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A Close Encounter With Our President
Personal Email | March 3, 2004 | Laura Lefler

Posted on 03/03/2004 8:27:24 PM PST by n-tres-ted

This is from Laura Lefler:

I'm at the 8:00am service at my church, St. John's Episcopal, at Lafayette Square, across from the White House. (I wanted to go early because I was going with Alice and Brent for breakfast at the Cracker Barrel in Manassas.)

Much of the service was uneventful--nice, but uneventful--until it comes to the part of the service when the priest says, "Greet one another in the name of the Lord." I turn to my right to exchange the peace with my friend, Amy Fox Smythe, who was was on the other end of my pew. I then shake hands with the person in front of me, and turn around to say hello to the person behind me.

The person behind me was our 43rd President George W. Bush. I am not kidding. A small crowd was forming around him, and not wanting to delay the church service or bother him by waiting to shake his hand, I turned back around and sat down and talked to Amy. About 30 seconds later I felt a hand on my left shoulder and turn around to see President Bush with his hand extended. "Peace of the Lord, " he said and held my hand with both of his. "Peace of the Lord," I replied, and held both his hands and smiled at him.

I turned back around and was remarkably calm about the fact that the most powerful person in the world was sitting two feet behind me. I could hear him flipping through his bulletin as the priest made the announcements. I loved the idea of him thinking, "Oh, there's a covered dish next Sunday."

We perched and when I stood up to go to the communion rail, he got up and walked down the aisle behindme. We passed a little old lady who said, "Mr. President, I pray for you every day." To which he said, "That's a very special gift. Thank you so much."

We got to the communion rail and there were two spaces, one in front of us and one around the side of the altar. We both surmised for ten seconds and then I started off around the corner. He stopped me and whispered, "No, no. I'll go around" and motioned for me to take the closer spot.

The only exception made in the entire service was that the President was allowed to leave first and then the rest of the congregation followed.

With all sincerity, and partisanship aside I tell you: This is a special man! There is a peace and a Godliness about him. It radiates from him. It is the only reason that I was able to remain calm. It was more than the adrenaline I've felt when I've met other famous people. A goodness flows through this man. He has more than my vote in November. He has my respect, my prayers, and my gratitude. Whatever your political affiliation, and whether or not you agree with his decisions, you should take comfort in the fact that--despite recent press attacks--this is a man of integrity who makes decisions because he believes that are RIGHT, not popular. He makes these decisions with a heavy heart and through prayer.

I don't mean to go on, and on, but I truly believe this was a blessing from God that should be passed on.

Laura Lefler Office of Senator Lamar Alexander 302 Hart Senate Office Building 202-224-4944 fax: 202-228-3398


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: bush; bushandgod; church; personalaccount; prayerlist; president
This is very personal, but at the same time LL believes the message is so important it should be passed on. I agree, and I hope she won't mind my posting her identification.
1 posted on 03/03/2004 8:27:25 PM PST by n-tres-ted
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To: n-tres-ted
Cool
2 posted on 03/03/2004 8:30:30 PM PST by jwalburg (We CAN Question their Patriotism!)
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To: n-tres-ted
What an amazing note,you got. Thanks for posting it to FR.
3 posted on 03/03/2004 8:32:48 PM PST by nopardons
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To: nopardons
Something nice for a change :)
4 posted on 03/03/2004 8:40:46 PM PST by cyborg
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To: cyborg
Yes....... :-)
5 posted on 03/03/2004 8:41:19 PM PST by nopardons
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To: n-tres-ted
SPOTREP - An Encounter with a Good Man
6 posted on 03/03/2004 8:43:24 PM PST by LiteKeeper
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To: n-tres-ted
Wow! What a great experience. I'm glad she shared it.

As a very private person, I can't imagine living in the public eye. Even attending a church service is noted and reported upon. I'd have a very hard time living like that every day. Public service involves sacrifices large and small.

7 posted on 03/03/2004 8:46:32 PM PST by Think free or die
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To: n-tres-ted
It will take a man like this in the Oval Office if our country is to have even half a chance against the rising tide of evil that confronts us today. Say what you will about the politics... but morally...we need George where he is.

I say, repeal the 22nd Amendment. Now.

8 posted on 03/03/2004 8:46:59 PM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts (Do a little dance...make a little love...get down tonight.)
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To: n-tres-ted
Thanks for this wonderful story.
9 posted on 03/03/2004 8:47:12 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: StarCMC; trussell; fatima; Fawnn; Kathy in Alaska
PING to a REALLY nice article about the President.
10 posted on 03/03/2004 8:48:21 PM PST by Old Sarge
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To: n-tres-ted
3rd time I've seen this. Sent an e-mail off to Sen. Alexander's office this morning. Will let you know if and when I hear back from them.

