First Congregational Church hosts community-wide annual Blessing of the Animals Service


The Animal Ministries group of First Congregational Church (137 Algoma Blvd., Oshkosh WI) is proud to host its fourth annual Pet Blessing Service on Saturday, October 7 at 10 am. This service will be held in the church’s Fellowship Hall. If you have a pet or pets, and would like them blessed for the role they play in your life, please bring them to this special service being held in honor of pets, and St. Francis of Assisi, the Patron Saint of Animals and the Environment.

All pets should be well-behaved, current on all vaccinations, and either leashed or otherwise contained/controlled in a carrier, pet crate, etc., depending on the type of pet you have. If you don’t wish to bring your pet, or for some reason can’t, but want to attend the service and still have them blessed, feel free to bring a photo of them. We encourage you to let your family, friends and neighbors know about this event so that they can also participate.

We have invited working dogs from our community (K-9, service and therapy) and those attending will receive a special blessing during the service before going out to do the important, much-needed work that they each do. This event is free, but goodwill offerings will be graciously accepted. All attending will receive a special memento to take home from the service. We look forward to seeing you and your pets on Saturday, Oct. 7.

About FCC’s Animal Ministries Group:

The Animal Ministries Group of First Congregational Church was formed in January 2014 with a variety of goals in mind. The original intent of the group was to work toward providing multiple services for pet owners (and others, such as in nursing homes, etc.), and to do things that generally would be for the greater good of all animals, not just people’s family pets. More specifically, as part of its overarching mission, it seeks to:

  •       Discuss and try to practice the United Church of Christ’s recommendations and theology on mindful eating, and other things they support as promoted by the Humane Society of the United States and its Faith Outreach program;
  •          Support our local animal shelter in any way possible, especially with its in-house food pantry;
  •          Assist fellow FCC members and friends with grief support, urgent pet care needs, and providing limited pet care while members are sick, hospitalized or otherwise convalescing. This also includes some members who wish taking their pets to visit those in nursing homes, etc.;
  •          Volunteer at other animal-related events sponsored by other animal organizations, shelters or rescues.
  •         Hold annual Pet Blessing services in October and Pet Memorial services in April or May, with an eye toward eventually doing a special Christmas Eve service for pets;
  •          Promote discussions of animal rights, protections and welfare issues during meetings, including pending legislation that could affect animals, and provide information through our web site and other means of communication about animal and animal ethicacy issues, pet tips, vegan or vegetarian recipes, etc.

The group is open to anyone—whether members of First Congregational or not, and without regard to denomination, or place on one’s spiritual journey. To learn more or express interest in joining, call Cheryl at (920) 209-PETS.

About First Congregational Church:

First Congregational Church is a caring, compassionate community with a dynamic spiritual environment that values lifelong learning and creates joy, generosity, service, and exploration. As a welcoming and diverse community of faith, we commit to love God, ourselves and others by more fully ministering to and within creation.

Our “motto” is ‘First Congregational Church: Different Paths. Same Journey.’ We understand and appreciate the fact that each of us may take a different path(s) to make the same spiritual journey. First Congregational Church welcomes and embraces everyone, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, family structure, faith, or socio-economic status. No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey and your own spiritual travels, you are always welcome at First Congregational Church.

First Congregational Church is located at 137 Algoma Blvd., one block west of the Sundial in downtown Oshkosh.  For more information about the church and the many things it offers, please call us at (920) 231-7520 or visit us online at


About Author

Cheryl Hentz

Cheryl Hentz is a Wisconsin-based freelance writer with 30 years experience. Her articles have appeared in newspapers and magazines - both in Wisconsin and elsewhere in the country - and cover a wide range of topics, including business and economic development, women's and minority issues, family pets and animal rights, finance, education, government and politics. Cheryl also does corporate writing for public and private sector businesses, and personal writing for individuals. She has been producing and hosting the award-winning Eye on Oshkosh talk-show since 2002. The show covers a wide range of people and topics which affect or are of interest to people in the Oshkosh and surrounding area, as well as to viewers on You Tube (visit the Eye on Oshkosh channel). She can be reached at 920.426.4123 or 920.209.7387, or via email at More information and other samples of her written work can be found at

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