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St.Mark's CSI Church, Chicago

Saturday, June 29, 2013


NewsLetter July 2013

My dear ones in Christ,

Greetings to you all in the precious name of our Lord Jesus!
M ost of the struggles of this life comes from the feeling of inconvenience. We live through the struggles of life, we grow through the struggles of life and hopefully we learn from those struggles that they are no more than an inconvenience. Once we go through them we become empowered.

If we are honest, most of the situations that we become most anxious about, are also the ones that we have little or no control over; much like these very difficult economic times that we are all facing individually, and as families, as a nation and as a Church. But they too are only an inconvenience. We are called to be good stewards of all that God gives us and to bring to Him our lives, our tithes and our offerings.

In fact in Malachi God says: Test me now on this bring me your titles and offerings and see if I will not open the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.

Stewardship obviously in-cludes financial support but it also encompasses shar-ing your time and your tal-ents in support of the Church and in bringing oth-ers to a deeper relationship with our Lord and Savior .

I believe most people even non-followers of the Christ will give out of their excess or abundance.

We say we are followers of Christ but do we really trust him? Have we turned over our whole life to him or are we holding back? He loves us so very much and is constantly calling us to his love.

We should hold on to the truth of his love in these words we learned in our youth and hold all truth: Jesus loves me this I know / for the Bible tells me so / Little ones to him belong / they are weak but he is strong / Yes, Jesus loves me / Yes, Jesus

loves me / Yes, Jesus loves me / The Bible tells me so.

Yes, even in these economic times, it may seem difficult, but the Lord says he loves me, to test Him to trust Him and to have faith in his provi-sion. As a good steward how much should we give to God’s kingdom?

St. Paul gives us the answer in his second letter to the believers gathered in Cor-inth.

"He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully." "Each one must do just as he has proposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compul-sion for God loves a cheerful giver."

We observe July 7th as Stewardship Sunday. I en-courage you all to think how faithful are we in term of our Christian stewardship? On July 14th ; Theological Edu-cation, on July 21st ; Pas-toral Ministry and on 28th ; Developing Human Re-sources. All these themes are very important themes to reflect upon. Let’s have a wonderful month ahead.


Yours in Him Shine Achen

From the desk of the Presbyter
St. Mark’s C.S.I Church
306, Prospect Ave, Park Ridge, Chicago
JULY 2013
VOL. 10/ ISSUE 07

Parish Messenger

We are called to be good stewards of all that God gives us and to bring to Him our lives, our tithes and our offerings.

Rev. Shine John Mathew
952, E Old Willow Rd, Apt.102 Prospect Heights
Cell: 847-212-5787

Ben Kurien
Tony Philip
Babu K George

Motto 2013
" But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory" Heb. 3:6


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Monday, May 20, 2013


Newletter May 2013


Letter from the Vicar




  "Even now," declares the LORD, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning." Joel 2:12


The book of Joel was written to the people of Israel. It looks back to the judgment of God on them for their sins. It also looks forward to a glorious day when they will enjoy the great blessings of the Lord. Even though they are experiencing the judgment of God, there is still hope! God reaches out to them one more time to address their condition and to call them back to Him. Genuine repentance is the only hope they have for survival.


God calls on them to “turn” to Him “with all your heart”. He calls on them “rend” their “hearts” and not their “garments”. He is looking for a people who are broken over their sinful nature and who are willing to change. He is looking for a people who will be sorrowful over their sins, (i.e. “with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning”). As long as the Church continues to walk in rebellion against God, the world will mock us and our God. When we sincerely repent and are restored to a place of blessing, the world will be forced to acknowledge the God Who dwells among us.

