"Downtown by history and by choic e"
FPC Bi-Weekly Newsletter
February 11- 24, 2020
From the Pastor/Head of Staff

Dear friends,

Over the last several months, we have been blessed with a significant number of new members who have decided to make First Presbyterian Church their spiritual home. Here, they have claimed, is where they want to grow in their own faith and knowledge of God. Here they join with others each week to hear of God’s enormous capacity to love all people. Here together we prepare our hearts to enter the week and to bear the light of Christ’s love to the world. These new members have ranged in age from children, youth, and young adults, to working singles and couples, to folks enjoying their retirement years. They come from different racial and cultural backgrounds and have different sexual orientations. Some have grown up in the Presbyterian Church, while others have church histories that include the United Methodist, Roman Catholic, and non-denominational churches and some have had seasons away from the church. They are from Durham, Africa, Korea, Chicago, California, Pittsburgh, Mexico, and Texas. What was it that brought these and those who will join next week and in March to First Presbyterian Church?
To be sure, people join the community of faith at FPC for many and varied reasons, but I would like to mention a few reasons why our members have made this place their spiritual home either over the past month or for many years or even decades. Click here to read my entire letter.

        Thanks to all of you for being a part of this imperfect and yet beautiful community of faith. Know that you are loved and be at peace.

With love,
New members will be received by the ruling elders and welcomed in worship on this Sunday, February 16 and again on Sunday, March 29. Anyone wishing to join FPC should contact Mindy Douglas , pastor, at 919-688-3960 or so the Session can know who you are.
BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENT:  Born February 1 st in Cambridge England where her father is stationed in the U.S. Air Force, Talia Bryoni Kilpatrick is the daughter of Helen and David Kilpatrick . Talia’s grandparents are Malissa High Kilpatrick and Russ Kilpatrick and her great-grandmother is Elizabeth High .

CONDOLENCES: We extend condolences to Jenna Kneepkens and Matt Susen on the death of Jenna’s grandfather, John Kneepkens , who died January 4, 2020 in Washington. 
Fran Alwood , mother of Jennie Alwood, nearing end of life
Christyn Klinck , recovering from a fall
Chris Kovach , friend of Jeanne Hervey
Margaret Mubanga    
Phyllis Verhey , recovering from a fall
Sara Radtke , recovering from hip surgery

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
Treyburn Rehabilitation Center, Durham: Paul Cornsweet

Family and Friends of the Congregation :
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 
Judy Wood , mother of Sharon Hirsch
Dear Church Family,
I am most grateful for the calls, flowers, visits, cards, food, and most of all, your prayers during my recent surgery and recovery. My church family means so much to me and you have shown your care and concern for me during this time. My doctor and physical therapists tell me that I am progressing and healing quite well. With all of this attention, who wouldn’t be up and about soon? - Jane Brawley
SESSION BRIEFS from January 27, 2020
At its Stated meeting in January, the Session voted to approve the 2020 budget proposed by the Budget Committee and to move the small amount of surplus from 2019 budget into the reserve account. The Property and Finance and Investment committees discussed upcoming extraordinary, but necessary, property expenses and will consider how to pay for these additional expenses. In addition, proposed revisions to the Personnel Manual were approved. Elders discussed an overture from the Church of Reconciliation to Presbytery to support a living wage bill to go before the NC House. They voted to support the overture which will be presented at the February meeting of the Presbytery of New Hope for approval. Sharon Hirsch, Cris Rivera, and Mindy Douglas will attend a Stewardship event this month hosted by Montreat Conference Center. The Session heard an extensive report from the Apartment Usage Task Force regarding a proposal from Service and Mission for the use of the apartment. This presentation was informative only and the Session did not vote on the proposal. The Session elected Wendy McCorkle and Andy Henry to serve as commissioners to the February 22, 2020 meeting of New Hope Presbytery.

A Congregational Meeting will be held at the end of worship on Sunday, February 23 to hear a report from the Budget Committee and to approve the pastor's terms of call.

