The Congregation at Duke University Chapel

2019 Annual Meeting

Welcome Congregation Members;

As June approaches so does the time our congregation holds its annual luncheon and business meeting as required in the bylaws of the The Congregation at Duke University Chapel. This year the meeting will be held on Sunday, June 9th. 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 3. The annual business meeting will begin at 1:00 p.m. in Goodson Chapel. All of the materials for our meeting are posted below.

The 12 members of the council, along with our pastors and staff, will enjoy meeting our congregation members at the luncheon and the presentations. 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.

Following our lunch, we will hear about numerous ministries within our congregation to gain an overview of our life together as a congregation. These presentations will illustrate how we as a congregation are striving to deepen our connections with God and our neighbors. In addition, we will vote on our annual budget and our leadership for the coming year, as required by our bylaws.

I hope you will enjoy reviewing the work our members have contributed in this year's report. The wonderful gifts our congregation members have contributed is so inspiring. I'm amazed in the talent and commitment that fosters new relationships each day! All have sought to make a difference in God's work, and I am very grateful for the privilege to serve this congregation.


With God's grace,

Jan Gwyer
President, The Congregation at Duke University Chapel

Proposed Slate of Lay Leaders for 2019-2020

Executive Committee
Craig DeAlmeida
Vice President:
Brady Surles
Mary Anderson
Drew Hains

Program Area Coordinators
Christian Education:
Fran Steele
Congregation Care:
Marsha Altmeyer
Chapel Support:
Drew Middleton

Standing Committees - Council Representatives
Janell Lovelace
John Mullins
Missions and Outreach:
Nancy Wawrousek
Beth Gettys Sturkey
Staff Parish:
Whitney Schwab
The twelve persons listed above are Congregation Council Representatives.

Nominations Committee Members:
Harry Rodenhizer (chair), Antoinette Bethea, Jen DeNeal, Jan Radabaugh, Beth Gettys Sturkey
Staff Parish Members:
Leisa Dennehy (chair), Brenda Brodie, Jeannie Norris, Whitney Schwab, Mike Smith, Patsy Willimon

Additional Committee Chairs
Missions & Outreach Chair:
Bill Jones
Christian Education Chair:
Jack Steele
Fellowship Chairs:
Emily Alexander
Elizabeth Kenly
Membership Chair:
_ _

Service Group Chairs
Altar Guild:
Ellie Ferguson
Chapel Choir Outreach:
Antoinette Bethea
Loaves & Fishes:
Pam Marcom
Memorial Chapel Communion:
Ed Harlow
Julie Hockett
Offering Counters:
Frank Coble
Jim Ferguson

Additional Leadership
Assistant Treasurer:
Sara Marks
Calling Ministry:
Linda Gauger
DCIA Representative:
Tamela Davis
Visitation amd Care Ministry:
Linda Gauger

Annual Report



Missions and Outreach Committee

by Bill Jones

The Missions and Outreach Committee is charged by the Congregation to build connections with our neighbors locally, within the state, nationally, and internationally. In 2018-2019, our ministry provided approximately 1700 Congregation volunteer hours for the following activities.

  • Continued our practice of monthly Saturday Service Projects and Back Pew Collections of needed supplies for local charity organizations to further their mission.
  • Distributed $45,900 in grants to eleven partner organizations. To increase community impact, fifty-one percent of grants were focused on empowerment (education, employment, special support) vs basic needs (food, shelter).
  • Partnered 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.
  • Served meals to Durham's homeless on a monthly basis as part of our long-standing relationship with Urban Ministries of Durham.
  • Supported Duke Chapel in the building of a local Habitat for Humanity house in East Durham throughout the school year. In addition, contributed to the Habitat for Humanity Repairs Apprentice Program to offer employment training and home maintenance.
  • Organized a week long disaster relief service trip, in partnership with the Fuller Center, to help with recovery from hurricane Florence in New Bern, NC.
  • Provided financial support for two orphan groups in Zimbabwe through ZOE Ministries to promote a path to economic independence and social integration into their communities.
  • Conducted monthly committee planning meetings, attended by generous and dedicated members: Lynn Arden, Joel Boggan, Elaine DeAlmeida, Linda Daniel, Jane Fellows, Diane Garber, Carol Gregg, Kathy Jones, Bill Jones, Jeanine Krenicky, Carol Matteson, Walker Robinson, Cricket Scovil, Robert Sills, Mary Tyrey, Lee Tyrey, Judi Vos, Dave Vos, and Nancy Wawrousek.

We give thanks to God for the opportunity to be of service and assist our neighbors.


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 call 919-688-2036. Tamela Davis serves as the Congregation's representative.


Empowerment Ministries

by Carol Gregg

As a result of a special mission campaign in the fall of 2017, the Congregation raised over $50,000 to support two specific Empowerment Ministries. The impact of this special initiative is continuing to change lives for the good.

Repairs Apprentice: Through a deeper partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Durham, the congregation funded a new year-long position of a Repairs Apprentice. The role was designed for someone who had barriers to employment, who would be able to learn marketable skills even while helping low-income homeowners stay in their homes. Donell Shaw, who successfully held this position for the calendar year of 2018, accepted a full-time position from Habitat for Humanity. Donell is now mentoring the next Repairs Apprentice, Raynell Mays. The Congregation is continuing its support of the Repairs Apprentice program.

ZOE: In three short years, ZOE empowers vulnerable children to become economically self-sufficient. With the support of the Empowerment Ministry gifts, the Congregation has doubled the number of children it is supporting in Zimbabwe. Through two working groups, one named "Reward" and the other named "Wise", 154 children are breaking the cycle of extreme poverty and moving beyond charity.

Thank you for supporting these ministries which empower individuals, both locally and globally, to become economically self-sufficient. This is one of many ways the Congregation puts love of neighbor into action.


Families Moving Forward Meals

by Linda Daniel

This year the Congregation did four rotations at Families moving forward. Rotation meaning whether you did main dish, Veggie/salad/fruit dessert, or paper products Bread and Drink.

We served Monday and then a complete meal on Tuesday nights, and then did child care or Peach learning for the young children. Each night there were four to five people. Jane Fellows, Linda Daniel, Emma Armstrong Carter, Jen DeNeal, Carol Gregg, Antionette Bethea, Marsha Altmeyer, Lynne Arden, Laura Jansen, Elaine DeAlmeida, Nancy Marks, and Sara Marks are some of the people who participated by being there or donating food. There may have been others I missed.


Our Missionaries in Asia

by Dave Vos, for Steven and Mary Porter

It has been another challenging year of working for SIL and preparing for extended home leave. Mary continued to oversee the educational needs of coworkers in the province. She consulted with families to select home school curriculum and tutored several children. She continued a project compiling books and materials to support families, cataloging 900+ books and resources so that families can access them while the Porters are on home leave. Just before leaving China this center had to be moved.

Steve was greatly encouraged that new language projects 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 near the western frontier. 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. As the Porters said farewells there was much uncertainty whether the government will permit them to continue their work in the same way.

The Porters have settled in Minnesota as the base for their home stay year; their aging parents are a concern and son Jeremy began college at U of W Madison. A highlight in August was the wedding of older son Christopher, also in Minnesota.

Thank you for your involvement with your finances and your prayers. The Porters look forward to seeing how Father furthers "the good works He has begun" in these people groups. They intend to renew our partnership with a visit to the chapel in the fall.


Refugee Resettlement

by Stephen Harper, Chair

A quick look at the past year shows that our sponsored refugee families are certainly maturing in their ability to function here. Car loans, mortgages, taxes, medical, school sports, educational issues are becoming old hat. It is what we hoped for years ago.

