The Congregation at Duke University Chapel

Being Community, Being Church

For the ears, you can listen to an audio recording of this presentation. [high fidelity audio playable under all personal computer operating systems via VLC media player, Microsoft Windows Media Player with the codecs for FLAC et al, OS X QuickTime with the XiphQT plugin, etc., on many Android-based mobile devices, and on iOS-based mobile devices via apps such as FLAC Player or Golden Ear]

Being Community, Being Church

presentation at Adult Forum by
Rev. Carol Gregg, Pastor to the Congregation
September 8, 2013

old fashioned worship - no rock music, dance, or corrupt Bible versions
don't let worries kill you - let the church help
don't get sin burn, use son screen
God has no favorites, but the sign guy does - go Blackhawks
saying in bed shouting 'Oh God!' does not constitute going to church
our congregation is like fudge, sweet with a few nuts
What is my vision? What is our vision?

What We Know

  • Church is a gift of God
  • Congregational Mission Statement
  • Congregational Strategic Plans
  • Results of Winter Retreat
  • Characteristics of Healthy Churches
  • Current Trends

Church is a gift of God

Congregational Mission Statement

Believing that God has reached out to us with love and forgiveness, We seek to grow together in faith through worship, study, service, and, celebration To the end that we embody Christ’s compassion and holiness.

Congregational Strategic Plan 2010

  1. Create and enhanced sense of community within the Congregation
  2. Help members deepen their relationship with God and respond to God’s call as Christian disciples
  3. Equip members to serve God in church and community
  4. Build relationships with people and organizations across social and economic boundaries in Durham, Durham County, and worldwide
  5. Improve communications among Congregation members, other Chapel worshippers, university administration, and Chapel staff
  6. Create a shared vision and understanding of the Congregation’s distinctive identity and unique role in the life of Duke Chapel
  7. Embody Christian discipleship by addressing current issues of social justice and environmental stewardship

Congregational Strategic Plan 2003

  1. Grow through study and Christian nurture: expand dramatically the opportunities for study, education and spiritual formation
  2. Give through service and outreach: expand dramatically the opportunities for service and outreach to the church and the world
  3. Member Participation and Communication:
    • Provide to the members of the Congregation a sense of belonging to a church community.
    • Increase participation by a larger number of members in all areas – worship, study, service and celebration
    • Increase the awareness of and a sense of welcome to the Congregation among all those who attend Chapel service or who might be touched by the work of the Congregation
  4. Material Resources
    • Every member will make a financial contribution to the ministries of the Congregation each year and will have the opportunity for regular, increased giving
    • Every member will be involved in a service activity to the Congregation and its members or the community at larger
    • The administrative activities and space needs of the Congregation will be organized and documented

Results of Winter Retreat

  • Strengths of Congregation
    • Aesthetics/building/music
    • Intellectual and spiritual opportunities
    • The people and their gifts, self-starters
    • Cross section of ages, skill, religious background
  • Community/World Needs
    • Bridge gaps between diverse people
    • Child poverty, hunger
    • Difficult to reach students, mentors, help students “plug in”
    • Mental health issues
    • Student anxiety, stress, isolation

Characteristics of Healthy Churches

Ten Signposts of Renewal:
  • Hospitality
  • Discernment
  • Healing
  • Contemplation
  • Testimony
  • Diversity
  • Justice
  • Worship
  • Reflection
  • Beauty
Christianity for the Rest of Us: How the Neighborhood Church is Transforming the Faith by Diana Butler Bass

Current Trends

  • Modernity to Postmodernity
  • Industrial Age to Information Age
  • Christendom to post-Christendom
  • Production Initiative to Consumer Awareness
  • Religious Identity to Spiritual Exploration
Churchmorph: How Megatrends are reshaping Christian Communities by Eddie Gibbs


Location, Location, Location

church sign with no words hung in it