"Downtown by history and by choic e"
FPC Bi-Weekly Newsletter
October 29 - November 11, 2019
From the Pastor/Head of Staff
Dear friends,

Grace and peace to you this last week in October! I hope are doing well and are enjoying the slight change in the weather as it hints at the reality of fall! We have had quite a month here at the church as we have celebrated World Communion Sunday, dedicated the Dorothy Burns Graham Playground, celebrated Children’s Sabbath with our children and youth leading worship, shared our long-range plan, received new members, and dedicated our lives and gifts to God. What a month it has been! Thank you for all you have done to make this month a time of celebration, memory, vision and hope!

In the midst of all of this, we have also said goodbye to our Parish Associate, Cherrie Henry. Cherrie has been on our pastoral staff for eight years, working part-time and starting a young adult ministry which has grown into a thriving group of faithful disciples. We celebrated her in worship and at a reception following worship this past Sunday. Thank you for all who came out to celebrate her gifts of ministry and her faithfulness in serving. We pray Godspeed to her as she takes a new full-time call in December at our sister church in Durham, Westminster Presbyterian Church. She will be greatly missed in this place!

As we look ahead to November, we find another month full of opportunities for worship and celebration:
  • November 3 – All Saints’ Sunday – We celebrate communion and remember those who have died in the past year;
  • November 10 – New Member Sunday – We welcome five new members and celebrate the sacrament of baptism with two children;
  • November 17 – We celebrate the sacrament of baptism in the morning and install John Weicher as our Associate Pastor for Youth and Their Families in the afternoon (3 p.m.)
  • November 24 – We celebrate Christ the King Sunday with the sacrament of Holy Communion and with a congregational luncheon following worship.

Also during November, our Nominating Committee will be hard at work preparing a slate of nominees to recommend to the congregation at a meeting at the end of worship on December 8. Two other search committees begin their work in November for a part-time director of children’s ministries and a part-time administrative assistant. May God guide them all!

We continue to grieve the upcoming retirements of Sam Miglarese and Marilyn Hedgpeth but also look forward to celebrating their ministry with us on December 22 and January 12, respectively.

We know that with change comes opportunity. With endings come beginnings. With transitions come grief, but also hope. May God continue to lead FPC in the way we should go as we seek to serve and follow Jesus in the city of Durham.

With love for you all,
Daylight Saving Time ends at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 3. Remember to set your clocks back one hour before going to bed on Saturday evening, November 2.
We extend condolences to the following:
  • Laura Casteel and family on the recent death of her father, James Casteel;
  • Marty and Julio Ramirez-Eve on the recent death of Marty’s mother, Barbara Jenks.

Harlee Yoder , granddaughter of Bob and Lina Yoder
Paul Cornsweet, transitioning from rehab

Chuck Barenchi    
Barbara Gerwe
Margaret Mubanga                    
Mercy Ndambiri-Curlett
Joseph Ngumi  
Cynthia Shimer
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
Strategic Behavioral Health, Garner:  Philip 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
Ralph Edwards , grandfather of Amy Wilson
Frances H. Kennedy , mother of Emily Wilkins
Jodi Koviach , friend of Amy Cummings
Doug Neece , brother of Vern Neece
Jim Vacca, father of Jamie Chambliss 
Bob Warren , father of Dawn Carsey
Renee Zimmerman , friend of Emily Wilkins
The following persons were received into membership and welcomed during worship on Sunday, October 27:
Gordon Campbell
Beth Fields
Jose Garcida
Julio Manceras
Samuel Stevens.