Katherine Ksor, age 9, attended her first year at Chestnut Ridge Methodist Summer Camp. It was a wild experience for her: first time away from mom and dad; life in the forest and lake.

Ngat Kpa attended Duke Strings Summer Camp and received her first viola lessons after playing in the school orchestra for 3 years without any lessons.

Sabat Siu, age 18, attended a 15-day Outward Bound wilderness hiking and camping experience. It poured rain for 12 days. The program includes a 24 hour solo period removed from any other humans. Sabat came home with a new confidence and leadership skills as I hoped he would. Sabat will attend UNC Asheville, starting as a selected honors student in the Fall of 2019.

Henri Siu, age 18, attended a Cyber Technology Camp where projects contributed to the security of our military networks and applications. He attended camp at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute in North Carolina in 2016. Henri will attend UNC Greensboro to major in mathematics on his way to a potential future as an astrophysicist.

Thanh Siu, age 15, attended for the second year a free offering for middle schoolers at Duke called INNOWORKS, a hands-on science week in the Pratt Engineering School. Although a 9th grader, he will attend again this year. Thanh lives as an Aspergers case. He is enrolled in the Occupational Skills Pathways program at Jordan High.

Mini Kpa, age 16, a rising senior at Durham’s School of the Arts, received a $4,000 scholarship to attend a 4-week language, art, and travel program in Toulouse, France, in June, 2019.

Ngat Kpa, age 15, a rising junior at Jordan High, follows her sister in receiving a $4,000 scholarship to attend a 4-week language, art, and travel program in Shanghai in July, 2019.

Mini and Ngat have served as ushers in Duke Chapel for the past year. Our funding, with assistance from others, provided a portion of the air travel for these two young ladies.

I hope that budgeted funds continue to be available for application to specific support items for refugees. I may request use of budgeted funds to assist with some incidental college expenses, college search travel, and contributions to computer purchases for college-bound individuals. These are items that shock the family budgets. General college expenses for tuition, room, board, fees, etc., appear to be covered by scholarships won by the students through their honors work in high school.

I never imagined this kind of opportunities and relationships for which I am so thankful. Our Congregation makes a difference in the lives of these dozen kids.


Urban Ministries Monthly Lasagna Dinners

by Cricket Scovil

Each month the Congregation at Duke Chapel serves a lasagna dinner at the Urban Ministries Shelter in downtown Durham. The menu hasn't changed in the more than twenty years that we have been shelter volunteers: Stouffers lasagna, salad, fruit cocktail, cookies, and lemonade.

Each volunteer brings two cooked twelve-serving lasagnas and the meal coordinators, Dave and Judi Vos at the Wednesday dinners and Jeanine Valkos at the Sunday dinners, purchase the remainder of the meal with budgeted Congregation funds at a nearby "big box" store.

Longtime Sunday night meal coordinator Bill Youngblood retired from his role at the end of December, and we all miss his wit, wisdom, and impish sense of humor. Many thanks, Bill!

We try to have ten to twelve volunteers and a total of twenty two lasagnas for each dinner. Congregation members (and friends) contact Cricket Scovil (at [email protected]) to volunteer as servers and lasagna cookers. We always need extra lasagnas and appreciate Congregation members who drop off lasagnas at the shelter kitchen even though they may not be able to stay and help serve the meal.

During 2018, we provided 260 lasagnas. That is 1,430 pounds of lasagna! Volunteers donated almost 450 man hours at the shelter café and served an average of 210 meals per occasion.

During the first quarter of 2019, we have provided dinner for 860 shelter residents, serving 83 twelve-serving lasagnas by an average of 13 volunteers at each meal.

We welcome new volunteers! Wednesday dinners run from 6:15 to 8 pm and Sunday night dinners run from 5:15 to 7 pm. The shelter is located at 410 Liberty Street. Upcoming dinner dates are June 26 (Wed), July 14 (Sun), August 28 (Wed), September 8 (Sun), October 23 (Wed), and November 10 (Sun), 2019.



by Jane Fellows

ZOE Empowers is the new name for ZOE Ministries which has been changed to better reflect their mission. They are expanding into new countries and have about 40,000 orphans in the program currently and 70,000 graduates. The Congregation supports two groups in Zimbabwe. One is in the urban area of Mutare and one is a rural group. Both are in their first year in the program and doing well. Rev Carol Gregg and Jane Fellows had planned to go to Zimbabwe to meet these groups in April of 2019, but the trip was cancelled due to the extensive damage to life and property in eastern Zimbabwe from Cyclone Idai. The trip is planned again for April 22-29, 2020 and any Congregation members who are interested can find out more by contacting the Congregation office or looking at the ZOE website: .




Christian Education Committee

by Theresa Yuschok

"Covenant Community", the 2018-2019 theme was introduced at the Overnight retreat at Camp Caraway by Dr Stephen Chapman illuminating Deuteronomy and members offering related break-out sessions. The summer Bible Study for adults and youth was devoted to Deuteronomy as well.

In September, Dr Ellen Davis presented art and commentary on The Book Of Ruth, addressing the question "What does it mean to be Community?" 35 members participated.

In December, Adult Forum hosted an Advent study series on Handel's Messiah by The Rev. Dr. Richard Heitzenrater.

In March, the Education Committee planned the first Congregation Square Dance for all ages. After the potluck, Rev. Brain Stratton gave theological insights on "The Lord of the Dance or the Dance of the Lord." 38 members enjoyed the do-si-do and grand promenade.

Book Studies this year included Community and Growth by Jean Vanier, A Bigger Table by John Pavolitz about radical hospitality, and The Search for Common Ground by Howard Thurman.

Many thanks to all who taught us this year, Rev. Carol's guidance and the members of the Education Committee: Patrick Cacchio, Lynn Holmes, Nancy Marks, Meredith Newlin, Nell Noonan, Sandy Powers, Phyllis Snyder, Josh Stanley, Fran Steele, Jack Steele, Brain Stratton, Nelson Strother, Tony Willms, Kaity Woodrum, Theresa Yuschok, and Gretchen Ziegenhals.


Adult Forum

by Nelson Strother

Over the summer of 2018, the professional staff of the Congregation led a Sunday morning Bible study on Deuteronomy, 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 messages on thought-provoking topics led by Congregation members as well as guest leaders who are experts in their field. We have been pleased to have six sessions led by guest preachers who were soon to appear in the pulpit within the Chapel. While our attendance has ranged from eight to 44 people in the room during class time (median attendance 20), others may listen to or view materials from many class sessions via: .


Lift Ev'ry Voice

by Phyllis Snyder

Lift Ev'ry Voice continued for a third year, and provided an eleven-week (June 10 through August 26, 2018), hour-long program designed to introduce children ages four through fifth-graders 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. In addition, children were introduced to Psalm 91 throughout the summer. Students participated in a sing-a-long with their parents for the last class. This class was co-led by Kaity Woodrum and Elaine DeAlmeida.

Hymns, spirituals, gospel songs and rounds learned included: At the Name of Jesus; Christ is the World's Light, Hail to the Lord's Anointed, Holy, Holy, Holy (Sanctus); I Sing the Almighty Power of God; Let Us Break Bread Together; On Eagle's Wings; Praise to the Lord the Almighty; The God of Abraham Praise; We Three Kings; Hallelu, Hallelu; He's Got the Whole World; Jacob's Ladder; Praise God with Me. Christmas in July series songs included: In the Bleak Midwinter; O Come, O Come, Emmanuel; Once in Royal David's City; Morning Star; We Three Kings.


