On Sunday afternoon, individuals gathered at Southbend Park in LaGrange to expertise an out of doors church service and have their pets blessed by Senior Minister Dr. John Beyers and Senior Associate Minister the Rev. Ben Wills, each of The First United Methodist Church of LaGrange. The animals current had been overwhelmingly canine.
Sammi Wills stated she named her canine, Copper, after a personality in Disney’s “The Fox and the Hound.” She additionally stated the title matched his colour.
“We just thought [the event] was a fun thing, definitely,” she stated. “Can’t hurt to get him blessed and get to come out and see lots of furry friends and just have a good time.”
Elaine McCook, who got here together with her sister, Linda Cody, introduced her two canine, Oona and Finn.
“I think [this event] is a unique way of us recognizing creatures that belong to God’s kingdom,” McCook stated.
Beyers stated the weirdest animal he’s ever needed to bless was a tarantula.
“It’s been a number of years,” he stated. “It was in a fish tank, you know, covered.”
Beyers stated his church holds the occasion annually as a result of animals are an necessary a part of God’s creation.
“They often show us the marvelous love of God in a very compassionate and caring way,” he stated.
“And we’ll talk about it in the service how God has used animals to communicate his love to human beings. … We do this, too, for children’s sake. So, you know, to learn to care for creation or to care for their pets as a way of thanking God for the gift of creation and being good stewards of what God has given us.”
During the service, there was a musical efficiency by Mari Elizabeth Gerick, who sang “All Creatures of Our God and King” whereas taking part in a guitar.
During his sermon, Beyers defined the distinction between happiness and pleasure. He started by saying that Jesus guarantees us love and studying John 15: 9 – 13:
“‘The Lord Jesus said, ‘As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These issues I’ve spoken to you, that my pleasure could also be in you, and that your pleasure could also be full. This is my commandment, that you simply love each other as I’ve cherished you. Greater love has nobody than this, than to put down one’s life for his pals.’’
Beyers defined that happiness depends upon exterior components, similar to whether or not or not a member of the family takes out the trash, whereas pleasure comes from the presence of “the risen Lord” inside us.
“It’s a constant regardless of the ups and downs of life because it comes from the inside,” he stated. “It is evidence of the fruit of the Holy Spirit that lives in us that helps us find something positive, something joyful, something meaningful even through the most challenging circumstances.”
He additionally learn a paper he had written, titled, “Everything I know about joy I learned from my dog:”
“Never pass up an opportunity to go for a joy ride. Allow the experience of fresh air and wind in your face to be pure ecstasy. When a loved one comes home, always run to greet them. When it’s in your best interest, practice obedience. Take naps and stretch when rising. Run, romp, and play daily. Always be loyal. If what you want lies buried, dig for it. When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close, and nuzzle them gently. Thrive on attention and let people touch you. Avoid biting when a simple growl will do. On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree. Delight in the simple joy of a long evening walk. No matter how often you’re scolded, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout. Rather, run right back and make friends. And lastly, and maybe more importantly, if it’s not wet and sloppy, it’s not a real kiss.”