Chapel View Magazine Spring 2020

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CHAPEL VIEW SPRING 2020 magazine


Dear Friends, This edition of Chapel View magazine was written before the wave of COVID-19 changed all of our lives. In an effort to conserve resources for the areas of greatest need, we made the decision to publish only a virtual edition this spring. Today, we offer it as a reminder of the important work the Chapel has done this year, but also as a reminder of what is ahead of us, when the Chapel will once again be filled with the life and love of this community. We look forward in hope to the day when students return, when we can be with you face to face, when we gather again in-person for services, concerts, and fellowship. For now, we will continue to stream Sunday services, send out regular messages on social media, and connect virtually with students and staff as we are spread out across the nation and the world. You are welcome to submit prayer requests online at You continue to be part of our community of grace. Every day, we remember you. Be safe and strong in these difficult days. Dean Luke A. Powery Rev. Bruce Puckett Amanda M. Hughes


Join us online Sunday mornings at 11 :00 a.m. at Follow us on Facebook at Talk to us on Twitter and lnstagram at @DukeChapel Join our email listserv for updates from the Chapel at

DUKE CHAPEL NATIONAL ADVISORY BOARD CHAIR Charles Andrew Berardesco, T ’80 VICE CHAIR C.B. Richardson III, T ’92 EMERITUS MEMBER William E. King, T ’61, G ’63, G ’70 ADVISORY BOARD Zoila Airall Robin Barefoot D. Michael Bennett, T ’77 John A. Bussian III, T ’76 M. Keith Daniel, T ’90, D ’05, D ’16 Ellen Davis Thomas Felgner, T ’94, B ’95 Cathy S. Gilliard, D ’97 Elizabeth Grantland, T ’20 Zach Heater, T ’17 Sara Elizabeth Hyre, T ’89 Grace Lee, T ’79 and Kenneth Lee, T ’74 Jeffrey Nelson, D ’13 T. Walker Robinson, T ’00, G ’01, M ’09 Hananiel Setiawan, G ’24 Max Sirenko, T ’11 Valerie Henry Sirenko, T ’11 Amanda Wright Smoot, WC ’63 Kathryn Watkins, T ’19

CHAPEL STAFF OFFICE OF THE DEAN The Rev. Dr. Luke A. Powery, Dean Ava West, Assistant to the Dean MINISTRY The Rev. Bruce Puckett, Assistant Dean The Rev. Kathryn Lester-Bacon, Director of Religious Life The Rev. Joshua Lazard, C. Eric Lincoln Minister for Student Engagement The Rev. Breana van Velzen, Community Minister MUSIC Dr. Zebulon Highben, Director of Chapel Music Dr. Philip Cave, Associate Conductor for Chapel Music Christopher Jacobson, FRCO, Chapel Organist Dr. Robert Parkins, University Organist John Santoianni, Ethel Sieck Carrabina Curator of Organs and Harpsichords Lauren Scarborough, Program Coordinator for Chapel Music Joseph Fala, Interim Carillonneur and Staff Specialist for Chapel Music ADMINISTRATION Amanda Millay Hughes, Director of Development and Strategy Joni Harris, Director of Business and Facilities James Todd, Communications Manager Kevin Goldfarb, Communications Specialist Mark King, Hospitality Coordinator Lisa Moore, Accounting Specialist and Office Coordinator Erica Thomas, Staff Assistant for Development David-Michael Kenney, Wedding Coordinator and Visitor Relations Assistant Caroline Horton, Visitor Relations Assistant and Duke Chapel Student Ambassadors Coordinator Blanche Williams, Wedding Director Ann Hall, Visitor Relations Assistant Jane Kelly, Visitor Relations Assistant Keshia Perry, Visitor Relations Assistant Shawn Proffitt, Visitor Relations Assistant Sr. Jacinta Coscia, Visitor Relations Assistant Oscar Dantzler, University Housekeeper Beverly Jordan, University Housekeeper Duke Schools Abbreviation Key: D (Divinity School); E (Pratt School of Engineering) G (Graduate School); MD (School of Medicine) T (Trinity College of Arts & Sciences); WC (Women’s College)

Vision To respond to God’s all-inclusive love at Duke, in Durham, and in the world.

Mission Rooted in the love of God in Jesus Christ, Duke Chapel bridges faith and learning by nurturing and embodying the intellectual, ethical, and spiritual life.

Values Hope | Compassion Community | Justice | Creativity Learn more at

Sophomore Margaret Gaw, a Chapel Scholar, reads the gospel lesson during a worship service this past fall. All photos are by Chapel communications staff unless otherwise indicated.

