Midtown: Community

Race of Grace lets runners hear music and eat cake, too

When runners win their division in a road race, they usually get a medal or a ribbon. But at the end of the Race of Grace, winners are given a homemade cake. The desserts have become such a beloved tradition that the local running community has nicknamed the event “The Race for Cakes.”

Another fun feature of the race is the musical groups set up along the route. Runners will hear a conga drum player, a hand bell ensemble, a brass band and several praise bands from area churches – no iPods required.

“It is just a very happy race,” said organizer Carlin Johnson. “There is a real sense of community, and it feels like the Holy Spirit just hovers over the whole race.”

The Race of Grace is a partnership between 65 United Methodist churches in the Raleigh district and benefits local charities that fight homelessness and hunger and improve health care. During the past eight years, the race has raised more than $298,000. This year’s race is focused on hunger, and all proceeds will be donated to Urban Ministries and the Women’s Center in Raleigh.

The race begins at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 29, with the start and finish line at Edenton Street United Methodist Church at 228 W. Edenton St., Raleigh. Early registration fees are $25 for the competitive 5K run and $20 for the recreational run/walk. After April 13, the registration fee increases by $5. Online registration is encouraged, but entry forms will be accepted at Raleigh Running Outfitters from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 28, at 7449 Six Forks Road and at the event site from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. the day of the race.

For more information and online registration, go to www.raceofgrace.org.

Barbecue at Ebenezer United Methodist Church

Ebenezer United Methodist Church will hold its annual pork barbecue sale from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, March 30, at 6020 Rock Quarry Road, Raleigh. All proceeds will go to the church building fund. Plates are $8 and will include a buffet of barbecue, slaw, green beans, potatoes, hushpuppies, dessert and rolls. Takeout plates are also available, and barbecue will also be sold for $8 per pound. For more information, call 919-772-1664.

Hope Lutheran Church tag sale

The community is invited to participate in Hope Lutheran Church’s tag sale by donating items for the church to sell or renting space to sell their own items. The sale will run from 7 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 31, in the church parking lot at 3525 Rogers Road, Wake Forest. Sellers pay $15 and keep all profits. Donations can be dropped off at the church during business hours. All proceeds will help send the youth group to the 2013 National Youth Gathering. For more information or to register as a seller, call 919-554-8109 or visit www.hopelutheranwf.org.

Free medical, dental and vision clinic

Living Word Family Church will provide free medical, dental and vision care to residents of all ages from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 31, at the church at 10520 Star Road, Wake Forest. Physicians will be onsite to provide care, and Spanish translators will also be available. For more information, visit www.lwfc.org/medical-clinic.html.

Community fair

Wake Forest Church of the Nazarene is holding its annual Community Fair from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 31, at the church at 203 Capcom Ave., Suite 114, Wake Forest. Vegetables, plants, food, jewelry and crafts will be for sale. For more information, call 919-528-8455.

Easter pageant at Church of the Nativity

In celebration of the Easter season, the Church of the Nativity’s Spirituality in the Arts will present “The Seven Last Words of Christ” by Franz Joseph Haydn. The Aurora Musicalis String Quartet will perform and the Gospel and Mark Stand’s poems will be read during the evening. The community can preview the pageant at 4 p.m. Saturday, March 31, at Quail Ridge Books & Music at 3522 Wade Ave., Raleigh. The full performance is at 7 p.m. Friday, April 6 at 8849 Ray Road, Raleigh. Both events are free. For more information, call 919-846-8338.

Percussion recital at First Baptist

William James will perform a free percussion recital at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 31, at First Baptist Church Salisbury Street at 99 N. Salisbury St., Raleigh. James graduated from Ravenscroft School in Raleigh and earned a Masters of Music from the New England Conservatory. He is the principal percussionist of the St. Louis Symphony and also regularly performs in the Pulitzer Foundation Chamber Music Series. Peter Henderson, associate professor of music at Maryville University, will provide accompaniment for James. A reception will follow in the fellowship hall. For more information, call 919-832-4485.

Jewish-Christian social justice Seder

Yavneh: A Jewish Renewal Community will hold a Jewish-Christian Social Justice Seder at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, April 1, at the Irregardless Café in Raleigh. The dinner costs $25; financial assistance is available. To reserve your seat or for more information, email rsvp@yavneh-raleigh.org by Tuesday, March 27.

Living Last Supper at Ephesus Baptist

Ephesus Baptist Church will perform its annual re-enactment of the Last Supper painted by Leonardo da Vinci through music and drama at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 5, at the church, 6767 Hillsborough St. For more information about the free performance, call 919-851-1928.

Concert at North Ridge Church

The community is invited to a free concert of The Grove City College Touring Choir at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 5, at North Ridge Church at 7601 Falls of the Neuse Road, Raleigh. The choir, made up of 45 students from the liberal arts college in Pennsylvania, is on its annual spring break tour. For more information, call 919-847-1929.

Easter pageant at First Cosmopolitan Baptist Church

First Cosmopolitan Baptist Church will perform its annual Easter pageant at 7 p.m. Friday, April 6, at the church, 1515 Crosslink Road, Raleigh. This is the 15th year that the drama ministry of the church has performed the Bible-based play chronicling the death and resurrection of Jesus. For more information, call 919-833-3283.