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 20 families have participated during the past year (12 of which were member families, 8 of which were non-member families).
  • A total of 31 children have participated during the past year (18 of which were from member families, 13 of which were from non-member families)
  • Attendance Report for children
    • Average per week: 14
    • Median per week: 13
    • Range: 8 to 21
  • The following volunteer members of the Godly Play Teaching Team are instrumental in the success of this program
    • Rosemarie Gulla (12 years)
    • Marianna Henry (11 years)
    • Jane Fellows (8 years)
    • Jan Radabaugh (7 years)
    • Mel Snyder (4 years)
    • Cheznee Johnson (2 year)
    • Diane Haithcock (1 year)
    • Liz McMahon (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 in worship and at a fellowship event.

In November 2018 we weclomed 11 new members: Cat Clyburn, Jen DeNeal, Corinne and Jeff Houpt, Mary Little, Nancy Marks, Sara Marks, Ann Sager, Rachel Stanley, and Jack and Fran Steele.

In April 2019 we welcomed 10 new members: Lynn Arden, Parker Betts, Kohl and Hilary Boydston, Caroline Craig, Diane Garber, Jeffry Huo, Sharon Jones, Shawn Proffitt, and Ben Wechsler.

Both classes were assisted and befriended by Emily Alexander, Ann and Cary Gravett, Deb Hackney, Elizabeth Kenly, Harry Rodenhizer, Cricket Scovil, and Leigh Wynkoop. These volunteers contributed approximately 45 hours to welcoming their sisters and brothers in Christ.

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. This year, the lesson guide God's Wonderful World from Musikgarten's God's Children Sing curricula was used. Seventeen families participated throughout the year, six 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 focused on God's Creation: birds, oceans, night/day, animals, and weather, along with the concepts of working together and growing up. We believe that every young child has a sense of the sacred and, if it is part of the family model, it has a chance to blossom. Through these shared, sacred experiences, participants, both children and adults, have found that their knowledge of God grows as they become more aware of God's love for them and all Creation.

Kate DeAlmeida, the regular Wee Praise leader, attended a Musikgarten workshop to further develop her skills and become a certified teacher for children through five years old and in the God's Children Sing curricula. She thanks the Congregation for giving her this opportunity. We appreciate all who participate in this ministry, but especially the Martinez 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 have held steady since 2016, despite the fact that children outage the program when they turn four:


Average Weekly Attendance

Median Weekly Attendance

Range of Weekly Attendance




6 to 21




3 to 9




3 to 12


Women's Bible Study

by Beth Gettys Sturkey

The Women's Bible Study meets to study the word of God and be in fellowship with one another. Most of the year, we follow The Upper Room Disciplines, but we sometimes read and discuss other books of interest. This year, we have taken ten meetings for in-depth study of the Psalms using a Short Term Disciples series book (Invitation to the Psalms) as our guide. Deb Hackney, Gretchen Ziegenhals, and Patsy Willimon have been our teachers for these sessions.

Our meetings every other Monday night from 7-9 pm have given us many opportunities to learn, to lead sessions, and to develop valued friendships. What a blessing to have this time together, and to support each other in discussing the lectionary readings and the Psalms, as well as to pray for our own and the world's needs.

Though we are officially the Women's Small Group Bible Study, we are blessed with many members, including Robin Barefoot, Kimberley Caulfeild, Kate DeAlmeida, Leisa Dennehy, Adriana Doi, Cindy Gass, Minoka Gunesekera, Jan Gwyer, Deb Hackney, Cammey Manning, Pam Marcom, Laura Nye, Renee Puckett, Fran Steele, Beth Gettys Sturkey, Patsy Willimon, Leigh Wynkoop, and Gretchen Ziegenhals. Lynne Arden, Mary Little, and Rebecca Smith hope to join us soon.

We average seven to ten people each meeting. Sometimes we get everyone at the same time, which is a treat and a blessing!


Youth Ministry

by Carol Gregg

On Sunday mornings, students in grades 6-12 participate in thoughtful Bible study. During the six years of Youth Bible Study, participants will study nearly the whole Bible. Each fall focuses on an Old Testament book(s), and each spring, the focus is on a New Testament book(s). In fall of 2018 the topic was First and Second Samuel. In the spring of 2019, the students read the letters from Colossians to Jude. While the content of the class was substantive, attendance was limited with typically only 1-3 students participating.

Attempts to engage in traditional youth fellowship events outside of Sunday morning Bible study were not particularly fruitful. Two youth participated in service projects in summer 2018, two families participated in a planning meeting in the early fall in 2018, five youth came to a service project in October, and no students came to a service project in January. No youth expressed interest in the annual ski weekend retreat.

In recent years, the number of high school seniors graduating has been significantly larger than the number of 6th grade students entering youth ministry. Our current rolls show:

  • Ten youth whose families are members of the Congregation and have been active in recent years. Some of these students usher, some attend youth Bible study, some attend service projects, and some attend worship.
  • Seven youth whose families are not members of the Congregation who have participated in the recent years. A couple of these students have participated in service projects or Bible study.
  • Eleven youth whose families are members of the Congregation, but either live out of state or have not participated in the life of the Congregation in many years.

With small numbers of middle and high school youth in our midst, the Congregation will continue to provide Sunday morning Bible study while simultaneously striving to engage youth in other ministries of the congregation such as service projects or ushers.

This year, students spent approximately 52 hours learning, 37 hours of service, and 120 hours ushering while adults spent 96 hours teaching and 15 hours as mentors.




Birthday Calling Ministry

By Linda Gauger

Every month 13 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

Thank you Barbara Carmen, June Griggs, Gay Elliot, Janet Hortin, Ernie Ruckert, Ginny Ruckert, Regina Ford, Suzie Strayhorn, Ann Sager, Elinor Knapp, Hugh Knapp, and Gretchen Ziegenhals.


Fellowship Committee

by Janet Hortin

The Fellowship Committee at Duke Chapel has worked together to create at least one event per month where congregation members gather after chapel services and get to know one another over food and beverages. Members of the committee are Regina and Dan Ford, Emily Alexander, Laura Nye, Ann Gravatt, Sydnor Patrick, Craig and Kate DeAlmeida, Brady Surles, Elizabeth Kenly, and Janet Hortin. J Geneczko was an ex officio member who helped with most events.

During the summer months we hosted lemonade in the lower level lounge weekly after services. Average attendance was around 40 people except for our Ice Cream Social in June which was extremely popular. During the ice cream event we welcomed over 80 people.

On September 23, we hosted a picnic at Piney Wood Park. Over 50 people attended on a lovely late summer Sunday afternoon.

Monthly second Sunday lunches at Brodhead Center commenced in October. These are held throughout the academic year. Usually 30-50 people attend these events.

We hosted several snack lucks in the lower level lounge when the choir was away. The Epiphany Snack Luck in January was a festive celebration with king cakes and lots of food. More than 60 people attended. Typically, the fellowship committee has provided sandwiches and beverages for these events.

It has been a joy to serve in a leadership role for the past four years on this committee. I have especially enjoyed getting to know and work with my fellow committee members, and to meet visitors, new members, and long time members of the congregation through our events.


Growing Thru Grief

by Nell Noonan

In 2018, Growing Thru Grief celebrated the fifth anniversary of its initial gathering. The program now has 14 coalition members, including the Congregation at Duke Chapel, who contribute $300 annually to offset the expenses of the group.

Since the weekly gatherings began in 2013, over 500 individuals have participated in the weekly grief support sessions. During 2018 alone, over 220 individuals attended with average weekly attendance for the entire year at 35 individuals, the highest yet.

