The Congregation at Duke University Chapel

2020 Annual Meeting

Dear Congregation Members,

Respecting the restrictions placed on us due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our annual business meeting will be a virtual gathering on Sunday, June 14 at 1:00pm by way of Zoom. Instructions on how to join this meeting will be sent via the weekly e-news and can also be obtained by contacting the Congregation office at [email protected].

The annual business meeting is a mandatory meeting specified within our bylaws to enable members to discuss and vote on actions that only the membership as a body can approve. These include electing lay leaders and approving the budget. These actions cannot be carried out unless we have a quorum—please join us on June 14 so that we may proceed and your voice may be heard.

The business meeting also provides an opportunity each year for our membership to gather together and hear what we have done and will be doing. It allows us to press the reset button for our church. The sense of resetting our purpose and mission as a congregation is especially strong this year, not only because of how the pandemic has affected our activity and lives but also because we enact a new strategic plan. The Visioning Team has worked hard this year to listen for the voice of God, discern the path forward for our congregation, and write a guide to help us walk down that path towards the light.

Thank you to everyone—members, leaders, staff, and affiliates—for your many contributions of time, devotion, money, and love that allow our community to thrive and carry out the work of God whatever the circumstances may be. I look forward to being with you.

Peace be with you,

Craig DeAlmeida
President, The Congregation at Duke Chapel

Proposed Slate of Lay Leaders for 2020-2021

Executive Committee
Craig DeAlmeida
Vice President:
Brady Surles
Sara Marks
Program Area Coordinators
Christian Education:
Fran Steele
Congregation Care:
Han Setiawan
Chapel Support:
Drew Middleton
Standing Committees - Council Representatives
Ben Wechsler
John Mullins
Missions and Outreach:
Diane Garber
Whitney Schwab
Staff Parish Relations:
Regina Ford
The twelve persons listed above are Congregation Council Representatives.
Assistant Treasurer:
Staff-Parish Relations Committee:
Terry Yuschok
SPRC Member and Council Representative:
Regina Ford
SPRC Member:
Brenda Brodie
SPRC Member:
;Jeannie Norris
SPRC Member:
Mike Smith
SPRC Member:
Patsy Willimon
Nominating & Leadership Development Committee:
Jen DeNeal
N&LD Member & Council Representative:
Whitney Schwab
N&LD Member:
;Ken Arneson
N&LD Member:
Jane Fellows
N&LD Member:
Harry Rodenhizer
N&LD Member:
Lucy Worth
Committee Chairs and Additional Leadership
Calling Ministry:
Linda Gauger
DCIA Representative:
N/A *
Jack Steele
Emily Alexander
Elizabeth Kenly:
Mission and Outreach:
;Bill Jones
Refugee Resettlement:
;Steve Harper
Stewardship and Finance:
John Mullins
Visitation and Care Ministry:
Linda Gauger
Service Group Chairs:
Altar Guild:
Ellie Ferguson
Chapel Choir Outreach:
Deb Hackney
Loaves & Fishes:
Pam Marcom
Offering Counters:
;Frank Coble
Memorial Chapel Communion:
N/A **
Julie Hockett
Jim Ferguson

Annual Report



Missions and Outreach Committee

By Bill Jones, Nancy Wawrousek

The Missions and Outreach Committee is charged by the Congregation to build connections with our neighbors locally, within the state, nationally, and internationally. In 2019-2020, our ministry provided Congregation volunteers 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 missions.
  • Distributed $57,000 in grants to eleven partner organizations. The partner organizations are:
    • Durham Literacy Center
    • Families Moving Forward
    • Meals on Wheels
    • Partners for Youth Opportunities
    • Reality Ministries
    • Religious Coalition for Non-Violent Durham
    • Ronald McDonald House
    • South Eastern Efforts Developing Sustainable Spaces (SEEDS)
    • Society of St Andrew
    • Step Up Ministries
    • Urban Ministries of Durham
  • To increase community impact, our grants were approximately split equal between empowerment (education, employment, special support) vs basic needs (food, shelter). We initiated discussions with our partner organizations on their approach to empowerment and relief.
  • 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.
  • Organized a week long service trip in partnership with the World Renew Organization and United Methodist Disaster Response, to support homeowner repairs in Whiteville, NC.
  • Completed our financial support for two orphan groups in Zimbabwe through ZOE Ministries to promote a path to economic independence and social integration into their communities. Unfortunately, our planned trip to visit both groups was cancelled again this year.
  • Conducted monthly committee planning meetings, attended by generous and dedicated members: Lynn Arden, Joel Boggan, Linda Daniel, Carol Gregg, Jane Fellows, Diane Garber, Kathy Jones, Bill Jones, Jeanine Krenicky, Carol Matheson, Walker Robinson, Cricket Scovil, Robert Sills, Mary Tyrey, Lee Tyrey, Judi Vos, Dave Vos, Nancy Wawrousek, Steve Winters.
  • In April, we suspended our volunteer activities due to health and safety concerns in the current COVID-19 environment. We continue to meet our commitments for Urban Ministries and FMF dinners through additional donations to support catering of these meals. We give thanks to God for the opportunity to be of service and assist our neighbors.


Durham Congregations in Action

No report this year.

Families Moving Forward Meals

By Jane Fellows, Linda Daniels

This year the Congregation has provided meals for Families Moving Forward eight times, four rotations, Monday and then Tuesday nights. Monday nights we partner with Temple Baptist, serving approximately 50 people. Tuesday nights the Congregation volunteers prepare and serve a complete meal for about 25 people. Child care is supervised by AmeriCore employees at Families Moving Forward, and the Congregation will have two or three members helping. Members, and friends, of the Congregation who have helped provide food, serve or help with child care are: Linda Daniel, Jane Fellows, Jen DeNeal, Sarah Hammond, Ann Sager, Jean Findley, Laura Jansen, Dianne Garber, Fran Steele, Lynn Arden, Antoinette Bethea, Nancy Wawrousek


Missionary Support

By Dave Vos

After living in Asia for 10 years, Steve and Mary will now continue to serve people in Asia but mainly remotely, while living in New Brighton, MN. Steve will divide his time, serving as Project Funding Coordinator and as a Regional Manager. Steve will represent the funders of minority language projects with the teams on the field, and he will write quarterly reports updating the funders on the progress of the projects. He will also supervise four language teams and various individuals in southern Asia, providing member care, conducting annual reviews and coordinating with the organization’s leadership on behalf of the members he supervises.

Mary hopes to continue training teachers and homeschool parents in Learning Strategies and also support Children’s Education Consultants as they help families with children in the field. Steve and Mary have two adult sons, Christopher and Jeremy. Christopher and his wife Hannah are teaching in Fargo ND, and Jeremy is attending college at UW-Madison. Steve and Mary deeply appreciate the congregation’s faithful partnership in the work to which He has called then in Asia.


Refugee Resettlement

By Steve Harper

Our Montagnard families crossed yet another threshold -- high school graduations and the start of college years. Sabat Siu and Henri Siu graduated, and they began college experiences.

I attended college orientation weekends with each family, since these programs move quickly through many presentations. I wanted each set of parents to get as much out of the programs as possible. The boys have done well in year 1, even with the Covid-19 impact sending them home for online work.

The 6 high schoolers have also had to change to an online, home pattern. My contact in 2020 is by phone, text, and email. Planning for summer 2020 is not possible yet. We assisted the college-bound with some starting cash, but have not yet spent any funds related to summer 2020. I hope some solid activity plans can be made before June 30. Some parents remain employed, but others are at home. Employment could be problematic through summer. More online courses may be an option. We could assist with tuition.

Mini Kpa, who has ushered for over a year, will begin classes in fall 2020 at UNC-CH. We could assist her for books and fees.

Urban Ministries Monthly Lasagna Dinners

by Cricket Scovil

Volunteers associated with the Congregation at Duke University Chapel contributed 423 man-hours and 229 lasagnas to serve 2,401 dinners to our friends at the Urban Ministries Shelter Café during the period January 2019 through January 2020 (no meal served in December 2019 because the assigned date fell on Christmas Day).

The cost of meal items other than the lasagnas is figured into the Congregation’s budget, and comes to about $285 per monthly meal. In addition to the lasagnas, we provided, over a 12-month period, 35 pounds of salad, 14 gallons of canned fruit cocktail, hundreds of chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies and rolls, 144 ounces of salad dressing, and enough lemonade mix to make 18 gallons.

We have been serving lasagna dinners once a month at Urban Ministries for more than twenty years. Our schedule never varies: we serve on the fourth Wednesday of even-numbered months and on the second Sunday of odd-numbered months.

