January 15, 2017

Second Sunday After Epiphany

Today's gospel opens with further reflection on Jesus' baptism. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, and the one anointed by the Spirit. In the liturgy we come and see Christ revealed among us in word and meal. We go forth to invite others to come and worship the Holy One, and to receive the gifts of grace and peace made known among us.

9:00 am - Holy Communion with Children’s Time - Sanctuary    
10:00 am - Adult Forum: AMMPARO - Auditorium
10:00 am - Journeys in Faith - Fireside Room    
10:00 am - Refreshments and Fellowship Hour - Heritage Hall
10:05 am - Confirmation - Confirmation Classroom
10:15 am - Sunday School - School Rooms
11:00 am - Choral Eucharist Worship Service - Sanctuary
12:15 pm - Refreshments and Fellowship Hour - Heritage Hall
5:00 pm - Interfaith Winter Shelter - Auditorium

Please mark your calendars to attend St. Mark's Annual Meeting and Special Congregational Meeting held on Jan. 29, 2017 immediately following the 11:00 service in the sanctuary.  For more information please see the letter to the congregation from our Council President Matt Helland.

AMMPARO stands for "Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities". AMMPARO is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)'s initiative to accompany migrants in our midst and throughout the world. 

This Sunday, we will explore ways we at St. Mark's might "walk with" migrants in our community and in the world.

All are invited to our weekly community meal at 6:00 and worship at 6:45. Come and relax over a meal with members and visitors of the St. Mark's community.  Immediately afterwards, join the Pastors and our Director of Music for a lovely, contemplative worship service at 6:45 in the sanctuary.  The service lasts 30 minutes and will include Holy Communion.  

This weekly worship service is a wonderful time to receive with open hearts the gifts and presence of God.  Come and rest.  Come and be refreshed.  Come and just be!

We are also looking for volunteers to help make community dinner possible!  If you are available to pick heat/prepare food or help clean up after the dinner, please contact Winnie Heslin at heslin@stmarks-sf.org or call the church office at 415.928.7770.  

We are grateful to those of you who made financial donations for our
Christmas decorations - including the trees and poinsettias.  Your donations totaled $980.00 - thank you.

Also we are grateful for all of you who helped decorate and “undecorate” the Christmas trees, Advent and Christmas wreaths, garland, and Epiphany star.  It truly does take a village to decorate (and undecorate) a sanctuary!  Thank you one and all. 

Sincere GRATITUDE and THANKS for your 2017 annual pledge!! Your pledge of financial support becomes the foundation upon which the ministries and missions of St. Mark’s depend*.

Haven’t pledged? Uplifting financial incentive from our congregation:

Through an anonymous giver, “we are willing to donate $100 to the general fund for each pledge received between January 10th and January 22nd, up to a total donation of $2,000. This is a tangible thanksgiving for a successful call process and in support of “full staffing”. We encourage the community of St. Mark’s to take a definitive step to support the church we love.  With pledging, we are able to develop an annual budget and know what ministries we can continue and grow!

Where we are to date: 
For 2017: 88 pledges for a total of $327,408.
In 2016, we had 114 pledges for a total of $386,646.
(Note: all pledges are strictly confidential.)

We are greatly blessed with the many ministries* we support at St. Mark’s! As we did during our Stewardship campaign, we encourage you to take time to reflect, and encourage you to ponder:

How do I spend my life?
How do I spend my time?
How do I spend my blessings?

* We are enriched by our many and various ministries at St. Mark’s, including Sunday and mid-week worship; music & choir; children & youth with nursery, Sunday School and Confirmation; Journeys in Faith; Adult Education, SF Interfaith Homeless Shelter at St. Mark’s, SF Interfaith Food Shelter, MLT affordable housing for seniors; SF night ministries; Cordero de Dios in El Salvador, to name just some of our ministries!

We greatly appreciate your thoughtful consideration of your pledge to St. Mark’s, and your continued giving of your time and talents. It is with gratitude and celebration that we embrace our love of our community, and continue to be lifted by love at St. Mark’s!

Your Stewardship Team

The Nominating Committee (Marisa Lee, Mark Semonian, Suzanne Smith, Pr. Elizabeth) seeks St. Mark's members with a love for ministry and an interest in leadership to serve on Church Council in the upcoming year. Please contact Marisa Lee (marisalouie@gmail.com, 650-303-3111) if you would like to learn more about Council service and explore running for Church Council during the annual meeting in January. 