Click here to read their profiles. New members will be received again on Sunday, November 10. Contact Marilyn Hedgpeth if you are ready to join or have interest in becoming a member of FPC.
Stewardship Corner
The pledges are in! Thank you! Well, at least 75% of them are! We are so thrilled with the response to this year’s campaign, and look forward to getting the rest of your cards soon so the Session can set the 2020 Budget. (You can also pledge online here ). We are also most grateful to those who have PREPAID your 2020 pledge! As our various committees await the results, we humbly thank you once again for your continued gifts of time, talent, and treasure to the work of this community, OUR community. As Rev Cherrie Henry reminded us on Sunday in her final "Time with the Children" as our parish associate, “there wouldn’t be a church without any people.” [Most folks are not aware that Cherrie served as the staff representative on the Stewardship Committee while Mindy was on sabbatical. She is the one who suggested the Matthew 10:4 verse for this year’s theme, fitting in so many ways. We are the church, in all its wonders, acts, deeds, funkiness, and it’s been such a pleasure to be your stewardship co-chairs again this year. Please don’t forget that we are also trying to increase participation in various community ministries as indicated on the pledge cards. We will be connecting you with Service and Mission as requested, so stay tuned for updates. And once again, thank you for your generosity and vision.
Cris Rivera and George Bernhardt 
On the tail-end of the National Children’s Sabbath (October 20) , a group of 30 parents, grandparents, and child-advocates gathered over dinner to watch the riveting yet hopeful documentary, Resilience , and to discuss its implications for FPC. Many thanks to Sharon Hirsch and Nadia Moreta from Prevent Child Abuse NC for involving FPC in a pilot program of faith communities intent upon uplifting and supporting those who have experienced toxic stress. Stay tuned for other ways we can intentionally create an environment at FPC where all feel safe and nurtured. Interestingly, many of the ideas floated during the discussion following the documentary are already part of FPC’s long-range plan! Kudos to Kim Abels and the Christian Education Committee for hosting the event on Sunday evening among a gathering of like-minded friends.  If you would like to watch Resilience on your own, it will be aired on UNC-TV on November 19 at 8:00 p.m.  

SAVE THE DATE : John Weicher will be installed as FPC's Associate Pastor for Youth and their Families on Sunday, November 17 at a 3:00 p.m. service at FPC. A reception will follow. All are welcome to attend.

Long Range Planning Team Follow-up Discussions: If you missed the October 20th presentation by the Long Range Planning Team, or would like further discussion on one of the four priorities, follow-up discussion sessions will be held during the Sunday School hour (9:45 - 10:45 a.m.) on Sundays, November 10 and November 17 in the Wilson Parlor.

KUDOS to the following who planned and/or hosted fellowship events during the month of October.
  • Wendy and Mac McCorkle hosted Primetimes in their home on Friday, October 11;
  • FPC and the Day School hosted a playground dedication and reception to honor Dorothy Graham on Sunday, October 13;
  • The Racial Equity Task Force organized a weekend trip to a Civil Rights memorial and museum in Montgomery, Alabama, October 18-20;
  • The Seniors Advisory Council hosted senior member of FPC in a Fall Luncheon at the church on Wednesday, October 23;
  • Susan Dunlap and Prasad Kasibhatla, along with Andy and Cherrie Henry, hosted a First Friends potluck (and farewell to Cherrie) at Susan and Prasad's home on Friday, October 25;
  • Kate McCann, Tim Bonner and Camille hosted a Scratch potluck and pumpkin carving event at their home on Saturday, October 26.

The next SUPPORT GROUP meeting for care-givers of those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia will be on Sunday, November 10 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. 
A Call for Nominations
The Nominating Committee is now calling for nominations of persons to serve on the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee. Click here for a printable version of the nomination forms. Forms will be available at the church through this Sunday, November 3. See form for instructions.
Plans for Marilyn's Retirement
We are very excited to be able to celebrate the 16+ years of ministry that Marilyn has shared with us at First Presbyterian. We have several things planned and would like your help as a congregation to make them happen. Click here to learn more.
Clergy Departures - Love Offerings
The Session has approved the receiving of love offerings for Cherrie Henry (called to a new ministry position), and Sam Miglarese and Marilyn Hedgpeth who are retiring on December 31, 2019.
Ways to give:
  • By check made payable to FPC (memo who the gift is for)
  • Online by clicking here
  • Text-giving.
Reminders to Ruling Elders
Sunday, November 10 - There will be a Called Session Meeting at 9:30 a.m. in the Wilson Parlor for the purpose of r eceiving new members and approving two baptisms.
Remember to bring supplies for Blessing Bags on communion Sundays as we extend The Lord's Table to the greater community. We especially need granola bars and snack crackers this week.
Sunday, November 3
31st Sunday in Ordinary Time
9:45 a.m.  Sunday School
11:00 a.m. Worship and Communion
Mindy Douglas , preaching

