John called people to repent, to clear the decks, to completely reorder their lives so that nothing would get in the way of the Lord’s coming. The reading from Isaiah gives the context for this radical call: the assurance of forgiveness that encourages us to repent; the promise that the coming one will be gentle with the little ones. Isaiah calls us all to be heralds with John, to lift up our voices fearlessly and say, “See, your God is coming!” We say it to one another in worship, in order to say it with our lives in a world in need of justice and peace.
THIS SUNDAY AT ST. MARK'S
9:00 am - Holy Communion with Children’s Time - Sanctuary
9:50 am - Sunday School - Sunday School Room
10:00 am - Refreshments and Fellowship Hour - Heritage Hall
10:00 am - Journeys in Faith - JIF Room
10:00 am - Adult Forum - Fireside Room
“The Mystery of Eve and Adam” with Pr. Ron
10:05 am - Confirmation - Youth Room
11:00 am - Choral Eucharist Worship Service - Sanctuary
12:15 pm - Refreshments and Fellowship Hour - Heritage Hall
4:00 pm - Advent Vespers Service - St. Mary’s Cathedral
4:30 pm - Bay Choral Guild Concert - Sanctuary
6:00 pm - SF Interfaith Winter Shelter - Auditorium
ADULT FORUM - 10:00AM IN THE FIRESIDE ROOM - THIS SUNDAY
December 3 & 10 “The Mystery of Eve and Adam” with Pr. Ron
This story at the beginning of the Hebrew Scriptures probably is one of the most used, and sometimes abused, stories in the entire Bible. For over 20 years, Pastor Ron delved into various interpretations of this story without satisfaction. Finally, through a process of inquiry and Biblical research, he discovered a new and original interpretation of this story that explains so much about the meaning of the curses that God addressed to the serpent, the woman, and the man. His book was published in 2012, and continues to be a challenge to many of the more traditional interpretations of this ancient story. Come and hear more about why this story could be a critique of the monarchy that dominated the nations of Israel and Judah for centuries.
December 17 in Heritage Hall: Stories from El Salvador
The 9-member delegation from St. Mark’s that traveled to visit our sister congregation, Cordero de Dios, in El Salvador over the week of Thanksgiving will be showing slides and sharing stories from their time in San Salvador. The 6-days were filled with many wonderful and intense experiences that reflected the joys and the pain of the members of this community. Everyone is encouraged to come and share in this experience in Heritage Hall at 10:00 a.m. The delegation included the Helland family, the Beck/Greig family, Mary Ritter, and Pastor Ron.
GIFTS FROM BETHLEHEM PERFECT FOR ADVENT AND CHRISTMAS!
St. Mark’s friend CLAIRE ANASTAS brings us beautiful, meaningful olive wood nativities and ornaments, hand-carved statues, silver jewelry, hand-embroidered scarves and shawls and many more items - all hand-crafted by Palestinian artisans, with original designs by Claire herself and others. Claire is here in San Francisco until January 7. You may contact her right now at (415) 385-1714, (415) 285-4424 or email: email@example.com. Peruse Claire’s website for gift ideas or to order from her shop in the Holy Land at anytime: <www.anastas-bethlehem.com.> And be sure to look for these Bethlehem handicrafts at St. Mark’s THIS SUNDAY - after both worship services. Every item helps the person who made it remain in the Holy Land as a witness to our faith! Looking ahead: CLAIRE ANASTAS will be our speaker at the Adult Forum on January 7.
Come and learn how this Palestinian Christian woman copes with life behind the Separation Wall surrounding Bethlehem.
JOIN THE ST. MARK'S CHOIR ON TOUR!
On Sunday, December 10 at 4 pm join with the St. Mark’s Choir as they journey all the way to St. Mary’s Cathedral (across Gough Street) where they will collaborate with the choir of St. Mary’s under the direction of the Director of Music, Chris Tietze. This joint Lutheran/Catholic Advent Vespers has become a seasonal tradition, and alternates between St. Mark’s and St. Mary’s each year. The service is less than an hour long, and is a wonderful close to the day as we watch the light fade from within the Cathedral. Take advantage of this opportunity to contemplate the Advent of Our Lord in an inspiring environment with beautiful music.
PREPARE ST. MARK'S FOR CHRISTMAS
Join in the merriment on Saturday, December 16, from 9 AM until 12 noon, as we prepare St. Mark's for the Christmas season. With your help, we'll put the trees in place and decorate them that morning. Shepherds, Wise Ones, and Angels are welcome to lend a hand after they've rehearsed their pageant roles!
BERNAL GATEWAY APARTMENTS CHRISTMAS PARTY - HELP NEEDED
The residents at Bernal Gateway Apartments will be having their Christmas Party this Wednesday, December 13 at 5:30 p.m. The meal will be a potluck, and members from St. Mark’s have been asked to assist in preparing for and serving at the meal by arriving at 4:30 to help. After the meal, Santa will be there to distribute the gifts that have been purchased by St. Mark’s members, and could use some help in distributing the gifts. If you are able to help with either of these service opportunities, please contact Jenny Hart (firstname.lastname@example.org). THANK YOU!
THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROUS GIVING
Thank you for turning in your 2018 commitment card and/or indicating your intent to give toward the General Fund and Capital Campaign in 2018. Every gift makes a difference in supporting the mission of St. Mark’s. Below is an update on our progress:
Thank you to the 33 families who increased their commitment from 2017 to 2018. Thank you to all our first-time responders. Thank you to our newer members who turned in a commitment. As you can see, we have a ways to go to match and exceed our 2017 financial commitments. Please turn in your commitment card as soon as possible. Consider increasing your gift to the General Fund in 2018. Everyone is needed to participate in order to support the ministries and activities we hope to do in the upcoming year.