Doubting Didymus
11 posted on 03/03/2004 8:49:43 PM PST by SwinneySwitch (The Barbarians are Inside the Gates!)
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To: n-tres-ted
I'm not sure how you got so close to the President without the Secret Service checking you for bombs, guns, knives, biological or chemical agents.

Now, hey, I don't wanna be a skeptic, but no way this is ringing true to me.

You don't just turn around and there's the President. That doesn't happen. Not with a War on Terror going on.

12 posted on 03/03/2004 8:50:42 PM PST by Lazamataz (How to turn a 'Basher into a 'Bot: LET THE ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN SUNSET!!!!)
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To: n-tres-ted
I mean, if it IS true -- which I am doubting -- then I want to see the ENTIRE Secret Service overhauled. WTF is someone doing close to our President without at least having been checked for guns??!?
13 posted on 03/03/2004 8:52:43 PM PST by Lazamataz (How to turn a 'Basher into a 'Bot: LET THE ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN SUNSET!!!!)
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To: n-tres-ted
I read somewhere that this is an urban legend.
14 posted on 03/03/2004 8:54:24 PM PST by moyden2000
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To: SwinneySwitch
Ping me when you find out, please.
15 posted on 03/03/2004 8:54:42 PM PST by Howlin (Just another unrepentant Bush supporter.)
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To: Lazamataz
Aren't we supposed to be getting married?

Or did I dream that somewhere *LOL*
16 posted on 03/03/2004 8:54:46 PM PST by Happygal (Le gách dea ghuí)
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To: n-tres-ted
Today in the mail I received a picture of George and Laura with a note at the bottom addressed to me, thanking me for working on his last campaign and "signed" by him and Laura. It had me in a tizzy all day.

If I were ever to turn around and see him next to me in church, I'd probably faint straight away! (I've read that Renquist is a member of my church. Haven't spotted him yet.)
17 posted on 03/03/2004 8:54:47 PM PST by lizma
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To: n-tres-ted
His integrity and principles is why the mainstream media hate him so.

If he was a degenerate and pervert like bill clinton the mainstream media would love him.

He values his freedom and respects the principles that made this nation great.

If he only lusted for power and control over others, hated the periciples that made this nation great, and worshipped the u.n. like john kerry and the democrats the mainstream media would worship him.
18 posted on 03/03/2004 8:55:04 PM PST by sport
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To: Happygal
Aren't we supposed to be getting married?

Of course we are.

I'm always looking for the future Ex-Mrs.-Laz.

Or as I like to put it: Mrs. Ex-Laz.

19 posted on 03/03/2004 8:58:40 PM PST by Lazamataz (How to turn a 'Basher into a 'Bot: LET THE ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN SUNSET!!!!)
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To: Lazamataz
Great!
Well, we'll marry as soon as you can afford the alimony payments! *S*

Deal? *L*
20 posted on 03/03/2004 9:00:03 PM PST by Happygal (Le gách dea ghuí)
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To: Old Sarge
Old Sarge,Bump.
21 posted on 03/03/2004 9:01:24 PM PST by fatima (Today is my birthday,I want everything.)
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To: Happygal
Great! Well, we'll marry as soon as you can afford the alimony payments! *S* Deal? *L*

Sweet! We can skip all the stupid stuff, and I can just hate you now and buy you a house!

Modern life. Ain't it grand. Just pop it in the microwave, 5 minutes later, they're burying you.

22 posted on 03/03/2004 9:02:56 PM PST by Lazamataz (How to turn a 'Basher into a 'Bot: LET THE ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN SUNSET!!!!)
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To: moyden2000
Snopes says its status is undetermined. They are trying to confirm it one way or the other.

They do say that Pres. Bush has attended this particular church at times.
23 posted on 03/03/2004 9:03:31 PM PST by arjay
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To: Lazamataz
Laz, the president has ultimate say over security procedures. Wuss had little old ladies shaken upside down, this guy has class and some consideration of the inconvenience his wake can generate. I understand he's had a hard time getting the SS to treat people properly after their 8-year ordeal of checking under ashtrays and watching out for Hillary.
24 posted on 03/03/2004 9:05:40 PM PST by NewRomeTacitus
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To: n-tres-ted
AMEN!

