Blessing the animals
by Ann van Engelen
St Ambrose Anglican Church in Sheffield recently held its annual service of blessing of the animals.
“People were invited to bring their farm or house pets to the service to be blessed and those without either were invited to bring along their favourite stuffed animal toys.
“In the service we gave thanks to God for the gifts of creation and we are mindful of the fact that this wonderful gift is ours to take care of. Our prayers included both a gratitude for the companionship of our pets, and a confession that we have not taken care of our planet as well as we could.
Our young people around the world have recently called people to action regarding climate change.
“In our scriptures we have creation stories and these form the foundation
of how we view the world, namely that we have a sacred trust to be faithful stewards of Earth’s resources. The way Christians view God’s creation is that it is something given as a gift by God and that God takes delight in it and in us. Our response then is to care for it just as we would take care of any gift given to us with love.
“This year in attendance were 29 people, five dogs, two cats, two goats, and one lamb that was 11 days old, plus three favourite and much-loved stuffed toys. At one point all the animals were in church together, yes even the goats, and amazingly all remained completely quiet.”