THE VOCATION OF CREATION The Rev. Dr. Luke A. Powery, Dean of Duke University Chapel [@LukeAPowery]


he most read book in the world, the Bible, has an incomparable start for incomparable art: “In the beginning when God created…” (Gen. 1:1). God is the beginning, even the beginning of creativity, one of the values of the Chapel. In the beginning, there “was a formless void and darkness” (Gen. 1:2), so at the outset of this biblical narrative, we discover the truth about the world—there is God and there is a void. From the beginning of creation, the earth is in disarray or disorder. Traditional teaching has usually asserted that God created ex nihilo, that is, “out of nothing,” but there is actually something there—“the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters”(Gen. 1:2). Earth, wind, and water were the preconditions for God’s work. Material elements, though not ordered, were present, yet there was still a void, awaiting the creative sound and transformative touch of the Artisan’s voice and hands, waiting for divine intervention to make meaning out of chaos and formlessness. God shows a discontentment with the formless void and darkness and responds with creative activity. God does not pout or take a nap, hoping it will all disappear once he awakes; rather, God gets to work, and like poetry, God brings order to the chaos. Genesis doesn’t necessarily present the absolute beginning of all things but the genesis of God’s orderly creation. The poetry of God’s creation is art and art frames the world and brings meaning and form to life. In response to formlessness, we find a holy symmetry of creation—”there was evening and there was morning…”; “And God said, ‘Let there be...’”; “And it was so”; “God saw that it was good”; “there was evening and there was morning….” Repeatedly, we hear this 2 CHAPEL VIEW magazine

“Created in God’s image, we are called to continue to create in the face of formless voids and darkness, just as God did in the beginning.”

rhythmic response to the void, a poetic pattern that suggests God is a poet of illuminating creative Presence. God’s poetic creativity is a form of resistance to the formless void and darkness. God fills the void with creation and creativity. Yet, God’s artwork of creation, as Old Testament scholar Terence Fretheim writes, “is not a sudden one-day affair…creation is a dynamic process and not a finished product.” Thus, God is always creating. And as human creatures, we have been touched by God’s handiwork, created by the Divine Artisan who spoke us into existence and breathed life into our formlessness. Created in God’s image, we are called to continue to create in the face of formless voids and darkness, just as God did in the beginning. To be in God’s image means to be creative and to create,

which is a sign of the divine imprint on our lives. In the beginning, God, and in the beginning, there was creation. In this issue of Chapel View, you will see how the Chapel continues to embrace God’s vocation of creation through student engagement, including the interfaith work of Religious Life at Duke; Christian worship; sacred music and the arts; and community engagement. Creativity, for us, is not merely a value, it is a divine calling, as we strive to make beauty out of chaos as artists of hope until the day God fills all voids once and for all as our all in all (1 Cor. 15:28). As you peruse the pages, we’d love for you to join and support us in our mission of ongoing creation.


A Faith and Learning Profile of Eyram Klu, T ’19

Faith as a Foundation for Worship, Inquiry, and Service


hen Eyram Klu, T ’19, arrived at Duke as a freshman, the Chapel was closed for renovations, so he didn’t get to go in the building, but he said, “The Chapel community was still very present.” An international comparative studies major, Klu immersed himself in the Chapel community, becoming a Chapel Scholar, attending Chapel services, and taking leadership roles in worship. “I feel like when I am in Chapel services I am really in touch with God,” says Klu, who is from Smyrna, Delaware. “Being able to read scripture to a whole body of people who are congregated to worship is really beautiful. “Probably the most personal experience to me was [when] I got the opportunity to actually write my petitions and then pray for the congregation,” he says about his experience leading the Prayers of

the People during a Sunday morning service. “I remember people coming up to me afterwards and asking if I could mail them the petitions because they just really loved what I said. I was glad I was able to touch people.” Raised in the Presbyterian church, Klu found support for his Christian faith in the Chapel’s Framing Your Faith program, the Every Nation Campus Ministry, and the United in Praise student gospel group. At Duke, he said his faith has not only been affirmed by also deepened by questioning it. “It’s one thing just to accept what you have been taught your whole childhood and upbringing… but it’s good to really search and continue to search for why you believe,” he says. “That’s what ‘bridging faith and learning’ means to me.” For Klu, who graduated in December, another connection between his faith and his studies comes through his major.

“Long-term, what I’d really want to take away from my experience at Duke and the Chapel—and apply towards a vocation and a calling—is giving back to the African heritage that I have,” says Klu, whose parents immigrated to the United States from Togo. “That’s why I focused on a regional concentration in Africa within my international comparative studies major. “When we take faith into a conversation, you think of ethics and you think of how people should be treated and respected and how we should talk about people in an ethical way,” he says. “I believe my faith informs my ethics and how I think people in Africa should be perceived. “I’m most interested in the perception of Africa—creating media to help tell different stories and more holistic narratives of the continent and its people and it’s beautiful cultures,” he says. Watch a video version of this profile at

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s I write this letter, I am approaching my fortieth Duke Reunion. I am serving as one of our Class of 1980 cochairs, with a focus on planned gifts for our class. It has been fun reconnecting with some of my classmates, and I am very much looking forward to seeing some of them during the reunion. This has led me to think about why I continue to be engaged with Duke. Some of it is about giving back to Duke, having received substantial financial support for my education. Some of it is just about being “true to your school”—to quote the Beach Boys. But, a lot of it is the result of Duke reaching out to me to engage me around my own interests at Duke— which included faith and music—two of the Chapel’s major focus areas that have been compelling to me since I was a student at Duke. This edition of Chapel View magazine includes a focus on student engagement. The Chapel’s National Advisory Board is attentive to how the Chapel engages with Duke students. We meet

regularly with students and Chapel staff focused on students. We carefully review how various Chapel programs, including music, faith development, and service, focus on students and their engagement with the Chapel and their own spiritual development. As I have noted before in these letters, for me, I mark my time at Duke Chapel as the beginning of a more intense relationship with my own faith, of being challenged and inspired by the powerful nature of the messages I heard and the beauty of the music and liturgy, all taking place in a space the likes of which I had never seen. But it was not the beginning of my faith journey, for as I think back to that time, I believe that regular engagement with my local church laid the groundwork for a later expansion of my faith and engagement with church. It made me open to the idea of attending Duke Chapel, which led me to a more deliberate exploration of my faith. In comparison to my time as a Duke undergraduate in the late 1970s, today’s Duke students come from a more diverse set of faith backgrounds. The presumption of Chapel attendance is long gone, and students come to Duke with a broad set of

