The fall season is a time when we often think about stewardship – the reality that all our lives and the world we live in are gifts from God. One way we celebrate this is our annual animal blessing. This year we are having the animal blessing at a combined service at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday September 18. We have the service outside in the back parking lot, and everyone is invited to bring one or more pets to be blessed, or perhaps a photo or stuffed animal to represent a pet who cannot attend. We have the service in honor of St. Francis, who was known for his love of all creatures.
Our pets are a good reminder to us of the goodness of God’s creation and of our
responsibility to care for the world around us. Many of you know that Deb and I have five pets – three cats and two dogs. Four of the five pets are over twelve years old, so that we often feel that we are running a geriatric pet center! We have been through quite a saga with one of our cats, Jesse. About two and a half years ago, Jesse stopped eating. One day he was eating normally, and the next day he just stopped eating. We force fed him for several months, and then our vet told us about a procedure to have a feeding tube installed in his esophagus. We decided to pay the money to have this procedure done, and then fed Jesse through the tube for about two years. Over this summer, he started to get regular serious infections at the site of the tube in his neck, and we decided that the tube had to come out. Several weeks ago, our vet took the feeding tube out, and so far Jesse has been eating enough to survive. We’re glad that he has been given some time to live without the tube. We don’t know how long we have now with Jesse, but we are very thankful for this very brave and determined little cat. We call him the “million dollar cat” because of all the expenses to keep him going, but we praise God for our experience with him.
I’m sure that many of you have stories about your pets over the years and what they
taught you about life and about God’s love. They point us to the larger need to care lovingly for the whole creation that God has given us – the air, the oceans, the plants and animals. We know that this is a precious, fragile world and that God calls us to protect and preserve God’s planet. Please pass the word about our animal blessing service to your friends and family; all are invited and welcome to participate. Whether you can bring a pet or not, it is a fun and meaningful service!