December 16, 2018


The presence of the Lord “in your midst” in the wonder of the holy supper is cause for singing. The nearness of the Lord in prayer, in every circumstance, is cause for rejoicing. The coming of one “more powerful” than John, even with his winnowing fork in his hand, is good news—and cause for exultation—for us who are being saved. Great joy is the tone for the third Sunday of Advent.

This Sunday at St. Mark's 

9:00 am - Holy Communion with Children’s Time - Sanctuary
9:50 am - Sunday School - Sunday School Rooms
10:00 am - Confirmation - Youth Room
10:00 am - Cider, Cookies, and Carols - Heritage Hall
10:00 am - Journeys in Faith - JIF Room

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

4:00 pm - Sacred and Profane Concert - Sanctuary

All members of Saint Mark’s Church Family are invited to join the Team as we put up and decorate our Christmas trees.  We will also tackle our ToDo list of minor repairs and cleaning. Enjoy fellowship and treats while we prepare our beautiful church for Christmas celebrations. Please contact Tim Bohan if you are able to attend, 415-694-9499

You are invited to bring cookies to share on Sunday Dec. 16th between services in Heritage Hall. We’ll sip hot cider, sing carols together, and share Advent traditions. Bring a friend and let’s celebrate the joy of Advent and Christmas!

A selection of Advent and Christmas titles are available to check out from the church library this Sunday. We are bringing the library to you in Heritage Hall after both worship services. Browse available titles, quickly set up a library account, and take home a book! The library is being newly reorganized with an online catalog and circulation features, thanks to a Thrivent Action Team grant. For more information, contact Cora Rose and Marisa Lee at

Preparations are underway for the St. Mark’s Christmas Pageant! If you have participated in the past you know it is a great event. If you haven’t, please consider starting a new tradition this year! All families are welcome, and there is a role for everyone!

The Pageant is at 5:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Call time will be 4:00 p.m. Rehearsal is Sunday, December 23 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Note this change from previous years! The second rehearsal is on Sunday so we don’t have to break the set down after rehearsal, and to free up that final Saturday of December.  We will make sure there is enough food for everyone to eat for lunch.

Please contact Matt Helland ( if you plan to participate or if you have any questions.

St. Mark’s will be participating in the San Francisco Interfaith Council Winter Shelter program and will be hosting January 13 to February 2.

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 if you would like to participate in this ministry, which helps so many people in need at this time of the year. 

Our 2019 Membership directory will be in production soon and we want to make sure we have the most up-to date information.  Please send any address changes to Stefani at by January 2.  Thank you!

On Sunday, September 20, 2015, at a special meeting of the congregation, St. Mark’s members approved a 3-year Capital Campaign to raise money for installing an elevator, replacing flooring in the sanctuary, and restoring the stained art glass windows in our sanctuary.  In addition, we voted to tithe 10% of monies received to the ELCA Always Being Made New Campaign.  

Here we are, three years later, at the end of our three-year campaign.  We have a newly installed elevator, restored windows, and new flooring in our sanctuary.  Thanks be to God!

As we conclude the campaign and pay our final bills to our contractors and vendors, we invite everyone who made a commitment to the campaign to fulfill their pledge.  Currently, we have $76,781 dollars still outstanding from commitments made by members and friends.  PLEASE fulfill your commitment so we can conclude the campaign, pay our bills, and be able to finalize our income and expense report for the Congregational Meeting on January 27, 2019.  If you are in a position to give a special gift to the Capital Campaign it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of our Capital Campaign.  THANK YOU!

As of this week, we have received $369,259 in commitments for 2019 with a total of 88 commitments out of a possible 188 giving units, totaling 47% participation.  Thank you for everyone who has made a commitment! Our goal is to have everyone participate by sharing their commitment to St. Mark’s ministries.  Please bring your commitment card to worship and place it in the offering plate, mail it to the church office, or go online and fill out your commitment card on the website: Every commitment has a direct impact to St. Mark’s ministries in 2019 and our goal is to have 100% participation!

On Friday, December 21, you are invited to join people of all faiths to remember the homeless people who have died on the streets of San Francisco during this past year.  In silence, prayer, and song, participants will name, honor, and give thanks for these individuals and reach out to each other for comfort and hope in this time of sorrow.  The Memorial is from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. on the United Nations Plaza at 355 McAllister.  Participants are encouraged to bring their own candles.

December 23 and 30: No Sunday School
January 6: Big Group Community Service: Stockings for the Homeless
February 10: Big Group: Valentines for MLT and Lenten Box art.
March 10: Big Group: Mardi Gras/Lent observance.
March 24: Big Group: Pastor led lesson on the Sacraments
April 14: Big Group: Palm Sunday lesson and activity.
April 21: Easter: No Sunday School
April 28: Big Group: Passover meal and lesson.
May 19: Bay to Breakers, no Sunday School
May 26: Last day of Sunday School PARTY!!

