On a recent walk down Greenville’s Main Street, I found myself in step with a lady walking her dog. Having seen her and her dog before, I introduced myself, and she reciprocated with her name. Our conversation trended toward the usual topics: the weather, the vibrant nature of the downtown area, the overabundance of condominiums, and our wonderful variety of restaurants. The conversation lulled to silence, and then she said, “I feel like I’ve met you before.” I told her I serve as Senior Minister of First Baptist Greenville, and her eyes immediately lit up. “I have my dog blessed there when you do the Blessing of the Pets service! That’s where I’ve seen you!” she exclaimed. At that point, I reached down to reintroduce myself to her dog. I had no fear of being bitten. Her dog is a bichon frise (or some mix thereof), so the only danger was being licked to death.
On Sunday, October 3, at 6:30pm, on our labyrinth, we will celebrate our annual Blessing of the Pets service. This is a cherished event for our children and, of course, for all our animal loving adults. I encourage you to bring your dogs, cats, reptiles, spiders and any other creaturely friends you can safely transport to the church. Through music, prayer and the spoken word, we will thank God for the wonders of creation. We will conclude the service by speaking a word of blessing to each pet and their owners.
Because cats and canines tend to be the most prevalent attendees, there will be snacks (dog biscuits and cat treats) provided for these pets. In addition, this year we will be hosting a ‘donation table’ for Greenville Animal Care. If you are able, we are asking you to bring canned dog food (chopped) and canned cat food (non-fish) to donate to Greenville Animal Care. These canned items will be our offering for the evening!
Put the Blessing of the Pets on your calendar and invite another pet lover to come with you. Let’s celebrate God’s creation together.
—Jim

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