NEWS & NOTES
Our church recently created the new staff role of Office Manager and filled the position with our own Madison Pattin. If you don't know Madison yet, you likely soon will as she has quickly become a vital member of the team. She shares a recent piece of her story in this week's update:
Last week, I gave you all a summary of my moving to Chicago and becoming the TPD Office Manager. This week, I want to take you into what God is teaching me now.
Alec and I have two rescued mutts, Jasper and Kakashi. We've had Jasper for almost two years now, and he's a perfect angel. He's always been sweet, obedient, and good with new people and dogs. He was our easy firstborn. Jasper has such a melancholy nature that I had been hoping to adopt a friend for him for some time. I felt like he needed someone to spend time with when we couldn't provide the attention he needed. Thus, we found Kakashi.
From the moment I saw Kakashi (formerly called 'Lagoon' by the CACC)'s picture, I wanted to meet him. He seemed perfect- melancholy enough to understand Jasper, but still provide companionship. We decided to meet Kakashi at the very beginning of June.
When the volunteer brought him outside for our introduction, we loved him right away. He had this long hotdog-shaped body with big, buoying ears and a speckled pink nose. Upon meeting him, the volunteer informed us that he required slow introductions and lots of treats before he could trust us. So we spent time tenderly offering treats and not making the first move to pet him before he was ready.
We brought Jasper back to the shelter to meet Kakashi a few days later. Jasper loves everyone, but like a cat is picky with who he actually wants to spend time with. Their introduction went as well as it could've with good behavioral signs from both, some wagging, and no signs of aggression. We decided that night to bring Kakashi home.
Before picking him up, the shelter determined that Kakashi was Heartworm positive, which meant that the shelter could not allow us to directly adopt him. We had to foster him through a willing rescue organization. Finally, after waiting for a rescue to support him and being allowed to bring him home, he became part of our family.
We worked hard to do slow and proper introductions between the two dogs, and did everything we were supposed to. But, we quickly started to experience one of the most difficult journeys of our married life. Kakashi and Jasper not only got into a couple of small fights, but Jasper was left bleeding and wounded. We were heartbroken. Plus, due to some complications with the rescue, Kakashi has still been unable to receive Heartworm treatment.
It has been a hard, hard two months of stressful interactions, Kakashi's reactivity toward all people, and feeling like we're failing. What were we thinking, bringing home a dog with so many issues we felt so inexperienced with?
In the suffering and anxiety, Jesus has been available. We see His grace when our parents ask how Kakashi is doing with genuine care. We see it when we have no idea how to make ends meet to care for two dogs and ourselves, and God provides money from what feels like thin air. We see it in the tiny victories, like Kakashi choosing to sit and receive a treat from me instead of growl and plant his feet as a stranger passes by.
There is sufficient grace for these days. I can see it.
We are continuing to work hard on Kakashi's training. The road is long and arduous, but we are not alone. Jesus is here, and He is with us now.
"His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me."
- Madison Pattin, Office Manager
THIS COMING SUNDAY
DIVIDING WALLS: GENDER IDENTITY
Pastor Mark Bergin
God reveals himself in the genders of people. The book of Genesis teaches that God created all people, male and female, in his image. Therefore, no matter a person's gender or whether someone is unsure of their gender, every person can rest in the surety of their equal dignity and worth as an image bearer of God. We all reflect divinity. And God has given us gender as a means to structure our churches and homes for the flourishing of all. He calls men and women to serve their spiritual and biological families in different and complementary roles. This distinction between men and women is fire. It burns up our egos and requires that we lay down our lives for one another. Gender is not a means for self-assertion; it is a means for self denial. It is a cross. Yet, from that death, joy rises.