We are going to observe another great day as per our lectionary i.e Pentecost Sunday. Amazing things took place that

day. Some believe that God expects all His people to speak in tongues. Tongues were not the primary miracle that day. Tongues were never given as a sign to the Church; tongues came for the Jews (1 Cor. 14:22). Tongues are mentioned in the book of Acts when a new people group is brought into the church (Act. 2; Act. 8; Act. 10; Act. 19) We cannot duplicate the events of Pentecost. One of the striking characteristics of the early church in the day of Pentecost was that they were together “with one accord”. The word “accord” means “to have one mind.” They waited on the Lord together and prayed together. One of the problems in the modern Church is that the members are in all different stages of spiritual development. Some are saved but immature. Some are saved and growing. Some are saved and Spirit-filled. Some are not even saved. This diversity makes for difficulty in the family.


Let us pray that our good Lord may visit us one more time and restore us from the judgment. It will come when walking and working together!


Yours in His Ministry,

Shine Achen



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Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Newsletter, March 2013


Jesus came to earth,
To show us how to live,
How to put others first,
How to love and how to give.


Then He set about His work,
That God sent Him to do;
He took our punishment on Himself;
He made us clean and new.


He could have saved Himself,
Calling angels from above,
But He chose to pay our price for sin;
He paid it out of love.


Our Lord died on Good Friday,
But the cross did not destroy
His resurrection on Easter morn
That fills our hearts with joy.


Now we know our earthly death,
Like His, is just a rest.
We'll be forever with Him
In heaven, where life is best.


So we live our lives for Jesus,
Think of Him in all we do.
Thank you Savior; Thank you Lord.
Help us love like you!

The Cross. It rests on the time line of history like a compelling diamond. It’s tragedy summons all suffers. It’s Absurdity attracts all critics. It’s hope lures all searchers. Oh! what a piece of wood! History has idolized it. And despised it, gold plated it and burned it, worn it and trashed it. History has done everything to it but ignore it. That’s the

one option that the cross does not offer. No one can ignore it! You can’t ignore a piece of lumber that suspends the greatest claim in history. A crucified carpenter claiming that he is God on earth! The cross. On that 1st Easter morning the Kingdom of death was repossessed and hope took up the payments. But even Easter has to start with the cross. It is where God has accomplished the ultimate plan of liberating the strayed humanity from the slavery. Let us remember the message and meaning that communicated to the world through Cross-Easter Event and try to live it in our lives.




With Prayers,


Rev.Joseph Samuel.





The R1 visa petition for Rev.Shine Mathew and family are approved by the Homeland Security and hopefully they will be joining us in first week of May. Thank you very much for all your prayers.


 3) Womens Sunday


 It will be observed on Sunday the 3rd March. Rev.Dr.George Pati will be our chief guest. Lunch will be served. The WF members will lead the service.


4) Lent Prayers


 Lent prayers will be held at Church at 7pm on Wednesdays (3/13 & 3/20).


 5) Youth Sunday


Sunday the 17th March


6) Cottage Prayers




 It will be celebrated on 24th March. Rev.George Pati will lead the service


9) Maundy Thursday


The Holy Communion service will be held on 28th March at 7pm at our Church


10) Good Friday

The Most Rev. J W Gladstone will be our guest on Good Friday and the service will begin at 7pm


11) Easter Sunday & Farewell


The Easter service will be on 31st March at 9.30am. There will be farewell meeting for Rev. Joseph Samuel and Family after the service.




