Each year on the Sunday closest to October 4, the Feast of St Francis of Assisi, Grace Church worships at Gideon’s Garden and then blesses animals of the congregation and at Taft Farms next door
Gospel: Matthew 11: 25 – 30 Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Old testament and Psalm for this service-
Genesis 1:20–22a, 24–26a, 28, 31a And God said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of loving creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky. “So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them…And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let us make humankind.”…and God blessed them…God saw everything that God had made, and indeed, it was very good.
Psalms 104: 10 – 24 You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills;
they give drink to every beast of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; they sing among the branches.
From your lofty abode you water the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.
You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth
and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man’s heart.
The trees of the LORD are watered abundantly, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
In them the birds build their nests; the stork has her home in the fir trees.
The high mountains are for the wild goats; the rocks are a refuge for the rock badgers.
He made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting.
You make darkness, and it is night, when all the beasts of the forest creep about.
The young lions roar for their prey, seeking their food from God.
When the sun rises, they steal away and lie down in their dens.
Man goes out to his work and to his labor until the evening.
O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.