April 30, 2017

Today's gospel begins with two disciples walking to Emmaus, overcome with sadness, loss, and disappointment. They had hoped Jesus, who was crucified, would be the one to redeem Israel! Yet the risen Christ walks with them, and then opens their eyes in the breaking of the bread. Each Sunday our hearts burn within us as the scriptures are proclaimed and Christ appears to us as bread is broken and wine is poured. The story of Emmaus becomes the pattern of our worship each Lord's day.


9:00 am Holy Communion with Children’s Time - Sanctuary
9:00 am Endowment Committee Meeting - Break Room
10:00 am Refreshments and Fellowship Hour - Heritage Hall
10:00 am Adult Forum - Faith, Sexism, and Justice - Auditorium
10:00 am Journeys in Faith - Fireside Room
10:05 am Confirmation - Confirmation Rooms
10:15 am Sunday School - School Rooms
11:00 am Choral Eucharist Worship Service - Sanctuary
12:15 pm Refreshments and Fellowship Hour - Heritage Hall
12:30 pm Safe Congregation Training - Fireside Room

4:00 pm Esfera Armoniosa Concert - Sanctuary

Faith, Sexism, and Justice
Facilitated by Pr. Elizabeth Ekdale, Pr. Ron Moe-Lobeda and Dr. Margaret McLean
April 30 – May 28

We will study and discuss “Faith, Sexism, Justice” utilizing the study document of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. We hope these forums will generate honest and empowering conversations about sexism and how it negatively affects individuals and families in our homes, congregations and communities. These issues can be complex and hard for some to talk about. We trust, though, that when we come together as members of the body of Christ, the Holy Spirit is with us and among us. Everyone is invited to these forums – men, women, young, old: ALL are welcome. 

On April 30, we will begin our conversation about faith, women and justice by exploring why we need to talk and listen together and why the ELCA speaks in the public square.  We will conclude with a discussion of justice and what is required in regard to women.  Session leader--Margaret McLean

On May 7, we will look squarely at violence against women and children and what you can do to address gender-based violence.  Session leader--Mary Ritter

On May 14, we will examine our names and images for God that influence the way that we might view and treat women.  We also will explore ways that the Bible has been used and abused to subjugate women and girls and treat them as "lesser than."  Session leader--Pastor Ron

Several people were not able to be present at our Easter Vigil in order to reaffirm their faith and join St. Mark's.  They will be given this opportunity this Sunday, April 30 at the 9:00 a.m. worship service.  They are: Karl Nicholas, Robyn Flores-Violette, Chris Flores-Violette, Aika Shoo, Alexander Herman, Aedan Herman, and Sophie Herman. We welcome these individuals into our community of faith and pray for their life and participation in the mission of this congregation.

May 14 at 5:00 am on KPIX (channel 5) you can watch Pr. Elizabeth interview our own Bishop Mark Holmerud of the Sierra Pacific Synod.  

Bishop Holmerud shares his thoughts about Lutheran congregations in California, the ongoing work of the Reformation, and his own faith journey during a time in his life when his mother was struggling with cancer.  Tune in!

Plant Construction is moving ahead with the project, preparing to pour the concrete foundation for the addition and making openings in the exterior masonry walls for doorways from the Sanctuary and Balcony levels to the future elevator lobbies. Meanwhile, the electricians are beginning to route conduit and power from our existing main panel to the elevator addition. If you have questions about the process, please speak with Tim Bohan, Winnie Heslin, Pastor Ron Moe-Lobeda or Gary Schilling who regularly meet with Plant and Architectural Resources Group (ARG) to monitor the project. 

You are welcome and encouraged to attend!
Friday, May 5, 2017
8:00 am - 9:30 am
Location: Congregation Emanu-El,
2 Lake Street, San Francisco
** Please leave ample travel time if driving - street parking only. **
Also accessible via MUNI.
Continental Breakfast Host: Congregation Emanu-El


Come and join in our Wednesday evening fellowship beginning April 26 (for 5 weeks of the Easter season) with a simple supper, a meditative worship, and a fabulous book discussion. The book chosen for this study is “When Jesus Became God,” by Richard Rubenstein—a fascinating book about the conversation and controversy regarding the humanity and divinity of Jesus during the 4th century. This book provides an excellent background for understanding how our creeds were formulated and took on such prominence in determining our perception of who Jesus is. You may purchase a book at church for $12.00, or from Amazon.com. Although it is helpful to read the book for this discussion, you certainly do not have to read the book in order to participate.

