The Congregation at Duke University Chapel

2016 Annual Meeting

The Annual Business Meeting will be held on Sunday, June 19. A catered lunch will be served in the Divinity School Café immediately following worship; the cost of the meal is $10 per person. Please make reservations through the Congregation office. The annual business meeting will begin at 1:00 pm in Goodson Chapel. Materials for the meeting will be emailed to all members in advance of the meeting and will also be available upon request from the office.

Greetings & Blessings!

I write to you to extend my sincere wishes on behalf of the Congregation at Duke Chapel for you to join us at our annual business luncheon. This year following worship on June 19th we will gather for lunch at the Divinity School Café and then hold our meeting in Goodson Chapel. The cost for the catered meal is $10.00 per person over eighteen years old. Please make reservations by calling 919-684-3917 or emailing [email protected]. You may pay at the door or mail your check with “annual meeting lunch” in the memo line to the Congregation Office, Box 90974, Durham, NC 27708.

How nice for us again to be worshipping in our beloved Chapel! Many of us had been concerned that attendance and giving to the Congregation would greatly suffer while we worshipped in other locations this past year, but the generosity of our members calmed those fears. For this reason, among so many others, we have so much to celebrate and share when we gather for this luncheon:

We will all have a chance to meet (for some of us the first time) our new Assistant Pastor Andrew Phillips who has been working with our youth since the new year but will begin his full responsibilities in July. He will play a vital role in particular in our ministry to youth as well as to the greater Durham community.

We will also learn of enhanced responsibilities for Nelson and Phyllis as they take over management of our website, weekly e-news and monthly newsletter. Through their sharing of job responsibilities and ongoing cooperative efforts we have a communications platform that is current, creative, and responsive to the ever-evolving ways in which all of us choose to give and receive Congregation information.

We will hear about the exciting prospect of having an intern joining us to learn and minister with us this year. Duke Divinity School has approached the Congregation to involve an intern in our ministry, and this idea has been enthusiastically received by Pastor Carol and staff. Our ministry goals reach out to all ages and people in all stages of life, and it is our goal to provide our intern with a valuable ministry experience in all aspects of our Congregation and community engagement.

We will also learn about our finances. We have done well this year despite the challenges. And this means that we have been able to share some of our treasure with other ministries in our community and plan to do so again this coming year. Our budget will be a matter that we will vote upon at this luncheon meeting.

Finally, we will have a chance to vote for the members who will continue to serve our Congregation this upcoming year on both Council and in other leadership roles. The efforts of the nominating and leadership development committee merit our enthusiastic support.

So please join me and so many of us in our beloved Congregation for fellowship and business in just a few short weeks.

Peace and Blessings,

Whitney Schwab
Congregation Council President

Proposed Slate of Lay Leaders for 2016-2017

Frank Coble
Vice President:
Janet Gywer
Tamela Davis
Billy Chow

Congregation Care:
Lucy Worth
Chapel Support:
Cindy Gass

Kate Clayton
Ken Pittman
Missions (Council Rep):
Dave Vos
Sarah Gauger
Nominations Committee Members:
Deb Hackney, Darla Miller, Leigh Wynkoop
Christian Education:
Kim Caufeild

Staff Parish Chair:
Rebecca Ray
Staff Parish Members:
Whitney Schwab, Penny Oslund, Karen Rhodes, Ira Mueller, James Gray

Missions & Outreach Chair:
Walker Robinson
Christian Education Chair:
Kaity Woodrum
Fellowship Chairs:
Janet Hortin, Antoinette Bethea
Membership Chair:
Bob Chambers
Visitation & Care Chair:
Christopher Ross

Altar Guild:
Ellie Ferguson
Anna Shea
Jim Ferguson
Choir Outreach:
Cindy Gass
Offering Counters:
Frank Coble
Loaves & Fishes:
Pam Marcom
Memorial Chapel Communion:
Ed Harlow

DCIA Representative:
Steve DeAlmeida
Assistant Treasurer:
Bill Youngblood

Annual Report



Missions and Outreach Committee

by Walker Robinson

 The Missions and Outreach Committee is charged by the Congregation to build connections with our neighbors locally, within the state, nationally, and internationally.  Every year, the Committee solicits applications from local non-profit organizations seeking grant monies for their budgetary needs.  This year, we gave over $40,000 of grant money to 10 local non-profit organizations.   We also seek to engage with these same local organizations, with monthly opportunities to serve and support them.  Each month, our Committee sponsors a “Back Pew Collection,” soliciting Congregation members to collect certain needed products and bringing them to church during that month for later distribution.  Also monthly, we organize a Saturday Service Project, giving Congregation members a hands-on opportunity to work with local organization to further their goals and mission.  The Committee also helps oversee our Congregation’s long-standing relationship with Urban Ministries of Durham, serving meals to Durham’s homeless on a monthly basis.

Periodically, the Missions and Outreach Committee has co-sponsored larger projects with Duke or other Durham organizations.  This year, we have co-sponsored (with Duke Chapel) the building of a local Habitat for Humanity house in East Durham with both financial support and with hands-on building of the house on many Saturdays throughout the winter and spring.   This past year ended a 3 year sponsorship of a local community in sub-Saharan Africa through Zoe Ministries, which we this year renewed for a 3-year commitment to sponsor a new Zoe Ministries community in Zimbabwe.  Finally, our close ties with the Duke community have continued, particularly through our yearly commitment to the Pathways ministry of Duke Chapel.  Our Committee meets monthly, and I am grateful to my fellow Committee members for their unending support and commitment to social justice.


Steve and Mary Porter 2015-2016 Update

by Dave Vos

Our work with SIL (historically, from Summer Institute of Linguistics) in 2015-16 has been meaningful. (SIL has consultative status with the United Nations, and has been recognized by UNESCO for work in Asia.)Our colleagues whom Steve supervises have made good progress on several language projects drafting books and chapters in the NT. We have seen multiple ‘answers,’ getting the Good Book into minority languages. Many people are joining Father’s family. Throughout the year, Steve was able to interact with various minority families and village leaders, and plant seeds within hearts in these places. Steve received some battery-run devices the size of a cell phone which contain the entire Book in oral Chinese plus some Chinese hymns. He has given them to local, uneducated people who don’t know the Father; they can just listen and not have to read. Last semester, Steve shared his faith with his university teachers and read Luke 2 in Chinese to his Chinese class.

Mary continued to support SIL families with their children’s educational needs and helped each of them write a Family Educational Plan. She trained her colleagues, international school teachers and students, and homeschool parents in different learning strategies. She also taught some classes at our son’s international school and tutored Korean and Chinese students in English.

In August Mary contracted dengue fever, and in September she was diagnosed with stenosis in an artery. Father miraculously removed the stenosis, but dengue fever still affects her energy level. She is learning how to live a less stressful life; this has been an adjustment for the entire family.

Jeremy and Christopher had successful freshman years in high school and college, respectively; they are thriving in their sophomore years. We were thrilled to celebrate Christmas with our families in the US for the first time since 2010.  We were also grateful to watch Christopher play in a college basketball game. Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts and for your gift for our support.


Refugee Resettlement

by Stephen Harper, Chair

Over the past 12 months, we have continued to offer selected support to the several refugee families we sponsored as a Congregation.   Over a decade, we have met our long-term goals for these wonderful people who fled persecution as Christians, as minorities, and as economic pawns.  "Our" families are successfully resettled with our assistance.  Situations in our culture and economy baffle and concern them --- school teachers, medical personnel, and social services staff are difficult to understand.  As our representative, I attend such meetings, translating professional "English" to understandable English.  I also pose the questions that are difficult for parents.

"Our" families include:

Tok Siu and H'Bui Ksor -- daughter Lila Siu (13)

Doang Kpa and H'Hmuan Siu -- sons Henry (15) and Hendi (12)

The Rahlan and H'Hien Siu -- sons Sabat (15), Mak (13) and daughter Hia (12)

Khen Siu and H'Ngen Kpa -- daughters Mini (14), Ngat (13), Yen (11) and Suin (10)

This year parents of Tok and parents of Bui have arrived under petition for permanent residence. They include Mruch Kpa and H'Kli Siu plus Nach Ksor and H'Nut Ksor.  We have a continuing need for tutors for literacy instruction for grandparents, and tutoring for one middle school student.