The time commitment per dinner is pretty well set: we arrive at the shelter 45 minutes before the meal begins and we stay to serve for one hour. Shelter residents do all of the clean-up. If lasagnas are defrosted before cooking, they only have to cook for about an hour. So, if you can carve two hours and 45 minutes out of your schedule, plus some travel time between the shelter and your house, you will have contributed to one of the Congregation’s longest running ministries, and you will have connected with some awesome people along the way. An average of 12 Congregation members and friends help with each meal.

I would like to thank all of the people who support this ministry. Some faithfully buy, prepare, and deliver two lasagnas to the shelter kitchen each month, some cook lasagnas and come to help serve. Some serve regularly, some serve once in a while, some serve just one time to see what it is like. Every contribution of time is appreciated.

Please call the Congregation office at 919-684-3917 if you are interested in volunteering.

I would like to say special thanks to Dave and Judi Vos, who purchase the food and organize Wednesday night meal preparation, and to Jeanine Valkos who took over buying food for and coordinating the Sunday night dinners from Bill Youngblood in January, 2019.

Because of the concern that continuing to volunteer in the Urban Ministries kitchen during the Coronavirus epidemic might put the good health of our volunteers at risk, the Mission and Outreach Committee has generously supplied funds to Urban Ministries to cover the cost of the meals we are not there to serve in person.



by Jane Fellows

As part of our global mission and outreach the Congregation supports Zoe Empowers. This organization has grown from a small grassroots group in southern Africa in 2004 to a current enrollment of over 40,000 orphans and vulnerable children in the three-year empowerment program across seven countries and three continents. When graduates are added to this group the number swells to over 80,000. 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 second year in the program and doing well. Pastor Carol Gregg and Jane Fellows had planned to go to Zimbabwe to meet these groups in April of 2020, but the trip was cancelled due to the coronavirus. Zoe Empowers describes themselves as “a living model which God continues to shape and grow.” More information can be obtained about this organization at




Christian Education Committee

By Jack Steele, Fran Steele

Focusing on the Congregation’s 2019-2020 theme, “Discernment,” the education program started with 37 adults, 2 children and 2 youth gathered in person at Fort Caswell in May and ended with unknown numbers gathered virtually for online Bible studies, forums, and small groups.

Summer Adult Bible Study, led by Congregation members, focused on Ezekiel, generally in parallel with Chapel preaching texts; attendance ranged from 17 to 35.

In October, 33 people participated in a half-day retreat on “Communal Practices of Discernment for the Common Good” led by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove.

In February, 63 people participated in a half-day retreat on “Navigating Polarizing Times: Seeking a Center That Holds” led by The Rev. Susan Pendleton Jones & The Rev. Dr. Gregory L. Jones.

The Adult Bible Study class, led by the Congregation’s Duke Divinity School intern, Joseph Kovas, focused on Isaiah in the fall and Acts in the spring.

Adult Forum highlights included a varied group of speakers including numerous guest preachers at the Chapel, Divinity School professors, Congregation staff, and many Congregation members.

Book Groups featured books related to discernment, such as Decision Making and Spiritual Discernment by Nancy Bieber Discernment by Henri Nouwen,
Women’s Bible Study included a Disciple study on Psalms and lectionary-based Upper Room Disciplines.

The Education Committee successfully piloted a Discipleship Small Group approach and is finalizing plans to implement it with Congregation members and Chapel worshippers in the 2020-2021 year

In late March the Education Committee adopted a flexible approach for CV-19 Impacts:

  • Recognizing education plans may change without much advanced notice as events unfold (e.g., government and University policy updates), we will stay nimble to respond proactively to keep as much normalcy as we can
  • As much as possible, we will provide virtual educational programs on same schedule as previous face-to-face calendar
  • We will begin now to consider how things will be different for education program after Covid19: e.g., can virtual groups become a viable adjunct to in-person events?

Purpose, Possibilities, & Plans: The committee began process of determining the purpose of Congregation Education ministries, as well as possibilities and plans to breathe life into that purpose. Purpose is to “make disciples of Jesus Christ who grow in faith, service and witness.”

2020-2021 Preview: Zeb and Amanda Highben will lead a 90-minute virtual mini-retreat May 16 to kick off the Congregation’s 2020-2021 theme: Prayer.

Many thanks to all who taught us this year, and for the guidance of The Rev. Dr. Carol Gregg and Phyllis Snyder, and the leadership of the Education Committee: Patrick Cacchio, J Geneczko, Michael Larbi, Nancy Marks, Nell Noonan, Kathi Peindl, Brian Stratton, Nelson Strother, Fran Steele, Jack Steele, Tony Willms, Matt Wright, Terry Yuschok, Gretchen Ziegenhals.


Adult Forum

by Nelson Strother

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 five sessions led by guest preachers who were soon to appear in the pulpit within the Chapel. While our median attendance in the room during class time was 18, others may listen to or view materials from many class sessions via: . In the first few weeks since we began holding video-conference sessions for Adult Forum in March, the median number of participants was reduced to 11.

Godly Play

by Phyllis Snyder

  • For children ages 4 through 5th graders.
  • Sunday mornings, 9:45am to 10:45am
  • Due to an increased number of participants, a second Godly Play classroom was set up in the fall.
  • Room 0052 Langford in Duke Divinity School's lowest level for Godly Play (children ages 4 through 1st grade). New shelving units and materials for setting up this classroom were generously funded by funds from the Education Committee Budget.
  • Room 0050 Langford for Godly Play Advanced (children in 2nd through 5th grades).
  • "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.
  • As of mid-March 2020, classes are no longer meeting on campus due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. With the help of Mel Snyder and Kristen Ford, beginning March 22, Phyllis began posting a Godly Play session weekly on the Congregation’s YouTube channel. Children were encouraged to set up a ‘sacred space’ in their homes during this time. Many families have sent pictures of their children and their sacred spaces.
  • A total of 20 families have participated during the past year (10 of which were member families, 10 of which were non-member families).
  • A total of 33 children have participated during the past year (16 of which were from member families, 17 of which were from non-member families)
  • Attendance Report for children
  • Average per week: 16
  • Median per week: 16
  • Range: 8 to 25
  • The following volunteer members of the Godly Play Teaching Team are instrumental in the success of this program
    • Rosemarie Gulla (13 years)
    • Marianna Henry (12 years)
    • Jane Fellows (9 years)
    • Jan Radabaugh (7 years). Jan retired from the Teaching Team this year after her move to a retirement community.
    • Mel Snyder (5 years) Mel stepped back from being in the classroom this year, but continues to help behind the scenes with room set up, shelf maintenance, and materials repair and maintenance.
    • Cheznee Johnson (3 years)
    • Diane Haithcock (2 years). Diane has stepped off the Teaching Team as of the Spring of 2020 due to family responsibilities at this time.
    • Liz McMahon (2 years)
    • Daniel Corpening (1 year)
    • Elizabeth Kenly (1 year)
    • Jim Parker (1 year)
    • Shelley Leazer (1 year). Shelley was a third-year MDiv Student at Duke Divinity School who answered an ad placed on the Divinity School website to join the Teaching Team as a volunteer, with Core Godly Play Training paid for by the Congregation (a $360 expense). Shelley had been in Dr. Fred Edie’s Introduction to Christian Education class in which Phyllis had presented a Godly Play session. She communicated that after the class, she immediately looked up how to become trained in Godly Play as she knew it was something she needed for her ministry. However, she found the cost to be prohibitive. When she saw the opportunity to be trained at no cost to her, and to “get to participate with a community of children as well”, she joined us. This was a great experience for Shelley, AND the children involved. As evidence of this – one morning when Ms. Phyllis led the class in which Shelley usually led, one of the children asked, “Where is Ms. Shelley. SHE is OUR teacher!”


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 incoming members to the unique nature of the 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 2019 we welcomed five new members: Susan Aitken, Kenyon Davenport, Jerry Grise, Carl Hollomon, and Judy Hollomon .

In March 2020 we welcomed seven new members: Keith Campbell, Lee Guile, Monica Hill, Siaka Kromah, Ryan Mullis, Jess Mullis, and Jim Parker.

The following volunteers enhanced the classes with their assistance and friendship: Emily Alexander, Jen DeNeal, Ann Gravatt, Cary Gravatt, Bill Jones, Kathy Jones. Elizabeth Kenly, Ann Sager, Suzy Strayhorn, and Harry Rodenhizer.