Confirmation class resumes on January 15th and we will join the volunteers at the interfaith Shelter on January 20th at 6:00PM in the Auditorium.

All are invited to join this newest group of Journeys in Faith. Take advantage of this opportunity and set aside time this winter and Lent for faith reflection and renewal. Together, we journey to Easter, learning more about our faith and faith community. And, together we consider and prepare for joining St Mark's, being baptized, or affirming our baptism.  You are welcome to join usthis Sunday at 10:00AM in the Fireside Room. If you are interested or have questions, contact Liv Beck (beckliv@gmail.com, (415) 205-3292) for more information. 

HEAR YE, HEAR YE!!!!!! A VERY NEW AND VERY EXCITING OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU AND OUR CONGREGATION: WHAT WOULD LUTHER DO TODAY?Have you ever wondered what Martin Luther would do if he were here today? Join Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton and thousands of learners around the world in a free course where you will learn how to apply Luther's thoughts and writings to contemporary issues.

Offered by ChurchNext in partnership with Augsburg Fortress and United Lutheran Seminary, this course or "Big Class" provides a rich learning environment for those seeking to gain a better understanding of how Lutheranism might address current affairs.

The course opens January 16 and is free through January 30. Because you can watch the course anytime, it's perfect for individuals, as well as small and large groups. (Group resources are available here.)

Secure your spot and learn in a community with those around the world and with Presiding Bishop Eaton how Martin Luther might deal with the pressing issues of today.


Taught by a team of experienced Industrial Areas Foundation community organizers, this class will cover conceptual studies and practical skill building in how to engage the public mission of the church in the world.

Learn practices for living as Church in the World, with special attention on:

  • Mission, 
  • Sustainable leadership,
  • Strategic thinking and acting,
  • Forming collaborative relationships for missional action.
  • Taught using presentations, discussions, role-play, readings, and class participation.

The Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers, Dean of Academic Affairs and Hodges-Haynes Professor of Liturgics, will be the assisting faculty member for this course.

Course Fee: $500 (for CEU credits)
Registration fee includes lunch Monday - Friday.
Register at https://ssl.charityweb.net/cdsp/event/IAF2017.htm 

Confirmation class resumes on January 15th and we will join the volunteers at the Interfaith Shelter on January 20th at 6:00PM in the Auditorium.

MLT is looking for a new Maintenance Technician to work at the Tower.  Visit http://www.stmarks-sf.org/jobs/ for more information.

If you would like to participate in a solution to the World Hunger problem, right here in San Francisco, there’s an easy way to make a big difference in 300 local families’ lives.  Join the St. Mark’s Food Pantry Distribution group.  We’re a fun intergenerational group that bond together over the business of distributing food from the SF/Marin Food Bank to qualified participants.  There’s a job for every age and body type.  We would love to have you.  Our next distribution date is:

Saturday morning, January 28th
Old First Church
Corner of Sacramento and Van Ness
Free Parking in Old First Church Garage on Sacramento St.
Sign up for any or all shifts, by talking with Diana Gomez.  
Phone (415) 533-5205 dianamrsgomez@mindspring.com

 7:30 - 9:00 AM-  Unload
9:00 - 10:30 AM-  Distribute
10:30 - 11:30 AM-  Clean up

Future St. Mark’s Food Pantry distribution dates in 2017 are as follows:
January 28, March 11,  April 29,  June 10,  July 22, August 26, October 21,
 and December 2.

Director of Music...Dr. Timothy Zerlang
Assisting Ministers...Sharon Reinbott (9); Phil Krikau, Kyle Schiefelbein (11)
Lectors...Jeremy McClain (9); Margaret McLean (11)
Chalice Bearers...Nadine Robinson, Viknesh SIlvalingam (11)
Sacristan and Altar Guild...Richard Boyle, Ed Chitty
Ministry of Welcome...Omer Voss, Amy Brendel (9); Debra Varian, Sarah Wentker (11)
Coffee Hour Chairs...Andrew Sallach, Tim and Elaine Bohan
Next Week’s Coffee Hour Chairs...Susie Smith and Fred Blickle