The Congregation at Duke University Chapel

2018 Annual Meeting

Greetings Congregation Members;

As June approaches so does the time our congregation holds its annual luncheon and business meeting as mandated in the bylaws of the The Congregation at Duke University Chapel. This year the meeting will be held on Sunday, June 10. A catered lunch will be served in the Divinity School Café immediately following worship; the cost of the meal is $10 per person and may be paid with cash at the door, by check in advance, or online. Please make reservations through the Congregation office (or via 919-684-3917) by June 4. The annual business meeting will begin at 1:00 p.m. in Goodson Chapel. All of the materials for our meeting are posted below.

Speaking for the council as its president, I ask each of you to please make a special effort to attend. Over the past year, many new members have joined our church family and for them this will be their first opportunity to see and participate in the business and operational side of the Congregation. But, more importantly, it will be the first time many of us will enjoy the pleasure of actually meeting each other in fellowship.

Over the past few months, and with guidance from the Holy Spirit, budget ideas have been considered and individuals for various council committee and executive leadership positions have been nominated for the upcoming 2018-2019 fiscal year. These efforts have resulted in next year's proposed budget and the slate of council nominees being presented to you for your prayers, input, and vote during the annual meeting.

At this meeting, we will also ask the Congregation to vote on two minor changes to the by-laws. The recommended changes are as follows:

  • Audit Committee: 9.2 K Amend Section 1 to read: "Is composed of the members of the Stewardship and Finance Committee, excluding the Treasurer of the Congregation, plus the Vice President of the Congregation. The Chair of the Stewardship and Finance Committee is also the Chair of the Audit Committee. The Treasurer is an ex officio member of the Audit Committee."
  • Date of Annual Meeting: Section 4.11.A: Change the wording to say "second Sunday in June" instead of first Sunday for the annual business meeting.

We are an active and involved congregation within the larger worldwide Church of Jesus Christ. In addition to the proposed budget and slate of council nominees being presented for your vote, an overview of the numerous ministries within our congregation will be highlighted. These presentations will illustrate how we as a congregation are striving to deepen our connections with God and our neighbors.

It has been a privilege to serve you as President of the Council for the past two years and am confident in the leadership of Jan Gwyer who is nominated to serve as the next Council President.

I look forward to seeing you on June 10.

Peace to All,

Frank W. Coble, Jr.
President, The Congregation at Duke University Chapel

Recommended Bylaws Changes

The Administration Committee, with the support of the Council, recommends two changes to our bylaws.

The recommended changes are as follows:

  • Audit Committee:
    • 9.2 K Amend Section 1 to read: "Is composed of the members of the Stewardship and Finance Committee, excluding the Treasurer of the Congregation, plus the Vice President of the Congregation. The Chair of the Stewardship and Finance Committee is also the Chair of the Audit Committee. The Treasurer is an ex officio member of the Audit Committee."
    • The purpose of this change is to ensure that our Bylaws, Policies and Procedures, and current practices align with each other.
  • Date of Annual Meeting:
    • Section 4.11.A: Change the wording to say "second Sunday in June" instead of first Sunday for the annual business meeting.
    • The purpose of this change is to ease scheduling conflicts and to give the Stewardship and Finance Committee time to prepare accurate month-end reports in advance of the meeting. The bylaws does provide a mechanism for changing the date if needed.

Proposed Slate of Lay Leaders for 2018-2019

Executive Committee
Janet Gwyer
Vice President:
Craig DeAlmeida
Susan Ward
Bill Youngblood

Program Area Coordinators
Christian Nurture:
Nell Noonan
Congregation Care:
Brady Surles
Chapel Support:
Drew Middleton

Standing Committees - Council Representatives
Janell Lovelace
Cary Gravatt
Missions and Outreach:
Nancy Wawrousek
Beth Gettys Sturkey
Christian Education:
Nell Noonan
Staff Parish:
Whitney Schwab
The twelve persons listed above are Congregation Council Representatives.

Nominations Committee Members:
Deb Hackney (chair), Karen Heitzenrater, Harry Rodenhizer, Beth Gettys Sturkey, Monica Wilfong
Staff Parish Members:
Leisa Dennehy (chair, and class of 2020), Brenda Brodie, Jeannie Norris, Whitney Schwab, Mike Smith, Patsy Willimon (all class of 2021)

Additional Committee Chairs
Finance Chair:
Penny Oslund
Missions & Outreach Chair:
Bill Jones
Christian Education Chair:
Kaity Woodrum
Fellowship Chairs:
Janet Hortin
Membership Chair:
_ _

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

Additional Leadership
Assistant Treasurer:
Marsha Altmeyer
Calling Ministry:
Linda Gauger
DCIA Representative:
Tamela Davis
Refugee Resettlement
Steve Harper
Visitation amd Care Ministry:
Linda Gauger

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 $43,000 of grant money to eleven 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 we organize a monthly Saturday Service Project, giving Congregation members a hands-on opportunity to work with local organization to further their goals and mission. Attendance at such events has ranged from around 5 to 30 Congregation members each month. 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. The Committee has continued to partner with two other local church Congregations (Temple Baptist and Aldersgate United Methodist) to serve meals and provide child care quarterly at Families Moving Forward, a local organization providing food, shelter, and a step-up towards self-sufficiency for local families in need. Finally, a member of our Committee organized and planned a disaster relief trip during the month of March to help with clean-up and rebuilding in a community in central South Carolina. Our Committee hopes that this is the first of future annual disaster relief trips by members of the Congregation.

Periodically, the Missions and Outreach Committee has co-sponsored larger projects with Duke or other Durham organizations. This year, we have again 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. This year marked the end of a three-year sponsorship of a local community in Zimbabwe through Zoe Ministries. We engaged with ZOE Ministries again this year to start a three-year commitment to sponsor another group in Zimbabwe. With a real focus on Empowerment ministries this year, our Committee helped spearhead an Empowerment Fundraising effort, going towards two new and exciting projects. First, we have undertaken sponsorship of a second ZOE group, making this now two concurrent -year Congregational commitments in Zimbabwe with ZOE Ministries. Secondly, we partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Durham, providing around $35,000 of seed money to employ and train a Repairs Intern, which has been a big success for Habitat for Humanity Durham thus far. 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 (Joel Boggen, Elaine DeAlmeida, Steven DeAlmeida, Lauren deMoya, Jane Fellows, Bill Jones, Jr., Kathleen Jones, Ed Karolak, Linda Karolak, Carol Matteson, Walker Robinson, Cricket Scovil, David Vos, Judi Vos, Daniel Warren, and Nancy Wawrousek) for their unending support and commitment to social justice.


Durham Congregations in Action

by Tamela Davis

Durham Congregations in Action (DCIA) is a cooperative, multi-faith network of congregations in Durham whose mission is to offer care and support for the most vulnerable and disenfranchised members of our community, and to develop new initiatives to change their lives. Additionally, the mission of DCIA is to bring congregations together to promote understanding across boundaries of faith, race, and ethnicity as it strives to build an inclusive community of justice and peace.

DCIA sponsors the following ministries:

CROP Hunger Walk: Since 1975, this walkathon focuses on world hunger and disaster relief through Church World Service. The Durham CROP Hunger Walk has raised more than $4,000,000.

End Hunger Durham is a network of organizations and individuals working to promote food security and access to healthy food for all Durham residents.

HomeShare Durham matches and connects home-providers and low-income home-seekers to facilitate a mutually beneficial home environment where sharing reduces housing and utility expenses for both parties.

Inter-Religious Relations focuses on the organization of inter-religious events and meetings, including a community Thanksgiving celebration, community ceremonies around particular topics such as homelessness and domestic violence, text studies and topical dialogues, shared service events, and social meals, deepening participants' experience of their own faiths and that of others.

Leadership Education and Orientation connects Durham ministers with their colleagues for networking and sharing, monthly, to strengthen their ministries in the community.

For more information about the history of DCIA and its continuing ministries and work throughout the Durham community, visit or contact [email protected] or speak via 919-688-2036.


Empowerment Ministries

by Carol Gregg

In the fall of this year, the Stewardship and Finance Committee and Council challenged us to go above and beyond our regular giving to fund a new initiative called the "Empowerment Ministries." In a little over three months, the Congregation gave $50,000 for this fund! That is terrific! The purpose of the fund it to empower neighbors both locally and globally to become economically self-sufficient. Specifically, there are two programs within this fund.

Repairs Apprentice: As a result of a deeper partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Durham, we have committed to funding a year-long position which will provide training and a living wage for someone who was un/underemployed. Habitat for Humanity selected Donell Shaw, who started work in December 2017. Habitat is providing all of his supervision and training, while we are providing the funding.

