On Sunday, October 6th, the 10:00 service at Paradise Lutheran Church will be held outdoors and will include a “Blessing of the Animals”. Paradise Lutheran Church is located at 780 Luther Drive (between CVS drugstore and Terry Ashe Park). Everyone is invited to bring your pets or other significant animals in your life to this special service. Expect to see lots of different kinds of animals including a goat and lambs from Criswell Ranch. All animals must be on leashes.
It's not unusual for congregations to bless pets and other animals early in October (on or around the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi). And increasingly some congregations bless children's school backpacks (and sometimes even professionals' briefcases). In Southern California and on the East Coast, pastors bless surfboards and those who ride them. And in a New Jersey town, Zion Lutheran Church participates in an annual Blessing of the Fleet: commercial and recreational boats. For a long time many congregations and denominations have offered blessings of various personal and devotional objects - religious medals, cross/crucifix necklaces, palm crosses on Palm Sunday, automobiles, new homes, etc.
Pr. Rod from Paradise Lutheran Church explains that while some might think such practices mere superstition, others increasingly see such "blessings" as ways to connect their spiritual lives and practices with the intimate parts of their everyday lives. So, in keeping with the times, at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 6th (which is the Sunday nearest Oct. 4th - the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, a well-known lover and protector or wildlife), Paradise Lutheran Church will hold a "Blessing of the Animals" as part of our worship that day.
Please mark your calendar and plan to participate. Some folks have even been known to bring 'stuffed' animals for blessing on those days - so bring whatever "animal" is significant in your life! All are invited.