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 0-3 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. Twenty-five 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, and friends. 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. In mid-March, the coronavirus pandemic caused us to start social distancing. The DeAlmeida family worked together to produce videos every other week for families to watch in lieu of attending the class on Sunday mornings at Duke. Families sent in pictures and videos showing how they enjoyed using the videos in their homes.

Kate DeAlmeida, the regular Wee Praise leader, thanks the Congregation for giving her this opportunity to share her love of music, children, and God in this way. We appreciate all who participate in this ministry, but especially the Wee Praise Teaching Team (Julie Hockett, Elizabeth Kenly, and Megan & Patrick Cacchio) who are on call and sub when Kate is unable to teach.

The following statistics summarize the year in numbers, which shows a significant increase (nearly 40%) compared to previous years:


Average Weekly         Attendance

Median Weekly          Attendance

Range of Weekly        Attendance














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 designated six meetings to discuss Henry Nouwen’s book Discernment: Reading the Signs of Daily Life. Gretchen Ziegenhals led us in Lectio Divina practices, and we again gathered for a lovely meal and fellowship evening during Advent, an event Leisa Dennehy has hosted for many years!

Our meetings which occur every other Monday night have given us many opportunities to learn, to lead sessions, and to develop valued friendships. It is a blessing to have this time together, and to support each other in discussing our readings and the practice of Lectio Divina, as well as to pray for our own and the world's needs. This spring, when we haven’t been able to meet in person because of the pandemic, we have continued our meetings via Zoom. A portion of those meetings were to check in and see how everyone was doing, and we also discussed the daily lessons from our Disciplines book. It seems that most of the readings have been wonderful ways to find meaning during this crisis, even though the reflections were written and published last year! The power of scripture is timeless.

Though we are officially the Women's Small Group Bible Study, we are blessed with many members, including Robin Barefoot, Kate DeAlmeida, Leisa Dennehy, Adriana Doi, Cindy Gass, Jan Gwyer, Deb Hackney, Cammey Manning, Pam Marcom, Sara Marks, Laura Nye, Kellie Sims, Renee Puckett, Fran Steele, Beth Gettys Sturkey, Patsy Willimon, Leigh Wynkoop, and Gretchen Ziegenhals.

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


Youth Bible Study

By Matt Wright

Congregation ministry to youth is in a lull at the moment. Faithful attendance is largely one student in particular. Others have joined over the course of the year, but nothing consistent. As such, much ministry beyond Christian education classes on Sunday mornings is unrealistic. Attempts have been made to increase involvement by those who have been connected with the Congregation in the past, but with little or no avail. Prior to the COVID-19 shutdown, Phyllis Snyder, Deb Hackney and I had begun to brainstorm ways to connect with those students on the roll who do not attend, as well as to reach beyond our walls to be present and active in the communities nearest the Chapel. Attempts to appeal to students via Zoom, since Christian education classes have made that transition, have likewise not garnered great response. In my past experiences, small group numbers were a detriment. However, in this context, I have made it my goal to be lay a foundation for growth which will come in the coming years, if not, God willing, sooner. Great conversations are had in discussing the Bible, and like my engagement with the young adult group, I often come away from Christian education class thinking I may have learned as much as the student. I am grateful for this opportunity to participate in the life of the Congregation and am excited to begin the process of attempting to build the group once the pandemic passes.


Young Adult Bible Study

By Matt Wright

Congregation ministry to graduate students and young adults serves to connect those people who can frequently slip through the cracks connected to the Duke University and Duke Chapel communities. Over the course of the last year, we have built a stable group of 7-8 regular attendees, with almost always having 10 or more present at our young adult dinners. Every second and fourth Monday night of each month, the group enjoys a meal together, discussion, bonding, and then bible study connected to the education goals of the entire congregation. Discussion has transformed recently into Zoom conference calls. This group of graduate students and other young adults is multi-disciplinary in scope, and this is a great benefit to the life of the group and the insight into discussion. Prior to the shutdown due to COVID-19, we had begun to discern ways to get together as a group beyond our usual meeting times for more social interaction. I am excited for the potential this group has going forward, and am grateful for the opportunity to work with them, as I have grown and learned from the group as much, if not more so than anyone else.




Calling Ministry

By Linda Gauger

Every month 9 faithful members call other members on or around their birthdays. We average 45 names so about 4/5 names each. 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, Janet Hortin, Ernie Ruckert, Ginnie Ruckert, Regina Ford, Ann Sager, Gretchen Ziegenhals, Nancy Marks, and Jan Radabaugh.


Congregation Connections

By Carol Gregg

During the season of social isolation caused by the pandemic, the Congregation worked to stay spiritually connected even while they were physically isolated. Starting in April 2020, a team of volunteers reached out to members of the congregation to check on their wellbeing, to remind them that they were not forgotten, and to ask if they had any prayer requests or other needs. Hundreds of emails and phone calls were made in an effort to reach every household. I am grateful to all of the willing volunteers who have helped us stay connected. They are: Marsha Altmeyer, Kelsey Armstrong, Brenda Brodie, Darry Conner, Tamela Davis, Elaine DeAlmeida, Ken Davenport, Jane Fellows, Regina and Dan Ford, Linda Gauger, Beth Gray, Steve and Sara Harper, Carl Hollomon, Nancy Jirtle, Jim Kelly, Hugh Knapp, Michael Larbi, Tom Link, Nancy Marks, Ken Moland, Nell Noonan, Kathi Peindl, Shawn Proffit, Connie Riddle, Joanne Roobol, Christopher Ross, Ann Sager, Philip Snyder, Fran Steele, Suzy Strayhon, Brady Surles, Dan Thomas, Susan Ward, Anne Wright, Matt Wright, and Terry Yuschok.

Fellowship Committee

By Elizabeth Kenley and Emily Alexander

The Fellowship Committee at Duke Chapel organized 12 events between June 2019 and March 2020 to provide opportunities for Congregation members and visitors to develop and grow relationships that support the spiritual and emotional health of the Congregation. This year, with purposeful intention, most events included specific activities for children.

Members of the fellowship committee include, Emily Alexander, Jennie Brooks, Kate DeAlmeida, Regina Ford, Ann Gravatt, Carol Gregg, J Geneczko, Janet Hortin, Sharon Anjali Jones, Elizabeth Kenly, Laura Nye, Brady Surles and Susan Ward.  Special thanks to Genevieve DeAlmeida and Poppy DeAlmeida, our ‘Fellowship Committee Youth Ambassadors,’ who assist with planning and execution of youth activities.

Below is a list of events with an estimated number of attendees.

  • June and August – Ice Cream Socials (60 attendees)
  • July – Lemonade on the Lawn (100 attendees)
  • September – Annual Fall Picnic with hot dogs, snow cones, and games (50 attendees)
  • October –Snackluck with games and crafts (50 attendees)
  • November – Brodhead Center Luncheon (30 attendees)
  • December (15th) –Snackluck with sandwiches, games, and cookie decorating (50 attendees)
  • December (29th) – Leftover Goodies Share (20 attendees)
  • January – Chili Luncheon with 8 pots of chili, plus all the fixings (70 attendees)
  • February and March – Brodhead Center Luncheons (30 attendees)

Physical distancing measures were implemented in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, the committee began hosting virtual meetups. Two meetups were held in April with an average of 7 attendees. The committee intends to host 2 virtual meetups each month until social gatherings are permitted again.

Emily and I are honored to chair this committee. We are thankful for the amazing committee members who work diligently and selflessly to ensure that each event is successful. As a committee, we are privileged with the opportunity to welcome and love people into the fellowship of the Congregation.


Growing Thru Grief

By Nell Noonan

In 2019, Growing Thru Grief added two new coalition members during the year bringing the total to 16 members. The Congregation at Duke University Chapel has supported the program for five years and like all members contributes $300 annually to offset the expenses of the program.
Since the gatherings began in 2013, over 600 different individuals have participated in the weekly grief support sessions. During 2019 average weekly attendance averaged over 40 with some sessions having as many as 55 attendees.

Meetings are held weekly at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church at the intersection of Cornwallis and Pickett Road. 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 per group. Nell Noonan gave five presentations in 2019 and serves as the Congregation’s board representative.

The program, free and open to any person who has lost a loved one, offers educational experiences and continued healing support to those who mourn.


