Blessings for pets and all

Minister Terry Newberry blesses Sherlock, the Cavalier King Charles spaniel, with his owner Sue Abbott of West Tisbury. - Lynn Christoffers

On Sunday, November 6, the First Congregational Church of West Tisbury hosted “The Blessing of the Animals,” which began with a call to worship led by interim minister Terry Newberry.  Parishioners and guests sang the hymn, “All Things Bright and Beautiful” from their seats, with many holding tight to the leashes of various canine breeds. Reverend Newberry then invited each pet and owner to step up to be blessed at the altar, one by one. Gloria- a frisky mini schnauzer was one of the first in line, followed by Sherlock, a lovely Cavalier King George spaniel, then a beautiful pair of golden retrievers, a standard poodle and several handsome full and mixed breeds.

This year was a dog event, as the only other pet to participate was Peaches, the caique parrot.. Owners Libby and David Fielder brought Peaches out of her cage for all to see up close after she had her blessing. Peggy Yoars, who lost her beloved 9-year-old Great Dane, Lola, presented Lola’s tin of ashes for the Minister’s blessing.

Electra Saltzberg, 1 ½ years old, didn’t bring her own pet, but enjoyed time after the service meeting the Gloria the schnauzer, and her owner, Tobey Roberts, age 11. Bonnie, the golden retriever therapy dog, joined the gang playing with the children between the pews.

Following the service, visitors and owners were busy as cameras clicked and a good time was had by all.