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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Local Lutherans Bless Skiers And Snowboarders

Jan 09, 2015 10:22AM ● By Marci Heugly
Utah is known for the greatest snow on earth. Each winter, we welcome skiers and snowboarders from home and abroad to enjoy our snowy mountains.  This year, members of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Holladay wanted to offer a special blessing at the beginning of the season to these welcome guests.

On Dec. 6, they went to the park-and-ride lot at the base of Big Cottonwood Canyon to offer hot chocolate and a blessing to those headed up to the Brighton and Solitude ski resorts.

“The idea was simple; we wrote up a blessing of thankfulness for the snow and the mountains,” Pastor Jeff Beebe said. “We passed out hot chocolate along with a card with the blessing on it.”

Some groups of skiers requested blessings that were gladly given.

The prayer on the cards was one of gratitude and protection: “Gracious God, we thank you for the gift of creation, especially the snow in the mountains that provides so much enjoyment for skiers and snowboarders.  Bless and watch over them, that they may have a safe and enjoyable season, giving glory to you as they ski or board this year.  Amen.”

“We want to be out in the community, instead of having the expectation that people will have to come find us,” Beebe said. “I had seen a church in southern California near the ocean that did a blessing for surfboarders, and I liked the idea of blessing our own boarders and skiers.”

Beebe and members of his congregation put up signs to notify visitors of their presence in the parking lot, which is generally used for skiers who park their cars and either carpool or catch a bus up the mountain.

“We met some interesting people,” Beebe said. “We’re trying to reach in a small way people who are spiritual but not religious. We wanted to remind them of God’s love.”

This was the first time the church held the event, but future events are in the works.

“We plan on doing this again. People were curious and very positive,” Beebe said. “Skiers and boarders are out in the mountains enjoying creation; there’s something spiritual about that.”