Undergraduate students who became Chapel Scholars this year were commissioned with prayers and blessings during the Chapel’s Sunday morning worship service on November 17, 2019.

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reactions to established religions, or even the idea of a university chapel as an integral campus presence. But, what does that mean for the Chapel? I believe it means that student engagement is more critical than ever. For the Chapel to remain relevant to the life of the Duke community, we must continue to reach out and engage with students where they are in their life journey. And, this means doing so across a wide range of activities and through many different and more sophisticated means. It is a challenge, but one that the Chapel is very much prepared to undertake. And it is consistent with the very founding of Duke University—the link between faith and learning. Through our support of Duke Chapel, through our prayers, presence, gifts and/or service, we are enabling that engagement with Duke students at what is hopefully the beginning of their lifetime faith journey. I hope that some of you will reach out to me with your questions, comments, and suggestions. And, as always, thank you for your support of Duke Chapel, its mission and ministries. Sincerely yours, Charlie Berardesco


Seeking to Do Justice … and Walk Humbly Alumnus Zach Heater, T ’17, reflects on how his Duke Chapel experience is guiding him in law school


s a second-year student at the University of Chicago Law School, Zach Heater, T ’17, is discovering how his experiences while a student at Duke and a Chapel Scholar are valuable for his study of criminal justice. “One of the most important things I learned from the Chapel was how to lean in and work through difficult issues with people you really disagree with while always trying to understand the concerns motivating those on the other side,” Heater said on a phone call from Chicago. “I’ve noticed that because lawyers are often working in adversarial settings and dealing with issues that are high-stakes and complicated, it can be very easy to lose sight of the human impact of whatever issue or case you are working on,” he says. “Recognizing the human dimension of a situation was something Dean Powery emphasized through programs such as Bridge Panels that

drew you into current issues but made you think about them from a human and spiritual perspective.” After graduating Duke with a degree in Classics, Heater went home to Iowa to figure out what he would do next. He interned for a year at the Iowa Attorney General’s Office and discovered an affinity for the legal profession, which prompted him to apply to law school. At law school, Heater is focusing on criminal law and working parttime at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana. The experiences are allowing him to explore a career as a federal prosecutor. “I think it makes you a better prosecutor if you have some kind of grounding in a faith tradition or other worldview that directs you to think carefully about how your actions will impact other people,” says Heater who was active in the Duke Wesley Fellowship when he was an

undergraduate. “Doing justice is one thing, but I also think about walking humbly with God, and in my view humility is absolutely necessary for someone who wants to be entrusted with power and discretion in our criminal justice system.” Law school has brought Heater, a member of the Chapel’s National Advisory Board, one other insight about his time at Duke. “Among my law school classmates and friends who are people of faith and maybe even were active in a student ministry when they were in college, so few of them had anything comparable to the Chapel,” he says, “where you have not only world-class preaching and music but really welldone efforts to bring all the different parts of the university into a faithbased discussion about what they do. “That is so unique,” he says. “I can’t imagine going to college somewhere that was not available.”

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Approaching Religious Diversity with Creative Hospitality By the Rev. Kathryn Lester-Bacon, Director of Religious Life Since September, I have been the director of Religious Life at the Chapel. I come to this position as an ordained Presbyterian pastor, serving most recently at a church in Richmond, Virginia. In my role, I convene and coordinate over thirty Religious Life staff members who are leading over twenty Religious Life groups. I lead worship as part of the pastoral team on Sunday morning in the Chapel. I supervise a group of students who commit to interreligious exploration and engagement by living and studying together. Through all this, I am honored and excited to continue the thoughtfull, faith-full interreligious work that has emerged from the Chapel and emanated across Duke’s campus for over thirty years. My work with Religious Life builds on the Chapel’s overall mission: “Rooted in the love of God in Jesus Christ, Duke Chapel bridges faith and learning by nurturing and embodying the intellectual, ethical, and spiritual life.” The Chapel magnificently claims space on campus for these intersections of intellect, ethics, and spirit. These intersections came alive in beautiful and surprising ways one night last fall. On that warm October evening, I stood in the crossing of the Chapel and looked out into the faces of a couple hundred people. Those faces belonged to students, families, faculty, 6 CHAPEL VIEW magazine

