You may have seen an article in the Religious News Service (https://religionnews.com/2019/06/27/on-madison-avenue-an-episcopal-priest-blesses-passersby/) about the Rev. Adrian Dannhauser, associate rector of the Church of the Incarnation in Manhattan, NY. She stands outside the doors of the church in her vestments every Tuesday morning for a half an hour with a sign that says “Ask me for a blessing. God’s grace is meant to be shared”.
The people passing by are mostly in a hurry to get on with their days, but a few greet Dannhauser and some ask her for a blessing. These are not generally the people who attend Incarnation. Many of them probably do not attend any church. She says in her blog (https://www.askmeforablessing.com/) :
“It's a surprisingly intimate experience. Coming before God with a complete stranger, united by a shared and often fervent desire for the Holy Spirit to move in that person's life. There is no pretense on either side. No need to impress. Prayer cuts through all our superficiality, right down to the heart of getting real about our need for God. This is where grace abounds. Grace from God that is meant to be shared by those who gather in God's name.”
Not every congregation has a busy street right in front of the church, so this particular version of a blessing ministry isn’t tailored to a rural congregation or even to the average suburban congregation. The concept, however, of being present in a community in a public setting offering a blessing, sharing God’s grace, can be adapted. We aren’t called, after all, to fill our church pews, but we have been sent out to share the Good News with everyone.
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