Animal Ministry Forum Gathers a Flock

Animal Ministry Forum Gathers a Flock

by Lauren Read of Incarnation, Santa Rosa

Church of the Incarnation, Santa Rosa hosted its Animal Ministry Forum on Sunday, November 20. The purpose of this interfaith event was to acknowledge, honor, celebrate and build upon our relationships with animals. The event opened with an abundant plant-based reception contributed by many local companies including Amy’s Kitchen and Mutt Lynch Winery. Reception speakers representing various faiths served to present official statements on animals as well as programs being implemented in their faith communities. The 60 attendees migrated from the parish hall to the sanctuary for two keynote speakers: Dr. Laura Hobgood-Oster, a theologian and academic of religion and environmental studies, and author of The Friends We Keep: Unleashing Christianity’s Compassion for Animals; and Christine Gutleben, director of the Faith Outreach program of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

So to better align our faith values with our actions towards our fellow creatures, such programs churches are well-suited to initiate include: pet food bank, therapy certification and visitation, grief support, vaccination clinic, adoption event, fundraiser for humane organization, churchyard wildlife sanctuary, education about animal welfare, and of course, St. Francis Day celebrations.

At the Church of the Incarnation, the Animal Ministry small group has realized dog-assisted visitations to shut-ins, held a successful pet adoption fair, and raised money for Episcopal Relief & Development through a vegan bake sale.

The Episcopal Church’s statements on animals (taken from resolutions at General Convention) can be found by clicking here.

Click here for resources or to contact HSUS Faith Outreach to facilitate ministries for animals.

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Renee Crevelli-Gross wrote:
This article is heartening! Bravo to Church of the Incarnation.

Tue, December 6, 2011 @ 4:46 PM

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