Lord of Life Lutheran Church plans blessing of animals

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It’s not a typical church service when there is an abundance of four-legged family members in attendance.

Lord of Life Lutheran Church is unusual in that it welcomes well-behaved dogs any time at church, but its annual blessing of the animals usually brings out an abundance of wagging tails to this cheerful, casual service that honors St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.

The service is scheduled for 9:45 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 3.

“We have held this blessing for about the past five years, and it’s really lovely to see our beloved pets receive a blessing from our Pastor Kerry Hinkley,” said Sheila Kolesaire, the church council president. “One day, one congregant just brought her miniature dachshund with her to a regular service, and that sort of freed other members to start bringing their dogs to church. We even have a dog greeter named Traveler much of the time, when he isn’t off on adventures with his owner. It’s grown since then and we decided our pets were important to us, and that we should take this opportunity to bless them on this day.”

For the blessing of the animals, each pet comes up with its owner at the end of the service to be blessed with water by the pastor. There is usually a reading of the poem “The Rainbow Bridge” or another poem about animals, treats for the animals to eat and a giveaway for a few lucky owners and a child.

St. Francis is the patron saint of the environment and animals because he loved all creatures and allegedly preached even to birds. The blessing is celebrated annually on Oct. 4 or on the Sunday closest to this day.

Lord of Life Lutheran Church worships in a former stable at 276 Roscoe Blvd. North. The church is part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States with about 4 million members.

To learn more, go to https://lordoflifepvb.org or on Facebook @lordoflifepontevedra or on Instagram @lordoflifepvb.

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