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Service will offer animal blessings

Bethany Lutheran Church will host pet blessing service in April

On Sunday, April 17, animals are invited to church.

Bethany Lutheran Church in Warren will host a blessing of the animals following a short service next month.

Pastor Rory Scott at Bethany Lutheran said he plans to offer the animal blessing service shortly after 11 a.m., to honor and give thanks for the pets that enrich our lives.

"We'll have a little time of prayer," Scott said. "We'll be singing a couple of hymns that have to do with animals."

Scott said participants can bring their animals and keep them in their cars when the 10:25 a.m. service starts, then bring them out in front of the church for the final part of the morning.

"Last year, I walked around and gave a little blessing to each of the pets present,” Scott said. “We close with "This is My Father's World," which is just a nice song to end with. All the creatures are part of it.”

Scott said he had the idea to incorporate an animal blessing service long ago, and was prompted to offer it last spring. Having a fondness for dogs and cats himself, he didn't hesitate.

"The purpose I guess is just kind of recognizing that pets enrich our lives and they are a blessing,” Scott said. "Pets, whether it be a turtle or a bird, these are creatures that have been created to enrich our lives and we are to have dominion over them, which does not mean law over them, it means take care of them.”

The pastor admits the service was dampened by rainy weather last year, which made it difficult to take shelter during the ceremony. It's difficult to tell what mid-April's weather will bring, but he said the church worked it out last year and could do the same again this year if necessary.

The animal blessing service is free and open to the public.