In Smithsburg, Maryland, the Mt. Zion United Methodist Church is opening its doors to furry family members, according to CBS Baltimore. Reverend Al Deal will being preaching to not just humans but canines as well. Beginning January 26, 2014, Rev. Deal will open a special church service to members and their dogs. If all goes well, the church will offer a monthly service that allows the furry canines.
Rev. Deal got the idea from Reverend Ann Bullis of the Wesley United Methodist Church in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Rev. Bullis invited her parishioners to bring their dogs to a Sunday service. Rev. Deal understand that pets are family members and all family members should be invited to church.
He is no stranger to animal family members, having had an array of pets such as dogs, cats and rabbits. For many people, pets are children.
“There are some folks who don’t like leaving their pets, especially dogs, at home alone. I thought it would be nice if they could be provided with a warm, welcoming and comforting place to worship with their canine companions. And Mt. Zion United Methodist Church is just the place. I refer to Mt. Zion as the little church with the big heart,” said Rev. Deal, as reported by CBS.
Response has been positive and of course, the biggest concern is the mess that may be left behind. Rev. Deal said he would take care of it and provide bags for outside the church for any clean up needed.
“It is very important for the church to recognize the deep connection between people and their pets if they want to minister to the whole person and to what makes that person whole,” said Rev. Deal, as reported by CBS.
The canine service is to be held at 11 a.m. on the last Sunday of every month.
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