Discover the Free Resources from Humane Society of the U.S.
The greatest ongoing collection of resources for people hoping to combine their faith with their concern for animals are the free web pages maintained by the Humane Society of the United States. In our interview with Dr. Laura Hobgood-Oster, an expert on both religion and animals, she urged congregations to get involved with this nationwide nonprofit. Laura told us: “Their Faith Outreach program has done an incredibly good job of putting together starting places for people from a whole variety of religious traditions. They have the most resources on Christianity, because that’s the largest group of people in the United States, but they do have resources on other religions as well. In each area, they do a great job of giving people concise resources, ideas, free materials they can use. They help people take small but important steps.”
HOW TO FIND THE U.S. HUMANE SOCIETY RESOURCES FOR MINISTRY
START WITH THE HUMANE SOCIETY FAITH OUTREACH LANDING PAGE: This is the portal where you’ll find news, videos, timely headlines. There’s a free Animal Ministry Guide you can download. And, as we publish this story in December 2010, the newsy headlines offer lots about C.S. Lewis and Narnia, tied to the release of the “Dawn Treader” movie. Here’s one of the C.S. Lewis pages on the site that, in turn, leads to even more free Lewis stories and materials.
DON’T MISS THE HUMANE SOCIETY VIDEOS: Dozens of short videos cover a wide range of issues. Are you part of a small group planning to discuss Dr. Laura Hobgood-Oster’s book? Show one of these videos to your group to help spark discussion.
EXPLORE THE MOST VALUABLE RESOURCE—THE COLLECTION OF FAITH STATEMENTS: You won’t find this treasure trove anywhere else in such a well-organized, easy-to-share form. Start by exploring your own religious tradition. Currently, the site lists statements from Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Hinduism. Within Christianity, more than a dozen denominations are listed. After reading what your own group is telling the world, explore others—and you may discover interfaith bridges to neighbors.
RELATED TO THE INTERFAITH EFFORT, HEAR FROM SOME REAL PEOPLE AND REAL PETS: If this idea of combining faith and our love for animals is new to you, the FriendshipAndFaith website recently published stories from two women involved in the groundbreaking Canines at Covenant project in California. Enjoy their stories and you may decide to actively pursue these ideas yourself!
OF COURSE WE ALL WANT TO LAUGH WITH OUR ANIMAL COMPANIONS
Remember the adage, “Laughter is the best medicine”? Still true!
We can’t think of a better way to laugh along with a fellow dog lover than to recommend the Spiritual Wanderer, a.k.a. Rodney Curtis. As part of this effort to highlight new ways to explore our relationships with pets, the Wanderer posted a hilarious chapter from his book about … Well, if you’re a pet owner, you’ll immediately “get” what this chapter is all about. It’s even got a Christmas theme!
This week, we’re publishing stories about the spiritual side of our relationships with animals:
- 1: Dr. Pasick “Conversations with My Old Dog”
- 2: Jon Katz & “Soul of a Dog”
- 3: Books to Help Families When a Pet Dies.
- 4: Meet Dr. Laura on Rethinking Faith & Friends
- 5: Serious help—and a good laugh about pets.
- 6: Four for families enjoying furry friends
We want our international conversation to continue
Conversation is far better than the dangerous shouting matches we’ve been witnessing in our global culture. So, please, email us at [email protected] and tell us what you think of our stories—and, please tell a friend to start reading along with you!
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(Originally published at readthespirit.com)