Reconciliation with Tillie the Comfort Dog, by Pastor Rossow

As some of you know from past blog posts, also here and here, I have been critical of Lutheran Church Charities Installation of their Comfort Dogs as “Ministers of the Gospel”.

Since we had the CEO of Lutheran Church Charities at our conference today to speak to us about Mercy, the second of President Harrison’s emphases for the church, I thought it would be a good chance for me to reconcile with Tillie the Comfort Dog.

Below there is a photo giving the right hand of fellowship to Tillie. Of course, right after that I couldn’t help but de-install her, so I spoke the installation liturgy backwards and did the sign of the cross backwards. Everything is now right in the world.

Pastor Rossow give the Right Hand of Fellowship

And here’s the audio of the reconciliation:


Right-click here to save MP3

More serious, we are happy to report that Lutheran Church Charities does NOT endorse the installation of their dogs as “ministers”. Some congregations have taken the comfort dogs and done so.

Tim Hetzner is currently speaking to the Brothers and is doing a wonderful job of encouraging us to receive the Mercy of God and share it with those in need.

About Norm Fisher

Norm was raised in the UCC in Connecticut, and like many fell away from the church after high school. With this background he saw it primarily as a service organization. On the miracle of his first child he came back to the church. On moving to Texas a few years later he found a home in Lutheranism when he was invited to a confessional church a half-hour away by our new neighbors.

He is one of those people who found a like mind in computers while in Middle School and has been programming ever since. He's responsible for many websites, including the Book of Concord,, and several other sites.

He has served the church in various positions, including financial secretary, sunday school teacher, elder, PTF board member, and choir member.

More of his work can be found at


Reconciliation with Tillie the Comfort Dog, by Pastor Rossow — 17 Comments

  1. As the proud owner of a comfort dog (for my own personal use) and 5 comfort cats, I’m glad to see this.


  2. I am happy to hear that you are “reconciled” with Tilly. Did you follow the 12-step program or did you simply make confession of your sins and receive absolution “a lick to the face?”

  3. Tilly really is a sweet pooch. The Naperville chapter of the Brothers of John the Steadfast and members of Bethany Lutheran Church put on a great conference once again. The speakers all did an outstanding job, the food was fabulous, and the worship services were a blessing as always. I really enjoyed hearing President Harrison and meeting many of the attendees as well. Thanks to everyone for a great conference and thanks be to God.

    Pastor Rossow,
    Did you teach Tilly the secret BJS handshake? :)

  4. I have an extra calling card and I will put the magnetic strips on the back and she will join all of my collage magnets on my fridge . She is truly a beautiful dog and friendly. Along with that we got a larger John the Steadfast magnet and it will join the company of all.

  5. So are these dogs considered Ministers of Religion-Commisioned? per official LCMS terminology

  6. Hmmph! If you really want to make Tillie a “comfort dog,” teach her to make the sign of the cross . . . any dog can learn to “shake.” 😉

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