Fourth Sunday in Lent

MARCH 11, 2018

Fourth of the Old Testament promises providing a baptismal lens this Lent is the promise God makes to Moses: those who look on the bronze serpent will live. In today’s gospel Jesus says he will be lifted up on the cross like the serpent, so that those who look to him in faith will live. When we receive the sign of the cross in baptism, that cross becomes the sign we can look to in faith, for healing, for restored relationship to God, for hope when we are dying.

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 - Adult Forum - Fireside Room
Deliberating Together from Birth to Death with Dr. Margaret McClean
10:00 am - Journeys in Faith - JIF Room
10:05 am - Confirmation - Youth Room

11:00 am - Choral Eucharist Worship Service - Sanctuary
12:15 pm - Refreshments and Fellowship Hour - Heritage Hall

Remember to set your clocks ahead by one hour and enjoy an “additional” hour of rest.  If you don’t remember, you’ll come to worship an entire hour early!  

THIS SUNDAY: Deliberating Together from Birth to Death

Lutherans Doing Ethics
If theology is how we speak about God, then ethics is how we speak about life.  Ethics is our lived response to the good news of the gospel.  As Lutherans, we have a penchant for ethics—for recognizing that we are sinners striving to live as saints.  But, as Lutherans, do we think differently, live differently precisely because we are Lutherans?  Please join us as we consider “Lutherans Doing Ethics.”  These 4 forums are facilitated by Dr. Margaret McLean, Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies and Associate Director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University and member of St. Mark’s.

March 18 & 25 - Dr. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda
Climate Justice, Radical Hope, and Eco-Reformation in the
Footsteps of Luther

Humankind stands at a turning point in history. Either we continue on a fast track toward climate disaster or we harness human genius and creativity to forge a sustainable relationship between the human species and our planetary home.  The moral challenge is heightened by matters of climate justice:  those most vulnerable to the ravages of climate change are also the people least responsible for it. In this context, Earth’s religious traditions are called to plumb their depths, seeking wellsprings of moral vision, hope, and wisdom for building ecologically sound and socially just ways of living. Lutheran traditions are rich with such resources. On March 18 we will face the climate justice crisis as a moral crisis with implications for the proclamation of the gospel. On March 25 we explore sources of hope and moral-spiritual power found in Lutheran traditions.

We have scheduled the next Property Morning for March 24, 2018 from 9:00AM to 12:00PM. We will be getting the Church ready for Palm Sunday which is March 25 and Easter April 1,  as well as addressing some minor repairs. So, please mark your calendars for March 24. 

If you have not heard I, Tim Bohan, have accepted the Property Chair position. I will do my best to continue the rewarding stewardship of caring for our  remarkable Saint Mark’s Church.


The Annual Meeting of the Martin Luther Tower Corporation will take place on Thursday, March 15 at 6 pm in Heritage Hall.  The Members of the Corporation are the MLT, Inc. Board of Trustees and the St. Mark’s Church Council.  A review of 2017 and activities for 2018 will be followed by the election of Trustees.  Martin Luther Tower’s residents and St. Mark’s members are invited to attend the meeting to hear reports, ask questions, and enjoy refreshments.  Contact Barbara Bock for more information at

St. Mark’s Seniors, Tuesday, March 13th is the next MLT monthly luncheon in Heritage Hall from 12:00-1:30pm! Please join us for a delicious meal prepared by MLT’s very own Delvone Anderson. MLT resident, Tom Berg, will be entertaining us with tunes from the 50’s. Entrées options include Fried Chicken, Oven-baked Chicken and Mac+Cheese. All entrées come with Broccoli and Cauliflower Sauté and Spring Mix Salad with vinaigrette dressing. Desserts will be 7UP Pound Cake and Warm Apple Pie. The cost is $5. Please pay in the MLT Office by Monday, March 12th. Come and be among friends. See you there!

We need a couple of volunteers to help set up the place settings and serve the meal to our guests on Tuesday, March 13.  Please let Pr. Elizabeth know if you are available.  We would ask that you arrive at 11:00 a.m. and would be finished by 1:00 pm.  And, we will happily feed you a lunch. or 415 928-7770 ext. 2300. 

One of the central disciplines of Lent is prayer, and the communal prayer for which we gather on Sundays requires a committed group of volunteers.  During this season of preparation and reflection, you are invited to discern a call to serve as a chalice bearer, altar guild member, usher, assisting minister or lector.  If interested, speak with Kyle or e-mail him at  No experience necessary – training provided!

Join our “Lenten Journey to the Easter Vigil” during this Lenten season by coming to our Midweek Lenten Supper and Worship on Wednesday evenings, February 21 – March 21.  A simple supper of soup and bread will be served at 6:00 p.m., followed by our worship service in the sanctuary at 6:45 p.m.  For our worship services, we will be using 5 of the assigned lessons for the Easter Vigil as our theme and emphasis for each week leading up to the Easter Vigil.  

March 14 - Isaiah 55:1-11 - Salvation for All
March 21 - Daniel 3:1-29 - The Fiery Furnace

If you would be willing to provide soup and/or bread for one of our Lenten suppers, please email Deidre at  Food for 12 – 18 people usually is sufficient.  Thank you.

Pr. Elizabeth’s guest on the March 11 Mosaic show is The Rev. Peter Yuichi Clark, Director of Spiritual Care Services at UCSF Health.  Rev. Clark discusses the important role of Hospital Chaplains as part of the healthcare team and how they specifically can help instill hope into the healing process. The shows air on CBS, KPIX channel 5, Sunday March 11 at 5:00 a.m.  

