March 15, 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 - Refreshments - Heritage Hall
10:00 am - Sunday School - School Rooms
10:00 am - Confirmation Class - Youth Room
10:05 am - Adult Forum: Dr. Steed Davidson: “Understanding Violence in the Old Testament ”Auditorium
11:00 am - Choral Eucharist Sanctuary
12:00 pm - Freedom in Christ Worship - Auditorium, Fireside Room
12:15 pm - Refreshments & Fellowship Hour - Heritage Hall
2:00 pm - Reconciling Works Meeting - Conference Room
3:00 pm - Symphony Parnassus Concert/Reception - Sanctuary/Heritage Hall

 Weds. Evening Worship and Bible Study: Feb 25 to March 25
Come to St. Mark’s on Wednesday evenings for supper, worship, and Bible study on the Gospel of Mark. A light supper is served starting at 6:00 pm, and Lenten Vespers worship begins at 6:45 pm. Pastor Elizabeth, Pastor Bekah and Pastor Lyle will lead a one hour Bible study in Heritage Hall immediately following the mid-week worship service (at approximately 7:30 pm) using study materials from the Kerygma Program. In the Gospel of Mark, the portrait of Jesus we find is one of a powerful man, confident in his choices, but thoroughly trusting in God as he faces persecution and death.  Those who struggle in their own discipleship are comforted to read in Mark how even Jesus' followers so often fail to understand the depth and breadth of Jesus' power and authority.  Mark's words are an encouragement to uncertain disciples from all ages to see clearly the path Jesus invites us to follow.  

Training for New and Current Worship Leaders:
Saturday, March 28 at 12:00-3:00 pm
Have you ever been interested in serving Communion, reading Scripture, greeting visitors, carrying the processional cross, or arranging the altar flowers for Sunday worship? We are recruiting additional assisting ministers, lectors, acolytes, ushers, and other worship leaders. There will be a training on Saturday, March 28 at 12:00 pm. We will serve a light lunch before having a brief worship time and then training.
Please contact if you would like to sign up for this opportunity!

 Adult Forum, March 15
"Understanding Violence in the Old Testament" with Dr. Steed Davidson of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary
We are very excited to welcome Dr. Steed Davidson to St. Mark's for a series of Adult Forums in Lent. Dr. Davidson has taught Old Testament at the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, California since 2007 and served as a member of the core doctoral faculty at the Graduate Theological Union since 2010. Davidson, a native of Trinidad and Tobago, earned a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible from Union Theological Seminary in New York.  Mar. 22 - "Immigration" with Courtney Henson
Courtney Henson, a frequent worshipper at St. Mark’s, speaks about asylum in the United States, and focusing on the recent influx of asylum seekers, many of which are women and children, fleeing gang violence in Central America and the unique challenges to our asylum system.

Save the Date!
Summer Day Camp at St. Mark's: June 29-July 3, 2015

Children can come enjoy a week of faith-based fun here at St. Mark’s during the week of June 29 – July 3. Day Camp is a unique partnership between our congregation and Mt. Cross Lutheran Camp. Children will enjoy group games, arts & crafts, worship, community building activities and Bible Encounters. The camp is open to youth who have completed kindergarten through 6th grade. Visit to sign up or for more information.

Lenten Box Collections for This Season
The money collected in the St. Mark’s Lenten boxes this year will be split between the Campaign for the ELCA and Lutheran Social Services of Northern California. The ELCA Campaign will support renewal efforts in 100 congregations, plant new congregations, and expand ministries to people with disabilities.  Bernal Gateway Apartments (BGA) provides permanent housing for formerly homeless families located in the Mission. Lutheran Social Services provides onsite services, including encouraging academic success through tutoring and coordinated activities.  Your support will help purchase arts and crafts supplies for after school activities with the children living at BGA. While all of the Sunday School-made Lenten boxes have already been distributed, you are encouraged to keep a collection of cash and change in an envelope, bag, or box of your own choosing, and bring this with you on Easter Sunday. Thank you!

