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Pastor blesses furry friends



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Pastor Wilson blesses Lucy Ricardo, a 25-pound Himalayan Maine Coon cat. Holding the big kitty is owner Joy. (click for larger version)
October 05, 2011 - A typical church service often contains a fair number of amens and hallelujahs.

But the one held Sunday afternoon at Immanuel Congregational United Church of Christ in Oxford Village was punctuated by a few meows and woofs.

That's because the church's pastor, Liz Wilson, held a special blessing of the pets.

"I am a big animal lover," Wilson explained. "I love pets. I love wild creatures . . . And I wanted to draw attention to our church and show that it's a very warm, loving place where people can relax. I did it for all of those reasons."

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Wilson explained to the small crowd how animals are vessels capable of both receiving and giving God's love.

"When we pour our love into an animal and that love comes back to us through that animal's face, that's God's love," she said. "It may have been diluted a bit, but it still is."

And best of all, the love an animal gives is unconditional and complete.

"It doesn't make any difference if your breath smells or your feet stink or you've had a terrible, crappy day because they love you," Wilson said. "It doesn't matter to them. And I think that's what I like most about having a beautiful animal whether it be a kitty or a puppy."

After the individual blessings, Wilson ended her outdoor service with the following group blessing, "All creatures great and small. All creatures wild and wonderful. All creatures bright and beautiful. Lord God, bless them all."

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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