"Downtown by history and by choice"
FPC Bi-Weekly Newsletter
September 8-21, 2020
From the Parish Associate: Susan Dunlap

Dear Friends,

During my teenage years, my father came home with a stack of brand new hymnals, what we now remember as “the red hymnal,” and from time to time, we gathered as a family to sing hymns together. While my younger brothers were not as enthusiastic as I was, for me these times laid a foundation of deep chords of recognition and memory for my hymn singing today. A year ago or so, I was standing next to my father at our church, and I pulled out my phone, held it at an awkward angle so as not to be seen, and I recorded my father singing next to me, “Thine is the glory, risen, conquering son, endless is the victory, thou o’er death hast won.”  That slight transgression of the sanctity of worship with my electronic device means I now have a visible and audible sign of invisible grace in our congregational worship, to tweak Augustine’s definition of the sacraments. 

Along with many of you, I yearn for the time we can all be together in our sanctuary again, singing, praying, worshiping together. I trust that this will happen, but for now, I worship with you in our lovely online services, and from time to time I pull out my phone and see and hear a time of singing with my father about the Easter promise of resurrection.


Dear friends,
I have heard recently that there was some confusion over my last letter, which stated that the COVID-19 Team had recommended that we extend our guidelines for gathering (no indoor gatherings and only small outdoor ones) through November 1. Some took this to mean that we would begin in-person worship again on November 1. That was not what was intended. Unfortunately, we have no plans to begin in-person worship. The COVID-19 Team will share an update with the congregation about further recommendations at some point in the future. For now, please know that you should assume that we will not meet in person for worship until further notice. We will make a big deal of it when we are able to do that. I am sorry for any confusion.

Thank you for your understanding!
The love and concern of the congregation is extended to Jane Rourk and Caroline Rourk on the death of Jane’s husband (Caroline’s father), Henderson Rourk. Henderson was a retired pediatrician and resident of Croasdaile Village. He was 84 years old, and was a devoted member of FPC for over 50 years. (Read his obituary here.) A small, family-only service will be held this week at the church, due to COVID restrictions and an effort to keep our community safe. A larger service in the sanctuary for the congregation will be held when we are able to gather again. Thank you for your understanding.

Expressions of sympathy may be sent to the family as follows:
Jane Rourk and family
2600 Croasdaile Farm Pkwy
A 113 Homestead
Durham NC 27705.

Birth Announcements: 
Mac and Wendy McCorkle are celebrating the birth of a grandson. Pope McCorkle V (Finn) was born September 1st to Chip and Allison McCorkle and joins big sister Lucy

Bob and Sheila Breitweiser have welcomed their second great-grandchild. Bennett Francis Hannigan was born August 21st to parents Madeline King Hannigan and Rob Hannigan. His mom Madeline was baptized at FPC as an infant nearly 31 years ago. His grandparents are Karla and Bennett King of Asheville, NC.

Linda Barenchi, recovering from the COVID-19 virus
Wil James, recovering from abdominal surgery
Roger Kalthoff, husband of Jane Williams
Charlotte Nelson, recovering from surgery
Ellen O’Brien, recovering from lung surgery
Carol Wills  

All those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
All those in harm's way in California (wild fires) and along the Gulf coast (Hurricane Laura)
Care Communities:
Brookdale Durham: Julian Boswell, Becky Crockett
Croasdaile Pavilion: Bob Rankin, Jane Rourk
Dubose Center at The Cedars, Chapel Hill: Arthur Clark
Durham Regent: John Kerr, Ann Prospero  
Emerald Pond: Paul Cornsweet
Rose Vista Village /Kinston Assisted Living, Kinston NC: Phillip Herndon
The Forest at Duke: Fran Bryant

Family and Friends of the Congregation:
Brendan Bequette, family friend of Margaret & Miguel Rubiera
Peggy Boulden, mother of Dick Boulden
Becky Evans, sister of Vernon Neece
Phil Goss, friend of the congregation
Peggy Mordecai, mother of Beth Eisenson
Shannon Putman, daughter of Mary Putman
Robert Reaves, husband of Floalice Reaves, friend of the congregation
Dear Friends,
Words are inadequate to express our sincerest appreciation and thanks to you for the outpouring comfort we have received from you as we moUrn the loss of our son, Peter. The many cards, telephone calls, and food we have received remind us how blessed we are to be a part of a special loving and caring church. - BJ and Parker Morton
SESSION BRIEFS: At its meeting on August 24, the Session heard updates after the summer break from staff and committees, and voted to pass two motions:
The meeting began with joyfully receiving into membership two new members. Following this, the Session heard updates from the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee; the COVID-19 Task Force, including the opening of the First Presbyterian Day School; the elders who are drafting a statement on racism; and the delegates to the first virtual Presbytery Gathering, held in July. 

