Destin’s ’Week of Blessings’ begins Sunday

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log
The Destin Log

Due to COVID-19, organizers had to get a little creative for this year’s annual Week of Blessings in Destin.

With no gathering of large crowds due to social distancing rules and just trying to keep people safe, the Church of Destin has come up with some different ways to continue with the various blessings scheduled for next week.

Eric Partin, pastor of Shoreline Church and president of the Church of Destin, said they were trying to come up with ways for people to participate and still feel safe, and continue with what the true purpose of the blessing is all about.

When it comes to the Blessing of the Market Place, which is scheduled for Wednesday morning, what it boils down to is people “just want someone to pray for them and bless my business,” Partin said.

He said it’s not about having a big breakfast meeting or a luncheon, it’s just about someone blessing them or praying for their business.

Blessing of the Market Place

So on Wednesday, which is earmarked for Blessing of the Market Place, there will be a drive-through blessing and breakfast by Chick-fil-A starting at 7:30 a.m. and going until 9 a.m. at three local churches, Destin United Methodist on Beach Drive, Immanuel Anglican on Indian Bayou Trail, and Shoreline Church on Palmetto Street.

“That way people with concerns about COVID-19 can participate. And we can do the social distancing,” he said.

The morning is split between the three churches so “it doesn’t bottleneck,” at one location.

People who make their living through government, schools, retail, real estate and construction should drive through at Destin United Methodist.

Those who make their living fishing, boating, water sports, recreation and miscellaneous, should drive through Shoreline for their blessing.

Immanuel Anglican will be praying for those who make their living working for health, fitness, beauty, medical, hospitality, professional and not for profits.

“If people go to the wrong church, we’re not going to turn them away. We will still pray for them ... we’re just trying to spread it out.”

Participants are asked to stay in their cars when they drive through for the blessing.

Blessing of the Youth

Also happening on Wednesday is the Blessing of the Youth. This will be a bit different as well.

Beginning at 3 p.m. Wednesday, area youth pastors will be boarding the Party Bus and driving down the streets of where their youth, middle school and high school students, live and praying for them.

The pastors will be giving out goodie bags, plus there will be an ice cream truck that will be giving out free ice cream. It’s just a way for the pastors to say “hey, we’re praying for you.,” Partin said.

Blessing of the Fleet

As for the Blessing of the Fleet, which will be celebrating its 63rd year on Thursday, it too will take a bit of a new look as well.

First there will be no church service under the big tent at Fishing Fleet Marina and secondly no fish fry afterwards.

But the main event will still take place starting at 4 p.m., which is the blessing of the boats, captains and all those that make their living on the sea.

The number of pastors on the barge, who will be speaking the blessings, has been reduced to eight to keep within the social distancing rules.

And instead of a fish fry, Partin said they are asking for people to go to an area restaurant and give them some business.

Friday will be Bless a Local Restaurant, where folks are encouraged to go eat at their favorite restaurant.

However, the week starts off on Sunday with the Blessing of the Families at your own participating local church.

Monday is set aside for prayer and fasting. Partin said people are encouraged to do a prayer walk through their neighborhood.

Tuesday is pastorial ministry day where members of the Church of Destin will be going around and giving out care packages and goodies to the fire stations, Coast Guard station as well as the sheriff substation.