"Downtown by history and by choic e"
FPC Bi-Weekly Newsletter
January 28 - February 10, 2020
From the Pastor/Head of Staff
Dear friends,

We have had SO much going on around here this January! What a vibrant and faithful community you are and what joy we share as we serve the community around us. I wanted to update you on a few of the things that have been going on in January:

Search Committee updates:

·          Administrative Assistant - New hire!  Sybil King started work last week as our new Administrative Assistant. She is already making a difference in our lives! She will start at 20 hours a week and ramp up to 30 hours a week in the coming weeks. Thanks to Elinor Hess and Jerry Postema (co-chairs), Marie Sappenfield, George Danser, and Christy Gudaitis (Personnel Committee) as well as Tom Bloom and Valerie McMillian for their tireless work on this effort during the busy Advent and Christmas seasons!
·          Director of Children’s Ministries – The search is proceeding well as the committee interviews strong candidates. Thanks to Laura Kelly, Kathy Conner, Amy Sanchez, Tom Admay, Katharine Whitmore, and Leah Graves (Personnel Committee) for their good work on this! Thanks to Associate Pastor John Weicher for providing significant staff support!
·          Associate Pastor Nominating Committee – Look for their official report and timeline below in this newsletter. They have hit the ground running! Thanks to Michael Honeycutt and Marcia Lorimer (co-chairs), Griffin Momsen-Hudson, Cris Rivera, Amy Wilson, Keith Merritt , and Laura Hanson (Personnel Committee) for their faithfulness as they begin this work.

Vision Team – At the end of 2019 I formed a Vision Team to begin to consider how the long-range plan impacts our physical plant. We have started conversations with a local architect, Michael Hinning, and are in the process of considering priorities based on our mission and ministry as they are outlined in the plan. Stay tuned for more information from them. The team consists of Mac McCorkle (chair), Phyllis Supple , Karen Romines , Chuck Wilson , Brianna Bennett , Michael Bacon , Tyler Momsen-Hudson , and Dan Hudgins . 

New Members – This Sunday, we welcomed nine new members – Michael Bacon, Tony and Teddie Brown, Stephen Githua, Stan and Vickie Luboff, Joseph Mbogo, Fred and Jo Ann Moore These are some great folks who are ready to be active members. I hope you will have a chance to get to know them! See their photos and bios below in this newsletter so you can match faces with names!

Changes in workload Rev. Dr. Susan Dunlap – Recently, we contracted with Parish Associate Susan Dunlap for additional responsibilities. She has been doing more pastoral care and taking on more pastoral and worship leadership. She will also preach in March. Previously, her position was unpaid, but we will now pay her for these additional tasks during this transition period.

Kudos to Kathy Parkins for arranging for the Triangle Jewish Chorale to be with us on MLK weekend and to Tom Bloom for spending most of MLK Day on site for our many activities so that Robert Daye could have the day off.

February looks to be just as exciting, so stay tuned! I look forward to being with you soon!

Grace and peace,
CONDOLENCES: We extend our condolences to Rev. Lakesha Bradshaw Easter , pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church, Durham, on the passing of her father, Phillip L. Bradshaw , on January 23, 2020 in Chicago.
Paul Cornsweet , recovering at Treyburn Rehabilitation Center, Durham
Jane Brawley , recovering from partial knee replacement surgery
Mary-Jo Keenan , recovering from hand surgery
Sara Radtke , recovering at home from hip surgery
Jim Robins , in hospice care in Raleigh
Josh Walters , recovering from Achilles' heel surgery
Judy Wood , mother of Sharon Hirsch, having surgery this Friday
Margaret Mubanga   

Care Communities:
Brookdale Durham: Julian Boswell, Becky Crockett               
Croasdaile Pavilion: Bob Rankin 
Dubose Center at The Cedars (Chapel Hill): Arthur Clark
Durham Regent: John Kerr, Ann Prospero
Hillcrest Convalescent Center, Durham: Jean Lazarides
Pruitt Health at Carolina Point, Durham: Helen Garrison
Southern Living for Seniors, Louisburg:  Phillip Herndon
The Forest at Duke: Fran Bryant