Liturgist: Cris Rivera
Narthex Greeter: Delia Kwon
After Worship Greeters: David Sappenfield (font/side door); Michael Honeycutt (rear/narthex)
Ushers: Katy Barron (head), Laurie Williamson (flowers), Michael Honeycutt , John Mozart Click here to sign up to usher.
Communion Elders:
Head / Replenish elements: Alice Raney
Bread: Laura McDow (B1/process), Sharon Hirsch (B2), Laura Hanson (B3), Dawn Carsey (B4)
Cup: Andy Henry (C1), Griffin Momsen-Hudson (C2/process), Tyler Momsen-Hudson (C3), Luke Everett (C4)
Shepherds: Kim Abels (font aisle), Jane Wettach (center aisle), Diane Prosser (Pulpit aisle)
Sunday, November 10
32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

9:45 a.m.  Sunday School
11:00 a.m. Worship and the Baptism of Evelyn and Penny Walters
New members will be received by the Session and welcomed during worship.
John Weicher , preaching

Liturgist: Amy Wilson
Narthex Greeters: Maxie Honeycutt, El Hess
After Worship Greeters: Tyler Momsen-Hudson (font/side door);
Laura McDow (rear/narthex)
Ushers: John Mozart (head), Christy Gudaitis
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 "Becoming an Anti-Racist Church" and
" The  Thoughtful Christian" classes have been postponed.
These classes will be offered in 2020. Stay tuned for startup dates.
The Walk
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 walk with us! This class meets in room 205 of the Education building from 9:45 - 10:45 a.m. on Sunday mornings.

Activate for Chapter 8: " RIVALRY OR RECONCILIATION" - Look for opportunities for others to "see the face of God" in your face, and seek the face of God in their faces, too - especially those you may see as rivals or outcasts.
Activate for Chapter 9: "FREEDOM" - Seek to have "Moses eyes" - looking for people who are being oppressed or mistreated. Be open to ways God may call you to intervene.

 The group from First Presbyterian Church that recently visited the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama will discuss their experience at Journeys on October 27. The museum has been informally known as the National Lynching Memorial. 

The class has been discussing the book The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James Cone. We meet at 9:45 a.m. in the apartment classroom on the second floor of the church house Class leaders are  Andy Henry   and  Eric Wiebe .

The Faith and Community Class:
Loving the Strangers Who Sojourn in our Land
Many thanks to Jennie Belle , community organizer for Church World Service, for our four-part series on immigration issues for the Faith and Community members on Sunday. The Biblical mandate from Leviticus 19 says, “When strangers sojourn with you in your land, you shall not do them wrong. You shall treat the strangers who sojourns with you as the natives among you, and you shall love them as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord, your God.” After Jennie, we heard wonderful presentations from Rev. Isaac Villegas on the sanctuary movement, and from Rev. Edgar Vergara on eye-witness accounts from the Mexican border. We are most grateful for their contributions. This Sunday, a final presentation on immigration will be made by Kokou Nayo from Church World Service, regarding refugee resettlement efforts in Durham, and how FPC might participate. The class meets at 9:45 in Watts-Hill Hall and all are welcome.  
Lectionary Class:
November 3:
The prophet Habakkuk made his complaint and then sat and waited for God's answer. The answer came, but it might not have been what Habakkuk expected. Do we spend our time just waiting and watching for God to act? Maybe God is telling us to come down and do something ourselves. Join us for discussion at 9:45 in the East Parlor .
November 10:
When we read the words of Jesus or Paul or even the prophet Haggai, it sometimes feels as if a favorite teacher or coach is speaking to us. The words instruct, correct, enlighten, and encourage us. Are you listening to what these teachers have to say? 

Spiritual Formation Class
This year-round class for women is led by  Susan Dunlap  and explores the topic of spiritual formation. Join us at 9:45 a.m. in  basement classroom B-16 .  
Sunday Evening "Holy Envy" Book Study
The Holy Envy book study group has one more field trip planned before the holidays. On Sunday, November 10 , we will join the Durham Friends Congregation for worship. Stay tuned for the exact time of that meeting. In the meantime, we will continue to meet at our regular time, and discuss the book. The Holy Envy book group meets on Sunday evenings from 5 – 6 p.m. If you would like to join the group, contact Marilyn Hedgpeth.
The Alleluia Children’s Choir is open to children in second - fifth grade who attend or have friends at FPC or Covenant Presbyterian Church.

