March 6, 2016

Fourth Sunday in Lent

The psalm sets the tone this day: “Happy are they whose transgressions are forgiven, and whose sin is put away!” Happy are those who have “become the righteousness of God” in the merits of Christ Jesus. Happy are those for whom the forgiveness of God has “rolled away . . . the disgrace” of former times. Happy is the father at the return of his prodigal son. Happy are we that our sins are forgiven for Jesus’ sake. Rejoice!

Today at St. Mark’s

9:00 am - Holy Communion with Children’s Time - Sanctuary
9:45 am - Sunday School  -  School Rooms
10:00 am - Parents with Kidlettes - Heritage Hall
10:00 am - Refreshments and Endowment Event - Heritage Hall
10:05 am - Adult Forum—Power and Powerlessness - Auditorium
10:05 am - Journeys In Faith - Fireside Room
11:00 am - Choral Eucharist Worship Service  - Sanctuary
12:15 pm -  Refreshments and Fellowship Hour - Heritage Hall

7:30 pm -  SF Youth Ensemble  -  Sanctuary
12:30 pm  - Call Committee - Fireside Room

Adult Forum series on Sunday mornings in Lent led by Pr. Elizabeth and Pr. Tita 10:05 am in the auditorium 
We continue to journey together through the season of Lent, reflecting on hunger, hope, and God's love in a world of both abundance and need. Each weekly session is based on a devotion from ELCA World Hunger's 40 Days of Giving, a special devotional for you to use each day during the season of Lent. Extra devotional material is available in the narthex for you to pick up. 

Midweek Lenten Series: Open our Lives, O God.
We hope to accompany each other in our Lenten journey of prayer, reflection and silence. Every Wednesday (March 9,16), 6:00 pm Supper and Fellowship (Heritage Hall) followed by 6:45 Vespers Prayer Service (Sanctuary) and 7:15 Biblical Reflections and Conversation (Heritage Hall) focusing on “Bearing Fruit” Devotions will be led by our Pastors. The season of Lent is a time of change. Come and let us journey together. Bring a friend to share a meal, pray and worship!

Lenten Box Offering - Recipient Lava Mae
Bring your filled boxes back and hand them to an usher at worship during Holy Week or Easter.  Please fill them with your spare change or with a donation check. This year the funds will be donated to Lava Mae. Lava Mae is a non-profit foundation whose mission is to deliver dignity and unlock opportunity for those experiencing homelessness - one mobile shower at a time.  They do this by re-purposing retired buses to provide free private showers, toiletries and toilet facilities. This enables mobility to serve the homeless residents of San Francisco where they live. For more information please visit

Blessing of Candidates for Affirmation
This rite calls on the congregation to pray for and with those who are preparing for Affirmation of Baptism, and for the sick, those in needs, and all of God’s creation.  The candidates are presented with a copy of Luther’s Small Catechism, a physical symbol of the Christian life of prayer.  The candidates are blessed as they continue their journey of renewal through the season of Lent.

Easter Vigil Reception
We are looking for some people to help coordinate and host the Vigil Reception the night of March 26.  If you are willing, please let Suzanne Smith know ( or 415/285-7438).  We will meet after the 11:00 service on March 13 to plan.

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 March our groups will meet on:

Second Tuesday – March 8 from 11:00am to 1:00pm 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.  Our winter study is on the Philippians and our program topic is “Being of One Mind.”

Third Sunday Bible Study – March 20 from 10:10 to 10:50 in the Conference Room
All women are invited to come for Bible study from the Women of the ELCA’s Gather Magazine.  Our winter study is on the book of Philippians and our monthly topic is “Being of One Mind.”

If you have any questions, please contact Suzanne Smith at 415.285.7438 or

Mosaic television show with Pr. Elizabeth to air March 13
Pr. Elizabeth interviewed Rev. John Weems, who serves Calvary Presbyterian and Bishop Ernie Jackson,  serving Grace Tabernacle.  
These two clergy and congregations are developing relationships with each other.  One congregation is located in Pacific Heights - the other in Bayview/Hunter's Point. These dynamics contribute to a very engaging Mosaic television show which airs at 5:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 13, KPIX (channel 5).  

CLU Choir
We have another opportunity to hear an outstanding Lutheran college choir this month.  On Monday, March 21 at 7 pm, the California Lutheran University Choir will perform in our sanctuary.  The CLU is located in Thousand Oaks, California, and the CLU Choir is under the direction of Wyant Morton.

Will I have enough to retire? 
Retire Wisely Workshop with Thrivent Financial representative Gregory Jahnke and Judith Dancer on Saturday, March 19 from 10-12:30 p.m. at JP Murphy Clubhouse, 1960 9th Ave, near Pacheco. RSVP ay March 15 to Jo Zemke at 415-437-7370 X211 or

Winter Homeless Shelter Returns to St. Mark’s
Due to the current emergency situation with the homeless in San Francisco, City Hall and the SF Interfaith Council have asked that the current Interfaith Winter Homeless Shelter continue on through March. St. Mark’s will again be hosting the shelter in the ULC Auditorium from March 6 until March 13. As of right now, St. Mark’s has not been asked to provide any volunteers to help, only to provide space. If you have any questions about the shelter, please direct them to Chiara at

Do You Need A Baby 0r Pet Safety Gate?
A new Cardinal Gates Safety Gate (model PG35) with doorway extender is available in the Church Office. The gate features an auto-lock and is good for high traffic areas. The gate can fit doorways 29 to 33.25 inches wide and the extender widens it an additional 5 inches. The height is 29.75 inches. The retail value is $100. If you would like this item, a donation to St. Mark’s would be greatly appreciated. Please contact Chiara DeJoy at if you are interested in the gate or would like more information.

Direct your Thrivent Choice Dollars Now
Giving back has always been important to Thrivent and to us at St. Mark’s. Please take a moment to direct your Choice dollars – they will expire soon. This is an easy and cost-free way to help St. Mark’s ministries, stewardship, and capital campaign (or a charity you favor). In total, St. Mark’s members of Thrivent have a large balance of Choice dollars waiting to be directed. Please do it NOW. Just go online: and log-in, or phone 800-847-4836 and say “Thrivent Choice” at the prompt. If questions, ask Omer Voss or Greg Jahnke. 

Worship Leaders This Sunday

Director of Music...Dr. Timothy Zerlang
Assisting Ministers...Liv Beck (9); John Barton, Greg Jahnke (11)
Lectors...Jeremy McClain (9) Diana Gomez (11)
Chalice Bearers...Matt Helland, Mark Semonian (9) Viknesh Silvalingam (11)
Acolytes...Linda Jackson and Nora Hurley
Sacristan and Altar Guild…Richard Boyle, Ed Chitty
Ministry of Welcome…Tina Hogan (9); Pam Cheung, Tina Niu, Kimberly and David Lam, Pedro Ospina, Linda R. Jackson (11)
Coffee Hour Chairs...Marie-Jose Baum and Kate Knickerbocker
Next week Coffee Hour Chairs...Barbara Bock