Service offers grace to all God's creatures


Ted Uhlig blesses a pooch at OKC-Mayfair Heights. Photo by Ember Lively

A Pet Blessing Service at OKC-Mayfair Heights Church took its cue from The United Methodist Book of Worship.

The resource describes a Blessing of Animals service as witnessing "to God’s and the Church’s love, care, and concern for creation" and recognizing "our mutual interdependence with God’s creatures."

On Oct. 17, the blessing service was the highlight of numerous activities between 4 and 6 p.m.. Costumed as Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and ecology, Pastor Ted Uhlig blessed 45 pets and their owners. He also extended God’s grace to animals brought from an adoption shelter, including nine puppies.

Some children of the church were costumed as nursery-rhyme characters, including Mary who had a little lamb. They handed out "All Creatures of Our God and King" bookmarks.

The event included free food, animal paintings exhibited by Paseo District artists, and entertainment by a trio from Guthrie High School and the church choir. Costumed as Mother Goose, Barbara Chesser-Byrd read animal stories to the youngsters.

Worship Chairman Marsha Davis said, "We saw many new faces—from the neighborhood and friends of friends."

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