All creatures – great and small – were welcome at Trinity United Methodist Church in Sunnyvale, California on Sunday (Oct. 21), but although a python and turtle were expected, the traditional Blessing of the Animals service “went to the dogs,” as Music Director Lea McGowan put it. Humankind’s best friend was well represented, as five dog owners brought their pets to be blessed by Trinity’s pastor, the Rev. Jay Parr. A Certificate of Blessing, reading, “… presented with thanksgiving for [name]” went to each, after the congregation joined in praying, “Bless, O Lord, [animal’s name] and fill our hearts with thanksgiving for its being.”
The day’s music – from “All Creatures of Our God and King” to “This Is My Father’s World” – focused awareness on the fact that the other creatures with whom we humans share the planet are God’s creations, too. A congregational sing-along of “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” was thrown in for good measure, as the offertory.