PRAISE GOD!

though I think posting her info is still a big hazard on such a public, popular forum. You might consider asking the Lead Moderator to alter it.
25 posted on 03/03/2004 9:11:34 PM PST by Quix (Choose this day whom U will serve: Shrillery & demonic goons or The King of Kings and Lord of Lords)
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To: Lazamataz
Never mind the kissy, hootchie kootchie stuff (even though, that MIGHT be fun!!)...scroll back to the bit where you are buying me a house! *L*
26 posted on 03/03/2004 9:13:39 PM PST by Happygal (Le gách dea ghuí)
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To: moyden2000
I read somewhere that this is an urban legend.

This is what I found in snopes

Claim: Churchgoer describes encounter with President Bush at St. John's Church.

Status: Undetermined.

St Johns

27 posted on 03/03/2004 9:14:02 PM PST by Kaslin (It is now more important then ever that we re-elect President Bush)
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To: NewRomeTacitus
Laz, the president has ultimate say over security procedures.

P'haps. However, if true -- and I'd like a little backgrounder on that one way or the other -- I really don't think it should be his call. His safety is important to the country, to keep it from chaotic turmoil should someone take an opportunity to do him harm. He's responsible for more than just his own life. He *owes* it to us to defer to the Secret Service.

But seriously, I just don't think you turn around and there's the President. There's a War on Terror going on. The Wahabbists would LOVE to know that this is possible -- they'd salt every scene with potential actors.

28 posted on 03/03/2004 9:14:39 PM PST by Lazamataz (How to turn a 'Basher into a 'Bot: LET THE ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN SUNSET!!!!)
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To: n-tres-ted
Thanks for posting and thanks for the ping Sarge! He truly is a great man -- mostly because he's so normal!
29 posted on 03/03/2004 9:23:57 PM PST by StarCMC (God protect the 969th in Iraq and their Captain, my brother...God protect them all!)
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To: Lazamataz
I don't blame your skepticism at all. It's been so long since we've seen a real leader. He's got the Rats scurrying around like, well, rats trying to sell us a weasel.
30 posted on 03/03/2004 9:27:16 PM PST by NewRomeTacitus
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To: n-tres-ted
I wonder if he knows that we all pray for him every day?
31 posted on 03/03/2004 9:36:49 PM PST by McGavin999 (Evil thrives when good men do nothing!)
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To: Old Sarge; *prayer_list; 68-69TonkinGulfYatchClub; Accountable One; AKA Elena; Alabama_Wild_Man; ...
Sarge--Amazing article!! Thank you for pinging me to it.

Wonderful article on the spirit that surrounds the President. Hope you dont mind me pinging the list for this story.
32 posted on 03/03/2004 9:45:46 PM PST by trussell (Member: Viking Kitty Society;New Charter member: Troll Patrol...)
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To: lizma
WE got one of those pictures addressed to us also...... it's fund raising time.........
33 posted on 03/03/2004 9:48:57 PM PST by WhyisaTexasgirlinPA
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To: Lazamataz
Hey, if they don't find you handsome, at least they find ya handy.....
34 posted on 03/03/2004 9:51:55 PM PST by sfRummygirl ('The Purpose Driven Life' ;-))
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To: Lazamataz
P'haps. However, if true -- and I'd like a little backgrounder on that one way or the other -- I really don't think it should be his call.

He's the Commander in Chief!

You're forgetting (assuming this story is true), that no one got near the President without being checked for weapons, he got close to them. This happened on his initiative.

If this story is untrue, it's not because it couldn't have happened this way.

The Secret Service are vigilant and diligent, but they are not a Praetorian Guard.


35 posted on 03/03/2004 10:04:54 PM PST by Sabertooth (Malcontent for Bush - 2004!)
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To: WhyisaTexasgirlinPA
I know but who's gonna tell that to my future grandkids?? ;->
36 posted on 03/03/2004 10:06:05 PM PST by lizma
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To: lizma
Hey, I didn't say ours wasn't going to be framed, did I? lol

It's a very nice photo of them, isn't it?

37 posted on 03/03/2004 10:08:40 PM PST by WhyisaTexasgirlinPA
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To: n-tres-ted
What a contrast to BJ Clinton.

No fanfare, no parading himself in front of cameras, strutting and carrying a prop Bible. Just a quiet visit to worship his God in humble anonymity. We are blessed!
38 posted on 03/03/2004 11:00:57 PM PST by Humidston (Two Words: TERM LIMITS)
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To: n-tres-ted
This was an e-mail to me. I was not impressed.
39 posted on 03/04/2004 6:22:07 PM PST by lakey
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To: McGavin999
"I wonder if he knows that we all pray for him every day?"

Yes, he does.

