The annual, foodie-favorite Greek Festival will be held Saturday and Sunday, June 4-5, at St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church, 8306 N.C. 751.
Admission is free and hours on both days are from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., rain or shine.
Greek culinary delights will include gyro (seasoned lamb and beef), grilled chicken pita wraps, pork souvlaki, spanakopita (spinach and feta cheese wrapped in paper-thin phyllo dough) and pastitsio (layered pasta, ground beef and cheese, topped with creamy bechamel sauce).
Be sure to observe the traditional slow cooking of whole lamb on a spit (souvla).
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Traditional desserts will include baklava (spiced nuts layered in phyllo with honey syrup), loukourmades (fried dough balls with honey syrup, cinnamon and walnuts), plus an irresistible twist on a traditional favorite: baklava ice cream sundaes.
Greek coffee and iced coffee frappe will be served at the Kafenion. The Tavena will feature Greek wine and beer.
Festivities will include continuous Greek music as well as scheduled folk dance performances. The bouzouki band “Opa!” will perform each afternoon and evening.
All are welcome to join in community dancing anytime.
Greek cultural exhibits, video travelogues and tours of the landmark byzantine-style domed church will be offered both days. A demonstration of traditional byzantine iconography will be featured.
Shop the Bakaliko grocery for olives, feta cheese, olive oil and delicious sweet tsoureki bread. The indoor Marketplace will feature gifts, handmade jewelry, artwork, crafts, souvenirs, Ukrainian and Greek imports, olive wood carvings by Holy Land artisans, religious items and fine art featuring scenes of Greece.
The award-winning St. Barbara community cookbook, “The Grecian Plate,” will be available for purchase.
Festival proceeds will benefit the St. Barbara Building Fund and the Durham Rescue Mission.
Pentecost children’s book
Rebekah McLeod Hutto will read from her new children’s book “The Day When God Made Church: A Child’s First book About Pentecost” at 4:30 p.m. Friday, June 3, at the Regulator Bookshop, 720 Ninth St.
The book celebrates the miraculous events that occurred on Pentecost, the church’s birthday.
The author is from Greenville, S.C., and is a graduate of Wofford College and Duke Divinity School. She is a Presbyterian (USA) minister currently serving at Brick Presbyterian Church in New York City where she lives with her family. She is a former associate minister at Mt. Bethel Presbyterian Church in Durham.
North East Baptist Church, 3204 N.C. 55, has announced special events for the month of June:
The Rev. Kenneth Womack, associate minister, will lead the 7:45 a.m. worship on Homecoming Sunday, June 12.
A second service at 10:45 a.m. will be led by the Rev. Dr. Clarence Toomer, associate minister, Fisher Memorial United Holy Church.
The annual revival is set at 7 p.m. from Monday, June 13, through Wednesday, June 15. A special Father’s Day celebration is planned for Sunday, June 19. Mrs. Shelton Williams, associate minister, will lead the 7:45 a.m. worship and the Rev. Dr. Martin Estes of Lighthouse Christian Pentecostal in Durham, will lead the 10:45 a.m. service.
Graduate Recognition Sunday is set for June 26 with a 7:45 a.m. service led by Minister Dererick Tucker and a second service at 10:45 a.m., led by Brother Charles Trowell, a 2016 graduate of UNC Charlotte and member of the church.
Vacation Bible School will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Monday, June 20, throughFriday, June 24. Dinner will be served each night.
Classes and activities are planned for children and adults on the theme, “I’ve Got Talent: Showcasing My Work for Jesus.”
A growing number of North Carolina churches are offering their congregations health and wellness resources, alongside spiritual guidance. Some churches have nurses on staff to take care of medical issues among members.
A statewide program allowing qualifying churches to apply for mini-grants to provide health related services will accept applications from June 1-30.
To qualify, churches must already be certified by the N.C. Council of Churches as a Partners in Health and Wholeness congregation.
“A church is often a hub of a community,” said Christine Pernell, program coordinator for Partners in Health and Wholeness, a program of the N.C. Council of Churches. “We see that more and more often, churches are not just open on Sunday morning, but open for support groups, for AA meetings, for Al-Anon, for exercise classes.”
In addition to churches being an ideal place to distribute health services and education to the community, Pernell says when people attend church, they’re often open to knowledge and self-improvement.
Some of the types of programs open for grants include smoking cessation, weight loss, blood pressure screening, community gardens, food pantries and mental health programming.