Church Welcomes Pets (UMTV)

Posted By on December 4, 2019

(bark, bark!) [narrator] Every beast of
the earth is welcome… those with two legs, four or
even those with claws. The annual “blessing
of the pets” at Christ United Methodist
Church in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania draws crowds [Joe Hirsch] Father we’re asking
that this cat have a good, long happy life. [narrator] “Franz” the cat
belongs to Rie and Eric Lauver. [Rie Lauver] I remember
seeing the pamphlet in the welcome center on the way in the
first Sunday we were here and I was like, “Hon,
they have a pet ministry! We have to come here!” [Leslie Denton] I think it’s
just wonderful (laughs). He’s had a wonderful experience
today and we’ll sleep better tonight knowing that
he’s been blessed.” [pastor] …bring her long life. [narrator] The “Hearts and Paws”
ministry is committed to people and their pets year-round. It started as a pet-sitting
service for church members in an emergency and blossomed
into training for pet therapy animals, adoption
fairs, free pet food, a prayer hotline, and pet
memorial services. [Joe Hirsch] We bring people to
the church because they say to us, “If you are going to
take care of my pets, you surely will
take care of me.” [narrator] The ministry reaches
out through local veterinarian offices to comfort owners
when a pet dies or gets sick. [Sylvia Bowen]
They’re my children. These are my children. [narrator] Dr. Carolyn Brown
says the pet memorial service is unique and important. [Carolyn Brown] There’s
definitely some of those owners that come in that they
need more closure, they
need to talk about it. [Joe Hirsch] It’s so hard to lose an animal. [narrator] At the monthly
service, pet owners bring in photos or ashes of
their deceased pets. Here they can grieve
and seek comfort. [Judy Dixon] It validates
the life of your pet and your feelings. [Rie Lauver] “Your pets
are going to be waiting for you when you go to heaven.
When you cross the bridge, every pet you have is going
to come maul you over.” I know I’m going to have lots
of kitties coming after me. [narrator] Hearts and Paws
is touching people by caring for their animals. [pastor] She has
such a great owner. [Rie Lauver] Pets just
make everything seem a little bit more happy. [pastor] Ahmen. [dog] whoof!

Posted by Lewis Heart

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