A church in Weymouth, MA is now offering services for dog owners. On Sunday, October 5 the church held the first of its weekly “woof ‘n’ worship” services, which will be open to dogs and their owners.
“The idea came to me as I was sitting reading the Bible with my two dogs at my feet,” said the Rev. Rachel Bickford. “Psalm 150 says, ‘Praise the Lord, let everything that breathes, praise the Lord.’ And Psalm 148 reads, ‘Let all wild animals, creeping things and flying birds give God praise.’
“So I thought wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing to let all things praise God together and have families bring their dogs to church.”
I admire Rev. Bickford for being so open-minded and willing to try something a little different.
“Things are so tough on everyone right now that we forget to thank God for the good things and find the miracles of everyday life. Our animals always bring that. If you can’t pay the oil bill or had a bad day at work, your dog doesn’t care. He just thinks you’re wonderful. Dogs listen, they don’t talk back, and they give unconditional love. . . .
“I really see that as part of God’s blessing here on earth – to remind us what to be thankful for, and to find joy.”
The church was worried about allowing all dogs into the services, but Rev. Bickford did a bit of praying and a decision was made. So, for all the Pit Bull lovers out there, don’t worry they can “woof n’ worship” too.
She’s pleased to report that all kinds of dogs will be welcome at the church, though they will have to be on leashes. When she first broached the idea, the church’s insurance company said pit bulls could not attend. But the church was able to pay a little more and win a dispensation for the breed, she said.
“This was something I had prayed about and thought about,” Bickford said of opening services to dogs. “Dogs bring such hope in a world where we’re surrounded by such hopelessness. As I’ve gone through my ministry, I’ve noticed how dogs change people’s lives. Studies show they can lower blood pressure. . . . And I thought it would be just so much fun.”
What a great story, we give Rev. Bickford two big paws up. What do you think about bringing your dog to church? Give me a bark.