"Downtown by history and by choic e"
FPC Bi-Weekly Newsletter
August 20 - September 2, 2019
From the Associate Pastor
Dear friends,

I have been quite fascinated this month with the 50 th anniversary of Woodstock, the music festival held on Yasgur’s dairy farm in Bethel, New York, August 15-18, 1969. I wasn’t there, nor was I terribly aware that it was happening as a self-absorbed 15-year-old performing in a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta that summer. But now, it amazes me that 400,000 young people could come together for “three days of peace and music” during what came to be known as the “summer of love.” And I’ve enjoyed watching the documentaries about Woodstock and listening to the music again, 50 years later.
What has intrigued me? I am intrigued that during the height of the Vietnam War, young people dissatisfied with the way things are going, come together to embody an alternative vision: peace. And while it wasn’t a religious event, it had an unmistakable aura of the Kingdom to it. I am intrigued that the name of the town where it occurred is Bethel, which in Hebrew, means “house of God.” It wasn’t a religious event, but it happened at a place so named by Jacob after God visits him in a dream and promises to bless all the people on the earth through him. To which Jacob replies, “Surely the Lord is in this place and I was not aware of it.” (Gen. 28: 14b-16). I am intrigued that when the 400,000 concert goers run short of food, the people of that small town of Bethel reach deep into their pantries and bring the “kids” any cans or cartons of food that they are able to gather up. And they raid their chicken coups for fresh eggs, which they hard-boil and bring. And everyone shares what they have, and there is enough for everyone. It wasn’t a religious event, but it certainly had all the hallmarks of Jesus feeding the 5,000 x 80! I am intrigued by Joni Mitchell’s signature song, Woodstock , written in 1970 as a counter-cultural anthem, and performed by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. It wasn’t a religious event, but the opening line of her song is, “I came across a child of God,” and the closing line is “and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.” If that’s not theological framing, then I don’t know what is!
I think this anniversary of Woodstock has captivated me, because I so wish we could have a summer of love. No, actually, I wish we could have a whole season of love. I wish we could lay down our burdens of gun violence, of ICE raids, of immigrant detention, of racial bias and injustice, of gross materialism and extreme poverty, of climate collapse, of verbal warfare, and celebrate a season of love for each child of God. Who knows, it happened once before! And if God was in that place, God can certainly be in this place and this time once again. We wish; we pray; we hope; we work. 
Peace and Love,
The Church Office and Day School will be closed Monday, September 2 in observance of the Labor Day holiday. Wishing you have a safe holiday celebration.

Congratulations to Neal Lawson and Becky Wagner who were married in Afton, VA on August 10 th .   Neal is the son of Bet and Dewey Lawson.

Congratulations to Margie Gudaitis and Taylor Hess who were married at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church on August 10 th . Margie is the daughter of Christy and Jim Gudaitis .  

Congratulations to James Compton and Jennie Pearson who are engaged to be married in 2020!

Paul Cornsweet is recovering from surgeries at Duke Hospital

Home :
Harold Dunlap
Margaret Mubanga
Mercy Ndambiri-Curlett
Joseph Ngumi 
Carolyn and Jim Wolfe
Care Communities :
Brookdale Durham: Julian Boswell, Becky Crockett              
Croasdaile Pavilion: Bob Rankin 
Durham Regent: John Kerr, Ann Prospero                     
Pruitt Health at Carolina Point, Durham: Helen Garrison
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 , friend of Mal King
Ralph Edwards , grandfather of Amy Wilson
Doug Neece , brother of Vernon Neece
Jim Vacca, father of Jamie Chambliss 
Bob Warren , father of Dawn Carsey
New Members . . .
Please welcome Jordan and Elizabeth Jones who were received into membership by the Session on Sunday August 11.   Jordan works with UNC School of Government. He is a graduate of Wake Forest University (B. S.) and UNC (Master of Public Administration).  Elizabeth is a student at Duke, pursuing a Master of Public Policy degree. She also graduated from Wake Forest University (B.A.) and has a Master of Education degree from the University of Georgia. Jordan is a native of Fayetteville, and Elizabeth is a native of Winston-Salem. Their present hobbies are chasing their two active kids, James (age 4) and Max (age nine months).  The Sacrament of Baptism was also celebrated for Max during worship this past Sunday.
  • Welcome back to Pastor Mindy Douglas, who returns after three months of sabbatical leave, fired up, and ready to go! We are so glad to have her back!
  • Congratulations to Aiden James, who has earned the Eagle Scout rank from the Boy Scouts. An award ceremony honoring Aiden will take place this fall.
  • Worship was joyful this past Sunday, and FPC is grateful to both Margaret Eme and Ready Singers for sharing their musical gifts with the congregation.  
  • Many thanks to Vernon Cooper, who has served as a temporary office assistant over the summer during Mindy’s sabbatical. Vernon was a jack of all trades, pitching in to help out in numerous ways around the church, for which the FPC staff is very grateful. Vernon returns to his studies this fall, to complete his final year at Duke Divinity School. You may see him around, from time to time, helping with security at FPC events. Thanks, Vernon!  
THANK YOU to those of you who donated school supplies for this year's Crayons2Calculators school supplies drive. Our four containers have already been delivered to the Teachers' Warehouse. Many thanks to Mal King for spearheading this project each year. We also want to thank you for donating dry erase makers and 3-hole zippered pencil pouches to the students at Merrick Moore Elementary school. Our Durham County Public School teachers are most grateful.
KUDOS to Shirley Frederick who organized a lovely gathering at Croasdaile Village on August 14 th of FPC members and friends who reside in this retirement community. The supper was well-attended and included a round of birthday wishes to Elizabeth High ! These opportunities to gather for a meal and fellowship are being offered monthly.
Please join us for
Kick-Off Sunday
THIS SUNDAY, August 25
9:45 – 10: 45 a.m. in Watts-Hill Hall

