Dear friends,

The year 2020 was tumultuous by any measure. There was the murder of George Floyd and the ensuing protests. There was the never-ending presidential campaign and election. And of course, there was the pandemic. Personally, things weren’t so great either. Maisie the Devil Cat, of viral video fame, disappeared from the deck one evening and never returned. My father died on Thanksgiving Day (really, what could be more 2020 than that?). And the Christmas Eve service would be live-streamed from our dining room, not from a beautifully decorated church. My prevailing feeling that Yuletide season was bah humbug.

And then Christmas Eve, Joseph Henry walked in the door with two little fur balls, one orange and one tuxedo. These kittens, the best Christmas present ever, were quickly named Franny & Zooey. The mood in our house changed in an instant. Nothing is more entertaining than kittens. Joe said he had never seen me laugh so much.

Last November, after my mother died, her cats Bubba & Buddy, joined us. They brought my mother company and joy, and they did for us, too. During the long months that Joe was in the hospital he wanted to see new pictures of the cats every day. I seriously considered trying to smuggle Franny, the smallest of the flock, into the hospital to see him.

I don’t think I could have continued to live in the house after Joe died if I didn’t have the cats. Their capers and companionship have brought me comfort and made me a little less lonely.

Anyone who has cats or dogs can tell similar stories. Life is richer because of them. They are one of life’s greatest blessings. This Sunday is the Blessing of the Animals. Bring the beloved pets who have blessed your lives to receive their own blessing. We’ll be blessing them at both services, 8:30 and 10;45.

And remember, no Sunday School this week.

With love,


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