Graeme Mills and his wife Debby Hunter Mills started out their Boston spiritual life at Old North Church, where they were married and had all three of their children baptized. As the children become older, they sought out the Redeemer for its children’s programming on a friend’s recommendation.
“We are very happy with the foundation of faith that has been instilled in our children as a result of attending Church School here,” Graeme says. His children are now all post-Confirmation age and have been given the choice of whether or not to attend church. All three say they have a connection to the community here and also with God. “They continue to have a curiosity around exploring their faith and applying it.”
In 2009, Graeme and Debby took their three children on a mission trip to Pilgrim Africa. Then 12-year-old Zach made the insightful comment that “in Uganda people have nothing and yet they are happy, and in America we have all of this stuff and we are generally grumpy.” Graeme says it was “definitively transformative for them, both in seeing how people in Africa live and as well as seeing their faith.” It was an important lesson on materialism. “They continue to contribute out of their allowances to Pilgrim Africa as well as to the Redeemer,” and all would like to go back to Uganda.
The Mills have also taken multiple trips with Episcopalian groups to aid in Katrina disaster relief in New Orleans. “We do this for two reasons: our desire for our kids to have this experience, and to give back for the many blessings we feel we have received from the Lord.”
The entire family has been active participants at the Redeemer: Graeme is currently leading a lunch-time Bible Study in the financial district, and has served on Vestry, Outreach, and a postulant discernment committee. Debby serves on Altar Guild, and has served on Vestry and run numerous events including the Christmas market and auction. The children have all been Servers and Acolytes, and the two oldest have been Youth Assistants who assist in the Sunday School classrooms. They describe the Redeemer as a “core component of our lives.”
When Graeme was unexpectedly unemployed in 2003, he used the time to explore his spirituality, and the church was instrumental in his spiritual formation. “Debby has always had faith, but Redeemer has built upon it, and she was very pleased when I came to my faith.”
“Relationships here are deeper than in other environments.” Particularly in Bible Study, getting other people’s interpretations of faith and how they see the world through rigorous group engagement is attractive to Graeme. “It allows me to connect with people on an entirely different level.”
To visitors, he says “You should come, because it is a great place for fellowship and personal development in a non-threatening and non-judgmental environment.”