This Sunday, 11th October, at 10am is our annual Blessing of the Animals Service, but there is one animal I am not feeling so disposed to bless this Sunday! Last weekend we were at a campsite near Huskisson which was also inhabited by a large number of peafowl. Thanks to the male peafowl (or peacocks) the nights got quite raucous for peacocks, according to Wikipedia (and note the order of these characteristics!) , “are known for their piercing calls and their extravagant plumage.”

Piercing calls doesn’t quite cut it! I have a new sympathy for the residents of Narrabundah.

Watching them strut their stuff in the daylight, however, is impressive, and it is fascinating to read the different theories – no one has quite worked it out yet – as to why they are capable of such an extraordinary display. It is just another reminder of what an incredible and complicated and wonderful world that we live in.

This Sunday we will be taking time to give thanks to God for this world – and doing it in this small concrete way – by naming and blessing the animals which are part of our lives.

And we don’t want anyone (or anything!) to miss out!

  • So, if your surname is from A to H you (and your pets) are welcome to attend church (in the church) this Sunday.
  • If your surname is from I to Z (and you have a pet you want to bring) come and join the Family Church service (in the courtyard if its dry) this Sunday.
  • Or if you are unable to be here in person with your pet – email me ( a picture of you and your pet by 5pm Friday 9th October.

From the 18th October John and I are going to be preaching a short series on the psalms of lament. If you would like to be part of a small group exploring this theme or use these materials in your existing small group, please email me this week or next. I am also keen to get a group together for a creative writing exercise – where we write some psalms of lament of our own (tentatively on the 28th October).

(Photo by Richardo Frantz on Unsplash)

Can I let you know one other thing I have discovered about peacocks in my reading this morning? While I did not feel so blessed by their nocturnal racket, they were a symbol, in early Christian paintings and mosaics, of immortality! The ancient Greeks apparently believed that their flesh did not decay after death, and that symbolism was adopted by the early Christians, especially in the Easter season. As we enjoy the rain this week and the springtime around us, my we also discover symbols of resurrection in our life and community (even if they are a little noisy! ?)

Grace and peace,