Love in the Heart of Durham:
Whoever welcomes you,
welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me,
welcomes the one who
- Matthew 10:40
Message from the FPC Stewardship Committee:
At First Presbyterian Church we:
Worship in Spirit and truth;
Learn, study, and grow in faith;
Build community in love and hope;
Serve the city and the needs of the world; and
Welcome all individuals of every age, race, nationality, gender, ability, sexual orientation, and economic circumstance to participate fully in the life of the church.
What joy it is to be part of a church full of faithful stewards of God’s gifts! As a congregation, you give generously of your time, talents, and resources. Our annual budget and the work of volunteers support local organizations that address hunger, housing, job-training, mental illness support, immigration, and prison ministry. Your gifts also support ministries for children, youth, young adults, families, and older adults. Our weekly worship and educational offerings nourish and prepare us to bear the light of Christ into the world. All are welcome in this place. Thanks to your faithful stewardship, we can bring love to the heart of the city.
In 2019, you completed our campaign goals for pay equity among our staff. Thank you! This year our stewardship focus will be on service and mission; specifically, our outreach to the community around us and our global mission support. We challenge you to consider an increase of 4-6% in your giving in order to support new ministries and enhance ongoing ones. This year we also challenge you to increase your participation in service activities (e.g. tutoring at Iglesia Emanuel, Meals on Wheels, etc.), allowing us to respond to the many needs around us and to become directly involved with the ministries we support.
This is a significant time to be the church in the world, to bear witness to a faith that is about love, not hate; integrity, not deceit; hope, not despair; giving, not taking; healing, not hurting; and unity, not division. Together we can bring Christ’s message of peace through love of neighbor to the world. Thank you for all you give to make FPC shine as a beacon of hope in the city of Durham and beyond. We are continually blessed to be doing this work with all of you.
With deep gratitude and much love,
Mindy Douglas, Pastor
George Bernhardt and Cris Rivera,
To grow capacity of our mission projects through increased volunteers and hours
(reallocated property and personnel expenses
To restore our historic giving levels
STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN GOALs:
#1: SERVICE & MISSION BUDGET
#2: SERVICE & MISSION participation
As of 2019, about 190 families support the church, its array of ministries, and its community initiatives. If 50 of our current giving families increase their contributions by another $10 per week and 25 families increase by $20, we would grow our pledged donations by $50,000!
Global Budget by Function
commitment to social mission
My family and I feel abundantly blessed to be part of the FPC community, and we recognize this congregation has been abundantly blessed as well. I hope and pray that we are an ever-increasing blessing to others.
Decreased pledge revenue in the recent past resulted in significant cuts to the Service and Mission operating budget. Our congregation has been able to raise the funds needed for the walk-in ministry and other missions through additional fundraising. A shift to building those gifts from pledges within the operating budget would enable the restoration of previous benevolences. With ongoing increased pledges, we will be able to continue this climb towards historic levels of giving and support the programs core to our social mission.
Perhaps the first thing most FPC members would say about our church is its commitment to serving the Durham Community. We are proud of our history of responding to human needs, and we do that both through our church and Presbyterian ministries, but also through our individual giving and service.
We might not agree on points of theology or liturgy, but we can agree that we are called to love God and to love our neighbor. As a downtown church, sometimes we might feel overwhelmed by the needs of our neighbors, but I believe we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to share God’s grace and love with others.
Fifty years ago, we moved to Durham, attended our first service [at FPC] and joined several months later. We never visited another church, because we found what we needed at Roxboro and Main: a downtown church with a strong commitment to issues that concerned us.
Regular attendance at worship has been a cornerstone of our lives over the years since we joined. We find hope and inspiration in the sermons, the music, and the liturgy. Peter’s long involvement with the Worship and the Arts Committee has stressed for both of us the importance of services that are meaningful to every person in the sanctuary. Likewise, the Christian Education program has nourished us from the time we were raising young children until these days of mature reflection.
In contemplating our stewardship responsibilities, we aim to express our gratitude for all that our downtown church family has meant to us over the years and to provide resources so that good work can continue in the future.
VIBRANT WORSHIP & CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
We encourage others to do the same and to be as generous as possible in supporting the Annual Stewardship Campaign and the missions of this congregation.
Peter and Barbara Fish
(Read the full testimonials on the FPC website!)
inclusion & Welcome
First Presbyterian embodies what it means to follow a path of inclusion. On a given Sunday the congregation is full of people of all backgrounds. We might be at different places in our lives, but a common purpose brings us together.
Like many millennials raised in Christian beliefs, I have spent considerable time as an adult exploring and evaluating just what it is I believe. We are all aware that the modern world presents a number of challenges to belief and a life of faith. The wider world gives us a number of imperfect models of inclusion and belonging. The church itself has sometimes presented models of exclusion, theologies in which people have been made to feel unwelcome because of their identity and background.
First Presbyterian models a way in which our diverse backgrounds and identities are the source of our equality in approaching God’s table. I think there is a particular hunger and need in our world for this approach to the Christian faith. The Gospels record Jesus seeking out and interacting with all sorts of people, walking through the social barriers of his time to affirm a radical model of inclusion in God’s kingdom. First Presbyterian is a community of faith seeking to follow this model of inclusion and what it means for Durham and our world.
While FPC provides many of us an anchor point in our connection to God, it also serves as a doorway for many in the Durham community to be embraced by the love of God and the love of our congregation when they enter.
In my eight years of serving on the FPC Property Committee, I’ve come to know how every member has a deep sense of faith, love of the property, and a strong commitment to be good stewards to the incredible property that stands at the corner of Roxboro and Main Street.
The committee’s work is not only act of service to the congregation, but to the Durham community by providing a welcoming space for worship, fellowship, education, community, and support. In addition to housing the FPC Day School, the church also provides free meeting space to numerous weekly support groups. The Watts-Hill Fellowship Hall and the magnificent sanctuary host concerts, recitals, art shows, and community events. You can often find a range of gifted musicians rehearsing in the sanctuary or one of the 2nd floor Christian Education classrooms.
Without the support of the congregation, we could not address all of the needs that are required to continue to maintain and allow the Church to host and be home to so many groups and be a beacon of God’s love and hope in Durham.
I joined FPC to strengthen my faith in Jesus Christ, to love others for who they are and spread peace with our neighbors. I love the music, the sermons and energy the Pastors bring every Sunday. Being an entrepreneur, building relations in the community is a primary goal. Partnering with non-profits, FPC invests in the lives of youth and adults for a better life for themselves and their families.
Seek the welfare of the city... for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
- Jeremiah 29:7
First Presbyterian Church
305 E Main Street
Durham NC 27701
(919) 682 - 5511