Meetings are held weekly at St. Paul's Lutheran Church at the intersection of Cornwallis and Pickett (GTG even held a simplified meeting on Christmas Day!). The gatherings run from 4:30 to 6:00 pm with registration, coffee and snacks beginning at 4:00. Sessions include a presentation followed by time for safe, confidential, small group sharing with two trained facilitators. Nell Noonan gave three of the formal presentations in 2018 and serves as the Congregation's board representative.

The program is enjoying healthy growth while offering educational experiences and continued healing and support to those who mourn. It is free and open to all who have lost a loved one.


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, homeless camps, as well as the Ronald McDonald House. Our group, which includes Duke University students, meets for lunch and fellowship 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

There are 28 members of the Loaves and Fishes ministry. We have provided meals for the following congregation members:

  • Charlyse Myhand-McDaniel and Adrian McDaniel, new baby, (November, 2018)
  • Carolyn and Brady Surles, Carolyn had surgery (December, 2018)
  • Chibuike and Oge Umeh, Oge had surgery, they were Duke students returning to Africa, (December, 2018)
  • Siera and Soren Palmer, new baby, Soren had foot surgery. We sent them meals for 5-6 weeks, as Siera couldn’t lift the baby and Soren had foot surgery and was in a boot. (November, December, 2018)
  • Megan and Patrick Cacchio, new baby (May, 2019)



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 2019
Active members as of May 1, Previous Year  
  Number of member households 344 335 347 347 358 361
  Number of active members 529 525 539 490 494 474
Membership Gains  
  By confirmation or youth affirmation of faith 1 0 1 1 6 0
  Adult transfer or affirmation of faith 27 22 18 26 23 19
Membership Losses  
  Deaths 8 7 7 11 7 4
  By transfer of membership 5 7 15 4   2
  To inactive status 4 0 0 0 26 0
  Withdrawal of membership 15 2 11 11 8 13
Active members as of May 1, Current Year  
  Number of member households 335 347 347 358 361 355
  Number of active members 525 539 490 494 474 480
Active Membership by Age*  
  Children up to age 11 in member households 70 62 65 67 69 66
  Youth age 12-17 in member households 32 28 24 19 25 21
  Adults age 18-39 109 112 117 102 101 128
  Adults age 40-65 196 196 203 171 148 149
  Adults age 65-85 155 156 153 163 163 181
  Adults age 85 and older 37 47 45 40 36 44
* incomplete as in the past as many as 19 member birthdates were unknown to the Congregation office  


Prayer Ministry

by Carol Gregg

Approximately once a week, an email is sent to the Prayer Ministry asking the members of the ministry to pray for specific prayer requests. The prayer requests span the breath of life giving thanks for the birth of babies and seeking comfort in the face of death. 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. In addition, paper prayer request cards located outside of the Memorial Chapel are mailed to Prayer Ministry members.

Currently, 38 people have committed to praying for others. They are: Emily Alexander, Marsha Altmeyer, Jonathan Beckwith, Lauren Bell, Frank Coble, JP Cumming, Linda Daniel, Tamela Davis, Craig DeAlmeida, Kate DeAlmeida, Susan Eitelman, Carol Gregg, Ann Hall, Audrey Harlow, Ed Harlow, Sara Harper, Nancy Jirtle, Ed Karolak, Linda Karolak, David Langford, Tom Link, Pamela Marcom, Janis Parker, Kathi Peindl, Luke Powery, Ann Recesso, Mary Robinson, Ernie Ruckert, Ginnie Ruckert, Phyllis Snyder, James Spencer, Brian Stratton, Beth Gettys Sturkey, Fred Westbrook, Will Willimon, Tony Willms, Jim Wisner, and Terry Yuschok.

Together, the Prayer Ministry has likely offered more than 330 hours of prayer on behalf of others. This is a tremendous gift to friends in need as God responds to our prayers.


Duke Chapel Quilters

by Ann Recesso

The Chapel Quilters met nine times this year and have distributed 35 quilts for the congregation. Most of the quilts have gone to members of the congregation and are distributed by Carol Gregg. Ten quilts were donated to Kathleen Peindl for her patients, five were presented to the Hernandez family who accepted the home through Habitat for Humanity and six given to Meals on Wheels. Potholders were also sewn and given to the New Members class of the Congregation.

The majority of fabric for quilts and potholders is donated from various sources but quilt batting and insular lining for potholders must be purchased. Sewing machine needles, rotary cutter discs, and thread are also purchased as well as some larger pieces of cotton fabric for quilt backing.

Members of the quilting committee are Eleanor Harrell, Bette Hummelbrunner, Nancy Jirtle, Marilyn Christian, Mary Tyrey, Ann Recesso, and Arlene Novels.


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 seven 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 so incredible folks who were leaders before us and we have deepened 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, Suzie Stayhorn, Dan Thomas, Brain Stratton, Marsha Altmeyer, Regina Ford, and new member Sharon Jones.


Young Adult Ministry

by Carol Gregg

Last summer, I met with young adults, individuals in their 20s and 30s, to imagine and plan young adult ministry at the Congregation. The result of this planning was three opportunities which together would create monthly opportunities for this specific population. Triple T is dinner and discussion which meets twice a month; originally the name stood for "Tuesday, Table, Talk" until the day of the gathering moved to Monday thus creating "Theology, Table, Talk". Friday Night Out is a monthly dinner in a local restaurant and Pub Theology, held in cooperation with the Presbyterian and Lutheran Campus Ministries, is also held once a month. In summer, attendance at Triple T averaged nine people, Friday Night Out drew five or six, and Pub Theology drew a smaller number from the Congregation.

Unfortunately, the summer's momentum did not carry forward into the academic year as schedules grew busier and some participants moved out of town. Attendance at Triple T has ranged from two to five while Friday Night Out and Pub Theology drew smaller numbers of participants. I think we need to continue to consider how to best minister to the University students and young adults in our midst.

We have likely spent approximate 200 hours in Young Adult Ministry.



Administration Committee

by Janell Lovelace

Committee Members: Janell Lovelace, chair; Mel Snyder, Mark Gass, Joe Krenicky, and Phyllis Snyder (ex officio) have been with the committee all year. Robin Barefoot dropped out early in the year and Kate Clayton moved out of state in the spring. Intern Lynn Holmes joined us for a few meetings in the spring. Ben Wechsler joined the committee in April.

Main activities during the 2018-2019 year:

  • Congregation's insurance policy was reviewed. The committee proposed increasing the umbrella coverage, adding coverage for theft or damage to office equipment, and adding cyber crime coverage. These changes were approved by the Council. Kate Clayton's assistance with this was greatly appreciated.
  • As a result of the insurance review, an addition was recommended to section #13 of the policies and procedures manual clarifying the procedures we have in place to safeguard minors, including background checks and participation in the Minors in Duke University Programs online training. This change was approved by the Council.
  • The committee reviewed RSVP apps used for Congregation functions. It was recommended that those wishing to use an app to schedule Congregation events should use SignUpGenius.
  • The overall structure of the website was reviewed and a few minor cosmetic changes were suggested.
  • With the extensive help of new committee member, Ben Wechsler, a video for the annual meeting is being prepared.
  • The role and responsibilities of the Administration committee was discussed, including should the committee have oversight of social media.


