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Stories of Grace at Work

For the last several months we have been asking folks to share in worship what Grace means to them. As we have been developing God’s vision for Grace over the next several years it is important to think about what the purpose of a church really is- what do we do and why are we doing it. For over a year we have been praying about these questions and discussing the future story of Grace. The vision presented to the church is that Grace is a church for all generations, making disciples of next generations for the transformation of the world. In the first phase of implementing this vision there will be a special emphasis on families and children. In worship, different people have been sharing about what Grace means to them and how we can live out this vision. Here is a story of this vision coming to life shared by a new member. Jill Harris and her son Cole were baptized together on Easter Sunday:

Growing up, God played an important role in my everyday life. I lived in St. Petersburg until age nine, where we were members of a Methodist church and I attended an Episcopalian private school during the weekday. I loved going to the chapel every morning and I vividly remember my sister’s baptism at our church and could not wait for my turn. Unfortunately, we moved before the age allowed for baptisms in our church. It was hard to move from a big city to a rural small town. My mom struggled to find a church for us in the area and as newcomers it was difficult to fit in. When Steve and I were married, I began attending his family’s church. When Cole was born, we continued to attend the church and Cole went to Sunday school, VBS, and Awana every Wednesday. I wanted to have him baptized, but they do not baptize children until they are much older. We have been in St. Augustine almost a year and I have been visiting different churches, never sure where we belonged. We have always enjoyed our visits to Grace Methodist, but it wasn’t until about two weeks ago during communion, that I knew for sure where we belonged. I loved that everyone was welcome to participate in the communion. After receiving communion and praying at the railing, I knew that God had answered my prayers. After many, many years of searching, I had finally found a church to call my own. Last Sunday, after the new members’ meeting, I cannot begin to explain how overcome with emotion I was when the pastors said they would be willing to baptize us. I have been waiting for 37 years for this moment. My journey to this point is not traditional, but it is my journey. It is a journey I know I did not take alone. God has always been with me. Thank you for helping God answer my prayers, Jill Harris

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