The Congregation assisted funding for 11 summer “camper-weeks” in 2015.  In 2016, we will assist in 10 camper-weeks.  We negotiate camp scholarships which reduce the price, and parents are required provide a portion of the fees as well.  [Camp fees are paid before fiscal year-end while camp attendance is after fiscal year-end.]  Special thanks is due to Judy Hays, Phyllis Snyder, Kimberley Caufeild, Beth Keena, and Linda and Ed Karolak, who actively participate in support, plus several special contributors who help to make our mission successful.


Urban Ministries Shelter Dinners

by Cricket Scovil

Members of the Congregation serve lasagna dinners at the Urban Ministries Shelter Café in downtown Durham (410 Liberty Street) on the second Sunday of odd-numbered months and on the fourth Wednesday of even-numbered months.  The menu is the same each month. The Congregation Mission and Outreach budget covers the cost of all of the meal staples except party-size Stouffers lasagnas, which are purchased and cooked by each evening’s volunteers. Dinner coordinators purchase meal staples and the meal is assembled in the Café kitchen and set out for serving in the dining hall. The volunteer time commitment for each meal is about two hours.

During calendar year 2015, we served 2,366 meals. Organizing and serving these meals involved 400 volunteer hours and the donation of 234 lasagnas. 

During the period January through April 2016, this Congregation ministry has accounted for 126 volunteer hours. We have served 83 lasagnas to 768 individuals at the Shelter Café and used 576 ounces of Vidalia onion vinaigrette salad dressing, 8 large canisters of powder lemonade mix, 60 gallons of canned fruit cocktail, 4 large tubs of margarine, 100 pounds of salad mix, 1008 rolls, and 1008 cookies.

I would like to thank the faithful volunteers who support this ministry.  I invite all Congregation members and prospective members to contact me at [email protected] to find out about volunteering. Special thanks to Dave and Judi Vos, who purchase the food and organize meal preparation and serving for the Wednesday night dinners, and to Bill Youngblood, who coordinates the Sunday night dinners



by Jane Fellows

The primary global mission supported by the Congregation at Duke University Chapel is through ZOE, an organization started in Africa to provide sustainable relief for children living in extreme poverty. The organization is active in Kenya, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Liberia, Guatemala and India. ZOE empowers orphans and vulnerable children in mutually-supportive groups of 60-100 who all live near one another. These working groups are self-managing: members elect their own leadership, choose a meaningful name, and select a volunteer adult mentor from their community to journey with them. Serving as both family and colleague, group members provide one another with emotional and spiritual support. Together, each group chooses and manages an income-generating project, such as a vegetable farm, chicken coop, or small business selling clean water in their village. ZOE working groups are both mutually supportive and mutually accountable, ensuring a high three-year graduation rate for the children enrolled in ZOE’s program.

We are in the second year as Hope Companions for a group in Zimbabwe. Our group has called themselves Taguta Dora which means “we are satisfied.” This level of support requires $7500 per year for 3 years to provide the basic necessities for property, business development, and education. ZOE encourages interested members of the sponsoring group to send representatives to the location of the group they support. This enhances the connection between the orphan group and the sponsors in unique and wonderful ways. We hope to send several people to Mutare, Zimbabwe in April of 2017. 




Christian Education Committee

Kaity Woodrum and Kimberley Caulfeild

The Education Committee is a devoted team of laity, staff and clergy that responds to the needs for Christian formation and education within our congregation. We oversee and plan educational classes, book and bible studies, workshops and retreats.  This past year, both a fall retreat, Sacred Music, and a winter retreat, Conversations on White Color Blindness, were offered, as well as an overnight retreat for the congregation.  The Adult Forum had enthusiastic participation in the Advent and Lenten studies, and introduced a wide variety of speakers and topics lovingly choreographed by Nelson Strother.  The Wee Praise and Godly play programs sustained growth and solid attendance under the direction of Phyllis Snyder and Kate DeAlmeida. The inclusion of a summer choir for children/youth was well-received.  Lift Ev’ry Voice, a class focusing on singing as a form of praise through hymns and spirituals will be offered this summer.  Solid attendance was noted at bible/book studies throughout the year, including a multi-generational discussion of Robert Lupton’s Charity Detox. Enthusiasm in these studies has led to the formation of two more book studies this summer.  In addition, a class on the discipline of prayer through meditation taught by Christopher Ross was offered and well-received.        

At the soul and strength of our committee is the desire of each member to be a lifelong learner in Christ.  We are blessed with representation from a wide variety of age groups and life perspectives, as well as a healthy mix of laity, staff and clergy.  We meet the fourth Sunday of each month.  We are so grateful for the dedication, time and gifts given by our members, which include: Carol Gregg, Phyllis Snyder, Nelson Strother, Terry Yuschok, Janis Parker, Kathi Peindl, Sandy Powers, Nell Noonan, Patrick Cacchio, Melissa Mills, Brady Surles, Meredith Newlin, Kimberley Caulfeild, and Kaity Woodrum. 


Adult Forum

by Nelson Strother

Over the summer of 2015, the professional staff of the Congregation led a Sunday morning Bible study on the book of Acts, which attracted one to two dozen participants to each of the weekly sessions.  Our Sunday morning Adult Forum class has offered thirty-three different opportunities for enriching our understanding during the academic year.  The fall began with a series of several weeks duration where Congregation members shared thoughts and experiences of how their work has been shaped and influenced by their faith, and vice versa.  While interesting, a subgoal for this series for attracting student attendance and ongoing participation was not fulfilled.  There were two other intentional series of classes.  In the Advent Study, peer-led sessions delved into some of the scriptures of prophecy and fulfillment surrounding the birth of Jesus.  For the six Sundays of Lent, we benefitted from the leadership of The Rev. Dr. Stephen Chapman, Associate Professor of Old Testament, Duke Divinity School, as we learned more about Lamentations.  In between and after these series, we have heard about some contemporary issues among our Abrahamic brothers and sisters from the campus Imam and Rabbi, as well as a historical perspective on relations between these religious entities (or people acting under the guise of being Christian, or Muslim, or Jewish).  These and other interesting topics usually attracted fifteen or twenty attendees, with coincidences of favorable weather, good health, and favorite leaders such as Brian Stratton sometimes drawing more than thirty class participants.  It is now more difficult to know, but historically within a month or two of the materials from a given Adult Forum class being available on the Congregation's website, an equal or greater number of people (compared to those in person in the Sunday class) would have visited the web page.


Children’s Summer Choir 2015

By Kaity Woodrum

The DCC Youth and Children’s Choir made a joyful noise to the Lord for ten weeks this past summer.  Children from the youth and Godly Play classes, as well as others, participated in an hour-long gathering Sunday mornings from 9:45-10:45 which focused on choral techniques (breathing, posture, diction, embouchure, rounds, antiphonal singing, etc.), music literacy and rhythm instrument accompaniment.  They learned hymns and anthems that corresponded with liturgical readings.  The choir participated twice in worship services (July 12 and August 16) singing Jazz Contate, Count Your Many Blessings, A Round of Thanks and Sing Out With Gladness. They had the opportunity to work together one additional time through an invitation from Rodney Wynkoop, and sung with the Chapel Choir in October. The children did a remarkable job each time with just a few weeks preparation!

At the heart of the summer choir, was the desire to include the children in the joy of singing as a form of worship and provide an opportunity for them to participate in service through learning hymns and new sacred choral selections. Our wonderful choir members were: Lloyd Armstrong, Poppy DeAlmeida, Eryn Dennehy, Genevieve DeAlmeida, Hendi Siu, Hia Siu, Lila Siu, Mak Siu, Sabat Siu, Minnie Kpa, Ngat Kpa, Suin Kpa, Yen Kpa, Madeline Nielsen, George Nielsen, Peter Nielsen, Hayley Skye, Drew Slawter, Julie Slawter, Kyle Woodrum, and Nicky Woodrum. Special thanks to Phyllis Snyder for providing extra help and snacks each week, to Eryn Dennehy for assisting each Sunday, and to Laura Woodrum for accompanying each rehearsal and playing both services. This summer, we will offer a non-performance based music class that will focus on preparing the children to participate in the musical selections for each service, learn the reasons for music in worship and introduce the stories and witness of the hymn writers. 


Godly Play Annual Report for 2015/2016

by Phyllis Snyder

           ·           For children ages 4 through 5th graders.

