FPC truly represents the house of God for me because it opens its doors to all of God’s Children just as they are. Our adult education program is phenomenal. It is a time during which Christians come together and comfortably discuss topics that in most places in America would make many squirm in their seats (race, gender, slavery, politics, topics on religion, gay/lesbian issues). Though we do not all have the same opinions on these issues, we as children of God are able to come together and exchange our varied opinions in a respectful and honest manner without fear.
FPC has allowed me to explore and examine my commitment to Christianity and provided a basis for increased spiritual growth and understanding of the needs of people in the Capital area and around the world. I have also learned to truly understand and grasp humility and compassion for all people, something that was somewhere in my mind before but not as well focused as I find it now.
First Pres is a community of my friends that come together to pray and worship God on Sundays and often other days, too. In this community of believers, I feel nurtured in my faith, called to use my gifts, and be a disciple of Jesus Christ. I’m amazed and inspired by the zeal, hard work, care, generosity and talents I have seen shared by and with First Pres within the family of faith, in the local community and even around the world. First Pres means wonderful music all year around. It is a particular place where I and my children come and learn about and experience God’s love. First Pres is where I have celebrated great joys and grieved mighty sorrows. It’s where I often look up in worship, and see the sun streaming in from above, a vision of the light of God’s kingdom breaking through into the world.
…warmth of a goose down blanket, …brilliance of the brightest star, …certainty of a tight hug from a dear friend, …sincerity and earnestness as the testimony of one whose life depends on their words, …deep love as from an adoring relative. This bounty is shared within the walls of our church and beyond our walls into the community.
My son and I sit down front in the second pew ostensibly to encourage him to focus on worship. But, I revel in being able to look back at the faces that fill the pews. Such a rich representation of diversity in ethnicity, experience, age, and ability gathers together to worship weekly. I often think this is the way Jesus would want us to come together.
I am thankful for the opportunity to have shared my faith pilgrimage amongst so many committed human beings. I look forward to continuing participation in this fellowship of discernment. I am excited that I can expose my son to this invaluable heritage.
Ultimately, I joined FPC because of its mission to justice. For instance, at my old church, I had pushed unsuccessfully for the church to have a more public position regarding LGBT rights. One of my church friends assured me that we had already done so—once—over 20 years earlier; I was thinking of something a bit more current and ongoing, but this was not to be. FPC stands for something, and that’s why I contribute my time, my talents (such as they are) and my treasure.