(from the PC(USA))
This story is about Burnt Store Presbyterian Church in Punta Gorda , Florida and Sunshine, the "pet minister." Sunshine belongs to Tim and Karin Stewart. Tim is pastor and Karin is office manager of Burnt Store and the individual most involved with assisting Sunshine with his ministry.
Sunshine regularly visits hospitals, nursing homes and is especially committed to working with children who are living at the shelter for families that have been impacted by rape and domestic abuse. He allows the children to share their stories with him, to bury their heads in his furry body and gently expresses the canine version of compassion. Sunshine also serves as a tutor in the after school reading program, lending a non-judgmental ear (or 2) as children whose anxiety about reading seems to disappear when Sunshine is there to listen.
After hurricane Charley struck Punta Gorda in mid August, Sunshine's duties expanded. He became an unofficial goodwill ambassador to the community shelters – where many folks were temporarily separated from their own pets.
Sunshine one of the most special of the many "special" pets sharing their unique brand of Congregational Health Ministry through Congregational Caregiving Using Special Pets – C-CUSP.