Finance and Stewardship Committee

by Penny Oslund

Committee Members: Penny Oslund, Chair, Bill Youngblood, Treasurer, Carol Gregg, Pastor, Cary Gravatt, Council Representative, Lynn Holmes, Intern, Billie Bauer, Gary Bauer, Billy Chow, Francis Donaie, Andrew Hains, Rick King, Sara Marks, John Mullins, and Lucy Worth

  • Planned and executed the Fall 2018 Sustainer Campaign with 86 sustainers committing $221,280
  • Completed the Annual Audit for FY 18 and received a clean report with no material deficiencies
  • Prepared the 2019-2020 Annual Budget (FY20) with assistance from Committee Chairs
  • Reviewed the Treasurer's report each month to track the financial health of the Congregation
  • Reviewed the Habitat Apprentice Program and recommended using the balance in the restricted Empowerment Fund as our FY 19 contribution


Nominations and Leadership Committee

by Deb Hackney

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 deepen our relationship with God and others. 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 over Zoom to meet 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:

  • Beth Gettys Sturkey who also served as representative to church Council
  • Antoinette Bethea and Jan Radabaugh
  • Harry Rodenhizer, incoming chair


Staff Parish Relations Committee

by Whitney Schwab

The Staff Parish Relations Committee, comprised of Brenda Brodie, Leisa Dennehy (chair), Jeannie Norris, Whitney Schwab (representative to Council), Mike Smith (secretary) and Patsy Willimon, had a challenging but productive year. We

  • Conducted an extensive search to fulfill the Congregation's newly created ministry position of Pastor for Education and Discipleship. Along with most current SPRC, the search group included Pastor Carol, Marianna Henry, Pam Marcom, and Forrest McDougal.
  • Conducted on-boarding activities for Josh Stanley, our new Pastor for Education and Discipleship, including: a team building exercise, a strategic planning exercise, and two personal meetings
  • Conducted annual staff reviews including individual meetings with each staff
  • Provided staff budget recommendations for the next fiscal year
  • Conducted an exit interview with Josh Stanley and learned that his job position was indeed well-defined and appropriate, but simply that he determined that he did not wish to stay in ministry in this period of his life
  • Recommended to Council, after significant debate, that the SPRC review output from the 2019 strategic plan before finalizing a recommendation for any new staff positions
  • Recommended and gained support from Council to hire interim, part-time staff to fill needs as they arise and/or engage volunteers with special talents and traits to support the Congregation's overall ministry

Going forward, the SPRC will continue to publicize in advance our meeting times and locations in order to allow for any staff or parish members to attend at least part of the meeting. It is our goal to be supportive of both and allow concerns to be transparently addressed as they may arise.


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 fourteen members of the Altar Guild: Brenda Brodie, Robin Barefoot, Joann Claytor, June Griggs, Martha Hall, Jane Hix, Sara Marks, Lois Oliver, Penny Oslund, Virginia Rhoton, Nina Upchurch, Patsy Willimon, and Anne Wright. The members are devoted to serving the Chapel in this significant way and it is a privilege to do so.


Children's Christmas Eve Service

by Carol Gregg

While the majority of the Congregation's ministry does not focus on worship, one notable exception is the Children's Christmas Eve Service. The staff of the Congregation take the lead in planning this special service. Phyllis Snyder recruits children to be part of the Christmas story tableau and adults to help guide the children in their roles. Josh Stanley recruited youth and adults to hand out costumes and assist in a variety of ways. Carol Gregg recruits story tellers and confirms the participation of ushers, offering counters, and musicians. A full sanctuary of 1,200 people attended the service.

Adult volunteers invest approximately 58 hours into this service while children invest approximately 75 hours.


Choir Engagement

by Carol Gregg

Each year, a small team of Congregation members make the appreciation of the Chapel Choir visible and tasty. The primary vehicle for this sign of appreciation is providing refreshments during the Friday evening performance of their annual Messiah weekend because many choir members come to the chapel directly from work with too little time to eat supper. During the performance's intermission, choir members enjoy hearty refreshments in small servings so the choir can quickly eat before returning to the sing. The Congregation is grateful for the choir's music which helps us lift our praise to God.



by Lois Oliver

The Chapel docents provided faithful service all year. The current active Sunday docents, Eileen Mitchell, Linda Sutton, Brady Surles, Maureen Johnson, and Ginny Cole, and occasionally Tamela Davis and Lois Oliver, each met visitors after the service approximately once a month. The tour lasts about 45 minutes each time. The volume of tourists varies from a few, to as many as 30 on any given Sunday, though there was one tour for 75. We celebrated Ann Recesso's retirement after many Sundays of service with a luncheon in January. We will add two new docents this summer, Robin Barefoot and Elizabeth Kenly.

Janell Lovelace, Linda Gauger, and Linda Sutton do scheduled tours during the weekdays. Tamela Davis, Steve Harper, Beth Sturkey, and Lois Oliver are present in the Chapel doing short or long tours depending on the flow of visitors. The Chapel tries to place scheduled tours during the times there is already a docent scheduled. The hours are 10 am to 12:30pm Tuesday through Thursday, and 1:30-3:30 on Thursday afternoon. All of the docents’ goals are to give visitors both an artistic, and a spiritual experience by seeing and hearing more about the Chapel building. Weekdays usually bring some people who are visitors or patients from the medical center, and they are appreciative of, and make use of the prayer request box.



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. Julie Hockett currently holds this position. We appreciate Julie'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'.

A meeting of the Nursery Caregivers was held on March 31. Among topics discussed was the paging system, which is no longer operational. It was decided to try the use of parent's cell phone numbers, which would allow parents to receive a text from the caregivers if their child needs them during the worship service. This system was implemented on April 7 and appears to be working fine so far. Only one comment has been received from a parent, who indicated they prefer the cell phone method over carrying a pager.

Attendance Report from last calendar year:

  • Average per week: 4 (with half being children of Congregation members)
  • Median per week: 4
  • Range: 0 to 8


Memorial Chapel Communion

by Ed Harlow

The Memorial Chapel Communion and Healing Committee is a committee 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), and Beth Sturkey.

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


Offering Counters

by Frank Coble

Each and every Sunday (and three times on Christmas Eve) a group of dedicated congregation members called offering counters assume the responsibility of counting and securing the offerings gathered by chapel ushers. This group of dedicated members intermittently serve during the year. A few individual counters have now served more than twenty years. The group has 17 members, of which four or more individuals serve during each count. These members include: Sarah Gauger, Soren Palmer, Marsha Altmeyer, Anne Wright, Cricket Scovil, Tamela Davis, Barry Berger, Acelynn Barefoot, Penny Oslund, Billy Chow, Chuck and Ann King, Pat and Joan Fox, Betty and Diane Hummelbrunner, and Frank Coble.

With much gratitude we appreciate their dedication to this chapel support ministry.



by Jim Ferguson and Rick Wilfong


  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 with Russ Owen.

Initially we were able to recruit a fair number of Duke (and occasionally UNC) students, but changing demographics have left us with fewer youth and with more adults as regulars. Mini and Ngat Kpa have been standouts this year among the precollege personnel.

One would like to claim weeks of foresight and generally the rosters are locked into place by Friday, 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, Mini Kpa, Ngat Kpa, Sophie Marcom, Liz McMahon, Leroy McRae, Drew Middleton, Penny Oslund, Harry Rodenhizer, Charlie Roedel, Ann Sager, Guy Solie, Mindy Solie, Brady Surles, Monica Wilfong, and Leigh Wynkoop.

Co-head ushers: Jim Ferguson & Rick Wilfong


Welcome Ministry

by James Spencer

The Welcome Ministry is closing in on its second academic calendar year of service. James Spencer is currently chairing the ministry, though a new leader is being sought as James is starting a new job out of state at the end of June. 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. We met with both Bruce and Carol Gregg to evaluate the progress of this ministry and have identified some desired additions to hopefully begin next fall. We are also going to be adding in some new members and potentially seeking a few more in the fall. As the leader of the team, I would like to thank each of our members Barbara Carman, Linda Gauger, Joan and Norm Roobol, Suzy Strayhorn, and Susan Willms for their devotion and for bringing an extra welcoming touch to Sunday worship.




by Carol Gregg

What are we doing as a congregation? Do you know?

