In the book of Genesis, after the flood, God tells Noah: I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark (Gen. 9:9-10).
God's covenant extends not just to humans, but to all living creatures. This is why each year we celebrate a "Blessing of the Animals" worship service. Congregations all over the world observe the Blessing of the Animals, around this time, because Oct. 4th is the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. St. Francis lived in Italy in the 12th and 13th centuries, and is most famous for his love of
animals; he's often depicted in garden statues with birds on his shoulders and bunnies at his feet. But his love for animals wasn't a sentimental affection; he cared for creation out of a deep conviction to share God's love with the whole world. In his time, a world of violence and wars, animals were treated cruelly. He both recognized the call to care for the least of these and the face of God that resides in all of creation.
THIS Sunday September 25th at 11am, Grace will once again be sharing this love with our neighbors at Piedmont Park. Bring your four-legged, furry (or two-legged, feathered) companions and join in the fun. Dogs, cats, hamsters, peacocks & horses are welcome. (Oh - and people, too!)
The service will be held just inside the park at the Charles Allen Drive/10th street entrance. Ample seating will be available and you're invited to bring a blanket. All are welcome to park at Grace UMC and then walk the 1/2 mile to the park. Shuttle service will be available to those who are unable to make the walk. (Shuttles will run from the church parking lot from 10:30-10:45 a.m.)
What a wonderful opportunity to invite friends and praise God together with God's creation in God's beautiful creation. We'll be living out the portion of our vision statement that calls us to "reach outward with God's love," going to where people in our community are on a Sunday morning. Don't forget to wear your Grace T-shirt!
See you in the park on Sunday and all the furry and human friends you bring along! Invite your friends with this
Grace and Peace,