Respectfully submitted,
Christyn Klinck , Clerk of Session 
People, places and experiences throughout our lives create the tapestry of who we become. My family and friends, my Church and my education have made me the person I am today and for that I am very grateful. Estate planning and preparing a will are not at the top of anyone’s to do list, but it is critical that these decisions are made and recorded so that your intentions are clear. I never thought of myself as having a legacy, but if I look at what I value in my life, for which my faith and my Church are a large part, it is important that I reflect those values with personal and financial support as I am able. I made the decision to include First Presbyterian Church in my will because of my deep gratitude towards God, the many gifts in my life and my strong belief in the mission of our Church. I have pledged and tithed to the Church all my life, but never felt that I was able to do as much as I wanted to, so including the Church in my will allows me to give what I wasn’t able to give during my lifetime. Maybe that is a legacy, I’d like to think so.

Caroline Davis Rourk
As we continue into the second month of the year, we’d like to again thank this congregation for its wholehearted participation in our 2020 Stewardship Campaign and its focus on the social missions of First Presbyterian. Over 46% of our pledging units were able to increase their annual gifts, and 19 units were new or returning pledges. Together we were able to increase expected pledge revenue for our annual operating budget by almost 4%. This allowed for a $20,000 increase for the Service and Mission committee’s operation budget. You also answered S&M’s call to increase your participation; the committee has seen reinvigoration, and our outreach ministries have received new volunteers.

As we turn our focus this spring towards the stewardship of our planet, be on the lookout for meetings regarding becoming an Earth Care Congregation and Service & Mission’s participation with Keep Durham Beautiful during our Community Work Day in March. Thanks again for the generous and meaningful stewardship of your gifts, time, talent, treasure, and the future.

In gratitude, 
Cris Rivera and George Bernhardt 
Stewardship Committee Co-Moderators
Sunday, February 16
6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
9:45 a.m. Sunday School
11:00 a.m. Worship

We will welcome new members during worship this Sunday.

Congregational Lunch: Cris Rivera and Beth Springfield will provide a delicious meal following worship this Sunday. Donations ($8/adult; $24 family) will be received to offset the cost of the meal. All are welcome to join us following worship for this time of table fellowship.

Liturgist: Michael Honeycutt
Narthex Greeter: Alice Raney
After Worship Greeters: Dawn Carsey (Narthex/Rear); Cris Rivera (Font/Side)
Ushers: Stephen Berry (head), Christy Gudaitis (flowers), Dale Gaddis , Michael Honeycutt , John Mozart - Click here to sign up to usher. 
Sunday, February 23
Transfiguration of the Lord
7th Sunday in Ordinary Time
9:45 a.m. Sunday School
11:00 a.m. Worship and Communion

The Hunger for Change offering will be received during worship to help combat hunger locally and around the world.

Liturgist: Amy Dillon
Narthex Greeter: Chris Williams
After Worship Greeters: Carol Carson (Narthex/rear) ; Sharon Hirsch (Font/side)
Ushers: Laurie Williamson (head), Christy Gudaitis (flowers)
Click here to sign up to usher. 
Communion Elders:
Head/Replenish Elements: Cris Rivera
Bread: Leah Graves (B1, process), Michael Honeycutt (B2), Diane Prosser (B3), Amy Wilson (B4)
Cup: Carol Carson (C1), David Sappenfield (C2, process), Wendy McCorkle (C3), Raymond Mbah (C4)
Shepherds: Griffin Momsen-Hudson (font aisle), Tom Bacon (center aisle), Laura McDow (pulpit aisle)
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 16:  Chapter 17 - Surprising People
Activate: This week, look for surprising people to whom you can show uncommon respect and unexpected kindness.