In our life as a congregation, we each know a few areas of ministry. We wonder with joy as children ponder the faith. We sense God’s presence as we gather with other members in a living room. We feel honored to sweat on behalf of neighbors during a service project. We reverently handle communion elements behind a velvet curtain. And on Sunday mornings, with a warm handshake, we share the precious gift of the peace of Christ.

We each know a piece of this delightful puzzle that we call The Congregation at Duke Chapel. This annual report is an effort to see a bigger picture and to understand the myriad of ways that we are striving to serve God in this place. Consider this:

  • We have 38 ministries described in this annual report
  • We have 153 members (and 50 non-members) engaged in these ministries (with more than 60 people working in multiple ministries)
  • We have dedicated 7,800 hours to serving, learning, and caring.

This is a sign of significant and exciting ministry! Thank you for your part in this ministry and for your daily faithfulness. We are the living, breathing Body of Christ, guided by the Spirit, desiring to give glory to God. What a privilege and a joy!

I continue to give thanks to God for the opportunity to serve you as your pastor.



Education Pastor

by Carol Gregg

After Andrew Phillips, our Assistant Pastor from 2016-2018, announced his plans to move to Michigan with his wife and accept a new call, the Staff Parish Relations Committee reflected on and redesigned the position. With input from the Council and others, the Staff Parish Relations Committee created the position of Pastor for Education and Discipleship which was filled by Rev. Josh Stanley effective August 15, 2018. Josh ministered to youth and young adults, and assisted the Christian Education Committee with retreats and other events. His work in the Congregation was well-planned and thoughtful.

Rev. Stanley unexpectedly resigned his position in the Congregation effective February 28, 2019 and accepted a position of secular employment. His departure was the result of his desire to take an alternative career path. In April 2019, the Council decided to fill the vacancy created by this resignation with part-time staff for the next academic year.


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 = 20 (9 children, 11 adults)]
  • Caroling at The Forest at Duke [could not be arranged with The Forest this year]
  • 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 [cancelled due to rain this year]
  • Palm Sunday Processional for Duke Chapel worship service [~42 people participated (22 children, 20 adults)]
  • 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 2018/2019 children's programming possible:

  • Godly Play Teaching Team: Rosemary Gulla, Marianna Henry, Jane Fellows, Cheznee Johnson, Jan Radabaugh, Mel Snyder, Diane Haithcock, Liz McMahon
  • Lift Ev'ry Voice (summer Sunday School program): Kaity Woodrum, Elaine DeAlmeida
  • Wee Praise Teaching Team: Kate DeAlmeida, Megan Cacchio, Patrick Cacchio, Julie Hockett, Erin Martinez. 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 larger version of eNews on the third week of each month, which includes a preview of events for the upcoming month. Currently, 31 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 2018/2019
    • 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 Lynn Holmes

I am honored to have served the Congregation at Duke University Chapel as the Divinity School Intern for the 2018-2019 academic year. The opportunity to serve the Congregation's members through a Field Education placement has given me incredible practical experience that will prepare me for future ministry engagement.

During the academic year, a principal part of my role involved leading and teaching the Adult Bible Study. The class journeyed together through two ten-week studies, Ezra/Nehemiah (fall/winter) and the Gospel of Mark (winter/spring.) I am grateful for the class participants' faithful attendance and contributions for both studies. Also, Dr. Joel Marcus, a Gospel of Mark scholar, accepted my invitation to launch the winter/spring study at the Adult Forum. In addition to the Adult Bible Study, I enjoyed leading two Adult Forum presentations: "Changing Trends in Global Christianity," and "Exploring the Gender Gap in Religion Around the World."

Because of my vocational interests, I gained valuable insight through working with the Finance, Education and Administration Committees. Likewise, my involvement in a number of roles as part of Duke Chapel's worship services - including lector, minister of anointing, communion server, vespers presider, and prayer leader - helped to broaden my experiences. The Children's Christmas service, The Blessing of the Animals, and the Holy Week services also provided opportunities for me to stretch my exposure to other worship practices.

I am especially grateful for excellent supervision and mentoring from Rev. Dr. Carol Gregg, pastor to the Congregation as well as the support of the Congregation staff and the Lay Mentoring Committee, chaired by Whitney Schwab with members, Kate Clayton, James Gray, Penny Oslund, Ann Recesso, Fran Steele and Jack Steele.

God be praised for the opportunity to serve, to learn and to grow with the Congregation!

Budget Overview

by Penny Oslund

The Congregation, upon recommendation from the Stewardship & Finance Committee and Council approves an annual Budget as a guide in using our financial gifts to achieve our goals as a Christian community.

Budgeted expenses for FY 20 (July 2019 - June 2020) total $381K. This includes:

  • A 2% increase in pastoral and staff salaries and benefits
  • An increase in administrative software costs due to a significant Quick Books Online price jump
  • An increase in Children's Ministry training to meet the needs of larger classes
  • An 11% increase in the Annual Grants for Outreach Ministry plus the addition of $8.7K for a 25% FTE Habitat Apprentice
  • A 50% decrease in the Assistant Pastor salary as Council has authorized the Senior Pastor to hire Divinity School students on an hourly basis for specific projects.

Budgeted revenue of $383K includes $380K of donations, up 1.33% from prior year.

These combine to form a budgeted net income of $1.5K, breaking the string of unbalanced negative budgets.