ZOE: For a six years, the Congregation budget has supported one group of vulnerable children in Africa. Through ZOE's three-year program, desperately poor children become economically self-sufficient. As a result of the Empowerment Ministries, we are now supporting two groups of children in Zimbabwe.

I am grateful for all of the donors in the Congregation who have made these empowerment ministries possible.


Families Moving Forward Meals

by Elaine DeAlmeida and Jane Fellows

For the past two years our Congregation has joined with other local churches and synagogues to assist in the ministry of Families Moving Forward. Families Moving Forward offers a temporary home to families with children in the crisis of homelessness and supports them in locating housing and jobs. Members of our Congregation join with Temple Baptist Church and Aldersgate UMC for the "Dine and Learn" program once per quarter. You may find more information at

Volunteers bring food, serve supper, eat with the families, and then supervise children's activities (ages 0-5) while the parents attend a mentoring or educational session. Many Congregation members, led by Jane Fellows and Elaine DeAlmeida, have taken part in this ministry. We have also served as "Study Buddies," helping older children with homework. A BIG thanks to all who have volunteered during our second year of this ministry: Antoinette Bethea, Joel Boggan, Caley Burrus, Janet and David Cromer, Nicole Dalzell, Linda Daniel, Jen DeNeal, Carol Gregg, Maureen Lewis, Andrew Phillips, Harriet Willimon Putman, Walker Robinson, Kathleen Shohfi, Ashlie Thomas, Dave Vos, Leigh Wynkoop, and Paul Wynkoop.

FMF held a fundraising gala on December 8, and our congregation provided a basket to auction off at the gala. Many thanks to Cricket Scovil, Jane Fellows, and Carol Matteson for putting this together!


Our Missionaries in Asia

by Dave Vos, for Steven and Mary Porter

It has been a rewarding and also extremely challenging year of working for SIL. Mary continued to oversee the educational needs of coworkers in the province. She consulted with families and helped them to select home school curriculum. She tutored several children and was able to help a nine year old Korean girl advance her English so that she could successfully interact with the other English speaking children at our group Conference. Mary also tutored Korean high school students in English to prepare them for college entrance exams. She undertook a project to compile books and materials to support families, cataloging 900+ books and resources so that families can access them while the Porters are on home leave.

Steve was greatly encouraged that two new language projects received funding and are developing well. This brings the number of language projects in their region to seven. The largest of these people groups is 30,000 people, and the smallest is approximately 3,000. They all live in remote mountainous regions. Access to these areas is getting more restrictive, forcing teams to be more discerning about visiting their target areas and how long they should stay. They press on; Father's Word is being translated into these languages, and lives are being changed.

Thank you for your involvement in these activities, both with your finances and your prayers. With your continued support, the Porters look forward to seeing how Father furthers "the good works He has begun" in these people groups.


Refugee Resettlement

by Stephen Harper, Chair

I can report that our sponsored refugee families continue to make progress in integrating into our culture and economy. The most difficult interactions are still those involving medical and educational meetings, so I am invited to participate in these meetings. Therefore, I attended dozens of medical appointments and teacher conferences plus honors award ceremonies, soccer matches, concerts.

In 2017, Congregation funds provided six children with a total of seven weeks of summer camp - most of which were at Chestnut Ridge Camp, supported by United Methodist churches and conferences. No-fee opportunities included Duke Innoworks (a STEM camp run by Duke students), Dr. Darity's Summer Research Experience for minority students, the John Hope Franklin Scholars, Also, our kids participated in a number of other service-work projects though our Youth Program (with special thanks to the Rev. Andrew Phillips for his leadership and coordination).

This year, we will also assist parents with some summer camp weeks, college visit travels, college applications, FAFSA applications, college interviews. I will ask for some nominal assistance with student travel related to such visits.

Also in 2018, Ngat Kpa hopes to attend the Duke Strings Summer Camp. Her sister, Mini Kpa, will spend 6 weeks in a DCIA Research Program in which she will receive a stipend (!), AND she will be named as a participant in published research in which she will participate.

Thanks Be to God.


Urban Ministries Shelter Dinners

by Cricket Scovil

During 2017, we got snowed out of our first lasagna dinner on January 8, but our Congregation served 2,473 lasagna dinners during the following eleven months to the residents of the Urban Ministries shelter in Durham. Volunteers from the congregation contributed 233 twelve-serving lasagnas. Each month an average of 11 congregation members gave about two hours of time by bringing cooked lasagnas to the shelter and preparing and serving the meal. In total, we contributed 240 volunteer hours to the Urban Ministries shelter dinners.

During the period January through March, 2018, we have served dinner to 640 shelter residents and we have prepared sixty lasagnas. During this first quarter of 2018, we have contributed 54 volunteer hours to the monthly dinners.

Please contact Cricket Scovil at [email protected] if you can contribute lasagnas or bring lasagnas and help serve at the remaining 2018 dinners. Sunday dinners are from 5:15 to 7 pm and Wednesday dinners are from 6:15 to 8 pm. Dates for the remainder of 2018 are: June 27 (Wed), July 8 (Sun), August 22 (Wed), September 9 (Sun), October 24 (Wed), November 11 (Sun), and December 26 (Wed).



by Jane Fellows

The Congregation has supported an orphan group who are being empowered by ZOE to achieve financial independence and social integration into their communities through their comprehensive three-year program. Our rural-based group in eastern Zimbabwe called themselves "Taguta Dora," meaning I am satisfied. They completed the program in November of 2017. We have now committed to two ZOE groups through our mission budget and the stewardship campaign empowerment mission fund. We have received news and a picture of one of our groups who has chosen the name, Wise Group. They are urban-based in Mutare, Zimbabwe and include 28 heads of households and 45 of their younger family members. We are awaiting news of our second group who will also be in Zimbabwe. We look forward to having members from the Congregation go to visit these groups in April 2019. Additional fund raising for ZOE was done In December through a Christmas market where Congregation members and Chapel attendees could purchase gifts of seeds, livestock or supplies for starting a business for ZOE.




Christian Education Committee

by Kaity Woodrum

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, and retreats. This past year, both a fall retreat, Money and Christians led by Will Willimon, and a winter retreat, Interior Moments and Holy Desires: Discerning What is Mine to Do led by Mary Grace McCoy were held. The Adult Forum had enthusiastic participation and introduced a wide variety of speakers and topics lovingly choreographed by Nelson Strother. The committee offered several bible and book studies throughout the year, including two fall studies:  The Paradox of Generosity by Christian Smith and Hilary Davidson and Living the Quaker Way by Philip Gulley. In addition, we held a four-week Lenten study using Walter Brueggemann's Remember You are Dust both in small book groups and as part of the Adult Forum. Our Congregational focus on the building of a covenant community will extend into our overnight retreat this June entitled The Deuteronomic Question, led by Stephen Chapman.

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 a solid representation of a variety of age groups and life perspectives, as well as a healthy mix of laity, staff, and clergy, each of whom possesses unique gifts of the spirit. We meet once a month, typically the fourth Sunday of each month. We are so grateful for the dedication, time and gifts given by our members, which include: Carol Gregg, Andrew Phillips, Nelson Strother, Terry Yuschok, Kathi Peindl, Sandy Powers, Nell Noonan, Patrick Cacchio, Tony Willms, Christine Callan, Meredith Newlin, and Kaity Woodrum. We say goodbye to a faithful member of our committee, Janis Parker, who has moved to Florida.


Adult Forum

by Nelson Strother

Over the summer of 2017, the professional staff of the Congregation led a Sunday morning Bible study on selected passages from our Biblical wisdom literature (Job, the Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon), which attracted one to two dozen participants to each of the weekly sessions. During the academic year, our Sunday morning class continues to hear inspiring stories on thought-provoking topics led by Congregation members as well as guest leaders who are experts in their field. Within the past few months, we have been pleased to have several sessions led by guest preachers who were soon to appear (or who had recently appeared) in the pulpit within the Chapel. While our typical attendance ranges from one to three dozen in the room during class time, others may listen to or view materials from many class sessions via:


Lift Ev'ry Voice

By Kaity Woodrum

Lift Ev'ry Voice continued for a second year, and provided an eleven-week (June 11th through August 20th), hour-long program designed to introduce children ages three through eleven to the splendor and beauty of the hymns being sung in Sunday worship at Duke University Chapel and their connection to scripture. The lessons aimed to provide children with solid foundational music skills and to inspire positive musical experiences through movement, singing, pitch-matching, instrument exploration and play, steady beat and rhythmic activities. Along with the large variety of musical experiences based in the Kodaly, Orff, and Dalcroze methods of music education, the children were encouraged to explore their musicality by means of listening, phonemic awareness, and movement. In addition, the children focused on a craft that reflected the theme of the main hymn and created it during the listening portion of the class. Each child received a notebook of hymns to bring home at the end of the summer session that they had decorated themselves and used during class. Students participated in a sing-a-long with their parents for the last class, recited Psalm 100 from memory, and taught their parents movement and dances learned in class. Kaity Woodrum and Elaine DeAlmeida co-led the students together.

