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Cape Elizabeth
United Methodist Church
280 Ocean House Road
Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107

Phone:
207-799-8396

E-mail: capeelizabethumc@aol.com

Pastor: Ruth Morrison. Rev. Morrison will be retiring in June. The Rev. Casey Collins will be the new minister, beginning in July.

Sunday Worship
8 a.m. in the small chapel

10 a.m. in the sanctuary
(with child care
and Sunday School)

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Upcoming events 2017

Sunday, June 25: Celebration service for the Rev. Ruth Morrison, 10 a.m. to mark her retirement after 13 years in Cape Elizabeth and 45 years in ministry. There will not be an 8 a.m. chapel service on June 25.

Tuesday, June 27: Judy's Pantry, 3-5 p.m. in the Sunshine Room.

Sunday, July 2: The Rev. Casey Collins will be introduced as Cape Elizabeth's new minister. A reception will follow the 10 a.m. service.

Sunday, July 9: The first Sunday for the Rev. Casey Collins to preach and lead Cape Elizabeth services at 8 and 10 a.m.

Tuesday, July 11: Open House reception to meet Casey Collins at Mark and Margaret Braun's house, 34 Hunts Point Road, Cape Elizabeth, 6-8 p.m.

Saturday, July 22: Yard and Craft Sale outside the church. Tables are available for $20 each with the donation going to the church. Everything sold at the table goes to the seller. See Gail Parker or call her cell phone (329-9628) to reserve a table.

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Animal Blessings

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Our church began its annual Blessing of Animals on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi in 2005.

 

Celebrating God’s creatures

A year after she arrived at our church, the Rev. Ruth Morrison began one of our most beloved traditions, the Blessing of Animals on or near the Feast of Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment.

The blessing is usually held on the first Sunday of October in the Outdoor Chapel, weather-permitting. It has become one of the church’s most popular events for two- and four-legged participants.

The Rev. Ruth Morrison and the church's first Animal Blessing, on Oct. 2, 2005.

The Rev. Ruth Morrison and the church's first Animal Blessing, on Oct. 2, 2005.

In the first year of the blessing, 30 dogs and their owners attended the special service on a beautiful fall afternoon. The blessing took place not long after Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita and $589 was donated during the service to aid pets in Lousiana, Mississippi and Texas displaced by the two storms.

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The 2005 blessing was the first large event held in the Outdoor Chapel after the completion of its refurbishment by church member Matt Braun, a sophomore at Cape Elizabeth High School. It was Matt’s Eagle Scout project.

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Both members of the church and non-members attended that first blessing. One non-member, Joanne Nelson of Portland, brought her dog Trinh, who was blind and recently had had detached retina surgery in Toronto. The surgery was an attempt to restore sight in at least one eye. Trinh was still blind at the time of the blessing, but Joanne said she is a believer in the power of prayer and that some day, at least some of Trinh’s sight would be returned.

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Rev. Morrison always takes the time to bless each animal individually while talking with its owner to learn more about the dog (or other animal on a few occasions). Following each blessing, the dog would receive a certificate, sometimes a bandana, and always a dog treat.

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Each of the blessings also includes hymn singing, scripture reading, and a sharing of stories about how much God’s creatures mean to our lives.

The Rev. Ruth Morrison reads scripture at the blessing while one of her dogs, Meggie, listens intently.

The Rev. Ruth Morrison reads scripture at the blessing while one of her dogs, Meggie, listens intently.

At the 2007 blessing, participants talked about how and why their dogs had been named.  Some of the stories:

  • Meggie was named by the Rev. Ruth Morrison not just because she is the color of nutmeg but because she resembles (according to Ruth) Meg Ryan. “It is the messy hair-do and the ear-to-ear grin,” Ruth said. “Besides, she has a comedic quality, too!” (See Meggie in the above photo).
  • Kathie Hackett’s dog Cricket is so named because her father’s name is Jiminy (as in Jiminy Cricket).
  • The Connelly-Young family dog was born on Dec. 24 and is named Sonny Boy (Sonny for short) as in son of God for the reference to Christmas. “I tried to name him Holly,” Laura said, “but Bryan didn’t want a girl name for a boy dog.”
  • One of the Chamberlin family dogs is named Poquito, who they brought home from a vacation in Belize. “We found him in a dump with a pack of other dogs and he was sickly,” Jaymie said. “He was covered with sores and bugs and weighed no more than two pounds. He could barely stand and he wasn’t long for this world. We spent the rest of our vacation with him and trying to figure out a way to bring him back. Poquito means a tiny, little bit in Spanish. He now weighs 35 pounds and our dump yard dog is the best ever!”

In 2012, there were more stories about how dogs were named. One of the most interesting came from Shirley Maxwell-Royall and her daughter Cayden, who brought their dog Henry. Henry was named for Cayden’s great-great-great uncle, poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Cayden Maxwell-Royall and Henry.

Cayden Maxwell-Royall and Henry.

 Here is a look back at some of the Cape Elizabeth United Methodist Church’s Animal Blessings since 2005:

2006

2006

2006

In 2006, Lauri Heller brought her dog's ashes to the blessing. Bacster had passed away four months earlier.

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2010

dog16
dog15
dog6
dog18

2012

2012

2012

2012

In 2012, a rabbit and cat attended the blessing, the first time animals besides dogs participated.

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2012

2012