Heavenly Hugs Hat Ministry

by Tamela Davis

With hands and hearts together, Heavenly Hugs Hat Ministry provides hand-knitted, crocheted and loomed hats for babies and children in our congregation and the community, as well as for homeless children and adults in the Durham community. Our members offer their talents for the benefit of others in the congregation, but also in the Durham community: 24 hats for those served at Urban Ministries; 40 hats and three scarves for Families Moving Forward; five sweaters, three scarves and 24 hats for World Vision/Knit for Kids; 11 hats for TROSA, (Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abuse); 17 hats, six scarves and 8 lap quilts for Meals on Wheels; 25 hats for NICU at Duke Medical Center; 11 hats for UNC Birthing Center; five  animals for Ronald McDonald House; 135 hats for new babies and mothers at Duke Regional Hospital and Duke Medical Center; ten hats for children in the congregation; and four hats for graduating high school seniors in the congregation.

Our faithful, talented members include Padgett Gerler, Mary Catherine McSpadden, Martin Keck, Sam Hammond, Sarah Gauger, Mary Eubanks, Claudia Haskins, Roxanna Bottjen, David Bottjen, Amanda Highben, Eleanor Smith, Suzy Strayhorn, Sara Harper, Betty Hummelbruner, Susan Brooks, Jane McAdoo and Tamela Davis.

Since this ministry’s beginnings eight years ago in response to a mother’s grief, our handmade gifts have grown from baby hats to adult hats, scarves, baby blankets, animals and dolls… an astounding mission for others. We try to meet several times a year for lunch and fellowship.

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

Loaves and Fishes

by Pam Marcom

There are 31 members of Loaves and Fishes. In the last fiscal year, we provided meals for five families:

  • Christine Callan—Had a baby; we provided meals for 3 weeks. (June, 2019)
  • Melissa and Steve Grosso—Had a baby; provided meals for 2 weeks (September, 2019)
  • Jessica and Ryan Mullis—Had a baby, we provided meals for 2 weeks. (October, 2019)
  • Elaine DeAlmeida—Elaine broke her wrist and was living alone at the time. We provided meals for 2 weeks. (November, 2019)
  • Layne Baker—Layne had neck and back surgery. She was living alone with limitations on movement and how much weight she could carry. We provided her meals for approximately 3 weeks. (December, 2019-January, 2020)

Our main meal contributors were:
Darry Conner; Hilary Boydston; Julie Hockett; Judy Arneson; Cindy Gass; Linda Gauger; Jessica Mullis; Lucy Worth; Tamela Davis; Joe Krenicky; Maureen Lewis; Judi Vos; Melissa Grosso; Nancy Wawrousek; Sharon Jones; Phyllis Snyder; and Pam Marcom.

Although the people listed above were able to take meals this past fiscal year, I am grateful to all of the members of this ministry. We provide delicious meals to congregation members who have had a baby, are healing from surgery or illness, or grieving a loss. The meals that we send show our love and care to our congregation members in need.



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 for the past few years. The work of the committee has been accomplished by staff, and also volunteers in informal ways. Our current membership statistics are below.

The Congregation at Duke University Chapel
Membership Statistics
    2016 2017 2018 2019 2020  
Active members as of May 1, Previous Year  
  Number of member households 347 347 358 361 355  
  Number of active members 539 490 494 474 480  
Membership Gains  
  By confirmation or youth affirmation of faith 1 1 6 0 0  
  Adult transfer or affirmation of faith 18 26 23 19 10  
Membership Losses  
  Deaths 7 11 7 4 7  
  By transfer of membership 15 4 1 2 3  
  To inactive status 0 0 26 0 15  
  Withdrawal of membership 11 11 8 13 29  
Active members as of May 1, Current Year  
  Number of member households 347 358 361 355 348  
  Number of active members 490 494 474 480 496  
Active Membership by Age*
  Children up to age 11 in member households 65 67 62 66 55  
  Youth age 12-17 in member households 24 19 18 21 15  
  Adults age 18-39 117 102 120 128 106  
  Adults age 40-65 203 171 185 149 156  
  Adults age 65-85 153 163 188 181 179  
  Adults age 85 and older 45 40 42 44 49  
* 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, 36 people have committed to praying for others. They are: Emily Alexander, Marsha Altmeyer, Jonathan Beckwith, Keith Campbell, Frank Coble, JP Cumming, Linda Daniel, Tamela Davis, Craig and Kate DeAlmeida, Susan Eitelman, Carol Gregg, Ann Hall, Ed Harlow,
Sara Harper, Nancy Jirtle, Sharon Anjali Jones, Tom Link, Linda Karolak, Pamela Marcom, Ken Moland, Harry Nolan, Kathi Peindl, Janis Parker, Luke Powery, Shawn Proffitt, Ann Recesso, Ernie Ruckert, Ginnie Ruckert, Phyllis Snyder, Beth Gettys Sturkey, Brian Stratton, Fred Westbrook, Will Willimon, Tony Willms, Jim Wisner, and Terry Yuschok. 

The gift of prayer that these members give to others is a true blessing. We are grateful for their quiet, faithful ministry.


by Ann Recesso

Our group met six times this year to assemble, tie and label quilts for the Congregation and various outreach programs of the Chapel. Members are Nancy Jirtle, Marilyn Christian, Eleanor Harrell, Betty Hummelbrunner, Mary Tyrey, Arlene Novels, and Ann Recesso.

Our quilts go to Rev. Gregg for distribution to ailing or grieving members of the Congregation or for any other member or staff she feels is in need. Baby quilts are also made for newborns. Lap quilts were given to Meals on Wheels in both Durham and Chapel Hill, to Families Moving Forward, to our Habitat for Humanity recipients and Kathy Peindl for her chemotherapy patients. Potholders were also sewn and given to the New Members Classes. Approximately 50 quilts in all have been made the distributed to the above mentioned. 

The money allocated from the Congregation covers about half the cost of making these quilts; the rest is covered by the quilters. Although fabric is sometimes donated, batting, the material that goes between the top and bottom, is not and must be purchased. The most economic source is Joanne's using a 50% off coupon. Receipts are accumulated and mailed to the Congregation which reimburses us by check.


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 eight members. We see on average 18 members. Sometimes it is just a card sent or a 5-minute phone call visit or maybe it is sitting with someone during Chapel service, other times it is an hour or so long home visit. I know for all of us that visit, our time with folks is meaningful. We have met some incredible folks who were leaders before us and we have deepen our faith & love of our Lord.

We delivered 17 poinsettias after Christmas. Although we were unable to deliver Easter Lilies we are still reaching out to all our folks through calls and emails. We said prayerful goodbyes to three senior members; they will be missed, but they are now watching over us all.

We welcomed Ken Moland to our staff and visitors this spring. Joseph Kovas, Duke Divinity School Intern, and Matt Wright, Pastoral Assistant, have also enjoyed getting to know our senior members. Thanks to everyone who helped.Thanks go out to Barbara Carman, Dan Thomas, Marsha Altmeyer, Regina Ford, Jane Fellows, Shawn Profitt, Billie & Gary Bauer & Sharon Jones

n Faithful service,
Linda Gauger



Administration Committee

by Janell Lovelace

No major policies were up for review this year, so we only met 6 times, with an average of 6 in attendance.  Thanks to Kirsten Ford, Mark Gass, Gina Harrison, Joseph Kovas, Janell Lovelace (chair), Mel Snyder, Phyllis Snyder, and Ben Wechsler for their service this year.  We did:
   - Discuss our committee's mission.
   - Join the Congregation staff in reviewing content of sections of the website, and recently took over making website updates.  
   - Upload Congregation Council files to a shared Box before council meetings each month.
   - Provide input to the Visioning team.
   - Work with University Archives to ensure that all historic paper newsletters and electronic newsletters are part of the Duke archive.
   - Prepare video for Congregation's annual meeting

Our year was greatly enriched by our opportunity to work with the new part-time pastoral assistants. We saw Michael Larbi's enthusiasm at a joint meeting with the Education committee where he proposed using technology to facilitate a small group/discipleship ministry. Joseph Kovas asked to sit in on our committee meetings all year so that he could learn more about the administration of a congregation. He proved a valuable resource, offering thoughtful discussion and often volunteering to lead us in prayer. We've been thrilled with Kirsten Ford's agility with Congregation communications. She's been working on the e-newsletter, spotlighting Congregation activities on our Facebook page, making sure the Duke community knows about Congregation activities through the Duke events calendar and video screens on the Bryan Center walkway, and working to build a following on Duke's Instagram account. Won't you help Kirsten reach her goal of getting 100 followers for the Congregation Instagram?  Help her spread the word!

