Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Outreach Gone Awry?

The Northwest District’s Northwest Passage reported on the Blessing of the Animals at Portland’s Zion Lutheran Church last May. As part of this outreach experience, you could bring in your favorite dog, cat, parakeet, or boa constrictor, and have them blessed (leash or cage required). As the announcement in the church’s newsletter said, “We know what a blessing the pets are to us; now it’s time for us to ask God’s blessing for them!”

This seems a bit on the gimmicky side to me, sort of like an Ablaze! bracelet. Not really befitting of Christ’s Church. Plus, the Vulcan utterance “Live long and prosper” seems to work just fine for our dog - dogs respond to signing commands more readily anyway.

If you really want to have a day of blessing for something practical, my first choice would be a day of blessing for my fleet of PCs, not my pet. I've had way more problems with computers than I've ever had with my dog. What do you think?

9 comments:

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

You mean. . . we had never asked God to preserve pets before. . . hmmm... maybe they aren't part of that whole creation thing. I hadn't known that - the things you learn in Portland.

Kurt Onken said...

This reminds me of the fake news on one episode of "Almost Live!", the Seattle comedy show of some years ago, where John Keister reported:

"St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral held their annual blessing of the animals this past Sunday. Happening on the same day was a similar event in Enumclaw...the blessing of the Camaros."

Dan at Necessary Roughness said...

I've had several laptops that would be better off baptized...(mutter) :)

Jim Pierce said...

I wonder if this was a "scoop your own" event, or did they provide ushers with bags and shovels to clean up after the "blessings" were given?

Scott Diekmann said...

I guess praying for Creation - that God would sustain it, isn't good enough. We need to be more specific, spread the wealth around by having pet blessings. I too wondered about the poop-scooping details Jim. The details weren't mentioned in their newsletter. I'd hate to be a trustee in that congregation!

Robbie F. said...

Did you know that Nimoy based the "live long and prosper" hand sign on the Hebrew letter Shin, first initial of the word "Shem" (name), used by rabbis in temple to bless their congregation?

Odd duck, that Nimoy. He wrote a book called "Shekinah" which I believe is mostly art photography. He interprets "Shekinah" as the feminine aspect of God. I really have to stop watching special features on DVDs...

Scott Diekmann said...

I didn't know that Robbie. I guess you have been watching too many special features on the DVDs! It doesn't really surprise me about Leonard's "digital" word play though. Interesting, especially if you're Jewish.

Fallhiker said...

I remember being stationed in Hawaii, back in the 80's, my wife (a former Wisconsin Synod Lutheran) was bed ridden with a problem pregnancy (after losing our first child 9 months earlier). When her Pastor (again Wisconsin Synod) told her that he could not pray for her only constant companion a 2 year old Basset Hound (who had Parvo-virus at the time). Let's see 1. Pregnant Navy Wife 2. Sick dog.... would it have hurt?

Scott Diekmann said...

The prayer of a righteous man availeth much - including when it's for a dog!