           ·           Sunday mornings, 9:45am to 10:45am, Room 0050 Langford in Duke Divinity School’s lowest level, from September through May.

           ·           “Godly Play” is a creative and imaginative approach to Christian nurture.  Children are invited into stories to learn the Christian language, become more fully aware of the mystery of God’s presence, and make meaning in their lives.  

           ·           The Godly Play class is structured around the pattern of worship service: greeting, gathering, hearing a story, wondering together about the story, response to the story (through art, writing, working further with the story, or other individual exploration), gather for feast, sharing feast, receiving a departing blessing, saying goodbye.

           ·           Two adults are part of each class—the Storyteller and the Door Person.  These adults form a learning community with the children and give support to the children. 

           ·           A total of 11 families have participated during the past year (6 of which were member families, 5 of which were non-member families). 

           ·           A total of 20 children have participated during the past year (10 of which were from member families, 10 of which were from non-member families)

           ·           Attendance Report for children

  • Average per week: 6
  • Median per week: 7
  • Range: 4 to 14

           ·           The following volunteer members of the Godly Play Teaching Team are instrumental in the success of this program

  • Rosemarie Gulla (9 years)
  • Marianna Henry (8 years)
  • Jane Fellows (5 years)
  • Jan Radabaugh (4 years)
  • Mel Snyder (1 year)


New Member Class

by Carol Gregg

We offer a four-week new member class twice a year, in the fall and the spring. The class meets on Sunday mornings at 9:45am in the lowest level of the Westbrook building, along with the other Sunday morning classes. The class is comprised of those who are exploring membership in the Congregation and current members of the Congregation. The goal of the class is three-fold: to discuss and reflect on the Apostle’s Creed, to get acquainted with each other and begin to build community, and to introduce the uniqueness of our special congregation. Once the class is completed, the Council votes on the reception of new members, and the new members are welcomed at a fellowship event.

The fall class brought us six new members: Meredith Newlin, Christopher Ross, Mike and Eleanor Smith, Sarah Wolff, and Du Zhang. The spring class brought us five new members: Steve and Melissa Grosso, Drew Middleton, Rendon Nelson, and Ann Skye. These new members were befriended by Sarah Gauger, Pat Murray, Bill Ray, Ernie Ruckert, Cricket Scovill, and Leigh Wynkoop.


Wee Praise

by Kate DeAlmeida

Wee Praise is the hour-long Sunday morning class offered by the Congregation for kids 0-3 years old and their parents or caregivers. This year, the lesson guide God, My Family and Me from Musikgarten’s God’s Children Sing curricula was used. Thirteen families participated throughout the year, eight of which were members of the Congregation. Every class includes singing, creative movement, instrument playing and exploration, dancing, listening, pitch and rhythm echoing, bubble time, and prayer. This year’s lessons began with the theme that we are all children of God and then moved outward to include our immediate family, grandparents, pets, friends, and finally our church family. The class allows the children to learn about God’s special relationship with us and how the church is a family filled with love for one another. Through these shared experiences, the children and adults have found that their faith is strengthened. We appreciate all who participate in this ministry, but especially Jessica and Ernestine Hulett, the Cacchio family, and the Hockett family who stepped in when the regular teacher Kate DeAlmeida was unable to lead the class. The following statistics summarize the year in numbers:



Average Weekly Attendance

Median Weekly Attendance

Range of Weekly Attendance




5 to 29




2 to 13




3 to 16


Women’s Bible Study

by Pam Marcom

The Women’s Bible Study meets to study the word of God and be in fellowship with one another.  We mostly follow the Upper Room’s book Disciplines, but we sometimes read and discuss other books of interest.  Meeting every other Monday night from 7-9 pm, we take turns facilitating and hosting.  Our members are Deb Hackney, Pam Marcom, Cammey Manning, Beth Sturkey, Gretchen Ziegenhals, Kate DeAlmeida, Leisa Dennehy, Adriana Doi, Kimberley Caulfeild, Leigh Wynkoop, Minoka Gunesekera, and Grace Hae Rim Shin.


Youth Adventures

by Carol Gregg

The annual winter retreat for the youth is a ski weekend at Luke Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center. In February 2016, nine youth, accompanied by Walker Roberson and Carol Gregg, journeyed to the mountains of North Carolina for a wonderful weekend. In additional to a day of skiing, the group enjoyed two worship services, a Bible study, a theological discussion and the abundance of bacon on the cafeteria line.

This summer, middle and high school youth will travel to the Hinton Center in Hayesville, NC for a week of service, worship, education and fellowship. Through the Center’s Mission Outreach Program, participants work on a variety of home repairs for residents in the Appalachian community while seeking to engage in relationships with members of the community. Youth will grow in their understanding of God and neighbor, grace and poverty. Eight youth are scheduled to attend and will be accompanied by Dave Vos and Carol Gregg.


Youth Sunday School
by Andrew Phillips

Youth Sunday School invites students from 6th to 12th grade to faithful, focused, and fun-filled engagement with Holy Scripture. Following a pattern designed to cover much of the Bible over the course of several years, the Youth Class studied Genesis in the fall, and Luke in the spring. We made connections between Luke’s focus on Jesus’ relationship with marginalized people with the Congregation’s mission work, both locally in Durham, and in connection to the summer mission trip to the Hinton Center. Our average attendance was around eight students in Sunday School this year, and we look forward to welcoming new students as our large and faithful class of seniors graduates in the summer.

The Youth Class gives thanks to God for the chance to read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest the words of Scripture, and for all those who helped teach the class: Kaity Woodrum, Leigh Wynkoop, and McKennon Shea. In addition, we give thanks for Adam Benson, who served as our teacher between Brad and Andrew.


Youth Fellowship
by Andrew Phillips

Youth Fellowship creates a time and space for youth to grow deeper in their relationship with the Triune God and with a community of peers and mentors. We gather on Sunday evenings for a time of food, spiritual practice, and sharing life together. Students were introduced to a variety of spiritual practices in the fall, and spent the spring shaping those practices into a Rule of Life for each individual and for the Youth Fellowship as a whole. Practices of rest and re-creation centered on our annual Ski Trip (thanks to Pastor Carol and Walker for chaperoning), Super Bowl Party (thanks to the Barefoots for hosting), and regular gatherings in the homes of our families for fun and fellowship.  Averaging six students each Sunday night, the Youth Fellowship has spent time this year anticipating life without our large graduating class, and discerning how to invite more students into our common life.

The Youth Fellowship gives thanks for the chance to grow in the knowledge and love of God as a community, and for all those who helped nurture and cultivate that faith in our lives: Deb Hackney, Walker Robinson, Robin Barefoot, and Gretchen Ziegenhals. We also give thanks to parents who have faithfully dropped off and picked up students from our gatherings, and for all who have brought food to our common table. The staff of the International House deserve special thanks for being gracious and generous hosts during our time away from the Chapel.




Birthday Calling Ministry

By Linda Gauger

With the help of ten faithful volunteers each month we contact our members during their birthday month. Via phone calls, email or cards we send out blessings from the congregation. Our young members receive a birthday card, our 20-somethings usually get an email as they are harder to reach via phone. Some of our callers make homemade cards to send out as well. We have enjoyed calling you and hope you have enjoyed hearing from us.

Thanks, Rosemary Berger, Janet Horton, Kathi Peindl, Barbara Carman, Molly Simes, Evebell Dunham, June Griggs, Sara Harper, Ernie Ruckert, and Regina Ford.


Fellowship Committee

by Janet Hortin

The fellowship committee had an exciting year coping with lack of traditional fellowship meeting spaces and kitchen facilities provided by the Chapel. Our 20 member-strong committee rose to the challenge, creating new spaces for hospitality under magnolia trees in front of Baldwin Auditorium where we served lemonade, iced tea, and cookies after summer services.  In the Fall, after moving to Page Auditorium, we hosted what came to be known as snack-lucks on the lawn in September and October.  The weather cooperated and over 100 people gathered each time to converse and share snacks.  In November, we assisted with preparation of the Anniversary Dinner at Bryan Center where 100 of our members celebrated the 30th Birthday of the Congregation.    Our January event of home potlucks was cancelled due to an ice storm.   In February we hosted a Sweet Heart Brunch at the Divinity Café where about 20 members attended to share food and conversation. 