Finance and Stewardship Committee

By John Mullins

Committee Members: John Mullins (Chair), Sara Marks (Treasurer), Carol Gregg (Pastor), Penny Oslund, Billie Bauer, Gary Bauer, Billy Chow, Rick King, Lucy Worth, Joseph Kovas (Intern)

  • Main Activities for the 2019-2020 year
  • Planned and executed the Fall 2019 Stewardship Campaign
  • Completed the Annual Audit for the fiscal year and received a clean report with no material deficiencies
  • Prepared the Annual budget with Assistance from Committee Chairs, a budget that featured increased mission giving and decreased personnel costs.
  • Reviewed the Treasurer’s report each month to monitor the health of the congregation’s finances
  • Assisted in creating a smooth transition to Supporting Strategies for our bookkeeping needs

We thank members and friends alike for their continued financial support of the ministries of the Congregation.


Nominations and Leadership Committee

By Beth Sturkey

The Nominations and Leadership Development committee believes that, by call of baptism, every member of the Congregation is invited to offer their God-given gifts, skills, talents and work for the church through participation in church ministries. It takes all of us to grow and sustain our church body as we seek to deepen our relationship with God and others. We appreciate all who have answered God's call, and hope others will do the same by answering phone call or email request and prayerfully considering what we ask you to do.

This year the Nominations and Leadership Development Committee again 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. To that end, we determined vital leadership topics and committee member Jen DeNeal wrote seven Leadership Lessons which were published in the Congregation’s eNews and sent to the leaders via e-mail. The topics included (1) Knowing and Using the Resources of your Group; (2) Goal setting; (3) Budgeting; (4) Recruiting; (5) Storytelling; (6) Encouraging, communicating with, and thanking volunteers; and (7) Ending strong - keeping or passing the baton. These were greatly appreciated by leaders!

We had hoped to host, this spring, an in-person thank you event for leaders, with some helpful hints and shared good practices. Unfortunately, when the Chapel was closed due to the coronavirus, we weren’t able to accomplish this.

We did send handwritten thank you notes to our volunteer leaders, which seemed to be very meaningful for them, and it helped remind us of their valued dedication.

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

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

Great gratitude is offered to committee members:
Antoinette Bethea; Jennifer DeNeal; Jane Fellows; Harry Rodenhizer; Lucy Worth 


Staff Parish Relations Committee

By Leisa Dennehy, 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 another transformative year. Key accomplishments include:
The SPRC oversaw and supported Carol in the annual staff reviews by conducting 2-on-1 informal meetings with each congregation staff member. This is the second year we've done informal meetings and we believe it fosters a deeper, more personal dialog with staff. Our staff seem to appreciate the personal touch and insights from the discussions led to recommended changes in staffing, as discussed below.

Along with Carol and input from the 2-on-1 staff interviews, the SPRC carefully considered staffing and role alignment given the challenge of keeping an associate pastor for longer than a 2-years. SPRC proposed and implemented a new staffing model which uses multiple, part-time people who are already associated with Duke Chapel or the Congregation, rather than hiring one full-time associate pastor. Benefits of this approach include: engaging local people brings in already established relationships; hiring people exactly in the role for which they have the greatest passion brings out the person's strengths; and, overall costs are lower because part-time staff do not receive benefits other than salary. Four, part-time staff have been hired:

  • Pastoral Assistant for Pastoral Care:  The Rev. Ken Moland
  • Pastoral Assistant for Young Adults/Youth:  Matt Wright
  • Pastoral Assistant for Discipleship Ministries:  Michael Larbi
  • Communications Assistant:  Kirsten Ford

The staff structure re-evaluation led to challenging observation that the Congregation would benefit from hiring a professional bookkeeping firm to manage our finances. Although a very difficult decision which led to Nelson Strother's departure, we believe the benefits to the Congregation are significant, including establishing “best practices” with back up personnel and separating the role of spending vs. payments. The arrangement also provides budget savings. We are thankful that Nelson continues to be part of our congregation and contributes to running adult education, as he has done for many years. Nelson will always remain a beloved member of the Congregation.

Lastly, the SPRC is conducting a 360 Degree Review for Carol Gregg.  Interviews are being conducted with a wide variety of people, ranging from Congregation committee members, Chapel staff, Divinity School staff, Congregation staff, and Congregation members of all ages.  Insights will be used to write a formal performance review for Carol by the end of June.


The Altar Guild: Preparing the Table

by Ellie Ferguson

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

Usually twice a month, but once a month during the summer, a team of three gathers at 9:30 to 9:45 a.m. to unwrap the chalices, pour the wine, count out the napkins for the chalices, pitchers, and reserve bread patens, wrap up the pita bread packets, and put all the elements with tablecloths on the cart. The set-up is done quietly and reverently, in keeping with the significance of preparing the Lord’s table for the worship service. When the service is over, everything is gathered up and returned to the work area in the Memorial Chapel where linens are carefully counted, silver washed, polished, and stored, and any consecrated leftover bread 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.

At present there are thirteen members of the Altar Guild who, in addition to setting up the Communion elements, share the responsibility for polishing the processional pieces (Cross and torches) as well as the candleholders on the altar. The members are: Brenda Brodie, Robin Barefoot, Joann Claytor, Martha Hall, Mary Hartman, Jane Hicks, 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. Volunteers handed out costumes and assisted 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.

It takes many people to create this beautiful service and we are grateful for each participant. It would not be possible without them.

Choir Engagement

By Drew Middleton

The Choir Engagement Chairperson, usually a member of the Congregation at Duke University Chapel, is tasked with showing the Duke Chapel Choir, the Congregation's appreciation and support. With the advice of a former Chapel Choir member, appropriate occasions were identified and organized, where simple refreshments are donated and served with the help of multiple volunteers from the Congregation and members of the worshipping community from Duke Chapel, at rehearsals/major concerts.

Such an occasion is the refreshments during the Friday evening performance of the Duke Chapel Choir Annual Messiah weekend, because many choir members come to the Chapel directly from work and haven’t time to eat. Again in 2019 the choir, approximately 70 people, were served fresh sandwiches, fruit, cheeses, nuts and homemade goodies, along with warm soup during the performance's intermission. The choir expressed many thanks for the tasty offerings. Much appreciation to Cindy Gass and Ann Sager for volunteering their time to help setup and serve, not to mention the multiple people who donated the many food offerings for the occasion.

The Congregation is truly grateful for the Duke Chapel Choir’s music which helps us lift our praise to God.



by Lois Oliver

The docents, both Sundays and some weekdays, this year loyally served to provide artistic and spiritual presentations of Duke Chapel to visitors as they have done for many years. The Sunday docents, Eileen Mitchell, Maureen Johnson, Ginny Cole, Brady Surles, Linda Sutton, were joined this year by Elizabeth Kenly and Robin Barefoot. Sadly, Ginny Cole had to retire mid-year after an injury and her move to a retirement community. She will be missed. This year several of the Sunday tours exceeded fifty visitors causing some sore throats after the tour.

The weekday docents, Linda Gauger, Janell Lovelace, Beth Sturkey, Steve Harper, Tamela Davis and Lois Oliver, both greeted drop-in visitors and led scheduled tour groups. Tamela Davis also filled in on some Sundays. It is a given for all of us that the groups and families from all over are interesting, interested, and are always grateful to learn more about the Chapel.



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 36 services this year, which were all regular Sunday services. Four caregivers provide care to children during services. Due to the coronavirus pandemic and necessary closure of the Chapel, no worship services were held, and thus no Nursery was provided, beginning March 15.

The Nursery Service Group Chair provides help in monitoring the Nursery on Sunday mornings, 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.

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: 4 (with ¼ being children of Congregation members)
  • Median per week: 4
  • Range: 0 to 9

Offering Counters

by Frank Coble

One of the many Chapel support ministries of the Congregation is the offering counters. Each Sunday, offering counters initially count and secure the monetary gifts returned to our Lord for His Church. Fifteen individuals serve in this ministry who can be called upon to serve as a counter on a given Sunday and for the multiple services on Christmas Eve.  These individuals serve upon the recommendation of the Congregation Council.

Immediately following the gathering of the offering during worship, the ushers turn the entire collection over to the custody of an offering counter who never leaves the sight of the entire congregation. Following worship service, a team of 4 counters gather in the Chapel to process these gifts. Using very specific processes and procedures jointly adopted by the Congregation Council and Chapel Dean, the amounts are counted and then secured in the Chapel safe awaiting further processing by Congregation and Chapel Staff the next business day.

Several of the counters have served for more than 20 years. Each in the group is a dedicated Congregation member. Many have even taken a turn during the long day of services on Christmas Eve, processing multiple offerings until the wee hours of Christmas morning and being the last to leave the Chapel. For such dedication we are thankful and appreciative.


by Jim Ferguson


  • 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.
  • For regular attendees, we greet them as well as distribute the day’s bulletin]
  • 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 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 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. On an annual basis, assuming one weekly Sunday service and 10 ushers x 2 hours (this is a conservative minimum), we clock a minimum of 1000+ hours. This does not include additional services such as Holy Week, Christmas, All Hallow’s Eve, etc, nor does it include weekly recruiting/scheduling time of roughly 2 hours.

