blessing of the animals

East County Shared Ministry invites everyone to bring their pets to church on Sunday, Oct. 13, at 10 a.m. for the annual Blessing of the Animals. The service will be held in the facility’s social hall at 200 E. Leland Road in Pittsburg. All critters are welcome, as long as they are leashed, caged or otherwise safely secured.

This annual event is always held in the social hall, where tile floors offer a much more pet-friendly environment for the animals. A fellowship time will follow worship with refreshments for the humans, who are encouraged to bring treats for their pets during this time.

This tradition is an international one and honors St. Francis of Assisi, whose love of nature and all creation sparked the custom 800 years ago. The event here has become a happy and meaningful one for those whose pets are truly family members.

“Our pets are often part of our family and offer a special kind of companionship,” said Rev. Christy Ramage, co-pastor. “They can help reduce stress and relieve loneliness among the many benefits.”

Movies such as “The Secret Life of Pets” and “Homeward Bound” acknowledge our critters for their companionship, intelligence, emotional support, as well as increase social interaction and self-esteem. So pack up your pet and join the celebration on Sunday, Oct. 13, at 10 a.m., and honor our furry, spiky, slimy, feathery and scaly friends, all creatures great and small.

East County Shared Ministry consists of Community Presbyterian Church of Pittsburg and First Congregational Church of Antioch. ECSM recognizes, celebrates and gives thanks for the many diverse gifts of God among us. All are invited to participate in their community and worship life including, but not limited to, believers, seekers, agnostics, women and men, those of all sexual orientations and gender identities and expressions, those of all races and cultures, those of all classes and abilities, those who hope for a better world and those who have lost hope.

Services are every Sunday at 10 a.m. Visit www.eastcountysharedministry.org. Call 925-439-9161 or 925-757-4094 for more information.

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