From the Pastor’s Desk: February 26

By Catherine Neelly Burton, Senior Pastor

I talk a lot about all of the people who come in and out of Grace each day. The list includes: parents and students at Jacob’s Learning Ladder; volunteers; students coming to see Kirk; outside groups (gamblers anonymous, girl scouts, ALS support, etc); church members coming for study or meetings; community people coming for bus tickets. The list goes on and on.

But I don’t often mention the people who come here seeking a blessing. It doesn’t happen a lot, most people have more practical reasons for being here, but every so often someone comes looking for something they can’t find anywhere else.

This happened one afternoon in early February. The front office volunteer came to let me know that a couple wanted to see me. Usually when someone wants to see me it’s because there is a problem, something they need help with. That’s not what it was this time. This time it was a couple seeking a blessing.

This couple was married at Grace 24 years ago when they lived in the neighborhood. They now live outside of Wichita but were in town. The woman had a new wedding band, and they wanted to have it blessed. They came to Grace for this. Instead of setting up a date to do this, we did it right then. We went into the sanctuary, stood on the chancel, and we blessed the ring.

I used prayers from the wedding portion of our worship book and prayed for the couple and asked God to bless them and the ring that was a symbol of their love. They cried and hugged one another and then hugged me.

That was one of my best ministry days in a long time. I thanked them for the opportunity to spend time with them and to offer words of blessing. I was reminded that providing space and language for holy moments is one of the great gifts we as a church can offer the world that no one else can. Yes, the active mission and ministry we do is important, but we need to remember the power of offering blessings to our world.

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