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 Kpa and Ngat Kpa continued to be standouts this past year among the precollege personnel. In addition, Jeffrey Huo, a chronically overbooked physician, is regular when he can make it from Charlotte.

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:
Barry Berger, Billy Chow, Leisa Dennehy, Francis Donaie, Jeffrey Huo, 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, Leigh Wynkoop.
Co-head ushers: Acelyn Barefoot, Jim Ferguson, & Rick Wilfong.


Welcome Ministry

The Welcome Ministry is a practice of Christian hospitality, providing a warm greeting to worshipers. Both before and after the 11:00 a.m. worship service, volunteers stand ready to answer questions and offer a smile. During much of 2019-2020, the Welcome Ministry was not active due to a number of changes in participation. In early 2020, Ann Sager agreed to led the ministry with plans to revitalize it.



Senior Pastor

by Carol Gregg

This has been a memorable year!

In spring of 2019 when the Christian Education Committee named “Discernment” as the theme for this year, none of us knew how true that would be.

As we studied Ezekiel in our summer Bible study, exploring how the prophet discerned God’s truth in the midst of wild and dramatic visions, we learned how God speaks to us in our present moment. This year we experimented with a new staffing model, employing part-time pastoral assistants rather than a full-time assistant pastor; we are continuing the model as it has been filled with blessings. Our Bylaws instruct us to engage in strategic planning every five years; this was the year for it. A visioning team prayerfully discerned God’s will over a period of months, and their complete report is ready for your action at our June annual meeting. It is valuable report, which will provide meaningful guidance for the upcoming years.

In February of 2020, Nelson Strother completed his work with the Congregation as Financial and IT Administrator. His attention to detail and careful administration provided the congregation with accurate financial reports, an up-to-date website, and thoughtful office administration. We are grateful for his past service to the Congregation as a staff member and pleased that he continues as a valued and active member of the Congregation.

While the changes above required prayerful discernment of God’s will by many, we were all surprised by the need to quickly discern God’s will in responding to the COVD-19 pandemic. With incredible grace and wisdom, members of this Congregation adapted to online classes and meetings, experimented with online fellowship, offered and received comfort in calling each other, accepted the reality of livestreamed worship, and experienced God’s presence in the midst of it all. I am so grateful for the faithfulness of the Congregation in the midst of this pivotal event.

Thank you. This is a wonderful congregation and I am honored to be part of this portion of the Body of Christ.



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 = 33 (15 children, 18 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 [this year’s projects: Nativity School work, Yam Jam, Meals On Wheels work]
  • Easter Program and Egg Hunt [cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic]
  • Palm Sunday Processional for Duke Chapel worship service [cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic]
  • Overnight Retreat programming for children [cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic]
  • Pentecost Sunday Procession for Duke Chapel worship service
  • Worship aids for Duke Chapel worship services
  • Children's Stewardship [a child and youth take Sunday School Offering collections to altar during worship service once a month as part of the offertory]
  • 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 2019/2020 children's programming possible:
  • Godly Play Teaching Team: Rosemary Gulla, Marianna Henry, Jane Fellows, Cheznee Johnson, Jan Radabaugh, Mel Snyder, Diane Haithcock, Liz McMahon, Daniel Corpening, Elizabeth Kenly, James Parker and Shelley Leazer.
  • Wee Praise Teaching Team: Kate DeAlmeida, Megan Cacchio, Patrick Cacchio, Julie Hockett, Elizabeth Kenly. 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
  • From June 2019-mid-February 2020, this position was “Communications Specialist” at 10 hours per week. Beginning in Mid-February, the position became “Office Administrator” at 20 hours per week.
  • Weekly
    • Contribute to and proofread electronic eNews
    • Deposit donations and other incoming money
    • Oversee finalization of bills to be paid
  • Monthly
    • Assist with larger version of eNews on the third week of each month, which includes a preview of events for the upcoming month. Currently, 25 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 2019/2020
    • 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
    • Assist in preparation of 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
    • Financial follow-up with Congregation’s accounting support firm
    • Other tasks as assigned by Senior Pastor

Divinity School Intern

By Joseph Kovas

I am truly grateful and blessed to have served as the 2019-2020 Divinity School Intern for the Congregation at Duke Chapel. Throughout the year, I was given the opportunity to engage in a variety of ministries. Among the ministries I participated in included pastoral care, Christian education, and church administration.

It has been a joy to engage in pastoral care with the Congregation. Over the course of the year, I visited one couple and two individuals on an ongoing basis. I was sad when our coronavirus restrictions went into place because I enjoyed seeing the members and checking in with them. I was grateful for the gift of the telephone that allowed me to call and check in on our homebound members.

Another experience that blessed me was teaching a year-long Sunday school class for the Congregation. I have never taught a year-long Sunday school class. Our class studied the Book of Isaiah in the fall semester and the Acts of the Apostles in the spring semester. The class gave me the courage and confidence to teach a consecutive Sunday school class over a long period of time. I have been deeply blessed by the people in the class. I have been blessed by their deep desire to be disciples of Christ and by the ways they have taught me how to be a better Sunday school teacher. They have given me the opportunity to find my own Christian educator’s voice in ministry. I enjoyed finding artwork each week for the class that corresponded with our lessons. Although we were not able to meet in person due to Covid-19 for two months, I am grateful and blessed we had the opportunity to host our Sunday school class via Zoom. In addition, I also taught an Adult Forum presentation: “Reality Ministries and the Friendship House Apartment.” It was a joy to lead Adult Forum and our guest speakers from the Friendship House loved coming and sharing their experiences with the Congregation.

One of my desires in my position as the intern was to learn how the Congregation does ministry through church administration. It has been a joy to learn and observe from the Church Council, Administration Committee, and the Finance Committee throughout the year. In addition, I was also grateful to have had the opportunity to observe and learn from the Fellowship Committee, Education Committee, Visitation Committee, and Mission Committee. Pastor Carol Gregg also gave me the opportunity to be a part of weekly staff meetings. These meetings were designed to give weekly feedback on the various ministries in the Congregation and also provide a space for creativity, planning, and collaboration with the staff. My experiences with the Congregation’s administration have deeply blessed me and have helped me to grow more as an administrator.
Through my internship, I was very grateful for Rev. Bruce Puckett giving me the opportunities to serve as a liturgist, communion steward, and in other special services over the year. It was a joy to worship with the Congregation in Sunday services, the All Saints Service, and the Ash Wednesday service.

In addition, I also participated in an experimental small group. The small group met each week at Pastor Gregg’s home until Covid-19 restriction went into place. However, we were blessed to have technology such as Zoom and WebEx that allowed us to meet each week virtually. My soul was filled by our Thursday night small groups and I pray they shall become a blessing for the Congregation.

It has been a joy, honor, and blessing to serve the Congregation. I am truly grateful for the Congregation and for all you have done for me this year. I am looking forward to the day when I can worship again with my Congregation at Duke Chapel family in person.

Pastoral Assistant - Youth and Young Adults

By Matt Wright

My position with the Congregation focuses upon Christian education, both with students from grades 6-12 as well as graduate students and young adults. I teach the youth Christian education class each Sunday morning as well as facilitate the bi-weekly Young Adult Dinner and Discussion. In both settings, I have witnessed the love of God being poured into human hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit. I have been honored to be present in those moments when the "lightbulb" clicked and I could see that God was speaking to a person. I have almost always learned as much if not more from those in the study settings than I have taught them. I am thankful to God for the calling and to the Congregation at Duke University Chapel for the opportunity to participate in the educational life of the church. 

Pastoral Assistant - Discipleship

By Michael Larbi

This has been a busy year in which the Education Committee has done a lot of groundwork in preparing to launch a Discipleship Ministry in the Congregation.

During the Fall 2019 Term, we undertook a consultation process to gain understanding of what a Discipleship Ministry should look like for us, given our unique make up as an interdenominational multi-generational church. I had the privilege of interviewing and collating ideas from a cross-section of the Congregation, particularly leaders of small groups and other ministries in the church and those with a background in Education. Carol and I also met with Chapel Dean Luke and Assistant Dean Bruce to share emerging ideas and to solicit their input as well. On two occasions, I had the chance to share the results of our efforts as well as the theological and biblical foundations of a discipleship ministry at the Sunday Adult Forum. A sub-committee of 5 members of the Education Committee met a number of times to oversee and shape the consultation process and its outcomes.

