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‘Bless this Creature’

— Mouth open, Noah Bumanis, of Potomac, looked skyward as the Rev. Dr. Ann Laprade placed her hands on his back and blessed him Saturday, Oct. 6 at Potomac United Methodist Church.

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Photo by Ken Moore

The Rev. Dr. Ann Laprade blesses Noah Bumanis at Potomac United Methodist Church Saturday, as owner Al Bumanis keeps a light hold.

“God, bless this creature named Noah,” said Laprade, as Noah’s owner, Al Bumanis, watched and held Noah’s leash.

Bo, the Boxer, watched from the audience as he curled up in his owner’s lap before being blessed.

The pastor blessed approximately 20 animals in front of Potomac United Methodist Church, in services held from 9 a.m. to noon.

“The animals of God’s creation inhabit the skies, the earth and the sea. They share in the fortunes of human existence and have a part in human life,” she read from Genesis at the beginning of the service.

Potomac United Methodist has conducted the Blessing of the Animals about 15 years, according to Charly Ryan who has helped organize the program for 11 years.

“They loved it, it is really well received,” she said when the idea was pitched to the congregation years ago. “It’s just one of the many things the parish does to reach out. It’s low key and fun.”

Dog lovers are the most common owners Ryan has seen, but cats, a horse, a guinea pig and a chicken have been blessed in the past.

“We’d love to have an elephant or a camel or something different next year,” she said.

— Ken Moore