You may notice that on the calendar that Rogation Sunday is May 17 followed by the Rogation Days of Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Rogation Days always immediately preceed Ascension Day which is on Thursday. Rogation comes from the Latin word “rogare” which means “to ask.” Historically Rogation Days were days of prayer and fasting calling upon God in humility that He would bless the crops being sown. The Collect in the Book of Common Prayer reads, “Almighty God, Lord of heaven and earth; We beseech thee to pour forth thy blessing upon this land, and to give us a fruitful season; that we, constantly receiving thy bounty, may evermore give thanks unto thee in thy holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” (BCP p. 277) It was common in the past for the people to process around the church property asking for God’s blessing.
Are such observances such as Rogation Days or Ember Days something completely old fashioned? Are they still in our prayer book and on our church calendar because we are antiquarians who like old stuff, such as antique furniture and antique ideas?
Seasons of prayer and fasting are certainly biblical. Our Lord fasted and prayed for forty days at the beginning of His earthly ministry. It was a clear demonstration of Christ’s complete dedication to the mission the Father had given His Son. St. Peter tells us that Christ gave us “an example, that you should follow in his steps.” (I Peter 2:21)
It is also worth noting that the great missionary work of St. Paul began with prayer and fasting. “Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ Then after fasting and praying they laid hands on them and sent them off.” (Acts 13:1-3) When new congregations were established we read, “And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting, they committed them to the Lord in whom they believed.” (Acts 14:23) The consistent pattern was prayer and fasting. The same thing was true throughout the history of the Church when great things were being accomplished for the Lord.
We look at the New Testament Church and ask, “Why isn’t the Church today like that?” One reason is that we are not willing to follow the spiritual disciplines, such as prayer and fasting, disciplines which were practiced by the early Church. If we want to experience the power they had, we must live the type of lives they lived.
by Rev. F. M. Levi
St. Andrew’s Church & Preschool participated in the Tinley Park Expo again this year. The Expo was held at the Convention Center on Saturday, March 28, 2009. Hundreds of packets of information about the church and preschool were handed out. Thank you to all who came out to help.
The Annual Parish Meeting was conducted on Sunday, March 29, 2009. The meeting was preceded by a pot luck luncheon. The officers for the year are listed below.
Senior Warden – Frank Sellers, Jr.
Junior Warden – George Yapp
Rev. Derrick Hassert
At the Palm Sunday service, April 5, 2009, a number of the children from our Sunday School and Preschool processed in with the choir and sang several songs. We do appreciate the children and their participation.
Easter Sunday, April 12, 2009 began with a continental breakfast in the Parish Hall. We thank the Woman’s Guild for this. We also thank those who purchased lilies in honor of or in memory of loved ones. The lilies beautify the chapel every year. Easter Sunday was also special because two new members were formally received into the church, Peter and Robyn Poole. We pray that the Lord’s blessings will continue to rest upon the Pooles and their children.
Saturday, May 2, 2009 starting at 9:00 a.m. Join us as we do some “Spring Cleaning” around the church.
Missionary of The Month
Judy King. Bible Translation/Discipling. Amazonas, Brazil.
Donations needed for the Rummage Sale. Drop off items during the week of May 25th, between 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. or call (708) 614-7404.
Vacation Bible School
June 22-26, 2009.
Ages: 4 years old through 6th grade.
May 11 – Kate Ebisi
May 14 – Alex Rago
May 17 – Walter Sellers
May 25 – Jeffrey Stultz
May 28 - Ryan Ebisi
SHOW ME THE WAY
by Helen Steiner Rice
Show me the way,
not to fortune and fame,
Not how to win laurels
or praise for my name
But Show Me The Way
to spread ”The Great Story”
That “Thine is the Kingdom
and Power and Glory.”