In January 2019 Sonja Pilman will begin her pastoral internship at St. Mark’s. The internship is 12 months long and split with St. Andrew’s in San Mateo. Sonja Pilman is going to be 50% of the time at St. Mark’s and 50% at St. Andrew’s.  Sonja is a candidate for ordination in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and her internship is part of her candidacy requirements. 

She grew up in Switzerland and earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Theology from the Universities of Zurich and Basel respectively. Also in Switzerland, she has worked as a youth director in Zurich for two years and has done a substitution for a pastor on maternity leave.

In 2016 she came to the Bay Area with her husband Markus Pilman for his job. They both fell in love with the diversity of California’s nature, cities, and culture. They have settled in very well. Sonja Pilman is now looking forward to being able to continue her path of becoming a pastor.

St. Andrew’s in San Mateo has been the parish she has been an active member at for a year now. She took a Lutheran Worship class at PLTS in Berkeley, did Clinical Pastoral Education at UCSF, and went through the needed part of the ELCA Candidacy process. 

She has a great passion for preaching and for working with youth in confirmation. She is eager to learn about joys and challenges of a congregation in San Francisco.

In addition to church and family life, her interests are traveling, time with friends, cooking, and great TV shows.

Sonja Pilman is looking forward to meeting you and having your support in this year of learning and growing.  If you would like to serve on her Internship Committee, please speak with Pr. Elizabeth

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.  We still have dates available in December for Advent so please sign up! 

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. 


Bright Stars of Bethlehem
is hosting the 5th annual
Wise Men and Women from the West 
Epiphany Gathering and Celebration of Light!

January 6, 2019
2 PM - 5PM
Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary
2000 Center St #200, Berkeley, CA 94704

Live music with Georges Lammam
 food, wine, door prizes, fellowship and DRAWING!

PLEASE JOIN US to celebrate the wonderful support from our communities for the work in Bethlehem, Palestine at
Dar al-Kalima University!!
Martha Meyer -
Jeanette Cool -

You're Invited! 

Please join the San Francisco Interfaith Council and local civic leaders as we explore together the interconnections of faith, financial empowerment, and community strength. Co-hosted by a planning committee of women of faith and action, including Congregation Emanu-El Senior Rabbi Beth Singer, Human Rights Commissioner Hala Hijazi, St. Mark's Lutheran Church Lead Pastor Rev. Elizabeth Ekdale, and Grace Cathedral’s The Rev. Canon Dr. Ellen Clark-King, this special "mini-summit" will feature nationally recognized leaders, San Francisco Treasurer José Cisneros and Commissioner on the Status of Women Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz. 

Financial Capabilities: A Social Justice Issue 
Thursday, January 31, 2019 
9:00 am – 11:00 am 
Latino/Hispanic Community Room of the San Francisco Main Public Library 
*Refreshments will be provided

Please RSVP here 

This event will help raise awareness about the vast inequities in pay and wealth impacting our diverse San Francisco community, pioneering local efforts responding to this challenge and strengthen economic security and mobility for our families, and ways we can support this important work. The program will feature faith leaders on social justice, a keynote from Commissioner Schwab-Pomerantz on the importance of financial capability, and a vibrant discussion led by Treasurer Cisneros about the San Francisco Office of Financial Empowerment’s programs, and powerful roles the faith-based community can play to expand this work. We will be joined by a strong delegation of peers from amongst San Francisco’s various faith-based congregations, community associations, labor organizations, and social service organizations. We look forward to seeing you in the new year.

San Francisco Interfaith Council
P.O. Box 29055
San Francisco, CA 94129
(415) 474-1321

Director of Music...Dr. Timothy Zerlang
Assisting Ministers...Evan Schieber (9); Greg Jahnke, Steve Ernst
Lectors...Randy Schieber (9); Suzanne Smith (11)
Communion Ministers...Cristin Owens, Kate Knickerbocker (9); Nadine Robinson, Geri Bailey (11)
Wreath Lighter...The Kemp-Malone Family
Altar Guild...Sharon Reinbott
Acolytes...Alison Schieber, Katja Jackson
Sacristans...Kyle Schiefelbein-Guerrero
Ushers...Omer Voss, Jerry Lundblad (9) Debra Varian, Larry DeSpain (11)
Fellowship Hour Chairs...Brandee Marckmann, Kathy Lautz
Next Week’s Fellowship Hour Chairs...Diana & Greg Gomez