Family and Friends of the Congregation:
Fran Alwood , mother of Jennie Alwood
Ken Chambliss , father of Will Chambliss
Camilla Crampton , companion of Mal King
Carley and Jon Meade , family of Bruce, Ellie, Kristin, and Dayton Meade
Doug Neece , brother of Vern Neece
Jim Vacca, father of Jamie Chambliss 
Special thanks to Maxie Honeycutt and Sydnor Patrick for hosting Daytimers at Bennett Pointe Grill today.
Dear First Presbyterian Church,
Thank you so much for the very generous love offering you sent me. It arrived right around Epiphany and the 12 th day of Christmas, full of light and love like the gifts the wise ones sent Jesus! You know how much I love you and how dear you are to my family. You are with me in all my ministry and I cannot begin to tell you all the ways that I am thankful for our shared faith and commitment to being church together. I promise to be a good steward of your gift and continue to pray God’s mercy and grace will always hold you. THANK YOU! Courage, faith and love. 
 - Cherrie Henry
The following persons were received into membership by the Session on Sunday, January 26:

Michael Bacon
Tony and Teddie Brown
Stephen Lee Njoroge Githua
Stan and Vickie Luboff
Joseph Mbogo
Fred and Jo Ann Moore.

Click here to learn more about our newest members.
* Christmas Joy:  $2,643 – for assistance programs with the PCUSA Board of Pensions and educational programs at Presbyterian-related racial ethnic schools and colleges

Christmas Eve:  $5011 – for Church World Service (CWS) Refugee Resettlement Program

FPC Walk-in Ministry:  $3,478 – for financial assistance to our local Durham community

Hunger for Change:  $6,780 – for hunger relief programs locally and around the world

* One Great Hour of Sharing (Easter): $6,045 – for national and global disaster relief

* Peace and Global Witness:  $1,145– for peace initiatives that address injustices in the world

* Pentecost:  $646 – for programming that nurtures the Christian faith in children, youth and young adults

Thank you for your generous giving in 2019.
* A PC(USA) Special Offering
Flower donors can now sign up online!
The Flowers Ministry of FPC offers a meaningful way to donate flowers for the sanctuary in memory or in honor of a loved one, or in celebration of a special occasion. Each Sunday, the flower arrangements bring the color and beauty of nature to our worship service. Following worship, our deacons divide the flowers and deliver smaller arrangements to members who are ill, grieving, or unable to attend church, as a way of sharing with them a part of our worship service. Ninth Street Flowers (700 Ninth Street, Telephone: 919 286-5640) provides the beautiful arrangements. If you would like to reserve an upcoming Sunday, please sign up online here . Ruth Roberson ( , 919 949-2106) or Jean Wilson ( , 91 9 403-7333) will be glad to provide more details about ordering flowers and the FPC's discount price ($65) offered by Ninth Street Flowers for Sunday worship flowers. Click here to read instructions for donors.
The Associate Pastor Nominating Committee (“APNC”) is excited to give you a brief update of our activities thus far. Click here to read more.
Seeking Justice on Uneven Ground
Banner Exhibit dates:
January 3 - February 16, 2020
Visit Watts-Hill Hall and explore our faith and the history of racism and housing through the Uneven Ground exhibit. Originally commissioned for the 150 th  anniversary of Durham as a city, the exhibit is a tool for reflection, learning, and dialogue. 

February 4 : Sharing, Naming, and Healing at 6 p.m.; an open house closed by a vigil of Durham residents sharing their own stories of their housing experiences in Durham, community responses, and prayers of lament and hope for communal healing and justice.

  Website for Uneven Ground/Bull City 150:
Sunday, February 2
4th Sunday in Ordinary Time
9:45 a.m. - Sunday School
11:00 a.m. - Worship & Communion
Mindy Douglas , preaching

Souper Bowl Fundraiser for Hunger Relief
FPC’s children, with help from their families and some youth, assembled packets of yummy dried bean soup mix on MLK Day 2020. The children will be in the foyer after worship to offer the soup packets in exchange for a donation to benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC. Thank you in advance for supporting this annual fund-raising project for hunger relief.    