and staff, all who had gathered to celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Light. Madhu Sharma, Duke’s Hindu chaplain, had coordinated the celebration. She invited me to attend and introduce myself. I gratefully accepted the invitation. I welcomed the families and students. I shared that this Chapel is a space of sanctuary for all, offering rest and quiet, in the middle of a busy campus, in the middle of busy lives. I also said that this place might not feel like home at first—the space is undeniably constructed around Christian symbols and shapes—but I hoped that the Chapel would soon feel like a family member’s home, a place where the door is open and the welcome is warm, even if one is just wandering in for a little while. On that Friday evening, I welcomed those gathered in the Chapel because these students and family are members of the Duke community and Duke Chapel is built for them. I welcomed those gathered, not because the Chapel is my building, but because, I believe, by the ever-mysterious gift of grace, it is God’s building. We in the Chapel convene and support a diverse array of religious life leaders. We affirm that this is important because we cannot control where and when God will get to work. We welcome because Christ first welcomes us. We welcome because

we cannot halt or hoard the Holy Spirit’s creative hospitality. One student who attended this Diwali celebration reached out to me later. Her family had been present for that event. Some of her family members had never been in a Christian church before that evening. This student was glad to have words of welcome expressed so clearly. She wanted to interview me for The Chronicle, the student newspaper on campus. Through our interview, I shared more about Religious Life opportunities at Duke, available to the whole student body. A month later, this student applied to be a Duke Chapel Student Ambassador (see page 18). She is now part of a select group of students who share the marvels and stories of the Chapel with visitors. We welcomed this student’s family into the Chapel and now she will become part of a team that welcomes others into the Chapel, perhaps for the first time. One of the values in the Chapel’s new strategic plan is creativity. In my work as director of Religious Life, I celebrate the creative energies of a Spirit who is more expansive than I can imagine. Every day we are discovering how the Chapel can deepen its Christian identity, while amplifying the diversity of Religious Life on campus. Because Duke Chapel shared its space so creatively, the work and wonders of Duke Chapel now will be shared more broadly. This is good news.

Students Grow Intellectually, Ethically, and Spiritually with the Chapel

Students in the Eruditio et Religio living-learning community meet with Francesca Morfesis (far left), the leader of Duke’s Buddhist Meditation Community, and the Rev. Kathryn Lester-Bacon (second from left), the Chapel’s director of Religious Life. Students in Eruditio et Religio live together in an on-campus residence hall and participate in interfaith discussions and service projects.

Students in the Chapel Scholars program gather together for a group-selfie at a fellowship dinner. Chapel Scholars participate in retreats, mission trips, worship services, and small-groups, all with a goal of nurturing their intellectual, ethical, and spiritual lives. Photo by Jessica Marlow, T ’20.

This year’s Student Preacher was Liddy Grantland, T ’20, a senior from Columbia, South Carolina, majoring in English and African and African American Studies. She preached during the Chapel’s Sunday morning worship service on February 23. Her sermon, based on the Gospel of Matthew’s account of the Transfiguration, focused on people coming down from mountain-top experiences to find equality before God with other people.

Caroline Gamard, T ’22 (left), and Chapel minister Rev. Joshua Lazard participate in a Framing Your Faith conversation. This small-group discussion is a chance for students to deepen their own Christian faiths while exploring ways that their faith intersects with their education. Photo by Karissa Tu, T ’20.

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Looking Back, Looking Ahead By Dr. Zebulon M. Highben, Director of Chapel Music It has been a whirlwind year for Duke Chapel Music. Our concert series has presented over twenty concerts and recitals. The Chapel Choir, Vespers Ensemble, and Evensong Singers have led more than ninetyfive worship services— including our memorable collaboration on The Marvel of This Night for CBS Television (see story on facing page). Looking back on this abundance of riches, it is appropriate to celebrate and give thanks for the many volunteers, staff, guest musicians, and visiting artists whose time and talents filled this vigorous year with sonorous beauty. The energy of these recent months is also propelling us forward, stimulating new ideas and goals for seasons to come. I will highlight a few of these programs here; you can read about other new initiatives in the Chapel’s Strategic Plan.

• Building the people’s song.

Hymnody plays a central role in the worship life of the Chapel and the faith formation of Christian communities. Texts and tunes combine to reflect core theological values, shape our collective memory, remind us of the depth of the Christian witness, and highlight the breadth of the Church’s 8 CHAPEL VIEW magazine

song. We have begun to thoughtfully introduce new (and new-to-us) hymns into our core repertoire. This summer, we will announce the first of several competitions to encourage poets and composers to craft new words and melodies for us to sing. This is part of our effort to explore the possibility of the creation of a new ecumenical hymnal supplement, which could complement the United Methodist Hymnal in our pew racks and be a resource to other ecumenical communities.

• Sacred arts education and

partnerships. The Chapel is not only a center for the presentation of the sacred arts, but also for education about their importance. Current offerings—such as our Organ Scholars program and the C. Eric Lincoln Theology and Arts Fellowship—help emerging artists and musicians actively engage their vocations. Our long-standing support of the Durham Children’s Choir and our hosting of the Carolina Course of the Royal School of Church Music in America encourages the music education of young people in our community. In June 2020, we will launch a three-year partnership with ChorWorks to train young professional singers in early music repertoire and performance practices. Beginning in 2021, collaborations with Duke Performances and other organizations will provide master classes, workshops, and conferences for conductors, singers, and church musicians. Each of these initiatives serves a dual purpose: They strengthen our own musical life while contributing new resources to, or training new leaders for, the worship and artistic life of the Church at large. Truly, it has been a rich, full year at Duke Chapel—but there is more to come! Soli Deo Gloria.

