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Community Engagement

In acts of worship that continue beyond the walls of the Chapel, the Duke Chapel community seeks to pray with its hands and feet on Duke’s campus and beyond. In that spirit, the Chapel fosters connections with the wider Durham community by partnering in ministry with local churches and nonprofits, as well as nurturing relationships across social, cultural, and political divisions.

By maintaining a visible presence in the West End and other Durham neighborhoods, the Chapel facilitates interactions between these neighborhoods and the Duke community, and engage with issues of wider community, national, and international concern. We rely on relationships with community partners to accomplish this important work that allows us to be with our neighbors in word and deed.

Students interested in community engagement can get involved in one or more of the Chapel Student Ministries.

We believe the Christian life is an invitation into the redemptive life of the triune God. As participants in God’s life, we are called to embody and witness to Christ’s love in our community and world. We do so through building and deepening our relationships in the community as we work at the intersections of faith and justice to bridge the differences that divide humanity.

Get Involved

If you would like to be involved in another way or have any questions, please contact our community minister.

Community Highlights

The Chapel fosters connections with the wider Durham community by partnering in ministry with local churches and nonprofits, as well as nurturing relationships across social, cultural, and political divisions. These Community Highlights focuses on some of those partners.

Uneven Ground Exhibit Highlights Injustice, Hope in Durham Housing

An exhibition 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 through February 16, 2020. 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. Chapel Community Minister Breana van Velzen said, "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."
 

Learn more about the Uneven Ground exhibition and affordable housing in Durham.

World Relief Durham

The Chapel supports World Relief in their mission to serve the most vulnerable around the world. Locally, World Relief Durham (WRD) works with immigrants, churches, and the community to help vulnerable immigrants thrive. They do this in three ways. First, they resettle people fleeing persecution and violence abroad to begin new lives of healing. Second, they provide immigration legal services to help families stay together in a rapidly changing immigration landscape in the United States. And third, they partner with local schools to fill in the gaps by providing vulnerable immigrant youth the academic and social support they need to navigate and flourish in their new community.
 

Learn more about the Chapel's partnership with WRD.

Community Empowerment Fund

The Chapel partners with the nonprofit Community Empowerment Fund (CEF) in its work on the front lines of housing and economic justice in Durham. CEF volunteer advocates work one-on-one with the organization’s members to secure housing and build financial security, as well as to implement innovative solutions and advocacy around systemic gaps. Last year, 147 CEF members secured homes and 118 secured income.
 

Learn more about the Chapel's partnership with CEF.

Community Partners