We welcomed spring with a Snack Luck under tents in March.  Cold, windy weather forced us to cancel April Snack Luck.  We look forward to fellowship events at Camp Caraway and a picnic in July.   It will be wonderful to celebrate return to familiar Chapel spaces, but we hope to continue to create fellowship opportunities throughout the wider community in homes, cafes, and natural settings.  “Wherever two or three are gathered in my name, there I am with them.”   Matthew 18:20.

It has been a privilege to serve as chairman of the Fellowship Committee in this year of creating new spaces and opportunities for fellowship.   I thank my team of 20 amazing volunteers who carted tables and chairs, moved gallons of lemonade, and helped me in countless ways.


Heavenly Hugs Hat Ministry

by Tamela Davis

Heavenly Hugs Hat Ministry provides knitted and crocheted hats for babies and children in our congregation, as well as for homeless children and adults in the Durham community.  This past year, we provided 48 hats for Genesis Home, 25 hats for the congregation Missions committee (homeless camps), 24 hats for TROSA, 7 hats for Pathways fellows and staff, 12 hats for Nehemiah Christian Center, 16 hats for Meals on Wheels, 40 hats for Open Table (homeless camps), and 38 hats for babies and children, kept on hand for newborns, christenings, new members. In May, we gifted over 50 hats to Duke Regional Hospital and over 50 hats to Duke Medical Center maternity wards to celebrate Mother’s Day.

We meet for lunch after Sunday worship several times each year, and occasionally to knit together, swap yarn and patterns, and enjoy fellowship. We welcome anyone to join us by contacting one of our members or me, [email protected]. Our group includes Padgett Gerler, Mary Catherine McSpadden, Roxanna Bottjen, Sam Hammond, Kate Clayton, Siera Palmer, Lin Gauger, Sarah Gauger, Barbara Mohn, Eleanor Smith, Mary Eubanks, Claudia Haskins, Anne Hopkins and Alexandra Butler. The spirit of this group is one of generous sharing and faithfulness to serve others, but, as is often the case, we feel as blessed by what we do as those who receive hats. Several members pray for hat recipients as they knit/crochet.

This ministry was started in August, 2014, to honor the memory of Merrill Davis, son of Tamela Davis, who died in October, 2012.


Loaves and Fishes

The Loaves and Fishes provides turns emails into meals. Through a email list and an online sign-up called, volunteers bring meals to members at the time of birth, illness or death. The gift of a meal is a tangible expression of Christian love and a gift of practical help at a time when individuals feel overwhelmed.


Membership Committee

The Congregation had 512 members living in 346 households as of May 1, 2016.


Duke Chapel Quilters

by Ann Recesso

The Duke Chapel Quilters meet three or four times a year for three consecuvative Tuesday mornings to sew quilts for the congregation members who are ill or grieving, and for babies being christened or baptized. Quilts are given out by the visitation committee and supplied to Pastor Gregg.  Last year several quilts were presented to the Durham Meals on Wheels Program to be handed out at Christmas. Various members of the congregation have generously donated fabric to us and quilting supplies (batting, backing, thread and needles) are funded by the Congregation.

The committee was founded several years ago by Ginnie Ruckert and now consists of Janis Parker, Eleanor Harrell, Ann Recesso, Nancy Jirtle, Betty Hummelbrunner, and Marilyn Christian. New members are welcome to join us any time. No special skills are required. We meet at Ann's house, quilt and sew for two hours and then gather for coffee and fellowship.


Visitation and Care Ministry

by Carol Gregg

The Visitation and Care Ministry is a dedicated group of individuals who care for the ill and homebound members of our congregation. Each member of the ministry is paired with one or two homebound members with the goal of developing a caring relationship through visits and phone calls. Twenty people are currently receiving visits. In addition to visitation, this year, the ministry also accepted the responsibility of delivering the Sunday flowers, as the flowers from the Sunday worship services could not be left in Page Auditorium; in the Chapel, the flowers beautify the sanctuary all week long. The Visitation and Care Ministry meets six times a year, after worship on the 3rd Sunday of odd-numbered months. Members involved in this ministry, both those visiting and those receiving visits, find joy in their relationships.

We are grateful to Caroline Haynes who chaired the ministry faithfully since July 2014 and to Christopher Ross who began leading the ministry in May. We are also grateful to the members of the ministry and others who visit including: Brenda Brodie, Barbara Carmen, Jane Fellows, Linda Gauger, Nell Noonan,  Bill and Marinell Manning, Troy Page, Kathi Piendl, Mary Robinson,  Karen Witzleben, and Anne Wright.     


Women’s Ministry Group

by Kate DeAlmeida

The Women’s Ministry Group strives to provide opportunities for women to share their experiences, joys, and sorrows with each other while growing closer to God. Ten events were planned throughout the year:

  •  August: Sundaes on a Monday Get to Know You Brainstorming Session
  • September: Fellowship at Christine Callan’s home
  • October: Volunteering at Reality Ministries
  • November: Volunteering at Urban Ministries
  • November and December: Two Advent Meditation Events at Leisa Dennehy’s home
  • January: Valentine Making Party (cancelled due to snow)
  • February: Potluck at Linda Gauger’s home
  • March: Dinner at Saladelia (cancelled due to lack of participants)
  • April: Meditation Walk in Duke Gardens

Participation ranged from three to fifteen women, with an average of six women per event. The group is still searching for the best way to invite women to come and form strong Christian friendships. Because the locations, times, and activities vary, different women have attended each event, not allowing bonds to form over time. Other activities that might be planned for the future include a family picnic, a tea party at the Forest at Duke, an art event, a cooking event, a game night, a Zumba session, and an overnight retreat. We give our heartfelt thanks to Christine Callan, Leisa Dennehy, and Linda Gauger for opening their homes and being the most gracious of hostesses.


First Fridays Young Adult Dinners
by Renee and Bruce Puckett

 Over the last 12 months, the young(ish) adults of the Congregation have met on the first Friday of each month to share a meal together at various restaurants throughout the Triangle. The attendance at these events varied from as few as three participants to as many as twelve (plus children). On the whole, these times together simply served the purpose of relationship building within the group through fellowship. While it is not exactly clear what made for better attendance, our smallest attendance came when we had the meal in Raleigh rather than Durham.

For the most part, the same people come month to month, though occasionally new people attend. This has the potential of creating an “insider” group dynamic that is not necessarily conducive to new people feeling welcome. That said, I have not gotten the impression that people do not attend because of feeling like they are on the outside. Looking to the future, it will probably be wise to offer new opportunities for young adults beyond a monthly meal, and it may be time to call the group who gathers regularly on the First Fridays of the month something other than “young adults.”



Chapel Support

by Marianna Henry

There are six service groups that comprise Chapel Support – Altar Guild, Choir Engagement, Nursery, Offering Counters, Prayer Ministry, and the Ushers. If you’ve come to the Chapel for a while, you likely know most of these groups - some of their contributions we see, others we engage with, some we find comfort in, and some we know in all these ways and more.  Each of these groups functions independently and amazingly well.  Below are brief descriptions of each of these areas contributed by group leaders or summarized from their comments. We want to thank each and every Congregation member and others who provide support to the Chapel we all so respect and love and, of course, to the Congregation Staff and Chapel Staff who motivate, guide and inspire the work of each of these six areas and so much more.


The Altar Guild: Preparing the Table

by Ellie Ferguson

Members of the Altar Guild will be delighted to be back in the Chapel and their work space in the Memorial Chapel where the delicate tracery of the grisaille windows with their pale greens and creams bathes the room with a softness that is conducive to quiet reflection. In this space, behind the velvet curtain, the Communion elements are prepared by the ladies of the Altar Guild.

Usually twice a month, but once a month during this past year, a team of three gathers at 9:45 a.m. to unwrap the chalices, pour out the wine, count out the napkins for the chalices, pitchers, and reserve bread patens, wrap up the pita bread packets, and put all the elements with tablecloths on the cart. The set-up is done quietly and reverently, in keeping with the significance of preparing the Lord's Table for the worship service.  When the service is over, everything is gathered up and returned to the work area in the Memorial Chapel where linens are carefully counted, silver washed, polished, and stored, and any leftover consecrated bread and wine returned to the earth. The remaining gluten-free wafers are saved and given to ministers for those who are unable to attend the Chapel service. The linens are laundered and ironed by a member of the team who passes them on in time for the next Communion.

