We are Amanda Butler and Soren Dayton. Neither of us were raised Baptist, but this is where we belong. We began attending Calvary in January 2006 (only shortly after we started dating), and joined together on Pentecost in 2006. By some counts, that makes us long-time members, but it’s still over 40 years until we get a free lunch at the annual celebration of 50 year members.
Two moments led us to know that we were called to be members of Calvary. One was a service during a snowstorm in early 2006, when a lack of snowplowing left us part of a small congregation of people together improvising to worship God together. The other was the first Maundy Thursday we joined with Calvary, standing together to hear the call to continue the mission and responsibilities that Jesus left for us.
When Amy Butler married us in at the church in December 2008, it had been a while since two members of the congregation had stood together at the front of the Calvary sanctuary for such a purpose. Since then, though, there have been quite a number more. It has been exciting to be a part of Calvary as it grows and continues its dedication to serving DC and the world from the corner of 8th and H Streets NW. This city can be a strange, superficial, and alienating place at times, but the community and preaching at Calvary is a vibrant community and a tie to what is important in life. We’re tremendously grateful that God has introduced us to this place.
Calvary has shared its gifts with us as a place to develop and deepen our faith, and to build community. The church even invited us into leadership, including a stint by Soren as Moderator and by Amanda as Vice Chair of Trustees. More importantly, Calvary challenges its members to think about it is to serve as Christians. That challenge has currently drawn us away from DC, which is why you won’t see us around the church much these days. We are now working in South Asia for International Justice Mission, a human rights organization of Christian professionals, in an office focused on combatting forced labor slavery. We miss Calvary and consider it our church home, but we are so honored to be called to our current work.