When she was a student at Menlo-Atherton High School, Holly Nugent noticed that the kids who attended Menlo Park Presbyterian Church (MPPC) were close and had an unshakeable faith. “I admired them,” she recalled recently, sitting in the church’s sanctuary, “even though I didn’t have a faith of my own.”
After M-A, Holly went on to attend the Boston Conservatory of Music and a career in acting and musical theater. She was living in San Francisco last November when she moved back to Menlo Park and is now not only a member of MPPC, but a person who contributes her time and considerable talent in a number of ways.
“It feels like a natural step to give the gift of music,” said Holly, who is a featured soloist at worship services several times a month. “Being on stage has always been natural for me. It’s a blessing to to be able to use my talents to serve the church community.”
Holly is also volunteer ministry coordinator for a new program called Steps of Faith that was started last month by MPPC and is open to the wider community. “Our hope is to reach people in the recovery community and bring them into a Christian community,” she said. “And to also reach those in the Christian community who could benefit from a recovery program.”
Steps of Faith is a Christ-centered, 12-step program. “We are celebrating the Biblical roots of the 12 steps,” said Holly. “Dr. Henry Cloud said there are two kinds of people, those who are in recovery and those who are denial. All of us have some areas of our lives that we don’t have complete control of. We believe a 12-step program is a way to get free, one that provides personal growth.”
Steps of Faith meetings take place every Thursday from 7:00 to 8:30 pm in MPPC’s Fellowship Hall (950 Santa Cruz Ave. in Menlo Park) and on the second Saturday of each month from 6:30 to 9:00 pm with food served the first half hour and music provided by a live band. The Saturday meeting is at the MPPC Cafe, 700B Santa Cruz Avenue behind Ace Hardware.
Photo by Scott R. Kline