Rev. Ellie Elia is currently planning this year’s Blessing of the Animals service, an annual tradition that is part of Season of Creation.
This is the second year that Rev. Elia has run the service, which honours the role that animals play in creation.
This service sees people bring their pets along to church, either on a leash or in a carrier.
“Last year was the first time that I had lead this wild and wonderful service and because there was a high chance of rain at that time we decided to hold it inside the church,” Rev. Elia said.
The service, she said, was a reminder of God’s grace.
“To say I was nervous was an understatement. I was able to channel this nervous energy into my sermon,” she said.
““And what will we do if one of God’s creatures poos in the church? Then we will practice kindness.””
“We all mess up from time to time, yet Jesus teaches us to lay down our worries, shame and burdens, so that we might take up joyful courage, that is at the heart of our liberation.”
“Well, no one pooed in the church and thankfully there were no bites, it all went amazingly well. I think honestly naming the wildness of the gathering that we were all being invited into helped. We also offered a moment for people to reflect on the wisdom of animals and there were some incredibly meaningful stories shared. One surprised was to discover how the presence of animals in the church actually relaxed the congregations.”
“Everyone was smiling, everyone was open to the unexpected, everyone was making space for each other. Another gift was how many people invited their family, friends and neighbours to come along. Whatever happens this year, I will be looking for God’s blessing for as all.”
To hear Rev. Elia’s 2018 Sermon, visit Glenbrook Uniting Church’s website here.
The Blessing of the Animals service takes place at Glenbrook Uniting Church on Sunday, 29 September at 9:30.
Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor