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Icons of the Civil Rights Movement

By , Published on March 9, 2017

Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and James Reeb

Icons of the Civil Rights Movement, an exhibit developed by artist Pamela Chatterton-Purdy and her husband retired minister Rev. Dr. David Purdy, will be on display Saturday and Sunday, April 29 and 30, at First Parish in Needham, Unitarian Universalist.  The exhibit anchors a weekend of discussion and reflection on the Civil Rights Movement and the state of racial justice in America today.  The exhibit and all events are free and open to the public. 

The exhibit includes 30 paintings done in the style of Russian icons, as well as narratives about each of the figures. The Purdys were actively involved in the Civil Rights Movement in the South in the 1960s. They marched at Selma and personally knew many of the figures who are depicted in the paintings.  The exhibit has been published in a book of the same name.

The Purdys will speak at a Lyceum entitled “The Transforming Power of Love” on Sunday, April 30, about their experiences and their bi-racial family. Rev. Purdy will join Rev. Catie Scudera in leading Sunday worship. A 50-minute documentary about the Purdys and their work will be shown at several different times on both days, followed by a discussion.

The event is sponsored by the Racial Justice Task Force, the Parish Committee, and the Social Action Committee.

Full Schedule

Saturday, April 29, 2017

  • In Parish Hall
      Exhibition of Icons paintings and narratives
    Artist: Pamela Purdy; Author: Rev. Dr. David Purdy
  • In the Sanctuary 
    The Icons film will be shown at
    – 10:45am–12:15pm
    – 12:45pm–2:15pm
    – 2:45pm–4:15pm
    Times include facilitated reflection time at the end of each showing.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

  • In the Sanctuary 
    Needham Lyceum: “The Transforming Power of Love” with David and Pamela Purdy 
    10:30am–11:30am: Sunday Morning Worship with Revs. Catie Scudera and David Purdy
  • In Parish Hall  
    12:30pm–2:30pm: Exhibition of Icons paintings and narratives with the Purdys
  • In the Sanctuary
     Icons film showing including facilitated reflection time from 1:30pm2pm

Parish Hall is most easily accessed through the Lincoln Street entrance. The Sanctuary can be accessed either through the front doors on Dedham Avenue or the Lincoln Street entrance.

Traffic note: On Sunday from approximately 10:30am to noon, Dedham Avenue will be blocked off Webster to South Street and Great Plain Avenue from Greene’s Field to Fair Oaks Parkway due to the annual Needham Little League parade. While the route does not pass directly in front of First Parish, anyone planning to attend the Sunday Service with the Purdys should plan accordingly.

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