Your Stewardship Team will be contacting you to gently remind and invite you to return your commitment card. Please receive these phone calls and e-mails as they are intended - an invitation to participate and support St. Mark’s ministries. Thank you for returning your commitment card today!
The Stewardship team
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Actually, we are beginning a new liturgical year on the First Sunday of Advent which is December 3. We will be giving every worshiper on that Sunday their very own liturgical calendar in color. You can follow the rhythms and seasons of the church year by utilizing this very helpful calendar. Happy New (Church) Year!
CHRISTMAS GIVING TREE
Thank you to everyone who took a tag(s) from our Christmas Giving Tree for the children at Bernal Gateway Apartments. Be sure to deposit your unwrapped gifts with the tag attached in the box in Heritage Hall today. If you forgot your gift, please be sure to bring it by the church office tomorrow.
CALLING ALL ANGELS AND SHEPHERDS!
Please click on this Christmas Pageant link to sign up now! Casting has begun for our special Christmas Eve Pageant at St. Mark’s. This family-friendly narration of the events surrounding the birth of baby Jesus includes a wonderful cast of angels and shepherds of all ages and wise men and their assistants. The Christmas Pageant will be on Christmas Eve, December 24th at 5pm. There will be two rehearsals on Saturdays, December 16th at 9am and December 23rd at 9am. Be sure to mark your calendars! There are many roles available including stage crew and costuming. If you are interested in being a part of the Christmas Pageant, then please email Mari Tuominen at email@example.com.
WOMEN'S MONTHLY STUDY GATHERINGS
All women are welcome to come and study together at our evening and/or morning Women of the ELCA Gatherings. In December our groups will meet on:
Second Tuesdays – December 12 from 11:00am to 1:00pm in Heritage Hall.
All women are invited to celebrate Christmas with the San Francisco Women of the ELCA at our annual Christmas Luncheon. The program featuring Pr. Ron Moe-Lobeda will begin at 11:00 and luncheon will be served at noon. A donation of $10 is encouraged.
If you have any questions, please contact Suzanne Smith at 415.285.7438 or
CHEFS NEEDED FOR OUR COMMUNITY DINNERS IN ADVENTS
Do you like to toss salad? Make soup? Bake a casserole? We are looking for volunteers willing to prepare a simple meal for 15 - 20 people for our community dinners in December on Wednesday evenings: Dec. 6, 13 and 20. The dinners begin at 6:00 in Heritage Hall followed by our Advent Worship Service in the sanctuary. Thank you - contact Pr. Elizabeth or Pr. Ron if you can help out. We can reimburse you for your expenses through the generosity of a Thrivent Action Grant!
PR. ELIZABETH'S UPCOMING MOSAIC TELEVISION SHOW, DEC. 10 AT 5:00 AM ON KPIX CHANNEL 5
This show focuses on the diverse and helpful work of Lutheran Social Services of Northern California.
LSS provides case management, supportive services and housing to foster youth, formerly homeless, families, seniors and many people in need all over California.
Tune in to learn more about their ministries and how we are a part of what they do.
SUNDAY SCHOOL SCHEDULE
Sunday School will not meet on 12/24 and 12/31. We will resume on January 7th with a Big Group.
We will be making “Stockings for the Homeless”. Please bring donations to fill the socks anytime over the next few weeks. We will be collecting them at Sunday School. We need items such as: toiletries, granola bars, toothbrushes and floss, antibacterial soap, breath mints.....What ever you think the men in the shelter would appreciate, that would fit into a pair of socks.
INTERFAITH HOMELESS SHELTER AT ST. MARK’S
St. Mark’s will be participating in the San Francisco Interfaith Council Winter Shelter program and will be hosting Dec. 9th-Dec. 16th and Jan. 15th-Feb. 4th.
Please consider volunteering for this very worthwhile ministry. Volunteers will be needed to serve during both Breakfasts and Dinners. Please contact John Elford at 415-490-7966 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to participate in this ministry, which helps so many people in need at this time of the year. You can also sign up at http://www.stmarks-sf.org/serve/.
AGING AND SPIRITUALITY GROUP
Join Pr. Elizabeth every Monday from 11:00 – 12:00 in the Brockie Lounge of Martin Luther Tower for this time of sharing and support. What are the challenges of aging in today’s world? What are the joys and surprises? How has your faith changed and grown with aging? All these questions and more are for us to ponder and consider together. This is a safe place to share your feelings, frustrations and joys about aging. All are welcome.
WORSHIP LEADERS THIS SUNDAY
Director of Music...Dr. Timothy Zerlang
Assisting Ministers...Liv Beck (9); Mel Hartshorn, Phil Krikau (11)
Lectors...Suzanne Smith (9); Cora Rose (11)
Chalice Bearers...Matthias Will (9); Steve Ernst, Jane Borg (11)
Acolytes...Linda Jackson & Katja Jackson
Altar Guild...Jane Borg, Linda Jackson and Pam Cheung
Sacristans...Ed Chitty, Kyle Schiefelbein-Guerrero
Ushers...Viknesh Silvalingam (11)
Coffee Hour Chairs...Nadine Robinson, Kimberly Hamilton-Lam
Next Week’s Coffee Hour Chairs...Andrew Sallach, Elaine Lanier-Bohan, Tim Bohan