03/26       Aby R David


13) Wedding Anniversaries

03/03       Julie & Moncy Thomas

03/11       Achamma & Eipe Lee

03/15       Deri & S Christhidhas





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Labels: March

Thursday, February 14, 2013


News Letter, February 2013


From the Vicar

Dear friends,

The six weeks before Easter is called the "Lenten Sea-son". It is a time to focus on the suffering, death and resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Because Jesus died, and thus paid for our sins, we have life. Because Jesus rose from the dead, we too will rise and enjoy heaven forever. The word "lent" means "lengthen" and stands for that time in spring when the days grow longer. The original period of Lent was 40 hours. It was spent fasting to commemorate the suffering of Christ and the 40 hours He spent in the tomb. In the early 3rd century, Lent was lengthened to 6 days. About 800 AD it was changed to 40 days. Lent starts on Ash Wednesday, 40 days before Easter. Sundays are not included in those 40 days. Those 40 days correspond with Christ’s 40 days in the wilderness. THE LENTEN SEASON IS THE TIME OF PREPARATION. The Lenten season is intentionally set aside for examination, instruction, repentance and prayer. This season is one of preparation for all the people of God.  THE LENTEN SEASON IS THE TIME FOR PENITENCE AND DISCIPLINE. Lent is the time for mourning, solemnity and sadness. In the Lenten season, self-examination is crucial. An individual’s response to the call for purposeful reflection on one’s need for God is an important factor in choosing a discipline with which to actively observe Lent. For some, fasting is a means of self-examination and denial; yet, fasting is not an appropriate discipline for all people. The purpose of a Lenten discipline is to strip away those things which clutter one’s life or impede one from being in relationship with God. It is also a time for people to experience and reflect on the sufferings of Jesus, in light of personal sin and unrighteousness. THE LENTEN SEASON IS THE TIME FOR SPECIAL PRAYER. During Lent many people give extra time to personal and public prayer. The traditional symbol for these forms of Lenten prayer is the pretzel. In the fifth century, Christians were known to make dough of flour, salt and water, which they shaped into the form of two crossed arms to remind themselves to pray. Pretzels stem directly from Lent. The crossed arms of the pretzel were in-tended by German bakers to represent a Christian at prayer, with his palms on opposite shoulders, making a crisscross of his forearms. The product was called little arms or bracellae, which later was called brezel or pretzel. The pretzel was only eaten during the season of Lent, as a reminder to pray. THE LENTEN SEASON CAN BE A TIME OF SPIRITUAL RENEWAL AND GROWTH. As Christ fasted and prayed in the desert for forty days, we try to be mindful of Christ for the standards by which we live our lives, with goals of self-giving and suffering love. With such high goals, any programmatic response may seem to fall short, yet an attempt to incorporate prayer, meditation, and useful action in the path of Christ into our lives, is invaluable.  

Therefore, as a community of faith, let us be in to this special season of Lent being more prepared, repentant, disciplined in prayer for the spiritual renewal and growth of the individual and corporate life.

Rev.Shine John Mathew and family is appointed here from 1st May on by the Rt.Rev.Thomas K Oommen, our bishop as the new vicar of our church to lead us for the next 3 years. We will be going back to India on 31st March 2013 as our tenure ends to be a theological teacher at KUTS, Thiruvananthapuram.  We thank you all for your support in our ministry here in Chicago.

With Prayers,

Rev.Joseph Samuel.


Parish Day

We celebrate our 9th Parish Day on Sunday the 3rd February at 10.30am


Dedication of New Committee

The following are elected to serve in the Church committee 2013 and there will be a dedication prayer for them on Sunday the 3rd February;

 Mr. Ben Kurien, Vice President

Mr. Tony Philip, Secretary, Rep. CSICNA, Ecumenical Council Chicago

Mr. Babu K George, Treasurer

Mrs. Jain George, Sunday School

Mr. Nikhs Prabha, Youth Fellowship, Rep. CSICNA

Mr. Babu Philip, Choir

Mr. Shaji Kurien, Men’s Fellowship

Mrs. Anna Devid, Women’s Fellowship

Mr. John Thomas, Auditor

Mr. Thomas Koshy, Auditor, CSICNA

Mr. Devid George, Ecumenical Council Chicago.

Mrs. Swarna Prabha, Ecumenical Council Chicago.


Tithe Thanks Giving Offering

Sunday the 3rd February during the service


Ash Wednesday Service

We will have Ash Wednesday service on 13th February 7pm at our Church


Lent Prayers

We will have Lent prayers on every Wednesday after the Ash Wednesday at 7pm at Church.