 At present there are twelve members of the Altar Guild who, in addition to setting up the Communion elements, share the responsibility for polishing the processional pieces (Cross and torches) as well as the candleholders on the altar. The members are: Brenda Brodie, Ellie Ferguson (chair), June Griggs, Martha Hall, Mary Hartman, Jane Hix, Lois Oliver, Penny Oslund, Virginia Rhoton, Anna Shea, Nina Upchurch, and Anne Wright. The members are devoted to serving the Chapel in this significant way and find it a privilege to do so.


Choir Engagement

by Marianna Henry

This is a relatively new area that has the mission to express appreciation to Choir members for their many gifts to the life of the Chapel. Appreciation has been expressed by way of refreshments served at rehearsals/performances for one or more of the major concerts of the Chapel Choir. Cindy Gass has led this program over the last several years.  With the advice of Darla Miller, a Choir member, Cindy has been able to identify appropriate occasions and has organized and served simple refreshments with the help of her husband, Mark, and other Congregation members.  Cindy has been very appreciative of contributions of food provided by many members in response to requests made in the newsletter. She has appreciated Roxanna Bottjen’s help each year.



As parents know, a nursery is provided for the care of young children during Sunday services.  Leadership is provided by Phyllis Snyder, our Children’s Pastor.  The nursery has supported about 54 services this past year, including regular Sunday services and special services at Easter. Four caregivers provide attention to children during services.  We appreciate having Anna Shea as the Nursery Service Group Chair.  Phyllis can reach out to her for help resolving concerns and to provide back-up. Phyllis also expresses her gratitude to the Chapel Staff for their recognition of the importance of this ministry and willingness to provide support for needs in the unique space that becomes ‘the nursery’.


Offering Counters

The offering counters are a group of 14 Congregation members who sort, count, document, and secure the offering each Sunday and after the service on Christmas Eve. This is important, invaluable work. Typically, five counters serve each Sunday – more for special services.  Specific processes are used and have been approved by Dean Powery and the Council.  This group improvised this year to make the counting process work during our absence from the Chapel. 


Prayer Ministry

The prayer ministry is a group of 35 individuals who respectfully receive and respond to prayer requests made in a variety of ways. Theirs is a gift of great love and faith.  Perhaps less is more here – this is an area we take comfort in knowing it’s there.



by Jim Ferguson

Ushering in Duke Chapel has been provided by the Congregation for more than twenty years and is currently managed by Jim Ferguson and Rick Wilfong. Ushers are drawn from a pool of approximately thirty individuals representing the Congregation and college students when available. Ushers serve in all regularly scheduled Sunday services, as well as those which occur during Holy Week and Christmas. They welcome worshipers as well as tourists, distribute bulletins, provide guidance for seating as needed, collect the offering, and support/trouble-shoot special situations. Their most frequent question is ‘Where’s the restroom?’ In some ways their role is analogous to that of flight attendants as they may be the only personal contact a visitor has with Duke University.  As with so many in the Chapel, the ushers owe Oscar Dantzler a special shout-out for he is the kingpin around whom so much revolves!




Administration Committee

The Administration Committee did not meet as a group this year, and yet much work was accomplished by individual members. Our insurance policies were reviewed and renewed, as we also confirmed compliance with our policies. Fred Westbrook terminated his contract with the Congregation as Associate for IT and Communications effective October 2015. Members of the Administration Committee participated in a Website Task Force which began in April 2015 and continued to April 2016. The result of the task force’s work is that we are now using a commercial provider, NationBuilder, to host our website; it was previously hosted by Duke’s Office of Information Technology. Nelson Strother and Janell Lovelace have worked to develop and build the website. We are grateful to those who have participated in the Website Task Force: Kate Clayton, Billy Chow, Sarah Gauger, Carol Gregg, Chuck King, Janell Lovelace, Mel Snyder, Nelson Strother, Fred Westbrook, and Paul Wynkoop.


Stewardship and Finance Committee

by Ken Pittman

Committee Members:  Ken Pittman, Chair; Scott Southern, Treasurer; Billy Chow, Assistant Treasurer;Carol Gregg, Pastor; Craig DeAlmeida; Cary Gravatt; Dan Ford;Penny Oslund; Lucy Worth; Rick King

-Based on Council approval, combined Stewardship and Finance Committees into Stewardship and Finance Committee.
-Reviewed and recommended Assistant Pastor compensation package options based on comparative data review.
-Selected members attended Presbytery-sponsored Stewardship Conference in anticipation of 2015-16 Stewardship Campaign execution.
-Conducted informal focus discussions with selected members on overall giving philosophies and practices prior to Stewardship
-Planned and executed 2015-16 Sustainer Stewardship Campaign resulting in 95 membership units committing to $187,000 in contributions with Campaign culminating in Anniversary Luncheon acknowledgements.
-Reviewed and recommended compensation proposal for Interim Youth Leader position.
-Conducted soft promotional reminders about inclusion of Congregation in members' planned giving considerations.
-Reviewed Website Task Force recommendations and planned financial strategy for meeting Congregation's Information Technology needs.
-Initiated function-specific orientation and succession plan for transition of Assistant Treasurer to Treasurer in 2016-17.
-Reviewed and supported temporary Chapel staff reassignment of functions and associated financial implications to meet required administrative needs of Congregation.
-Evaluated and recommended changes as needed for banking options and electronic payment vendor.
-Prepared and proposed 2016-17 Annual Budget and presented to Congregation at Annual Meeting per bylaws requirements.


Nominations and Leadership Committee Annual Report

by Sarah Gauger

Committee Chair:  Sarah Gauger

Committee Members:  Deborah Hackney, Tom Link, Darla Miller, Leigh Wynkoop

Accomplishments:  As of the writing of this report, our committee has successfully filled all but one open and upcoming openings for the leadership positions within the congregation.  This includes both council positions and committee chair positions.  Our new proposed leaders will need to be voted in by the congregation at the Annual Business meeting in June.  New leaders will assume their new positions after the Annual Business meeting.

Ongoing work:  Our committee is working with current committee chairs to build basic descriptions of current committee responsibilities, chair responsibilities and member responsibilities.  We hope to be able to use these to facilitate communication during the nominations search, as well as to facilitate transitions in leadership from one chair to the next.  We will also share this work with the Administration Committee in order to help keep the Congregation’s Policy & Procedure Manual up to date.


Staff Parish Relations Committee

The Staff-Parish Committee, which is elected by the Congregation, consists of Harry Rodenhizer, Chair, Ira Mueller, Penny Oslund, Rebecca Ray, Karen Rhodes, and Scott Woodrum. The committee has had an active year with four main areas of work.

  1. The annual work of staff evaluation and review along with recommendations of salary adjustments went smoothly.
  2. The committee as a whole accepted the responsibility of searching for an Assistant Pastor. The committee reviewed 32 applications, conducted 10 phone interviews, and interviewed 3 final candidates in person.  In the process, they met a wide variety of talented and compassionate individuals and found the decision making to be difficult. The committee recommended that the Council invite Andrew Phillips to be our Assistant Pastor, starting in January 2016 on a part-time basis and beginning full-time work with us in July 2016. The council unanimously approved this recommendation.
  3. In consultation with the members of the Administration Committee, the Staff-Parish Committee recommended that we do not look for an outside contractor to provide IT services as had been the case in the past. Instead, the committee recommended that Nelson Strother’s Administrative Assistant position be adjusted so that he takes on IT responsibilities. Further, they recommended that Phyllis Snyder’s staff role be expanded to include communications. In the spring of 2016, this new staffing pattern was used on a temporary basis to meet immediate IT needs and was found satisfactory by all involved. The committee drafted revised position descriptions and recommended to Council that our Administrative Assistant become our Financial and IT Administrator while our Children’s Pastor become Children’s Pastor and Communications Specialist. This change was approved by the Council and current staff members are supportive of this new staffing model. This new model is to take effect July 2016 pending approval of the Congregation’s budget.
  4. For several years, the committee has considered the value of hosting a Divinity School Intern as a means of making a tangible contribution to the educational mission of the University. The committee recommends that we host a Divinity School Intern during the FY17 academic year.

Budget Overview

Summer 2016

Our Church, just like any organization, must responsibly manage our resources. The Congregation, through recommendation from the Finance Committee and Congregational Council, creates and approves a Budget as a guide in using our financial gifts to achieve our goals as a Christian community. Through graph and text we summarize how our Congregation uses these resources. Pastoral and staff salary packages have been allocated to program areas based on responsibilities. The total Expense Budget for our Fiscal Year 2016-2017 is $380,721.  As reference, our Expense Budget for FY 2015-2016 was $369,573 and for FY 2014-2015 was $404,724.


