Now What? Friendship in a Time of Loneliness

A Conversation on Relationships in the Changing Seasons of Life

Join us as we address a real and felt need that is pervasive in our culture today. Simply put, people are lonely. This is true even of those who are aren’t “alone” and have human interaction throughout their day. They describe themselves as feeling isolated and sensing a lack of depth in their relationships. Loneliness is now being described as an “epidemic in late capitalist societies.”

What should our response be as a community? What might the church’s role be in addressing the epidemic of loneliness? What does Christianity have to do with friendship?

You’ll hear from four speakers in a TED-like talk format. Each is a New City Fellow alum and will bring a unique perspective on the role relationships play in their lives as a mother, a single woman in the professional world, a young father juggling work and home responsibilities, and a community leader with friends across cultural divides. By exploring the particulars of friendships and combining practical theology with lived experience, “Friendship in a Time of Loneliness” will invite you to a life intentionally invested in communities of love.

This forum is a part of the Center for Public Christianity’s 2021-2022 series, “Now What? Flourishing in Uncertain Times,” to help us reimagine the different dimensions of our life together following the challenges of the past two years.

Date and Time

Thursday, February 24, 2022, at 7:00-8:30pm


Christ the King Presbyterian Church
1426 Wake Forest Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27604

This event will take place in-person and indoors in Christ the King’s worship center. Seating capacity will be limited, and masks will be required for all attendees.

About Our Speakers

Margaret Duke

Mother, Wife, and Attorney

Margaret spends her days chasing, comforting, and laughing with her children who are 4.5 and 3 years old. She is married to Lawrence who ensures a sense of humor and adventure in their home. They are both alums of the New City Fellows Class of 2019 program and members of Holy Trinity Anglican Church. Between the PB&J sandwiches, unicorns, and construction trucks, she is figuring out how to make and keep friends in this busy season of motherhood.


Gary Freeman

Founder and Executive Director of Major League Dad

Working in the pro-life world ignited a passion in Gary to be more proactive in serving fathers and building a healthy view of fatherhood. And that led him to found Major League Dad where he serves local pregnancy centers, fathers, and families in the Triangle. He is also an author and national pro-life speaker. Gary is married to his amazing wife, Vinniece, and they have two beautiful daughters, Sariah and Jordyn.


Tyler Graybeal

CEO of Southern Outdoor Restoration

In 2012 Tyler founded Southern Outdoor Restoration that now employs a 62-person team. He has used work and business as an outlet for his creativity.  Out of the office, you can most likely find him on the water or in the woods chasing fish, deer, turkeys, and ducks with his friends. Or cooking up some fresh catch for anyone and everyone. Tyler has learned that genuine friendships among men need vulnerability, consistency, time, and often shared common interests.


Melissa Thornton

Marketing Manager, Oracle

Melissa has moved approximately 3,300 miles during the course of her career. By making those moves, she has learned the importance of building friendship and community and the challenges of developing new friendships as a single woman.


Joshua Chatraw

Executive Director of the Center for Public Christianity and Forum Host

In addition to his role as executive director of the Center for Public Christianity, Josh is the lead teacher for the New City Fellows program and theologian-in-residence at Holy Trinity Anglican Church – all based in Raleigh, NC. His writing and speaking focus on public theology, apologetics, and culture. He has written and edited several books including, Apologetics at the Cross, Cultural Engagement, The History of Apologetics, Telling a Better Story, Truth Matters, and Truth in a Culture of Doubt. His writing has received numerous awards, Outreach Magazine Resource of the Year in Apologetics and The Gospel Coalition’s Book of the Year in Apologetics/ Evangelism, and his work has been featured in outlets such as Christianity Today, The Gospel Coalition, World Magazine, and the Washington Post. Josh earned his Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, a Masters of Divinity from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Bachelors in Business from Georgia Southern University. He has served in a full-time academic teaching post, as well as pastorates at churches in Virginia and Georgia. Josh and his wife, Tracy, have two children, Addison and Hudson.