Casey’s gentle blessings
The Rev. Casey Collins continued her new ministry at the Cape Elizabeth United Methodist Church on Oct. 1, blessing some members of the congregation she rarely gets to see — our beloved pets.uring the church’s annual Blessing of the Animals in the Outdoor Chapel, on a perfect early fall afternoon, Pastor Casey took the time to acquaint herself with dogs named Piper, Bea, GiGi, Emmy, and Charlie and a baby goat named Ruby.
While this was Pastor Casey’s first animal blessing, these blessings have been a regular occurrence at our church since 2005, honoring St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment.
Pastor Casey opened the blessing by pondering why God created certain animals, like ants or bats. She went on to explain that there are more than 12,000 species of ants — approximately 1 million ants for every human on Earth — and that they help to aerate the soil and help control other pests like fleas and bed bugs. As for bats, Casey explained that of the 1,200 species, only three are blood-suckers. Bats help to control the insect population, thereby decreasing the need for pesticides — one bat can eat 1 million mosquitoes in an hour.
Casey’s introduction led to why we need to appreciate and bless all animals.
After her introduction and prayer, Pastor Casey walked around the Outdoor Chapel and asked each owner to say something about their dog — or goat. She then blessed each animal and treated them to a dog bone from her pocket.
Jim Tammaro accompanied Ruby the goat, who is only two months old. Ruby comes from Cape Elizabeth’s Down Home Farm, run by Jim’s son Nick. In past year’s Jim came to the blessing with Sugar, an adult goat from Down Home Farm, but said it was much easier to transport Ruby, who now is a companion for Sugar.
Click here for more images of the Blessing of the Animals: