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Trends
According to a recent article in the New York Times, there’s a new ministry in churches that is really gaining ground:  Pet Ministries.  One such example is a ministry called Noah’s Ark, the pet ministry of Grace Church near St. Louis.  Grace, through Noah’s Ark, runs a pet-food drive; takes pets to visit the sick (as therapy), supports a no-kill animal rescue, and offers a support group for those who have recently lost a pet.  According to a Humane Society spokesperson, pet ministries are now in all fifty states.  Christine Gutleben of the Humane Society says that some churches are including their pet ministries in their anti-poverty programs; offering free dental and medical care of people; and free pet vaccines and access to a veterinarian.  A book has even been written on the subject of the church and animals.  Laura Hobgood-Oster has penned the book, aptly named “Holy Dogs and Asses:  Animals in the History of the Christian Tradition. SOURCE
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Current Events
A New Hampshire atheist is offering Christians who believe in the Rapture a service to look after their pets when they get taken up into eternity… According to USA TODAY,  Bart Centre, 61, a retired retailing executive, is co-owner of Eternal Earthbound Pets, which charges $110 for the pet service. “It’s a money-making venture,” he said, calling it a “win-win situation.” Click here to view his website. Centre says he has called up a network of atheist families and friends in 22 states, who would step in to look after the animals. Coverage is good for 10 years, he says. If there is no Rapture by then, he keeps the cash. “There are no refunds,” he said. “If I thought the Rapture was really going to happen, I wouldn’t have the business.” He says he’s gotten 4,000 emails, mostly from fellow atheists. About 10%, he says, are Christians who think it’s a fun idea and wish him luck, and an undisclosed handful who have even signed up for the service. You can read more here… and I want to thank Rick Cromey for the link to this article!  Thanks, Rick!  (If you run across something you think I should highlight here at MMI, please email me the link at trhoades@mondaymorninginsight.com!) Todd
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