“Jesus loves me and my dog” seems to be the sentiment of many a Sunday morning worshiper as church in the dog park becomes more and more popular at Central Christian Church in Dallas.
Central has a one-acre, fenced, off-leash community dog park that celebrated its 10th anniversary a little over a year ago. About that same time church elder Tyson Woods began holding morning worship services in the dog park.
Tyson is not an ordained minister; he is an arborist by profession. However, when people hear Tyson deliver a sermon they always comment, “you missed your calling.” So, Tyson took his talent to the dogs!
Seriously, Central began the outdoor services in the dog park so that people who may not want to attend a traditional service inside the sanctuary have an alternative place to worship. They also recognize that many people who work during the week may want to spend as much time with their pet on weekends as possible.
“What better place is there than outdoors under the Live Oak trees with your dog at your side to be One with God?” Tyson asks.
“This is a space where community comes together,” Tyson said. “The congregation is made up of people from a variety of faiths and backgrounds.”
The service consists of sing-a-longs, donuts and coffee, prayer and a short lesson—not that we believe that anyone has the attention span of a puppy but because we recognize lives are busy and have lots to do during free time.
Church in the dog park is a beautiful way to begin the week and to meet new friends who share a love of animals. It must be working! The dog park service is growing in numbers. What started as a hand-full of people and their pets is now 20 to 30.
There’s room for you! Located behind the church, there is plenty of parking and plenty of seating. Dress is casual, sweats in the winter and shorts in the warm months. Service is 9 a.m. the first and third Sunday of the month, weather permitting. All are welcome. All means all.
“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace.” ? Milan Kundera