Saint Paul's Episcopal Church


Thomas and A Street - Altus, Oklahoma

Priest's Reflections

Dear Parish Family,
The leaves are beginning to turn, local farmers are preparing for the harvest, and the temperatures are beginning to drop---FALL is in the air! That means we can look forward to two annual special events during the month of October.

The first will be our 10th Annual Blessing of the Animals. All kinds and sorts of God's creatures are invited to come with their caretakers and family members to be honored and blessed. There will be treats for the animals and cookies for the humans and a good time will be had by all. The festivities will take place on the church lawn. (If there is rain we will move to the shelter of the Court Yard.) This tradition of blessing our beloved furry family members is centuries old and St. Francis of Assisi is credited with its beginning. St. Francis, who lived in a cave in the mountains of Assisi, spent his time in prayer and meditation and loved all of God's creatures. He is often represented in art among animals and birds, which he called his sisters and brothers. St. Francis is the patron saint of animals and the environment. He is also the founder of the Franciscan Monastic Order which remains active to this day. The usual turnout includes dogs, cats, and birds. We have had hermit crabs, gerbils, guinea pigs and even a horse! I have also been known to bless favorite stuffed animals, especially stuffed teddy bears. Each animal and their family are individually blessed and given a Certificate of Blessing and medal. ALL are invited whether they have a pet or not! It is a fun event enjoyed by all---both the two legged participants as well those with four---so mark your calendar, invite your children and grandchildren, your friends and neighbors, and those young at heart to come and join us.

The second event will begin in October and culminate on November 10th. It is the time when we begin to take stock of the many blessings we have received during this year and prepare as a church to prepare for the beginning a new year. One of those preparations is the church budget for next year 2020. Each Sunday in October a member of our congregation, during the time for announcements, will spend a few minutes to tell you why they became members of St. Paul's, what this community means to them, and how and why they came to financially support the church. During this time you are asked to prayerfully reflect on all the ways you have been blessed in this past year and make a commitment of your time, talent, and treasure for the new year, in essence, a giving back a portion of what you have been given. In early November you will receive a letter and a Commitment/Pledge Card. November 10th will be Commitment Sunday and each family will bring their Commitment and place it on the altar to be blessed.

Blessings always,
Mother Suzanne








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