Hymns, spirituals, gospel songs and rounds learned included: Holy, Holy, Holy; All Things Bright and Beautiful; Come, Christians, Join to Sing; Now Thank We All Our God; America, the Beautiful; This is My Father's World; Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee; All Creatures of Our God and King; For the Beauty of the Earth; Morning Has Broken; Amazing Grace; Sanctus; Doxology; Oh, When the Saints Come Marching In; Peace Like a River; Michael Row Your Boat Ashore; We're Marching to Zion; Go, Now in Peace.


Godly Play

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 23 families have participated during the past year (14 of which were member families, 9 of which were non-member families).
  • A total of 38 children have participated during the past year (24 of which were from member families, 14 of which were from non-member families)
  • Attendance Report for children
    • Average per week: 16
    • Median per week: 14
    • Range: 6 to 22
  • The following volunteer members of the Godly Play Teaching Team are instrumental in the success of this program
    • Rosemarie Gulla (11 years)
    • Marianna Henry (10 years)
    • Jane Fellows (7 years)
    • Jan Radabaugh (6 years)
    • Mel Snyder (3 years)
    • Cheznee Johnson (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 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 October 2017 Class was comprised of these 13 people: Martha Hall, Jim and Kay Kelly, Joe Krenicky, Kevin and Erica Moore, John Mullins, Lois Scheirer, Cynthia Schmidt, Kathleen Shohfi, Dan Thomas, Jeanine Valkos, and Nancy Wawrousek

The March 2018 Class was comprised of these 11 individuals: Emily Hope Alexander, Tom and Lesley Allin, Drew and Jordan Hains, Elizabeth R. Kenly, Charlyse Myhand-McDaniel and Adrian McDaniel, Han Setiawan, and Mary and Lee Tyrey.

Both classes were assisted and befriended by Ann and Cary Gravett, Ernestine Hulett, Kathy Jones, Bob and Kathy McLaughlin, Pat Murray, Cricket Scovil, Brady Surles, and Patsy Willimon.

In addition, Bob and Lynn O'Conner donate corsages and boutonnieres for the new members on the day that they are recognized by the Congregation.

I am grateful to all those who choose to join this portion of the Body of Christ and to all those who actively welcome our new brothers and sisters.


Wee Praise

by Kate DeAlmeida

Wee Praise is the hour-long Sunday morning class offered by the Congregation for children up to three years old and their parents or caregivers, as offered for the past five years. This year, the lesson guide God, My Family and Me from Musikgarten's God's Children Sing curricula was used. Fifteen families participated throughout the year, seven 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.

Kate DeAlmeida, the regular Wee Praise leader, plans to attend a Musikgarten Family Music workshop this summer to further develop her skills. She thanks the Congregation for giving her this opportunity. We appreciate all who participate in this ministry, but especially the Cacchio family and the Hockett family who stepped in when Kate was unable to lead the class. The following statistics summarize the year in numbers, which shows a slight decrease compared to previous years:


Average Weekly Attendance

Median Weekly Attendance

Range of Weekly Attendance




5 to 19




2 to 9




3 to 10


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 Kimberley Caulfeild, Caroline Craig, Kate DeAlmeida, Leisa Dennehy, Adriana Doi, Cindy Gass, Minoka Gunesekera, Jan Gwyer, Deb Hackney, Kathy Jones, Cammey Manning, Pam Marcom, Laura Nye, Beth Sturkey, Patsy Willimon, Leigh Wynkoop, and Gretchen Ziegenhals.

Of our 17 members, four are new within the last year. We average eight to ten people each meeting. Sometimes we get everyone at the same time, which is a treat and a blessing!


Youth Ministry

by Andrew Phillips

Following a pattern designed to cover much of the Bible over the course of several years, the Youth Class studied Joshua, Judges, and Ruth in the fall, and the Gospel of Mark in the spring. Attendance ranged from two to fourteen, with an average of six students.

After extensive conversation with students, parents, and mentors, Youth Fellowship adopted a new schedule during the 2017-2018 year. Instead of meeting on Sunday evenings, we gathered after worship twice a month for food and formation in the faith, and spent time the other two weekends joining the Congregation's service projects (Meals on Wheels, SOSA) or just hanging out together (including ice-skating and All Saints' and Christmas parties). Central to this new rhythm were spiritual practice cards that changed with the church year, and invited students and their families to daily and weekly practices of prayer, Scripture reading, and meditation. Attendance at these events ranged from two to nine, with an average of four students.

In addition, 2018 was a Confirmation year at the Congregation, and six students and their mentors journeyed together through Lent to grow in their knowledge and love of God. Confirmation included one-on-one meetings with mentors as well as group sessions with other Congregation members called "Liturgy Labs." These sessions attracted five to thirteen youth and adults to learn about the sacraments, funerals, and other aspects of how liturgy connects to our daily lives. The year also included two special trips: Linda Gauger and I took five students to the Hinton Center for a service learning trip the last week of July, while Forrest and Allison McDougal and I accompanied seven students on a Ski Trip to Lake Junaluska on Feb 16-18.

Special thanks to mentors Lucy Worth, Antionette Bethea, Joel Boggan, Jane Fellows, Nell Noonan, Deb Hackney, and Walker Robinson.




Birthday Calling Ministry

By Linda Gauger

Every month ten faithful members call other members on or around their birthdays. We average 45 names each month, so each member of our ministry receives about four names each month. You might receive a call, receive a card in the mail, a voice mail, or an email. If you haven't given your birthday to the office please do so, or you'll never know how much a "Birthday Blessings" could brighten your day!

"Thank you so much for your wishes! It really means a lot. Miss you all, and hope you all are doing well." - a response from an email blessing to one of our college members

Thanks to Molly Simes (she sends hand made cards), Barbara Carmen, June Griggs, Sara Harper, Janet Hortin, Ernie Ruckert, Regina Ford, Janis Parker, and Gretchen Ziegenhals


Fellowship Committee

by Janet Hortin and Antoinette Bethea

Fellowship Committee hosted summertime lemonade on the lawn events in 2017 where we welcomed 50-150 people under the magnolia trees for conversation and refreshment. We plan a change of venue to the lower level lounge beginning June 17 when we will have an ice cream social to kick off "Catacomb Coolers" after chapel. This will alleviate some of the logistical issues of serving drinks and food on the lawn.

Second Sunday Lunch at Broadhead was another popular fellowship even in 2017-2018. 40-60 people gathered at (the building formerly known as) West Union for lunch after chapel during this monthly event.

Snack Lucks offered another regular fellowship opportunity in the lower level lounge when the chapel choir was on hiatus. We hosted these events in September, November, December, January, and March and have events scheduled for April and May. Typically 40-80 people attend these gatherings.

A picnic is planned for September 2018 to welcome cooler fall weather.

Many thanks to the 16 active members who support fellowship activities. Members of the committee this year include: Antoinette Bethea, JP and Yvette Cumming, Kate and Craig DeAlmeida, Dan and Regina Ford, John Geneczko, Ann Gravatt, Janet Hortin, Ernestine Hulett, Pat Murray, Janis Parker, Sydnor Patrick, Kathleen Shohfi, and Brady Surles.

It is an honor to serve The Congregation at Duke University Chapel.


Growing Thru Grief

by Nell Noonan

The Congregation is one of the Grief Coalition, a group of twelve area religious and civic organizations which offer support and education to those who mourn the loss of a loved one through a year-round weekly program called Growing thru Grief. The program is free and open to all. It provides a place to share and explore grief's pathways in a safe and confidential setting that offers the hope of personal growth and healing.

Sessions offer an educational presentation followed by small group discussion with trained facilitators. Bob Claytor and Nell Noonan are facilitators and can provide additional information about the program.

Meetings are held at St. Paul's Lutheran Church at the intersection of Cornwallis and Pickett Roads in Durham. Last year 98 different individuals grieving the loss of a loved one attended, and 40 of those were newcomers to the program. Average weekly attendance has grown to 38 persons.


Heavenly Hugs Hat Ministry

by Tamela Davis

With hands and hearts together, Heavenly Hugs Hat Ministry provides hand-knitted and crocheted hats for babies and children in our congregation, as well as for homeless children and adults in the Durham community. During 2018, hats were gifted to Duke Medical Center and Duke Regional Hospital in honor of Mother's Day, TROSA, Urban Ministries, Families Moving Forward, Partners for Youth Opportunity, and the Ronald McDonald House. Our group meets for lunch and fellowhsip several times each year.

