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Holy Gravesite Moment

This summer I will celebrate 25 years since I was ordained as a pastor.

Yesterday I had a first" in ministry: I led a blessing/remembrance service for a horse named Gunner that was loved by and belonged to Shawna Olson Smith (Chris, Liv, Cole). Gunner died this past month. Shawna is sister to Norman member Angie Swenson, and friend to many including Jess Weiser and Dena Flom. This picture was taken yesterday at Gunner's gravesite, west of Kindred.

All creatures great and small play an important role within our lives. For those of you that have ever loved and lost a beloved creature, I know your grief! Allow me to share with you some of the blessing service from yesterday's holy funeral moment.

And for those of you that currently enjoy critters-- be it cats, goats, lambs, cattle, horses, dogs, guinea pigs, or tarantula spiders...the list is vast...may you find the closing prayer one that re-commits you to caring for those blessed creatures.

- Pastor Kathy

"The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you." Deuteronomy 28:8

"Blessed are you, Lord God, for all living creatures you have made. You keep them in your care and not one of them is lost without you knowing. They glorify you, each in its own way, and speak to us of your beauty and love. They unquestionably accept their place in the rhythm of your creation. May we respect them and cherish them for they are your gift to us; through them may we come to know you better and praise you, their Creator. Blessed be the love and joy that they bring to us.

Holy God, we pray for Gunner, (OR insert your creature's name) who is lost from us, but not to you. Grant peace and comfort to his human family as they deeply grieve his loss in the days ahead.

Holy Creator, give us eyes to see and ears to hear how every living thing speaks to us of your love. Let us be awestruck at your creation and daily sing your praises. Especially, create within us a spirit of gratitude for the life of this our beloved Gunner, who has lived among us and given us freely of his love. Even in our sorrow we have cause for joy for we know that all creatures who died on earth shall live again in your new creation.

ALL: Amen.

Pastor Kathy: All living creatures you have put under our protection and we are to care for them as you care for us. ALL: Mindful of the great responsibility you have placed upon us, we now renew our covenant with all creatures placed in our care, and pray that we may be faithful to them as you are faithful to us. ALL: May the unity of peace which you have established between all species never be broken by our violence, and may our lives reflect that generosity of spirit which we see manifest in your Son, Jesus Christ. Pastor Kathy: God of unity and peace, send us now your Holy Spirit that we may feel a deeper kinship with all living creatures and by this act of renewal reaffirm the bond of covenant with all animals in our care.

Go in peace. May you Love and Serve the God of all Creatures. Amen.


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