The Congregation at Duke University Chapel


photo of Carol

Donell Shaw is smiling because he has a job! It is employment you made possible. Thank you!
photograph including Donnell
Donell, who is in the center of this photograph, was recently hired by Durham Habitat for Humanity as their Repairs Apprentice. It is a one-year position designed to provide training and experience that creates a pathway to a living wage job for someone who is un/underemployed. This new, full-time, position which was initiated by our Congregation Council and developed through a year of dialogue with Durham Habitat, is funded with your gifts to the Empowerment Ministries fund. Your gifts have enabled Donell to move out of the Urban Ministries shelter and into his own apartment. You have given him a job, which makes him smile, and yet he is not only thinking about himself. Donell says “God places our two feet right in front of us to show us the way to go.  I’m looking forward to contributing to the Habitat team’s values, helping them meeting their goals, and working towards a better job.

In October 2017, the Congregation Council announced the creation of the Empowerment Ministries Fund and challenged the congregation to contribute $50,000 above and beyond our sustained giving. This new fund was created to support the Repairs Apprentice position and an additional group of vulnerable children through ZOE. In this way, we could join together to empower neighbors both locally and globally, enabling individuals to become economically self-sufficient. This has already begun by hiring Donell. Next month, I will write about ZOE children.

As of this writing, we have raised $44,000 of the $50,000 goal for the Empowerment Fund. In a few short months, you have generously supported this new outreach initiate. Thank you. If you have not yet contributed to this fund and want to be part of Donell’s smile, I invite you to make a contribution above and beyond your typical giving. You may simply put a check in the offering plate noting that it is for the Empowerment Ministries or choose one of the other ways to contribute as listed on our Giving webpage .

The Holy Spirit has been and is at work among us. I am convinced God has guided us in developing and supporting these initiatives. Let’s rejoice in what God calls us to do together, both what we have already accomplished and what we will yet do.

I am grateful for your faithfulness.