Monday, October 4, 2010

Bring On The Pets!

Last night, a friend invited me to a pet blessing, organized by the pastoral staff at First UMC – Springdale.

The event, which coincides with the anniversary of St. Francis of Assisi’s death on Oct. 3 (his feast day is celebrated on Oct. 4), brought together a variety of pet owners and animals alike for an outdoor worship service & ice cream social.

It was fun to see how a United Methodist church conducted the blessing event (the last one I saw took place at an Episcopal church when I was covering lifestyle stories for the Carthage Press.)

The pet blessing was a great community-building activity, that gave pet owners and an eclectic assortment of animals - mostly cats and dogs, with a couple of horses tossed in - a place to unite their faith and love of animals.

It was a bit noisy, and even smelly at times – and there were a few “rough and tumble” moments as a few dogs tried to stake out some territory, but overall it was a great way to minister to a variety of people, regardless of age. 

I took a variety of pictures, and well, “hit a home run” on at least one picture. In my previous life, working for a community newspaper, I’d call this pic a “front page” worthy pic – definitely an “above the fold” picture.  I mean, how many times do you see a dog, petting a horse?  This photo just makes me smile.


Here’s a few other pictures I snapped at the event.
I love this one, because it’s almost a “double blessing” (Steven Coburn blessing a pet in the foreground, with David Freeman in the back of the picture.)


I also liked these pictures of David Freeman, blessing two little girls’ puppy, and Judy Van Hoose, posing for a photo, as she blessed a friend's puppy.


We’ll have more on this event, along with a ton of pictures (my other pics and some taken by Karen Swales) as a Pulpit Stories feature later this month (they appear on Wednesdays) on www.nwdist.org. (Blush, the error is fixed now.)

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