*Build an edible creation out of graham crackers, icing, Twizzlers, marshmallows, and gumdrops
*Join a group to build connections with LEGO’s, magnets, wooden blocks, and JENGA
*Paint baffles together for Habitat for Humanity
*Take a silly picture in the photo booth with a friend
*Put together a puzzle with friends
*Grab a bagel, some fruit, or a cup of coffee and reconnect with an old buddy
*Meet your new Sunday School teachers and classmates for 2019-2020

FPC’s theme for the year is Building Connections , because the Bible tells us that loving relationships matter : relationships with God, and relationships with one another. Furthermore, brain science research tells us that these relationships are the biggest builder of children’s brains and the greatest way to build health and well-being into their lives that will last into adulthood. Kick-off Sunday is for children, youth and adults! Join us as we build relational connections that matter within the body of Christ. 

NOTE: The Journey's Class will meet this Sunday to discuss which resource we will use for our study of race and poverty for the coming year. Click here to see a list of possible resources for the class. The class will meet in the Church house apartment classroom.
Click here to see brief descriptions of study opportunities for adults, youth, and children for the 2019-2020 study year.
Sunday, August 25
21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
9:45 a.m.  Sunday School - Fall Kickoff
11:00 a.m. Worship with Dedication of Teachers
Mindy Douglas , preaching
Liturgist: Amy Dillon
Narthex Greeter: Chris Williams
After Worship Greeters: Chris Brown (font/side door);
Laura McDow (rear/narthex)
Ushers: Click here to sign up to usher.
Sunday, September 1
22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
9:45 a.m.  Sunday School
11:00 a.m. Worship
Mindy Douglas , preaching

Liturgist: Please sign up here to serve.
Narthex Greeter: Delia Kwon
After Worship Greeters: Griffin Momsen-Hudson (font/side door);
Leah Graves (rear/narthex)
Ushers: Click here to sign up to usher. 
Sundays, September 8, 15, 22
9:45 – 10:45 a.m.
in the Wilson Parlor
Using Rowan Williams’ book, Being Christian, this set of three classes reviews the basic tenants of Christianity, and the various ways members strive to live out those qualities in life and service. Click here to read a letter to anyone interested in membership and our newest members to learn more about this class.
The Walk
*** New Sunday School Class***
Using Brian McLaurin's book, 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! The class begins September 8 and will meet in room 205 of the Christian Education building from 9:45 - 10:45 a.m. on Sunday mornings.
Announcing the "Alleluia Children's Choir"
First Presbyterian second-fifth graders are invited to be part of a new young people’s choir with Covenant Presbyterian Church. We're calling it the Alleluia Children's Choir! We’ll meet here at First Pres on Sunday nights at 5:00-6:00 beginning Sunday, September 8. The current Covenant choir includes some older children’s voices so we will be able to sing two and three- part anthems. The choir will sing on a regular basis at Sunday services both at Covenant and here. The choir will be conducted by Brennetta Simpson, a music education professor at NCCU and choir director at Covenant. We are excited about being part of this joint venture. Kathy Parkins and Brennetta Simpson are developing a curriculum for the choir. Please contact Kathy if you have any questions. 
Who Is My Faith Neighbor? 
Sunday Evenings
September 8 - November 24
5:00 – 6:00 p.m. at FPC
This will be an experiential learning class for adults who may or may not have children or youth in programs on Sunday evenings. Using Barbara Brown Taylor’s latest book, Holy Envy , we will read and discuss religious plurality in the Durham area, and observe how others express their faith. Read more here . Visits are planned this fall to the Sikh Gurudwara, Judea Reform, Ar Razzaq Masjid and The Durham Friends Congregation. These visits will take place at various times, but our discussions will be on Sunday evenings, running September 8 – November 24. To register and get a book, contact Marilyn Hedgpeth .  
Officer Meetings
Monday, August 26
Deacons at 6:00 p.m.
Joint Supper at 6:30 p.m.
Session at 7:00 p.m.
RSVP if you will be eating supper. Please submit your committee meeting minutes or pastoral reports before the weekend. Thank you. - Christyn Klinck
New Support Group
Forming for Caregivers
Are you a caregiver, family member, or a friend of someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia? A Caregiver Support Group is gathering in September to offer educational and emotional coping support in a confidential setting with trained facilitators. This support group will be open to the community, and will meet on Sunday afternoons at 2:00 in the East Parlor.   On September 1 , Laura McNab, who will facilitate the group, will give a presentation in the Faith and Community Class based on six years of prior experience facilitating such a group in Myrtle Beach, SC. She also is seeking backup facilitators to help her, and training is available through the Alzheimer’s Association, who organizes and supports these groups. For more information, contact Laura McNab at 843-222-1718.  
First Friends and Families
August Potluck
Friday, August 23 at 6:30 p.m.
Hosted by Mac and Wendy McCorkle
4811 Montvale Dr, Durham
BBQ and beverages will be provided by the hosts. Bring a side dish or dessert to share. Please respond to the EVITE with your intentions so the hosts will know how much BBQ to prepare. Contact Valerie in the church office if you are not getting the EVITES for FPC fellowship activities. She'll be happy to add you to the listservs.
SCRATCH/Young Adults
September Potluck
Our September Potluck will be at Jenna Kneepsken-Susen and Matt Susen's home ( 1503 Spring Overlook Lane, Hillsborough ) at 6 p.m. We're asking everyone to make a concerted effort to be there if you can. After the summer's scattering, we need to gather everyone up. Bring a dish (fancy or easy, your choice) and let's do some serious fellowshipping! We'd also like to have a bit of conversation about the year together.
DayTimers’ Luncheon
Tuesday, August 27
11:30 a.m. at Bennett Pointe Grill
4625 Hillsborough Rd, Durham