6:00 Dinner - all are welcome!
6:45 Worship with Holy Communion
7:30 - 8:30 Book study and discussion with the Pastors

All seniors are welcome to attend a festive lunch and raffle on May 11 at 12:00 in
Heritage Hall.  Please sign up by calling the Martin Luther Tower office - 415 885-1084. Charge of the lunch is $3.00. 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. ekdale@stmarks-sf.org or 415 928-7770 ext. 2300. 

This Sunday at 12:30 p.m., members of St. Mark’s have an opportunity to be trained in the policies and practices of making our congregation a safe place for children, women, and men to be present.  Anyone who is or intends to be interacting with the children and youth of St. Mark’s is expected to take this training (at least once every 3 years).  We will gather in the Fireside Room for this important training session that will conclude by 2:00 p.m.

The deadline for the next Voice newsletter is Monday, May 1st and will cover June, July, and August.  Please send all submissions to Stefani Lawrence
(lawrence@stmarks-sf.org).  Thank you!

The film OPEN BETHLEHEM is being shown THIS SUNDAY, APRIL 30, at 4:00 PM at GRACE CATHEDRAL, 1100 California Street (at Taylor), in Gresham Hall, Lower level. Admission is free; donations welcome.

And … NEW:  an Extra WEEKDAY showing of OPEN BETHLEHEM at ST. JOHN’S PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, 25 Lake Street (at Arguello), San Francisco, CA 94118 on TUESDAY, MAY 2, starting 6:30 PM. 

Discussion follows at both screenings with Palestinian filmmaker Ms. Leila Sansour.  You can watch the trailer at www.stmarks-sf.org.

OPEN BETHLEHEM vividly reveals the human reality for the people of Bethlehem, Palestine, living for decades under military occupation and surrounded by walls.

For a better understanding of the HOLY LAND - or the effects anywhere, anyplace of walls and military omnipresence - don’t miss this excellent and moving film!

We will be updating our member directory and putting a new one out on May 28th and we need your updated contact information.  Please send all updates to Stefani at lawrence@stmarks-sf.org by May 8th.  Thank you!

WOULD YOU CONSIDER SERVING ON THE NEWLY FORMED ALTAR GUILD AT ST. MARK’S?Liturgy begins and ends with the work of the Altar Guild. To care for the sacred vessels, the bread and the wine, the fair linens and hangings and the candles and torches used for worship in the Sanctuary is far more than a task, it is a true ministry.  Pastors Elizabeth and Ron are inviting anyone who is interested in this sacred “behind-the-scenes” role to come to a training on Sunday, May 7 from 12:15 - 1:45 in the sanctuary.  Your gifts will be used and all help will be appreciated.  Ed Chitty and Richard Boyle who have been serving in this capacity for many years are needing some time off for vacation and recuperation.  Kyle Schiefelbein and Pr. Elizabeth will facilitate the training on May 7.  If you have any questions, please speak with Ed Chitty, Kyle Schiefelbein or Pr. Elizabeth.  Many thanks for your service.  

The Sierra Pacific Synod will be holding the annual Synod Assembly in Fresno this coming week, May 3-6.  On Wednesday, May 3, there will be an organized Day of Service.  The business of the assembly will take place Thursday – Saturday noon.  The voting members from St. Mark’s are Jane Borg, Steve Ernst, Margaret McLean, Pastor Elizabeth, and Pastor Ron.  The theme of the assembly is “We Are Church Together: Telling Our Stories.”  Please pray for the Synod as we engage in this annual gathering to chart the course of our mission together for another year.

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

Evening Gathering – May 2 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm in the Conference Room in the Urban Life Center.  All women are invited to come for dessert and fellowship for the first half hour and then discussion until 8:30.   This month we will discuss It Runs in the Family: On Being Raised by Radicals and Growing into Rebellious Motherhood by Frida Berrigan. . 

Second Tuesday – May 9 from 11:00am to 1:00pm in the Fireside Room
All women are invited to come for study at 11:00 and then at noon to eat their sandwich or salad and share fellowship.  Drinks and dessert will be provided.  Our Bible Study will focus on “All Anew,” the theme for the Women of the ELCA Triennial this summer in Minneapolis.

If you have any questions, please contact Suzanne Smith at 415.285.7438 or suzathome@comcast.net.

150 Years of Saint Paulus Lutheran Church

May 19, 20, and 21, 2017

The formal celebration of the 150th Anniversary of Saint Paulus Lutheran Church will take place over the three-day weekend of May 19-21, 2017.   On Friday, May 19th, a concert has been scheduled led by our Director of Music, Dustin Hart, of music both traditional and contemporary representing the life of Saint Paulus.  Choirs from area churches will be invited to participate as well as volunteers from those who have participated in the great traditions of music which have characterized the history of the congregation.  The concert will be held at the present location of Saint Paulus, 1541 Polk St., San Francisco, at 7:30 PM.  The public is invited. 

