Flo Johnston’s “Faith Notes”, The Durham News, The News and Observer

Willimon starts interim preaching assignment

Bishop Will Willimon left his bishop’s robes at home on a recent Sunday as he began an interim summer preaching appointment at Duke Memorial United Methodist Church, 504 W. Chapel Hill St.

He seemed to make the transition from bishop and Duke Divinity School professor back into the pulpit of a local church with his own special kind of Willimon “cool.” He made funny aside remarks, came down to the level of the congregation to talk with children and stepped out from behind the pulpit to preach his sermon using ’nary a note.

Following worship, the church held a reception to welcome the bishop and his wife Patsy to the church where he is interim preacher for the summer.

Former Duke Memorial pastors were the Rev. Roger Owens and his wife the Rev. Ginger Thomas.

Willimon’s three-week sermon series titled “Why Jesus?” and based on his book by the same title, will end this Sunday, as will a three-week lecture series before worship titled “The Joy of United Methodist Believing.” The lecture is at 9:45 a.m. and worship begins at 10: 55 a.m.

The church is also holding a Summer Community Cookout, the first of three such events, noon to 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The purpose is to make new friends and to get to know neighbors. The surrounding community is invited to attend the free event for food, fun and fellowship.

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