Congregation at Duke Chapel

Local Missions

Back Pew Collections

Literally, the back pew is the site for monthly mission collections. For this reason, don’t be surprised if you come into the chapel and find a bags of books, linens or clothing piled up on the back pew. Don’t blame the housekeepers for a mess; instead give thanks for the generosity of worshipers!The Back Pew Collections offer an opportunity for us to give tangible goods to local agencies, and in doing so helps us connect to the good work done in our community. We have collected packaged food in individual servings for Meals on Wheels to take to neighbors who need weekend meals and we have collected bed linens for homeless shelters. The monthly back pew collections are announced in the bulletin, newsletter, and eNews.

Durham Congregations in Action

The Congregation at Duke University Chapel is a member of Durham Congregations in Action (DCIA). DCIA is a cooperative, multi-faith network offering care and support for the most vulnerable and forgotten in our community, and planting seeds in new initiatives to change lives in Durham. Its mission is to bring together congregations to promote understanding across boundaries of faith, race and ethnicity and build an inclusive community  of justice and peace.

NC Council of Churches

The Congregation at Duke University Chapel is a member of the North Carolina Council of Churches.  The North Carolina Council of Churches, which was founded in 1935, is a statewide ecumenical organization promoting Christian unity and working towards a more just society. The Council’s mission is to enable “denominations, congregations, and people of faith to individually and collectively impact our state on issues such as economic justice and development, human well-being, equality, compassion and peace, following the example and mission of Jesus Christ.” While the Council is itself overtly Christian, many of the committees and task groups are interfaith, including members from non-Christian faith communities. Several committees also include members of Christian denominations which are not part of the Council of Churches. In its work, the Council strives to live its motto of “Strength in Unity, Peace through Justice”.

Refugees.pngRefugee Resettlement

In 2003, we welcomed Bui Ksor and Tok Siu from the highlands of Vietnam, as part of refugee resettlement necessitated by the persecution Christians suffered in Vietnam. We now have four Montagnard families spanning three generations who are active within the Congregation. These families, who continue to be special to us, have successfully resettled with our assistance.



Saturday Service Project


We are willing to get our hands dirty. Once a month, usually on a Saturday morning, we gather at a local non-profit to serve our neighbors. By providing hands-on service within the community, we become better acquainted with the good work being done by local non-profits. In addition, we provide labor for projects that agencies may find difficult to accomplish without extra hands. We have made sandwiches for Meals on Wheels, done yard work for Reality Ministries, cleaned for the Durham Crisis Response Center, and whatever agencies have asked us to do. We also have fun while working!

 Please watch the bulletin and newsletters for announcement about Saturday Service Projects. Additional participants are welcome at any time.

Habitat for Humanity

In 2016, the Congregation at Duke Chapel partnered with Duke Chapel, the student chapter of Habitat for Humanity, and other university departments to build a Habitat home in east Durham. This is the 7th home the congregation has helped build.  


Urban Ministry Dinners  

Dinners.pngFor over 20 years, the Congregation has provided a lasagna dinner for our neighbors at the Urban Ministries shelter. The menu of lasagna, bread, salad, fruit cocktail and dessert provides a hearty meal to the approximately 150 people who come to eat. We are committed to providing dinner on the 2nd Sunday of the odd-numbered months, and on the 4th Wednesday of the even-numbered months. New volunteers are welcome to join the crew at any time. Please contact the congregation office for more details.