December 28, 2014

Join Us This Sunday
9:00 am - Christmas Worship - Sanctuary
10:00 am - Refreshments - Heritage Hall
11:00 am - Christmas Worship - Sanctuary
12:15 pm - Refreshment and Fellowship Hour - Heritage Hall
Adult Forum 
There is no Adult Forum scheduled on January 4.
January 11 -  The Divine Art of Dying with Dr. Herb Anderson

Join Dr. Herb Anderson who has written a new book titled The Divine Art of Dying.  Dr. Anderson will have books available at the forum. The Divine Art of Dying explores the unique moment when seriously ill people choose to turn toward death. Combining personal stories with solid research on palliative and hospice care, it provides a well-integrated look at the spiritual dimensions of living fully when death is near. Filled with insights from the world's great wisdom traditions along with references from literature, movies, and current culture, it helps identify the life decisions the dying one and his or her loved ones must make, and what their caregivers can expect.

Upcoming Sunday School Activities
Sunday School will resume January 4, 2015. We will be making "Socks for the Homeless". Please bring toiletries, or other small items for the men at the homeless shelter. Each year the children of St. Mark's stuff stockings with these items for the men. 

What is Journeys in Faith?  Come find out Jan. 11 and 18!
Learn about this opportunity to spend this winter and Lent in a special time for reflection on our faith and faith community.  Journey with others who are considering joining St Mark's, being baptized, or affirming their baptism this Easter.  You'll find members of the Journeys in Faith team at a table in Heritage Hall from 10-11am on January 11 and 18.  All questions are welcome.  Contact Liv Beck ( for more information.  

Interfaith Food Pantry 
Each year, St. Mark's - along with several other churches - rotates on a weekly basis to distribute food to the needy at Old First Presbyterian Church (1751 Sacramento Street near Van Ness Avenue.) We are looking for at least 12 volunteers for each session to help. Won't you set aside some time in your schedule to help distribute food?  It is such a gratifying experience to see smiling faces to those in need. I guarantee it will light up your faces too. The dates for this coming 2015 are Saturdays Jan. 3, Feb. 7, March 28, May 9, June 27, Aug. 8, Sept. 26 and Nov. 7. The time commitment is from 7:30am-10:30am. Please contact Charlene Loen for further information or to sign up on the monthly reminder list:, (415) 412-4150.  
Journeys in Faith Leaders Needed!
The Journeys in Faith Team is looking for new members.  If you are interested in joining us to plan for and lead the next Journeys in Faith group, please contact Suzanne Smith ( or Liv Beck ( The next Journeys group will begin on February 1, 2015.  Thank you for considering this important service.

St. Mark's Stewardship Campaign - Update of Pledge Results
The Stewardship Committee at St. Mark's thanks the members and friends of our community of faith for their continued support. We will endeavor to keep you informed of our pledge results by publishing updates in the Sunday bulletin throughout the end of the year.
As of 12/21/14, pledges received to date total $369,880.  Pledges have been received from 52% of giving units (each family equals one giving unit regardless of size).  By comparison, last year's final pledge total was $408,376 with 63% of giving units making pledges. Our current pledge totals do not include some members who have not yet filled out a pledge card but continue to faithfully pledge using the electronic Simply Giving method. If you use Simply Giving as your preferred method of pledging, but have not informed us of your 2015 pledge, please take a moment to make us aware of your pledge. Proper budgeting requires an accurate pledge count! You can confirm your pledge by emailing a brief note to our bookkeeper, Cheryl Garcia at or by filling out and returning a pledge card.
Year-End Giving to St. Mark's
As you contemplate donations this Christmas season, please remember St. Mark's. Your contributions are needed for everything from special programs to basic operating expenses. We encourage you to complete your 2014 pledge and to be as generous as you can with any extra gifts this holiday season and in the year ahead. In the course of year-end tax planning, remember that your 2014 contributions must be post-marked no later than 12/31/2014 to be included on your giving statement. Thank you for your faithful and generous support.
January 2015 Women's Monthly Study Gatherings 
All women are welcome to come and study together at our evening and/or morning Women of the ELCA Gatherings. If you have any questions, please contact Suzanne Smith at 415.285.7438 or

Evening Gathering - January 6 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm in the Fireside Room 
All women are invited to come for dessert and fellowship for the first half hour and then discussion until 8:30 pm. This month we will be reading The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon by Alexander McCall Smith. 

