The Rev. Randy Thompson, minister of music at Braggtown Baptist Church, says the choir’s Easter musical won’t be a performance.
“We are servants. … It’s a celebration of worship, not just a show,” said Thompson, 65, who retired a few years ago after serving churches with choirs large and small. He came back into ministry part time at Braggtown Baptist.
Holy Week begins in a few days, and local churches will host events commemorating Palm Sunday through Good Friday and then the celebration of Easter on April 20.
Temple Baptist Church will hold its first Stations of the Cross in its fellowship hall April 18, which is Good Friday. Christians observe Good Friday as the day that Jesus Christ was crucified. Stations of the Cross mark Jesus’ journey to the cross.
Bart Ehrman, the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at UNC Chapel Hill, has made a name for himself beyond UNC and beyond those who study religion.
His 2005 “Misquoting Jesus” was a New York Times best-seller and led to several more books and lots of attention. In the years since, he has spoken publicly on several occasions – locally and on television – about his work and his own views as well as the reactions they elicit. He used to wait until the end of the semester to tell his students what he believes, but now they can simply read about it. In his book about suffering, called “God’s Problem,” Ehrman wrote about how the questioning of God allowing suffering became a turning point for him, once an evangelical Moody Bible Institute student, becoming agnostic.
Human Rights Watch’s boots-on-the-ground emergencies team in the war-torn world is known as the E-Team, and the documentary film “E-Team” takes audiences into places like Syria and Lebanon as the team does field interviews. “E-Team” will be screened on April 4 at the Carolina Theatre during the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in downtown Durham.
Learning how to avoid anti-Jewish preaching and teaching is not a requirement of Christian seminary students. So Amy-Jill Levine, professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt Divinity School, is taking it on herself. Levine spoke to a roomful of ministers Tuesday at Beth El Synagogue in Durham for the Jewish Federation of Durham-Chapel Hill’s Community Relations Council 2014 Ministers’ Conference.
Levine, who is co-editor of “The Jewish Annotated New Testament,” lectured on “Misunderstanding First Century Judaism Means Misunderstanding Jesus.” She said there are common errors made about understanding the first century that, “if we get wrong, we get Jesus wrong.”
An ice storm postponed it by a week, but Christian women in Hillsborough still came together for the 35th year of the World Day of Prayer observance on March 14 at Dickerson Chapel AME Church.
Suzanne Faulkner’s mom, Anne Salomon, started the local observance in 1979 with four churches, including Hillsborough United Methodist. Newcomers this year included several men. While it’s a global Christian women observance, men are welcome – like Pastor Ryan Brooks of Vertical Church in Hillsborough and Pastor Dave Bookout of newhope Church in Durham, where Faulkner attends.
The Rev. James “Mickey” Efird has taught biblical studies since 1958, when he was a graduate student at Duke Divinity School. He spent decades on the faculty and is a professor emeritus. For those who haven’t been his students at Duke, Efird frequently leads study series at local churches.
This Lent, he is lecturing on the New Testament book of Acts at First Presbyterian Church. It is part of the church’s annual Lenten Bible study, and from 10:30 a.m. to noon Thursdays through April 10, Efird is “teaching and sharing what he knows to enrich others,” said the Rev. Mark Diehl, interim senior pastor at First Presbyterian.
Alisa Edwards Smith of Chapel Hill has two personal stories just published in two different books about faith. Both stories are from her childhood and involve telephone calls and her grandmother.
The popular “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book series has a new edition called “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles Happen: 101 Inspirational Stories about Hope, Answered Prayers, and Divine Intervention.” Guideposts, the inspirational publisher, has a new book out called “The Best Angel Stories 2013.” Smith’s writing is featured in both.
For the fourth year, the Faith Connections on Mental Illness conference will bring clergy, laity and health professionals together to share ideas and expertise about the intersection of religion and mental health issues. The conference will be held March 28 at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Chapel Hill.