In the Bible, we are reminded about how important learning and teaching is, especially for the young. This portion of our Budget provides for that teaching: children’s classes, youth ministry, adult education opportunities, and retreats for all ages.


Outreach is the heart of our Congregation, through which our treasure is sent out to do God’s work in the world. We support local missions through grants, serve dinners at the local shelter, and provide support to the Interfaith Hospitality Network. We also reach out to the world through worldwide mission support and refugee resettlement assistance.

pie chart


A portion of our gifts cover outreach specifically to congrega¬tion members: food and fellowship, outreach to those in a time of need, our newsletter, our stewardship drive, the organization of special worship services, and our annual luncheon.


As we worship each Sunday in Duke Chapel, few realize the dozens of details that go into making the service speak to each of us such as the preparation of the communion table, the nursery for the little ones, activity bags, music and prayer ministries, and the Christmas Eve services.


In many ways this is the “nuts and bolts” or machinery that keeps our Congregation running smoothly, including our administrative and technological support, office expenses, financial services, insurance, and parking subsidies for our staff.

Proposed 2016-2017 Budget

  FY 16 Budget YTD Actual to May 9
Projected FY16 FY 17 Budget
GENERAL OPERATIONS DONATIONS 330,000.00   330,000.00 350,000.00
Other Giving   160,120.70    
Pledge Fulfillment   144,857.50    
Total GENERAL OPERATIONS DONATIONS $330,000.00 $304,978.20 $330,000.00 $350,000.00
Other Accounts Interest 1,500.00 1,620.44 1,944.53 1,500.00
Total INTEREST EARNINGS $1,500.00 $1,620.44 $1,944.53 $1,500.00
Uncategorized Income   85.23 85.23  
TOTAL INCOME $331,500.00 $306,598.64 $331,944.53 $351,500.00
Admin Payroll        
Financial & IT Administrator 41,841.00 35,089.28 42,107.14 47,316.00
Health Care Assist 3,000.00 2,500.00 3,000.00  
Total Admin Payroll $44,841.00 $37,589.28 $45,107.14 $47,316.00
Financial Service Fees        
Audit Committee 4,200.00   4,200.00 4,500.00
Bank/Broker Fees 400.00 381.91 458.29 500.00
Payroll/Accounting Services 1,000.00 694.22 833.06 1,000.00
Total Financial Service Fees $5,600.00 $1,076.13 $4,523.87 $6,000.00
Liability Ins 4,000.00 4,079.00 4,079.00 4,100.00
Background Checks 50.00 36.00 45.00 45.00
Total Liability Ins $4,050.00 $4,115.00 $4,124.00 $4,145.00
Workers Compensation Ins 1,200.00 1,336.00 1,336.00 1,400.00
Total Insurance $5,250.00 $5,451.00 $5,460.00 $5,545.00
Office Expenses        
Additional IT Support 1,440.00 840.00 1,120.00 0.00
Communications/IT Associate 12,840.00 5,165.00 5,165.00 0.00
Computer Equipment/Supplies 100.00   100.00 750.00
IT Expense 1,000.00 1,056.16 1,267.39 1,500.00
Membership Database 600.00 600.00 600.00 600.00
Office Furniture   21.09 21.09 0.00
Office Supplies 800.00 1,211.43 1,453.72 1,000.00
Postage 300.00 255.55 306.66 300.00
Sales Tax Paid   400.47 480.56 0.00
Telephone 400.00 345.20 414.24 400.00
Total Office Expenses $17,480.00 $9,894.90 $10,928.66 $4,550.00
Payroll Expenses - FICA 5,200.00 5,425.04 6,510.05 6,363.00
Staff Education/Support/Recruiting        
Staff Parking Passes 2,000.00 322.00 1,678.00 2,500.00
Staff Recruiting/Search   720.45 720.45  
Total ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES $80,371.00 $60,478.80 $74,928.17 $71,274.00
Altar Guild 50.00   50.00 100.00
Chapel Support Donation 500.00 5,500.00 5,500.00 6,000.00
Children's Worship Aids     0.00 100.00
Choir Engagement 200.00 105.82 105.82 200.00
Christmas Eve Services   -1,945.95 -1,945.95  
Nursery Expenses 4,050.00 3,679.52 3,679.52 4,050.00
Prayer Ministry 75.00     75.00
Total Chapel $4,800.00 $7,339.39 $7,389.39 $10,525.00
Total CHAPEL SUPPORT $4,800.00 $7,339.39 -$2,539.39 $10,525.00
Adult Forum 1,200.00 813.96 1,200.00 1,200.00
Books - Milestone Gifts 400.00 98.24 98.24 400.00
Books - reimbursed/no budget   316.16 316.16  
Children's Ministry Training 250.00     250.00
Classroom Use Donation 2,000.00   2,000.00 2,500.00
Confirmation Class - Youth 1,000.00 35.77 400.00  
Curriculum & Supplies - ADULT 300.00 157.88 189.46 300.00
Curriculum & Supplies - CHILDREN 750.00 183.98 220.78 500.00
Curriculum & Supplies - YOUTH 400.00 111.21 133.45 400.00
Daylong Retreats (Fall & Winter) 1,000.00 835.37 835.37 1,000.00
Education Hour Coffee 1,000.00 616.00 739.20 900.00
Fellowship - Children 750.00 105.00 126.00 500.00
Fellowship - Youth 500.00 235.23 282.28 500.00
Overnight Retreat 3,000.00 -3,450.62 3,000.00 3,000.00
Retreats & Missions - Youth 5,000.00 3,861.89 5,000.00 5,000.00
Total Education $17,550.00 $3,920.07 $14,540.93 $16,450.00
Staff - Children's Education        
Children's Pastor Auto Allowance 400.00 $211.18 253.42 $400.00
Children's Pastor Continuing Ed 500.00   500.00 500.00
Children's Pastor Health Care Assist 1,500.00 1,250.00 1,500.00 0.00
Children's Pastor Professional Expense 250.00   250.00 250.00
Children's Pastor Salary 21,965.00 23,130.60 26,791.43 35,856.45
Total Staff - Children's Education $24,615.00 $24,591.78 $29,294.85 $37,006.45
Total CHRISTIAN NURTURE 42,165.00 28,511.85 43,835.78 53,456.45
Anniversary Celebration   597.16 597.16  
Anniversary Pins        
Total Anniversary Celebration $0.00 $597.16 $597.16 $0.00
Adult Fellowship 200.00     0.00
Business Luncheon 250.00   1,200.00 1,000.00
Chapel Quilters 200.00 178.91 178.91 100.00
Congregational Events 500.00     500.00
Annual Anniversary Service        
Total Congregational Events $500.00 $523.74 $523.74 $1,600.00
Fellowship Committee 3,000.00 1,466.63 3,000.00 3,000.00
Membership Committee        
Directories 200.00   200.00 200.00
Gifts & Flowers 50.00   50.00 50.00
Member Recruitment/PR 200.00 29.58 29.58 200.00
Total Membership Committee $450.00 $29.58 $279.58 $450.00
Newsletter 3,000.00 2,530.77 3,374.36 3,000.00
Stewardship Committee   49.00 65.33 0.00
Stewardship Mailings 175.00 401.48 535.31 400.00
Visitation & Care Committee 300.00 300.00 300.00 300.00
Total CONGREGATIONAL CARE $8,075.00 $6,077.27 $9,875.48 $8,750.00
Annual Grants (Local M&O) 38,000.00 38,000.00 38,000.00 43,250.00
Divinity School Intern       4,300.00
Durham Congregations in Action (DCIA) 2,000.00 2,000.00 2,000.00 2,000.00
Habitat House FY16 6,250.00 4,000.00 4,000.00 0.00
Missionary Support 1,500.00 1,500.00 1,500.00 1,500.00
NC-Council of Churches 1,500.00 1,500.00 1,500.00 1,500.00
Pastor's Discretionary Fund 750.00 -378.49 -378.49 750.00
Refugee Resettlement 2,000.00 500.00 1,500.00 2,500.00
Shelter Dinners 3,000.00 2,516.27 3,355.03 3,000.00
Student Outreach/Pathways 10,000.00 10,000.00 10,000.00 10,000.00
Unanticpated Community Need 200.00 200.00 0.00 700.00
ZOE 7,500.00 7,500.00 7,500.00 7,500.00
Total OUTREACH MINISTRY $72,700.00 $67,337.78 $68,976.54 $77,000.00
Assistant Pastor        
Assistant Pastor's Auto Expenses   28.73 86.19 500.00
Assistant Pastor's Continuing Ed       1,000.00
Assistant Pastor's Housing       24,000.00
Assistant Pastor's Life Insurance       174.00
Assistant Pastor's Medical       0.00
Assistant Pastor's Meeting Expense       400.00
Assistant Pastor's Pension Cost       6,000.00
Assistant Pastor's Professional Expenses   100.00 100.00 500.00
Assistant Pastor's Salary   5,600.00 8,400.00 26,000.00
Assistant Pastor's Self Employment Tax Offset       3,825.00
Total Assistant Pastor $0.00 $5,728.73 $8,586.19 $62,399.00
Associate Pastor        
Assoc Pastor's Auto Expenses 500.00 18.52 18.52  
Assoc Pastor's Continuing Ed 1,000.00      
Assoc Pastor's Death/Disability benefits 452.00 32.64 32.64  
Assoc Pastor's Housing 10,800.00 754.78 754.78  
Assoc Pastor's Medical 10,395.00 750.76 750.76  
Assoc Pastor's Meeting Expense 400.00 17.85 17.85  
Assoc Pastor's Pension Cost 4,972.00 359.06 359.06  
Assoc Pastor's Professional Expenses 500.00      
Assoc Pastor's Salary 34,396.00 2,404.10 2,404.10  
Assoc Pastor's Self Employment Tax Offset 3,458.00 241.66 241.66  
Assoc Pastor's Telephone 600.00 50.00 50.00  
Interim Pastor Salary   3,345.15 3,345.15  
Total Associate Pastor $67,473.00 $7,974.52 $7,974.52 $0.00
Pastor's Auto Expenses 2,000.00 1,630.30 2,173.73 2,000.00
Pastor's Continuing Ed 1,000.00 261.65 500.00 1,500.00
Pastor's Housing 19,200.00 16,000.00 21,333.33 30,000.00
Pastor's Meeting Expense 300.00 308.58 411.44 300.00
Pastor's Pension Cost 8,945.00 7,454.20 9,938.93 9,123.94
Pastor's Professional Expenses 500.00   500.00 500.00
Pastor's Salary 55,342.00 46,118.00 61,490.67 46,032.84
Pastor's Self Employment Tax Offset 5,702.00 4,752.00 6,336.00 5,816.51
Pastor's Telephone 1,000.00 630.00 77.14 0.00
Total Pastor $93,989.00 $77,154.73 $102,761.25 $95,273.29
Total PASTORAL SERVICES $161,462.00 $90,857.98 $119,321.96 $157,672.29
TOTAL EXPENSE $369,573.00 $260,603.07 $314,398.53 $373,853.08
NET INCOME -$38,073.00 $45,995.57 $17,546.00 -$28,177.74

