July 22, 2021
for Sunday, July 25
2 Kings 4:42-44
…When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?” Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all. Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets.
• For our community of faith as we seek to do God’s work in the world.
• For those in our congregation and community who suffer silently with illness, financial burdens, and family obligation.
• For people affected by coronavirus, their families, essential workers, doctors, nurses, aides, those working in nursing homes, etc.
• For victims of wildfires, flooding and earthquakes.
• For Pastor Ivy Gauvin, Bob Pecuch, Gene Heil, Roy Pihl, George and Janet Balcom, Beverly Klang, Trudy Fetzner, Thom Shagla, Matt Isaacson, Dave Bentley, Joe Gauvin, Emerson Allaby, Skip Anderson, Barb Mattern, Karen Brown and Sarah Van Staalduinen, those serving in the military and law enforcement and their families, including Ben Wickerham, those caught up in violence and war who have no safe home in which to live.
• For all children, that the love of Christ may reach them through all of us who have resources to love, protect, pray and provide for them.
• For the ELCZ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe and ELCZa Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia.
Names will remain of the Prayer List for a month - at which
time it will be taken off unless, or course, there is still a continued need
for our prayers and we’re asked to keep the name on.
Vaccinated – no mask required, 6’ social distancing not required, hymnals available
Unvaccinated – masks remain mandatory, social distancing recommended
We continue to have our offering plate at the back of our church and not pass the plate. We will also continue to remain at our seats during communion with individual cups.
***While Pastor Ivy is out recuperating, you can contact Pastor Heather Allport-Cohoon if there is a need for pastoral care. She can be reached at 716-708-6466.
***We continuously collect food items for the 5 & 2 Ministry. Bring your donations and place in the black bin in church narthex. Lists detailing items needed are also available in the narthex. Monetary donations welcome!
5 & 2 Ministry Food Bins Donated to Date: 92
5 Loaves and 2 Fish Backpack Ministry has just accepted a request from Chautauqua Lake BOCES to be included in the program. We’re so pleased at St. Timothy to be able add them to our list to pack for.
***ONLINE GIVING now available at St. Timothy for Debit/Credit cards. 3 ways to give:
- Go directly to our website at
- Use our QR code with the QR reader on your smartphone
- Download the app ‘GivePlus Church’. Create an account.
For further information, see Kathy Carlson on Sundays or call her at 485-1316.
Rev. Derek Cheek
About a decade ago I was still serving in the LCMS. I had been asked to plan and preside at the main worship service for the Fall Professional Church-Workers’ Conference held that year in York, PA—an event “required” for all rostered teachers, deacons, DCEs, DCOs, and pastors every three years. Needless to say there were several hundred people in attendance. I had put a lot of work into crafting the service (for which I ended up getting charged for heresy—but that’s a different story; and for what’s its worth I was exonerated 6 months later by vote in Conference assembly). I had recruited all the musicians, assisting ministers (who were all regional vice-presidents [deans] in this case), and the preacher for the service.
As we all know this sort of thing is akin to herding cats. And we all know that corralling a bunch of typically autonomous clergy who are accustomed to being in charge is always a bit of a bother to put it mildly. Anyway, this service, which was styled as a District (think synod-wide) Reformation service, was meant to be the featured service of the Conference—the only one where Communion would be served.
And that brings me to the point that I want to bring up here. The service had gone along pretty well—a couple projection problems, but nothing terrible. The sermon was over, and we were collecting the mission offering and preparing for the celebration of the Eucharist. As I was setting up the Table, I removed the veil from the elements… behold, no bread was under the silk cloth! I poured the wine into the chalices and casually walked over to the VP who was supposed to bring the Host. I whispered, “Where’s the bread.” He answered far more loudly, “$*%#, it's up in my room.” And with that he simply ran from the Assembly Hall. His response was loud enough that most people heard everything he said. So the congregation burst out in laughter.
I returned to the Altar as the collection song came to an end and explained to anyone who didn’t know what was going on that we were going to need to pause while the Host was retrieved. I asked the musicians if we could sing something while we waited. The very accomplished pianist said, “If it's in the hymnal, I can play it.” An elderly, retired pastor, with a keen sense of humor shouted from the back, “How about, ‘Come Thou Long Expected Jesus’,” which the musician simply began without need of page number or score. By the third verse we had bread and continued the service as planned.
The Old Testament and Gospel readings this week both include a multiplication of bread miracles. The particulars of how much bread was present in the beginning and how many were fed by it are interesting, albeit unimportant to the underlying meaning of either of these miracles. In John 6 Jesus asks Philip, “[W]here are we to buy bread for these people to eat?” This question lifts to the surface the apparent human impossibility of the situation.
Have you ever been at the end of your rope? Pushed beyond all limits? Have you ever looked at the enormity of a problem before you and wondered, “How am I supposed to deal with this?” Maybe a better question would be, “Who of us hasn’t?”, especially as we have just passed through the most difficult year in a century for ministers and congregations. Especially as we consider that demographic models and trends showing decline in nearly all congregations in the Upstate NY Synod stretch back decades—in fact the same decline is present in nearly all churches of all denominations in our region. How are we to deal with the enormity of the situation before us?
Andrew notes: there’s a boy here with a couple biscuits and fish. But what’s that among so many? Elisha faced a similar problem in his day—a couple dozen dinner rolls to feed 100 people. We’re there, aren’t we? We feel stretched beyond our ability to provide. We feel inadequate to meet the task set before us. We have a couple biscuits, maybe—but what’s that in the face of the need before us?
In both of the bread stories God worked a multiplication miracle. Paul offers a prayer to the Ephesian Christians—a prayer that they be strengthened in their inner beings with spiritual power flowing from the love of Christ. A power that would fill them with the fullness of God. That same power is at work in each of us. And the beauty of that power is that it’s only revealed when we are at the end of our ropes and stop relying on our own abilities. May we discover the powerful provision of God here at the end of our ropes!