Remember on Communion Sundays we extend the Lord's Table to the community by bringing supplies for Blessing Bags.

Liturgist: Cris Rivera
Narthex Greeter: Delia Kwon
Ushers : John Mozart (head), Bob Pleasants (counter)
Click here to sign up to usher.
Communion elders:
Head elder/replenish elements: Luke Everett
Bread: Andy Henry (B1/process), Chris Brown (B2), Tom Bacon (B3), Brent Curtis (B4)
Cup: Lenore Champion (C1), Sharon Hirsch (C2/process), Wendy McCorkle (C3), Alice Raney (C4)
Shepherds: Jane Wettach (font aisle), Kim Abels (center aisle), Cris Rivera (pulpit aisle)
Sunday, February 9
5th Sunday in Ordinary Time
9:45 a.m. Sunday School
11:00 a.m. Worship - FPC Youth in charge
FPC Youth will give the sermon

Narthex Greeters: El Hess and Maxie Honeycutt
Ushers: Click here to sign up to usher. 
Click here to see brief descriptions of Sunday School
and short-term study opportunities for adults, youth, and children.
The Walk
Using Brian McLaurin's book by the title,  We Make the Road by Walking,  and led by Mary Berry, Emily Diy, and Abi Warmack , this class invites all who come to walk together through an overview of the whole Bible exploring the difference an honest, living, growing faith can make in our world today. Come make your road as a person of faith. Come walk with us! ALSO, there is always childcare during the Sunday School hour if your child is too young to go to a church school class. We meet in the Education building, room 205 .

February 2:  Chapter 15 – Women on the Edge
Activate:  Start each day this week putting Mary’s prayer of commitment and surrender, “Let it be to me according to your will,” into your own words. Let this be a week of presenting your life to God so that “holy aliveness” grows in you.

February 9: Chapter 16 – Keep Herod in Christmas
Activate:  This week, try to look at personal and political situations from the vantage point of how they will affect children and their mothers.

  Journeys will begin a study of the Gospel of Matthew on February 2.  The study is based on a PCUSA mission called Matthew 25 that calls for the church to actively engage in the work around us to serve people who are hungry, oppressed, imprisoned or poor. The Bible study guide can be downloaded at this link: . We meet in the apartment classroom on the second floor of the church house . All are welcome.

The Faith and Community Class
For the next four weeks (all of February), the Faith & Community class will be led by Rob Parker & Tim Verhey. The discussion topic is: “Idolatry, Faithfulness and Politics in the 16 th , 20 th and 21 st Centuries.” This four-week class will look at how John Calvin and Karl Barth addressed these themes in their respective contexts and then consider what we might learn from them for our own context. The class meets from 9:45 – 10:45 a.m. in Watts-Hill Hall . All are welcome.

