Annual Blessing of the Animals – Virtual

Sunday, October 4, 3:00 PM PST  

Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 716 026 467  or call: 510 421 2646 

On this day, Sunday Oct 4th,  we come together to acknowledge the sacred importance of all living creatures, honoring the wisdom of St Francis. 

Come and celebrate with us LIVE ON ZOOM, the animal companions in our lives with internationally renowned musician Ken Medema and Pastor Laurie Manning in a spirited, creative, joyous and spiritual ceremony.  

Especially now, as we are sheltering in place, this is a time to honor and give thanks for these beloved companions who are part of our families, that are a blessing to us all. This is an event for the entire family, so please bring not only your children, but also brother dog and sister cat, as well as your beloved gerbils, geckos, goats, hamsters, mice, rabbits, parrots, turtles, mini-horses, etc. All are welcome! 

Together we will:  

  • Honor the wisdom of St Francis, as well as indigenous traditions, Buddhism, and other faiths. 
  • Meet each other’s extended families!
  • Celebrate your pets -so bring them if you can on zoom, or bring your photos, and be ready to share your stories! 
  • Remember our beloved pets who have died, so bring your photos and your stories!
  • Sing and enjoy with Ken’s magical, gifted, improvisations!

Here’s an article by Oakland North from a few years ago when they covered our ceremony a few years ago:  “Dogs, mini-horses and a leopard gecko received blessings at Skyline Community Church [at the annual blessing ceremony], along with a cat, goat and photos of animals ‘with us in spirit.’ On a hot, summery afternoon, pastor Laurie Manning and church member Rhea Babbitt kneeled before some 40 furry, four-legged creatures and their owners, and blessed them. …Churches worldwide honor animals on the first Sunday of October, the feast day for the patron saint of animals St. Francis of Assisi….In the back were two mini-horses, their eyes like baseballs, their summer coats shedding. Some dogs sat on their owners’ laps while others lazed on the cool floor, perhaps tired from sniffing and circling other dogs before the service. One church member said he would have brought his cat, if not for his arm being in a sling, and his cat’s grumpiness that morning. Babbitt, who organized the ceremony, led the congregation in a reading. ‘On this day we come together to acknowledge,” they read aloud, “the sacred importance of all living creatures…. ‘”

And another article from even earlier!

Reverend Laurie Manning is available to bless your dog, cat, goat, parakeet, fish, horse or whatever your and your camera can bring to Zoom!  You can also bring photos of beloved pets who cannot handle a Zoom meeting (can you blame them?)  or have passed on to receive a blessing.

About Ken Medema – For four decades, Ken Medema has inspired people through storytelling and music. Though blind from birth, Ken sees and hears with heart and mind.  His ability to capture spirit in word and song is unparalleled. One of the most creative and authentic artists performing today, Ken custom designs every musical moment of his performance with brilliant improvisation that defies description. With an ever-growing circle of friends around the world, Ken’s vocal and piano artistry and imagination have reached audiences of 50 to 50,000 people in 49 United States and in more than 15 countries on four continents.

About Pastor Laurie – The Reverend Laurie J. Manning joined Skyline Church in 2006. She holds respective Master’s degrees from Union Theological Seminary (Columbia U), Harvard University, and the University of Michigan. Prior to becoming a minister Laurie worked in various management capacities for Hewlett Packard  and then as a consultant with high technology and medical clients. Laurie brings a solid understanding of the psychological and organizational complexities of living as a Christian in today’s pluralistic and scientific world.  She has a passion for the spiritual well-being of people, for social and environmental justice, and lives life with gusto!