COOS BAY — Emmanuel Episcopal Church and Gloria Dei Lutheran Church are hosting a community "Blessing of Our Animal Friends" at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 4, at the Mingus Park playground area on North 10th Street in Coos Bay, rain or shine. Pacific Cove Humane Society will join in the celebration, providing treats for the pets in attendance.

The treasured tradition of the Blessing of the Animals began with St. Francis of Assisi many centuries ago. St. Francis is honored as the patron saint of animals and the environment, and preached the connection of all creation. Pastor Jon Strasman of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Coos Bay, and Pastor Christy Close Erskine of Emmanuel Episcopal Church, also in Coos Bay, will lead the service, afterward giving an individual blessing to each animal present and their human companions.

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Pet owners are invited to bring their dogs and cats, and other family pets, to the outdoor service. They are requested to have dogs on a leash and to be certain that they are friendly with other animals. Small animals, such as cats and birds and rabbits, should be brought in carriers. Photos of pets that would be too difficult to transport to the park may also be brought for a blessing, as well as photos of pets who have passed away and are specially remembered.

For further information about the Blessing of Our Animal Friends, call Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 541-267-2347 or Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 541-269-5829.

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