THE PARISH REGISTER
St. Andrew's-Cheney Memorial Church
June 2001
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Increasing Faith

One day, following a dispute with the Pharisees, Jesus and the disciples got into a boat and set sail for the other side of the lake. St. Mark tells us, “Now they had forgotten to bring bread; and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. And he cautioned them saying, ‘Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.’ And they discussed it with one another, saying, ‘We have no bread.’” (St. Mark 8:14-16)

In the face of the apparent lack of faith on the part of the disciples Jesus asked them a series of questions. “’Why do you discuss the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?’ They said to him, ‘Twelve.’ ‘And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?’ And they said to him, ‘seven.; And he said to them, ‘Do you not yet understand?;: (St. Mark 8:17-21) After having witnessed the miraculous feeding of the 4,000 and before that the feeding of the 5,000 the disciples still lacked faith.

Faith is essential to the Christian life. The writer of Hebrews tells us, “And without faith it is impossible to please him.” (Hebrews 11:6) This faith is a living growing thing. It is much like a plant which must be cared for and nurtured. Even the smallest faith will result in salvation if it is genuine faith in Jesus Christ. But this faith should grow and become a power in the Christian life, Faith is not a one time event that gains eternal life. Faith is a basic characteristic of the life of the redeemed.

Jesus was working with His disciples to build up their faith. He works with us in the same way. The questions Jesus asked the disciples were not random. From each question we may learn something about the nature of faith.

First, there is an intellectual aspect to faith. Jesus called upon the disciples to apply their reason to the situation. “Think about it,” He said in essence, “I fed 5,000, I fed 4,000, doesn’t it stand to reason that I can feed the twelve of you?” Faith and reason are not incompatible. Often drawing a few logical conclusions can lead to greater faith. We sometimes lack faith because we do not use our minds.

St. Paul used reason and logic in his efforts to evangelize and bring people to faith in Jesus Christ. At Thessalonica St. Paul, “...reasoned with them out of the Scriptures.” (Acts 17:2) At Corinth he, “...reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath.” (Acts 18:4) The mind is a gift from God and should be used to strengthen our faith.

There is also a spiritual aspect to faith. Jesus asked the disciples, “Are your hearts hardened?” What does it mean to have a hard heart? There are a number of examples in the Bible. It is written of pharaoh, “But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also, and did not let the people go.” (Ex. 8:32) Later of the Hebrews who had been delivered from Egypt the psalmist wrote, “O that today you would hearken to His voice! Harden not your hearts, as at Meribah...” (Psalm 95:8) To harden one’s heart is to become insensitive to God. Such a person lacks the desire to do God’s will. He wants his own way like Pharaoh. A hard heart is antithetical to faith.

Parish News

Lent was concluded with a Good Friday Service on April 13, 2001 at 7:30 in the evening.

Easter Sunday began with a breakfast prepared by the ladies of the Woman’s Guild. Several children formed a choir and sang a number of songs during the breakfast. The breakfast was followed by the service of Holy Communion in the chapel.

The National Day of Prayer was observed May 3, 2001. Rev. & Mrs. Levi participated in the service conducted by the Tinley Park Ministerial Association at the Village Hall.

Rummage Sale

St. Andrew’s Church basement, June 1, 2001, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Come and find a bargain. Proceeds go to Mission Outreach.

Vacation Bible School

June 11th thru 15th, 9:00 a.m. to Noon. Program Sunday, June 17th at 1:00 p.m. Do be in prayer for a successful VBS.

CONGRATULATIONS!

Frank M. Levi, son of Rev. & Mrs. Levi, graduated from Wheaton College December 15, 2000 with the Commencement on May 6, 2001. Frank received a Bachelor of Science in Mathmatics.

Happy Birthday!

  • June 7 - Grant Chessman
  • June 8 - Melissa Drobnak
  • June 9 - Patty Levi
  • June 14 - Carl Spencer
  • June 16 - River Alathia Christenson
  • June 17 - Dave Sellers
  • June 18 - Jacqueline Robertson
  • June 18 - Paul Sellers
  • June 23 - Brian Stultz
  • June 30 - Frank Levi, Jr.

Missionary of The Month

Domestic Missions Pray for the Rev. Canon Dennis L. Cagle, Vicar, Missionary Diocese, Atascadero, California.

Father’s Day - June 18, 2001


Father’s Day Special
by Ruth Lommatzsch

Now and then it’s time to say
Something in a special way,
And so to fathers everywhere,
May God grant you His special care.

Give you health and happiness
And all your families richly bless,
Not just while Father’s Day is here,
But on each day of every year!


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