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Companion Animal Ministries

St. Aidan’s has long honored a distinctive place in our communal life for companion animals. It is not unusual for well-behaved dogs to be present in our worship with their people.  At the Feast of St. Francis on or near October 4th, like many Episcopal Churches, we do a special blessing of companion animals during our 8 and 10 AM worship. In recent years we've blessed dogs, cats, and even hamsters. It is a real high point of the fall, amid a season when we especially honor our call to be stewards of creation, of this earth in all its complexity and fragility.  

Blessings at the Dog Park 

For the last several years on both St. Francis Day and Easter Sunday we have also offered blessings at Upper Douglas Dog Park. We so appreciate getting to greet dogs and their people season after season. This ministry of blessing was initiated by our deacons, Margaret Dyer-Chamberlain and Mark Kuga-Henderson. For more information, please contact Deacon Margaret at

Companion Animal Memorial

In addition to these blessings in church and at Upper Douglas Dog Park, for over ten years St. Aidan's has also hosted an Interfaith Companion Animal Memorial Service. Organized by Betty Carmack, author of Grieving the Death of a Pet, this service gives people of various religious and spiritual traditions a place to grieve, honor and remember their beloved animal companions. At the heart of the service, people collectively create a tribute cloth, writing or drawing a memory or message. That cloth is then used in as a covering for an altar space on which people can place photos and mementos of the animal companions they’ve lost recently or long ago. The only ministry of it’s kind in the Diocese of California, this service is created to be a space of solace and comfort to any in our community who have lost a companion animal. For more information on this service, please contact Betty Carmack at

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Animals remind us of our charge as fellow creatures to care for creation in all its vibrancy and vulnerability. We welcome (well-behaved) companion animals to worship anytime, not just on St. Francis Day. 

We love animals

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