The consensus that emerged from the consultation is in three parts. First, is the purpose statement, which is: “The Discipleship Ministry fosters growth in grace, faith, and knowledge of Christ, individually and in community.”

Secondly, it was agreed that the Congregation should consider establishing discipleship small groups to pursue this purpose.

Thirdly, the Education Committee decided to conduct a three-month pilot of the discipleship small group concept with volunteers from the committee and some invited students from the Divinity School. There were 15 participants in the pilot, divided into two groups and including 5 Divinity students. It started in the first week of February and is now ended. An evaluation report will be ready for the Education Committee in May 2020. Discussions are now in progress on next steps.

My thanks for all who have graciously given their time, energy, and abilities to support this effort. Thanks be to God for the grace we have had along the way.

Pastoral Assistant - Pastoral Care

By Ken Moland

This new staff position was created in January of 2020, and I began my ministry in March of 2020. Since this is a new position, I will include this summary of the Position Description in my report. The position is considered quarter-time.

The Pastoral Assistant for Pastoral Care provides pastoral care and regular visitation to members of the congregation who are unable to participate in worship or in the life of the congregation, generally due to health concerns or physical limitations, and provide pastoral care on an emergency basis when the Senior Pastor is unavailable.

It has been a very unusual beginning. Ministry in the midst of a pandemic brings unique challenges and opportunities. As I began in early March, I was able to make my first “in home visits” to four of our members. Then the Covid-19 restrictions began and pastoral care had to take on a different form. In place of person-to-person visits I have now been “in touch” through phone calls, texts, emails and handwritten notes. Holy Communion has not been an option, but the ministry of God’s Word and prayer have connected us at the Throne of Grace.

I look forward to meeting many of our Congregation face to face in these next months as we anticipate the gradual lifting of the restrictions. God has provided, and will continue to provide, for the pastoral care of each of our Congregation’s members. Thank you to the visitation team as they regularly contact other members with words of encouragement.

Thank you for the privilege of serving in this new position of pastoral care. Special thanks to Pastor Carol Gregg for her support and direction as I am growing into this role.

Looking forward to the blessings or caring for one another.

Communications Assistant

By Kirsten Ford

Over the summer of 2019, The Congregation at Duke University Chapel wanted to build a consistent presence on all social media platforms. An Instagram and Twitter account were made in hopes to draw an active audience that would be connected with The Congregation and discover worship, missions and service that are being highlighted on all social media platforms.

Outside of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, weekly newsletters are sent with information regarding worship and or opportunities to get connected with others. During this time, our Instagram account has 41 followers, The Congregation at Duke University Chapel has collected 682 views, both Facebook accounts has 424 followers while our Twitter account has 41 followers as well. We are excited to see the growth and having the opportunity to reach out digitally.

Budget Overview

by Sara Marks

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 21 (July 2020 - June 2021) total $361k. This includes:

  • 2% increase in pastoral and staff salaries
  • Savings of $22k from organizational changes (effective March 2020)
  • 5% increase in annual grants for Outreach Ministries locally
  • Support for an additional ZOE participant group (total of two groups in Africa)

The revenue required to balance the budget is slightly less than last year, a decision we thought prudent during a period of recovery from the effects of the 2020 global coronavirus pandemic. We have projected a modest net income of $4k. By policy, 25% of funds received in excess of expenses at the end of the year will be directed to Mission and Outreach needs.

The Congregation at Duke University Chapel

FY 21 Budget


Line ID


FY 20 Budget

FY 21 Budget









      Other Giving



      Pledge Fulfillment









      Capital Gain






      Other Accounts Interest





$             3,000.00 



Total Revenue

$         383,000.00 

$         361,000.00 


Gross Profit

$         383,000.00 

$         365,000.00 








      Admin Payroll



         Communications Assistant




         Financial & IT Administrator




         Financial & IT Administrator SEP Contribution




         Office Administrator




         Office Administrator SEP Contribution




      Total Admin Payroll

$           51,856.80 

$           34,776.00 


      Financial Service Fees



         Accounting Services




         Audit Committee




         Bank/Broker Fees




         Payroll/Accounting Services




         Payroll Admin Services




      Total Financial Service Fees

$             6,050.00 

$           15,250.00 





         Liability Ins




            Background Checks




         Total Liability Ins

$             5,700.00 

$             5,600.00 


         Workers Compensation Ins




      Total Insurance

$             7,400.00 

$             7,600.00 


      Office Expenses



         Computer Equipment/Supplies




         Computer/Duke OIT Support




         Membership Database




         Office Supplies












         Web Hosting




      Total Office Expenses

$           12,105.00 

$             8,040.00 


      Payroll Expenses - FICA




      Staff Parking Passes





$           86,914.46 

$           75,438.00 








         Altar Guild




         Chapel Support Donation




         Children's Worship Aids




         Choir Engagement




         Nursery Expenses




         Prayer Ministry




      Total Chapel

$             6,725.00 

$             7,585.00 



$             6,725.00 

$             7,585.00 








         Adult Forum




         Books - Milestone Gifts




         Children's Ministry Training




         Classroom Use Donation




         Confirmation Class - Youth




         Curriculum & Supplies - ADULT




         Curriculum & Supplies - CHILDREN




         Curriculum & Supplies - YOUTH




         Daylong Retreats (Fall & Winter)




         Education Hour Coffee




         Fellowship - Children




         Fellowship - Youth




         Overnight Retreat




         Retreats & Missions - Youth




         Young Adult and Student Ministry




      Total Education

$           20,850.00 

$           17,200.00 


      Staff - Children's Education



         Children's Pastor Auto Allowance




         Children's Pastor Continuing Ed




         Children's Pastor Professional Expense




         Children's Pastor Salary




         Children's Pastor SEP Contribution




      Total Staff - Children's Education

$           40,440.40 

$           27,944.00 



$           61,290.40 

$           45,144.00 





      Business Luncheon




      Chapel Quilters




      Congregational Events



         Special Worship Services




      Total Congregational Events


$             2,500.00 


      Fellowship Committee




      Membership Committee







         Gifts & Flowers




         Member Recruitment/PR




      Total Membership Committee

$                 900.00 

$                900.00 






      Stewardship Mailings




      Visitation & Care Committee





$             5,300.00 

$             8,540.00 





      Annual Grants (Local M&O)




      Divinity School Intern




      Durham Cong in Action (DCIA)




      Habitat Apprentice Support (25% FTE)




      Habitat House




      Lenten Service Trip




      Missionary Support




      NC-Council of Churches




      Pastor's Discretionary Fund




      Refugee Resettlement




      Shelter Dinners




      Unanticipated Community Need









$           86,100.00 

$           92,505.00 





      Assistant Pastor



         Assist. Pastor's Auto Expenses




         Assist. Pastor's Continuing Ed




         Assist. Pastor's Heath Care Assist




         Assist. Pastor's Housing Allowance




         Assist. Pastor's Life Insurance




         Assist. Pastor's Meeting Expense




         Assist. Pastor's Pension Cost




         Assist. Pastor's Professional Expenses




         Assist. Pastor's Salary




         Assist. Pastor's Self Employment Tax Offset




      Total Assistant Pastor

$           35,147.50 






         Pastor's Auto Expenses




         Pastor's Continuing Ed




         Pastor's Death/Disability




         Pastor's Housing




         Pastor's Meeting Expense




         Pastor's Pension Cost




         Pastor's Professional Expenses




         Pastor's Salary




         Pastor's Self Employment Tax Offset




      Total Pastor

$           99,996.07 

$         100,357.48 


      Pastoral Assistants



         Pastoral Assistant, Discipleship




         Pastoral Assistant, Pastoral Care




         Pastoral Assistant, Pastoral Care - Mileage




         Pastoral Assistant, Youth & Young Adults




      Total Pastoral Assistants


$           31,350.00 



$         135,143.57 

$         131,707.48 


Total Expenditures

$         381,473.43 

$         360,919.48 


Net Operating Revenue

$             1,526.57 

$                  80.52 


Net Revenue

$             1,526.57 

$                  80.52 

Annual Business Meeting Minutes from 2019 for Review

Goodson Chapel, Duke University Divinity School

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

The annual business meeting of the Congregation at Duke University Chapel was called to order by Congregation president Jan Gwyer at 1:00 p.m. A quorum (48) was confirmed by Susan Ward, secretary.

Craig DeAlmeida, incoming president, led the assembled group in the Congregation’s affirmation of faith, the opening prayer, and the singing of “Spirit of the Living God.” He emphasized the thread of community running through all of these.

