Christ Episcopal Church in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, has a new pastoral care ministry called “Paws With Christ” through which certified dog and owner teams visit local nursing homes and work with other community members.
Church rector Fr. Chip Brodfoot blessed the dogs at the church’s service last Sunday
In a special ceremony at the church last Sunday, the dogs were blessed ahead of being sent out into the community to perform what is community service, but also a church ministry.
“I think more than anything it’s a form of pastoral care,” Broadfoot said of the program’s mission. “Honestly, I see dogs as being kind of like angels and that they have an ability to just calm and bring joy to people.”
As a speech therapist in Alabama, Broadfoot worked at a hospital and a program called “Dogs on Call.” She could sign up trained dogs to come in once a month and sit with patients who were autistic, or had Down’s Syndrome.