This past Sunday I announced that Lord of Life will soon be adding a Lutheran Church Charities Comfort Dog to our staff. Comfort Dogs, together with their handlers, interact with people to share the good news of Jesus at churches, schools, nursing homes, hospitals, events, and in disaster situations. We are very excited about this new addition to our ministry.
Additional information about the Comfort Dogs can be found at k9comfort.org. If you have a Facebook account you can also “Like” them at their Facebook page at facebook.com/k9comfort. To see the Comfort Dogs in action check out the media links below:
The idea of bringing a Comfort Dog to Lord of Life started in December when Lutheran Church Charities visited Lord of Life as our Mission of the Month. We had the opportunity to see the Comfort Dogs in action when we witnessed Meagan Seals miracle gift of the wheelchair at Christmas. Since that time, Meagan has been working with a Comfort Dog to help develop cognitive and sensory skills.
The Comfort Dog will serve as a staff member of Lord of Life. The dog will serve as a greeter each and every Sunday along with being an ambassador to our community. The mission of the Comfort Dog will be to serve to help us build relationships in our community and provide care for those in need. It is our hope that the Comfort Dog will not be a visible presence not only in our church, but in our community as well. It is our desire for the dog to serve in schools, soup kitchens, prisons, nursing homes, funeral services, and community events.
Ultimately, this ministry is not about the Comfort Dog, it is about Jesus. The dog is to be used to help us make known the love of Jesus to those who are hurting, grieving, or looking for hope. I want to ask you to join me in praying for God’s blessing upon this ministry.
There will be an informational meeting about the Comfort Dog Ministry next Sunday, March 11 following the 10am worship. Everyone is invited to attend. Come if you are interested in being involved in this ministry or just want to find more information. At that time we will hand out applications for Comfort Dog Handlers. In the meantime can also fill out an online application. We are only able to train 6 handlers to begin, so candidates will be accepted on the basis of experience, ability, and availability. The deadline for applying to be a handler is Friday, March 16. The first training is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, March 21 at 6pm and should last about 3 hours.
Qualifications for handlers are that they are comfortable and competent with handling a K-9 and also competent to be able to listen, engage in conversation, pray, and proclaim Jesus Christ with those they are in contact when using the K-9 as a the bridge between the handler and the person petting the K-9. It is also important for handlers to be available and have schedules that allow them to fully participate in this ministry.
Even if you do not serve as a handler, there will be other opportunities to serve and help with this ministry. If you have any questions, I would be glad to answer. Additional members of our leadership team include Jim and Barb Krage, Diane Roloff, and Sue Kessler.