Pet-blessing goes too farby Kristi Goering Hiltbrunner, Jerome, Mich.
I am trying not to be judgmental. God knows I have enumerable flaws myself.
Still, the Nov. 20 article entitled “Pets celebrated and blessed at church” has been gnawing at me (pardon the pun).
Celebrating animals can be part of God’s wonderful creation. I, too, am an animal lover. I grew up on a farm where my parents taught me a healthy respect for animals. I have experienced many of the animal-lover-blessings the author listed. However, blessing specific animals in the church went a bit far for me.
I am troubled by this because I see a trend in our society (and wealthy societies around the world) to value animals equal to or above people. I find it absurd that many pets in this country are provided for better than the average person in many societies (including many communities right here in the United States.) I am sickened by the thought that more people are interested in pet rescues on Animal Planet than by the rescue of children from abusive and neglectful homes. I am disgusted by TV show hosts blubbering about a pet adoption gone bad. I avoid watching this kind of stuff, so when I read this article I had to ask myself: Am I alone on this? Will a pet blessing ceremony be an annual event in our Mennonite congregations?
I am concerned when we, as people of God, are serving and blessing our pets as much or more than those human beings God commanded us to love and serve: children, the elderly, teenagers and middle-aged, the poor, the outcast and those despised by society.
Animals are great ice-breakers. I encourage all pet lovers to use their pets to get to know people with whom you meet. Let your pet help you build relationships with people around you. Your relationship with your pet is not a bad thing unless there is a real, live person who needs you more.
As a former elementary school teacher and adoptive mom, I’m sure there are some little (and big) people who need our time, attention, money, love and blessings more than do our pets.
Associated Issue: Good preaching - Nov. 20, 2007
- Throwing out the tree
- The Bradleys: shopping at the thrift shop
- The Millers: Three Kings Day and Epiphany
- The Neffs: St. Nicholas Day
- All our hopes and fears
- Green gift ideas
- Christmas isn't perfect, but neither are we
News stories, digests and Meno Acontecer
- Top 10 news stories during 2007 for Mennonite Church USA
- Peace advocates finish their final children's book
- Conference celebrates its changing face
- $250 wheelchair, delivered
- James Waltner, church leader, dies at 76
- Henry Dueck had passion for people
- Prayers for new life
- Emerge Ministries prevents homelessness
- Denomination cuts pastors’ health insurance
- Exchange program within global South
- Bethel College students recovering from accident
- AIMM moves administration to Africa
- Young adults begin ecumenical project
- Seeing the new
- More peace this Christmas?
- Making the church more offensive
- How to love as Jesus loved