• Music from Duke Chapel

Publication Series. Last autumn, the Chapel commissioned Chad Fothergill of Birmingham, Alabama, to compose a new setting of the hymn “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence,” which was premiered at The Marvel of This Night. Fothergill’s haunting arrangement will be the first publication in our new choral series with MorningStar Music/ ECS Publishing Group. The Music from Duke Chapel Series will feature commissioned works, modern editions of historic repertoire, and liturgical music reflecting the musical, cultural, and denominational diversity that is an integral part of life at the Chapel. The first of several titles in the series will be available later this year.



Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence - Chad Fothergill SATB, Congregation, and Organ, with opt. Strings

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence Chad Fothergill


The Making of Marvel

How the Chapel community created a national TV Christmas special


his past Christmas Eve, viewers of more than 200 CBS Television stations around the country tuned in to an hour-long Christmas special from the Chapel. The program, The Marvel of this Night: Christmas at Duke University Chapel, was conceived, produced, and filmed by the Chapel. One of the opening scenes shows a congregation packed into the pews, wreaths and lights bedecking the sanctuary, and the Chapel’s combined choirs singing the anthem “Savior of the Nations Come” as they surround the congregation. The scene is set for celebrating Christmas, but what the camera reveals in a matter of seconds actually took months of planning and hundreds of people to bring to life. The genesis of The Marvel of This Night can be traced to this past summer when the Chapel was selected by CBS Television to produce the network’s annual Christmas Eve show. Chapel Dean Luke A. Powery recognized a calling for the Chapel community. “I saw it as a rare opportunity for the Chapel to tell the great message about the birth of Christ to the nations,” Powery says.

The Chapel has been celebrating Christmas Eve with a Lessons and Carols service for more than fifty years, and the service’s structure of alternating scripture readings, carols and anthems seemed a logical format for the broadcast, but Powery wanted to work with Chapel musicians and ministers to approach the same service format in fresh ways. “We started by working with this theme of incarnation,” says the Rev. Bruce Puckett, assistant dean at the Chapel, “and asked how we could tell a story of incarnation— both of Jesus’s Incarnation and how incarnation happens today?” An initial answer came from Chapel Music Director Dr. Zebulon Highben, who had not yet had his first day in the office when the project began (he attended the kickoff meeting via cell phone). He identified the song that would give the service its name: a text by the twentieth-century American poet Jaroslav Vajda called “Before the Marvel of This Night.” “I’ve always loved it because it addresses the angels,” Highben says about the hymn, whose lyrics imagine speaking to the angel hosts before they

announce the birth of Christ. “Most Christmas carols are put in our voice or they are descriptive; this carol is directed to the angels and all three verses are telling the angels what to do.” With this theme of a heavenly quiet anticipating explosive glory, Highben, Powery, and Puckett began to outline a service that would present Christmas to a national audience through song and spoken words. From there, they engaged more than 200 students, staff, faculty, community members, and professionals to serve in all the various roles—both behind the scenes and on camera. “So many people pulled together to make it happen,” Dean Powery says about the project. “What stands out to me is the people—the great people in the great towering church.” Their work paid off first when the worship service for The Marvel of This Night filmed the weekend before Thanksgiving and then again when this marvel of a Christmas special was shared with viewers around the country (see next page). Learn more about the making of The Marvel of This Night at

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Loved watching this beautiful service!” — Pat Blackwell, a viewer in Irmo, South Carolina

Jordyn Blake, T ’21, sings a solo during The Marvel of This Night worship service on November 24, 2019. An edited recording of the service was broadcast nationally on CBS Television on Christmas Eve 2019. Page 9: Behind the scenes, Chapel Assistant Dean Bruce Puckett (left) and Dean Luke A. Powery (right), talk with Nathan Liang, T ’20, a Chapel Scholar; Acelynn Barefoot, a Chapel Scholar; and Sophie Marcom, a member of the Congregation at Duke Chapel. Photos by Rob Laughter, Brian Mullins Photography.

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This was the most fantastic program I have ever seen. It was inspirational and a true blessing to me!” — David Hasz, a viewer in Alba, Texas

Deeply appreciated watching the CBS/Duke Chapel broadcast of ‘The Marvel of this Night’ Christmas Special. The music was moving, the homily by Luke Powery was inspired. All in all touched my soul this Christmas Day!” — Ryan Mulkowsky, a viewer in Atlanta, Georgia

It is a time in our nation when Christianity has been painted in the ugliest possible light. Last night, you gave witness to a different faith vision—arms outstretched, joyful, human.” — Dr. Jerusha Neal, a viewer in Durham, North Carolina, and assistant professor of homiletics at Duke Divinity School Spring 2020 11


Dancers from Ekklesia Contemporary Ballet perform during “Longing and Belonging: Psalms in Dialogue” on October 20, 2019, in Goodson Chapel in Duke Divinity School. Photos by Brian Mullins, Brian Mullins Photography.

