If I were pressed I would have to admit that Philippians is my favorite of St. Paul 's letters. It of course does not have the theological depth of Romans or Galatians or even Ephesians. What it does have is a warmth and love that surpasses all of St. Paul 's other letters to churches. The reason for this is clear as we read the letter. The apostle and the church at Philippi had a very close personal and working relationship. At the beginning of the letter St. Paul wrote, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, thankful for your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” (Phil. 1: 3-5 RSV) St. Paul considered himself to be in partnership with the church at Philippi . The idea of partnership should continue to be a part of our understanding of the Church today. The basis for this partnership is a spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ through faith. The Greek word translated partnership is koinonia which means “having in common.” What we have in common is our faith commitment to Jesus Christ. This faith unites us not only to Jesus Christ, but also to each other.
This union or partnership is an objective fact, however, it must be brought into our daily experience as believers. There are indeed hindrances to our partnership on the experiential level. This was evident in St. Paul 's relationship with the congregation at Corinth . The apostle wrote to them, “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship (koinonia, partnership) of his Son, Jesus Christ.” (I Cor. 1:9) However, St. Paul could not work with them in the same way he was able to work with the Philippian believers. He told them why. “But I, brethren, could not address you as spiritual men, but as men of the flesh, as babes in Christ.” (I Cor. 3:1) They were partners, but the full implications of that partnership could not be realized because the Corinthians were spiritually quite immature.
In order for a partnership to become experientially positive certain factors must be present and operating. First, there must be trust between the partners. Second, there must be a common and shared goal. Third, cooperation between the partners is absolutely essential.
In writing to the Philippians St. Paul referred to their “partnership in the gospel….” When it comes to the great work of spreading the Gospel no one person is able to accomplish the work on his own. St. Paul didn't conduct his ministry single handedly. He was always surrounded by a number of co-workers. People such as Timothy, Luke, Mark, Titus and many others were working with him. The apostle knew that the pooling of resources and abilities is absolutely necessary to a successful ministry.
A growing and productive church is always one where there is a real sense of partnership; a partnership where every member is using his God given abilities and talents for the common good. That is how it was in the church at Philippi and may the same be true of St. Andrew's.
by Rev. F.M. Levi
Ladies Appreciation Dinner
The first Ladies Appreciation Dinner took place on Saturday, April 24, 2004. Our Junior Warden, Mike Acke, who organized the event wrote the following:
"Early on the women were smiling for they could see that the men had put a lot of effort into the party. The worry was, we don't have the skill to make a meal the quality of those made by the women on a regular basis. It was a success because each man took what talents he had and gave it his best. The women saw this and it made them feel happy. Even men who weren't specifically asked to help were asking what they could do to help. By 8 p.m. the men were tiring. The women started to help with the clean up, but the men stopped them several times. Finally, the ladies said, you don't understand, we know how tired you are because we have done this many times. The men relented and all was cleaned up in short order. Everyone involved had a most enjoyable evening."
Shield of Faith
We have titled the televison program “Shield of Faith” taken from Ephesians 6:16 “… taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one.” The program is on WJYS in Chicago at 8:30 a.m., Thursday mornings. This is a great step of faith on the part of this parish. And we ask that you be in prayer for this outreach ministry.
St. Andrew's is initiating a pledge campaign to help boost the finances of the parish. We are pursuing a number of new ministries, such as “Shield of Faith” and a new church plant, for which we need your financial support. We are asking every member to fill out a pledge card indicating what you feel you will be able to contribute over the next twelve months. Cards are enclosed which you are asked to return to the church. This will greatly help us in our budgeting for the coming year. Your faithful support in the past and in the future is deeply appreciated.
Bill Jerdan to Speak
Missionary to France , The Rev. William Jerdan, will be preaching at St. Andrew's on Sunday morning, June 5, 2004. Do plan to be with us and learn what the Lord is doing in France .
Rummage & Bake Sale
Saturday, June 5, 2004, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Vacation Bible School
Mon.– Fri. June 28 – July 2, 2004, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Missionary of The Month
Rev. & Mrs. William Jerdan (Diane) Stephanie, Daniel, Benjamin, Jonathan. Montpellier , FRANCE .
Congratulations to Adam & Lisa Sellers on the birth of their son, Logan James Sellers who was born April 28, 2004 and weighed 8lbs. 9oz. Proud grandparents are Loretta and Frank Sellers, proud great-grandparents are Bishop Franklin & Doris Sellers.
Congratulations to Sara Levi who received an M.A. in clinical psychology from Wheaton College Graduate School on May 8, 2004.
Annual Parish Meeting
The annual Parish Meeting was conducted following morning worship on Sunday, April 18, 2004. Thank you to those who submitted written reports, which were distributed in advance. This helped the meeting proceed more smoothly. Mr. Al Beard from WJYS television station was with us to discuss the church's program “Shield of Faith” which will begin airing Thursday, May 13, 2004 at 8:30 a.m. A second important item for discussion was presented by Barney Reagan, a member of our Finance Committee. Barney explained the Pledge Campaign which will help us with our budgeting in the future. A list of those elected to the Vestry follows:
Senior Warden – Edwina Greco
Vestry 2002 – 2005
Vestry 2003 - 2006
Vestry 2004 – 2007