Blessing of animals in fourth year

CNJ file photo Three area churches plan to hold a pet blessing ceremony Saturday at Trinity Lutheran Church on West 21st Street.

Sharna Johnson

Organizers are hoping to have a zoo Saturday on the lawn of the Trinity Lutheran Church.

The fourth annual pet blessing ceremony begins at 3 p.m. and will bring together pastors from Clovis’ Trinity Lutheran, St. James Episcopalian and Trinity United Methodist churches.

“We’d like to have a zoo,” said Scott Seymour, Trinity United Methodist pastor.

“As long as they are on a halter, leash and under control in some way, then we will be glad to say a simple blessing over the animal and thank God for them and their lives and all that that means to that person.”

Seymour said pastors will say a small blessing over each pet and its owner and the ceremony will be followed by a short sermon.

Attendees need not be church members to participate, he said.

Trinity Lutheran pastor Bonita Knox said the ceremony is timed to coincide with remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and founder of the Franciscan order of monks.

Knox, who participated last year, said she thinks the most unusual pets she recalls blessing were probably hamsters.

“It is the most delightful event and so important for people and their pets,” she said.

“Sometimes we forget how important these pets are and to see that in people and in the eyes of the child and to see how much they love their animal (is a wonderful thing).”

Knox said in the three years she has participated in the blessing ceremony no one has brought a large animal such as a horse, cow or llama, but she said she would love to see it an animals of all types and sizes are welcome.

The three churches will join forces again at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 10 for a “CROP walk” to raise money for the Eastern New Mexico Food Bank and Church World Service in an effort to end hunger locally and globally.

Church World Service, a global organization, took part in disaster response efforts in Clovis following the March 2007 tornado that killed two and did millions of dollars to Clovis homes, Seymour said.

Seymour said participants will rally at Java Loft and will walk to The Matt 25 Hope center on Thornton Street and back.

Money raised will be split with 25 percent going to the food bank and 75 percent going to Church World Service.