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Dillon and Buddy teach about love

Dillon and Buddy

Buddy is a rescue dog who knows love is not always easy. His human, the Rev. Dillon Burns, shares thoughts about Love and Dogs in this video devotional from Extraordinary Connection.

Six clergypersons in southeast Michigan have come together to create Extraordinary Connection. They introduce their effort this way. “We started Extraordinary Connection with a simple premise; many people from our churches are looking for ways to receive daily encouragement and be immersed in God’s word during these most unusual times we currently find ourselves in.”

The Rev. Dillon Burns, the pastor of Manchester United Methodist Church, is one of the pastors who posts a weekly video devotional on Extraordinary Connection.

In this video, shared on March 30, 2020, Dillon’s subject is “Love and Dogs.” He introduces his dog, Buddy, then shares an experience from his move from Texas to Michigan with his wife and Buddy, “a middle class homeless” family. Buddy had an encounter that Dillon describes: “Is THIS what love looks like?”

A Mary Oliver poem about “Benjamin, who comes from who knows where?” and a passage from the Gospel of John are also part of Dillon’s reflection. “Our hearts are muscles … we train in certain ways,” Dillon notes. “And we must train our hearts how to love.”

YouTube video


Others contributing on Extraordinary Connection include: ● Devin Smith, Blissfield Emmanuel and Lambertville UMCs ● Matthew Chapman, Bayport and Hayes UMCs ● Scott Sherrill, Vassar First UMC ● Sari Brown, Harbor Beach and Port Hope UMCs ● Heather Nowak, Pinconning and Garfield UMCs.

Devin Smith had the idea for the collaboration. He notes, A couple of weeks ago, when I realized that this social distancing thing was going to be around for some time, I reached out to several other colleagues across the state. My question was if they would be interested in putting together a devotion for one day a week that we could all share among our congregations. The response was very positive.”

Extraordinary Connection will offer a special worship experience on Friday, April 10. “We have collaborated on a ‘Stations of the Cross’ service that we will be posting on Good Friday for our churches (and anyone else who would like to participate),” Smith says.

To view the Stations of the Cross and to subscribe to Extraordinary Connection, click here.

The Michigan Conference