By LeeAnn Cain / Staff Writer
Candles will be lit and a prayer will be said for the animals lost in the fire at Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter during a special animal blessing ceremony Wednesday.
The RESTORE program at Williamsburg’s First United Methodist Church will hold a Blessing of the Animals ceremony at 7 p.m.
Joseph Moses will conduct the blessing for anyone in the community who wishes to bring their animals to be blessed, and there will be both group and individual blessings for attending animals along with photographs.
According to Moses, there is a ceremony for blessing animals in the United Methodist Book of Worship, which outlines worship ceremonies for the church. Moses also said this blessing would be the first of its kind in Whitley County.
Moses said the ceremony was meant to bridge the gap between home life and church life for those with family pets, stating that pets were such a huge part of people’s lives but they were hardly acknowledged in the church.
The event was planned before the animal shelter burned, and donations were originally going to benefit the local wolf-dog rescue organization Refuge Ridge, but the tragedy at the animal shelter prompted Refuge Ridge to direct all donations to Knox-Whitley. According to Moses, the ceremony will show even more support for the animal shelter.
The event was organized by Jessica Dennis-Bay, a recent Roger’s Scholar graduate from Whitley County High School, according to Dennis-Bay’s mother and University of the Cumberlands Professor Laura Dennis.
Refreshments will be provided, along with treat bags for animal guests. Cash donations will be accepted for the Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter to help rebuild.
Registration will begin at 6 p.m. and the event will conclude no later than 8 p.m. For more information call 280-3936 or 521-5292.
How to help the Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter
Cash donations can be made at the Forcht Bank in Corbin and London. The Corbin branch can be reached at 606-528-3660. The London branch can be reached at 606-864-9500. The shelter also has a PayPal account set up to receive donations. Drop-off donations can be made at Knox County Veterinary Services of 314 High Street in Barbourville, the office of William and Devanna Durham of 513 18th Street in Corbin, or Whitley County EMS of 1002 Aviation Blvd in Williamsburg.