Blessings of Love

Part of the amazing nature of God is the unconditional love that’s offered to all people. We see this love in the promise to care for the descendants of Abraham. In Joseph’s love for his brothers, despite their actions that led him to a life of slavery. In Paul’s conversion despite being an enemy of Christians. When the Prodigal Son is welcomed home.

It’s easy to talk about it but a little harder to truly experience in our lives. After all, we know the betrayal of someone who claimed to love us. We know the pain of a loved one leaving. We know the stress of relationships.

I believe that’s why humans have pets! Our pets remind us that we are loved. I know, the analogy can fall apart pretty quickly with some pets—my grandmother’s cat was just mean, and she always bore scratches on her arms from his outbursts. I think it was because she called it a girl’s name for months until the vet said it was a boy! I am cautious here, but also know that it’s been true for many of us.

Our family has three cats. Our life was humming along perfectly until our daughter fell in love for a kitten and we brought it home from Flagstaff for her birthday in July (ask her Sunday about the longer story if you want!). All three cats share their unconditional love with us. Jasper hops with Ron when he’s watching television and falls asleep lying on his legs. Marble lies between us in bed, stretching his paw out to touch us and purring contentedly. Smoky hops up in my lap while I’m typing, begging for attention and eventually falling asleep.

Dogs are often even more loving. We fostered a big dog who didn’t realize she was a nuisance to us. We came home to her joyful energy greeting us as though we were her best friend. We dog-sat for two geriatric dogs who would meet us at the door with joyful wagging. It seems dogs are lavish with their love when they are safe and happy.

The unconditional love that our pets share with us makes them agents of God’s unconditional love. They become family, and are loved as such.

With that in mind, our Animal Ministry team sets aside a day each fall to celebrate those pets who bring us love. We will hold our annual Blessing of the Animals on Sunday, to bless and pray over our pets. Details are below.

I pray that you feel the unconditional love of our God who created us. Spend some time giving thanks for that love, which is seen in big and small ways in our lives, sometimes even through our pets!

See you soon.
Pastor Lynn

Bring Your Pet to Blessing of the Animals

The Animal Ministry Team is excited to bring you the 10th annual St. Mark’s Blessing of the Animals. The service will take place at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9 on the labyrinth of our Meditation Gardens. Pets should be leashed or in carriers, or bring your photo! We will collect a freewill offering for Cody’s Friends, a local organization that supports the pets of people in need as well as human service organizations, animal rescue groups, and shelters.


  • 8:30 a.m. Traditional service in Sanctuary and child care in Rm 15
  • 10 a.m. Traditional service in Sanctuary and child care in Rm 15
  • 10 a.m. Youth and children’s Sunday School and child care (except fifth Sundays)
  • 10 a.m. Livestream premieres on YouTube and Website

To access our livestream service:

  • From the main menu on our website click “Worship.”  -OR-
  • Go to YouTube and search for UMC St. Mark’s Oro Valley or use this link.