St. John’s Episcopal Church Annual Blessing of the Animals

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – St. John’s Episcopal Church of Jackson Hole announces “the loudest service of the year,” the annual Blessing of the Animals Sunday, October 14, 2018 at 10am St. John’s welcomes critters of all kinds (and their humans) to this special service.

Blessing of the Animals at St. John’s Episcopal Church. (Darrah Isaacson)

The Blessing of the Animals is an annual event timed around the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. Francis was known for his love of all creatures and is the patron saint of animals. Many churches offer animal blessing services, usually held in early October. St. John’s has held a service like this for animals since the early 80s.

Over the past 35 years, animals including dogs, cats, fish, birds, and even a few horses have been blessed. People may also choose to bring photos of their pets if it is difficult for their pets to attend the service. All animals should be leashed.

“It’s fun to see people with their pets,” Jimmy Bartz, Rector of St. John’s Church said. “Each of us finds an animal that matches our personality.”

The service recognizes that the animals with whom we share this planet are important to us, to God, and we are blessed by their presence in our lives. Animals provide stability for their families during trying times.

St. John’s Church encourages animal lovers and owners to not only attend the service, but to get involved by bringing pet food or litter. These supplies are then donated to the Jackson Cupboard to assist people in crisis feed their pets.

This year St. John’s is inviting all community animal advocates to the service as well. Grainnie, the well? known white horse with Horse Warriors, will be outside greeting visitors to the campus. The 20?year?old Nakota, a breed derived from mustangs and Percherons, has been one of the community’s most famous “white horses” for the White Horse Social and for Old Bill’s Fun Run. She loves children and is incredibly kind and patient.

Another community organization in attendance each year is Pet Partners. Pet Partners helps facilitate programs such as Ruff Readers, which involves children reading aloud to dogs. This increases the child’s enthusiasm for reading, develops reading skills, teaches her how to interact with animals, promotes confidence and breaks down boundaries, inspiring warmth and compassion.

If you are a community advocate for animals and would like to participate or simply attend the service, reach out to the church at 307?733?2603.

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