For Rebecca Blake, visual art and creative storytelling are more than just hobbies. Since graduating from Eastern in 2006, they've become her life's work and the foundation for her ministry at Beacon Presbyterian Church in Kensington, PA. While earning her bachelor's degree in Theology and Creative Writing, Rebecca was challenged by Eastern professors and classmates alike to wholeheartedly examine her theological beliefs and embrace her creative potential.
After graduation, she went on to pursue various vocations that would further her love of art and faith, including a year at Princeton Theological Seminary, transformational work at Broad Street Ministry, and ordination in the Presbyterian Church USA. In the fall of 2010, after recognizing a need for community-building and faith-based mnistry in the Philadelphia area, Rebecca invested in Beacon, where she now serves as Co-Director and Co-Pastor.
"Beacon is a neighborhood faith community and gathering space that invites people of all ages to grow together through arts, learning, and faith," she said. "Over the last four and a half years, what began as an art studio grew into a vibrant faith community that is committed to proclaiming and being Good News to its surrounding neighborhood."
To reach out to their neighbors, Beacon engages people of all ages and backgrounds through regular bible studies and worship services, after-school care for local children, and creative workshops for the community. With the help of her co-pastor and a team of volunteers, Rebecca handles everything from writing sermons and handling communications to working with children and renovating their facilities. "Every day is different, and I wouldn't want to be doing anything else. I truly feel as if I'm living into my calling and vocation every day, and it is a real gift."
Looking forward, Rebecca is hoping to see continued growth at Beacon and furthered fellowship with people in the community. By doing this, she hopes to share the love of Christ and increase her opportunities to share the gospel. She says, "God's redemptive and reconciling love shines brightly at Beacon and in our neighborhood, through relationships built and strengthened, voices heard, stories shared, art made and faith lived out with grace and authenticity."