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Picayune People: The pandemic has allowed children’s pastor and fitness instructor Rebekah Jones to function

In addition to being a marathon runner, Cottonwood Shores resident Rebekah Jones is also a children’s pastor at RockPile Church, advocacy coordinator for the Highland Lakes Crisis Network and coach at Verus Strength and Fitness. Staff photo by Brigid Cooley

Cottonwood Shores resident Rebekah Jones has started training for her first half marathon of 2020, hoping to find a sense of normalcy and a goal to work towards during the early days of the pandemic. Now, with a half and full marathon in sight, Jones dreams of taking her new hobby to the Boston Marathon.

“I’m just in love with how (running) has changed me holistically, how it encompasses my mental, emotional, and physical health, and how I grow into those things,” she said.

Passionate by nature, Jones has shared her love of fitness with the Marble Falls community as a coach with Verus Strength and Fitness for the past 2½ years. She tries to keep her running practice to herself, however, using it as a tool to navigate her daily life.

“(Running) is almost meditative for me,” she explained. “Especially in 2020 and 2021, so much in the world seemed to be changing in the community. (Running) was just a place where I could spend 30 minutes, an hour, two hours, three hours in my own space processing life.

Jones ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in San Antonio in December last year and is currently training for her second and third full marathons.

Along with being a runner and trainer, Jones holds a number of titles within the Highland Lakes community. She is currently Advocacy Coordinator for the Highland Lakes Crisis Network and Children’s Pastor at the non-denominational RockPile Church in Marble Falls.

Although a lifelong Christian, Jones never imagined herself in the latter role, but when her church’s children’s pastor left the post in 2018, she felt called to fill it.

“I grew up in a family that was always involved in ministry, but I can’t say children’s ministry was on my list of things I was going to do,” she said. “I was thinking more about worship or, more specifically, women’s ministry. But I’m a “see a need, fill a need” type.

Through her pastoral role, Jones works primarily with children in kindergarten through fifth grade, arranging classes to be taught during Sunday service. To do this, she spends a lot of time studying the Bible and finding ways to make its lessons understandable. She also engages individually with the parents of the congregation to better meet the needs of their children.

One of her favorite things about her job is the spontaneity that children bring into her life.

“Kids will ask the weirdest questions and they’ll throw you off,” she laughed. “(Working with them) really freed me up to embrace the inner child in me and relax a bit. I appreciate their candor and the fact that they see the world very clearly. fed and that encourages me in my daily life.

Jones also has a passion for helping women grow in their relationship with Christ. She co-hosts a Christian lifestyle podcast called “Redefined”, which is available on the HUB radio network and anywhere podcasts play. The podcast focuses on themes such as purity in daily life, how to live authentically, and different ways to worship.

However, she believes that the best way to pass on the Christian faith to the people she serves is to constantly work on her own relationship with God.

“The greatest gift I can give is to truly walk in humility and grace and love, to be honest about who I am and how I am growing in the Lord, and then to invite (people) also on this trip,” she explained. .

Even with his many work commitments, Jones still makes time to lace up his running shoes five nights a week and engage in long-distance runs, which can range from five to 20 miles. She sees this period as an opportunity to strengthen herself in her relationship with herself and with God.

“(Running) is a physical reminder that I’m a work in progress, and that’s the beauty of being a human being,” she said. “I continue to grow, and this investment leads me towards my ultimate goals and teaches me to give myself grace in this process.”

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