SHREWSBURY – Several dozen well-behaved animals braved the light rain at Shrewsbury Common on June 3 as the First Congregational Church of Shrewsbury held a Blessing of the Animals ceremony.
“We wanted to do a pet blessing, but we wanted it to be a community event open to everyone in the Shrewsbury area,” said Rev. Holly MillerShank, who is the senior minister of First Congregational Church of Shrewsbury and an organizer of the event. “We wanted people to bring their pets, but if that wasn’t an option for them, we also invited people to bring photographs or stuffed animals they wanted blessed.”
The ceremony started with MillerShank blessing lists of departed pets. Before long, animals – including dogs, cats, guinea pigs and Russian tortoises – lined up for their turn.
Conditions weren’t ideal – the rain and relative cold temperatures led to umbrellas and raincoats – but none of the people or animals seemed to mind.
“I hoped it would be a little bit warmer and a little bit drier, but we’re celebrating all of God’s creations, and that includes the rain,” MillerShank said.
The event was more than just pet blessings. Uhlman’s Ice Cream parked its ice cream truck next to the event, and children rode around the town common on two Ridge Valley Stables ponies.
Several pet accessory vendors set up booths at the event, and the church’s youth group members took pictures of the animals at their pet photo booth.
There was also a charitable aspect to the event. Members of the First Congregational Church, which is celebrating its 300th anniversary this year, collected pet food to donate to the Worcester Animal Rescue League. The Worcester Animal Rescue League set up a booth at the event with pet adoption information.
Check out the church’s other events https://www.fccsm.org/copy-of-events.