Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020

Beginning this week, Spotlight will be sent out on Tuesdays!
NEW! PASTOR’S COFFEE BREAK - CORRECTED LINK to ZOOM
Wednesdays at 11 a.m. – noon
Via Zoom
Last Friday's newsletter had an incorrect link

Join Rev. Austin for a casual, drop-in-anytime-during-the-hour time for coffee and conversation (or your beverage of choice).

To join the Zoom Meeting online (CORRECT):
Meeting ID: 8403 994 5735
To listen on the phone (audio only): Call 929-205-6099; when prompted enter the Meeting ID: 840 3994 5735 followed by the # key. You will be asked for the participant ID – simply press the # key again.
3rd Annual 'Blessing of the Animals'

Sunday, October 4
3:00 p.m.
"In person/pet" event at the front of the church building

Also available via Zoom:

Also by phone (audio only): Call 929-205-6099; when prompted enter the Meeting ID: 8695 414 5626 followed by the # key. You will be asked for the participant ID – simply press the # key again.
Calling all pets!
By Rev. Sue Bennetch

You are a creature of God. So important that when the flood came, God told Noah to take along a pair of every animal on the Ark that was inhabiting the earth! Can you imagine? 

When the rain stopped, and the water receded, Noah took a dove and sent her out to see if she would return. Soon the dove flew back to the Ark. A few days later, Noah sent her out again - this time the dove returned holding a branch of a tree in her beak. Noah knew the storm was over and the land was visible again. It was time to debark from the Ark and begin to till the earth and fill it with every living creature.
Francis of Assisi saw animals as his brothers and sisters, and prayed that God would work through him to help them. Birds sometimes gathered while Francis spoke and listened to him. Francis began preaching to them about the ways that God had blessed them.

This coming Sunday, October 4, we will celebrate the animals that are near and dear to us. This is our 3rd Annual Blessing of the Animals and we are looking forward to having you all there. Physical distancing and masks are required for all the humans!
If this interests you, we will be accepting donations of pet items like food, toys and supplies. These will be shared with our friends at Meals on Wheels of the Greater Lehigh Valley - their clients sometimes struggle with providing for their pets' needs.

We are also excited to offer an online 'from home' option. You can log into our Zoom gathering (or join us by phone), and your pet will receive a blessing. Please contact us at info@fpc-bethlehem.org so we can mail you a certificate of blessing; include your pet(s)' name(s) as well as your name and mailing address.

Looking back at previous Blessing events, these beautiful four-legged friends of ours somehow knew this event was about them. They were very well behaved and attentive. During our short service, they sat quietly next to their owner. We had dogs on leashes, cats in carriers and little pets in cages. 
A young girl brought her two hamsters with her. They were in their well-outfitted glass cage. She was so proud of them. When the prayer was said for the hamsters, the little girl smile became broader and broader. It was clear that she wanted to have God’s blessings on her tiny pets.

Another couple brought their very aged dog. They said she was in failing health. They too wanted her blessed as a thanksgiving for the life she gave them all these years. Over and over we heard stories about the animals who became part of the family.
We will have fresh water for the pets and clean-up bags for your use. Please follow the directions of volunteers on where to park, and how to stay safely distanced.

Matthew 6:26 “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap
nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.”