Mariah Thompson has been a member of the Log Cabin Community Church, at 2699 Log Cabin Drive in Smyrna, for nine years.
Thompson said she has been attending the animal blessing since the first service, five years ago, with her 10-year-old boxer, Rosie, and her husband, Jim, who passed away in April.
Thompson donated a statue of St. Francis that sits outside the Log Cabin Community Church. The “neighborhood get-together” is something close to her heart, Thompson said.
“It is a sweet little sermon, and we sing a song,” Thompson said. “This is not a ceremonial program, just a gathering of people and their pets.”
Each animal will be presented one at a time to the church’s pastor, who will express God’s love for the pet, Thompson said.
In the past, the blessings have been mostly for dogs and cats, but some owners have brought their ferrets, macaw parrots and even chickens.
Thompson said there have never been any animal fights at the spacious outdoor event, which requires all pets to be leashed or caged.
“We have beautiful church grounds…with enough room to spread out,” Thompson said.
Thompson said a friend brought a sick gerbil to a previous animal blessing that was sick and, soon after, passed away.
“It gave her a sense of peace and ease to know the animal had been blessed,” Thompson said.
She added that for people without children, the death of a pet is as traumatic as the death of a family member.
Thompson said there will be a “love offering” taken again this year for the Humane Society of Cobb County.
The Humane Society always sends the Log Cabin church a “wish list” asking for paper products, cleaning supplies and food, Thompson said. “Any items needed to run an animal clinic,” including used food bowls and cages of animals that have passed away.
This month’s blessing is expected to draw 40 people to the small non-denominational church that celebrated its 100 anniversary last year.
Log Cabin Community Church is often seen as an event space for weddings, but Thompson said every week there is Sunday school and a regular church sermon.
Thompson said a good crowd is 25 attendees at the lone 10:45 a.m. service on Sundays.
“Log Cabin is sort of a step out into the unusual,” Thompson said.
Thompson said the animal blessing event will also be a chance to introduce the community to the church’s new pastor, the Rev. Raymond Coffman.
“Our pets love us without judgement,” Coffman said. “This is a lesson of love that we can learn from our pets.”