Saturday, October 7th, 2023
12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, 10 Chapel Road, New Hope, PA
St. Philip’s annual “Creation Fest” will kick off at Noon with a blessing of the animals on the church’s outdoor labyrinth; pet blessings will continue for the duration of the event. Other activities include a bake sale, tag sale, pet adoptions and activities for kids. The festivities will close out with a live folk concert on the labyrinth at 3 pm. The event is free and open to the public.
St. Philip’s Episcopal Church (stphilipsnewhope.org) is located at 10 Chapel Road in New Hope.
The blessing of animals is part of St. Philip’s annual celebration of creation season and dates to medieval times when St Francis of Assisi, an Italian friar, wandered the Umbrian countryside with a message of simplicity and love for all of God’s creation. Today, St. Francis is considered the patron saint of the environment as well as animals.
Critters, collectibles and conservation
In that spirit, the October 7 event will include a vintage-clothing swap, a tag sale of gently used items, free information on sustainable living, a master gardener answering your garden questions, an EV and hybrid car expert, and reusable cloth bags featuring St. Philip’s labyrinth-logo. “The aim is to help people help the Earth, our fragile island home, by practicing the four R’s of environmental stewardship: reduce, reuse, repair and recycle,” said Father Michael Ruk, rector of St. Philip’s. Folksinger and Bucks County Community College Professor of Comparative Religion and Philosophy David Brahinsky will perform songs from Leonard Cohen, Bill Withers, Graham Nash, Harry Belefonte, and Bruce Springsteen.
In past years, Father Michael has blessed dogs, cats, horses, chickens and even a tarantula. Each blessing takes only a moment. To participate, people should bring their companion animal on a leash, in a carrier or whatever is appropriate for his or her safety and comfort. People may also bring photos of deceased pets they want blessed. While the blessing ritual will take place at Noon people may wander by any time before the start of the concert to have Michael bless their pet.
For more information about St. Philip’s, contact Michael Ruk at firstname.lastname@example.org.