I took Ananias to the the Synod's Winter Theological Event in Eau Claire, and while he sat in on one of the sessions, he barked during the presentation. He felt bad about it, and wanted to write an apology to Bishop Rinehart who was doing the presentation. - pbc
An open apology to Bishop Michael Rinehart
My name is Ananias the Bulldogge, and I want to apologize to Bishop Rinehart, Bishop Hoyme and all of the pastors of the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin for disturbing his presentation at the Winter Theological Event in Eau Claire by barking at parts of his presentation.
My Big Guy (Pastor Brian Campbell) told me I was going to get to go to the conference this year because it was in a dog friendly hotel, and I was all excited. I learn so much when he reads to me about God’s love and the church, so I was looking forward to learning more. I was practicing my listening skills so I could remember all of the great stuff I was going to hear. But he had me stay in the hotel room for most of the sessions. I practiced jumping on and off the bed; it was much higher than at home.
Finally, he brought me to the last session where you were talking about stewardship. I didn’t know that word (I’m not quite 2 years old, so I’m still learning) but you explained that it is another word for managing. It’s planning and making decisions about what to do with the blessings and gifts that God has given to us. You were specifically talking about money and what people should do with it. I don’t have money, but I thought about what you were saying in terms of the toys and treats that I get from My Big Guy.
When you talked about that from the time you were a puppy, your parents taught you not to spend all of your money, but to set it aside, that made me think. You said that your parents had to take ten percent and tithe it. I didn’t know that word either, so I was glad when you said that means to give first back to God. You said the next ten percent should be saved, and another five percent should be set aside for emergencies or special activities. I try to save my treats and toys and hide them around the house. My Big Guy doesn’t like it because sometimes they go bad before I get them out and they start to smell. I don’t know how I can give back some of my toys and treats to God, but I’m going to work on that. Maybe I can get My Big Guy to give some things he would give to me and take them to a place for dog who don’t have a great home like mine.
I really liked what you said about that book, Ask, Thank, Tell. I saw it on My Big Guy’s table and he has read it. I’m going to try to get him to read it out loud to me. Maybe the people at his churches should read it too.
I got excited when you were talking about it, and was agreeing with what you were saying. I didn’t mean to bark, but I need to work on my inside voice.
You said that churches need to ask people to give, and to invite them to be a part of the mission of the church. That is so right. As much as My Big Guy loves me, sometimes I have to ask him for treats. He is usually happy to give them to me. I just need to remind him from time to time, and have to ask him to help me.
When he gives me a treat, I thank him. I let him know that I appreciate what he has given me and I give him kisses. You were saying that is something churches need to do better. They need to say thank you for the gifts people give and the things people do. I’ll see if My Big Guy wants me to be a part of that committee.
We should tell people what their gifts help us to do. People should know about the good things that the church is able to because they have given money to the church. My Big Guy tells me about the things he does, and a lot of those are because of the resources he has because of how generous the people at his churches are. People want to know what happens to the gifts and offerings they give.
When you said we should celebrate doing those good things, I got really excited. I love a good party. When I tried to agree with you, it came out as barks and growls. I’m sorry about that. I keep trying to tell My Big Guy to be excited about the good things that his three churches are doing, but he keeps looking at what still needs to be done. I think you were trying to get him and the other pastors to realize that it is OK to enjoy when something good happens. I guess I got too excited, and My Big Guy took me out of the room.
Once again, I’m sorry for interrupting you. But I want you to know that I learned a lot from what you said, and I’m going to work with My Big Guy to share what he learned with his churches. That way, we can all be better at taking care of the gifts and blessings God has given us.
Licks and Love,
Ananias the Bulldogge
Just a bulldogge,
trying to make sense of this crazy world.
My Big Guy is the Pastor of these churches.
I help him out.
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