40 posted on 03/12/2004 11:47:20 AM PST by SwinneySwitch (The Barbarians are Inside the Gates!)
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To: n-tres-ted; Lazamataz; Howlin; moyden2000; arjay; Kaslin; lakey; Sabertooth
I didn't hear back from Lamar Alexander's office but Snopes did!

Claim: Churchgoer describes encounter with President Bush at St. John's Church.

Status: True.

Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2004]

I'm at the 8:00 am service at my church, St. Johns at Lafayette Square, across from the White House. (I wanted to go early because I was going for breakfast at the Cracker Barrel in Manassas.) Much of the service was uneventful — nice, but uneventful — until it comes to the part of the service when the Minister says, "Greet one another in the name of the Lord." I turn to my right to exchange the peace with my friend, Amy Fox Smythe, who was on the other end of my pew. I then shake hands with the person in front of me, and turn around to say hello to the person behind me.

The person behind me was our 43rd President, George W. Bush. I am not kidding. A small crowd was forming around him, and not wanting to delay the church service or bother him by waiting to shake his hand, I turned back around and sat down and talked to Amy. About 30 seconds later I felt a hand on my left shoulder and turned around to see President Bush with his hand extended. "Peace of the Lord, " he said, and held my hand with both of his. "Peace of the Lord," I replied, and held both his hands and smiled at him.

I turned back around and was remarkably calm about the fact that the most powerful person in the world was sitting two feet behind me. I could hear him flipping through his bulletin as the Minister made the announcements. I loved the idea of him thinking, "Oh, there's a covered dish next Sunday."

We prayed and when I stood up to go to the communion rail, he got up and walked down the aisle behind me. We passed a little old lady who said, "Mr. President, I pray for you every day." To which he said, "That's a very special gift. Thank you so much." We got to the communion rail and there were two spaces, one in front of us and one around the side of the altar . I started off around the corner. He stopped me and whispered, "No, no. I'll go around" and motioned for me to take the closer spot.

The only exception made in the entire service was that the President was allowed to leave first and then the rest of the congregation followed.

With all sincerity, and partisanship aside, I tell you: This is a special man! There is a peace and a Godliness about him. It radiates from him. It is the only reason that I was able to remain calm. It was more than the adrenaline I've felt when I've met other famous people. A goodness flows through this man. He has more than my vote in November. He has my respect, my prayers, and my gratitude. Whatever your political affiliation, and whether or not you agree with his decisions, you should take comfort in the fact that — despite recent press attacks — this is a man of integrity who makes decisions because he believes that they are RIGHT, not popular. He makes these decisions with a heavy heart and through prayer


Origins: Since
the gist of this piece is an expression of the writer's feelings about President Bush after having encountered him while attending church, there isn't much factual information to verify other than the identity of the writer. Although President Bush is a Methodist, he has attended services at St. John's Church, an Episcopal congregation located in Lafayette Square across from the White House, on a number of occasions, so it is quite plausible that a fellow churchgoer might spot him there on any given Sunday when he is in Washington. (According White House spokesperson Jeanie Mamo, the President and his family also visit Lincoln Park United Methodist and Washington National Cathedral.) The President was in attendance at St. John's on significant days such as 6 July 2003, his 57th birthday, and on 11 September 2003, the two-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the U.S., and he also reportedly cancelled plans to visit St. John's on 14 December 2003 because he did not want a church to be the setting for his first public appearance after the capture of Saddam Hussein.

This piece usually bears an attribution crediting it to Laura Lefler, a staffer employed in the office of U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee. The Senator's office confirmed for us that Ms. Lefler did indeed write and send the missive:


Thanks for writing regarding Ms. Lefler's e-mail. The e-mail reflects the personal experiences of one of our employees, and while we appreciate her enthusiasm, it should really have been sent from her personally and not from our office. Since this is not an official communication of our office, we really can't say anymore about it. We do appreciate your taking the time to get in touch with us.
Last updated: 8 March 2004
41 posted on 03/12/2004 12:05:18 PM PST by SwinneySwitch (Now Believing Didymus!)
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To: SwinneySwitch
Bump
42 posted on 03/12/2004 12:49:21 PM PST by Kaslin (It is now more important then ever that we re-elect President Bush)
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To: SwinneySwitch
Thanks for the information. I feel badly that I may have caused the lady some difficulty at her job due to inquiries. But I think the story is worth knowing about. And it confirms my estimation of our President.
43 posted on 03/12/2004 6:09:53 PM PST by n-tres-ted
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To: SwinneySwitch





Thanks for the follow up.


44 posted on 03/12/2004 6:43:02 PM PST by Sabertooth (Malcontent for Bush - 2004!)
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