Andrew and Rebecca (Eddie) DeGraw have been attending People’s since 2014. Andrew grew up attending a Presbyterian church. Eddie was raised as a UU.
Andrew’s daughter Maddie was asking to go to church when she was only two years old. He wanted her to go to a church where she would not have a Bible-heavy experience.
“I asked a few friends, one of which was then Eddie, where we might go, and all recommended People’s,” Andrew said.
He added, “Here, I’ve found a supportive bunch of people. I am becoming more and more comfortable around the longer I stay.”
Andrew said, “I’ve been invited for a few years to teach in the RE (Religious Education) program where I’ve found ridiculously smart youth. And Maddie enjoys the church far more than other churches.”
“I was raised UU,” Eddie said, “and I wanted my stepdaughter to experience the religious education.”
Eddie added, “I wanted to be a part of a larger community with shared principles and values.” Here she says she has found a welcoming community and continues to attend because she says she has a constant desire to better herself and the community.
“I enjoyed the Dismantling White Supremacy workshop,” she said. “Social and environmental justice is a key component to our values.”
Eddie said she finds the thought-provoking sermons and moments of meditation at People’s nurturing. She also finds pagan and earth-based religions as sources of wisdom.
Eddie is on the Dismantling Racism Committee and has taught in the RE program for the high schoolers.
Andrew has taught in the RE program four years. He said he hasn’t yet sought out a role to fill for the next year.
“I keep finding out more about all the things that happen here,” he said. “I’m sure if I had an idea, there’d already be a committee for that.”
Andrew works with the Boiling Point Collective to hold space for grassroots groups to organize in. Boiling Point Collective is made up of community organizers and non-violent direct action campaigns that address an array of issues impacting our community.
Eddie said she could advise the church on adaptation for climate change futures and teach workshop on community organizing skills. She would like to see quicker adaption to treating climate change as a crisis. Eddie is also interested in homesteading and raising fiber goats.
(Andrew, 33, is a porter for inventory and receiving at Food Dance. Eddie, 38, is a community organizer and tattoo Artist. Daughter Maddie is 9 years old.)