Furry Friends Showered with Blessings
The corner of Bellaire Blvd. and Newcastle Dr. transformed into a furry frenzy on Saturday afternoon, as Bellaire United Methodist Church hosted its ninth annual “Blessing of the Animals” event while Evelyn’s Park hosted “Evelyn’s BARK.”
In the Christian tradition, Blessing of the Animals traces back to St. Francis of Assisi, who was a patron of the animal world. Many churches celebrate Blessing of the Animals in the fall, around the feast day for St. Francis of Assisi on Oct. 4. But Bellaire UMC has been celebrating Blessing of the Animals as a larger, community-wide event in the spring for the past nine years.
“We think of it as a gift we can offer to the community,” said Bellaire UMC Head Pastor Seann Duffin. “We invite everybody who loves animals to come, regardless of their faith, tradition or lack of one, and have a time where their pet friends can be blessed.”
The event started at noon with an opening prayer, homily and group blessing by the pastors. Afterwards, attendees could take their pets to receive an individual blessing from one of the pastors. Nine pet rescue centers were also onsite with some of their adoptable animals, in hopes of finding them new forever homes.
Across the street, pets mingled with each other and pet owners checked out a number of booths run by service organizations, including Gaithful Paws, aniMealsonWheels, Rescue Bank, Pawz, Rover Oaks Pet Resort, Southeastern Guide Dogs, Meadowlake Pet Resort, Woof Gang Bakery.
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