Durham News: Community

On Faith: Jazz to enliven Evensong in Duke Vespers service

The Rev. Dr. Luke Powery hopes the improvisation of jazz will bring people of different faiths together to worship in the chapel.
The Rev. Dr. Luke Powery hopes the improvisation of jazz will bring people of different faiths together to worship in the chapel. DUKE UNIVERSITY

Duke Chapel will hold a Jazz Vespers worship service on Thursday in collaboration with the Duke Jazz Program.

The service, which combines the form of the traditional evening vespers liturgy with the musical improvisation of jazz, begins at 7:30 p.m. in the chapel. It is free and open to the public.

Duke music professor John Brown and his Big Band will provide musical direction for the service. Chapel Dean Luke Powery, students and local ministers will offer Scripture readings, poems and prayers.

The service is designed to be a contemporary expression of thanksgiving to God. It will allow participants to move freely among stations for different forms of prayer. The free-flowing form of the liturgy aims to mirror the improvisational character of jazz.

“What jazz does musically, this service aims to do relationally,” Powery said. “With jazz vespers, the chapel aims to bring people of differing traditions together in one place for the worship of God.”

Jazz Vespers will be offered once a semester, with a special theme each time. This semester’s theme is thanksgiving, paired with big band music. The next service will be March 19, with a theme of lament, paired with blues music.

‘Cracking the codes’

Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 4907 Garrett Road, will host a film and discussion on racial inequity from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12, at the campus. The program is free and open to all.

In the film “Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity,” director Shakti Butler asks America to deepen the conversation on race by talking about the causes and consequences of systemic inequity.

The film has been described as “the most dignified and evidenced response possible to the blithe assertion that we live in a ‘post-racial’ America.”

It features moving stories from racial justice leaders, including Amer Ahmed, Michael Benitez, Barbie-Danielle DeCarlo, Joy DeGruy, Ericka Huggins, Humaira Jackson, Yuko 2Kodama, Peggy McIntosh, Rinku Sen, Tilman Smith and Tim Wise.

After showing segments of the video, the Revs. Mel Hoover and Rose Eddington, former co-ministers of the UU congregation in Charleston, W. Va.,, will lead a discussion.

Hoover received the 2013 Distinguished Service Award from the Unitarian Universalist Association for his work in anti-racism, anti-oppression, community building, gender equality and environmental justice. Eddington is nationally noted for her work in environmental justice.

Food donation drive

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church and the St. Stephen's Preschool are filling boxes with nonperishable food items to be donated to Durham Rescue Mission.

This ingathering is a thoughtful and voluntary sharing of the gifts of food with those in need.

Delivery to the mission will be on Monday, Nov. 24. Collected items, especially canned vegetables, canned fruit, canned meats, pasta, rice, sugar and flour will be used for the Thanksgiving feast at the mission, as well as the daily meals the mission provides in its ongoing service to the community.

Doors are open 24 hours a day and 365 days at the mission that provides shelter, food, clothing, vocational training, counseling and job placement for men, women and children.

The community is invited to participate in this project by bringing donations of food items to the church at 82 Kimberly Drive.

Church anniversary

North East Baptist Church, 3204 N.C. 55, will celebrate its 134th church anniversary on Sunday, Nov. 16. The Rev. Dr. Lionel E. Cartwright of Fayetteville will be guest speaker at the 10:45 a.m. service.

On Sunday, Nov. 30, at 4 p.m., Brother Roland Perry will deliver his initial sermon at the church.

The public is invited to all church events.

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