This year’s regional Jehovah’s Witnesses conventions across the country are being consolidated, said Mike Marvin, spokesperson for the regional convention held this month in Raleigh. “Keep Seeking First God’s Kingdom” was held last weekend and will be held again this weekend at the PNC Arena for more regional Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The Raleigh convention draws Witnesses not just from the Triangle but also Virginia. Congregations, which meet in local Kingdom Halls, are assigned to a convention weekend. Major talks at regional conventions are being broadcast to other convention sites, which also have local speakers.
The Rev. Pauli Murray, the Durham-raised woman who went on to become the first African-American female Episcopal priest and was made a saint by The Episcopal Church in 2012, was celebrated July 1 at an annual service held at St. Titus’ Episcopal Church in Durham.
Murray spent her life speaking out against injustice. She was also a lawyer, women’s rights and civil rights activist and author. Her memoir of growing up in Durham’s West End is called “Proud Shoes.” She died in 1985. Two years ago, her denomination named her and two other North Carolinians – Manteo and Virginia Dare – to the book “Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints.”
It’s been five years since the start of the Pauli Murray Project, which is part of the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute. The name Pauli Murray is becoming more and more familiar to people, beyond just those who grew up with her in Durham’s West End or knew her work nationally for women’s rights and civil rights, as an attorney and author. She was also the first African-American female Episcopal priest.
Locally, she has been the subject of a historical marker, several talks, a play, poetry and public murals. Two years ago, she was named a saint by The Episcopal Church, which included her in the book “Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints.” She is celebrated on the church calendar every July 1, the date of her death in 1985. This year’s celebration service was again held at St. Titus’ Episcopal Church in Durham.
Heavy rains on June 30, 2013, left about 150 families in the Chapel Hill area with damage from flooding. In the year since, recovery for some families has been aided by a collaboration of groups including the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Raleigh, and St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Chapel Hill.
Last July, St. Thomas More Catholic School hosted a one-day event to collect furniture donations for victims of flooding.
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Raise Up for $15, the group that wants to raise wages of fast-food workers, made its case to Durham Congregations In Action at its monthly meeting this week.
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In the days following the 1960 wave of sit-ins begun in Greensboro, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. visited Durham to tour downtown lunch counters and give a speech at White Rock Baptist Church.
In his Feb. 16, 1960, sermon, he urged students not to fear jail if they were arrested for standing up for their rights. He delivered the sermon at the church’s building which was later demolished for the Durham Freeway. On Sunday, King’s speech will be re-enacted at White Rock Baptist where it stands now on Fayetteville Street.
Victoria Gallagher and Matt May, professors at N.C. State University and rhetorical communication scholars, approached the church for a project they’re working on to re-create the speech digitally and study how oral recordings are perceived in different settings at different times.
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The merger of YO:Durham, which was started by Durham Congregations In Action, and Partners for Youth, another local nonprofit, is almost complete. YO:Durham leaders were recognized at DCIA’s monthly meeting this week, during which resolutions were also passed transferring money from YO:Durham, which received funding from DCIA, to the new venture called Partners for Youth Opportunity. The merger was first announced this past winter and will be official June 30. Both small nonprofits worked with at-risk youth – YO:Durham through internships and job training, and PFY primarily with teenagers in Southwest Durham. Partners for Youth Opportunity will incorporate the missions of both.