Holiness in our midst – Session 19

Holiness in our Midst


Remember a time when you conferred a blessing and/or when you were given a blessing.

In my former role as coordinator for mission connections for the Church of the Brethren, I accompanied Annual Conference Moderator Paul Grout and his wife Dorothy on a tour of denominational churches and preaching points in Nigeria. We had been staying at the country’s Church of the Brethren Headquarters near Mubi. I thought we were more than ready for our weeklong journey that April morning in 2002. The Land Rover was packed with food, water, proper clothing and emergency supplies. But I learned that there would be a small formal ceremony before we headed off. Toma Ragnijiya, then president of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria, asked us to lay hands on the vehicle. A unique blessing, indeed! We then laid hands on our Nigerian driver (I remember that his name was Michael) and blessed him. We prayed for the persons that we would meet, for safety on the road and for good accommodations. A holy sense of being accompanied by God stayed with us.

On the same trip, I had the experience of being blessed. More than 250 members of the Kano Church of the Brethren had waited more than three hours in the hot sun at the Badawa Preaching Point to meet with us. The Kano Church had been burned down, completely destroyed the year before by Islamic militia; six members were killed. The US church had reached out to members, and we had brought a generous love offering to help the church rebuild. We were greeted, given cold drinks and prayed for during the service. Because we had just visited the burned-out site, we felt a oneness with our brothers and sisters experiencing persecution. In recognizing us, Toma thanked our delegation by saying, “Love is in the feet. You came many miles to show your concern. Love is not a philosophy. Love in in the action.” I felt blessed to honor these people of faith and to be honored in the process.


STORY CIRCLE QUESTION: When were you blessed or when have you been part of conferring a blessing on another?


  1. Read the above reflection aloud.
  2. Write a journal reflection about a moment in time when you were blessed. How did you feel?


  1. Read aloud Session XIX.
  2. Ask each person to answer the Story Circle Question.