The month October our church, Roots of Life Community, emphasizes the importance of loving creation. On the first Sunday of October, many churches celebrate and honor the life of the saint, Francis of Assisi with prayers and maybe even an animal blessing. We were supposed to do this last week, in person at church, but it rained and we celebrated remembering our baptism instead, on Zoom and Facebook Live.
My personality type is often a little on the ‘Pollyanna’ spectrum so we made lemonade out of lemons and we made plans to honor the animals and creation, this Sunday October 11th, at our building, 222 Lakeview Drive, 10:30 a.m. Of course, we will socially distance, wear masks, hum instead of sing, pray of course, hear scripture read by children and we will bless the pets that come into our midst. We are asking people to bring their own chairs and if they want a beverage to bring their own. Have I mentioned before that church is so weird right now?
Someone mentioned the other day on Zoom that it is really hard to find a church community while there is a pandemic going on. People who move into the community must rely on neighbors or even social media to figure out where to go. Looking a church on their website, is a really good portal into getting to know a faith community. As I say this, I know ours is slightly outdated, but you can get the gist of who we are, and what we believe. Of course there is no substitute for getting to know a place through direct contact.
I imagine with Covid-19 cases on the rise in Indiana, this may be the last time we gather together before hunkering down again for an extended time. More people than not will opt for on-line church this weekend out of precaution for their own health, and from this pastor there will be no church shaming. Zoom has been surprisingly satisfying, and our community has gotten to know one another more fully in some ways. What we miss the most is watching our children play and pray together, engaging in baby wrangling, and the fellowship of hospitality.
We are hoping and praying for a beautiful fall day, one that includes hearing our children run and play, the barking of dogs, seeing God’s people, listening to a little Bluegrass, and hearing the promise of the Gospel through creation. All are welcome, really! Check out our website rolcommunity.com
Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and ecology, was born in Italy around 1181-1182. After a wild youth and a brief career as a soldier, Francis had a conversion experience that inspired him to renounce his family's wealth and devote his life to God. HumaneSociety.org

Noblesville’s Teri Ditslear is a pastor whose column appears Saturdays in The Times. Contact her at pastor@rolcommunity.com, on Facebook or at www. rolcommunity.com