In 2004, I was two years into an acting program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and still trying to find my footing in New York City. Having moved from the small farm town of Hardinsburg, Kentucky (population:1500), I knew that New York was a better fit for my aspirations to perform. But those first years in the city were tough. I was used to a community of believers that was supportive and caring and my church-hopping experience through Manhattan had left me unsatisfied.
Through a recommendation, I ended up at a Center for Faith & Work event with Tim Keller speaking to a group of actors. I was floored. For the first time, I felt like I was in a room with people who thought the same way I did about the arts and why God values them. The event articulated everything I believed about the power of storytelling to change lives in ways no other medium could. I began attending Redeemer regularly and felt that for the first time in my life, my faith was not just about evangelism. Redeemer gave me a vision to serve New York City and a desire to use my work to help bring about flourishing in God’s creation. I began to understand that God was using my work to accomplish his purposes.
I began to understand that God was using my work to accomplish his purposes.
In 2009, Redeemer truly became home. I met my spouse at Redeemer through being a volunteer usher. Five years later, I am extremely grateful to be married to someone who I met at this church. Together we have hosted a small group for the five years of our marriage and have a common vision and passion for what God is doing in New York City. Redeemer is our home.
The second thing that made Redeemer feel like a truly different church for me was that I became involved with the Gotham Fellowship. Through this nine-month program, I grew to understand the theology and history of the church and to have a vision for my occupation (and all occupations) that I had never had before.
This fall will mark 12 years that I have lived in New York City. Without Redeemer, I would not have stayed. But because of Redeemer, my husband and I have such a love for New York City that we hope God never calls us to leave.