Trinity United offers "Blessing of the Animals"
A popular event at local churches has become the Blessing of the Animals. On a recent Sunday morning, Trinity United Methodist Church held theirs – and about a dozen dogs and cats (mostly dogs), and one hamster, sat with their owners in the pews of Trinity at S.E. Steele Street and Cesar Chavez Boulevard (39th).
All of the pets were well-behaved, waiting for the segment of the service devoted to the blessing of the animals.
These pets have a way of being able to help take away some of the stress of the day –bringing about a deep, gentle joy, smiled Rev. Sandy Storment, whose topic of the sermon that day was joy. It was clear that pet owners enjoy the companionship and solace of their pets, and even find joy in them.
Woodstock resident Carolyn Thurman brought her cat, Rocket Girl – nicknamed for the felines habit of sporadically jetting about the house. Thurman participated in this particular ceremony because, I think of our pets as a blessing to us, and it seems only fair that they get a blessing in return. You could think of it as a thank-you card to them.
The ceremony of Blessing of the Animals is a tradition followed by congregations nationwide on or near October 4th, a day of feast marking the death 789 years ago of St. Francis of Assisi, whose love of all creatures gained him recognition as the patron saint of animals. This was the Trinity Uniteds fourth annual blessing of the animals.
Trinity United Methodist Church was formed in 1956 when two local Southeast Portland churches –Woodstock and Clinton-Kelly Methodist Churches – were merged. It is committed to spiritual growth through worship, education, outreach and service.
In addition to weekly Sunday morning services, the church provides space for AA meetings, the Blooming Garden Preschool, the Southeast Indoor Park, and a worship space for the Vietnamese Bible Church. Twice a year, space is provided for naturescaping workshops given by the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District.