Keene UMC includes pet blessing in VBS fun

| August 16, 2021

Pastor Paula Marbury gives a blessing over Buckeye at Keene UMC Bible school. (Marianne Austin)

Many congregations had to cancel VBS in 2020 because of restrictions. This year churches put their summer program back on the calendar.

“After last year we wanted to reach out to the children in the community with an abbreviated experience of just three days, two nights and Saturday morning,” Pastor Paula Marbury of Keene United Methodist Church said. The Ark Adventure was for pre-school through 6th grade with adults and young adults helping as volunteers.

“In the Methodist experience pet blessings have always been what the church is about so we decided to do The Noah’s Ark Adventure,” Marbury said. “We’ve invited our children and their families to bring their pets on Saturday, whatever that is – puppies, dogs, cats, etc. We’ve had llamas, snakes, we have even had a tarantula in the past.”

Marbury read from the Methodist Worship Book, “We thank God for letting us be stewards or caretakers. The blessing celebrates our interdependence with animals. Animals give families love and support.”

“This year we did family groups instead of separating by age group. Their name tags show a picture of the animal family that they belong to and their names are on their tags. Each group has different ages like a family unit. The older ones help the younger ones and the younger ones have someone to look up to. God wants us all to be caretakers and stewards and so we did elephants, lions and gorillas and we talked about how lion families are called a pride, gorilla families are called a troop and  elephants in a family are called a herd. The kids learned some new information and also got to be part of a family.”

The Ark Adventure wrapped up with the pet blessing, which the community was invited to attend.

“We invited the community because we want people to know that no matter where you are in life journey, God loves you,” Marbury said. “God loves us all.”

Category: Faith

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