Congregation at Duke University Chapel
FY 20 Budget
    FY 19 Budget FY 20 Budget
1 Income
2   GENERAL OPERATIONS DONATIONS 375,000.00 380,000.00
3     Other Giving
4     Pledge Fulfillment
5   Total GENERAL OPERATIONS DONATIONS 375,000.00 380,000.00
7     Capital Gain    
8     Other Accounts Interest 1,800.00 3,000.00
9   Total INTEREST EARNINGS $1,800.00 $3,000.00
10 Total INCOME $376,800.00 $383,000.00
12 Expenses
14     Admin Staff
15       Financial & IT Administrator 49,600.60 50,592.00
16       Financial & IT Administrator Retirement Contribution 1,240.00 1,264.80
17     Total Admin Staff $50,840.00 $51,856.80
18     Financial Service Fees
19       Audit Committee 4,300.00 4,750.00
20       Bank/Broker Fees 500.00 200.00
21       Payroll/Accounting Services 1,200.00 1,100.00
22     Total Financial Service Fees $6,000.00 $6,050.00
23     Insurance
24       Liability Ins 4,100.00 5,500.00
25         Background Checks 100.00 200.00
26       Total Liability Ins $4,200.00 $5,700.00
27       Workers Compensation Ins $1,600.00 $1,700.00
28     Total Insurance $5,800.00 $7,400.00
29     Office Expenses
30       Computer/Duke OIT Support 1,440.00 1,500.00
31       Computer Equipment/Supplies 2,000.00 3,000.00
32       Administrative Software 1,710.00 4,825.00
33       Office Supplies 1,700.00 1,700.00
34       Postage 300.00 300.00
35       Telephone 400.00 480.00
36       Web Hosting 300.00 300.00
37     Total Office Expenses 7,850.00 12,105.00
38     Payroll Expenses - FICA 6,900.00 6,802.66
39     Staff Parking Passes 2,800.00 2,700.00
40     Staff Recruiting/Search 1,000.00  
41   Total ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES $81,190.00 $86,914.46
44     Chapel
45       Altar Guild 100.00 100.00
46       Chapel Support Donation 2,000.00 2,000.00
47       Children's Worship Aids 100.00 125.00
48       Choir Engagement 200.00 200.00
49       Nursery Expenses 4,050.00 4,050.00
50       Prayer Ministry 100.00 250.00
51   Total CHAPEL SUPPORT $6,550.00 $6,725.00
54     Education
55       Adult Forum 1,800.00 1,800.00
56       Books - Milestone Gifts 400.00 400.00
57       Children's Ministry Training 250.00 500.00
58       Classroom Use Donation 2,750.00 2,750.00
59       Confirmation Class - Youth 0.00 500.00
60       Curriculum & Supplies - ADULT 1,000.00 800.00
61       Curriculum & Supplies - CHILDREN 1,000.00 1,000.00
62       Curriculum & Supplies - YOUTH 1,000.00 1,000.00
63       Daylong Retreats (Fall & Winter) 1,000.00 1,000.00
64       Education Hour Coffee 900.00 500.00
65       Fellowship - Children 750.00 750.00
66       Fellowship - Youth 600.00 600.00
67       Overnight Retreat 3,000.00 3,500.00
68       Growth Support Projects 5,000.00 5,000.00
69     Total Education $19,450.00 $20,100.00
70     Staff - Children's Education
71       Children's Pastor Auto Allowance 400.00 400.00
72       Children's Pastor Continuing Ed 500.00 500.00
73       Children's Pastor Professional Expense 250.00 250.00
74       Children's Pastor Salary 37,580.00 38,331.60
75       Children's Pastor Retirement Contribution 940.00 958.80
76     Total Staff - Children's Education $39,670.00 $40,440.40
77   Total CHRISTIAN NURTURE $59,120.00 $60,540.00
80     Adult Fellowship    
81       Business Luncheon 1,200.00 1,200.00
82       Chapel Quilters 100.00 300.00
83     Congregation Events    
84       Young Adult and Student Ministry 750.00 750.00
85     Total Congregation Events $2,050.00 $2,250.00
86     Fellowship Committee 1,200.00 1,500.00
87     Membership Committee
88       Directories 325.00 450.00
89       Gifts & Flowers 250.00 250.00
90       Member Recruitment/PR 200.00 200.00
91     Total Membership Committee $775.00 $900.00
92     Newsletter    
93     Stewardship 500.00 1,000.00
94     Visitation & Care Committee 300.00 400.00
95   Total CONGREGATIONAL CARE $4,925.00 $6,050.00
98     Annual Grants (Local M&O) 45,900.00 51,000.00
99     Divinity School Intern 4,400.00 4,500.00
100     Durham Cong in Action (DCIA) 1,000.00 1,000.00
101     Habitat House 3,000.00 3,000.00
102     Habitat Apprentice Support (25% FTE)   8,700.00
103     Lenten Service Trip   200.00
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 1,000.00 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    
110     Unanticpated Community Need 200.00 200.00
111     ZOE 8,000.00 8,000.00
112   Total OUTREACH MINISTRY $72,000.00 $86,100.00
115     Assistant Pastor
116       Assistant Pastor's Auto Expenses 700.00 350.00
117       Assistant Pastor's Continuing Ed 1,000.00 500.00
118       Assistant Pastor's Housing 24,000.00 12,000.00
119       Assistant Pastor's Life Insurance 225.00 112.50
120       Assistant Pastor's Medical   3,075.00
121       Assistant Pastor's Meeting Expense 400.00 200.00
122       Assistant Pastor's Pension Cost 6,150.00 3,075.00
123       Assistant Pastor's Professional Expenses 500.00 250.00
124       Assistant Pastor's Salary 27,250.00 13,625.00
125       Assistant Pastor's Self Employment Tax Offset 3,920.63 1,960.00
126     Total Assistant Pastor $64,146.00 $35,147.50
128     Pastor
129       Pastor's Auto Expenses 2,000.00 2,000.00
130       Pastor's Continuing Ed 1,500.00 1,500.00
131       Pastor's Death & Disability        791.00        799.80
132       Pastor's Housing 30,000.00 30,000.00
133       Pastor's Meeting Expenses 300.00 300.00
134       Pastor's Pension Cost      8,692.00      8,797.80
135       Pastor's Professional Expenses 500.00 500.00
136       Pastor's Salary    49,000.00    49,980.00
137       Pastor's Self Employment Tax Offset      6,045.00      6,118.47
138     Total Pastor    $98,828.00    $99,996.07
139   Total PASTORAL SERVICES $162,974.00 $135,143.57
141 TOTAL EXPENSE $386,759.00 $381,473.43
143 Net Income   (9,959.00)   1,526.57

Draft Minutes of June 10, 2018 business meeting

2018 Annual Business Meeting

The Congregation at Duke University Chapel

Goodson Chapel, Duke University Divinity School

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

The annual business meeting of The Congregation at Duke University Chapel was called to order by Council president, Frank Coble, at 1 p.m. A quroum (48) was confirmed by Susan Ward, secretary.

Phyllis Snyder, children's pastor, led members in the Congregation's affirmation of faith and the opening prayer.

Frank reviewed the meeting agenda, which was unanimously adopted, without opposition, on a motion from Terry Yuschok, seconded by Kate Clayton.

There were no additions or corrections to the June 11, 2017, annual meeting minutes. Nell Noonan moved to approve the minutes as written. The motion was seconded by Craig DeAlmeida and approved unanimously, with none opposed.

Mark Gass presented two proposed changes to the bylaws:

  • The first change was to provide the following clarification about the makeup of the audit committee:

    Section 9.2 Standing Committees
    K. Audit Committee

    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."

    Beth Gettys Sturkey moved to adopt the new wording. Walker Robinson seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously with none opposed.

  • The second change was to redefine the date of the annual meeting:

    Section 4.11.A. Date of Annual Meeting

    Change the wording to say "second Sunday in June" instead of first Sunday for the annual business meeting. The section will read as follows:

    The Annual Membership Business Meeting shall be held on the second Sunday in June of each year for the purpose of electing officers and Council members, receiving reports from officers and committees, and for any other business that may arise. The Council shall have the authority to change the meeting date for an individual meeting, giving four weeks' notice to the membership in the Congregation by appropriate forms of communication as described in the Policy and Procedure Manual.

    Norman Wirzba moved to adopt the new wording. Deb Hackney seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously with none opposed.

Highlights of the past year were displayed on a screen with comments from representatives of the following committees:

  • Membership

    Carol Gregg, senior pastor, reported on new members and deceased members. She led the congregation in a memorial prayer for those who had died.

    • Current membership includes 474 active memberships, representing 361 households.
    • 29 new members joined this year.
    • There were 42 losses (7 deaths, 1 transfer, 8 withdrawals, and 26 moved to inactive status).

    New members who joined in the fall of 2017: 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.

    New members who joined in the spring of 2018, and new confirmands: Emily Hope Alexander and Elizabeth R. Kenly, Tom and Lesley Allin, Drew and Jordan Haines, Kylie Karabinos, Nikolas Karabinos, Mini Kpa, Ngat Kpa, Adrian McDaniel and Charlyse Myhand-McDaniel, Han Setiawan, Lila Siu, and Mary and Lee Tyrey.

    Members who died between May 1, 2017 and May 1, 2018: Susan Butler, Walter Eck, Louise Goshorn, Phillip Radabaugh, Betty Schnople, Charles Whaling, and Liz Whaling.