On Saturday, May 20th from 1-5 pm there will be an informal Meet and Greet at the Old First Presbyterian Church at Van Ness and Sacramento so people may have conversation together.  On May the 20th in the evening a formal celebrative banquet will be held at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Cathedral on Gough St, in San Francisco.  This invitation only banquet will feature honored guests and former pastors, representatives from past and present, and congregational membership both past and present.  

On Sunday, May 21, a festival worship service will be held at the church’s present location at 1541 Polk St. at 10 am. The Bishop of the Sierra Pacific Synod will participate as well as former and present pastors.  All are invited to worship.  In the afternoon, beginning at 12 noon until 3 PM, the congregation will host an open house in order to greet well-wishers and interested folks.  This event will be open to the public, with local sister congregations receiving specific invitation. 

To help in our planning please indicate what event(s) you plan to attend and how many people will be there.  Please RSVP to admin@saintpaulus.org.


As discussed at the annual meeting in January, this is a challenging financial year. You approved the final plans for the year, and are
invited to help closely manage our money. In that spirit, here are the key figures so far.

  1. Total income through March is $183,000 or 5% below budget. The shortfall is mainly events rental income of $12,000 vs. $20,000 budgeted.
  2. Member offerings typically run below plan early in the year so some shortfall is considered normal. Events income was aggressively budgeted, and since we do not have a full time Events Coordinator yet, the shortfall is not unexpected. We are increasing rental charges where we can on the strength of long standing relationships and our assessment of the client’s ability to pay.
  3. Total expenses through February were $190,000 or 7% below
    budget. The lower expenses are largely due to timing--expenses budgeted for music, personnel and our social ministry have not been spent as early as planned. These under budget areas are somewhat offset by higher than planned building maintenance costs in the ULC.
  4. The bottom line is that so far 2017 is running very close to plan.
  5. We are rapidly ramping up the elevator project, and bills for this large and expensive work will start coming in next month.
  6. Our bank balance was about $240,000 at the end of March. About $1 million in FEW invoices will start coming in next month. As planned, we will begin to draw on the Housing Equity Fund to supplement our collection plate income as to pay these bills. Your continued offerings as per your pledges is most welcomed and appreciated.

Respectfully submitted,
Steve Ernst


Director of Music...Dr. Timothy Zerlang
Assisting Ministers...Barbara McCormick (9) Linda Jackson, Kyle Schiefelbein(11)
Lectors...Dianne Velleno (9); Marlo Tellschow (11)
Chalice Bearers...Beth Dioli (9); Nadine Robinson (11)
Acolytes...Pam Cheung, Katherine Lam
Sacristan and Altar Guild...Richard Boyle, Ed Chitty
Ministry of Welcome...Jerry Lundblad (11)
 Coffee Hour Chairs...Donna Dindia, Chuck Lewis
Next Week’s Coffee Hour Chairs...Eva and Matt Dober, Kate Knickerbocke


Cassie Allen
Debbie Brant & Ted Bernardi
Natalie E. Bock
Elaine Bohan
Richard Boyle
Jo Chadwick
Corrine Cottrell
Joan Dickert,
mother of Barbara  Engmann
Marty Dindia
Marilyn Desmond
Bonnie Elliot

 Jack Harmon
Carolyn Johnson
Taylor Jones
David Krauskopf
and Family
Arnold Lehmann
Roderick Mobley
Stan Moeller
Hiroko Nagata
Lee & Irma Opitz
Ryan Parker

 Cassie Pili
Matt Seiples
LaVonne Strutz, mother of Geri Bailey
Mary Sukanya
Diana Swart
Pastor Rebecca Swee
Dana Utz
Jerry Witherspoon
Brent Wolfe


For Pr. Lyle Beckman as he mourns the death of his sister, Lynn Schibonski

For all of the St. Mark’s volunteers who served during Holy Week - we give thanks to God for their gifts, generosity, and service

For all military personnel, especially Will Lehmann

For the growing families of St. Mark’s, especially those who hope for and those who are expecting children  

For the Kigali Parish of the Lutheran Church of Rwanda

For the Cordero de Dios congregation in El Salvador  

For our Missionary, Pastor Kate Warn, YAGM coordinator in Rwanda  

For all Christians in the Holy Land, especially Bethlehem  

For the people of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary

For the Kindergarten Cynthia Espinoza in Paraguay  

For MLT Residents who are hospitalized or in hospice care