August 7, 2016

Twelfth Sunday After Pentecost

Jesus says, “It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” It is God’s promise from the beginning—to Abraham, to the early church, and to the “little flock” of which we are a part today in assembly. Faith, God’s baptismal gift, trusts the promises of God. Have no fear.

Join Us This Sunday

9:00 am - Holy Communion with Children’s Time - Auditorium
10:00 am - Refreshments and Fellowship Hour - Fireside Room
11:00 am - Holy Eucharist Worship Service - Auditorium

12:15 pm - Refreshments and Fellowship Hour - Fireside Room
7:00 pm - American Bach Soloists Concert - Sanctuary

Bound for New Orleans
As the summer wraps up and the youngsters prepare to head off to school, 980 voting members will be departing for New Orleans Aug. 8-13 for the 2016 Churchwide Assembly to vote for a new vice president of the ELCA.  

Hosted by the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod, the assembly theme is “Freed & Renewed in Christ.” At this assembly, the ELCA will observe the 500th anniversary of the Reformation through the Grace Gathering, a special event for non-voting members Aug. 10-13. Participants can experience an assembly and reflect on how the Reformation can continue to guide Lutherans today. They will worship, pray and take part in Bible studies based on the Reformation anniversary in 2017. Pr. Elizabeth is attending the Assembly and, Tim Zerlang, Ed Chitty and Jeremy McClain are attending the Grace Gathering.

Plenaries, worship and workshops will take place at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

During the week, assembly voting members will:

  • Elect an ELCA vice president. Carlos Peña, elected in 2003, is stepping down after two terms (see page 26). The vice president is elected to a six-year term and serves as the chair of the Church Council.
  • Consider the Word and Service Task Force’s recommendation that the three rosters of church lay leaders be unified into a single body and that its members be known as deacons. If voting members approve the recommendation, the change will be effective Jan. 1, 2017.
  • Consider the “Declaration on the Way,” a document that draws on 50 years of Lutheran-Catholic dialogue in preparation for the Reformation anniversary. The declaration includes 32 “Statements of Agreement” where Catholics and Lutherans already have said there are not church-dividing differences between them.
  • Vote on the recommendation for the ELCA’s strategy to “Accompany Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities” (AMMPARO). The strategy is meant to help bring people together in new ways on each step of their journey. It will involve companion churches and organizations in the countries of origin and in transit, as well as ELCA synods, congregations, social ministry organizations, agencies, institutions and other ecumenical partners in the U.S.            

On Tuesday evening, voting members and other participants can hear more about action items before the assembly and other issues, such as the social statement on women and justice, which will be considered by the 2019 Churchwide Assembly. During this hearing participants can learn about the social message on gender-based violence. Another hearing will provide an update on the implementation of the Theological Education Advisory Council’s recommendations, which were approved by the Church Council in April 2015.

New Orleans will provide a launching point for experiential learning, engagement and reflection through “God’s Grace in Action,” an afternoon event to inspire participants to action in their own communities. Tracks include: Music, Justice and Peace; Promoting Peace; From the Doctrine of Discovery to #BlackLivesMatter; Human Trafficking; Resurrection; Care for Creation; Children of Go; Education; New Orleans Cuisine; Access to Housing; and Food Security.

Blessing and Send off to College
On August 21, 2016 at the 11:00 am service, we would like to give thanks and blessing to our college bound young adults. If you or anyone in our community who is going to college for their first year or returning to their universities, please let Pastor Tita know for them to be included in the blessing and send-off.

Fall Newsletter Deadline
The Fall edition of St. Mark’s Voice Newsletter will be in production soon and is scheduled to go out early September.  The content will cover September, October,  and November.  Please send any Voice submissions by Friday, August 19th to be included in the newsletter.  Contact Stefani ( to submit material or if you have any questions.

Communion with Creation: Sunday, August 14
Our Sunday worship will begin indoors and move outdoors, into engagement with the more-than-human natural world.  Usually, worship is exclusively indoors, but for one Sunday, we will orient our perspective toward the larger world of creation.  Be sure to bring a warm jacket for our San Francisco summers!  And plan to arrive on time, as the congregation will face the plaza during worship.  You can enter the ULC through the plaza or through the O’Farrell St doors.  Chairs will be provided outside for people who need them.  See you next Sunday as we visibly widen our worship circle to include humans and more than humans!

