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Cruising in Peace to Love and Serve the Lord

by the Rev. Stephen Pecot, Trinity Apalachicola



Trinity Episcopal Church in Apalachicola, Florida hosted the 30th annual Historic Apalachicola Home & Garden Tour May 3-4. This wildly popular event is run entirely by a volunteer staff of parishioners and draws people from around the region. With a chance to learn about the unique homes and architecture nestled in this nearly 200-year-old hamlet, Trinity celebrated its most successful tour ever: over 850 people toured the seven homes and community garden. Along with an opening Evensong service, a silent auction, and a jumble sale, this event raises funds used directly for the preservation and maintenance of the church’s four historic buildings.


Because of Apalachicola’s laid-back and coastal feel, one often sees golf carts flitting about as a primary means of transportation. Pets enjoy these open-air rides with their owners. And this gave the Rector of Trinity Apalachicola, The Rev. Stephen Pecot, an idea. People love their golf carts; and we already bless animals in October, the fishing fleet in November, and homes year-round. Why not bless golf carts when they show up for the Tour of Homes?


Yes, you read that right. Sixteen golf carts were blessed using a liturgy modified by Stephen and Bishop Russell Kendrick, with prayers specific to these diminutive vehicles that transport us around our community. Recalling the patron saint of travelers (Saint Christopher) along with Elijah and Frances of Rome, the candidates were prayed for and asked several questions about safety, recognition, responsibility, and patience. To each question, the persons responded in words familiar to many of us: “I will, with God’s help.” Each golf cart blessed received a small keepsake (plastic Jesus), a Jesus air freshener to hang on the rear-view mirror, and a signed card commemorating the blessing.


Reactions were as fast as a freshly mowed and manicured green: “This is just the kind of out-of-the-sandtrap thinking we need here”, said one person who wished to remain anonymous. “I feel like I’m part of the club”, said their friend, adding: “Rather than creating a wedge in the community, these events fit Apalachicola to a tee and put us on par with much larger cities.” Trinity is already working on a limited-edition bumper sticker for 2025. For now, Apalachicola’s streets are a little more blessed as drivers were dismissed with the command to “Cruise in peace to love and serve the Lord.”

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