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  • Writer's pictureGrace Episcopal Church

Member Spotlight: Pat Harris!

Pat Harris (right) Daughter (left) and Son In Law (center)

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

Each morning I have my routine, after saying my prayers I read from the Day by Day booklet which has been a favorite to many since its inception over 80 years ago. I close the daily ready with the prayer For Today, written by Phillips Brooks, found on the inside back cover. I also carry the prayer in my purse, and reference it throughout the day. It begins with: Oh God give me strength to live another day. Let me not turn coward before its difficulties or prove recreant to its duties: Let me no lose faith in other people. Now written by many contributors, Day by Day is published quarterly and can be found in the back of the pews at Grace, and is also available as an app, a podcast and on social media.

2-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‘ve been a member for 45 years. I was raised Catholic and my husband was Baptist, yet we married in the Baptist Church. I thought my Dad would be devastated, but he told me it was okay, that I was not giving up God, just learning to be with Him in a different way. My husband‘s job moved us to Georgia and there we started attending an Episcopal church and have been Episcopalians ever since. When we moved to Ocala, our son and daughter, both preteen, joined the youth group. It was a wonderful group and Gordon Smith became the leader. One year the kids all wanted to go skiing. Gordon told the kids they’d have to raise the money. They mowed lawns, ran errands, raised the money and went on that ski trip, along with many trips over the years. Both our kids were also married at Grace, yet as the kids started lives of their own, we stopped attending frequently. One Sunday, Carolyn Smith called and invited me to Back to Church Sunday, and I’ve been attending ever since. Thank you Carolyn and Gordon Smith and to all the Grace members that have made me feel so welcome over the years.

3 – What have you done fun lately?

I recently attended a party at my grandson’s home. He and his wife are going to have a baby, and it will be my first great grandchild. What a joy to attend the gender reveal party. All of a sudden we saw a burst of pink letting the entire party know that we are expecting a baby girl.

3- What is it that Grace Church has, (like a secret sauce) that keeps you engaged, week after week? Grace has memories, peaceful, as soon as you walk in, you know you’re someplace special. Attending Gracemakes my week. Being there just helps. It’s my weekly pick up. Grace becomes a part of you, and the church family become your forever friends.

4-All Saints Day, is often a day where we celebrate holy baptism. Whether you’ve attended, are a God parent, or recall your own baptism, share with us how baptism, a journey of learning about God’s love and growing in faith, has played a role in your life.

My grandson Jordan attended church with me every Sunday. He was baptised and confirmed on the same day. That was the first time the Bishop agreed to do both ceremonies together. Although I was baptised and confirmed in the Catholic church, when Jordon was baptised and confirmed, I was re-confirmed with him at Grace. Being confirmed together, was a very special day for both of us, and especially for Grace Episcopal Church attending members.

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