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Setting the Psalms in Dialogue


he Chapel has begun a multiyear program, Psalms in Dialogue, designed to explore the Psalms as a resource for communities of faith seeking to find and to offer justice, mercy, forgiveness, and hope in the world around us. For over a year, a core group of theologians, musicians, dancers, and artists have engaged in a conversation about how to reintroduce the Psalms to communities and individuals. They have imagined, both collectively and individually, how the Psalms might create a space for a deeper awareness of the rhythms of life and death, hope and despair, longing and belonging. Through the disciplines of their artistic and spiritual practices, they have engaged these texts and one another at the intersection of theology, artistic practice, and living communities of faith. In year one, the Chapel sponsored

an afternoon performance “Longing and Belonging: Psalms in Dialogue,” on October 20, 2019. To a capacity audience at Goodson Chapel, performers offered a rich selection of translations and interpretations of Psalms 1, 42, 63, 84, and 51, along with sections of Song of Solomon, chapter 2. Each of our core participants came to this project with their own curiosity and practice. In the case of Duke Chapel, Christopher Jacobson offered “The Psalm Project” concert in the fall of 2018. Visual artist Makoto Fujimura is currently creating 150, a series of paintings based on each of the 150 Psalms, drawing upon new translations by biblical scholar and theologian Dr. Ellen Davis. In 2016, Ekklesia Contemporary Ballet initiated its own series of Psalm Projects, creating freshly choreographed interpretations of ancient texts

in light of contemporary theological thought and social concerns, pieces designed for both stage performance and inclusion in worship services. Andrew Nemr transformed contemporary tap dancing into meditations on the rhythms of God’s work in our lives. Other participants are also engaged in practices that embody the Psalms through making works of art, enriching choral singing, and transforming personal devotional practices within and alongside communal worship services. Drawing from experiences in liturgical and evangelical communities of faith, they are creating a new vision for setting the Psalms in dialogue, within the arts, in the church, and in our larger society. Please join us for the next annual performance “[Be]holding the Broken Pieces: Psalms in Dialogue” on October 18, 2020, in Duke Chapel.

Psalm 1 Blessed is the one who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the company of mockers; 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. 4 Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. 5 Therefore, the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. 6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. 1

New International Version, adapted for “Longing and Belonging: Psalms in Dialogue.” Photo, right: The Duke Chapel Evensong Singers, Ekklesia Contemporary Ballet, Chapel Music Director Dr. Zebulon Highben (rear), and Andrew Nemr (front).

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Listening to the Call of a Community The Rev. Dr. Keith Daniel reflects on discerning a vocation in the context of a community In his fifteen years in ministry, the Rev. Dr. Keith Daniel, T ’90, D ’05, D ’16, has accompanied many young people as they have sought to understand their place in the world. He has been part of these conversations previously as the director of the Chapel’s PathWays program, the Chapel’s director of community and campus engagement, and now as a member of the Chapel’s National Advisory Board, the board co-chair of the nonprofit DurhamCares, and the owner of the Madison Consulting Group. Being a part of the vocational discernment process with young people has prompted Rev. Dr. Daniel to lead retreats for Duke Divinity School and to begin writing a book on the topic. He explained in a phone interview that his approach cuts against the grain of some popular self-help advice. “Instead of beginning with, ‘I need to look at my life, I need to focus on my aptitude, my gifts my interest,’” he says about discerning a call from God, “we first need to understand the community that has nurtured, shaped, and formed us. “I’m being a bit of a contrarian on the concept of discerning a ‘call,’ because I think we are naturally self-centered and get caught up in: ‘I have to figure out my gifts so I can apply them to the world and solve the world’s needs,’” he says. “Well, it might not be about your giftings, it might be about your greatest weakness and the community is challenging you to face it and help others also address that weakness.” 14 CHAPEL VIEW magazine

“I think it’s really a deep call by God to study your roots and rootedness...” Rev. Dr. Daniel’s parents are Durham natives, and he spent his childhood summers in Durham. As an undergraduate student at Duke, some of his relatives worked in housekeeping and dining. He also knew other residents who worked at Duke and would engage with them on campus. “I deeply respected Durham residents who worked on campus; they can easily be overlooked,” he says. “They were giants and angels to me; they were my cheerleaders. I attribute my flourishing at Duke to listening to their lives and allowing them to speak into mine. “I think it’s really a deep call by God to study your roots and rootedness,” he says. “I strive to model and encourage others to listen to your community and allow others to speak into your life. “It’s a truly beautiful thing to hear the community say, ‘Amen.’”

Uneven Ground Exhibit Highlights Injustice, Hope in Durham Housing Chapel Community Minister Rev. Breana van Velzen moderates at panel discussion at the Uneven Ground exhibit at First Presbyterian Church in Durham on January 14, 2020.


n exhibition this semester sponsored by the Chapel and First Presbyterian Church supported efforts for affordable housing and economic justice in Durham. The exhibition, Uneven Ground, was originally created by the public history group Bull City 150 and was on display at First Presbyterian during January and February. In addition to walk-in visitors, an event series by the Chapel and First Presbyterian called “Seeking Justice on Uneven Ground” drew about 200 people to the exhibition.

