Monday, July 17, 2006

Another New Church Growth Idea



Just think how big the SBC Convention would grow if we added peoples pet's to the role. Of course, they wouldn't show up for the worship service, but I guess that wouldn't be a whole lot different than the majority of people on the roles right now. It's what we call the elusive "inactive" member, which is also known by the technical name of "memberous disappearous".


Beaks, barks, blessings
By Mary Louise Speer

Dogs barked and thumped tails Sunday morning during the annual Blessing of the Animals liturgy at First Presbyterian Church of Davenport.

The service was held outside under shade provided by trees and the rose-stone church with the Rev. Scott Jansen, the church’s associate pastor, presiding. Animals sprawled out on the concrete parking lot or occupied chairs next to their humans during the service.

“May God’s blessing be upon you, and may you flourish in the care and joy of those whose lives you share,” prayed Jansen and the Revs. Richard Wereley, Scott Minteer and Herbert Johnson as each pet came forward for a blessing.

Rocky, a St. Bernard mix, playfully tugged at his leash as he was prayed over and then sprawled out to sniff noses with Sophie and Suzy, creamy white Shih Tzu-bichon frise puppies.

“We do this every year. Our dogs are always shelter dogs, and this is the first year Rocky’s made it through the whole service,” owner Molly Guard of Davenport said.

The blessing also was a first for Sophie and Suzy who are 4 months old.

“We’re members of the church and we’ve done the blessings for several years. I just wanted to bring the puppies for the first time. They’re just fun,” Kathy Middleton of Davenport said.

The service is held outside for a good reason, said senior pastor Wereley. The original blessing took place inside the sanctuary, but church leaders rethought that idea after a parakeet got loose during a service.

Wereley blessed two laboratory rats who received a new lease on life after being rescued from euthanasia by a college student.

Lucy Hartmann, 11, of Davenport, carried her guinea pig, Spike, in a cardboard box. Jansen bent over to take a look at Spike as he prayed the blessing. Spike is a furry Abyssinian guinea pig that the family adopted from the humane society, she said

“I like bringing my guinea pig because he’s a wonderful pet,” Lucy said.

Continuing the animal theme, Deacon Jo Johnson shared good news about a church program, Go Fish, short for Gather Ourselves in Faith and Intention to Share with the Hungry, that collected money for Heifer Project International.

For full article click here.

1 comment:

Pastor Ryan said...

All as I can say is this is something, really something!