Over 100 guests joined in the Marriage Blessing ceremony for three couples on June 2, 2018, at United Missionary Baptist Church of East Orange, NJ, hosted and officiated by Rev. Michael and Min. Zena Sykes. They put a lot of emphasis on educating the couples before signing their Blessing forms and allowing them to participate in the Blessing. It laid a good foundation for the couples to understand the meaning and significance of the ceremony and have an impact on their lives of faith. They were glowing when they came out the ceremony, despite the unbearable heat that afternoon.
One couple had a special story behind their participation. The wife had attended a previous Blessing ceremony and it inspired her to want to receive the Blessing. Rev. Sykes asked Rev. Manoj Jacob to preach at his church on one occasion. It is customary in Rev. Sykes’ church for the sermon-giver to pray for people who come forward for prayer after the sermon. Naomi came with her son and ask Rev. Jacob to pray for her to be blessed. On Saturday, June 2nd, Rev. Jacob was delighted to see that she was one of the couples who received the blessing. Her prayer came true.
Rev. Salera provided the music and Bishop Bellenas was the MC for the reception.
Elena Bahrain made beautiful decorations for the ceremony and for the reception. The song from Rev. Michael and Min. Reiko Jenkins, “You Are So Beautiful,” was so touching, I almost cried.
After this very special day concluded, Rev. Sykes shared that he would like to have another Blessing in September at his church.
Respectfully submitted by Rev. Kathaleen Sato, ACLC-NJ