This Sunday there will be a special “Blessing of the Animals” service. This means we are encouraging everyone to bring their pets to church. The tradition traces back nearly nine hundred years to St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. In October many churches around the world incorporate some type of blessing of the animals as part of the feast day commemorating St. Francis. It may seem odd to allow pets in the sanctuary and give them such prominence in a service. But it is a way to honor all of God’s creation--and no part of creation weaves its way into our lives like that of our pets! It reminds us of our connection to all of creation and to celebrate the goodness of what God has created.