Racing Turtle

We had a racing turtle at church this past Sunday. Emma Bausch brought her pet turtle for our Blessing of the Animals service. At the beginning of the service Emma set her pet on the grass and it was like the turtle was in the reptile Olympics. She took off across the lawn with all three Bausch’s chasing after her. She may have also been motivated by the three rows of dogs that were sitting behind her at the service. I have never seen a turtle move so fast, we almost couldn’t catch her. I think her next stop was the Mill Pond.

I love the animal blessing service. It is such a good time and we can never have enough fun in church. I also appreciate this special day because we team up with the League for Animal Protection. Volunteers from the League always come and bring rescue animals. We also give all the money that is collected in the offering to this important organization.

This year the league has an especially important job. The recession is hurting many families and this includes pets. One particular problem this year is that some families are so impacted by the economy that they have to give up their pets. The league has rescued a number of dogs that were loved by their humans, but couldn’t stay in the home anymore due to job loss or relocation, So if you are thinking of adopting a dog or cat you may consider a loving and quiet mature animal, if the thought of puppy or kitty energy is too much for you.

We do the Blessing service on the first Sunday in October because this is close to St. Francis Day. St. Francis has been called the patron saint of ecology due to his love for all of God’s creation. It is only coincidental that I am preaching a series of sermons on the environment this month. I am sharing some of the things I learned in my sabbatical research over the summer and am looking at how we may apply these important lessons to our church life.

Our pets are one very close reminder of how we are all connected—all humans, plants and animals. God has given us this wonderful planet earth to care and tend. Be sure to attend our animal blessing service next year, and some one please bring a video camera. That racing turtle should definitely be on Youtube.

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