2021 Blessing of the Fleet honors fishermen | Entertainment

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By Rebecca Jones, special to the News-Times

MOREHEAD CITY — Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world. It is those little bits of doing good where you are that begins the change for a community. On this side of the Covid-19 pandemic, Jane and Bob McClughan, along with lots of other members of the Elks Lodge in Morehead City, wanted to do something good for their community. Since 1868, millions and millions of Americans have joined the Elks. They bring so much to their communities.

The Morehead City Elks provided 10,000 plates of food to those who were affected by Hurricane Florence to providing for veterans in need.

With the mission of honoring their community, Jane said, “We all thought that ‘The Blessing of the Fleet’ would be a great project to raise the spirits of our community and to honor our commercial and leisure fishermen who bring tourism to Carteret County. I am so proud to be a part of it all.” The Elks Lodge chartered the Carolina Princess to be in the ‘blessing fleet.’ Many children and their families were able to be on the boat, and all the children were supplied a backpack.

Mayor Jerry Jones opened with comments, and Arnold Baldwin sang the National Anthem. Rev. Karl Zorowski, the pastor of St. Peter’s United Methodist Church in Morehead City, said the opening prayer, followed by the song Eternal Father, Strong to Save, sung by his daughter Aspen. This song is a mariner’s hymn written in the 1860s and is known as the Navy Hymn. Psalm 107:23.31 was read and then began the ceremony of Laying of the Wreath. Rev. Zorowski said, “We remember now those who have gone out upon the waters and not returned safely to port. Gracious Lord, we thank you for their lives which were shared with others on this earth for a time; and for their loved ones, we offer a prayer for comfort, peace, mercy and grace.”

As the boats processed, the blessing was stowed upon them. “Creator and Father of all, we pray for those who go down to the sea in ships and serve you upon the waters of the world. Bless them and those who serve their needs, that they may put their whole trust in you and find in you a strong anchor for their hopes, and so be filled with your peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Bless these boats and all who sail upon them. Give the captains and crews presence of mind in danger, and guide them as they keep these vessels in good repair. Grant them the wisdom of knowing when to go out and when to stay put, so that they may have a safe passage. May everyone who ventures upon the waters in these boats be renewed in spirit through their encounter with the beauty of our Creator’s handiwork. Amen.”

A good life is when you smile often, dream big, laugh a lot and realize how blessed you are for what you have.

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