December 6, 2015

Join Us This Sunday

9:00 am - Holy Communion with Children's Time - Sanctuary
9:45 am - Sunday School - Conference Room
10:00 am - Refreshments and Fellowship Hour - Heritage Hall
10:00 am - Endowment Committee Meeting - Conference Room
10:00 am - Parent with Kidlettes - Heritage Hall
10:05 am - Confirmation - Heritage Hall
10:05 am - Adult Forum: Report from Germany/Luther Trip - Auditorium
10:10 am - Journeys in Faith Gathering - Fireside Room
11:00 am - Choral Eucharist Worship Service - Sanctuary
12:15 pm - Refreshments and Fellowship Hour - Heritage Hall
4:00 pm - Advent Vespers at St. Mary's - St. Mary's
5:00 pm - San Francisco Lyric Chorus Concert - Sanctuary

Advent Luncheon and Fair at First Unitarian Universalist Society 
On Dec. 6, members and friends of St Mark's are invited once again to be the guests of our Unitarian neighbors across the street from us. We had a wonderful time last year at this event and look forward to it again. Our choir will sing an Advent anthem during the luncheon, in addition to the festive music, there are many baked goods and crafts to purchase - including products from Bethlehem. The cost for the lunch is $10 and all are invited to attend beginning at 12:30 pm.

Holiday gifts direct from the Holy Land!   
You can shop for beautiful, meaningful Christmas gifts on December 6 across the street at the First Unitarian Universalist Church's Holiday Faire.  (St. Mark's folks are invited for lunch that day...)  Olive wood angels and nativities; traditional hand embroidery on bags, shawls, wallets; Christmas tree ornaments and much more - handcrafted by artisans and families in the "Little Town of Bethlehem"  and brought to us by St. Mark's friend Claire Anastas. Questions?  Contact Linda Krauskopf: or just come, see and buy on December 6!  

Adult Forum
This Sunday: Back from Germany! Come hear stories from our St. Mark's
travelers, back from their German Adventures andexploration of Martin Luther. What did they learn? What were the biggest surprise?

Dec. 13: Viewing of webcast: Confronting Racism. 
ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton and William B. Horne II, an ELCA member from Clearwater, Fla. present a conversation about confronting racism, a conversation grounded by two commitments. One is this church's proclamation of Christ and the confidence this good news brings to set us free from the captivity of racism. The second is this church's enduring commitment to address the complexity of racism and end
discrimination.  Look for a second webcast with Bishop Eaton and William Horne in January.

Save the Date: 24 Hour Prayer Vigil Starting Sat, Dec. 5
We invite you to be a part of a prayer vigil, in which individuals, families and groups are invited to pray in the church for the 24 hours prior to the Sunday on which we commit our pledges.  Signups for individual slots will be available soon, but for now, please mark the date on your calendars!

Holden Evening Prayer
Wednesdays in Advent at 6:45 "My heart shall sing of the day you bring. Let the fires of your justice burn. Wipe away all tears for the dawn is near, and the world is about to turn." This is the refrain of a famous paraphrased hymn of the Song Mary from Luke 2 set in an Irish traditional melody. It is powerful and gentle. With this at the heart of our waiting and anticipation in Advent we will gather using the meditative Holden Evening Prayer, while centering our reflection on paintings and essays of current women leaders in the North American Christian communities. This is based on the book, "Holiness and The Feminine Spirit: The Art of Janet McKenzie. Come every Wednesday and worship December 2, 9, 16, and 23 at 6:45 with simple refreshments afterwards. These Advent Mid-week Services with Holden Village Vespers are essential preparation for Christmas. Take a break from your week, take a breath, take time - Wednesdays at 6:45. 

Women's Monthly Study Gathering 
All women are welcome to come and study together at our evening and/or morning Women of the ELCA Gatherings. In December our groups will meet on: 

December 8 from 11:00am -1:00pm in the Fireside Room The December meeting will be the annual Christmas luncheon. Please contact Pam Ruh at 415/292-4496 for more information. 

Grace Lao Tree: The gift of giving and receiving
This Christmas season, we hope to share the spirit of giving and receiving with the children of Grace Lao Lutheran Church in Richmond, CA. The Grace Lao tree is set up in front of the sanctuary for you to get an ornament with the name, age and gender of a child. Some of them may not include a name as the gifts will also be shared as part of the congregation'sneighborhood outreach. Let the giving begin by buying an age
appropriate unwrapped gift, bringing it to the church and placing it at the foot of the trees during (or after) the next two Advent Sunday worship services
(December 6 & 13). The Grace Lao's Christmas Children's Program will be held on
December 19, 2015, so we plan to deliver all of the gifts on or before December 18th.  Questions? Speak with Pr. Tita.

