A Danvers, Massachusetts church has offered a service to help dog owners get closer to God while several news sources emphasize that this service is "for the dogs" rather than for dog owners. We often have dogs in church at St. Francis Day but this church has welcomed them all year round at one service.
We at the Episcopal Cafe noted in this 2008 post the ways that our pets can enhance the richness of one's spiritual life, "On dogs and God and "what sort of Christianity Episcopalian is."
Dogs find a place in church
Danvers parish to host services for people and their pooches
The idea of the service is to take the unconditional love that pet owners feel for their animals and connect that to a feeling to something higher. The service is also meant to help someone who may be grieving from the loss of a pet.
"I think our hope is to meet people where the spirit is already active in their lives," the Rev. Thea Keith-Lucas said, "and their relationship with their animals is one where they are inspired by creation."
Owners' commitment to their pets has a meaning beyond just caring for animals. That love also shows caring for the world, of which all humans are stewards, Keith-Lucas said.
"As we talk together about commitment to these animals, it will spread out from there and deepen our commitment to all creation," Keith-Lucas said.
From the Boston Herald, Tongues will wag at these sermons
A Danvers Episcopal church is going to the dogs, but the idea is to help get their owners closer to God.
The Calvary Episcopal Church is launching the Perfect Paws Ministry, a monthly half-hour service enabling dogs and their owners to share the rapture starting May 16.
“We’re hoping we can reach out to people who have a rich, spiritual life as pet owners and help them focus that experience to God,” said the Rev. Thea Keith-Lucas.
USAToday, misunderstanding the purpose of the service, reflects on whether a service might help pets get to heaven: , Pets and heaven? This church helps pave the way
The AP article, posted at theWashingtonPost online considers this service "for dogs." , Mass. church to offer worship services for dogs