RSVP to Parker and BJ Morton:
919-383-3855 or

The Things That Matter Book Group will meet on Tuesday evening, September 10 at 7:00 p.m. at the home of Mary Kay Robinson (10011 Hammock Rd, Chapel Hill) to discuss Holy Envy by Barbara Brown Taylor. Barbara Gerwe will lead the discussion. Note: this book is also being discussed this fall on Sunday evenings at 5:00 p.m. at the church.
 September 13-1 5
First Friends & Families
Annual Beach Weekend
Please respond to the Evite ASAP if you plan to go. An accurate head count is needed to reserve accommodations.
Donors Needed for Worship Flowers
We have open dates in September and October for worship flower donors:
September 8
September 29
October 6.
Please sign up on the Flower Chart located in the foyer. For more information on donating flowers for worship, please read here.
Need More Coffee?
One-pound bags, freshly roasted, are $10 each. You may order from the choices below.
  • caf, whole bean, medium roast          
  • caf, whole bean, dark roast
  • caf, ground, medium roast               
  • caf, ground, dark roast
  • decaf, whole bean, medium roast    
  • decaf, whole bean, dark roast,
  • decaf, ground, medium roast             
  • decaf, ground, dark roast 
The next order will be placed Sunday night, September 1, with distribution on Sunday, September 15. Contact John Fricks if you would like to place an order for coffee. Café Justo is one of the ministries of Frontera de Cristo , a Presbyterian Border Ministry based in Agua Prieta, Sonora (and Douglas, Arizona). 
The Transformation of the Bull City
Reverend Joe Harvard is teaching a class through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Duke that offers a behind the scenes look at the transformation of Durham, from his perspective of 33 years as pastor of a congregation in Downtown Durham. Former Mayors Wib Gulley , Bill Bell , current Mayor Steve Schewel , Andy Widmark and other change makers, are among the special guests who will share their insights about the events and personalities behind the transformation and the challenges the city faces moving forward. You must register to attend the class.  A Community Membership is available for $25. Call 919-684-6259 or go to: LEARNMORE.DUKE.EDU/OLLI.
Volunteer Opportunity to Help our Hispanic Community! 
The Tutoring Program for children, held every Tuesday evening from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. at Iglesia Emanuel, is gearing up for the new school year, and we need many more eager and committed tutors for reading or math. We promise that you will find this endeavor to be most rewarding, and it is a simple but effective way to show love and support to our Hispanic community in Durham. Click here to read answers to frequently asked questions. More questions? Contact Miguel Rubiera or Margaret Rubiera
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:

August 13:    
Mitzi Quint’s topic is “Grief Companion”
August 20:    
Dr. Ray Barfield will share: “How Storytelling Changed me as a Doctor Caring for Patients at the End of Life”
August 27:    
Bill Dahl will open the meeting
September 3:
Jane Williams’ topic is “To Speak or Not to Speak”
September 10:
Joyce Rea will share some “Tips on Navigating the Grief Journey”
September 17:
Rabbi Daniel Greyber on “Grieving at Your Own Pace”
September 24: Mitzi Quint will begin our fall six-week series on the Introduction to Grief. She will explore six myths of grief.

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 4:00 p.m. for registration, coffee, and cookies; the meeting, a presentation plus small group discussion, starts at 4:30 and ends by 6:00 p.m.
The next church newsletter will be issued Tuesday, September 3.
Please submit your articles to Valerie in the church office
by Sunday, September 1.