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  • Writer's pictureGrace Episcopal Church

Member Spotlight: Nate Gilman!

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

Although most days I simply open the bible and start anywhere, I have been wearing the following bible verse on my wrist for over 6 years. Our family members each received the bracelet while our daughter Cindy was ill. I’ve worn it since 2015, in memory of my daughter Cindy. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Looking back, I realize now, how much I’ve lived and continue to live my life this way.

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

Patti and I travelled to Sanibel Island for a week. We enjoyed the simple island life of sitting in the waves and catching shells as they came ashore. I also just read President George W. Bush’s book Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants. What a wonderful journey former President Bush paints and writes of what people go through and how they get there. I highly recommend it.

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

We enjoy chinese takeout, and recommend either Yummy’s or the chinese restaurant in the the Churchill Plaza on 17th Street, near Publix. Egg Foo Young is my favorite.

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.

It was 50 years ago. A priest came to our front door, it was Father Benitez, the rector at Grace Episcopal Church. We lived within walking distance of the church and during the days of annual giving, both the Priest and certain team members would visit local residents and parish members. We’d never met before, yet Father Benitez invited us to church and we’ve never left. Later we discovered that he was also a former pastor of another church that my sister in law was a member of. Small world!

5- What is it that Grace Church has, (like a secret sauce) that keeps you engaged, week after week? I think it (the church) belongs to me and I belong to it. The church involvement allowed me to have connections with new friends with faith as our bond. These friendships were different than ones I made doing business or downtown. The new social connections Patti and I made at Grace Episcopal Church were welcome and enjoyable.

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? When we were little, my mom was Catholic. We went to Sunday School, and I recall my brother Steve wore his cowboy boots. We were kicked out! Until Father Benitaz rang our doorbell, and we had 4 children of our own by then, we had not been active in church. Father Al came shortly after, and during the last fifty years, we are blessed to say that our children learned to love the Lord our God, at Grace Episcopal Church.

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