One of those events was a meeting of the Coalition for Affordable Housing and Transit. At the meeting former Durham mayor and coalition leader Wib Gulley told the Durham VOICE community news website that the exhibition “tells part of the story of affordable housing, racial segregation and lack of racial equity in Durham as well as the people who started to come together to push back on it.” Other events related to the exhibition have included a panel discussion of “Gentrification: the

New Segregation?,” a presentation by the researchers who created the exhibition, a retreat by Duke’s Religious Life groups, and a session of sharing reflections, prayers, and stories prompted by the exhibition. The Chapel’s community minister, the Rev. Breana van Velzen, says she has been a part of a number of conversations about housing and racial inequities that were sparked by the exhibition. She plans to use elements of the exhibition in her work going forward, including at training sessions with the economic justice organization the Community Empowerment Fund. “This has been a meaningful way to share space with a community partner, utilize a religious site as a place of learning, and use education to enhance our walk of faith alongside our neighbors,” she says.


he Durham Pilgrimage of Pain and Hope, organized by the nonprofit DurhamCares and Duke Divinity School’s Center for Reconciliation, is a three-day guided journey of the city of Durham with history lessons, prayer, and reflection. The Chapel has recently partnered with DurhamCares to expand access to the pilgrimage for the Chapel’s PathWays Fellows as well as members of Duke Religious Life groups.

Sites on the tour include the former Royal Ice Cream store, where an early Civil Rights sit-in was held; Parrish Street, home of the financial district that was known as “Black Wall Street”; and the Stagville Plantation, where hundreds of people were enslaved. The coordinator of the pilgrimage, Tammy Rodman, says the goal of the pilgrimage is for participants to begin to see how “their story, God’s story, the story of Durham intersect.


Acknowledging Pain, Seeking Hope in the City

“It’s all about pain and hope,” she says. “We listen to the things that cause us to lament about this city that we live in and we also think about what are the ways we can be hopeful.” Spring 2020 15


Bridge Panel Discussion Highlights Gun Violence Suffering, Causes, and Deterrence Academic, law enforcement, and community leaders shared insights, frustrations, and hopes about preventing gun violence, as part of a “Bridge Panel” public conversation at the Chapel on October 15, 2019. Chapel Dean Luke A. Powery moderated the discussion, Every Life Sacred: the Urgency to End Gun Violence, before an audience of fifty people with more than fifty additional people watching the livestream of the event. Bridge Panel Participants (left to right): The Rev. Dr. Luke A. Powery, the Rev. Ben Haas, Rob Belcher, Dr. Kristin Goss, and Police Chief Cerelyn Davis.

In relation to this topic, I stand here as a person who grew up in Miami, Florida, and have family members whose lives have been taken by gun violence, and whose lives have been threatened by gun violence.” —The Rev. Dr. Luke A. Powery, dean of the Chapel

I’ve been doing this thirty years, and we cannot arrest crime away.” —Durham Police Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis

There’s been a real turn in the gun-violence-prevention movement— inspired by a lot of social science—toward what we call a risk-based approach to reducing gun violence as opposed to a categorical approach.” —Dr. Kristin Goss, Kevin D. Gorter Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Duke

We have to step outside of our bubbles, step outside of our houses, come outside of our churches, come together as a city.” —Rob Belcher, Founder of the Durham community group Chance2Change

When we find in our heart to declare unacceptable what has already happened, we are speaking to what we will allow in the future.” —The Rev. Ben Haas, executive director of the Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham Watch the full conversation at

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Duke Chapel Recordings Explore an online digital archive of more than 3,000 videos, audio recordings, and manuscripts from Chapel services and sermons


he Duke Chapel Recordings digital archive has thousands of service and sermon recordings and manuscripts from 1946 to 2002. It includes sermons from evangelist Billy Graham, Bishop Desmond Tutu, and theologian Rosemary Ruether. As a tool for scholars, preachers, and anyone seeking a better understanding of the church, the archive can be searched by date, preacher’s name, biblical passage, liturgical season, keyword, and more.

Bishop Desmond Tutu greets congregants at Duke Chapel on January 19, 1986. Find a recording of his sermon from that day in the Duke Chapel Recordings online archive. Photo from Duke University Archives.

Find a link to the archive at

Spring 2020 17


Expanding a Tradition: Hospitality, Education, and Storytelling Each year people visit the Chapel some 330,000 times. Some come specifically for a concert, worship service, or ceremony, but others are just curious to see the inside of such a grand and distinctive building—and many want to learn about it. That’s when the Chapel’s docents have an opportunity to serve. For more than twenty years, volunteers have guided visitors on formal and informal tours of the Chapel. Since 2003, Dr. Lois Oliver has been the Chapel’s head docent, coordinating volunteers’ schedules and working with Chapel staff members to assign docents to tour groups. “I think what the docents really love is just telling people about the Chapel and meeting people who are interested in it,” says Dr. Oliver, who is retired from Duke’s School of Medicine and a member of the Congregation at Duke Chapel. “I find all the docents very enthusiastic about doing it.”