For more information or to offer your hands and heart to this ministry, contact [email protected] .


Loaves and Fishes

by Pamela Marcom

Loaves and Fishes is a group of men and women in the congregation who provide meals to other congregation members when they are celebrating the birth of a new baby, recuperating from surgery, dealing with grief, or just need a helping, caring hand. Our members show God's love through the special gift of a meal.

Members of this ministry are: Lesley Allin, Jonathan Beckwith, Kimberley Caulfeild, Darry Conner, JP Cumming, Tamela Davis, Cindy Gass, Linda Gauger, Melissa Grosso, Drew Hains, Jordan Hains, Jane Hix, Bill Jones, Linda Karolak, Joe Krenicky, Tom Link, Allison McDougal, Darla Miller, Charlyse Myhand-McDaniel, Meredith Newlin, Lois Scheirer, Anna Shea, Robert Sillis, Phyllis Snyder, Mary Tyrey, Jeanine Valkos, Judi Vos, Nancy Wawrousek, Fred Westbrook, Lucy Worth, Anne Wright, and Gretchen Ziegenhals.


Membership Committee

The Congregation's bylaws name the Membership Committee as one of our standing committees. The purpose of the committee is to welcome new members, help connect members with ministries in the Congregation, and reach out to individuals who have become inactive. Due to a lack of leadership for this committee, it has not been a functioning committee during this past year. The work of the committee has been accomplished by staff and volunteers in informal ways. Our current membership statistics are below.

The Congregation at Duke University Chapel
Membership Statistics
    2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Active members as of May 1, Previous Year  
  Number of member households 344 335 347 347 358
  Number of active members 529 525 539 490 494
Membership Gains  
  By confirmation or youth affirmation of faith 1 0 1 1 6
  Adult transfer or affirmation of faith 27 22 18 26 23
Membership Losses  
  Deaths 8 7 7 11 7
  By transfer of membership 5 7 15 4  
  To inactive status 4 0 0 0 26
  Withdrawal of membership 15 2 11 11 8
Active members as of May 1, Current Year
  Number of member households 335 347 347 358 361
  Number of active members 525 539 490 494 474
Active Membership by Age*
  Children up to age 11 in member households 70 62 65 67 69
  Youth age 12-17 in member households 32 28 24 19 25
  Adults age 18-39 109 112 117 102 101
  Adults age 40-65 196 196 203 171 148
  Adults age 65-85 155 156 153 163 163
  Adults age 85 and older 37 47 45 40 36
* incomplete as 19 member birthdates are unknown to the Congregation office  


Prayer Ministry

by Carol Gregg

"May I add your name to our prayer ministry?" This is a question I often ask of members as they share with me a significant joy or hardship. It is a blessing to have the resource of forty-three individuals who have committed themselves to praying for others. The Prayer Ministry receives prayer requests electronically then prays privately for the joys and concerns requested. The duration and nature of the prayers is left to the judgment of each member of the prayer team, and all requests are held respectfully and confidentially. Communications are by email to [email protected]; this email address sends messages directly to each prayer ministry member. Prayer requests come from the public by way of the Congregation and Chapel website, from worshipers through the "Engage" cards, from one of the pastors of the Congregation, or from members of the prayer ministry.

In addition, paper prayer request cards located outside of the Memorial Chapel are often used by visitors to the Chapel. The cards are mailed to fourteen members of the Prayer Ministry.

Prayer requests are emailed to the prayer ministry approximately once a week, and occasionally more frequently. Those who faithfully pray for others are a blessing to our congregation.


Duke Chapel Quilters

by Ann Recesso

The Chapel Quilters met nine times during the 2017-2018 year and created twenty quilts for the congregation; seven for babies being christened and thirteen lap quilts for adults. Six quilts, also from previous years, were given to family members of Habitat homes. Additionally, twenty pot holders have been sewn for new members of the congregation as welcoming gifts.

Most of the fabric has been donated to the committee by congregation members but batting and occasionally backing have been purchased by congregation funds. Machine needles and replacement discs for rotary cutters are also purchased by these funds.

Currently five women are on the Chapel Quilters Committee: Nancy Jirtle, Betty Hummelbrunner, Eleanor Harrell, Marilyn Christian and Ann Recesso; each of whom misses the company of longtime member Janice Parker who is no longer a local resident. We generally meet for three consecutive Tuesday mornings, sew and quilt for two hours and then share coffee and fellowship.


Travel Committee

by Carol Gregg

Last year, we experimented with the idea of congregational travel. In the past, the Congregation has engaged in trips to Family Health Ministries in Haiti and Christ in the Desert Monastery in New Mexico. Knowing that many of our members enjoy travel and that the Congregation has a history of travel, I invited several people to come together to explore the possibilities of sponsoring occasional trips. As a result of the committee's work, ten people traveled Hinton, NC, to experience the Total Solar Eclipse in August 2017. Plans for a trip to the African American Museum in Washington D.C. in the fall proved difficult, while a trip to Family Health Ministries in Haiti in January did not come to fruition. Simultaneously, those who had formed the travel committee withdrew from participation. Those involved agreed that God was not blessing this initiate at this time, so the committee quietly disbanded.

I am grateful to those who were part of this experiment: Rachel Davies, David Langford, Cricket Scovil, Phyllis Snyder, Dave and Judi Vos, and Lucy Worth.


Visitation and Care Ministry

by Linda Gauger

The goal of our visitation group is to touch base monthly with our members who are no longer able to get to Chapel, those who are having or have had surgery, or members who just need a loving word from a friendly face. We have five members (and would welcome more). We see on average 18 members. Sometimes it is just a card sent, or a five minute home visit, or maybe it is sitting with someone during Chapel service; other times it is a longer visit. I know for all of us that visit, our time with folks is meaningful. We have met folks who are so incredible, and were leaders before us in deepening our faith and love of our Lord.

We also delivered 18 poinsettias after Christmas and 19 Easter Lilies. Thanks to everyone who helped.

Thanks go out to Barbara Carman, Nell Noonan, Dan Thomas, and Jane Fellows.


Young Adult Ministry

by Andrew Phillips

Young Adult monthly dinners continued, with an average attendance of seven people.

Three classes/discussion groups were offered throughout the year. "Pilgrim" met in the fall for five weeks, and focused on the fundamentals of Christian belief and practice. Four or five attended each week, including two students new to Christianity. "Manna and Mercy" met in January, and reached twenty different people over the course of six weeks with an average attendance of ten. This group provided space for all participants, regardless of their religious identity, to ask hard questions about the most important questions of life and faith. "I Pledge Allegiance?", a series on the intersection of faith and politics, met after Easter for five weeks, and averaged five people.

A Young Adult small group on Spiritual Disciplines met during December and January, and provided a space for the core group of young adults to grow deeper in their faith.

Starting in the fall, a group of young adults dreamed about a gathering outside the walls of the Chapel. Originally called "Food for Thought," the project struggled to find a suitable location and enough volunteers. In conversation with other campus ministries, this dream was reborn as Pub Theology Durham, and continues as a collaboration between the Congregation, Duke Lutherans, and Duke Presbyterians. Starting with monthly meetings in October and expanding to twice-monthly gatherings in January, Pub Theology has reached 40 different people, drawing from the Chapel and from the broader Triangle community. Attendance has ranged from five to fifteen, with an average of eight.

The Young Adult email list has added 30 names since last annual report, and I had the chance to connect with two or three young adults each month interested in getting involved with the Congregation.



Administration Committee

by Janell Lovelace

The Administration Committee is responsible for the electronic communication needs of the Congregation, its Policies and Procedures, governance, and insurance. During the past year the Committee has completed reviewing and updating the Congregation's Policies and Procedures Manual, and with the help of the Congregation staff has made the latest version available on the Congregation's website. The insurance for the Congregation was renewed for another year at essentially the same cost as the prior year.

During this fiscal year, the Administration Committee has reviewed the newsletters that are being sent to the congregation, with the result that we are shifting away from having a monthly printed newsletter and weekly emailed newsletters to a focus on emailed newsletters, with one a month being more robust and available to print for the small number of Congregation members who have requested a printed rather than emailed newsletter. We're also looking at changing the software that is used to prepare the newsletters. The Administration Committee has also, with the assistance of the Congregation staff and Congregation Council, conducted a review of the Bylaws of the Congregation.

Kate Clayton, Mel Snyder, Mark Gass, and Phyllis Snyder (ex officio) have served all year. Robin Barefoot served most of the year but resigned in March. Joe Krenicky joined us in March.


