Church of the Messiah Blesses and Consecreates New Ground

February 23rd, 2012 by sjl+

Bishop David Simpson receives holy water from Fr. Ed Shiell in order to bless Church of the Messiah's new sign.

Saturday, February 18, was a momentous day for the people of Church of the Messiah.  Bishop David Simpson, Ordinary of Florida, joined with the people of Church of the Messiah and several clergy from throughout the Diocese, in order to bless and consecrate Church of the Messiah’s new property.  In May of 2007, Church of the Messiah sold their previous property and entered into a five year period “in exile.”  The congregation has been meeting in the Sam R. Marks Chapel at Jacksonville University ever since.  In October 2011, Fr. David Paysinger, Rector of Church of the Messiah, in consensus with his Rector’s Council and Bishop, purchased the congregation’s future home on St. John’s Bluff Road North.  The property was heavily forested and had never seen any construction.  It was such “virgin territory” that no postal address was ever assigned and the congregation would have to wait two weeks to learn of their new home’s mailing address.  Of course, that did not prevent the congregation from visiting the property.  “For the last four months we have had prayer walks, prophetic intercessors’ meetings and work days on the property all leading up to this blessing and consecration,” reported Fr. Paysinger.

The service began in the late morning with a seventy per cent chance of rain.  While back-up plans were in the works, Fr. Paysinger faithfully declared, “We are in the thirty per cent!”  There was no rain that morning as Church of the Messiah processed onto their property.  The first stop was the unveiling of the new signage declaring the property to be the future home of Church of the Messiah.  Bishop Simpson blessed the sign and prayed that it would be a testament to those who drove by and that people would be led to the Lord because of it.  Next Bishop Simpson celebrated the Holy Eucharist on the property, a true sign and symbol that the Kingdom of God was being established there.  The people received the Body and Blood of Our Lord and then celebrated the first pot-luck lunch on the premises, by God’s grace, the first of countless to be celebrated on those grounds.

Bp. Simpson, standing beside Fr. David Paysinger, opens the first Holy Eucharist ever celebrated on Church of the Messiah's new property.

During his sermon, Bishop Simpson reminded those present that “this is not a Moses and Joshua return from the wilderness. This is the Children of Israel returning from Babylon.”  The bishop likened the congregation’s time renting worship space to “time in exile” and reminded everyone that “the return from Babylon took many years and came in stages.”  The Church of the Messiah is currently in the midst of a building campaign in order to raise the money needed to begin and complete the construction.  While the service was a time of healing a restoration for many present, one of the most powerful moments came when Earl Shimp, a member of the Rector’s Council, stood and read this prayer:

“May the Lord bless our property, may it never be used for any purpose other than to magnify His name and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ to the community and the world, may all those who set food on our property, or even pass by it, be blessed beyond measure with the love and knowledge of Jesus Christ.  May all of us be further strengthened to serve Him in all we do and empowered by the Holy Spirit to resist evil and share in the goodness of the Lord.  I pray we all be Christ’s vessels of sight to the blind, wealth to the poor, words to the deaf, healers to the sick, light to the lost, and fathers to the fatherless,  I pray that the Lord’s plan for this property, as He has known it from the beginning, be totally fulfilled by the decisions, worship, praise, works, deeds, actions, words, prayers and efforts put forth by the believers of the Church of the Messiah from this day forth and forevermore.  May His will be done, on this piece of earth, as it is in Heaven.  God, use this land and these people for Your purpose.  In Jesus name I pray.”

Amen and Amen.


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