February 23: Chapter 19 - Jesus Coming of Age

  Journeys is studying a PCUSA mission study called Matthew 25 that calls for the church to actively engage locally in the work which serves people who are hungry, oppressed, imprisoned or poor. We will cover the third and fourth discourse of the study guide this week, which are based on the parables in chapters 10 and 18. 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 all of February, the Faith & Community class will be led by Rob Parker and 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
F ebruary 16:  How can we live up to the high standard of Jesus' teachings, in which anger is as bad as murder? How can we read the writings of Paul, when he says that our jealousy means we are still just infants in our understanding? It may be a matter of life and death, but it seems too hard. Join us for discussion at 9:45 in the East Parlor .
February 23: (Transfiguration): Have you had a mountaintop experience? What made it memorable and meaningful? Were there any eyewitnesses? Was their experience the same as yours?  
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 have begun a study of the book Helpmates, Harlots, and Heroes: Women's Stories in the Hebrew Bible , 2nd Edition by Alice Ogden Bellis .  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
Liturgists/Scripture Readers’ Class
Scripture readers will have a training session on Tuesday, February 18 at 6:00 p.m. in the Wilson Parlor . Anyone interested in serving as a liturgist/scripture reader, please join us. Steve Rimmer leads the class.
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
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 TONIGHT, 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. 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. Come hear a preview of their presentation.
Church League Basketball
It's tournament time!
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 schedule.
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:
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 OR you can order a lunch box (turkey, ham, veggie) through the church; lemonade and water will be available.
Respond to the EVITE or call 919-682-5511 to RSVP
and to request a lunch box.
Last chance to view the exhibit in Watts-Hill Hall at FPC!
Seeking Justice on Uneven Ground
Banner Exhibit on display through February 16, 2020
For more information check out the website for
Uneven Ground/Bull City 150:
February 26, 2020
These services will be held in the FPC sanctuary and will include the imposition of ashes on our foreheads.
A Service of Holy Dusting
12 noon - FPC Memorial Garden 
Evening Worship   
6:00 p.m. - FPC Sanctuary
Supper will be served in Watts-Hill Hall after worship.
We ♥ Bach … with the
Mallarmé HIP Festival Orchestra
Friday, February 14
7:30 p.m.
in the FPC sanctuary
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with early music expert and gambist/cellist Jaap ter Linden as he guides the HIP (historically informed performance) Festival Orchestra (members of the NC Baroque Orchestra and Mallarmé HIP) in the most revered music in the Baroque repertoire – the Brandenburg Concerti. Listen to the Brandenburg Concerti 4, 5 and 6 plus the 2nd Orchestral Suite with players from the various ensembles in their opportunity to shine! Soloists include harpsichordist Jennifer Streeter, Kathie Stewart – flute and recorder, Frances Blaker – recorder, David Wilson – violin, Joey O’Donnell and Suzanne Rousso – viola. This concert is sponsored by the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation.  This is a ticketed event: $25 General Admission - Adults / $10 General Admission - children and students in advance; $5 General Admission children and students at the door, subject to availability. Tickets are available online at: .  HIPster pass holders have free admission. A few complimentary tickets are available from Kathy Parkins .

Collaborative Concert
Choral Society of Durham Chamber Choir
with North Carolina Central University Choir
Friday, February 21 - 7:00 p.m. in the FPC Sanctuary
Rodney Wynkoop and Roberta Laws, conductors
Together We Dream – Spirituals, hymns and inspirational music
Free admission – open to the public!
Ginger Jones-Robinson Voice Recital
Saturday, February 22
3:00 p.m. in the FPC Sanctuary

Join Ginger Jones-Robinson and Alan Rudell for an afternoon of art songs and spiritual arrangements by African-American composers including Florence Price, William Foster McDaniel, Evelyn Simpson-Curenton and Damien Sneed.

Ginger Jones-Robinson, soprano, originally from Garner, NC, earned her Bachelor of Music Degree at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro and her Master of Music Degree from the University of South Carolina. She is currently pursuing the Doctorate of Musical Arts at USC. Ginger has appeared as a soloist with a number of orchestras and choral groups in the Carolinas. Currently, she is Chair of the Music Department at Allen University. 