Finance and Stewardship Committee

by Craig DeAlmeida

Committee Members: Craig DeAlmeida, Chair; Billy Chow, Treasurer; Bill Youngblood, Assistant Treasurer; Carol Gregg, Pastor; Cary Gravatt; Rick King; Penny Oslund; Lucy Worth

  • Planned and executed Fall 2017 Sustainer Campaign with 122 Sustainers committing $250K;
  • Developed and executed Empowerment Ministries campaign, raising $50K to support Habitat for Humanity Repairs Intern and additional ZOE project;
  • Completed Annual Audit for 2017 and received Clean Report with no Material Deficiencies;
  • Prepared 2018-19 Annual Budget with assistance from Committee Chairs;
  • Reviewed Treasurer's reports each month to track financial health of the Congregation;
  • Expanded Policies and Procedures to include summary of financial and reporting procedures;
  • Approved conversion of retirement contributions to SEP accounts for Financial & IT Administrator and Children's Pastor
  • Updated the Giving section of the Congregation website; and
  • Proposed that distributions from the Duke University Endowment Fund created by the Congregation be applied to the Pathways program in lieu of a budgeted item.


Nominations and Leadership Committee

by Deb Hackney and Beth Gettys Sturkey

All of us on the Nominations and Leadership Development committee believe that by call of baptism, every member of the church is invited to offer their God-given gifts, skills, talents and sometimes just hard work to the life of the church through participation in church ministries. It takes all of us to grow and sustain our church as it seeks to be the hands and feet of Christ in the world. How and when will you answer God's call? ... or at least our phone call or email!

This year the Nominations and Leadership Development Committee sought to grow its support and encouragement of those in lay leadership roles in our church, such as coordinators of ministries or chairs of committees. This culminated in a meeting of all leaders after church in the Fall to get to know each other, offer best practices and share challenges among each other. While simple and brief, it is our hope that this event becomes a foundation for future efforts to support leadership development.

The committee also reached out to new and established members to ensure that they are feeling connected to our church and participating in ministries that bring them joy.

Finally, we established the slate of new Council and committee chairs (and some committees) that will be presented at the Congregation annual meeting in June.

May God bless those that serve our church in such a myriad of ways!

Gratitude is offered to committee members:

  • Leigh Wynkoop, who has served on this committee faithfully for 5 years and will rotate off this year
  • Harry Rodenhizer, who offered his home for most all of our meetings
  • Marsha Altmeyer who served faithfully even through tax season!
  • Deb Hackney who has faithfully served as leader of this committee
  • Beth Gettys Sturkey who also served as representative to church Council


Staff Parish Relations Committee

by Carol Gregg

For 2017-2018, the following Congregation members were selected to serve on the Staff Parish Relations Committee (SPRC): Rebecca Ray (Chair), Leisa Dennehy, Ira Mueller, Karen Rhodes, and Whitney Schwab.

A major piece of the work for the Staff Parish Relations Committee is the annual review of staff which is comprised of written evaluations and one-on-one conversations. Each member of the Committee participated in this process.

The committee oversees our Divinity School Intern. Denise Noble, a third year student at the Divinity school, completed a second year-long internship with the Congregation. Ira Mueller chaired a "Lay Mentoring Team" which periodically met with Denise and offered her feedback. The Lay Mentoring Team was comprised of Ira Mueller (chair), Robin Barefoot, Tom Manning, and Dave and Judi Vos.

This spring, two members of the committee, Leisa Dennehy and Whitney Schwab, took the lead in the process of seeing a replacement for Andrew Phillips, who will conclude his work with the Congregation on June 21, 2018.

Rebecca Ray has served on the Staff Parish Relations Committee for five years, two of which were as chairperson. She and other members of the committee have been hard-working, faithful members of the committee.



The Altar Guild: Preparing the Table

by Ellie Ferguson

The members of the Altar Guild have thoroughly enjoyed working together in service to the Chapel. Our work space is behind the velvet curtains in the Memorial Chapel where the necessary items for setting up Communion are stored.

Usually twice a month, but once a month during the summer, a team of three gathers not later than 9:30 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 reverently and quietly, 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 space in the Memorial Chapel where linens are carefully counted, silver washed, polished, and stored, and any leftover consecrated bread, wafers, and wine, returned to the earth. The linens are laundered and ironed by a member of the team who passes them on in time for the next Communion.

In addition, the team members polish the processional cross and torches, the altar candleholders, and baptismal font.

At present there are fifteen members of the Altar Guild: Brenda Brodie, Robin Barefoot, Joann Claytor, June Griggs, Martha Hall, Jane Hix, Kathy Jones, Lois Oliver, Penny Oslund, Virginia Rhoton, Anna Shea, Nina Upchurch, Patsy Willimon, and Anne Wright.


Choir Engagement

by Cindy Gass

The Choir Engagement Chairperson is tasked with showing the choir our appreciation and support. For the past few years we have provided refreshments during the Friday evening performance of their annual Messiah weekend because many choir members come to the chapel directly from work and don't get a proper supper.

We did this again this year. Mark and I, along with Roxanna Bottjen, served fresh fruit and homemade goodies along with warm soup graciously provided by Darla Miller. We served approximately 100 members of the choir during their intermission. The choir expresses many thanks for this tasty and nutritious event.

I continued the Easter tradition of Bojangles biscuit delivery. The choir arranges for the food, but the tight Easter morning schedule makes it difficult for them to actually get the biscuits. I do the pick up and delivery as a simple service at a busy time.

This year, in April, I played hostess for the congregation's informal reception to honor Rodney Wynkoop on his last day as the Director of the Chapel Choir. Antoinette Bethea of the Fellowship Committee was kind enough to help me and Mark serve cookies and lemonade and Locopops.



by Lois Oliver

The docents continue to serve each Sunday after the service. The tour groups vary in size from none to ten or twelve. During the week, there are some added hours of steady presence, as Beth Gettys Sturkey has joined our group. So Lois Oliver, Tamela Davis, and Steve Harper are present Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings respectively, and Beth is now present Thursday afternoon. Linda Sutton serves as a Sunday docent and comes in for scheduled tours, just as Janell Lovelace has done for several years. There are usually one or two scheduled tours each week, but plenty of casual visitors each day who are grateful to learn about the Chapel.

In addition to the docents with standing commitments listed above, Betty Brunson, Ginny Cole, Linda Gauger, Maureen Johnson, Linda Karolak, Eileen Mitchell, Peggy Ray, Ann Recesso, Brian Stratton, Brady Surles, Ellen Todd, and Rob VandeWoestine have served this year as docents.



by Phyllis Snyder

The Duke Chapel Nursery provides care for children from infants through four-year-olds during Sunday worship services. The Children's Pastor, Phyllis Snyder, also serves as the Director of the nursery. The nursery supported 54 services this year, including regular Sunday services and special services at Easter. Four caregivers provide care to children during services.

The Nursery Service Group Chair provides help in resolving concerns regarding the nursery and provides back-up when the Director is not available. Anna Shea currently holds this position. We appreciate Anna's willingness to serve in this role. Her insight as a parent who utilizes the Nursery is vital to the Director.

The Congregation is grateful 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'.

Attendance Report from last calendar year:

  • Average per week: 5 (with about half being children of Congregation members)
  • Median per week: 4
  • Range: 0 to 10


Memorial Chapel Communion

by Ed Harlow

"To serve is beautiful, but only if it is done with joy and a whole heart and a free mind." (Pearl Buck - 1967)

The Memorial Chapel Communion Committee is a group of volunteers who individually assist the clergy with the distribution of the elements on the Sundays that are not regular communion Sundays. Following the communion service, a committee member will lend a presence of support during the Healing Service for those in need of support and prayers.

I would like to recognize and thank these faithful volunteers for their dedication and service to this ministry: Tamela Davis, Jane Fellows, Deborah Hackney, Ed Harlow (Committee Chair), Linda Karolak, and Beth Sturkey.



by Jim Ferguson


  1. For tourists and first time visitors we recognize our position as possibly being the front line for the University, thus try to be attentive to any special needs or requests.
  2. For regular attendees, we greet them as well as distribute the day's bulletin
  3. For choir and clergy, we attempt to smooth the people "interface" and thus help to minimize friction and congestion.

Time commitment:
We are responsible for weekly services 52/52 generally from the hours of 10:30 - 12:30 as well as those associated with Christmas and Holy Week. On non-academic Sundays, we are also responsible for providing/coordinating crucifer, torchbearers, and Word carrier.

Initially we were able to recruit a fair number of Duke (and occasionally UNC) students, but changing demographics have led us more and more to rely on the flow of youth in the Congregation as well as new members who indicate an interest.

One would like to claim weeks of foresight, but in all candor, e-mail as late as the night before/morning of the service is indispensable. In general, we seem to operate most efficiently with a pool of dedicated and experienced "regulars" which hovers around twenty or so.

