February 1, 2015

Join Us This Sunday
9:00 am    Holy Communion with Children's Time - Sanctuary
9:40 am    Sunday School Chapel - Conference Room
9:45 am    Journeys in Faith Gathering - Fireside Room
10:00 am    Sunday School - School Rooms
10:00 am    Refreshments - Heritage Hall
10:10 am    Adult Forum: Rick Steves Holy Land Video - Auditorium
10:10 am    Confirmation Class - Narthex
10:10 am    Parents with Kidlettes - Heritage Hall
11:00 am    Choral Eucharist - Sanctuary
12:15 pm    Refreshments & Fellowship Hour - Heritage Hall

Adult Forum
Feb. 1 - Rick Steves Video & Discussion
We will watch Rick Steves' television special "The Holy Land: Israelis and Palestinians Today" and have time for discussion. This program weaves together both the Israeli and the Palestinian narratives to better understand a place that is, for a third of humanity, literally holy land.
Feb. 8 - Dennis Frado, Lutheran Office of World Community
Dennis Frado is the Director of the Lutheran Office of World Community, a ministry of the ELCA which represents the Lutheran World Federation at the United Nations in New York. He will be speaking about his recent delegation to Palestine/Israel with Bishop Eaton, and opportunities for our community and the ELCA to be effective advocates for peace and justice in the Holy Land. 

Parents with Kidlettes Meeting on Safe Congregations
The next Parents with Kidlettes meeting is Sunday, February 1st at 10:00 am in Heritage Hall. At this meeting, St. Mark's members Dr. Margaret McLean and Mary Ritter will give some general information about our congregation's Safe Congregation policy and training program. The training outlines important procedures that serve all children at St. Mark's including those in our nursery, Sunday school, and youth programs. Parents with children in the nursery, Sunday school or confirmation class are strongly encouraged to attend this meeting. This meeting is not just for parents, as it is important that all members of the congregation take responsibility for our youngest members and visitors. All are welcome to attend!  

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. 
As of 01/26/2015, pledges received to date total $399,660. Pledges have been received from 58% 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 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 garcia@stmarks-sf.org or by filling out and returning a pledge card.

Property Team Projects on February 7
The Property Ministry Team invites you to join us for coffee and pastries as we complete projects and prepare the church and grounds for the spring months ahead on Saturday, Feb. 7th from 9 am until 12 noon. If you'd like to join us, please contact Gary Schilling at (415) 218-2778.

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. In February our groups will meet on:
Evening Gathering - February 3 from 6:30-8:30pm 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. In February we will be reading City of God: Faith in the Streets by Sara Miles. 
Second Tuesday - February 10 from 11:00 am-1:00 pm in the Fireside Room 
All women are invited to come for study at 11:00 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 February is "Making Conversion Last".

Meeting About Detroit National Youth Gathering, July 15-19
High school youth and parents are invited to a meeting on Sunday, Feb. 15th at 12:30 pm in Heritage Hall about the ELCA Youth Gathering this summer in Detroit. For more details, please visit http://www.elca.org/youthgathering or contact Pastor Bekah.

Lent Begins on February 18, Ash Wednesday
Please join us for Ash Wednesday worship at 12:00 pm and 7:00 pm. Both services will offer the Imposition of Ashes and Holy Communion. There will be no Wednesday supper on that day. Childcare will be available at the 7:00 pm service.

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. The dates for 2015 are Saturdays 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 Mary Ritter (mlrpeds@aol.com) or John Elford (jbruceelford@gmail.com) for more information. 

Give Thrivent Choice Dollars® to St. Mark's Now!
Thrivent Financial members:  Please take a moment to direct your Choice Dollars to St. Mark's.  Thrivent just posted your Choice "earnings" through December.  Our Thrivent members at St. Mark's recently had $2,000 available to donate!!  Whether you have $10 or $20 or $200, please donate now!  You can check your Choice balance and donate online or by calling 800-THRIVENT (800-847-4836) and saying "Thrivent Choice."  Contact Omer Voss with questions at omervoss@prodigy.net.

Next SMOP Outing: John McLaren Park, Sunday, Feb. 22nd
Join SMOP for the next hike at San Francisco's second largest park! The carpool will depart from the upper parking lot at 1:00 pm to explore Yosemite Marsh, the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, and the Redwood Grove. Contact Pastor Bekah for more details.

Annual Congregational Meeting Report
The annual congregational meeting was held Sunday, January 25 following the 11 am worship service. Highlights of the meeting included:

  • The election of new and returning Council members. New to Council are Cristin Owens and Viknesh Silvalingam (three year terms); Jeremy McClain, Clovis Curl (two year terms), and Mark Semonian (one year term) are returning. The annual Council retreat is February 7-8 at St. Columba Retreat House in Inverness.
  • The passage of a ballot granting permission to Council to enter into contracts for architectural and pre-construction services for installing an elevator in the church building and replacing the sanctuary and chancel floors. St. Mark's commitment to the elevator was part of the 2010-2013 strategic plan.
  • A report from Shelly Taylor, Budget and Finance Coordinator, and presentation of the 2015 budget, which was approved by the congregation.
  • Reports from Pastor Elizabeth, Pastor Bekah, and Church Council President Jeremy McClain. Pastor Elizabeth spoke about the baptismal prayer to "immerse us in your grace... so that we may follow."
  • A report from Martin Luther Tower Board President Jon Moeller. The MLT Board currently seeks two new members, particularly those with skills in finance, technology, law, or real estate assistance.
  • A report from Margaret McLean on behalf of the Endowment Committee, and an update from Brandee Marckmann about the ELCA Malaria Campaign.

Copies of materials from the annual meeting are available in the narthex, or can be requested electronically by emailing info@stmarks-sf.org.

Housing Needed
A friend of St. Mark's, a quiet professional, is in need of immediate short or long term housing in San Francisco (or the Peninsula/East Bay). She can be reached at (415) 730-6475.

Loyalty Awards Program Coordinator for St. Mark's
We are looking for a volunteer to coordinate and promote eScrip and other customer loyalty programs to support St. Mark's ministries. The coordinator will help to encourage St. Mark's friends and members to sign up with these loyalty programs and designate St. Mark's as a recipient.  St. Mark's receives a small percentage of money from the purchases made with these specific merchants. Interested?  Please speak with Pr. Elizabeth for details.

Open House About 1001 Van Ness Development
Oryx Partners invites St. Mark's members to an informal open house on Tuesday, February 3rd from 6:00 to 7:30 pm to learn about the proposed 1001 Van Ness Avenue project, new residences and retail replacing the former KRON building. This future development, located at the corner of Van Ness Avenue and Myrtle Street, will offer town homes, flats and street-level shops in the heart of the Central Van Ness corridor, just steps from St. Mark's. At this meeting you will have the opportunity to talk with the project developer, architect and other team members. To RSVP, or for more information, contact Luis Cuadra at 415-788-1000 ext. 206 or email 1001vanness@gmail.com. More details are also available at www.1001vanness.com

Worship Leaders for this Sunday
Assisting Ministers...Liv Beck (9); Greg Jahnke, Ed Chitty (11)
Lectors...Randy Schieber (9); Diana Gomez (11)
Chalice Bearers...Lisa Gray, Emma Gray (9); Marisa Louie (11)
Acolytes...Katherine Lam
Welcome Ministry...Tina Hogan (9); Jennifer Parker, Kimberly and David Lam, Tina Niu, Pedro Ospina, Pam Cheung, Linda Jackson (11)
Refreshment Hour Chairs...Gail and Cal Culp, Philip Krikau