Not many churches would have the chutzpah to pair the launch of their annual canvass with their annual pet blessing service. Visions of four-legged friends processing in with pledge cards tucked under their dog collars are already wandering through your mind, I am sure. Yet, when you think about it for a moment, what a wonderful proclamation it is, saying that everything—all creatures great and small—is a blessing from God. Our celebration of the Feast of St. Francis is not a commentary on how much Francis liked to keep pets, but of his theological vision of what human life looks like when it embraces all of God’s creation. Embracing all with open hearts is an ethos we live by as a church. Here we grow in friendship with a rich diversity of people in our parish, through our core ministries and because of this community we share in common. So, whether or not you are bringing a canine, or feline, or some distant relative of the dinosaurs with you this Sunday at 9:00 a.m., each of us can bring the conviction that all that we are and do is a blessing from God, and to God belongs the honor and glory. As the psalmist says, ‘let everything that has breath, praise the Lord.'