Our current roster of regular ushers includes: Acelynn Barefoot, Barry Berger, Billy Chow, Leisa Dennehy, Francis Donaie, Danny Ford, Bram Lovelace, Sam Marcom, Sophie Marcom, Leroy McRae, Drew Middleton, Penny Oslund, Harry Rodenhizer, Charlie Roedel, Guy Solie, Mindy Solie, Brady Surles, Monica Wilfong, Luke Wirzba, and Leigh Wynkoop.

Co-head ushers: Jim Ferguson & Rick Wilfong


Welcome Ministry

by James Spencer

The Welcome Ministry is a new ministry endeavor under the Chapel Support umbrella that began this past fall with the new school year. Pastor Carol led a committee late last spring and into the summer to form this ministry, and James Spencer volunteered to lead the team as it began. Each week one or two volunteers on the Welcome Team greet and welcome folks in the narthex as they enter the Chapel. For new comers, familiar faces, and longtime members and attendees alike, we try to answer questions and connect them to different ministries offered both from the Congregation and Chapel. If they want to get connected more, we usually provide their emails to the Congregation Pastors and Bruce Puckett. We've also offered coasters, stickers for kids (or those who are kids at heart), and cards with printed Congregation information and contacts as items folks can take to feel a little extra welcomed.

The team tries to meet every other month or so after worship service both for internal fellowship and to bring up any needed questions or concerns. We feel we have had great success as a new ministry this year and have been able to staff and serve every week and even adding a few members early in the year to increase our number to nine volunteers. As the leader of the team, I would like to thank each of our members Barbara Carman, Linda Gauger, Allison and Forrest McDougal, Joanne and Norm Roobol, Suzy Strayhorn, and Susan Willms for their devotion and for bringing an extra welcoming touch to Sunday worship.




by Carol Gregg

Let's rejoice in all that God has called us to do and be! Our ministries of Education, Mission, and Fellowship are strong as you can see by these annual reports. When added up, we have more than 160 individuals volunteering for the life and health of this congregation. Thank you!

This year, I am particularly grateful for three new mission initiatives, which I hope are already sowing seeds for years ahead. Detailed reports are above, but I wish to highlight them here.

Empowerment Ministries: Your generous gifts to the new Empowerment Ministries fund is allowing us to support a Repairs Apprentice at Habitat for Humanity of Durham and a group of ZOE children in Zimbabwe. Through your gifts, we as a congregation are helping to empower neighbors both locally and globally to become economically self-sufficient.

Disaster Relief Service Trip: In March, six people from the Congregation traveled to South Carolina to help residents recover from flooding and hurricanes. The week-long trip was marked by hard work, laughter, sharing, and prayer.

Circle of Support: Throughout this year, six of our Congregation have formed a circle of love and care around a neighbor who was recently homeless. This Circle of Support has been an encouragement and blessing to all involved.

This summer will mark my fifth anniversary of ministry with you. Your dedication to deeper connections with God, our neighbors, and each other as shown by these and so many other ministries, is the reason I give thanks for our joint ministry. Time does fly when you're having fun!


Assistant Pastor

by Andrew Phillips

"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." (Ephesians 3:17-19 NIV)

A few weeks ago, I sat a picnic table at Camp Chestnut Ridge surrounded by confirmands and their mentors. As we reflected on the story of the Emmaus Way, I heard youth and adult alike share moments in which their hearts had burned during Confirmation classes and one-on-one conversations. Youth were surprised by how much they had in common with their older siblings in the faith, and mentors shared how much they had grown by sharing their faith with younger disciples. Together, we had learned that the love of God surpasses our knowledge, and is always drawing us deeper into the life of God. That same experience has been a common thread weaving together all the most fruitful and powerful moments of my ministry this last year.

In addition to Confirmation, I witnessed the love of God that is beyond our understanding God when a graduate student just starting to explore her faith found that she was embraced - doubts and all - by our young adults. "I'm not sure I believe this" she told us "but you accepted me, and I'll be back next week." She, too, discovered that the love of God surpasses our knowledge and certainty, and she has returned again and again, longing to be filled with fullness of God.

It has been a deep joy to witness the ways that this congregation, rooted and established in love, makes space for others to know the width, length, height, and depth of God's love, and I am so grateful to have been part of God's work in this place.


Children's Pastor and Communications Specialist

by Phyllis Snyder

Children's Pastor: 20 hour/week staff position

Work with all aspects of children's ministry for the Congregation including but not limited to:

  • Godly Play
  • Fall Fellowship [Attendance = 36 (17 children, 19 adults)]
  • Caroling at The Forest at Duke
  • Duke Chapel Children's Christmas Eve Service
  • Working with volunteers for children's programs
  • Identifying and communicating about mission projects appropriate for children and families
  • Easter Program and Egg Hunt [Attendance = 17 (7 children, 10 adults)]
  • Palm Sunday Processional for Duke Chapel worship service
  • Pentecost Sunday Procession for Duke Chapel worship service
  • Overnight Retreat programming for children
  • Worship aids for Duke Chapel worship services
  • Children's Stewardship

Some of the highlights of this position are home visits, meeting with families, and forming bonds with children. It is a privilege to help guide the spiritual development of the children, and to interact with them and their families.

I am deeply grateful for the volunteers who made the 2017/2018 children's programming possible:

  • Godly Play Teaching Team: Rosemary Gulla, Marianna Henry, Jane Fellows, Cheznee Johnson, Jan Radabaugh, Mel Snyder
  • Lift Ev'ry Voice (summer Sunday School program): Kaity Woodrum, Laura Woodrum, Elaine DeAlmeida
  • Wee Praise Teaching Team: Kate DeAlmeida, Megan Cacchio, Patrick Cacchio, Julie Hockett. A special thanks goes to Kate, who leads most Sundays throughout the year, welcoming and nurturing the youngest among us. It is in Wee Praise that many children are learning about God and church for the first time.
Communications Specialist: 10 hour/week staff position
  • Weekly: produce and distribute eNews electronically
  • Monthly
    • Produce and distribute Newsletter both electronically and hard-copy which is mailed. The printed Newsletter was discontinued in December 2017. A larger eNews is produced on the third week of each month, which includes a preview of events for the upcoming month. Currently, 33 Congregation members do not utilize email. Hard copies of the third week eNews are being mailed to them via US mail.
    • Produce birthday list for use by Care and Visitation Committee
  • Yearly
    • Congregation Anniversary - not held in 2017/2018
    • All Saint's Sunday
      • Prepare list of those deceased since last All Saint's Day for Chapel worship bulletin
      • Notify families of those whose names are in bulletin about All Saint's Day
      • Mail bulletins to families who could not be in attendance on All Saint's Sunday
    • Stewardship
      • Work with Stewardship Committee on preparation of annual mailings
    • Overnight Retreat
      • Obtain reservations and contracts from conference center
      • Maintain sign-up and send confirmations
      • Communicate with conference center in regard to questions that arise
      • Report numbers and lists as needed to conference center
      • Prepare hand-outs for retreat packages
    • Annual Business Meeting
      • Arrange reservations for location and contract with caterer
      • Prepare program
  • Ongoing
    • Maintain database
    • Prepare name tags for classes and events for leaders
    • Answer telephone when in office
    • Assist walk-ins to the office
  • As Needed
    • Produce memorial service bulletins
    • Produce announcements for distribution
    • Prepare summaries of retreat evaluations
    • Other tasks as assigned by Senior Pastor


Financial and IT Administrator

by Nelson Strother

The Congregation aims to accurately record the contributions you make, and deposit those funds in a timely fashion. Once expenditures have been adequately documented and approved, those disbursements are also made.

The Congregation's website is one of the primary communication paths we use for keeping our current members informed, as well as providing information for potential visitors and other participants in our classes and programs.


Divinity School Intern

by Denise Noble

I have had the honor of serving the Congregation at Duke Chapel ("Congregation") as the Divinity School Intern for a second academic year. I have served in the position for the 2016-17 academic year and again for the 2017-18 academic year. This experience has enriched my education, enhanced my leadership skills, and confirmed my call to ministry. I have had the opportunity to deepen my relationship with the Congregation by continuing to teach adult Bible study classes, coordinate a few Saturday service projects, lead an adult forum presentation, participate in multiple Sunday worship services, preside over two vespers services, conduct monthly visitation, and attend fellowship activities. In addition, I have had the opportunity to coordinate the inaugural "Circle of Support," in which the Congregation is partnering with Families Moving Forward to provide emotional support and community to a formerly homeless family. I continue to be grateful to Carol Gregg for the excellent supervision and wonderful care she has provided over the two academic years. I also appreciate the kind and thoughtful support provided by the Lay Mentoring Committee, which includes Robin Barefoot, Tom Manning, Dave Vos, and Judi Vos, and is chaired by Ira Meuller. It has been a joy to work with the Congregation staff members to provide service to the members of the Congregation. I thank God for the blessing of this experience.

