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  • Writer's pictureGrace Episcopal Church

Member Spotlight: Leslie Jones!

1-What is your ‘go to’ bible verse to get you through the day?

I have several that have been my constants over the years depending on the “happenings” in my life. Presently, I seem to have landed on 2Timothy 1:7 which is said every week at our sweet Wednesday noon service – “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” NKJV

2-Briefly tell us about a recent fun activity you and or your family participated in.

This is easy – Easter 2021! With Covid19 causing all the traditional Easter activities to come to a halt in 2020, this year we resumed our egg hunt and cookout at “Lellie & Papa’s” house. Grilled hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken, homemade potato salad and baked beans – secret recipe brownies for dessert. And oodles of eggs for the Grands to hunt!

3-Do you have a favorite recipe or take-out meal recommendation you would like to share?

Oh goodness, well I really love to cook - and I do a lot of it. But I am not especially great at making my personal favorite – eggplant parmigiana. So I seek it out in restaurants wherever I go. Locally, Fiore’s is fabulous! As is Piesano’s and Pronto Pizza – the garlic knots at Pronto are sinfully delish!

4-Your family and you have been a valued Grace member for a long time. Please share how long ago it wasy, what brought you here and tell us about a fond memory.

I’m a cradle Episcopalian several generations deep. My family moved to Ocala over Christmas break in 1968 and we immediately began attending Grace. Fr. Al Durrance and his family arrived about that same time! I feel very blessed to have grown up in the special atmosphere that Grace provided during my childhood and to have known Fr. Al. In June of 1977, he married my hubby and me and I consider that an especially sweet memory!

5- What is it that Grace Church has, (like a secret sauce) that keeps you engaged, week after week?

Without a doubt – our beautiful liturgy and our fabulous clergy that inspire all of us with their service, their leadership AND their friendship!

6- At the start of the 2021 school year, Grace Church will be offering a new Children’s Ministry program, led by Grace’s very own member, Erin van Santen (Father Frans’s wife). While Erin is busy preparing, please share how a mentor, youth leader, or Sunday school teacher had an impact on you and why?

As I mentioned, being a cradle Episcopalian I was baptized as a baby. When I was 12, I attended confirmation classes and was confirmed with several other “Gracer” kids. But it wasn’t until I attended a “Teen retreat” lead by the youth pastor at First Methodist Church (right down the street from Grace) with a bunch of my high school girl friends that everything I knew from life at Grace and confirmation classes came together. I was 17 and absolutely had a profound “touched by the Holy Spirit” experience that I consider the real moment I met Jesus!

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