SMOP Hike on Sunday, August 14
St. Mark’s Our Planet will be hiking on August 14. We are hiking in the North Bay; the hike will be 2 to 3 miles long with some climbing. It is our tradition to have a light picnic during the hike. 

Please meet at 12:45pm in the plaza between the Urban Life Center and the Church to organize car pools.

Pastoral Care during the summer months
Both Pastor Tita and Pr. Elizabeth will be taking vacations during the summer.  They have arranged their schedules so one of them is available for pastoral care in the event of any emergency.

Please contact the church office to ask which Pastor is available.  In the event that both of them are not available, our Visitation Pastor, Rev. Chuck Lewis, is also on-call and can be reached at (415) 956-2069

Help Wanted and Needed!
Presently we are in great need of more Assisting Ministers and Acolytes.  If you are interested in serving in either or both of these important ministries of worship please speak with either of our Sacristans.  Sacristan Richard Boyle will be available after both worship services this month to train anyone interested in participating in these ministries.  Don’t be shy.  The training is not difficult, and the view from the chancel is lovely!

Interfaith Calendar and Activities in the Bay Area
Check out the websites - and which highlight Interfaith events and activities throughout the Bay Area.  There are many to choose from as we continue to take the first steps in getting to know our Interfaith neighbors.  

Donate Flowers in 2016
St. Mark’s members and friends can sign up to donate flowers for the chancel on a Sunday by placing your name on the chart for the Sunday you wish. Your donation can be in memory of a loved one or in honor of a particular occasion. Please go to to sign up on our online chart. If you are unable to sign up online please call the office (415-928-7770).

The donation is $50 and can be paid via check in the offering plate. Please note “Flowers” in the memo of the check. If you would like to submit your payment online please click on the donate tab on the main page on St. Mark’s website and enter your flower donation under the “other” option and write flowers in the box. 

Produce Market on the Square
Support our community market! Please come and purchase fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs every Wednesday from 11am-12pm in the Urban Life Center Auditorium! The market is co-sponsored by Episcopal Senior Communities and Martin Luther Tower.

Worship Leaders This Sunday
Director of Music...Dr. Timothy Zerlang
Assisting Ministers...Sharon Reinbott (9); Phil Krikau, Greg Jahnke (11)
Lectors...Deborah Halladay (9); Richard Boyle (11)
Chalice Bearers...Marisa Lee, Jerry Lundblad (9); Jane Borg, Nadine Robinson (11)
Acolytes...Clovis Curl, Grace Ekdale-Hoch
Sacristan and Altar Guild...Richard Boyle, Ed Chitty
Ministry of Welcome...Tina Hogan, Gordon and Glenn Brown (9); Pam Cheung, Kimberly and David Lam, Tina Niu, Pedro Ospina, Linda R. Jackson (11)
Coffee Hour Chairs...Barbara Bock
Next Week's Coffee Hour Chairs...Nadine Robinson and Kimberly Hamilton-Lam

Prayers of the Parish

Cassie Allen
Michael Aune
Debbie Brant & Ted Bernardi
Pastor Raymond H. Birkel
Diana Bock
Natalie E. Bock
Riley Brooks
Michelle Chernock
Ed Chitty
Corrine Cottrell
Marilyn Desmond
Indar Dutt

Bonnie Elliot
Marilyn Grimstad
Jack Heiter
Carolyn Johnson
Taylor Jones
John Krauskopf
Stephen Krefting
Arnold Lehmann
Margaret Massialas
Roderick Mobley
Stan Moeller
Lee & Irma Opitz 

Ryan Parker
Cassie Pili
Marc Randall
Pr. John Rutsindintwarane
Travis Schwartz
Matt Seiples
LaVonne Strutz, mother of Geri Bailey
Dana Utz
Carl Velleno
Jerry Witherspoon
Brent Wolfe 

For the ELCA Churchwide Assembly meeting in New Orleans this week

For all military personnel, especially Will Lehmann  

For the growing families of St. Mark’s, especially those who hope for andthose 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 Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania

For the Kindergarten Cynthia Espinoza in Paraguay  

For MLT Residents who are hospitalized or in hospice care  

Every effort is made to keep the Prayers of the Parish current. 
Please email to add, remove or update a name on the prayer list.