The Congregation at Duke University Chapel


photo of Carol

350 plus 50

This month, the Stewardship and Finance Committee is asking all of us to consider ways that we will sustain this congregation with our financial gifts as well as with our gifts of prayer and service. The budgeted goal is $350,000 in contributions from members and friends of the Congregation. We receive no financial support from Duke University or any endowments, so we are entirely dependent on the gifts of current participants. The Stewardship and Finance Committee, along with the Council and staff, strives to be faithful and prudent with the gifts given to the Congregation. (Note: Contributions must be directed specifically to “The Congregation at Duke Chapel”)  Details of our annual budget are available on our website , as are details about how to contribute . Further, you are welcome to review our audit report which is kept on file in the Congregation Office. If you have any questions related to the finances of our congregation, you are welcome to speak to the treasurer, Billy Chow, our financial administrator, Nelson Strother, or me. I invite you to join me, the staff, and the Council in making a commitment to sustain this congregation. Together, we can reach the $350K goal.

That’s the 350. Now the 50.

At its September meeting, the Council decided to challenge us to move beyond ourselves, and to look toward sustaining not only ourselves, but others. This is an opportunity to increase our generosity and go above and beyond our usual giving, so that we empower and strengthen others. To this end, the Council created a new, unbudgeted “Empowerment Ministry” fund with a goal of $50,000. This is a wonderful opportunity to reflect God’s generosity toward us with additional generosity to our neighbors.

The Empowerment Ministry fund will support endeavors which enable individuals to become economically self-sufficient. One of the two initiatives the Council has identified is a new and deeper partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Durham to fund a “Repairs Intern.” This partnership, the result of a year-long conversation between Habitat and the Council, will result in the employment of an individual who is currently un/underemployed. Through training and supervision by Habitat, the individual will gain skills enabling him/her first to provide fee-based home repairs to Habitat homeowners, and second, to find self-sustaining employment upon the conclusion of the internship. Further, we intend the intern to also provide mentoring to enable others to work towards economic self-sufficiency. This program will allow us to contribute to the long-term good of our neighbors. Further, it is one way to answer Christ’s call to love our neighbor. Please join me in offering an additional gift to the Empowerment Ministries.

Because God so generously and faithfully sustains us, let us join together in sustaining others.

May the peace of Christ be with you.