I could have found a number of churches to attend, but First Presbyterian Church is a home where I am a part of a church that is committed to all individuals and to our community while fostering a connection to Christ, Durham and the world at large.
Opportunity through Connection
In 2016, I visited First Presbyterian Church looking for a new church home. I had just moved to Durham from Tulsa, Oklahoma, a place I had lived for most of my life. This was a BIG shift and I literally knew no one in Durham. For me, finding a community of faith was an important part of my transition. I was quite active in my home church and knew that finding a church community would help me to make a new life in North Carolina. Each week I selected a church to visit hoping to feel at home. I did this for several months without much luck. Then on a bright June Sunday, I walked to First Presbyterian Church, entered the beautiful sanctuary and stayed. The community was warm and greeted me immediately. I felt welcome. I sensed immediately that I was home!
First Presbyterian had beautiful worship service that allowed me to settle, pause and center. The church was focused on social justice and inclusion. The congregation gathered for meals after service, had many stewardship opportunities and spent time together. Although clearly, many members had spent years together, there was also room for new connections, there was room for me. I have made wonderful friendships that are an essential part of my life.
A key element for me was finding a Sunday School Class. I visited the adult classes and settled into the Women’s Spiritual Formation Class. The class is a safe space for me to explore all aspects of my faith those that come more easily and those where I struggle. The class was so authentic. Members share all aspects of life: triumph, question, joy and pain all through a lens of support. We strive together to grow in Christ and to apply our faith in everyday life. I thank God each day for leading me to this small group and to First Presbyterian Church, a faith home that allows me to believe, to belong and to become by asking me to evolve as a Christian.
Durham has felt like home to me since that first Sunday in June 2016. I could have found a number of churches to attend, but First Presbyterian Church is a home where I am a part of a church that is committed to all individuals and to our community while fostering a connection to Christ, Durham and the world at large.
– Leah Graves