Minutes of June 7, 2015 business meeting

The Congregation at Duke University Chapel
Annual Business Meeting
June 7, 2015
Down Under Conference Room, Gilbert-Addoms Residence Hall

Members and friends of the Congregation at Duke Chapel gathered for lunch and a business meeting on Sunday, June 7, 2015 in the Down Under Conference Room in Gilbert-Addoms Residence Hall on the Duke University’s East Campus. The welcome was given by President Whitney Schwab at 12:58 pm.

The business meeting was then called to order. The Secretary confirmed that a quorum was present.

Phyllis Snyder opened the meeting with a reading of the Congregation’s mission statement and a prayer.

A motion to proceed with the agenda was made by Steve DeAlmeida and seconded by Rick King. All approved.

The minutes of the last meeting (June 8, 2014) were reviewed. A motion for approval of the minutes as submitted was made by Lois Oliver and seconded by Tom Link. All approved.

Highlights of the year, emphasizing deepening connections through education, mission, fellowship, and Chapel support, were spotlighted through a video compiled by the office staff.

Carol Gregg then summarized changes in membership throughout the year. Last year at this time the Congregation had 525 members. This year we have 539. Last year the number of households numbered 335 and this year it increased to 347. She then drew notice to the list of those who were baptized in the past year and those who have joined the Congregation as documented in the program. We also remembered the listed members who died in the past year and said a prayer for them and their families.

Terry Yuschok described how Christian Nurture is developing and deepening faith for disciples of all ages. She gave special thanks to Kim Caulfeild, Cammey Manning, Janis Parker, Melissa Mills, and Kathi Peindl. She reported that each Sunday Kate DeAlmeida led Wee Praise for the littlest of our Congregation, Phyllis Snyder led children in Godly Play, and Brad Troxell led Sunday school for the youth. This summer the children will be participating in a summer choir which rehearses at 9:45 in Biddle Music Building on Sunday mornings and will perform in two worship services. Nelson Strother plans programs for Adult Forum each Sunday before church with topics including theological issues and current events. During this past year Carol Gregg has led new member classes and Bible studies on Sunday mornings with Susie Strayhorn. Additional Bible studies that were offered included a 30-week study of Jesus in the Gospels by Rick King, a Thursday evening group, and several Lenten studies.

The two big events run by Christian Nurture were the winter retreat and the Congregation’s overnight retreat last weekend. The winter retreat included a morning session led by Mel Williams and an afternoon session which featured the agencies supported by the Congregation through our mission work. Testimonies were given by people who had received services from those agencies. The overnight retreat was led by former Congregation member Kathryn Henderson. There were opportunities to learn from each other, deepen our connection to God, sing, worship, and eat together. Last summer, the adult Sunday study used the Wired Word curriculum. This summer will focus on Acts and will be led by Carol Gregg, Brian Stratton, and Brad Troxell each Sunday at 9:45. There will also be a fall retreat led by one of our Chapel organists, Kit Jacobsen. Terry Yuschok ended her report by inviting everyone to the next Adult Education committee meeting on June 28.

Lucy Worth reviewed the year in Fellowship. This year the Calling Ministry began with the goal of calling or writing each Congregation member on their birthday. Each month Linda Gauger, with Rosemary Berger, Janet Hortin, Carol Gregg, and Nelson Strother, organize the team of 10 callers to touch base with every member who has a birthday that month. Janet Hortin, Linda Gauger, and Carol Gregg have also started a Walking Ministry which meets in Duke Gardens each Tuesday to read a psalm, meditate, and pray. This practice will start up again in September. Caroline Haynes organizes the Visitation and Lay Ministry group which is a team of 15, who care for members who are acutely ill or need a visit on a regular basis. The team also delivers flowers, such as poinsettias and Easter lilies. As a side note, Lucy reported that there are fifty people in the Congregation who are 85 years old or older. The Congregation has also joined forces with other churches through an organization called Growing through Grief. It is a support group for people who are dealing with loss and Nell Noonan is our contact. This year, the Fellowship committee hosted 8 events: a picnic (which included members of Antioch Baptist Church), 4 potlucks, a cookie and coffee hour, a pancake breakfast, and a soup meal. The committee made an effort to designate certain committee members as hosts to help in making introductions and welcoming new members. Many events broke attendance records due to the open invitation to students. Lucy Worth reminded everyone to save Oct. 4 for the Congregation’s 30th anniversary lunch after church.

Cricket Scovil described the works the Congregation had supported in missions, including Saturday service projects and back pew collections. She encouraged everyone to check the newsletter and eNews for upcoming opportunities and to get updates on continuing missions such as ZOE, the orphan empowerment program we support in Rwanda. On June 13, members will lend a hand to the Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham. After church on June 14 and 21, fruit cups will be collected for Believers United for Progress. This fall there will also be a gleaning weekend in Virginia. On July 11, the Congregation is invited to join veterans from Maple Court at a Durham Bulls ballgame. She then described the winter retreat which occurred on Feb. 21. She hopes that the church was inspired by Mel Williams’s compassion in action session and by the agencies that the Congregation supports with donations ranging from $1000 to $5000. She reminded us of the importance of walking beside those in need and transformative charity. She then thanked each member by name of the Local Missions committee. She recognized Ed and Audrey Harlow and Brad Troxell for their long service, since they will not be staying on the committee next year. She also gave a big thank you to Marilyn Christian who will be stepping down as chair of Local Missions.