Lectionary Class
February 2: Is it the rich, the wise, and the powerful who are welcomed and honored in the kingdom of God? No, the rules are reversed: meekness, kindness, humility, and mercy are rewarded. Is this a message of foolishness in the twenty-first century? Join us for discussion at 9:45 in the East Parlor.
February 9: Are you ready to take it to the next level? Are you ready to learn the secrets that are reserved for the advanced? The things you learned in the past, and the things you did in the past, aren't good enough now. "We speak God’s wisdom, secret and hidden." 
Spiritual Formation Class
This year-round class for women is coordinated by Leah Graves  and explores spiritual life within the construct of a supportive community. We will begin a new study of the book Helpmates, Harlots, and Heroes: Women's Stories in the Hebrew Bible , 2nd Edition by Alice Ogden Bellis THIS Sunday, February 2.  We would welcome any women wishing to join us.   Join us at 9:45 a.m. in  basement classroom B-16 .  
Youth Sunday School & Calendar for 2020
The Alleluia Children’s Choir is open to children who attend FPC or Covenant Presbyterian Church and their friends. We are now rehearsing every Sunday from 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. in the choir room at FPC. Please contact Kathy Parkins at for more information. Brennetta Simpson is the director of the choir and she can be reached at
Church League Basketball is here!
Come cheer on FPC! FPC has one team in the league this winter. Games are played at Grey Stone Family Life Center located at 2601 Hillsborough Rd, Durham on Tuesdays and Saturdays through the end of February.
Click here to view the remaining schedule.
The next SUPPORT GROUP meeting for care-givers of those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia will be on Sunday, February 9 at 2:00 p.m. in the Wilson Parlor at FPC .  This group is open to anyone in the community who wants to share the joys and perils of being a care-giver.  Laura McNab is leading the support group.  
Legacy Society
Appreciation Luncheon
The FPC Legacy Society will celebrate its fourth annual Member Appreciation Luncheon on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. at Croasdaile Village. Membership in the FPC Legacy Society will help insure the future of our historic congregation and its place in the Durham community, just as we enjoy the legacy gifts that have come before us. If you have not yet joined the FPC Legacy Society, please consider joining now and making FPC a part of your Legacy. You will find information about joining the FPC Legacy Society in today’s worship bulletin. Please direct any questions about the FPC Legacy Society to Tom Bloom, Business Administrator.
First Friends and Families
Saturday, February 8
6:00 p.m.
at the Momsen-Hudson's home
1339 Holden Roberts' Farm Road, Hillsborough
All ages welcome. Bring a dish to pass.
Respond to the EVITE. Contact Deborah at or call 919-417-8664 for more information.

SCRATCH Gathering
Saturday, February 15
Come cheer on FPC's basketball team and then we will have dinner together at Alpaca. The game will be played at 5:00 p.m. at Grey Stone Family Life Center (2601 Hillsborough Rd, Durham). Alpaca Restaurant is located at 703 9th Street, Durham.
Primetimers' Covered Dish Supper
Saturday, February 15
6:30 p.m. at the home of Mac and Wendy McCorkle
Bring a dish to share. Respond to the EVITE. Contact Wendy for more information:
The Things That Matter Book Group will meet for their winter potluck and to discuss “Finding God in the Movies: 33 Firms of Reel Faith” by Catherine Barsotti and Robert K. Johnston on Tuesday, February 11 at 6:00 p.m. in Watts-Hill Hall at FPC.  Beth Eisenson is the hostess and Hendrika Vande Kemp will lead the discussion. Please let Beth know if you plan to attend and remember to bring a dish to share. The book’s authors, Barsotti and Johnston, will be our 2020 McPherson Lectureship presenters on Sunday, May 3.

All are invited to join the Racial Equity Task Force. We meet the first Sunday of the month right after worship (places for the meeting may vary). Please contact Kathy Krahenbuhl or Jon Abels if you have any questions.

We would encourage you to attend one of the workshops offered by the Racial Equity Institute. Here is the link for the upcoming local workshops: 
Lunch and Learn Mission Event
PC(USA) Mission co-worker Leisa Wagstaff has returned to her native North Carolina for a few months on interpretation assignment and while here has been sharing about her 30+ years of ministry and life with our ministry partners in Lesotho, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, and South Sudan. So that we might get to know her, First Presbyterian Church of Durham is hosting this event where Ms.Wagstaff will talk about her work with educators in war-torn South Sudan. South Sudan is predominately Christian. Sudan, to the north, is predominately Sunni Muslim.

WHEN:   Wednesday, February 19 from 12 noon – 2:00 p.m.

WHERE : First Presbyterian Church, Durham (Watts-Hill Hall)
Bring a bag lunch; lemonade and water will be available.
Time Out with Bill Hendrickson , interviewer, can be heard in Carrboro and Chapel Hill on FM103.5 and elsewhere on

