Several local churches are planning special events and services to bless animals.
Immanuel Anglican Church
Immanuel Anglican Church will hold its first Blessing of the Animals service at 10 a.m. Oct. 5. The event will ask God’s blessing not only on animal companions but also for all animals of the world.
Individuals are welcome to bring a pet, service animal, rescue, foster or their best furry or four-legged friend (i.e. any animal). Each animal and their human companion will be individually prayed for after a brief opening service.
The service will be held in the church's outdoor chapel, 250 Indian Bayou Trail, Destin.
The large lawn at the Bob Allen Memorial Chapel at Immanuel has limited fixed seating, and individuals are welcome to bring their own folding chairs. Each animal should be under leash control or in a carrier.
Visit www.iacdestin.org, call 850-837-6324 or email Deacon Jon Bryan at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Show your love for all creation and bring your furry, feathery or other pets to a Blessing of the Animals 9-11 a.m. Oct. 5 on the St. Augustine Green in Rosemary Beach. The free event is for all creatures great and small – and everyone who loves them.
Sponsored by Apostles By-The-Sea Anglican Church, all animals are welcome to come and receive a personal blessing, along with a St. Francis medal to commemorate the occasion (while supplies last).
Animals must be leashed or in a carrier.
Pet food donations to benefit Alaqua Animal Refuge will also be collected at the event. Bring cans of Pedigree brand chopped ground canned dog food or canned pate-style cat food.
For more information, visit apostlesbythesea.com and follow on Facebook/apostles by-the-sea.
Hurlburt Field Chapel
In honor of St. Francis of Assisi, bring your pet (or photo of your pet) at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 5 to the Hurlburt Field Chapel parking lot for “Blessing of the Animals.”
This is open to all DOD cardholders.
St. Jude's Episcopal Church
St. Jude’s Episcopal Church, 200 Partin Drive in Niceville, commemorates the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi each year with a Blessing of the Animals on the first Sunday in October. This year the blessings will take place at St. Jude's at 4 p.m. Oct. 6. There are a variety of activities planned before the blessings with animal rescue organizations participating.
Organizations represented will include H.E.A.R.T Animal Rescue, Healing Paws for Warriors and Panhandle Area Welfare Society. Pre-blessing activities begin at 2 p.m. on the lawn in front of St. Jude’s. There will be door prizes and treats (for humans and pets) contributed by 3 Dogs and a Chick and Smallcakes.
During September, the young people at St. Jude’s collected supplies to contribute to organizations that care for homeless, neglected and abused animals. Monetary contributions and/or donations of pet food and supplies that will be given to the pet rescue agencies are appreciated but not required.
Father Greg Hein, rector at St. Jude’s, will bless all animals in attendance. Animals should be on a leash or in a carrier, if necessary. St. Jude’s Blessing of the Animals is open to the public and all are welcome.
Episcopal Church of the Epiphany
Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, 424 Garden St., Crestview, has these upcoming events planned. On Oct. 20, the 9 a.m. service will include a blessing for the animals in the field near the church.