Respectfully submitted,
Christyn Klinck, Clerk of Session
On August 24, the following persons were received into membership by the Session and were welcomed during worship on August 30:
Roxana Boyd is excited and grateful to be joining the FPC community! This summer, FPC has been a bright spot for her as she began working with the middle school youth as an advisor and spending more time with the Scratch group. She moved to Durham from Washington, DC in 2019 for a new job at UNC-Chapel Hill and has enjoyed getting to know a different part of NC - she grew up in Wilmington, and graduated from Davidson College in 2013.
Virginia (Ginny) Horne is excited to officially join this wonderful community after visiting off and on since 2017 and logging on to FPC’s virtual worship over the quarantine. Because both of her parents are Presbyterian ministers, she’s attended the full gamut of Presbyterian churches and she’s excited to finally find a church that can be her home. Ginny is a graduate student and lives with her boyfriend Parker and their dog Gerty in south Durham. Ginny and Parker are both looking forward to getting more connected at FPC. 
Has Your Contact Information Changed?
 If your contact information (mailing address, e-mail address, or phone numbers) has changed, it is easy to update it with the church through the ChurchLife app on your smart phone. Just go to your own record in ChurchLife and tap the edit icon in the upper right-hand corner.  Tap the item you wish to update and follow the prompts.  The church office will receive your updates. Don’t have the ChurchLife app yet? A link to installation instructions is at the end of every newsletter and in every weekend reminder e-mail. Contact Tom Bloom (Business Administrator) if you have any difficulty. You can also send changes to us in an e-mail or by phone. We are always glad to hear from you!
Sunday, September 13
24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday School
The Children's (virtual) class begins at 9:15 a.m.
Adult (virtual) classes begin at 10:00 a.m.

Worship streamed at 11:00 a.m. via the church's website:

Mindy Douglas, preaching

We say say farewell to Rob Parker and Beth Taylor who are moving to New York.
Sunday, September 20
25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday School
The Children's (virtual) class begins at 9:15 a.m.
Adult (virtual) classes begin at 10:00 a.m.

Worship streamed at 11:00 a.m. via the church's website:
Mindy Douglas, preaching

The Session has called a Congregational Meeting to be held virtual at the end of worship, followed by a fellowship gathering via Zoom.
Children's Sunday School
Contact Lenore Champion for class kits and links
to the Children's Sunday School classes
  • Faith & Community – Reckoning with the Call to Reparations” is our current topic, discussing responses to reparation locally (especially Durham), what FPC is currently doing to address structural racism and inequality, what the Scriptures tell us to do, and what our response needs to be. Material for all the classes is posted here. Class begins at 10:00 a.m. FPC members should CLICK HERE to be admitted to the class. Each class will be recorded and a link to the video will be made available upon request to Jon Abels. The class is open to the public and all guests must REGISTER to be admitted to the class. After registering, guests will receive a link that gives you access to current and future classes.

  • Journeys – We began a new topic on August 30. Rev. Dr. Richard C. "Dick" Prust is leading us in an abbreviated study of the Old Testament. Join via Zoom at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings. Contact Andy Henry for more information about weekly studies and assignments.

  • Lectionary – Join us each Sunday for online discussion at 10:00 a.m., preceded at 9:45 a.m. by sharing of news and concerns. On September 13: The story of the escape of the Israelites from Egypt through the Red Sea is one of the most memorable and exciting in the Bible. What is its relevance for us today? Does God intervene miraculously in battles in our time?  On September 20: What do we deserve? Are we "entitled" to the daily bread that we pray for? Do we deserve a greater reward than others because we have been faithful and obedient for many years? Join via Zoom. (For phone access (audio only), call 253-215-8782 or 301-715-8592.) If you need a copy of the handout of scripture readings or need the ID for the Zoom connection, contact David Smith.

  • Women’s Spirituality Group - We are joining the Faith and Community class' study (see above) through September 27 - Sundays at 10 a.m. via Zoom. We also enjoy a monthly hangout on the third Tuesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. Contact Leah Graves to join us on Tuesdays via Zoom.