The Chapel currently has a team of twenty docents who serve in various capacities: rotating leadership of the popular tour that takes place just after Sunday services, welcoming visitors and offering informal tours during certain times during the week, and being available to lead scheduled group tours. One longtime volunteer docent Genevieve (Ginny) Cole has recently retired from the role after serving for twenty years. “She loved answering questions,” Dr. Oliver says about Cole, “and meeting with visitors on Sundays.” New this semester to the Chapel’s hospitality efforts is the Duke Chapel Student Ambassadors program, which trains undergraduate students to welcome visitors, lead tours, and tell the story of the Chapel with a focus on their area of interest. “This first class of ambassadors consists of five freshmen, one sophomore, and one junior from various academic disciplines and faith backgrounds,” explains Caroline Horton, the Duke Chapel Student Ambassadors coordinator and a visitor relations assistant at the Chapel. “Over the course of six training sessions, the students have been taught about the various aspects of the Chapel by multiple guest speakers.” In addition to spending a training session with Dr. Oliver, the students have learned about the Chapel’s carillon and organs, explored the religious history of the space, learned practical tips for becoming an engaging and effective docent, and dove into the University Archives. With their extensive training, the students join a living tradition of hospitality, education, and storytelling. Students in the Duke Chapel Student Ambassadors program at the Chapel’s front doors (left to right): Andrew Raines, T ’21; Sam Reynoldson, T ’23; Kyrsten Pringle, T ’23; Preetha Ramachandran, T ’23; Harriet Caplin, T ’23; Thomas Murphy, T ’22; Dr. Lois Oliver, head docent; and Helen Xiao, T ’23.

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Duke Chapel by the Numbers 600

Number of times the Chapel organs are played in a year for services, concerts, weddings, rehearsals, or other occasions.


Annual number of group “tower climbs” to the top of the Chapel’s tower. Each person participating is given a pin that says “239” for the number of stairs to reach the top.


Number of prayer requests received each year that are submitted on prayer request cards. These requests are prayed by Chapel ministers and staff, as well as Religious Life staff members, who lead the Chapel’s Midday Prayer service on Tuesdays during the academic year.

Dean Powery’s Public Lectures Chapel Dean Luke A. Powery is on sabbatical this semester doing research for a book on the Spirit, race, and the church. While on sabbatical, he is still giving public lectures including the Currie Lecturer at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary; the Lewis Preaching Series at First Presbyterian Church in Salisbury, North Carolina; and the Mullin Preaching & Teaching Forum at First Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. Last semester, he traveled to Taipei, Taiwan, to give the Mackay Lectures at Taiwan Theological College and Seminary (see photo of Dean Powery with a translator to his right; photo courtesy of Taiwan Theological College and Seminary).

Window Cleaning Project Completed The stained glass for the Chapel’s “Samuel” window located near the pulpit on the upper level of the nave was re-installed in February. The glass had been removed to be cleaned at an artisan’s studio. The re-installation of the glass was the final phase of a project spanning many years to refurbish the glass in all of the Chapel’s main stained-glass windows.

Interfaith Round Table Explores “Chosen Community” Leaders from campus Religious Life groups are meeting this semester as part of the Interfaith Round Table to explore the topic of “chosen community.” The group is discussing what different religious texts say about who is inside or outside a given religious community. They are addressing questions such as: How are community boundary lines drawn? What are the ways that people can cross those boundaries—by joining or leaving or being rejected? The group is led by Rabbi Elana Friedman, campus rabbi for Jewish Life at Duke, and the Rev. Kathryn Lester-Bacon, the Chapel’s director of Religious Life, with funding from the Chapel. Its monthly meetings are a way for campus religious leaders to better understand each other’s faith traditions and to become better equipped to speak with students about religious diversity on campus.

Chapel Music Gets Rave Reviews Chapel Music performances have been drawing attention. More than 500 people attended the Evensong Singers concert “Great Music for Soaring Spaces” on February 23, and over 3,000 people attended the Chapel Choir’s eightyseventh annual Messiah performances in December. Reviewing the Chapel’s popular Bach Cantata series, the Classical Voice of North Carolina (CVNC) website called it “an extraordinary boon to Triangle music lovers” and “one of the most remarkable musical treasures of the Triangle.” And, writing about the Chapel’s three choirs in The Marvel of This Night (see page 9), CVNC said the singers and musicians were “all of high quality and well prepared.” Photo by Brian Mullins, Brian Mullins Photography. Spring 2020 19

Illuminating Scripture This spring the Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts (DITA) sponsored an exhibition of artwork from the Heritage Edition of The Saint John’s Bible that was on display in the Chapel from January 17 to March 8. This contemporary bible was created by a group of twenty-three scribes, artists, and assistants in a scriptorium in Wales under the artistic direction of Donald Jackson, senior scribe to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Crown Office at the House of Lords. The team worked in conjunction with a committee of theologians, scholars, and artists from Saint John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minnesota. After fifteen years of work, the pages were completed in 2011 and given a permanent home at Saint John’s Abbey and University. The Saint John’s Bible incorporates many of the characteristics of its medieval predecessors: it was written on vellum using quills, natural handmade inks, hand ground pigments and gild such as gold leaf, silver leaf, and platinum. Yet, it employs the modern, English translation of the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the bible, as well as contemporary scripts and illuminations. Word Made Flesh, Donald Jackson, Copyright 2002,The Saint John’s Bible, Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota USA. Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Catholic Edition, Copyright 1993, 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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