Creatures great and small blessed at United Methodist Church

The Rev. Ray DuBois greets Nancy Farley and her pet Zoey at Manasquan United Methodist Church on Saturday morning. PHOTO BY STEVE WEXLER

MANASQUAN — A cavalcade of dogs – big or small, rambunctious or shy, puppies or grizzled gray – gathered at Manasquan United Methodist Church on Saturday morning to receive blessings.

“It’s a gift from God to have animals you can care for and love,” said Nancy Farley, a church member since 1954 who assisted in the service.  

As attendees sat on benches in the church courtyard with their pets, the Rev. Ray DuBois, visitation minister, approached each and delivered a blessing.

“Zoey, may you be blessed in the name of God who created you, and may you, Nancy, and Zoey enjoy life together with our God. Amen,” he said to Ms. Farley and her white-and-black cavapoo, Zoey.

The Rev. Regina “Reggie” Albert, the church pastor, noted that the blessing happens around the Oct. 4 anniversary of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals.

“We talk about the family of God, and [pets] are part of our families. They have been a blessing and a comfort to people, especially in times that are tough,” she said.