September 16, 2017 Saturday 10 am - 3 pm

"Justice Gathering"  
Cross Roads Camping and Retreat Center
 29 Pleasant Grove Rd., Califon, NJ 


Dr. Traci West, Professor of Christian Ethics and African American Studies from Drew Theological Seminary will lead off the day with prayer and reflection.  All ministry groups and persons who have a passion for justice are encouraged to attend.  There will be opportunities to deepen our engagement with justice issues, grow your network, and Advocate.  There is no cost, but you must register in advance.  Activities for children will be offered, so bring your family! 

To register, go to www.leamnj.org.

For more information: www.slilja@leamnj.org.




                                                 October 7, 2017  Saturday 3 pm

   "Blessing Creatures Great and Small"
                                                        Grace Lutheran Church
                                                       1200 River Rd, Teaneck

You are invited to bring your pets to receive a blessing. We will gather in the side yard of the church (weather permitting). Pets will need to be leased or contained in their usual habitat

                                                          Feast of St. Francis

​St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and ecology, was born in Italy around 1181 or 1182.  After a wild youth and a brief career as a soldier, St. Francis experienced a conversion that inspired him to renounce his family's wealth and devote his life to God. His dedication to poverty, humility, obedience, patience and compassion soon attracted followers and in 1209 CE, he received permission from Pope Innocent III to form a new religious order known as the Friars Minor (commonly called the Franciscans). Francis' deep love for God overflowed into love for all God's creatures-expressed not only in his tender care of lepers and his (unsuccessful) attempt to negotiate peace between Muslims and Christians during the fifth Crusade, but also in his prayers of thanksgiving for creation, his sermons preached to animals, and his insistence that all creatures are brothers and sisters under God. Pope Gregory IX canonize Francis on July 16, 1228 CE, and Francis of Assisi then became the Parton Saint of Italy.  Since the 13th century people all over the world have gathered to bring animals and pets for a blessing on the day that commemorates his life.

The Feast of St. Francis falls on October 4th each year and pets typically receive a special blessing on the Saturday nearest the actual date.


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