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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Monday, January 24, 2011

Evangelists

In this post, I would like to pay tribute to the women and men who make up the Order of Evangelists, especially the twenty-four such ministers who reside and work in Canada East Mission of Community of Christ.

For the benefit of those who may not be familiar with this term in our tradition, Evangelists are not fiery eyed people who preach on television; in fact, quite the opposite. These are some of the most gentle and gracious people I know. Often they may even seem a little shy, and yet they always greet you with a smile, and somehow you can sense that they are genuinely interested in you. These are some of my favorite people in the whole world.

Evangelists, in Community of Christ tradition, are an order of mature priesthood members who are called to be Ministers of Blessing. These are not congregational pastors, although many of them may have served in that role in the past. Instead, these are people who stand apart from administrative church work. Their function is to be with people, to listen and to care. Perhaps the most fitting description I can think of for these folks is to say that they are simply teacher/learners and spiritual companions. They do offer public ministry such as preaching, but as former Presiding Evangelist Everett Graffeo once noted, they are not so much a “sage on the stage as they are a guide by our side.”

Amidst all their other duties, there is on thing that sets Evangelists apart from all other priesthood ministers; one thing that only they do. These women and men have the ability to give you something called an Evangelists Blessing. “What is that?” you may wonder. Let me try to explain.

Let us imagine you are struggling with some decision or other. You try to think it through, but you ask yourself, “Where is God in all this? Could God not provide some signpost along the road of life that might help me find my way?” That is where an Evangelist comes in. Here is someone who will be glad to sit or walk with you, and listen to your questions, for weeks or months if necessary. S/he will pray with and for you in an effort to discern whether there might, in fact be “a word from God” that they could share. Then, when the time is right, the Evangelist will bring you that word. Be assured that this is not some kind of magical process, but it is a spiritual one.

If you would like to visit with an Evangelist but do not know who might be available in your area, feel free to contact me for a referral. I will be happy to suggest someone who lives near and who would be glad to visit with you. You will be glad you did. You can send me an email at carman@communityofchrist.ca.

In the meantime, know you are blessed today.

Posted by Carman

2 comments:

  1. I recently have spent some quality time with Evan. Bill McCarty. I think I could listen to that man read from the phone book. I would love to be able to captivate an individual or congregation as he does. I wonder if that is even something one can teach?

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  2. Steve,

    I'm glad your experience was so positive. They are a wonderfully gifted group of people. Thank you for sharing this part of your story.

    ReplyDelete