪ 94 percent of Americans born before 1935 claim a religious affiliation. For the generation born after 1975, that number drops to 71 percent.

▪ 68 percent of Americans 65 and older said they had no doubt God exists, according to the study. But just 45 percent of young adults, ages 18-30, had the same belief.

▪ 41 percent of people 70 and older said they attend church services at least once a month, compared to just 18 percent of people 60 and younger.

“If you break it down over five-year chunks, each age group is a little less religious than the one before it,” he said.

Contact Flo Johnston at fjohnston314@gmail.com or call 910-361-4135.