“Woof and Worship”

Weird Religious News

JP: In the news of the weird department:

Church services put paws in the pews


About 20 to 50 dogs typically show up for the “Woof and Worship” service at 5 p.m. every Sunday at Pilgrim Congregational Church in the Boston suburb of Weymouth, Mass., says the Rev. Rachel Bickford. The services began in September, she adds. “I thought this would be a wonderful way to bring some joy back into the community,” she says. “It’s been terrific.”

Christians “come together to worship God,” says Norma Cook Everist, a professor at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. “We worship a God who is the God of all creation.”

Cook Everist says all congregations need to work at making church “a place where people with varied interests and concerns feel welcome.” The Omaha church, she says, “evidently is meeting the needs of some of these people.”

Now, Balestri is considering a field trip for the church dogs. Owners could perhaps take them to a nursing home in the area, to lift the spirits of people there.

Smith and Jaeger, the border collie she met in Varner’s van, are up for that idea.

“I would like to use Jaeger in some way as a catalyst to comfort people,” Smith says. “Let him help somebody else who maybe is going through a hard time.”

Comment: I don’t post this to mock another group. But news like this makes one think about the true purpose of the church. I trust that we might have a deep appreciation for churches where the Word of God is faithfully expounded and Christ is exalted!

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