  • SCRATCH – Looking forward to seeing everyone at 8:00 p.m. on Sunday evenings! Join via Zoom. This year we will be using "Home by Another Way" by Barbara Brown Taylor to guide our discussions. The book is a series of short sermons by Taylor that will walk us through the church year. The readings each week are short. We're going to set up the discussions so even if you haven't read the chapter, the leader will provide a short summary. If more info is needed, contact Emily Diy.
Contact John Weicher for link information
on YOUTH Sunday School classes and other activities
Congregational Events / Activities
Our next Zoom meeting will be held TONIGHT at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 8. Nora Tisdale will be leading the discussion of The Book of Joy by Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama. Mary-Jo Keenan will send out the Zoom link closer to the date of the meeting. New readers are welcome to join this group. Contact Dale Gaddis for more information.
Landscaping and Grounds Workday
Saturday, September 12
Rain date: September 19
9:00 a.m. - 12 noon
We will be observing social distancing guidelines. New volunteers are welcome. Volunteers, please email Barbara Buckley if you plan to participate. Work assignments will be made in advance.
Media Techs needed!
FPC is seeking two additional volunteers to help with our live-broadcasting and videography tasks as the pandemic continues to keep us from holding in-person worship and gatherings. Persons who are comfortable with the more technical aspects of producing live broadcasts and videography should contact Mindy Douglas if you can assist.
First Friends: SIGN UP!
We are offering several options for small-group gatherings on September 19. In order to insure that groups include 10 people or fewer (per the FPC COVID-19 Task Force guidelines), we ask that you sign up to attend one of the gatherings.
Please use the Sign-up Genius chart below to sign up for a gathering:
If you are signing up for more than just yourself, then register your name, submit it, then return to the SignUp Genius invitation and register the next person in your party. A separate registration is needed for each person attending.
In case of rain, please contact your host for cancellation or information about revised plans. Questions? Contact Christyn Klinck.
Winesdays Meeting ID: 975 6934 9009
The Racial Equity Task Force will have a meeting on Sunday, September 13 via Zoom at 11:45 (or right after worship if worship runs past 11:45). We will include the Zoom information in the Friday FPC Weekend reminders email. Please note that anyone from the congregation is welcome to join the Task Force, you don't need a nomination. We have seen a lot of interest in the Faith and Community class this summer and hope that some of you might want to join us. It is always good to have fresh perspectives on next steps as well as new ideas. Please contact Kathy Krahenbuhl or Jon Abels if you have any questions.
Union Presbyterian Seminary (Charlotte Campus) and The Center for Social Justice and Reconciliation welcome the Reverend Dr. James Forbes who will lead a two-day webinar.
Forbes is among the most significant prophetic voices in our nation. As Pastor Emeritus of the Riverside Church and Professor Emeritus at Union Theological Seminary in New York, he has for several decades helped frame our nation’s theological sense of justice. Because of this, we are excited to have this prolific preacher/teacher begin our year-long conversation about activating the church entitled Just ACTivate. We hope you, your congregations, and your organizations will join us for these two days of dialogues pertinent to this kairotic moment. 
Monday, September 14, 2020, from 7 pm to 8:30 pm 
COVID-19: A Parable of Plagues before Deliverance 
Webinar and Q&A
Tuesday, September 15, 2020, from 12 pm to 1 pm (Clergy Event)
The Recruitment of God’s Dream Team 
Lunchtime Webinar and Q&A with Clergy (spots are limited)
Tuesday, September 15, 2020 from 7 pm to 8:30 pm  
George Floyd Protests: Temporary Uprising, Movement, or Miracle? 
Webinar and Q&A
Click here to learn more and to register for the webinar
A Subcommittee of
the Stewardship Committee

Five years ago, First Presbyterian Church established its first formal Legacy Society to recognize those who remember FPC in their estate to support current endowments.  It is through this society that FPC members (and friends) can join together with their gifts that will help sustain and grow the mission of FPC beyond the capacity of the annual budget.
From our early days of just a few members, the FPC Legacy Society has now grown to 30+ members who have chosen to include FPC in their estate plans. These members understand not only the importance of their donation to FPC’s mission and ministries; they also are moved by the opportunity to participate in making a final, ultimate gift to return to God some portion of all that God has given us.
Even in this time of Covid-19 and a host of other life-altering challenges, the needs (especially the future needs) of FPC must be addressed if we are to continue well into our next 100 years of ministry. Making your planned gift to FPC can help us achieve those future goals. If you are interested in exploring the possibilities of a planned gift (of any amount) to FPC, please contact Tom Bloom, Sheila Breitweiser or Deborah Momsen- Hudson — any of whom would be honored to share with you the ease with which your planned gift can be made.
Support for Those Who Mourn
Growing thru Grief offers year-round support to people who have lost a loved one. Currently we are meeting on Zoom each week.

The next sessions for September:
September 8  Evelyn Reed, “Resilience”
September 15 Dr. Justin Yopp, “Connecting with Others to Reimagine Life.”

