separation of church and state. Nevertheless I wanted a place I would feel welcome along with her.
The second I walked into New Vision United Church of Christ I felt a part of it. The congregation is very diverse and emphasizes that everyone is welcome. They brought water for Sita and greeted me warmly.
In the 2 years since then SIta has her own water dish there with her name on it. She does not have to be in vest. She is the "official church greeter" and thinks that she is there to welcome everyone who enters the door. Sometimes new people are a little startled at a yellow lab walking up to them but as soon as they see her wagging tail and happy face they feel better. Sita is in the membership directory along with me. When we have our circle of friendship at the end of every worship service she is part of the circle and again wanders around sniffing and being petted.
I mentioned to the minister how welcome everyone made us feel. He reminded me that Sita helps the church and when people may feel a little backward and uncomfortable she helps them. I had tears in my eyes one day watching her being petted by an autistic teenager who connected with her.
Yes - dog is God spelled backwards. And she is one of God's creatures - a special one. I consider us very fortunate to have found a church home where both of us love it so much. Thank you all the great people at New Vision United Church of Christ!