Long story short,
I felt called to New York City at age 15- after ten days in Queens on a trip with my Indiana church, I could tell God was at work here and I had to be a part of it. I had no idea if or how this calling would come to pass. King’s was an incredible gift from God and confirmation of this calling, and he continued to confirm it. I distinctly remember as a King’s senior walking to an evening church service in the gently falling snow through Madison Square Park. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of that evening, filled again with love for this city, and I shed tears asking God to keep me in New York after graduation. The sermon that night was about putting roots down in the city, committing to stay. I felt like standing up to volunteer.
I ended up writing my senior thesis the next semester on strong families and their potential to usher in urban renewal. Now, here I am, 12 years later, raising my family and stewarding a 130-year-old Christian ministry house on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
During my time at Kings, I learned quickly that Manhattan has a Christian “scene”- it feels like all the believers know each other and work to love the city and build churches, institutions, businesses and families together. King’s gave me a front row seat to the ongoing spiritual renewal across the city. I now consider New York’s unique gospel movement my vocational calling. In my current role, I’m privileged to refresh and equip Christians and churches in tangible ways every day. It is fair to say that spiritually speaking, I’ve fallen in love with what God is doing in New York City. I’m certain many other King’s graduates would say the same thing.
King’s has been a “backbone institution” in the city, a crucial part of the city’s Christian ecosystem. Every May, The King’s College graduates a class of driven, smart, and spiritually mature students. They may come to King’s from America’s heartland or other parts of the world, but four years later they are New Yorkers. These graduates are sought after for their work ethic, cultural savvy, intelligence, and confidence.
Kings provides a well of talented young people, deeply rooted in their faith. King’s students are supporting the body of Christ in the city in so many ways. Speaking from experience, King’s students are prized as babysitters among Christian families, where they serve a vital role in making it a little easier to raise children in the city- that is no small thing. My kids have had King’s graduates as their teachers at Geneva School. In the professional realm, also speaking from experience, King’s grads can hold their own in prestigious environments next to graduates of the most elite institutions, yet they have the superpower of knowing Christ and having his Spirit within them. It gives them a humble, teachable confidence that wins them favor with their superiors. I interact with dozens of NYC ministries, non- profits and churches because of my work, and everywhere I turn, it seems that King’s alumni are running the show. We need King’s graduates in New York City, not to have them would be a tremendous loss.
So dear, wonderful Kings, I am tearful again on this winter night, thankful for all you have been for me, but especially all you have given to this city that has stolen my heart.
Penelope Morgan
Former Leader of the "Tent" Worship Nights | House of Margaret Thatcher | Class of '10
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