On Sunday, November 17, Covenant’s new pastor, Lakesha Bradshaw Easter, will be installed at 4:00 pm. In lieu of having a 5:00 rehearsal that day, we will sing during the installation service. This is an exciting time, so please plan to have your singer there and remember that there will be no rehearsal that day. 

Also, Covenant PC has their Service of Lessons and Carols on Sunday, December 22 at 6:30. The choir will sing during that service. Again , no rehearsal that day, as well as the following Sunday, December 29 (on Christmas break.)

Please contact Kathy Parkins at for more information on rehearsal times and location, and upcoming performance events. Brennetta Simpson is the director of the choir and she can be reached at
Winesday Fellowship
Wednesday, November 20
5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Durham Co-op
Join members of FPC in sharing wine and breaking bread in a more casual setting on the third Wednesday of the month! The cost is $3 for wine tasting and then we each usually pitch in on an assortment of bread, cheese and other light dinner snacks to share. We usually eat outside which is lovely, weather permitting. Email or text Laurie Williamson (919-724-1682) to let us know you are coming or you can just show up. You are welcomed to bring a friend! Check out the Co-op's website here.
Scratch November Potluck
Friday, November 22 at 6:30 p.m.
Hosted by Elizabeth Klinck and Matthew Eggleston . EVITE with details coming soon. Contact the church office if you would like to be added to the Scratch EVITE listserv.
Daytimers’ Luncheon
Tuesday, November 26 at 11:30 a.m.
Bullock’s Barbecue - 3330 Quebec St., Durham
Elizabeth High , hosting
RSVP to the church: 919-682-5511
Urban Ministries of Durham is just down the street from our church, serving as a frequent reminder to us of the ongoing and huge needs of a significant portion of our community. UMD offers three nutritious meals a day, a shelter, clothing closet, food pantry, and a multitude of programs to help people get back on their feet. It was founded in 1983 with the help of several members of our congregation, and we have continued to provide both financial and volunteer support since its inception. At the moment, we have groups of volunteers preparing and serving breakfast a couple of times every month to about 250 people, others who prepare lunch bags, and others who sort and organize donated clothes. We would welcome with open arms new volunteers, and we guarantee that you will leave knowing that you have made a positive impact on the lives of our neighbors in need. At the same time, you will build connections with other terrific members of our congregation! Want to learn more or be added to our email list of opportunities? Contact: 
    Margaret Rubiera at to help with meals
    Katy Barron at to help with the clothing closet
Save These Holi-Dates:
Sunday, December 8
9:45 – 10:45 a.m.
12 noon – 1:00 p.m.
FPC’s Advent Festival and Alternative Giving Fair. During the Sunday School hour, children and youth are invited to Watts-Hill Hall to participate in some of our all-time favorite holiday crafts, which will include some edibles, smellables, stringables, lightables, and mailables. Then, following worship, the Fellowship Hall will transform into a fair, featuring many of our favorite community partners whom we like to support throughout the year. Be sure to bring some money and checks with you to make donation gifts on behalf of your friends and family. Light holiday refreshments will be served…and wassail! 

Saturday, December 14 (early)
We are invited to join the Durham Holiday Parade and march with Laura McDow’s group, March For Our Lives, to support sensible gun-violence prevention that saves young lives. The time/place of our gathering has yet to be determined. FPC’s sub-theme will be “Marching in the Light of God”, so come be-decked with twinkling lights, sparkles, glitter, blinkers, etc. and join the parade. Also invite our blessing-bag neighbors in the community to march with us, as they have done in the past.

Tuesday, December 24 at 3:00 p.m.
We will include the children’s Christmas Pageant in worship. This year’s theme is “Bird Watchers”, and we will be looking for some children to participate as readers, as singers, and as characters. Let Marilyn know if you are interested. This will be a 45-minute service with Holy Communion, and all are invited.

