Monday, October 13, 2008

Non-discriminatory blessings

A while back, I read an article about a church that was doing a blessing for the animals—sans pit bulls, which were prohibited due to the church's insurance carrier's regulations.

This irked me because, simply put, such an excuse is basically a cop-out—a "safe" way to get away with discrimination against "undesirables."

But there's non-discriminatory insurance out there—I've found it—and it's not necessarily more expensive. You just have to make some phone calls.

Most places would have stuck with the lame excuse, but this church's decision really surprised me. They did the right thing, albeit a little late for the blessing. The next news article:
Weymouth church invites dogs to worship
By Stephanie Choate
The Patriot Ledger
Posted Oct 06, 2008 @ 05:49 AM

Kathleen Dolaher of Quincy takes her dogs everywhereshe goes, but Sunday she took them somewhere they had never been: church.

The Pilgrim Congregational Church in North Weymouth launched its weekly “Woof ’n’ Worship” services Sunday evening.

“I love it. My life revolves around making my dogs happy,” said Dolaher, sitting in a pew with her Labradoodle Rory and miniature Labradoodle Allie. “It makes me happy and it makes them better socialized and better dogs.”

The Rev. Rachel Bickford said the response has been wonderful, and people were excited to be able to take their dogs to church.

“People are really struggling in everyday life, and the animals that we have are something that give us joy every day,” the Rev. Bickford said.

The Rev. Bickford said she came up with the idea for the Woof ’n’ Worship while reading her Bible at home.

“One of (the Psalms) talks about letting all living things praise the Lord. My dogs were at my feet, and I thought this would be a wonderful opportunity for everyone to get together.”

All dogs were welcome, as long as they were leashed, even pit bulls. At first, the church’s insurance policy wouldn’t allow the reputedly aggressive breed, but the church was able to pay a little extra to allow them.

The Rev. Bickford said she wasn’t worried about unruly dogs or excessive chaos, and was glad the church was able to include all breeds.

“One thing I know about dog lovers is we’re all good people, and we know our dogs, so I trust them,” she said.

Sara Diem of Weymouth went to the service so her Bernese mountain dog, Chloe, could be blessed.

“I was excited to bring her here. She’s having a couple little health issues these days, so I just thought she could use the extra help,” she said.

Stephanie Choate may be reached at


The Girl said...

Thank dogness for a church that shows that ALL creatures are welcome!

Brown dog kisses,

Dennis the Vizsla said...

We saw several pit bulls at the blessing of the animals here, and they were all very well-behaved. They were a little startled when Tucker burst into flames after getting struck by holy water, but they got over it.

Daisy Dog said...

Thats a great story. I wanted to take Daisy to be blessed, because I am blessed to have her. Didn't make it this year. For sure next though.