2024 Stewardship Campaign Videos & Stories

2024 Stewardship Campaign

Sing a New World into Being



Inclusion & Welcome

This is what inclusion means to me at First Presbyterian Church: Previous gifts to the church have made possible features such as the elevator and gender-neutral, fully accessible bathrooms. My pledge, and yours, to our 2024 Stewardship Campaign will reinforce and enhance our endeavors toward these goals we hold in common. Jesus calls us to welcome one and all. We are called, here and now, to be ready to welcome the seeker, the stranger, the broken-hearted, and all those who enter the doors of our church. My family tries to live out that same ethic in our own household. My daughters Bella and Sophie continue to remind me that each person is unique, deserving of love, acceptance, shelter, and care. With that in mind we took a leap of faith. We had never met Alex when Bella asked if we had room in our house for one more. It wasn’t hard to make some space for him, and Alex has become a kind, trustworthy, and helpful member of our household. There is one less homeless person in the world. Just one. Is it enough? Are we enough? Together, yes. Emily Wilkins

Service and Mission

As long-time members of First Presbyterian, we find it important to pledge each year and give back in both our finances and time for what God generously has provided us as a family. One of the many reasons is the Service & Mission Committee that Alec & Rachel have been members on. As parents of two delightful kids, we want the world to be a better place for them, but also for everyone else, too. The committee serves a diversity of initiatives, but one of the things that is most important to us is giving back to the community at large. We are extraordinarily proud of FPC’s generous support of a diversity of community groups, ranging from organizations trying to alleviate poverty and homelessness to supporting racial justice and the aging population. The thing we love most about the church is not only the fact that church opens its checkbook but also that it is deeply hands-on and engaged in the many organizations it supports.
One of the non-profits that FPC supports is Iglesia Emanuel food pantry, which serves over 600 families a week in Durham by providing fresh food. We have had the honor of being able to spend some of our Saturdays as a family bagging beans and rice for these families. It allows our children Juliet (9) and Colin (12) also to participate and see that they can make a difference to help the community. We invite you to consider what you can pledge as well for this upcoming year and help us continue to do the good work and mission of the church. Rachel, Alec, Colin, and Juliet Bethune

Worship and Christian Education

Oct 29, 2023 Drew Cummings speaks about Worship and Christian Education and FPC

Since Mindy invited me to write about worship and stewardship, I have reflected on my contribution to weekly worship from the choir loft. Singing is nearly as natural to me as breathing. In childhood, I learned the Psalms to the tunes of the Geneva Psalter in my native Dutch language. I learned traditional Dutch Christmas carols, sung in harmony with my parents and nine siblings! As a new immigrant in 1957, I learned the tunes and lyrics of the Christian Reformed Psalter-Hymnal. At Hope College in Michigan, I enjoyed worship services in the chapel with its magnificent Skinner organ as well as worship at the campus coffee shop, where we sang to a guitar accompaniment. More recently, I was in the choir at Virginia’s Vienna Presbyterian Church, where we sang classical religious anthems in addition to deeply theological contemporary hymns and an array of “praise songs.” In our Chancel Choir here, I am challenged with a capella singing, and benefit from frequently leaving choir rehearsals with a “sacred ear worm” to guide my meditations. What all the public worship experiences have in common for me is a person, or a team, to assure that the choral music enhances worship and that it is consistent with the week’s lectionary text or other theological themes. My pledge to First Presbyterian Church is, in part, an expression of my gratitude for our music ministry, and I hope you will join me in supporting this and all the ministries & missions of FPC. Hendrika Vande Kemp