Jan reviewed the meeting agenda, which was adopted unanimously on a motion from Walker Robinson, seconded by Linda Karolak.

2018 Minutes
There were no additions or corrections to the 2018 annual meeting minutes, and Jan Gwyer moved to approve the minutes as written. The motion was seconded by Beth Gettys Sturkey and approved unanimously.

Highlights of the Year
A well-received video created by Ben Wechsler showcased many highlights of the Congregation’s ministry over the past year.

Pastor Carol Gregg reviewed the status of membership:

  • Current membership: 480 members, 355 households
  • Changes in membership: 19 new members, 19 losses

She also recognized new members and remembered in prayer the five who died since May 1, 2018:

  • Betsy Close
  • Marjorie Jones
  • Lois Klauder
  • Mary Ruth Miller
  • Donald Thompson

Committee Reports

Committee representatives reported on their activities during the year:

  • Education

Nell Noonan described how the Christian Education Committee provides year-round education for all ages through Adult Forum, Bible Study, Book Groups, Godly Play, New Member Classes, Retreats, Wee Praise, and Women’s Study. She commended the dedicated volunteers who have made these educational opportunities a reality and estimated that teachers and students invested 2032 hours in Christian Education.

Nell drew particular attention to two success stories: a happy evening of potluck supper and square dancing, and the skyrocketing growth of attendance at Godly Play classes.

  • Fellowship and Congregational Care

Brady Surles reported on activities of the Fellowship and Congregational Care Committee, including Calling Ministry, Fellowship Events, Growing Thru Grief, Heavenly Hats Ministry, Loaves & Fishes, Prayer Ministry, Quilters, Visitation & Care Ministries, Young Adult Fellowship. He concluded that, all together, these individual acts of love total approximately 1536 hours devoted to care of and fellowship with one another.

Brady also shared two stories of how we care for each other, one about the faithful attention of the prayer ministry members, and one about the support given to his own family that encouraged them during months of healing.

  • Missions and Outreach

Nancy Wawrousek reported on current mission and outreach ministries: 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. With all efforts added together, she estimated that the Congregation gave 2309 hours of service on behalf of others. They also gave financial grants totaling $45,900 to twelve partner agencies, $23,160 to other causes, and $34,862 to special Empowerment ministries, for a total of $104,609.

Nancy shared two examples of mission service: the week-long Lenten Service Trip to help repair a flooded home in New Bern, NC, where the homeowner welcomed them with open arms and a warm “Thank you, Jesus!” Also this year, the Congregation helped build a Habitat house at 117 Hillside for Antonio and Felicia and their three children. In these cases, members helped repair a home and provide a new home for some neighbors, and in the process experienced God’s presence in the midst of love, joy, and gratitude.

  • Chapel Support

Drew Middleton reported on the ministries that explicitly help support the Chapel: Altar Guild, Children’s Christmas Eve Worship Service, Choir Engagement, Docents, Memorial Chapel Communion, Nursery, Offering Counters, Ushers, and Welcome Ministry. Many faithful volunteers have offered themselves to these varied roles to which they have contributed approximately 2195 hours of service.

Drew singled out in particular the example of James Spencer, who has led the Welcome Ministry since its inception. In the four years that James has been at Duke, he has offered leadership from the moment he joined the Congregation until now as he prepares to leave.

  • Congregation Support

Whitney Schwab reported on the committees that provide administrative support to the ministries of the congregation: Administration, Finance and Stewardship, Nominations and Leadership, and Staff Parish Relations. These “behind the scenes” committees provide essential support to all of the Congregation’s other ministries.

Whitney reviewed the status of the Pastor for Education and Discipleship position. The Staff Parish Relations Committee and Council jointly decided not to seek another full-time pastor at this point, but instead to authorize Carol to hire several interim, part-time staff to assist in key ministries:

  • Matt Wright, a second year Divinity School student, will assist in the areas of youth and young adult ministries
  • Michael Larbi, also a second year Divinity School student, will help explore ways to increase small group and discipleship ministries
  • Kirsten Ford, a member of the Congregation, has already started to aid in communications.

Whitney stated that the Council, Staff Parish Relations Committee, and staff will continually evaluate this staffing.


Budget (2019-2020)

Treasurer Bill Youngblood presented the proposed Fiscal Year 2019-20 budget, thanking the Congregation for its generous giving and encouraging its continued generosity as expectations are raised for the coming year. He noted that the interim part-time staffing pattern has reduced personnel costs for this year and that mission giving has been increased, both in grants to local agencies and in budgeting for the continued partnership with the Habitat for the Repairs Apprentice.

Bill noted with pleasure that, for the first time in a long time, the Congregation has a balanced budget. On behalf of the Stewardship and Finance Committee, he moved that the Congregation adopt this budget, with no changes, for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. Beth Gettys Sturkey seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.


Report of the Nominating Committee and Elections

Beth Gettys Sturkey, reporting in place of Deb Hackney for the committee, thanked the following outgoing Council members for their service: Cary Gravatt, Jan Gwyer, Nell Noonan, Susan Ward, and Bill Youngblood. They were offered gifts of beautiful quilted potholders made by members of the Duke Chapel Quilters. In addition, Beth’s recognition of Deb Hackney’s devoted service as chair of the Nominating and Leadership Committee was received with much applause.

Beth announced the proposed slate of 2019-20 Council members:

  • Executive Committee:
  • President: Craig DeAlmeida
  • Vice President: Brady Surles
  • Secretary: Mary Anderson
  • Treasurer: Drew Hains
  • Program area coordinators:
  • Congregational Care: Marsha Altmeyer
  • Chapel Support: Drew Middleton
  • Standing committees – Council representatives:
  • Administration: Janell Lovelace
  • Christian Education: Fran Steele
  • Missions and Outreach: Nancy Wawrousek
  • Nominations and Leadership Development: Beth Gettys Sturkey
  • Staff-Parish: Whitney Schwab
  • Stewardship and Finance: John Mullins
  • She moved that the Congregation accept the proposed slate of Council members for 2019-20. Her motion was seconded by Harry Rodenhizer and approved unanimously.
  • Next, Beth explained that the by-laws require the Congregation as a whole to elect not only the members of the Council, but also the Staff-Parish Relations Committee and the treasurers. She presented the following nominations:
  • Nominations for Staff Parish Relations Committee: Leisa Dennehy, Whitney Schwab, Brenda Brodie, Jeannie Norris, Patsy Willimon, and Mike Smith
  • Nominations for Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer: John Mullins and Sara Marks, respectively

On behalf of the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee, Beth moved that the Congregation accept these individuals as Staff-Parish Relations Committee members. Rick King seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.

Finally, she also requested affirmation of the additional leaders and chairpersons whose positions do not require a vote, but who are part of this slate of leaders. The group showed their approval with smiles and enthusiastic applause.

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


At 2:00 p.m., Beth Gettys Sturkey’s motion to adjourn was seconded by Nell Noonan and approved unanimously. In closing remarks, Jan thanked those who helped to plan and set up the meeting, especially Phyllis Snyder for arranging the lunch and the rooms and to Nelson Strother for putting the meeting materials on the website and providing tech support. Phyllis offered a closing prayer of thanks and blessing.

Respectfully submitted,

Susan Ward, Secretary

Strategic Plan 2020

By Brady Surles

The Strategic Planning Committee began meeting in June, 2019 with six members:  Council members Janell Lovelace, Drew Middleton, Brady Surles, Congregation member Mel Snyder who served on the 2014 Strategic Planning Committee, and Pastor Carol Gregg.  Robin Barefoot joined the Committee to be the facilitator for this task, since she had experience in this area, and was active in both the Congregation and the Chapel programs.  Pastoral Assistant Michael Larbi later joined the committee.


Over the next ten months, this group reviewed the 2014 Strategic Plan, sought input from the Congregation Council, Congregation Committees, Congregation Staff, and the general Membership of the Congregation.  The Committee met every month with much prayer for guidance, in addition to doing surveys, hosting meetings with the general membership, small groups, and individuals.


 Under the able leadership of Robin Barefoot, the Committee developed the 2020 Strategic Plan as a document reflecting the many viewpoints of the membership of the Congregation.  The Plan was revised continuously, and finalized and submitted to the Congregation Council in April, 2020, with the goal of submitting it for approval at the June 14 Annual Meeting of the Congregation. Click here to view the plan.

We express appreciation to the Committee for their commitment and dedication to the task, and a special thanks to Robin Barefoot for her leadership. The Committee hopes this will help all of us focus more fully on how we can serve God as a fellowship of believers.