Nearly seventy percent of U.S. households have at least one pet. Cats and dogs may grow up alongside our children or become important companions for those who live alone. Churches recognize the bond between people and pets and United Methodists believe in care for all of God's creatures. Many churches offer annual blessing of the animals events. This reflection looks at a few of the ways churches care for people and their pets.
For many of us, pets are family.
Some churches offer blessings for the animals.
First Frisco United Methodist in Texas also collects food and donations to help with vet bills.
Church members pray for sick pets and write cards for those grieving a loss.
Wesley United Methodist in Sheboygan, Wisconsin welcomes pets every Sunday.
Quill and his mom are regulars.
D'Artagnon loves when the congregation sings "Happy Birthday."
Libby was with her family when her baby person was baptized.
Harper's Haven Dog Rescue finds new homes for dogs of hospice patients.
Church members donate blankets and the dogs come to church.
Tracy Lynn Ayers started the ministry with the support of Harpursville United Methodist in NY.
How does your church support pets and their people?
Members of Wesley United Methodist Church, featured in this story, say becoming a pet-friendly congregation has been one of the best decisions their small church has ever made. Welcoming pets has boosted church membership and made Sunday mornings more fun.