Friday, October 3, 2014

A furry celebration

Blessing of the Animals returns to Sun Valley

For the Express

    At noon on Sunday, Oct. 5, those driving down Sun Valley Road might notice something odd—animals, everything from horses to snakes, will be lined up on the Bell Tower Patio of St. Thomas Episcopal Church to receive a blessing.
    The Rev. Kenneth Brannon from St. Thomas and the Rev. John Moreland from the Light on the Mountains Center for Spiritual Living will be blessing animals of all shapes and sizes.
    “We don’t define it,” Brannon said. “Any creature that they would like to get a blessing—we’ve seen stuffed animals, horses, mice, as well as tons of cats and dogs. The idea is bring all manor of creature, and we bless the animals, but the animals also bless us.”
    The Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley will also be in attendance and will get a chance to introduce their animals to the community.
    “We sometimes have adoptions, and that’s really cool,” Brannon said.
    The annual Blessing of the Animals takes place around the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, a monk who took an extreme vow of poverty and who was known for his love of animals.
    To make a blessing, Brannon first makes sure he’s making contact with the animal.
    “Usually, I invite the owners up, place a hand on the animal, and then I give thanks for the animal and bless the animal in the name of God. … What’s really cute is when people say, ‘Please bless this dog, he won’t listen to me!’”
    St. Thomas Episcopal Church is located at 201 Sun Valley Road, at the Ketchum-Sun Valley city line. Treats will be provided for animals and humans.
    For more information, call 726-5349.

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