Accompanying Ginger will be Alan Rudell who holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Piano Performance from the University of South Carolina. Prior to his appointment at Allen University, Alan served on the faculties of Presbyterian College and South Carolina State University. In addition to an active performing career, he is engaged in research projects on music of 20 th century African- American composers.  The recital is free and open to the public.
Muskingum University
Concert Choir
Saturday, February 29
7:00 p.m. in the FPC sanctuary
Muskingum University is a  private   liberal arts college  in  New Concord, Ohio . Chartered in 1837 as Muskingum College, the institution is affiliated with he  Presbyterian Church (USA) . The Muskingum Concert Choir performs sacred and secular music from a variety of cultures and historical periods, and maintains an active schedule of touring, recording, and commissioning and premiering new works.
The Aeolians of
Oakwood University
Tuesday, March 3, 2020
7:00 p.m. in the FPC sanctuary
Oakwood University is a historically black Seventh-day Adventist University in Huntsville, Alabama. The Aeolians (choir) of Oakwood University was originally organized in 1946 by the late Dr. Eva B. Dykes. Since its inception, the choir has traveled widely, touching the hearts of both young and old with their inspirational singing. Aeolian concerts present a repertoire of choral music which ranges from the Baroque era to the twentieth century. Moreover, the Aeolians is an authoritative exponent of Negro spirituals and work songs which express the yearnings of their forefathers to be free. They have won a host of awards including World Choir Games Spirituals Champions, Four-Peat HBCU Choir of the Year and Choir of the World Champions 2017.

The Muskingum and Oakwood university choirs are on tour and are being sponsored at FPC with funds from the Ruth Mary Meyer Endowment for music, gardens, and landscaping. Both concerts are free and open to the public.
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 remainder of February:
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 4:30 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.
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.
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.


Thursday, February 27, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Chapel Hill Public Library (100 Library Dr.)
You are invited to a book discussion of “Finding Hope,” a practical guide for families affected by mental illness by Donna Kay Smith and Susan Spalt. It is derived from the lived experience of families who deal with all types and severity of these illnesses on a daily basis. It was written for people in these situations
who had ongoing difficulties. The problems were twofold—a lack of resources that would help to manage these illnesses, and a treatment system that failed their loved one in basic ways. The sponsors of the event are the Chapel Hill Public Library, National Alliance on Mental Illness in Orange County, Faith Connections on Mental Illness, and the Mental Health Community Connection.


Faith Connections on Mental Illness  
“Faithfully Practicing Community Inclusion”
Friday, March 13 at the McKimmon Conference Center in Raleigh, NC
Father Greg Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries, Los Angeles, CA, and two homeboys will be sharing how they engage in healing conflicts and instilling hope for a fulfilling life. Speakers from the Durham Nativity School, Rebound, Recovery Communities of NC, and Reintegration Support Network will present 
how engagement and support creates a healthier community. Discount rate ends February 28 th . For more information and to register, visit:

We Need You!!
to Volunteer on March 7th
Volunteers make Florence Forth possible. We will again need 120+ volunteers. By volunteering, you are helping patients and families with autoimmune encephalitis, the rare disease Florence had. All proceeds support the Autoimmune Encephalitis Alliance

Please review the volunteer opportunities and consider signing up . Individuals can volunteer as well as groups ranging in size from 2-20. Invite a friend or two. Volunteer opportunities begin at 5:30 a.m. through 11:00 a.m., with most volunteers needed between 7:00 and 9:30 a.m.

Already Signed Up? Thank You! If you have already signed up to volunteer or run this year's race, thank you. You don't need to do anything else. We will communicate with everyone who volunteers by Feb 24th and you can expect a volunteer assignment by March 2nd. Click Here to Sign up to Volunteer
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 info at:

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

Contact: RCWMS, 919-683-1236, .
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
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 contact Jane Williams ( ) or Susan Dunlap ( ). Jane and Susan will be on the bus!
The next church newsletter will be issued Tuesday, February 25. Please submit your articles to Valerie in the church office
by Sunday, February 23