Marianna Henry recounted how the Congregation had served as the hands and feet of the Chapel throughout the past year in the roles of Altar Guild, Choir Engagement, Nursery, Offering Counters, Prayer Ministry, and Ushers. The Altar Guild has 14 members who prepare the elements for Communion twice a month as well as for special services. They also polish and clean the candles, cups, plates, napkins, and cross. Choir Engagement expresses the Congregation’s appreciation for the Chapel Choir through the serving of refreshments throughout the year. Cindy Gass would appreciate any help with the committee, so contact her with ideas or a willingness to serve. The Nursery is run by Phyllis Snyder and is open with four caregivers each Sunday as well as special services. On average, the nursery cares for seven infants and toddlers but has served as many as fifteen. For the first time more children of members rather than non-members attended. Phyllis is supported by a nursery service chair. The Offering Counters are a team of 14. Five or more meet after each service to count and sort the offering. The Prayer Ministry team consists of more than 30 members who pray for those in need, including visitors to the Chapel who request prayers through Chapel prayer cards. The Ushers serve the Chapel each Sunday of the year as well as special services. They are the faces of the Congregation that greet us each time we come to church. They made a special request that Oscar Dantzler be recognized for all he does. Marianna ended her report by thanking those in leadership: Ellie Ferguson, Cindy Gass, Phyllis Snyder, Kate DeAlmeida, Frank Coble, Ed and Linda Karolak, and Jim Ferguson. She also thanked the Chapel and Congregation staff.

After thanking all who served in leadership positions this year, Whitney Schwab presented the work of the discernment team (Caroline Haynes, Katherine Manuel, Carol Matteson, Anna Shea, Whitney Schwab, Mel Snyder, Guy Solie, Carol Gregg). Their report is titled “Deepening Connection with God and Our Neighbors”. The team noted in the report that on the whole the Congregation is satisfied and pleased with its current ministries. However, some have a yearning for deeper connections with other members, with our neighbors, and with God. With that in mind, the Council has approved actions such as the pictorial directory, the Calling Ministry, and an update to our bylaws. Whitney then thanked the discernment team for their dedication to their task. A motion to receive the discernment team’s report was made by Terry Yuschok and seconded by Lois Oliver. All approved.

The proposed changes to the bylaws was presented by Frank Coble. Last Fall the Council noticed possible changes that would warrant taking a look at the bylaws. Beginning in November of 2014, the task force, comprised of Sarah Gauger, Whitney Schwab, Marsha Altmeyer, Laura Quinn, Frank Coble, and Chuck King, with Pastor Carol Gregg as ex-officio, began a full examination of our existing bylaws. Several points were brought up for consideration: What does Congregation membership entail and how inclusive can it be? Can we provide more focus on fellowship, education, mission, and chapel support? Can we make the daily running of the Congregation more effective by combining smaller committees with larger, more functioning ones? In March, the task force presented its findings to the Council and the recommendations were discussed at length. On April 9, the Council unanimously voted to advance the proposals to the Congregation for approval. The proposed changes were: a new letter of expectation between the Congregation and the Chapel, signed by President Whitney Schwab and Dean Luke Powery; an updated definition of membership, being inclusive while still requiring full membership to vote or hold office; an increase in the maximum number of years a member can serve as Assistant Treasurer or Treasurer to 4 years; a merge of the Stewardship and Finance committees into one; elimination of the at-large position; and a limit of six successive years that a member can serve on Council.

There were some concerns raised to the elimination of the at-large position. Gordon Clayton reported that the position was originally formed to allow a student, who was not a member of the Congregation, to have a voice on the Council. Tom Link said that in recent years it was often held by a Chapel Choir member, a group who often did not have time to serve on other committees. It was also a position that was used to help supplement areas in which help was needed. Carol Gregg replied that there are other ways that students and Chapel Choir members can give input and that when new initiatives are started we can form task forces. She also pointed out that under the current and newly-proposed bylaws that Council membership requires Congregation membership. However, it was agreed that student outreach was an issue that needs to be explored, especially finding out whether it is possible to incorporate students into the ministries that we already do.

Leigh Wynkoop asked whether the 90% approval requirement for a new pastor was evaluated by the task force, and Frank replied no. Cricket reminded us that there was a separate task force that evaluated the 90% number and they came to the conclusion that the number was reasonable and on par with other area churches. They also reported that most pastors would not take a job where they did not have an approval rating of at least 90%. Nancy Jirtle agreed with Leigh Wynkoop that the number needs to be reconsidered. Carol Gregg said that she would make available the notes of the task force who conducted the study.
A motion for the approval of the presented amendments to the bylaws was made by Mike Arneson and seconded by Carol Matteson. All approved.

Rick King presented the budget for the July 2015 – June 2016 fiscal year. Rick reviewed the budget overview and spreadsheet documents and pointed members to the percentages given there. We currently have $195K in the bank. The budget for the coming year is expected to have expenses exceed giving by $38K. The Finance Committee and Council concluded that money in church is not meant to accumulate and established $100K as a floor with a goal to spend down amounts above that. Missions is where we make a difference, and we plan to spend 4% more in missions this upcoming year. Because we do not have to maintain a building, we can spend a higher percentage on missions and outreach compared to other churches. We cannot be complacent, however. We have set a deficit budget, and it will fall on us to step up our efforts. We are giving ourselves a 3 year period to spend down the reserves, as we have not had a formal stewardship model. While the surplus is being spent, we will work to build up stewardship. We have 4 CDs, a savings account, and a checking account. The CDs are with Self-Help Credit Union, which provides a better return than the savings account. Harry Rodenhizer presented a motion that the budget be approved as submitted.  The motion was seconded by Lois Oliver.  All approved.

Whitney thanked the outgoing members of Council as well as Marilyn Christian, Terry Yuschok, and Judy Arneson who were leaving leadership positions after long-time service.

The elections for leadership roles in the Congregation for the July 2015 – June 2016 fiscal year were introduced by Sarah Gauger, chair of the Nominating Committee. The slate of nominations as detailed in the program was presented. New Council members included Tamela Davis, Kate Clayton, Ken Pittman, David Vos, and Harry Rodenhizer. A motion to approve the slate of nominations was made by Tanner Lovelace and seconded by Terry Yuschok. All approved. The new officers and Council members were commissioned in their new roles by Carol Gregg.

Harry Rodenhizer then announced the resignation of Brad Troxell in two months. Beth Gettys-Sturkey made a motion to regretfully accept Brad Troxell’s resignation and Judy Arneson seconded. All approved with a standing ovation.

Kate Clayton made the motion to adjourn the meeting and Janell Lovelace seconded. All approved.

Carol Gregg made a few announcements. Brad’s farewell party will be after church on the last Sunday of July. She then thanked Lisa Lark for catering, the Ford Family and Antoinette Bethea for setup and service, Fred Westbrook for the video, and Nelson Strother for all the behind-the-scenes work. She then reminded everyone that there was still time to sign up for the pictorial directory. Carol Gregg then requested the current Council members to meet to establish their next meeting date. She also reminded everyone that there were sign-ups at the back of the room to get involved in current and new ministries.

Following a closing prayer by Brad Troxell, the meeting was adjourned at 2:20pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Kate DeAlmeida, Secretary


Program for June 19, 2016 business meeting

The Congregation at Duke University Chapel


Goodson Chapel

Duke Divinity School


JUNE 19, 2016 1:00 p.m.


Welcome and Call to Order . .                     Whitney Schwab

Determination of quorum present .             Tamela Davis


Affirmation of Faith and Opening Prayer             Frank Coble

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.


Review and Adopt Agenda . .                      Whitney Schwab

Review and Approve Minutes from June 7, 2015 Tamela Davis

Personnel Changes                                        Rebecca Ray

            Introduction of Andrew Phillips

            Adjusted Staff Responsibilities


Highlights of the Past Year

Year in Review                                   Video

Membership                                        Carol Gregg


Fellowship                                           Lucy Worth

Mission                                                Dave Vos

Chapel Support                                   Marianna Henry


2016-2017 Budget                                          Ken Pittman

Report of Nominating Committee and Elections Sarah Gauger

Recognition of outgoing council members

Commissioning of new officers and council members


Motion for Adjournment

Closing Prayer                                               Andrew Phillips