Rev. Michelle LaGrave & Bella
I am excited to be joining the NEADS family and developing a partnership with Bella. Bella will serve as both a ministry dog and a service dog assisting me personally. As a minister and an animal-lover, I cannot think of a more ideal way to “do” ministry. Bella and I will serve our congregation, community, and region in many ways: through congregational and interfaith worship and events; pastoral care visits to nursing homes and hospitals; and crisis response to recovery and reunification centers in Petersham and the wider region. We will respond to requests by local clergy of any faith as well as regional fire, police, and other emergency responders.
Bella will be invaluable in helping to reduce anxiety, tension, and stress for those who are hurting, grieving, or in crisis. Together, we will be better able to build bridges of connection between humans, animals, and the sacred. Together we will help people to renew hope.
I am the minister of the First Congregational Parish, Unitarian in Petersham, serve as a volunteer chaplain to the Petersham Fire Department, and am a member of the Massachusetts Corps of Fire Chaplains. My new partner in ministry will be joining me, my spouse, and our two cats in living in the church’s parsonage. We are all so excited to be welcoming a dog into our home and community!