St. Francis of Assisi Day – Blessing of the Animals

Having an animal-loving, Anglican-Franciscan as our priest, it was only logical that we’d be celebrating St. Francis of Assisi Day with an animal blessing at the church. Approximately 17 humans and 14 four-legged animals (primarily dogs with a few cats) gathered at the makeshift altar at the outside front of the church (with the unwelcome guano-dropping animals roosting above) to receive bestowed blessings. Animals were, appropriately, blessed with a water-drawn sign of the cross and their human caretakers were subjected to sprinklings of holy water, compliments of Rev. Billy, who seemed to enjoy the latter far too much. Had the temperature been more seasonable, water would have been more welcome.

News Item: Regrettably, despite having a double blessing, Eileen and Greg’s canine is still misbehaving. While God blesses all living creatures, He doesn’t necessarily correct their incorrigability. That’s probably up to every dog’s “parents.”

Pics from the event can be viewed here.

Our New Church Eco Policy

An “Eco Policy” for our church was presented to the congregation by Ian Bowden as a part of his September 30th sermon. As Ian pointed out, our church community being eco-sensitive is a direct response to the fifth of the Marks of Mission of the Anglican Church of Canada: “To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and to sustain the life of the earth.”

The other two main points of Ian’s presentation were:

  1. We need to add another ‘R’ to the current three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. That would be to “rethink” whether there’s a better alternative to the thing we are acquring or purchasing. Many things that are thought to be recyclable are not because there is little or no market for the recycled material.
  2. That one-time-plastic – like that used in packaging and for eating utensils and such that are used briefly and then thrown away – is a signifcant burden to the world. About 44% of the plastic that’s currently produced is used only once and then goes on to live for 450-1,000 years in a landfill.

The policy will be reviewed every three years by vestry.

Ian welcomes responses to the policy, which can be downloaded here.