ATKINSON Bring your pets to church! Atkinson Congregational Church invites you and your pets to the Blessing of the Animals on Wed., August 21 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. in the church’s outdoor sanctuary, adjacent to the back parking lot. The event is free, and everyone is welcome. A brief service will take place prior to the blessings, co-officiated by Pastor Jim Thomas and Karen Landry.

“It’s no secret that pets are such a huge and important part of our lives,” said Pastor Thomas. “This event is meant to give the entire community an opportunity to thank God for giving us the gift of animals, and to bestow special blessings upon them, as they continually enrich us in so many ways.”

Please ensure that dogs are on leashes, and any other pets are in carriers. For dogs who don’t ‘play nice,’ they too can be brought in carriers. Owners may also simply bring photos of their animals.

Pet blessing events are said to originate in remembrance of Saint Francis of Assisi’s love for all creatures. In his “Canticle of the Creatures,” Assisi wrote, “All praise to you, Oh Lord, for all these brother and sister creatures.”

Atkinson Congregational Church, located at 101 Main Street in Atkinson, has been welcoming all people since 1772, when Stephen Peabody, brother-in-law to John Adams, became the church’s first pastor. Today, Jim Thomas serves as its pastor and spiritual leader. Affectionately known as the “Light on the Hill,” the church offers a wide range of programs, including music, Bible studies, social opportunities, services to the local community, and more. Wherever you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here. For more information, contact or call 603-362-5519.

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