Second Tuesday - January 13 from 11 am to 1 pm in the Fireside Room 
All women are invited to come for study at 11:00 am and then at noon to eat their sandwich or salad and share fellowship. Drinks and dessert will be provided. This year our focus will be on Transforming Life and Faith by Carol Scheersten LaHurd and our program topic for January is "Repent and Forgive." 

Christmas Decor Appreciation
We thank Earline L. Bryan for her Christmas decor donation in memory of her husband Merrill W. Bryan and son John D. Bernet, and in memory of her parents John & Elsie Wolfe, and brothers John, Stanley, Sterling, Henry, and Carl Wolfe.
Time and Talent Survey
Your time and talents are valued gifts and your participation in the ministries and activities at St. Mark's is greatly needed! Please take a few minutes to consider ways you can become more involved in our community and complete the survey found on the link below. This is a general link to the survey and can be used by multiple individuals so please forward to other family members and St. Mark's friends. The survey is also available in a paper format if preferred and copies are available in Heritage Hall and the church office. Please let us know your interests and ways you can help our community thrive by completing the survey today!
Giving Opportunity - Books for St. Mark's Nursery
St. Mark's nursery is a place where young children can learn about Christ's love through relationships, play, -- and through books. Our nursery is in need of books with Bible themes for children ages 0-6. Help us purchase additional books by writing a check to St. Mark's and write "nursery books" in the memo line or put your donation into an envelope on the hymnal rack and write "nursery books". You can also go to St. Mark's homepage, click on "DONATE", and designate your gift to "nursery books".
Lands of Luther Tour, Oct. 30-Nov. 9, 2015
Join Pastor Elizabeth and Pastor Hans on this special trip to Germany as we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. For a brochure and more information contact Pastor Elizabeth at 415.928.7770 ext. 2300 (office) or 415.846.4340 (cell). You can email her at Space is limited so plan to book early.
Memorial Service for Jim Benson, January 11 at 2pm
On Sunday, January 11, there will be a memorial service for Jim Benson, St. Mark's member and former office volunteer. A reception will follow the service. All are welcome.
St. Mark's Staff Transitions
Patricia Morales (, 415-928-7770 x2250) is serving as our interim Office Manager. Patricia brings nearly twenty years of experience in administrative and property management to St. Mark's, and will be handling all daily office and facility-related responsibilities. Her schedule in the church office is Monday-Friday, 9:00 am-6:00 pm. 
Jeremy McClain ( and Marisa Louie ( will also be filling in temporarily in the church office as we work towards a new staffing plan. Jeremy is our interim Events Administrator. Please contact him if your ministry group needs to reserve space for a meeting. Marisa will be assisting with Parish Life-related tasks such as event coordination, publicity and outreach, website updates, and providing general assistance in the office. Marisa can also help direct any questions and concerns to the appropriate staff member during this transition.
Worship Leaders for this Sunday
Assisting Ministers...Richard Boyle (9); Philip Krikau, Ana Hurley (11)
Lectors...Tina Hogan (9); Rachel Letchumanan (11)
Chalice Bearers...Lin Cerles, Robert Rathmell (9); Marisa Louie, Geri Bailey (11)
Acolytes...Linda Jackson, Nora Hurley
Welcome Ministry...Kurt Putman, Tapio Boles (9); 
                               Larry DeSpain, John Elford, Gail and Cal Culp, Roger Ostrem (11)
Refreshment Hour Chairs...Marie-Jose Baum, Kate Knickerbocker