For Grace Jeffrey, T ’21, her faith has given her both comfort and direction while at Duke and during the coronavirus pandemic.
“My faith has definitely motivated my goals and aspirations, as I feel called to pursue a career and life that is centered around helping others,” she says about her faith that was shaped by her family and her hometown church Nimmo United Methodist in Virginia Beach. “My faith also helps alleviate any worries I face—from schoolwork to the job search, I’m always confident that God will provide.”
"While I was at home, I rode my bike around this lake almost every day," Grace Jeffrey says about a place where she finds sanctuary. "I find sanctuary when I take time to enjoy God’s great creation outdoors."
Music is also important to Jeffrey, a global health and environmental science and policy major. She is a member of the Duke Lady Blue student a cappella group and DJs for the campus radio station, WXDU. She is also the president of the Duke Chapel Choir.
“Being part of the Chapel Choir has been essential in facilitating my development both from a faith and an academic perspective,” she says. “In every Chapel Choir rehearsal, I learn how to be a better musician, but I also learn interesting tidbits of both musical and religious history!”
“I also know that I have a choir community who will always support me and give me a family away from home,” she says.
Jeffrey went home to Virginia Beach last spring when the pandemic surged and began to miss the sense community of in-person worship services at the Chapel and at her home church. One way she found to stay grounded in her faith was to participate online in Chapel worship through livestreams of Sunday morning services. Another step she took was signing up for the Verse & Voice daily email newsletter from the Sojourners Christian community and magazine; the newsletter connects Christianity with current issues and social justice.
“This has allowed me to approach the pandemic and other current events from a more grounded, faith-based lens, rather than one of fear,” she says.