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Trinity United offers "Blessing of the Animals"

ELIZABETH USSHER GROFF - Carolyn Thurmans cat Rocket Girl is blessed by Rev. Sandy Storment at Trinity United Methodist Churchs annual Blessing of the Animals. Carolyn says the blessing is like a thank-you card, expressing appreciation to animals that enrich our lives.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 feline’s 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 United’s 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.

The church is also involved in the “Back Pack Buddies” meal program, providing donated food for weekend meals for school children from a couple of local schools. On the fourth Wednesday of each month, Trinity joins with the Reedwood Friends Church in preparing and serving a meal for the homeless. Anyone interested in helping with that can contact the church at 503/777-3901, or through e-mail: HYPERLINK "mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..