Easter 2017 at the Sanctuary – a Blessed Event Yet Again
April 15 marked the day of our second annual Blessing of the Animals at Good Acres Sanctuaries. The event was sold out, the sun was shining, and roughly 70 wonderful guests enjoyed each other’s company. The program included a blessing ceremony and prayer by pastor Michelle Redmon of Emerge Ministries, an Easter Egg hunt for the children, a delicious fully plant-based/vegan buffet served in a barn, a Q/A session by Dr. Debora Tallio of Mindful Medicine, and jazzy live music by Justin Tyler. The event was proudly co-sponsored by ASAP (Agency for Substance Abuse Policy).
Being around rescued happy farm animals and enjoying some crazy-delicious vegan foods has touched many minds and hearts this past Saturday. Many of our guests had ever seen a vegan buffet and could not imagine what it might be like. We are overjoyed about the positive response! The buffet was almost completely wiped out by the time the event ended. How fantastic is that?!
Enjoy these images and video from a wonderful day.
The service Pastor Michelle Redmon gave to our visitors included the following text and prayer:
Genesis 1:20-31 New Living Translation (NLT)
The Account of Creation
20 Then God said, “Let the waters swarm with fish and other life. Let the skies be filled with birds of every kind.” 21 So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that scurries and swarms in the water, and every sort of bird—each producing offspring of the same kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 Then God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply. Let the fish fill the seas, and let the birds multiply on the earth.”
23 And evening passed and morning came, marking the fifth day.
24 Then God said, “Let the earth produce every sort of animal, each producing offspring of the same kind—livestock, small animals that scurry along the ground, and wild animals.” And that is what happened. 25 God made all sorts of wild animals, livestock, and small animals, each able to produce offspring of the same kind. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, “Let us make human beings[b] in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth,[c] and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”
27 So God created human beings[d] in his own image.
In the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
28 Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”
29 Then God said, “Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. 30 And I have given every green plant as food for all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and the small animals that scurry along the ground—everything that has life.” And that is what happened.
31 Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!
And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day.
Prayer/Blessing of the Animals
The animals of God’s Creation inhabit the skies, the earth, and the sea. They share in the treasures and tragedies of human existence and have a huge role in human life. God who is the Giver of all good gifts to all living things, has often used the service of animals or made them reminders of the gifts of salvation. For example:
• Animals were saved from the flood and were made a part of the covenant with Noah. (GEN 9:9-10)
• A giant fish swallowed Jonah, which ended up saving his life. (Jonah 2:1-10)
• Ravens brought bread to feed Elijah. (1 Kings 17:6)
• Jesus is referred to as the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world. (John 1:29)
• Jesus returns riding a white horse. (Revelation 19:11)
God loves His creation, and has designed each and every living thing with purpose. We, as stewards of His creation, bear the honor, privilege, and responsibility of caring for all His creation. Let us not take for granted all the GOOD and PERFECT gifts He has blessed us with. Let’s pray…
Father God, how wonderful are the works of Your hands!! We THANK YOU for the beauty and order of Your Creation. We THANK YOU Lord for your provision and purpose found in all living things. As we gather here today at Good Acres Sanctuaries, we ask you to bless each animal here today, and those to come. Thank you for ministering and releasing therapeutic healing through these beautiful creatures, and for inspiring us with their stories of rescue and perseverance. Thank you for the people who so diligently and lovingly care for your creation. Enable and empower us all to be excellent stewards of all you have given us, and to have a sensitive spirit when it comes to overseeing all life under our dominion. Father I ask you to bless and protect all life here at the Sanctuary, as it is lived to honor You. We ask you to bless the fun, fellowship, and food here today. May we always maintain a thankful heart for your protection, provision and favor, especially when you offered your Son for us as the Passover Lamb, so that in Him we can be reconciled to you, and receive the free gift of eternal life. Thank you for loving us so much! Forgive us our sins, we praise you, we love you and we honor you, it is in the MIGHTY name of Jesus we pray and ask ALL things, Amen.