A city blessed: The 11th Annual Week of Blessings kicks off Sunday

Blessing of The Fleet Week

Rev. Mike Hesse from Immanuel Anglican Church is a staple at the annual Blessing of the Fleet.

Kathy Harrison| The Log
Published: Friday, May 23, 2014 at 04:27 PM.

As a community foundation for 56 years, the annual Blessing of the Destin Fishing Fleet takes place in the Destin harbor on Ascension Day. On this day, local pastors gather to bless charter fishing boats and others who earn their living from the sea, for safe passage and bountiful catches.

Today, the Blessing of the Fleet has grown along with the community and its businesses becoming a week-long celebration starting May 25 and continuing through May 31. This year, the event celebrates its 11th year.

After years of participation in the original Blessing of the Fleet, Capt. Mike Parker asked Father Mike Hesse of Immanuel Anglican Church if this “blessing could be expanded to embrace the whole community.” Father Mike heard this as confirmation of a discussion he had recently had with Mel Ponder. The then City Councilman had made the same suggestion, and so the clergyman got the two together. 

The rest is history. Just as the business in Destin has expanded from the fishing industry into so much more, so has the scope of this traditional one-day blessing, now known as Destin’s Week of Blessings. 

Destin area churches, civic leaders and businesses will join together to offer a variety of additional faith-focused events over a seven -ay period under the banner “Destin’s Week of Blessings.” 

 Kicking off the week will be the Blessing of the Families on Sunday, May 25. On Monday, May 26 a Day of Gratitude will be held in honor of Memorial Day. This will be followed by a Destin city-wide day of prayer and fasting and pastoral-led team Ministry Day on Tuesday, the 27.

The Blessing of the Marketplace will be held Wednesday, May 28. This event will begin at 11:30 a.m. and run until 1:30 p.m., and will have lunch provided in the Life Center at the Destin United Methodist Church, located on Beach Drive. 

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