Budget Overview

Summer 2018

Our church, just like any organization, must responsibly manage our resources. The Congregation, upon recommendation from the Stewardship and Finance Committee and Congregation Council, approves an annual Budget as a guide in using our financial gifts to achieve our goals as a Christian community.

Our budgeted expenses for Fiscal Year July 2018 - June 2019 (FY19) total $387K, essentially flat with prior year budgeted expenses. This includes a $3K increase in pastoral and staff salaries and benefits, a $3K increase in Christian Nurture, and a $3K increase in Outreach Ministry, aside from a $(9)K reduction from an agreement with Duke Chapel to transfer our Pathways support from our operating budget to how distributions from a Duke permanent endowment originally funded by Congregation members are applied.

Other notable expense items include elimination of a $3K budget for our newsletter, offset by smaller increases in various administrative expenses to support more efficient electronic communications. Also, for purposes of budgeting, the FY18 Assistant Pastor salary and benefits were used as a placeholder while a search for a Education & Discipleship Pastor takes place. To support this search, a $1K Staff Recruiting/Search budget item was included for interview expenses.

Our budgeted revenue of $377K includes $375K of donations, up 7% from the prior year budgeted donations of $350K, which we are on track to meet.

These combine to form a budgeted net income of $(10)K for the coming year, up from a $(35)K budget from last year but continuing a string of unbalanced negative budgets. The increased target for giving reflects our goal to achieve a balanced budget by FY20 without reducing overall expenses. While we are not in imminent danger of crossing below our Council-mandated reserve of $100K, achieving a balanced budget will enable better long-term, strategic planning for how best to use our financial gifts. We are confident that this community can sustain a higher level of annual giving, and we are aiming for $400K in two years. In quickly raising $50K for the Empowerment Ministries fund, we felt our joyous capacity to give additional funds without undercutting sustained annual giving.

But while the flowering of special campaigns can generate excitement, the deep roots of annual giving provide the hidden stability that supports God's work and praise through us. What is seen above ground is everything you see in this report, where our mutual activities through fellowship, education, and mission meaningfully affect our members' lives and those of our wider community. But what is unseen below the ground is equally impressive: members quietly giving their time, talent, and money to feed the tree that first took seed at our founding in 1986.

Will you help make our Congregation more fertile by feeding its roots, big and small, through your stewardship of your church?

Congregation at Duke University Chapel
FY 19 Budget
    FY 18 Budget FY 19 Budget
1 Income
2   GENERAL OPERATIONS DONATIONS 350,000.00 375,000.00
3     Other Giving
4     Pledge Fulfillment
5   Total GENERAL OPERATIONS DONATIONS 350,000.00 375,000.00
7     Capital Gain    
8     Other Accounts Interest 1,800.00 1,800.00
9   Total INTEREST EARNINGS $1,800.00 $1,800.00
10 Total INCOME $351,800.00 $376,800.00
12 Expenses
14     Admin Payroll
15       Financial & IT Administrator 48,505.60 49,600.00
16       Financial & IT Administrator Retirement Contribution 1,213.00 1,240.00
17     Total Admin Payroll $49,718.60 $50,840.00
18     Financial Service Fees
19       Audit Committee 4,300.00 4,300.00
20       Bank/Broker Fees 500.00 500.00
21       Payroll/Accounting Services 1,000.00 1,200.00
22     Total Financial Service Fees $5,800.00 $6,000.00
23     Insurance
24       Liability Ins 4,100.00 4,100.00
25         Background Checks 100.00 100.00
26       Total Liability Ins $4,200.00 $4,200.00
27       Workers Compensation Ins $1,500.00 $1,600.00
28     Total Insurance $5,700.00 $5,800.00
29     Office Expenses
30       Computer/Duke OIT Support 1,440.00 1,440.00
31       Computer Equipment/Supplies 2,000.00 2,000.00
32       Administrative Software 710.00 1,710.00
33       Office Supplies 1,000.00 1,700.00
34       Postage 300.00 300.00
35       Sales Tax Paid    
36       Telephone 400.00 400.00
37       Web Hosting 300.00 300.00
38     Total Office Expenses 6,150.00 7,850.00
39   $17,650.00 $19,650.00
40     Payroll Expenses - FICA 6,851.19 6,900.00
41     Staff Parking Passes 2,800.00 2,800.00
42     Staff Recruiting/Search   1,000.00
43   Total ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES $77,019.79 $81,190.00
46     Chapel
47       Altar Guild 100.00 100.00
48       Chapel Support Donation 2,000.00 2,000.00
49       Children's Worship Aids 100.00 100.00
50       Choir Engagement 200.00 200.00
51       Nursery Expenses 4,050.00 4,050.00
52       Prayer Ministry 100.00 100.00
53   Total CHAPEL SUPPORT $6,550.00 $6,550.00
56     Education
57       Adult Forum 1,200.00 1,800.00
58       Books - Milestone Gifts 400.00 400.00
59       Books - reimbursed/no budget    
60       Children's Ministry Training 250.00 250.00
61       Classroom Use Donation 2,500.00 2,750.00
62       Confirmation Class - Youth 500.00 0.00
63       Curriculum & Supplies - ADULT 250.00 1,000.00
64       Curriculum & Supplies - CHILDREN 500.00 1,000.00
65       Curriculum & Supplies - YOUTH 350.00 1,000.00
66       Daylong Retreats (Fall & Winter) 1,000.00 1,000.00
67       Education Hour Coffee 900.00 900.00
68       Fellowship - Children 500.00 750.00
69       Fellowship - Youth 400.00 600.00
70       Overnight Retreat 3,000.00 3,000.00
71       Retreats & Missions - Youth 5,000.00 5,000.00
72     Total Education $16,750.00 $19,450.00
73     Staff - Children's Education
74       Children's Pastor Auto Allowance 400.00 400.00
75       Children's Pastor Continuing Ed 500.00 500.00
76       Children's Pastor Professional Expense 250.00 250.00
77       Children's Pastor Salary 36,752.00 37,580.00
78       Children's Pastor Retirement Contribution 919.00 940.00
79     Total Staff - Children's Education $38,821.40 $39,670.00
80   Total CHRISTIAN NURTURE $55,571.40 $59,120.00
83     Congregation Events 500.00  
84       Business Luncheon 1,000.00 1,200.00
85       Chapel Quilters 100.00 100.00
86       Young Adult and Student Ministry 750.00 750.00
87     Total Congregation Events $2,350.00 $2,050.00
88     Fellowship Committee 2,000.00 1,200.00
89     Membership Committee
90       Directories 100.00 325.00
91       Gifts & Flowers 50.00 250.00
92       Member Recruitment/PR 200.00 200.00
93     Total Membership Committee $350.00 $775.00
94     Newsletter 3,000.00  
95     Stewardship Mailings 350.00 500.00
96     Visitation & Care Committee 300.00 400.00
97   Total CONGREGATIONAL CARE $8,350.00 $4,925.00
100     Annual Grants (Local M&O) 43,500.00 45,900.00
101     Divinity School Intern 4,300.00 4,400.00
102     Durham Cong in Action (DCIA) 1,500.00 1,000.00
103     Habitat House 3,000.00 3,000.00
104     Missionary Support 1,500.00 1,500.00
105     NC Council of Churches 1,500.00 1,500.00
106     Pastor's Discretionary Fund 500.00 1,000.00
107     Refugee Resettlement 2,500.00 2,500.00
108     Shelter Dinners 3,000.00 3,000.00
109     Student Outreach/PathWays 9,000.00  
110     Unanticpated Community Need 200.00 200.00
111     ZOE 7,500.00 8,000.00
112   Total OUTREACH MINISTRY $78,000.00 $72,000.00
115     Assistant Pastor
116       Assistant Pastor's Auto Expenses 700.00 700.00
117       Assistant Pastor's Continuing Ed 1,000.00 1,000.00
118       Assistant Pastor's Housing 24,000.00 24,000.00
119       Assistant Pastor's Life Insurance 225.00 225.00
120       Assistant Pastor's Meeting Expense 400.00 400.00
121       Assistant Pastor's Pension Cost 6,150.00 6,150.00
122       Assistant Pastor's Professional Expenses 500.00 500.00
123       Assistant Pastor's Salary 27,250.00 27,250.00
124       Assistant Pastor's Self Employment Tax Offset 3,920.63 3,921.00
125     Total Assistant Pastor $64,145.63 $64,146.00
127     Pastor
128       Pastor's Auto Expenses 2,000.00 2,000.00
129       Pastor's Continuing Ed 1,500.00 1,500.00
130       Pastor's Death & Disability        779.34        791.00
131       Pastor's Housing 30,000.00 30,000.00
132       Pastor's Meeting Expenses 300.00 300.00
133       Pastor's Pension Cost      8,572.72      8,692.00
134       Pastor's Professional Expenses 500.00 500.00
135       Pastor's Salary    47,933.83    49,000.00
136       Pastor's Self Employment Tax Offset      5,961.94      6,045.00
137     Total Pastor    $97,547.83    $98,828.00
138   Total PASTORAL SERVICES $161,693.46 $162,974.00
140 TOTAL EXPENSE $387,184.65 $386,759.00
142 Net Income   (35,384.65)   (9,959.00)

Draft Minutes of June 11, 2017 business meeting

The Congregation at Duke University Chapel
Annual Business Meeting
June 11, 2017, 1:00 p.m.
Goodson Chapel, Duke University Divinity School

The annual business meeting of the Congregation at Duke University Chapel was called to order by Council president, Frank Coble, at 1 p.m. Quroum (49) was confirmed by Tamela Davis, outgoing secretary.