All of these events are sponsored by FPC’s Christian Education Committee!     
From Durham's Literacy Center . . .
Jimmy Santiago Baca’s story is one of incredible success for the field of adult literacy. As a young man, he learned to read and write while in prison. And he didn’t stop there – he became a voracious reader and discovered a love of poetry. Baca began writing his own poems, becoming a published writer while still incarcerated. Now an internationally acclaimed author of more than a dozen books, Baca continues to work with and advocate for prison populations and the formerly incarcerated.  He will be sharing his story and reading from his collected works at an event benefiting the Durham Literacy Center on Saturday, November 2, 2019

Since our inception in 1985, the Durham Literacy Center has helped more than 17,000 adults and out-of-school youth gain skills including basic literacy, computer literacy, financial literacy, job readiness, high school equivalency, and much more. With the help of volunteers and supporters like you, Durham Literacy empowers students, training individuals and families to succeed in life. 

Please join us for this very special evening of poetry and conversation on Saturday, November 2 at 7:00 p.m. at the Levin Jewish Community Center in Durham. To buy tickets and for additional details, visit
Neighborhood Developments
Two parking lots near our church are going to be redeveloped to include affordable housing and retail, located down the street at the 300 and 500 blocks of E. Main. The First Pres Session endorsed this project and many in our congregation attended a Durham CAN assembly promoting it. We have a chance to meet with the developers to give public input at the following events.
Saturday, November 2, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at the Holton Career Resource Center, located at 401 North Driver Street.
Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. at the Durham County Human Services Building, located at 414 East Main Street.

For more details, click  300/500 East Main Street Redevelopment.
North Carolina Central University
Women’s Basketball
Annual Education Day
Tuesday, November 19 at 11 a.m. in the McDougald-McLendon Arena (NCCU campus)
Education Day is an opportunity to expose students in elementary grades to higher education. The event will feature educational basketball workbooks focusing on areas such as math, reading, spelling, and health & fitness. Students will also watch women student-athletes in action, engage with “Eddie the Eagle” (mascot), and participate with in-game promotions and activities. Admission is free for school-aged youth. Help us pack the arena for this fun environment for Lady Eagles Basketball. Contact the NCCU Department of Athletics at 919-530-6530 for more information and complimentary tickets.
Advancing the Vision Breakfast
Join DurhamCares on Tuesday, November 19 for the 2019 Advancing the Vision Breakfast at the Durham Armory . The featured speaker will be Virginia Williams, a civil rights leader and participant in Durham’s 1957 Royal Ice Cream Sit-in. There will also be testimonials from people who have participated in DurhamCares programs like the Durham Pilgrimage of Pain and Hope and Church Mobilization Network. The breakfast is complimentary and all donations made at the event will benefit DurhamCares. All are welcome. RSVP here.
A Rent Party Fundraiser
Join us, and an onslaught of amazing local chefs, for Housing For New Hope’s Rent Party on Thursday, November 7 from 6:00 - 10:00 p.m. at The Rickhouse . Among our all-star cast will be: Toast, NuvoTaco, Pork in the Road, Nomad, Southern Harvest, The James Joyce Irish Pub, and Maverick's Smokehouse, and a whole host of beverages too!
Get your tickets!  For ages 21+ only!
All proceeds support  The Stewards Fund Challenge ! HNH is currently in our Stewards Fund Challenge period. Between October 2019 and February 2020, we have set an ambitious goal to raise $90,000. This could be an opportunity for your donation to be matched dollar for dollar!! Don't miss this chance to DOUBLE your impact on the lives of our Durham neighbors who are living unsheltered. Contact  Russ Pierce  with any questions regarding our Stewards Fund Challenge! Join us for the 2019 Rent Party and Increase your Impact!
Union Presbyterian Seminary announces
President's Global Seminar
China 2020
October 14-27, 2020
Hosted by Dr. Brian and Sharon Blount; Dr. Lewis Galloway, and Dr. Bunny Alexander

Click here for more information and to join the interest group. A detailed brochure will be provided in December. The estimated cost ranges from $6,000 - $6,275. Registration requires a $600/per person deposit be paid in July 2020.
The next church newsletter will be issued November 12.
Please submit your articles to Valerie in the church office
by Sunday, November 10.