“Blessing of the Animals this Sunday”
Dear Fremont Family:
Milton is very excited to come to church this Sunday, October 2, for the annual Fremont UMC “Blessing of the Animals” worship service. Or, maybe I am really excited to bring Milton to church this Sunday! I can’t tell which. As you may have heard me confess before, I didn’t always love animals, and honestly, before my time at Fremont, I had never done a Blessing of the Animals worship service before. I grew up in a family that had an uncomfortable relationship with animals to say the least. For a short period of time, we had cats, but their independence from us was what made the relationship work. Our family moved around a lot, and there was divorce, and pets just made everything more complicated. My son, Rowan, was the one who taught me how to love animals, and I will be forever grateful to him for that.
Now, as I continue to learn about the interrelatedness of all things, I am drawn more and more to indigenous wisdom of how animals are our relatives. Animals carry wisdom and teach us about creation in ways that we would otherwise never know. Of course, St. Francis of Assisi, understood this powerful truth in his own ministry in the 16th century. It is the Sunday closest to his feast day, October 4, when Christians across the church are invited to commemorate the beauty of our life with our beloved animal companions in a Blessing of the Animals worship service. This Sunday, we will hear a reading from the original creation story in Genesis. In our origin story with God, humans and animals lived in interdependence with one another with God deeming creation “good.” Then, we will hear in Genesis 6, how humankind rebelled against God’s good creation, and God intended to “reset” the relationship with humanity with Noah on the Ark. Creation could only be restored in union with the animals. These early stories represent important truths that we are only whole when creation (all the plants and animals!) are whole. We flourish or perish together.
So, I can’t wait to meet and bless your animals. I hope you will feel comfortable to bring your pets and make yourself comfortable in the sanctuary. I know Milton will be happy to see you!
Reminder: Kristen Caldwell from the Annual Conference will be with us this Sunday to video record for our Centennial Celebration. We had to reschedule from last Sunday. We are asking everyone be prepared to share one word you think of when you think of Fremont.
Another Reminder: At 3pm, this Sunday, we are hosting the rescheduled concert with Abbe Drake (see the Fremont Facebook Page for more details).
October is full of good things, and I am overjoyed to be sharing life with you.
Grace and peace,
***There will be no Lectio Divina this Thursday evening, September 29. I had an earlier scheduled event that I am committed to attending. I look forward to picking up our Thursday evening Bible Study together soon.
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