Area churches to celebrate National Day of Prayer this week

Flo Johnston
Flo Johnston

National Day of Prayer will be observed today and Thursday in Chapel Hill and Durham.

At noon today, Chapel Hill’s Christ United Methodist Church, 800 Market St. in Southern Village, will hold a service under the church’s bell tower.

Pastor David Goehring and members of the church prayer team will lead guided prayer for government, churches, families, schools and education.

Thursday, May 4, the day of prayer will be observed in Durham at Trinity United Methodist Church, 215 N. Church St. in downtown, with a service of quiet meditation, prayer, music and Scripture reading.

Participants will gather at 6:50 p.m. in the Columbarium Garden for music and Scripture and then at 7 p.m. will process into the sanctuary. Child care will be available, but children may participate and be part of the processional.

“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!” is the Scriptural theme for this event.

Fish fry

A community fish fry will be held from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 5, at Temple Baptist Church, 2121 Umstead Road, Durham.

Plates at $9 include fried flounder, potatoes, slaw, hush puppies, dessert and drink.

Free delivery is offered from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a minimum order of 10 plates.

Proceeds will benefit church missions and capital projects.

Massed youth choir

The youth choirs of six Chapel Hill churches will create a massed choir of more than 100 young voices at a concert, “Draw the Circle Wide,” at 7 p.m. Sunday, May 7, at United Church of Chapel Hill, 1321 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Youth representatives from each choir chose the theme when they gathered last fall to plan the concert and selected the Refugee Support Center to receive the offering at the concert. They chose as their theme song, “Draw the Circle Wide” by Mark Miller, because it expresses the idea of drawing the circle of inclusion wide enough to encompass everyone in the community, regardless of background.

Located in Carrboro, the Refugee Support Center offers help finding jobs, English and civics classes, legal assistance, translation and interpretation services, transportation, enrichment for children and advocacy. The center received the North Carolina Peace Prize in 2016

People from Burma (of Karen ethnicity) are the largest refugee group in Orange County, where there are also small groups of Congolese and Syrian refugees.

Youth choirs from Olin T. Binkley Memorial Baptist, Christ United Methodist, Holy Trinity Lutheran, University Presbyterian, University United Methodist and United Church of Chapel Hill will join forces for the concert, and several choirs will offer individual selections. As special guests, the Karen Choir made up of refugees from Burma will offer their own selections.

The public is welcome to the concert and admission is free.

Greek Festival

It’s time again to experience the sights, sounds and flavors of Greece as St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church, 8306 N.C. 751 near The Streets at Southpoint opens the doors to its two-day Greek Festival Saturday and Sunday, May 6-7.

Such Greek favorites as gyro (seasoned lamb and beef), spanakopita (spinach and feta cheese filling in paper-thin phyllo dough) and pasititsio (layered pasta, ground beef and cheese topped with creamy bechamel sauce) are on the menu.

Also, savory lamb slow-roasted on a spit (souvla), baklava (spiced nuts layered in phyllo with honey syrup) and galaktoboureko (custard-filled phyllo with honey syrup).

Greek coffee and iced coffee frappe will be served. The Traverna will feature Greek wine and beer.

“Opa,” the bouzouki band, will perform live. Also featured, cultural exhibits, video travelogues, tours of the landmark Byzantine-style domed church and a demonstration of traditional Byzantine iconography. New this year: a silent auction of fine art, ceramics and collectibles.

Admission is free with a portion of festival proceeds to benefit the Durham Rescue Mission.

Klezmer concert

The Magnolia Klezmer Band will perform from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Sunday, May 7, at Southern Village on the Green in Chapel Hill. Bring a chair, blanket and food.

Magnolia’s unique sound comes from the mingling of players with different musical backgrounds: Klezmer, Balkan, jazz, brass band, polka and classical. Their repertoire also includes Yiddish theater tunes and Eastern European folk dances.

“Essentially, the repertoire is the celebratory, party and wedding music during the 19th and 20th centuries that Jews brought with them to America and other parts of the world when they left Eastern Europe,” said the group’s Sandy Mills.

Echoes of Broadway

Selections of Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass” will be performed at 9:15 and 11 a.m. by the choir of Community Church of Chapel Hill Unitarian Universalist, 106 Purefoy Road, Chapel Hill, on Sunday, May 7.

The choir will be accompanied by a 16-piece chamber orchestra, including members of the Chapel Hill Philharmonic, and local high school and college students.

The music has a mixture of styles, including echos of “West Side Story” and “Candide.” Text is drawn from the Liturgy of the Roman Mass, combined with original text from Stephen Schwartz and Bernstein.

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