February 3 - Gene Nichol , UNC School of Law Professor, "Faces of Poverty" and many essential studies of poverty and struggles for a living wage, etc. 
A new NAMI Family Support group has formed at Mt Bethel Presbyterian Church for family members and friends who have mental illness in their family. The group meets twice a month on the first and third Tuesday at Mt. Bethel at 7:00 p.m. For more information contact Beverly Stolarick at . Mt. Bethel is located at 3541 Rose of Sharon Rd, Durham.
Support for those who mourn: Growing thru Grief offers year-round support with education and small groups for those who have lost a loved one. Here is the schedule of speakers for the next few weeks:
           February 4      Joan Eastman will begin the small group conversations
           February 11    Heidi Gessner “Writing on Valentine’s Day”
           February 18    Nell Noonan will begin the small group conversations
           February 25    Ann Ritter: “Positive Coping Mechanisms and Strengths”
Growing thru Grief is a free, open, confidential program sponsored by a coalition of area religious and civic organizations to provide support and comfort to those who mourn. Meetings are held year-round on Tuesdays (except for holidays) at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 1200 W. Cornwallis. We gather at 4 pm for registration, coffee, and cookies; the meeting, a presentation plus small group discussion, starts at 4:30 p.m. and ends by 6:00 p.m.
Fundraising Community Concert
Members of First Presbyterian are invited to join Judea Reform congregants, and other community singers in a benefit concert presentation of Allan Friedman's Erev Shabbat and Torah concert on February 6 at 7 pm . This is a 65 minute long piece for chorus and chamber orchestra in Hebrew that offers a mix of musical genres. The concert will be a benefit supporting Families Moving Forward (   
North Carolina Council of Churches
Uniting Communities for Public Education Excellence
A program for dialogue and coalition building around classism and racism, scarcity of resources, and the struggle for racial equity in the face of the school privatization movement, led by Dr. David Campt, Principal consultant at the Dialogue Company.
February 15, 3-5 p.m. - Burlington Masjid
February 29, 9-11:30 a.m. - Milford Hills UMC, Salisbury
March 7, 9-11:30 a.m. - West Nash UMC, Wilson
For more info go to:, or call 919-828-6501.
An invitation to Iglesia Emanuel's
Annual Ministry Celebration
Once again, FPC is partnering with Iglesia Emanuel, our sister Latino Presbyterian congregation, to host their third annual ministry celebration, including dinner and entertainment. This year’s event promises to be very powerful, as the theme for the evening is: “Journeys to Durham: Receiving the Stories of Our Immigrant Neighbors.” Please mark your calendars for Saturday evening, March 28, 6-8pm, Trinity Avenue Presbyterian Church. The purpose is twofold: fundraising to support and expand the church’s amazing ministry in the community, and a wonderful opportunity for friendship, fellowship and a delicious meal. Because seating is limited, RSVP just as soon as possible to Margaret Rubiera at
A Writing Workshop with Carol Henderson
March 13-14, 2019
Friday 7-9 pm, Saturday 9:30 am-3:30 pm
Come write with veteran teacher Carol Henderson. Be prepared to write a lot and to leave with deeper insight and fresh perspective on your life as well as plenty of material for further inquiry and writing. Bring a bag lunch. Coffee, tea, and snacks provided. For women only.

Carol Henderson is a writer, editor, workshop leader, the author of Losing Malcolm, and Farther Along: The Writing Journey of Thirteen Bereaved Mothers, and the editor of Wide Open Spaces: Call Stories. More:

Cost: $125. Click  HERE  to register. Location: In a cozy house in Durham with a cat.

Contact: RCWMS, 919-683-1236, .
Would you like to be a judge for SilverArts 2020?
SilverArts, a celebration of the creative expression of Mature Adults in Durham, is a major component of the traditional athletic competition of Durham Senior Games. In a philosophy that strives to keep Mature Adults healthy, active and involved, SilverArts unites the athlete and artist in a program that recognizes the similarities of both endeavors: discipline, dedication, and pride in one's accomplishments. The 2020 SilverArts will begin in April and judges for the various aspects of the program are sought. For further information, click here .
Assembly in Washington DC
Many of you are familiar with Rev. William Barber's Poor People Campaign . They are holding a mass assembly in Washington D.C. on June 20, 2020 . A bus will be leaving from Durham that morning and it will return the same day. 

For more information click here , or see Jane Williams ( ) or Susan Dunlap ( ). Jane and Susan will be on the bus!
The next church newsletter will be issued Tuesday, February 11. Please submit your articles to Valerie in the church office
by Sunday, February 9