Rev. Andrew Phillips, associate pastor, led members in the congregation mission statement and an opening prayer.

Frank reviewed the meeting agenda which was unanimously adopted, none opposed, on Steve Harper's motion, seconded by Lois Oliver.

There being no additions or corrections to the June 19, 2016, annual meeting minutes, Tamela asked for a motion to approve the minutes as written. Craig DeAlmeida's motion was seconded by Chuck King and approved unanimously, none opposed.

Highlights of the past year were displayed on a screen with comments from committee representatives, including:

  1. Membership: The Rev. Dr. Carol Gregg, senior pastor, reported on new members and deceased members. She led the congregation in a memorial prayer for those who died.
    New members who joined in the fall of 2016 are Mary Anderson, Lauren Bell, Gary Bennett, Cat Colvin, Anikke Conway, Nicole Dalzell, Linda Daniel, Forrest and Allison McDougal, Shaun and Allison Pack, and James Spencer.
    New members who joined in the spring of 2017 are Jonathan Beckwith, Mary Sheldon Boney, Christine Callan, JP Cumming, Ned and Pam Hickey, Bill and Kathy Jones, Yvette Martinez, Norm and Joan Roobol, Robert Sills, Paul and Kathy Singer, and Tony, Susan, and Mark Willms.
    Members who died between May 1, 2016 and May 1, 2017 are Chuck Altmeyer, Rosemary Berger, Keith Brodie. Claramae Eshelman, Mary Gates, Mary Jones, Barbara Kowalke, Mary Lib Ryland, Richard Weston, David Work, and Ken Wright.
  2. Education: Patrick Cacchio, outgoing council representative, reported the three retreats held this past year. Half day retreats were held in the fall and spring; the Annual Overnight Retreat focused on the theme of "Eating for the Kingdom of God". He continued that children's programming is going well, including Godly Play, Lift Ev'ry Voice and weekly Bible stories.
  3. Fellowship: Carol Gregg reported for the Fellowship as Lucy Worth, the Congregational Care Program Area Coordinator, was unable to attend. Carol reported that Lemonade on the Lawn, following worship each Sunday, has resumed and that volunteers are needed to help set up, bring snacks, serve, take down. Janet Hortin and Antoinette Bethea were praised for their leadership of the Fellowship Committee. The Second Wednesday Lunch is a new monthly opportunity for adult fellowship at different restaurants. Visitation Ministry connects with those who are ill and homebound, while the Calling Ministry is working to reach goals all members on or near their birthdays. Loaves and Fishes provides meals to congregation members following illness, surgery, and other events.
  4. Missions and Outreach: Dave Vos, outgoing Council representative, reported that the congregation's support of local and global missions has been significant over the past year. He noted that the Back Pew collections have decreased and more congregation members are needed to contribute and be involved. Also, involvement in the Ronald McDonald House of Durham has been limited but is a worthy service project. Dave commented on the congregational support of the Porters, missionaries in China, noting, in particular, their work with translations. Step-Up Ministry, which helps adults with difficulty in job placements, has been added for mission support.
  5. Chapel Support: Cindy Gass, continuing chair, reported the ongoing success of Altar Guild and Ushers. She noted that members rotate in their leadership of the Gospel Procession/Recession each Sunday. The Nursery has an average of five babies per Sunday. A group of volunteer docents lead tours of the chapel during the week and after worship each Sunday. Refreshments provided for the choir during the intermission of their Messiah performance.
  6. ZOE Project trip: Jane Fellowes reported on the trip to Africa that she and Carol Gregg took in June to visit the children supported by the Congregation in Zimbabwe. This is the second group of children the congregation has supported through ZOE; the first group was in Rwanda. Our support provides, not financial handouts, but "help up" for three stages of work toward self-sufficiency in order to become "food secure." Year One is planting crops to help families become food secure. During Year Two, households begin a small business with the help of micro grants. In Year Three, the whole group is given a grant to help start a community business. Carol and Jane will present highlights of their trip on Sunday, June 18, at 1 pm. Jane noted that there are ZOE Projects in about 33 countries and that orphans, ages 13-19, are considered heads of households in this project.

Budget (2017-18): In the absence of Ken Pittman, outgoing finance chair; Craig DeAlmeida, incoming finance chair, reviewed main points of FY18 budget, including Administrative Expenses, Chapel Support, Christian Nurture, Congregational Care, Missions and Outreach, and Pastoral Services. The budget projects a $36,000 deficit. Craig noted that the finance committee members looked to the past to predict future budget. FY17 surplus was spent down for missions, including $10,000 donated to United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) for hurricane relief in North Carolina. Staff expenses total $250,000 of total budget and $78,000 is designated for missions and outreach.

Continuing, Craig noted that the congregation has a "rock steady" history of giving. Stewardship campaign will be geared toward fall and spring for encouraging increased giving.

With no amendments or changes to the FY18 budget, Harry Rodenhizer's motion to approve the budget was seconded by Janell Lovelace and approved unanimously, none opposed.

Nominating and Leadership: Sarah Gauger, outgoing chair, announced outgoing Council members and thanked them for their service: Patrick Cacchio, Kate Clayton, Ken Pittman, Billy Chow, Sarah Gauger and Tamela Davis. They were offered quilted pot holders made by members of the Duke Chapel Quilters. Sarah also noted that two positions have not been filled, Membership and DCIA representative.

Sarah announced the proposed slate of 2017-18 Council members:
     Frank Coble, President
     Jan Gwyer, Vice President
     Susan Ward, Secretary
     Billy Chow, Treasurer
Program Area Coordinators:
     Brady Surles, Congregational Care
     Cindy Gass, Chapel Support
Standing Committees:
     Janell Lovelace, Chair
Christian Education:
     Nell Noonan, Council Representative
Missions and Outreach
     Dave Rendell, Council Representative
Nominations and Leadership Development
     Beth Sturkey, Council Representative
     Rebecca Ray, Chair
Stewardship and Finance:
     Craig DeAlmeida, Chair

Fred Westbrook made a motion that the 2017-18 slate be approved. His motion was seconded by Linda Gauger and approved unanimously, none opposed. The Rev. Dr. Gregg commissioned the incoming Council members and offered prayer.

Sarah asked for nominations from the floor for the unfilled positions. Kate Clayton nominated Tamela Davis as the DCIA representative. Tamela accepted the nomination. Lois Oliver's motion to approve Tamela's nomination was seconded by Frank Coble, and approved unanimously, none opposed.

Phyllis Snyder, Children's Pastor, took the opportunity to thank Kate DeAlmeida for her faithful service in children's programming. Frank offered appreciation to Phyllis and Nelson Strother for their help with member directories and arrangements for annual meeting.

Steve Harper made a motion to adjourn at 1:45 pm, seconded by Mike Arneson and approved unanimously, none opposed.

Phyllis offered closing prayer.

Respectfully submitted,

Tamela Davis,


The Congregation at Duke University Chapel


Sunday, June 10, 2018, 1:00 p.m.

Goodson Chapel

Duke Divinity School

Welcome and Call to Order Frank Coble
Determination of Quorum Susan Ward
Affirmation of Faith and Opening Prayer Phyllis Snyder
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 Frank Coble
Review and Approve Minutes from June 11, 2017 Susan Ward
Highlights of the Past Year  
    Chapel Support  
    Empowerment Ministries Donell Shaw
2018-2019 Budget Craig DeAlmeida
Report of Nominating Committee and Elections Deb Hackney
    Recognition of Outgoing Council Members
    Commissioning of New Officers and Council Members
Motion for Adjournment Frank Coble
Closing Prayer Andrew Phillips