December 15, 2013

Adult Forums at 10:05 am in Heritage Hall

Today - Meet Teaching Parish student Brach Jennings

My name is Brach Jennings, and I am delighted to serve as the Teaching Parish Seminarian at St. Mark's. I will briefly tell of my experiences as a young college student who underwent a dramatic life shift to go from being a choral conductor to a future pastor; someone who has been radically liberated by the gospel of Jesus Christ; and someone who is eager to learn and grow from the people of St. Mark's. I do hope you'll join me!


Hanging of the Greens Today

Today we will decorating the Christmas Tree in the Sanctuary at 12:30 pm. All are welcome to take part in preparing the way for St. Mark's Christmas celebrations!


The Choirs of St. Mark's and St. Mary's Advent Lessons and Carols

Today at 3:30 pm - @ St. Mary's Cathedral

The choir of St. Mark's will join the choir of St. Mary's Cathedral for a fourth annual joint Advent Service of Lessons and Carols. Hosted this year by St. Mary's and under the direction of Cathedral Music Director and Organist, Christoph Tietze, the combined choirs will sing Stanford's Magnificat in G, Victoria's Ave Maria for double choir, Demantius' Ich bin ein guter Hirt, and Lauridsen's hauntingly beautiful O Magnum Mysterium, and more!  Pastor Elizabeth will be offering the meditation during the service.


Embrace the Hope of Advent

Wednesday @ 6:45pm during Advent - The Great O Antiphons: a Service for Advent, December 18

In the ancient church the seven "Great O Antiphons" were used during the last days Advent. They later formed the basis for the familiar Advent hymn "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel." During our Wednesday evening  Advent service (come for soup at 6 pm, the service will start at 6:45) we will hear these ancient texts sung by our choir, each followed by a brief meditation by the poet Jill Peláez Baumgaertner. We will also sing "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel," joining our voices with those of the faithful throughout the centuries. 


Stewardship Update as of Dec. 9, 2013

The Forward in Faith - Celebrating Community stewardship campaign at St. Mark's has ended but our individual stewardship efforts continue. Our 2013 pledge total was $367, 327. Our 2014 pledge total to date is $348,764. We have received 98 pledges out of a potential of 183 pledges. Thank you if you have already turned in your 2014 pledge card. If you have not, please turn in your 2014 pledge which will help ensure that St. Mark's can both maintain its existing ministries and expand them. Your pledge of financial support is essential in helping all of St. Mark's ministries prosper and grow.  Every pledge is important. Blank pledge cards are available in the narthex. You can drop your completed pledge card in the offering plate, mail it back to the church office or e-mail it to Cheryl Garcia at If you need assistance, feel free to call the church office and someone will assist you (415-928-7770). Thank you for responding.


Interfaith Food Pantry Dates for 2014

The Interfaith Food Pantry is held every Saturday at the Old First Presbyterian Church. Here are the St. Mark's dates in 2014: January 4th, February 22nd, March 29th, May 17th, July 12th, August 16th, October 4th and November 15th. All Faiths Dates in 2014: February 8th, April 12th, June 21st, August 23rd, October 11th, December 6th. For more info, contact Wendy Figliuolo at 


Winter Shelter runs from Jan. 12 to Feb. 2, 2014

*Volunteers Needed!*

The annual Interfaith Winter Shelter begins at St. Mark's on Sunday, January 12. Overnight housing, breakfasts and dinners will be provided for approximately 60 men each evening and morning in the Urban Life Center Auditorium. Please contact John Elford to volunteer at 415-648-4363 or at if you can help. Thank you for supporting this vital ministry of St. Mark's.


