For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline. —2 Timothy 1:6, 7 NRSV
What Is an Evangelist Blessing?
It is a sacred time and space to come closer to God. It is a special prayer of blessing that gives guidance, hope, assurance, and insights to help you on your spiritual journey.
The nature of God is to love and bless. God's blessing comes through many avenues, such as family, friends, nature, music, or the written word. God desires to further bless you with a personal and specific blessing at key moments in your life journey:
- When you are at transition points (graduation, college, marriage, children, divorce, employment decisions, etc.)
- When the big questions of "Who am I?" and "What is my purpose?" occupy your mind and heart
- When you want to understand God's will for your life
- When you sense that God is calling you to new pathways
In Community of Christ, the sacrament of evangelist blessing provides opportunity for this personal and specific ministry.
Who May Receive a Blessing?
Anyone who longs for and is willing to prepare for a closer and more intimate encounter with God may receive a blessing. The sacrament of blessing is available to members and friends of Community of Christ.
The blessing most often given is for individuals. However, the sacrament of blessing is also available for families and congregations.
A blessing need not be a once-in-a-lifetime experience and may be received at various points of need or times of transition such as graduation, marriage, job transfer, serious illness, career change, divorce, or retirement.
Who Gives the Blessing?
It is God who blesses through an evangelist, an ordained minister specifically called as a minister of blessing. The evangelist accompanies you as a spiritual coach and companion in this experience.
What Is Involved if I Want to Receive a Blessing?
You and the evangelist enter into a process of preparation, which may involve a number of conversations where you prayerfully explore hopes, needs, and expectations regarding your life journey. It may include scripture study, journaling, or other spiritual disciplines. The type of preparation and appropriate time and place for the sacrament will be determined in consultation with the evangelist.
What Is the Actual Sacrament of Blessing Like?
You and the evangelist agree upon a time and place for the blessing. The setting should be private, peaceful, and worshipful. This may include the use of music, scripture, or other symbolic items of choice. Typically the only persons present will be you and the evangelist. If requested, however, a family member or close friend may join you.
At the moment of blessing, you are usually seated. The evangelist stands behind you, places his or her hands gently on your head, and offers the prayer of blessing. A few moments of silent reflection are fitting at the end of the prayer.
Each evangelist may approach this sacrament differently, while being sensitive to your needs and wishes. Some evangelists offer the prayer of blessing free of written notes, drawing upon insights shared in the preparation process and the immediate impress of the Holy Spirit. Some evangelists use notes. Some have the blessing completely composed, reading it while remaining sensitive to insights from the Spirit during the sacrament. All are appropriate methods and are done according to the evangelist’s personal preference and how she or he feels led at the time.
An audio recording of the blessing is made whenever possible, and a printed copy is given to you for your personal use. A confidential copy of the blessing is stored in the office of the Presiding Evangelist at International Headquarters in Independence, Missouri, USA. It is available for copying if the original is lost.
What Happens After the Blessing?
You are encouraged to prayerfully reread the blessing from time to time, drawing upon its spiritual counsel. Particular passages may be relevant to your journey at any given time. It is often helpful to meditate and pray with particular passages and review the insights, understandings, and questions they evoke. If there are questions or points of clarification, you may contact the evangelist for further discussion and insight.
Our prayer for you through this experience is the joy of knowing that even as you are blessed so will you be given the opportunity to share that with others. As you reach out in love and compassion in the name and spirit of Jesus Christ, you will be blessed with the knowledge that you are a beloved child of God and are precious in God's sight. May this be your blessing.
The Order of Evangelists