St. Mark’s, Our Planet (SMOP) Outing:
Sunol Regional Wilderness, Next Sunday, March 22
The next SMOP outing will be Sunday, March 22nd departing at 1:00 pm from the upper parking lot for Sunol Regional Wilderness in the East Bay.  The hike starts just inside the North Gate of Mt. Diablo. 1.6 miles on single track with nice open hills, some grass, some rocky. There have been amazing California poppy blooms here, this should be a "good" year with the dry weather suppressing the grass allowing poppies to show. There will be a nice picnic spot under an oak at the top of the climb - 415 feet of elevation gain. Our hike will include Little Yosemite, a scenic gorge on Alameda Creek about two miles upstream from the Visitor Center. Contact Pr. Bekah if you are interested in car-pooling. 

Lands of Luther Tour information meeting, Sunday, March 22 with Pastors Elizabeth Ekdale and Hans Hoch - Tour Leaders
All prospective tour participants are invited to attend an information meeting on March 22, 1:00 - 2:00, in the Conference room of the Urban Life Center. Pastors Hans and Elizabeth will be available to answer any questions regarding the trip and share information about the itinerary. Tour brochures are located in the church office and in Heritage Hall.  Tour dates are Oct. 30 - Nov. 9, 2015.  All reservation forms and deposit are due by May 17.  Everyone is welcome on this Reformation Pilgrimage to Germany! Questions? Contact

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 March 28, May 9, June 27, Aug. 8, Sept. 26 and Nov. 7. The time commitment is from 7:30am-10:30am. Visit to sign up or for more information.

Prepare St. Mark’s for Holy Week and Easter on March 28th
The Property Ministry Team invites you to join us as we prepare the church and grounds for this special season on Saturday, March 28th, from 9 AM until 12 Noon. For more information, please speak with Gail or Cal Culp.

Donate Flowers in 2015
The 2015 Flower donation chart is posted in the hallway across from the church kitchen. St. 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. The donation is $50 and can be paid via check in the offering plate. Please note "Flowers" in the memo of the check.

2015 Luther Lecture at PLTS: Dr. George Tinker
The 2015 Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary Luther Lecture will be on Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at 9:00am, featuring Dr. George Tinker, a PLTS graduate and a professor at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver. He will speak on the topic "Indians, Lutherans, and Decolonizing Creation: Postcolonial Salvation". How does Euro-Christian theology supplant a Native holistic understanding of the world? Can individualized salvation and concern for ecology and creation be part of the same worldview? Please contact Pr. Bekah if you wish to attend the lecture and carpool to Berkeley. Registration for the lecture and a lunch following is $20.

News from Mt. Cross
Registration is now open for summer programs at Mt. Cross! This year's theme, "A Love that Never Ends", centers around discussion of Deuteronomy 6:5 and what it means to love as God loves. Visit the Mt. Cross website to view a list of  exciting programming options for children, youth groups, and families:!summer-programs/c3vg 
Mt. Cross has also begun hiring staff for the summer of 2015! Camp can be a transformative and rewarding experience for participants and staff alike. Know of anyone 18 years or older who would enjoy working at camp? Please encourage them to apply at:!employment/c1vud

Upcoming Sunday School Events

March 22nd: Big Group: all ages meet together to celebrate a Passover meal and learn about Jewish traditions.
March 29th: Big Group: all age groups meet together in the Urban Life Center to make Easter Crosses, and celebrate  Palm Sunday.
April 5th: No Sunday School, but the Children's Chapel sings at both services!
April 26th: Big Group: all ages meet together with the Pastor, who will give a lesson on Communion and Baptism.
This is an excellent opportunity for our children to bond with their clergy.

May 17th: No Sunday School: Bay to Breakers Sunday makes it impossible for the teachers to be here! 
May 24th: Memorial Day: Regular Classes
May 31st: Last Day of Sunday School. PARTY!!!!