MARCH 22, 10:00AM - 3:00PM

You are invited to travel with Pr. Elizabeth to Menlo Park for lunch at a restaurant recently promoted on “Check Please!”.  Back a Yard Caribbean Grill has fresh and delicious lunch items at reasonable prices - all with an island flair.  After lunch, we will drive through the beautiful campus of Stanford University, stopping to take pictures and enjoying the views.

This trip is limited to 10 seniors.  To reserve your spot, please call the Martin Luther Tower office at 415 885-1084.  Please bring lunch money. 

Giving something up for Lent? Put the amount you would have spent on it every day into your St. Mark’s Lenten box. The money you deposit into your St. Mark’s Lenten box during the 40 days of Lent will be donated to Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS). LIRS has been caring for immigrants and refugees in the United States for over 70 years. Look at, or @LIRSorg on Facebook, for information about Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services. You can also see a video, “The Journey” at The 5-minute video is about young unaccompanied migrants from El Salvador, the difficult journey they have made, and their lives now filled with hope because of the accompaniment of Lutherans and the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services.

During the season of Lent, we are invited to care for immigrants and refugees through our giving. Fill your box with coins or bills, or write a check to St. Mark’s with “Lenten Box” or “LIRS” in the memo line. LIRS thanks you!

You can get your colorful decorated box, one per family, from any usher or worship leader during the season of Lent.

All women are welcome to come and study together at our evening and/or morning Women of the ELCA Gatherings.  In March our groups will meet on:

Second Tuesdays – March 13 from 11:00am to 1:00pm in the Fireside Room 
All women are invited to come for study at 11:00 and at noon to bring their sandwich or salad and share fellowship.  Drinks and dessert will be provided.  Our Bible study will center on “The Good Samaritan,” Luke 10:30-37.

If you have any questions, please contact Suzanne Smith at 415.285.7438 or

On Easter Sunday, April 1, we will adorn the sanctuary and the church steps with Easter lilies, and other spring flowers. You are invited to participate by making a donation of $12.50 per plant in memory or in honor of someone, or anonymously. You can donate online at:

Please send donations by March 25. Thank you!


You are warmly invited to celebrate with Lutheran Social Services at 191 Golden Gate Ave. Staff will be on hand for you to tour their amazing office complex and learn about some of their exciting work. RSVP to


All of the men of St. Mark’s are encouraged to attend the upcoming Men’s Retreat on Friday – Saturday, April 27 – 28 at Mercy Center in Burlingame.  Please mark your calendar for this special opportunity to spend 24 hours with other men (however you self-identify) from St. Mark’s and engage in a conversation about the joys and challenges of being a male person of faith in our contemporary culture.  Pastor Ron will be facilitating this retreat, and will draw us into conversations around the topic, “Men Also Have Feelings.”  The cost is $154/person for the overnight, 3 meals, and our meeting room.  You may submit a check to St. Mark’s and earmark it for “Men’s Retreat.”  We may check in any time after 4:00 p.m. on Friday afternoon, have supper at 6:00 p.m., and conclude our retreat at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.  Please let Pastor Ron know if you need a scholarship to defray your expenses.  

To register, please make a note on a Welcome Card with your name and put it in the offering plate, or email Pastor Ron at  The registration deadline is Monday, March 26 as we need to submit an accurate count to Mercy Center by then.  You will receive more detailed information about the retreat after you have registered.  This event will be a great opportunity for the men of St. Mark’s to come together and strengthen the relationships that we already have with one another.  

We are thrilled to announce two scholarship opportunities available to students of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church.  Applications are available online until April 30. 

InFaith Community Foundation Scholarship – One $5,000 scholarship
The InFaith Community Foundation Scholarship was established in 2013 to benefit students who are members of churches that have an active church endowment fund at InFaith Community Foundation. Applicants must be high school graduating seniors seeking a four-year undergraduate degree at an accredited college or university. Through this scholarship award, we hope to provide educational opportunities to an individual who demonstrates financial need, high academic achievement, and a commitment to sharing their blessings with the world. This scholarship program is made possible through an InFaith Field of Interest Fund, a collaborative fund made possible by InFaith donors to serve our shared community.

WomenLead Scholarship  - Two $3,000 scholarships
WomenLead recognizes the need for diverse leadership in ministry, nonprofits and civic organizations, and seeks to accelerate the extraordinary leadership of women to lead change using their talents to educate, advocate, and activate. The WomenLead Scholarship was established in 2017. Two educational scholarships in the amount of $3,000 will be awarded to women of Christian faith seeking a Masters or Doctoral level degree that will prepare them to serve in public service, non-profit leadership and/or in Christian ministry. Women of diverse backgrounds (race/ethnicity, age, faith) eager to lead through bold action, innovative vision and faith-inspired passion are encouraged to apply.

Visit the inFaith website to learn more -

Applications are due on April 30, 2018. If you have any questions about the scholarships or the application process please contact Nikki Johnson, Donor Services Associate, at (800) 365-4172, or 

NOTE for applying students: In the prequalifying questions section of our application, students should select YES in the last question, that they are a member of a congregation that holds an endowment with InFaith. 

Director of Music...Dr. Timothy Zerlang
Assisting Ministers...Kyle Schiefelbein-Guerrero (9); Greg Jahnke, Katja Jackson (11)
Lectors...Randy Schieber (9); Cora Rose (11)
Chalice Bearers... Jane Borg, Nadine Robinson
Acolytes...Pam Cheung and Grace Ekdale Hoch
Altar Guild....Cora Rose
Sacristans...Ed Chitty, Kyle Schiefelbein-Guerrero
Ushers...Tapio Boles
Coffee Hour Chairs...Brandee Marckmann and Kathy Lautz
Next Week’s Coffee Hour Chairs...Diana and Greg Gomez