  • Education
    Nell Noonan, council representative, reported on the numerous educational opportunities provided in the past year. In addition to the adult forum, which meets on Sunday mornings with different speakers, the Youth Ministry continued to serve the youth of the Congregation, and extensive programming was offered for children: Godly Play, Lift Ev'ry Voice, and Wee Praise. New member classes were offered for all who were considering joining the Congregation. There were also book groups and the Women's Study group.

    Half-day retreats were held in the fall and spring; the Annual Overnight Retreat focused on the theme of "The Deuteronomic Question: What does it mean to be God's people in a new land?" Nell told two stories about individuals who had been positively affected by the educational initiatives, and she provided a slide listing the many people who were involved in the educational effort this past year.

  • Fellowship and Congregational Care
    Brady Surles reported for the Fellowship and Congregational Care committee. He described the many groups that have been working to connect the Congregation in a variety of ways: the Calling Ministry, the Growing Through Grief group, the Heavenly Hats Ministry, the Loaves and Fishes volunteers, the Quilters, the Prayer Ministry, the Visitation and Care Ministries, and the Young Adult Fellowship.

    Brady offered two stories of how the work of these groups has brought people together, and he provided a slide listing the many who were involved with caring for the Congregation this year. He thanked Denise Noble in particular for her work this year with the Sunday morning Bible study and the prayer ministry.

  • Missions and Outreach
    Nancy Wawrousek reported that the Congregation gave financial grants totaling $43,500 to twelve local agencies and followed up these grants with monthly service projects. Current mission and outreach ministries are Back Pew Collections, Durham Congregations in Action, Empowerment Ministries, Families Moving Forward Meals, Missionary Support, Refugee Resettlement, Saturday Service Projects, Urban Ministry Dinners, and ZOE Support.

    Nancy told stories about two new initiatives this year: providing a "Circle of Support" for a family through Families Moving Forward, and making a Lenten service trip to rural South Carolina to help repair homes damaged by hurricanes. She also provided a slide listing the many who had roles in missions this year. In addition, she offered special thanks to Walker Robinson for his years of service on the committee.

  • Chapel Support
    Cindy Gass reported on the ministries that focus directly on the Sunday morning worship service: Altar Guild, Choir Engagement, Docents, Nursery, Memorial Chapel Communion, Ushers, and Welcome Ministry. She particularly thanked the counters who every Sunday morning quietly go about making sure that the offering is accurately accounted for. She provided a slide listing all of the volunteers who had helped with roles in Chapel support this year.
  • Congregation Support
    Whitney Schwab reported on the four committees that provide administrative support to the ministries of the congregation: the Administration Committee, the Stewardship and Finance Committee, the Nominations and Leadership Committee, and the Staff-Parish Relations Committee. In particular, Whitney expressed appreciation for the committee’s help this year in selecting new software that has provided significant improvements in email and communications. He showed a slide listing all those taking roles in Congregation Support.
  • Empowerment Ministries
    Frank reported that the Empowerment Ministries initiative had accomplished the major goal of raising $50,000 - above and beyond regular giving, and within just 90 days - to fund two new initiatives. The Empowerment Ministries funds two programs, one local and one global, that help others become economically self-sufficient. For the local project in Durham, Lucy Worth and Carol Gregg worked with Habitat for Humanity to develop and fund a position for a year-long repairs internship. A short video provided a vivid close-up look at the accomplishments of the new Habitat Repairs Apprentice program this year.

    Frank then introduced the first intern, Donell Shaw, who spoke about his experience with the program and expressed his gratitude for this opportunity and the bright future that it has pointed him toward.

  • Budget (2018-19)
    Stewardship and Finance Committee chair Craig DeAlmeida reviewed several main points of the FY19 budget, including Administrative Expenses, Chapel Support, Christian Nurture, Congregational Care, Missions and Outreach, and Pastoral Services.

    Craig explained that, given the choice between increasing the budget versus cutting expenses for purposes such as missions, the committee felt that increasing the budget was more in keeping with the Congregation's values. Therefore, the goal for giving in the coming year was increased $376,800, and Craig expressed his confidence the Congregation could meet that goal. The budget projects a $9,959 deficit. Craig reminded the members that the plan is to gradually spend down the existing surplus in restricted funds.

    With no amendments or changes requested to the FY19 budget, Kate Clayton's motion to approve the budget was seconded by Linda Karolak and approved unanimously, without opposition.

  • Nominating and Leadership
    Committee chair Deb Hackney announced the outgoing Council members and thanked them for their service: Frank Coble, Billy Chow, Cindy Gass, and Rebecca Ray. They were offered quilted pot holders made by members of the Duke Chapel Quilters.

    Deb announced the proposed slate of 2018-19 Council members:

    • Executive committee:
      • Jan Gwyer, President
      • Craig DeAlmeida, Vice President
      • Susan Ward, Secretary
      • Bill Youngblood, Treasurer
    • Program Area Coordinators:
      • Congregational Care: Brady Surles
      • Chapel Support: Drew Middleton
    • Standing Committees - Council Representatives:
      • Administration: Janell Lovelace
      • Christian Nurture: Nell Noonan
      • Missions and Outreach: Nancy Wawrousek
      • Nominations and Leadership Development: Beth Gettys Sturkey
      • Staff-Parish: Whitney Schwab
      • Stewardship and Finance: Cary Gravatt

Beth Sturkey moved that the proposed slate of lay leaders for 2018-19 be accepted. Her motion was seconded by Linda Gauger and approved unanimously, with none opposed.

Two additional elections were those of Marsha Altmeyer as Assistant Treasurer and the members of the Staff Parish Relations Committee, who are Leisa Dennehy, Brenda Brodie, Jeannie Norris, Whitney Schwab, Mike Smith, and Patsy Willimon.

Walker Robinson moved that they be elected to these new roles. Nell Noonan seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously, without opposition.

Pastor Carol Gregg commissioned the incoming Council members and offered prayer.

At 1:58 p.m., Leigh Wynkoop's motion to adjourn was seconded by Jane Fellows and approved unanimously, without opposition. In closing remarks, Frank thanked all those who attended, who volunteered, and who live their faith every day, with special thanks to Phyllis Snyder for arranging the lunch and the rooms, to Nelson Strother for putting Annual Report meeting materials on the website, and to the Council for their leadership.

Noting that this was his last business meeting with the Congregation before leaving for his new assignment, Andrew Phillips, associate pastor, offered the closing prayer.

Respectfully submitted,

Susan Ward,


The Congregation at Duke University Chapel


Sunday, June 9, 2019, 1:00 p.m.

Goodson Chapel

Duke Divinity School

1. Welcome and Call to Order Jan Gwyer
2. Determination of Quorum Susan Ward
3. Affirmation of Faith and Opening Prayer Craig DeAlmeida
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.
4. Review and Adopt Agenda Jan Gwyer
5. Review and Approve Minutes from June 10, 2018 Susan Ward
6. Highlights of the Past Year  
    a. Membership Carol Gregg
    b. Education Nell Noonan
    c. Fellowship Brady Surles
    d. Mission Diane Garber
    e. Chapel Support Drew Middleton
    f. Congregation Support Whitney Schwab
7. Year-End Video Ben Wechsler
8. 2019-2020 Budget Bill Youngblood
9. Report of Nominating Committee and Elections Beth Gettys Sturkey
    a. Recognition of Outgoing Council Members
    b. Election of Council Members for 2019-2020
    c. Election of members of Staff Parish Relations Committee
    d. Affirmation of Additional Leaders and Chairpersons
    e. Commissioning of New Officers and Council Members
10. Motion for Adjournment Jan Gwyer
11. Closing Prayer Phyllis Snyder