Looking back at the church I grew up in, I admire the things it was known for. I admire that it was known as one of the most fiercely humanist congregations in our denomination, I admire that it treated its pastors well, and I admire the reverence for nature that was present in all that we did.
Every potluck and event was at least vegetarian, if not vegan, every garden on the grounds was meticulously maintained, and while it was such a strongly humanist congregation in its reputation, there was room for the vibrancy of earth-centered traditions to speak to us. We always honored the wheel of the year and the rhythm of living and our place in the web of all existence was something that moved and transformed all who attended.
And every now and then we had an animal blessing. I look back and I try to imagine my three dogs, two scrappy westies and a big bounding labrador/newfoundland mix and I am glad we never tried to navigate such an event. But underneath all of that, there were continual reminders about our place in nature and our humility toward it.
Today is a day that celebrates and reminds us of our reverence for one piece of the web of life – our pets, our companion animals. For many traditions, Episcopalians, Catholics, Lutherans, and some other protestants, this is the day where St. Francis of Assisi is honored. Read the rest of this entry »