Blessing the hands that serve



Light for the Way devotional seriesAs a young pastor, I was very disappointed when my best friend was being ordained into ministry in Minnesota while I was taking a two-week class in California. I desperately wanted to be a part of the clergy that would anoint him with oil, lay hands upon him and pray God’s blessings upon him and his ministry.

How very good and pleasant it is
when kindred live together in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down upon the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down over the collar of his robes.
It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion.
For there the Lord ordained his blessing,
life forevermore.

—Psalm 133, NRSV

I remembered many Old Testament scriptures about priests and kings being anointed with an abundance of oil – running down their beards and onto their clothing.

So, I told my friend to wear old clothes that he didn’t care about, took him up on a high hill overlooking the Twin Cities and anointed him with a half-gallon of cooking oil! I placed my hands upon his oily hair and prayed God’s blessings upon his ministry.

At Presbyterian Homes & Services, we offer a Blessing of the Hands service, inviting employees to prepare themselves to serve others and God. An anointing with oil and prayer reflects each employee’s work as a ministry. While participation in this ceremony is voluntary, it has become a rich part of the new employee experience.

We acknowledge and bless the ministry of:

  • Administering medicine and soothing pain
  • Preparing and serving meals
  • Changing beds and tidying apartments
  • Repairing and cleaning our buildings
  • Providing entertainment and activities
  • Providing leadership, administration and direction
  • Listening, conversing, praying, caring and so much more!

We all work together to serve and care for our residents. We are the vessels through which God’s love and compassion flows. We are the hands of Christ meeting needs, serving and blessing.

image of Campus Pastor Jeff DormanRev. Jeff Dorman began as campus pastor at GracePointe Crossing in Cambridge in October 2023. He is an ordained Lutheran pastor who served in congregational ministry for nearly 25 years.  He also worked as a mediator, coach and consultant for a decade before coming to PHS. His wife Nancy is a licensed marriage and family therapist. They live in Centerville, Minn., with their Tibetan Terrier Laddie. They have two adult daughters.

The Light for the Way series provides staff with an examination of a biblical reading to deepen our focus on scripture. Thank you for engaging with this series as we seek wisdom through prayer and reflection as a Christian Ministry.



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