Outreach and Service
Edison Park Lutheran has been holding this event for the last eleven years and it continues to be a wonderful opportunity for the community to come together and share their love for God’s creatures. It’s exciting to see the number of people who come out for this, and the variety of animals they bring. Holding events that lift up God’s creation and the precious animals He has given us to care for, allows an opportunity to come together from all walks of life and across denominations. It also recognizes the deep bond between people, their animals, and their faith.
We give thanks for the creatures who live alongside us as companions and friends; for their loyalty, love, and trust which enrich our lives and give us joy. May we learn the value of kindness, the power of mercy, the strength of gentleness, and a new spirit of humility. Amen.
About St. Francis
St. Francis was born at Assisi in 1182. After a care free youth, he turned his back on inherited wealth and committed himself to God. Like many early saints, he lived a very simple life of poverty, and in so doing, gained a reputation of being the friend of animals. He established the rule of St Francis, which exists today as the Order of St. Francis, or the Franciscans. He died in 1226, aged 44.
In one famous story, Francis preached to hundreds of birds about being thankful to God for their wonderful clothes, for their independence, and for God's care. The story tells us the birds stood still as he walked among him, only flying off when he said they could leave.
Another famous story involves a wolf that had been eating human beings. Francis intervened when the town wanted to kill the wolf and talked the wolf into never killing again. The wolf became a pet of the townspeople who made sure that he always had plenty to eat.
St. Francis was known for this quote:
Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words
The prayer of St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.