Youth Sunday

Sunday the 24th February




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Tuesday, January 8, 2013


News Letter , January2013


Letter from the Vicar

Epiphany: God Reveals in Baptism

A dying judge said to his pastor; "Do you know enough about law to understand what is meant by "joint tenancy?" 
"No," was the reply, "I know nothing about law; I know a little about grace, and that satisfies me." 
"Well", said the judge, "if you and I were joint tenants on a farm, I could not say to you, that is your hill of corn and this is mine, that is your blade of grass and this is mine; but we would share and share alike in everything on the place. I have been just lying here and thinking with joy that Jesus Christ has nothing apart from me, and that everything He has is mine and we will share alike through all eternity."

 In Jesus’ Baptism, this was a sign for Jesus as well as John that God had indeed chosen Jesus to be his incarnate presence in this world. Jesus’ Baptism was an Epiphany event, or a manifestation, or a light, or a revelation of God’s presence in this world. 

Jesus as he grew up in his father’s carpenter shop must have been looking for a sign from God to tell him when he was to go about his public ministry. John’s preaching, John’s baptism was just that sign. Jesus came to John not because he needed to be forgiven of his sins, but as a sign, a revelation to all people and a revelation to himself that he was to begin his public ministry. He received conformation in a physical way what he knew in his heart to be his task. God’s voice, the coming of the spirit on him all confirmed for Jesus he was indeed God’s chosen one, the one who would bring the good news to all people. In Baptism, we too become God’s chosen ones. In the pouring of the water and in the saying of the words, we become God’s children in Baptism. We are chosen by God. He acts, he comes to us through the water and the word to make us his. A baby might be either sleep or cry during Baptism, but that is all it will do. The baby will have no active part, that is because God is the one who acts. God comes to the baby and claims it for his own. God does all the action in Baptism. God claims it’s life for eternity. Yes, the claim upon us in Baptism is for eternity.

In our baptism, we are also anointed with the Spirit. A sign of the cross is made to seal the covenant agreement made through the water and the word. Our sins are forgiven, and at the same time, we agree, since that what an covenant is, an agreement between two parties, to fight against sin and to confess our sins daily to God so that he might drown them and raise out of the waters of our Baptism a new person. Baptism is not a magical rite, but in Baptism an agreement is made between us and God. 

This agreement is for a lifetime. God agrees to forgive our sins, and we agree to fight against sin and when we do sin, to ask, God to cleanse us and renew us again in the waters of our Baptism. That is not to say we need to be baptized each day, but each day we relive our Baptism in that God drowns our sinful self and rises up a new person. 

So Baptism happens once, but we live in it daily. And if we don’t keep our part of the agreement, to confess our sins, to seek God’s forgiveness, then the promise of Baptism means nothing, because in our forsaking we also turn away from God’s action of forgiveness. 

By God’s grace we enter into yet another new year. As usual 2013 too offers new hope and challenges for our lives. Let us pray that this year may be a blessed year for all of us. As church we have completed another year in our history and we all thank God almighty for guiding and leading us magnificently thus far. As the vicar I would like thank the church committee members for their relentless efforts to keep the calendar running and holding the community together, particularly the works of the executive committee, John Thomas, Devid George and Babu K George for their positive interventions in organizing the activities of the church. 

Our church organized the Chicago CSI Carol 2012 in last month and participated in the Ecumenical Christmas Carol. Our choir has done a commendable job in making the Carol Service a melodious event. We look forward to see the same enthusiasm and commitment from community as we enter into a new year.

With Prayers,

Rev.Joseph Samuel.

Fasting Prayer

Wednesdays 10am at Church

Youth Sunday

Sunday the 27th January at 10.30am

Sunday School

Every Sunday at 9am

Auxiliaries’ Anniversary

The auxiliary groups of the church will have their anniversary celebrations on Sunday the 20th January at our Church. The Holy Communion Service will begin at 9.30am which will be followed by presentations by the auxiliary groups.

Cottage Prayer

Jubel Koshy & Family will be hosting a prayer meeting at the church on Saturday the 26th January 6pm.

Annual General Body Meeting

It will be held on Sunday the 27th January after the Worship Service.

01/06/13         Second Sunday after Christmas (Malayalam Service)


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(847) 827-0588



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