The following article was written by Tim Stafford and was published in: Christianity Today, September 14, 1992; p. 36.
A Matter of Taste?
A pastor I know, Stephey Belynskyj, starts each confirmation class with a jar full of beans. He asks his students to guess how many beans are in the jar, and on a big pad of paper writes down their estimates. Then, next to those estimates, he helps them make another list: Their favorite songs. When the lists are complete, he reveals the actual number of beans in the jar. The whole class looks over their guesses, to see which estimate was closest to being right. Belynskyj then turns to the list of favorite songs. "And which one of these is closest to being right?" he asks. The students protest that there is no "right answer"; a person's favorite song is purely a matter of taste.
Belynskyj, who holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Notre Dame asks, "When you decide what to believe in terms of your faith, is that more like guessing the number of beans, or more like choosing your favorite song?" Always, Belynskyj says, from old as well as young, he gets the same answer: Choosing one's faith is more like choosing a favorite song.
When Belynskyj told me this, it took my breath away. "After they say that, do you confirm them?" I asked him. "Well," smiled Belynskyj, "First I try to argue them out of it."
This is a sign of how personal feelings and desires have become the primary “potter” of faith today. Which is not faith at all, but rather more like the choices people make in a buffet line. Many folks see churches as choices where they can go as long as it suits their fancy. Part of this change was a big movement back quite a few years ago when I was still a youngster. The slogan began to be used with regularity, “Attend the Church of Your Choice.” Our lesson this week continues to discover how we are shaped as a church. If we are going to allow God to be the One who shapes the church, we need to follow the teaching He has authorized. CEP is the acronym we’re going to look at this Sunday—Command-Example-Pattern—which shows how God wants to shape the church. DG
ESCANABA NEWS & NOTES
POTLUCK & BIRTHDAY PARTY TODAY! Plan to stay for our fellowship meal after the worship today. After our meal we’ll celebrate Doris Sabor’s 90th birthday!
Family Night –February 4th Wednesday we meet for supper is at 5:30; activities at 6:00. Our Storyteller will tell us about the events leading up to the death of Samson. You can read the story in Judges 16:4-31. Volunteers this week: Meal: TBA; Songs/prayer: Jason; Storyteller: TBA; Memory: TBA.
Family Night –February 11th Special Snow Tubing Night! We plan to have our Family Night at the Gladstone Ski Hill from 5-7:30 on Wednesday, February 11th. Tubing will be from 5:00-6:30. There will be pizza and a devotional after the tubing. Cost for tubing & pizza is $8.00 per person; pizza only is $3.00 per person. See Bonnie or Jason if you have questions. Songs/devotional: Luke.
Family Night –February 18th We won’t be having our regular activities this Wednesday. The new carpeting should be complete, so we’ll work together to put everything back in place…chairs, desks, tables, copier, etc. We could use your help! We’ll meet for supper at 5:30 with a few songs and prayer at 6:00. Then we’ll start putting everything back. Volunteers this week: Meal: TBA; Songs/prayer: Dave.
Workdays at the Church Building We’re having new carpet professionally installed in the auditorium, hallway, office and a classroom on Monday, February 16th. Jason is coordinating the effort. We agreed to do the moving of furniture and tearing out the old carpet. We’re planning to have a light lunch after the worship on Sunday, February 15th, and then we’ll begin the workday. Let’s all pitch in that afternoon! We need someone to coordinate a light lunch for that day. If you can do the lunch, please let Dave know. A few of us can’t join the effort Sunday afternoon, so we’ll begin moving some of the furniture, maybe some carpet on Saturday, February 14th at 8:00 am. If you want to help both days, great!
Saturday, February 14 Workday prep for new carpeting 8:00 am
Sunday, February 15 Workday prep for new carpeting 1:00 pm
Monday, February 16 Carpet installed Monday and Tuesday
Wednesday, February 18 Supper at 5:30; Move all furniture back at 6:00.
Community Lunch in February We plan to host the Community Lunch held at the Salvation Army kitchen on Saturday, February 21, 2015. As we get closer, there will be a sign-up sheet for food and volunteers to help prepare and serve. See Jesse or Dave for questions.
Ladies Prayer Breakfast Bonnie Grant invites all the Ladies of the congregation to a breakfast at her home in Bark River on Saturday, March 7 from 9:30-11:00. There will be a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board soon.
ESCANABA PRAYER REQUESTS
Missy continues to have leg pain.
Rick Micheau’s oldest son, Jay, is doing well following heart surgery.
The Poitivents have been sick this past week.
Pray for Melissa for her spiritual well-being. She is going through some very difficult struggles.
Health: Jackie, Lynn, Carole, Theresa (M.S). Cancer: Pat Micheau, Fred Coates, Janet Gazan, Lori, Cindy Poehlman, Tracie Frappier, Alisia Roland, Tony Fittante, Rose Beauchamp, Mary Ann Poe, and Jeanette Pierce. Pregnancy: Shelly Goodle, Greta Briere, Marissa Briere.
Any updates on our Continued Concerns? Please call or e-mail so we can refresh our concerns to the Lord. Call 233-0065; E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.