December 2nd Mile: St. Mark's Winter Homeless Shelter

St. Mark's will host 60 homeless men for 3 weeks in January 2014. They will sleep in a warm dry space in our Urban Life Center, then go out for their day after breakfast prepared and served by St. Mark's members. They return in the evening for supper we help serve. The grocery bill for the breakfasts averages $2 per man each day. Our total cost is around $2500 for food for the 3 weeks. You can help by writing a check to St. Mark's, noting "Homeless Shelter" in the memo line. - St. Mark's Social Ministry


Church Council Nominations

Several openings on next year's Church Council will become available as existing members of the current Council complete their term of service.  Candidates for appointment to Council will be presented and voted on at the upcoming Congregational Annual Meeting on 01/26/2014 If you are interested in becoming a candidate for a position on St. Mark's Church Council please contact Lisa Gray at 415.674.8452 or at


Holiday Office Closures

The church office will be closed for Christmas at noon on Tuesday, December 24th thru Wednesday, December 25th. The office will also be closed for New Year on Tuesday, December 31 and Wednesday, January 1.


St. Mark's clergy available for pastoral care, conversation, and prayer 

You can reach Pr. Elizabeth and Pr. Bekah several different ways: 

1. Call the church office and ask to speak to them. Feel free to leave a confidential voice mail for them at their extensions - Pr Elizabeth ext. 2300; Pr. Bekah ext. 2320;

2. You may email them at: and

3.  If you are in need of immediate, emergency assistance (for example, an unplanned hospital visit or death of a family member), please call them on their cell phones: Pr. Ekdale - 415 846-4340; Pr. Bekah - 402 608-1899. They want to be available to you - especially during a time of crisis.  In addition, both clergy are available for pastoral appointments. You are invited to contact them directly to set up an appointment. Note that Pr. Bekah's day off is Tuesday and Pr. Ekdale's day off is Friday. 


Hello, St. Mark's Volunteers!

Do you have an extra 2-4 hours during your week? We are still in need of volunteers in the St. Mark's office to assist our permanent St. Mark's staff members in keeping our office running smoothly. If you have any free time and are interested in helping St. Mark's, either Tuesday afternoons (1-5) or Thursday mornings (9-1) we would love to have you join our volunteer staff. The periods can be broken into 2 hour increments, if you are only available for that amount of time. No prior office experience is necessary - training is included for all volunteers! lf you have questions, would like more information or are interested in this opportunity, please contact Jane Borg via email ( or phone (415-826-4787).


Interested in Baptism? Membership? Deepening Your Faith?

If you are interested in membership or Baptism, please contact the Journeys in Faith team at


Come celebrate Beethoven's birthday, December 16...

(a Monday this year), with a free concert at St. Mark's. Something for everyone - a piano sonata, a string quartet, and two works with winds, the Op. 16 piano quintet and the great Op. 20 septet for four strings and three winds. The program features eleven musicians, eight of whom appear exactly twice in the four works. December 16, 7:30 pm. 


Donate Flowers in 2014

The 2014 Flower donation chart is now posted in the hallway outside Heritage Hall. 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. The donation is $50 to cover the cost of the flowers and can be paid via check in the offering plate.  Please note "Flowers" in the memo part of the check. Thank you!


Other Volunteer Opportunities

Tutors Needed to Inspire Struggling Young Readers

Volunteer as a literacy tutor with Reading Partners! Reading Partners collaborates with local elementary schools to train community volunteers to provide one-on-one support and mentoring for elementary student readers. For more info, please contact Wendy Figliuolo at


Holiday In-Home Visit Event

Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly will be visiting isolated elders who do not have anyone to spend Christmas with. Visits will take place on Christmas Day, December 25, from 10:00 am to 12 noon. If you would like more info please contact us at 415-771-7957 or visit our website


Worship Leaders for this Sunday

Assisting Ministers...Liv Beck (9); Greg Jahnke, Ed Chitty (11)

Lectors...Suzanne Smith (9); Margaret McLean (11)

Acolytes...Linda Jackson, Coco Ocker

Chalice Bearers...Lisa Gray, Suzanne Smith (9); Marisa Louie (11)

Welcome Ministry...Nate & Kacie McDonald (11)

Refreshment Hour Chairs...Barbara Bock, Tina Hogan