January 25, 2015 - This Sunday's Annual Meeting and Other Announcements

Join Us This Sunday
9:00 am - Holy Communion with Children's Time - Sanctuary
9:40 am - Sunday School Chapel - Conference Room
10:00 am - Sunday School - School Rooms
10:00 am - Refreshments - Heritage Hall
10:10 am - Adult Forum: Ecumenical Pilgrimage Journey - Fireside Room
10:10 am - Confirmation Class - Narthex
11:00 am - Choral Eucharist - Sanctuary
FOLLOWING 11:00 am SERVICE - Annual Congregational Meeting - Sanctuary
1:30 pm - Refreshments & Fellowship Hour - Heritage Hall
5:00 pm - Interfaith Shelter Continues - Auditorium

Sunday, January 25: Annual Congregational Meeting
Please plan to attend the annual meeting following the 11 am service. Important actions at this meeting include approval of the 2015 budget, election of new council members, reports by the Pastors and Lay Leaders, and an exciting update on our elevator project.

Adult Forum
Jan. 25 - Ecumenical Pilgrimage Journey

Come get a preview of our own Pastor Elizabeth Ekdale's participation in the first Ecumenical Pilgrimage with ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton. Bishop Eaton has selected Pastor Elizabeth to join her and eight other church leaders on her first visit to our ecumenical partners in Europe, while she serves as an ambassador for the ELCA. Pastor Elizabeth will be traveling January 31- February 13, 2015.
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.

Time and Talent Survey - CLOSING January 31, 2015
Many thanks to those who have completed Time and Talent Surveys. Council plans to collectively review the survey results soon, so we will be "closing" this round of the survey on January 31. If you have not yet had the opportunity to complete the survey, please prayerfully do so by the end of the month. Paper copies will be available during the annual meeting, or you may fill out the survey online at: http://tinyurl.com/n96kxhf

Winter Shelter continues through February 1, 2015
Overnight housing, breakfasts and dinners are provided for approximately 60 men each evening and morning in the Urban Life Center Auditorium. Please contact John Elford to volunteer at 415-648-4363 or at jbruceelford@gmail.comif you can help.

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 throughout the end of the year. 
As of 01/22/2015, pledges received to date total $397,860.  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.

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.

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.  There are resources and tools which can assist in making this volunteer position both easy and fun.

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...Sharon Reinbott (9); Richard Boyle, Linda Jackson (11)
Lectors...Suzanne Smith (9); Jo Chadwick (11)
Chalice Bearers...Jeremy McClain, Lin Cerles (9); Jo Chadwick, Margaret McLean (11)
Acolytes...Nora Hurley, Linda Jackson
Welcome Ministry...Marisa Louie, Louis Gutierrez (9); Gail & Cal Culp, Larry DeSpain, Roger Ostrem, John Elford (11) 
Refreshment Hour Chairs...Diana and Greg Gomez