As the number of COVID cases spikes in Durham and our hospitals swell to their capacity (and beyond), we have been advised by our COVID team that for the safety of FPC and our larger community we need to move back to virtual worship.
This announcement, made at this late hour on Saturday, January 8, will not reach everyone before tomorrow. Therefore, we will not completely shut down in-person worship. We are, however, urging everyone who gets this message to worship from home tomorrow.
Beginning on Sunday, January 16, and until further notice, only worship leaders and tech support will be in the sanctuary. As a reminder, our worship service is available through our website: www.firstpres-durham.org – click the worship button and then the “Watch on YouTube” button. You can find the bulletin there as well. We also invite you to sign in, so we know you are with us. You can find the service any time after 11 a.m. tomorrow.
It is disappointing, to say the least, to have to return to online worship, especially during this season of celebration of our 150th anniversary, but I am glad that the option is available to us. I continue to be grateful for the incredible work of our tech team – Jody Maxwell, Keith Rokoske, John Fricks, and J.L. Klink, who make it possible for us to share worship from many different places and spaces.
May God be with all those who are sick or who are caring for the sick. May God be with us all.
Grace and peace to you,
Mindy Douglas, FPC Pastor/Head of Staff
We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3
One hundred and fifty years ago today, when Durham was only a two-year-old dot on the map, Granville County native Dr. Richard D. Blacknall, a physician and druggist, along with ten others (seven transfers from other churches and three members of Orange Presbytery) organized what we now know as First Presbyterian Church.
I am not sure that our minds are able to imagine what that day might have been, not really, but we can give thanks for those who had a vision and a calling. Their vision was for a community of faith in this new town of Durham. Their calling was to bear witness to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As a result of this vision and calling, a community of faith formed on the corner of Roxboro and Main, where it has been and continues to thrive (even in a pandemic) for 150 years.
Though our season of celebration is a six-month season around this exact date, I cannot let the day pass without giving thanks to God for the vision and calling given to these eleven (and others not present) on this day so many years ago. I doubt they could have imagined what this community would mean for so many individuals and families, nor could they have imagined what this community would mean for Durham itself.
We have a chance this day to look back and give thanks, even as we look ahead with awe and wonder, leaning into what God’s call to us for the years and decades ahead might be.
If you have a moment today, I invite you to think back to that small but faithful gathering that set this church on its course for so many years to come. And I invite you to say a prayer of gratitude for God’s movement then and continued movement now.
Happy birthday, First Presbyterian Church.
Happy New Year, my friends.
With love and gratitude,
Organized on New Year’s Eve 1871, First Presbyterian Church has been a beacon of Christian faith and hope where “cross the crowded ways of life” in downtown Durham for 150 years.
We are pleased and excited to announce that former pastors and associates will return to the pulpit in January 2022 as our 150th Church Anniversary celebration continues Sunday mornings at 11:00 a.m.
January 2 – Marilyn Hedgpeth
January 9 – Joseph Harvard
January 16 – Cherrie Henry
January 23 – Sam Miglarese
January 30 – Lori Pistor
Thanks to all the FPC’ers who came out on October 7 to donate blood. We are planning another blood drive for Thursday, February 3 from 1:00-6:00 p.m. at FPC! Sign up to be a donor. Go online to RedCrossBlood.org and use code firstpres or use the RAPIDPASS donor App to save time! Walk-ins are also welcome.
Snapshot No. 2 Our Church in Crisis Times: The Civil War
Snapshot No. 3 Our Church in Crisis Times: World War 1
Snapshot No. 4 Our Church in Crisis Times: Great Depression, 1929-1939
Snapshot No. 5 Our Church in Crisis Times: Distant Drums of War, 1937-1941
Special thanks to FPC historian Peter Fish for writing these moments in FPC’s history and to Carol Carson who provided the photos and images.
|Citizens of the Triangle have been under a mandate to wear masks when inside public spaces to help fight the delta variant and ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated.’ FPC is adhering to this mandate and asking members and friends to wear masks when inside buildings at FPC.
To keep everyone worshipping in the sanctuary as safe as possible as the pandemic continues:
(All worship participants will be vaccinated, of course.)