From the Winnipeg (Canada) Free Press
Blessed are the BlackBerrys.
The glow of gizmos cut through the darkness of a modest Halifax-area church Sunday as parishioners raised their cellphones, laptops and GPS units toward the heavens for a special prayer.
"Lord God, we thank you for the many gifts and tools you give us, all those electronic gadgets that make our lives easier in so many ways," Rev. Lisa Vaughn said before a small crowd at St. Timothy's Anglican Church in Hatchet Lake on the eve of Labour Day.
Vaughn said the idea to hold a blessing of electronics came after hearing about an old English tradition called Plough Monday in which farmers would drag their tools to the church's door to receive a blessing for a good harvest.
"Most of our people are commuters to the city and work in offices and labs and hospitals and that kind of thing," Vaughn, a former journalist with short, blond spiky hair, said in an interview.
"I thought, 'Wow, wouldn't it be nice for us to connect with modern-day tools; things that people use so often (that) we often take for granted?"
Parishioner Dawn Purcell said she sifts through 100 emails a day on her "crackberry" in her job as a manager at a health centre.
Purcell, 51, got her trusty device blessed twice Sunday — once in the morning and again during the nighttime service.
"I use it a lot and it needs to be blessed," she said. "I think it's a great idea."