top of page

June 27 Minister's Mesage

“So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:21

“And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food. And it was so.” Genesis 1:30


When I was a little kid, we couldn’t have any pets with hair or fur on account of my brother’s allergies. That leaves out a lot of possibilities. Therefore, we hosted a bevy of turtles, fish and once an alligator, before such things were both unfashionable and rightly illegal as pets.


It would be another twenty years until grown, married and the mother of two young boys, before Rusty found his way home to us. Back in the day we spent a good deal of time in public parks, spreading an oilcloth, then laying out ham sandwiches, chips and sodas for a picnic in the shade of a leafy maple.


On one such occasion we found a small, orange bundle of fur beneath one of the benches. There was no telling what had happened to his mother or siblings, yet he huddled there, a baby orphan waiting for someone who would never return.


Like every compassionate human on the planet, we scooped up a creature in need, brought him home and nourished him back to health through love, kitty food and the requisite visit to the vet. We never sat down to ask, “Is this the time in our lives to adopt a fur baby?” Rather, our fur baby seemed to have adopted us. Rusty grew to be a deeply loyal and loved member of our tribe.


We speak often about loving our neighbor as ourselves, but seldom include the extravagant variety of creaturely life on this planet. Yet, God’s creatures domestic and wild, grant us the greatest of pleasures for free. Unlike friends or acquaintances with whom we grow close and then may grow apart, the love and loyalty of our pets is eternal.


Walking the beach before the heat of the day this morning, I came across the tracks of three different leatherback turtles who hauled their heavy shells up the shore to deposit eggs in the dunes before trudging back to sea. They persevere, returning year after year without any guarantee or knowledge of the successful hatching of the eggs they left behind. On the return walk, some kind of doodle dog ran up to meet me with the enthusiasm of a child who trusts everyone until someone teaches them not to. When I got home, Jazz, our Portuguese water dog, lay by the door where I left him, eager to see me home and equally eager to remind me that it would be a far better world if I took him with me next time.


Someone handed me a book this morning published from the 1833 manuscripts of Rev. Jonathan Fisher from Blue Hill, Maine. His treatise on “A Natural History of the Living Creatures Named in the Bible” researched every Biblical creature, it’s origin and meaning, as part of God’s great vision of that day when: “The earth shall yield her increase; it will be filled with inhabitants; they will dwell together as brethren in unity…”


We humans seem to be struggling with this vision of late. Instead of watching the news, we might be better served to take a walk and consider the birds, or the family of squirrels out back, or our fur babies at home, how they love us and one another. And perhaps we then pray for that day as did Rev. Jonathan Fisher when: “Cheerfulness will set in on every brow; tears will give place to smiles; and the millions of the human race, with few exceptions, will be truly, and to a high degree happy.” May it be so.


God’s grace, mercy and peace be with you,


Rev. Dr. Anna V. Copeland

The Community Church of Vero Beach, Florida



47 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page