If you would like to attend, please email: Everyone must register every week. We need to receive your inquiry by 8:00 a.m. on Monday for Tuesday’s session. We meet each Tuesday from 4:15-6:00 p.m., with a presentation plus small group discussion.

Growing thru Grief is a free, open, confidential program sponsored by coalition of area religious and civic organizations to provide support and comfort to those who mourn. 
Dear Friends,

This October, the Faith and Community class will have a 4-week series on the community organizing group, Durham CAN (Congregations, Associations & Neighborhoods). This will be an action-oriented follow up to our classes on racial equity and reparations. Our church is a member of CAN, and a number of our members have attended CAN events.

Click here to learn about what CAN has focused on lately. This material provides a good introduction to our series in October.
Service and Mission Opportunities
from the comfort of your own home —

Bag Rice and Beans for the Food Pantry at Iglesia Emanuel:
· Divide large bags of beans — black, pinto or red — or white rice into quart-size, freezer strength Ziplock baggies. 
· Fill the bags until almost full, leaving just enough room to close securely. 
· Large bags of beans or rice can be purchased at Costco, Sam’s Club, or El Camino, a Mexican food distributor located at 2314 Reichard St, Durham 27705. 
· Deliver the bags to Iglesia Emanuel on Monday afternoons between 3 and 5, or contact Margaret Rubiera for other options 
· Sign up at this link 

Do a little cooking for Urban Ministries:
· Casseroles for breakfast, lunch or dinner (baked ziti, tuna, mac n cheese, etc.)
· Sandwiches in individual Zip-lock bags — no condiments, so they keep fresh longer. If able, please label bags according to ingredients, such as “turkey & cheese, or T & C.”
· Cookies or brownies in individual baggies, to go in the lunch bags. Everyone loves a touch of sweetness!
· Encourage neighbors or friends to join your efforts and deliver all the food at one time
· Deliver to the main door of Urban Ministries, 410 Liberty St, between 9:30 - 5:30, Monday - Friday

Make phone calls to Meals on Wheels clients:
· Give a quick call to home-bound senior citizens or disabled adults on Wednesday or Friday mornings to check on them and offer a much needed warm, human connection
· Contact Britt Barnes to sign up

You can safely lend a hand in person —

Food Pantry at Iglesia Emanuel:
· Sign up for a 2-hour shift on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday sorting and bagging food, unloading deliveries, loading boxes of food into cars
· Find your spot on the SignUp Genius and know you are making a huge difference in the lives of struggling families 

Urban Ministries:
· FPC provides volunteers multiple times a month to help prepare and serve breakfast or prepare lunch bags for hungry members of our community
· Breakfast shifts are the 3rd and 5th Fridays of every month, from 7 - 9 am
· Lunch bag shifts are every 3rd Monday and 4th Thursday, 9:30 - 10:30 
· Enjoy fellowship with your church friends while you serve our neighbors!
· Contact Margaret Rubiera to sign up

Deliver Meals on Wheels:
· Deliver boxes of nutritious frozen meals to home-bound seniors and handicapped adults every Monday
· Offer a friendly smile from behind your mask and encouraging words to brighten someone’s day!
· Contact Britt Barnes to sign up
STILL NEEDED: Cleaning and Hygiene Supplies
Our local food pantries have been flooded with requests for basic sanitation items that have become hard to come by in the pandemic, but they have not had enough to meet the demand. To answer this urgent need, Durham Congregations in Action (DCIA) is launching a hygiene drive to keep our partner pantries fully stocked with the supplies Durhamites need. They are seeking the following items: 
  • CDC-approved disinfectant wipes or sprays (Lysol, Scrubbing Bubbles, Clorox)
  • hand sanitizer
  • empty spray bottles
  • paper towels
  • toilet paper
  • feminine hygiene products
  • hand and body soap
If you can donate any of these, they can be dropped off at any of these partner congregations, from which the supplies will be delivered to area food pantries for distribution to our Durham neighbors! 

First Presbyterian Church
Mondays and Fridays, 9:00am-1:00pm.
305 E. Main Street

Cole Mill Road Church of Christ
Monday through Friday, 9:00am-4:00pm.
1617 Cole Mill Road

Antioch Baptist Church
Tuesday and Thursday, 9:00am-12:00pm.
1415 Holloway Street

Pilgrim United Church of Christ
Tuesday through Friday, 8:00am-12:00pm.
3011 Academy Road

 • Christus Victor Lutheran Church
Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, 9:00am–2:00pm
1615 E. NC 54 Hwy

Thank you in advance for your support of this project!
The next church newsletter will be issued Tuesday, September 22. Please submit your articles to Valerie in the church office
by Sunday, September 20.