Reconciliation with Tillie the Comfort Dog, by Pastor Rossow

February 12th, 2011 Post by

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.

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  1. Todd Wilken
    February 12th, 2011 at 12:33 | #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. Ted Badje
    February 12th, 2011 at 12:50 | #2

    Well, Tim, I hope you don’t get any grief from the Domino Canis ;-).

  3. Matthew Gunia
    February 12th, 2011 at 16:13 | #3

    Right hand of fellowship or right paw of fellowship?

  4. Rev. John F. Wurst
    February 12th, 2011 at 16:59 | #4

    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?”

  5. Kari
    February 12th, 2011 at 20:00 | #5

    I met Tilly in Houston! Sweet canine!

  6. Ross Wardenburg
    February 12th, 2011 at 20:51 | #6

    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? :)

  7. Quinn M
    February 12th, 2011 at 21:27 | #7

    It was a truly touching moment. There may have been tears.

  8. February 12th, 2011 at 23:23 | #8

    I have the comfort dog’s business card. Her name is “Tillie.”

  9. February 13th, 2011 at 06:17 | #9

    @Dave Lambert #8

    Thanks Dave! I’ve corrected my spelling of Tillie’s name in the post.

    Also, I added the audio clip of the reconciliation to the post — anyone who missed it should listen to the segment.

  10. Ryan
    February 13th, 2011 at 07:29 | #10

    Isn’t anyone disturbed that some of these ‘ministers’ like Tillie are female? Just saying. :)

  11. Joe
    February 13th, 2011 at 16:47 | #11

    Could we say you’ve embarked on the voyage of reconciliation?

  12. February 13th, 2011 at 19:29 | #12

    Joe :Could we say you’ve embarked on the voyage of reconciliation?

    That was just ruff!


  13. sumbody
    February 13th, 2011 at 20:25 | #13

    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.

  14. February 13th, 2011 at 20:39 | #14

    @Norm Fisher #9
    Thanks Norm!

  15. February 13th, 2011 at 22:27 | #15

    Tillie must be a dogmatician (rather than a catechist).

  16. Stand up and Shout
    February 15th, 2011 at 17:18 | #16

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

  17. Rev. Alan J. Wollenburg
    February 16th, 2011 at 00:05 | #17

    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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