Extra Help Needed During Advent Season
The very busy Season of Advent at St. Mark's has begun and are in great need of office volunteers to augment our permanent staff, who will be taking on the many extra responsibilities of the season.   As you know, all members of the current permanent office staff are still relatively new, are still learning their numerous responsibilities and this will be their first Advent Season. The period of greatest need is Monday, December 7 through Friday, December 18. Please consider freeing up a few extra hours (Monday through Friday) during this four week period and volunteer in the St. Mark's office!  Everyone is welcome and no prior office experience is needed.   This is a great short-term opportunity for Retireeslooking for an opportunity to serve St. Mark's for a few hours.

You will be performing light office duties - answering telephones, distributing mail, greeting visitors, answering the front door, assisting permanent office staff and the Pastors,  as needed.   Office hours are 9:00 am to 5:00 pm,  If you can volunteer for 3-4 hours in the morning or afternoon that would be wonderful.  Please contact Jane Borg at,  if you are interested in volunteering for this important ministry or call the office at 1-415-928-7770.

Calling All Angels and Shepherds   
Our annual St. Mark's Christmas pageant is coming together for 5:00 pm, December 24, 2015, but it will not be complete without you!  Sunday School families and all others interested in being a part of the fun will gather to rehearse Saturday, December 12, 9:30-12:00,  and Saturday December 19, 9:30-12:00.  Don't miss being a part of this fun St. Mark's Christmas tradition.  If you are interested in volunteering for a speaking role or helping out behind the scenes, contact our director, Laura Evenson,

O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum... 
What better way to get into the holiday spirit than by decorating St. Mark's Christmas Trees! Please join us on Saturday, December 12th, starting at 9 a.m. and finishing up around noon. If you're not able to come for the entire morning, you can join us for any portion of the morning. Please contact Marge Okuley at or Gary Schilling at and let them know of your interest in helping prepare St. Mark's for the Christmas season.

Meet Seminary Student, Hallie Perkins on Wednesday, Dec. 9 at 6:45
Hallie will accompany our Holden Evening Prayer service with her cello along with our own Tim Zerlang on the piano.  Following this beautiful Vesper Service, Hallie will share with members/friends of St. Mark's her impressions of our congregation through her "Reading Congregation" class at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary.  Join Hallie and Pr. Elizabeth in Heritage Hall following worship for this enlightening and lively
conversation over refreshments.  

Pictures of St. Mark's Events
We are currently working on updating our website and we would like to include some pictures of St. Mark's members, ministries, and events. Please send any photos to Stefani Lawrence at

Annual Interfaith Memorial Service
The San Francisco Night Ministry will be having a memorial service for the homeless who have passed away this year.  The service will be held on the City Hall Steps (Polk Street Side), Monday, December 21, 2015 at 5:30pm.  Please bring candles.

Donate Flowers in 2015St. 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  for our online chart to sign up or sign up on the flower donation chart posted in the hallway across from the church kitchen.

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. 

National Cathedral in Washington, DC and Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem Simulcast their annual joint service
On Saturday, December 19 at 6 AM Pacific Time, the National Cathedral in Washington, DC and Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem will simulcast their annual joint Christmas service. Prayers, readings and hymns alternate between the United States and Palestine via the Internet, bringing together people of different lands, languages and ethnic backgrounds in celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace. To access the webcast,

Pr. Elizabeth hosting Mosaic television show 
Sunday, Dec. 20 @ 5:00 a.m. KPIX Set your alarm and grab a cup of coffee in order to watch Pr. Elizabeth host the Mosaic Christmas show on television. Her guests include Pr. Maggi Henderson from Old First Presbyterian Church in SF and Mr. Larry Sly Director of the Contra Costa and Solano Counties Food Bank.

What is Journeys in Faith?  
We are forming a new group for Journeys in Faith!  You are invited to join us.   Our Sunday gatherings start shortly after 10AM in the Fireside room.  Everyone is welcome to join in!  Learn about this opportunity to set aside time this Fall and Winter for reflection on our faith and faith community.  Journey with others who are considering joining St Mark's, being baptized, or affirming their baptism.  All questions welcome.  Contact Liv Beck (

Weekly Announcement Inserts 
Please click the link below to see the inserts that went into the announcements this week.

Weekly Announcement Inserts