May 22, 2016

Holy Trinity

“O Lord our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” Today we celebrate the name of God: holy blessed Trinity. There is no other day quite like this one in the church’s year. There is no other god like ours. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!

Join Us This Sunday
9:00 am - Holy Communion with Children’s Time - Sanctuary
9:45 am - Sunday School - School Rooms
10:00 am - Refreshments and Fellowship Hour - Heritage Hall
10:05 am - Adult Forum -Rev. Kate Warn
- Auditorium
                     YAGM coordinator in the Lutheran Church in Rwanda
10:10 am - Confirmation - School Rooms
11:00 am - Choral Eucharist Worship Service - Sanctuary

12:15 pm - Refreshments and Fellowship Hour - Heritage Hall
4:00 pm - Musae Concert - Sanctuary

We welcome our guest preacher and teacher, The Rev. Kate Warn - YAGM coordinator in the Lutheran Church in Rwanda! She currently serves as the Rwanda Country Coordinator for Young Adults in Global Mission, a year long learning and service program of the ELCA.   Prior to serving in Rwanda, she served with Global Mission of the ELCA as the Missionary in Residence with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sierra Leone.  Her love for Africa was born in working with Ethiopian refugees in the 1980’s and then working in Khartoum Sudan with the Mennonite Central Committee.  After seminary and graduate studies at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, she served in parish ministry in Grand Prairie, Texas and Lancaster PA.   Pr. Warn’s undergraduate degree is from Wittenberg University in Ohio, and she is originally from Chautauqua County in rural western NY state.  

Pr. Warn will be talking about the YAGM program in Rwanda and our work of “accompaniment” with the Lutheran Church of Rwanda.

The St. Mark’s Endowment Fund at Work
Today we welcome Pastor Kate Warn, visiting from Rwanda. Last year, Social Ministry team members applied for a grant to cover Kate’s travel for this trip, so she could speak to us today. This project was selected as one of the 2015 grant recipients. St. Mark’s established the endowment fund which distributes grants to further our ability to do God’s work with our hands both locally and around the world. Because the Endowment Fund supports projects specifically outside of the congregation’s annual budget, these grants help to innovate and bring new ideas for how we serve our community. We welcome Kate, and thank those who helped the Endowment Fund grow.

Announcing Start of Grant Application Period
Today the grant application period opens for the St. Mark’s Endowment Fund. Do you have an idea for a ministry project that is not part of the St. Mark’s budget? Are you involved in a service activity with a similar vision to the core beliefs of St. Mark’s? Visit to learn more and apply. Past grant winners include the Salvadoran Pastoral Fundraiser, Lutheran Volunteer Corps Training, and more.

Next Week’s Adult Forum: Sunday, May 29,
Survive and Thrive: Bread for the World Letter Writing

During Adult Forum time on May 29th, you are invited to participate in Bread for the World’s 2016 Offering of Letters: Survive and Thrive. This campaign focuses on the nutrition and health of mothers and children around the world. By participating in this year’s Offering of Letters, you can encourage Congress to play a critical role in setting the policies and funding levels that will enable the U.S. government to do its part to improve nutrition and health among mothers and children. More information, sample letters, and writing supplies will all be available.

Spirituality and Aging group offered at Martin Luther Tower
Pr. Elizabeth will host a five session group on Mondays from 11:00 - 12:00 on “Spirituality and Aging” in the Brockie lounge of Martin Luther Tower.  This group is open to the St. Mark’s community as well.   This group will offer a safe place to reflect on aging issues in light of our faith - whatever our faith may be or wherever we are in our faith journeyRefreshments will be served.

Summer Office Hours
The office will be closed Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, and will reopen on Tuesday, May 31.  That week we will be starting our Summer office hours.  The church office will be open from 9am-4:00pm Monday-Thursday and Friday from 9:00am-12:00pm.  

PICO Rwanda Presentations and Receptions - June 1 in SF,  June 15 in East Bay, and at Synod Assembly in Reno June 4th
St. Mark’s has partnered for many years with Rwandan Lutheran Pastor John Rutsindintwarane of PICO (People Improving Community through Organizing) Rwanda as they work with the poorest of the poor in Rwanda. We are all invited to get updates on PICO’s organizing work in Rwanda. Join Pastor John R. at one of three upcoming presentations. 

  • June 1st in San Francisco in the evening - RSVP to Pastor Bekah Davis at for time and location for this cocktail reception and fundraiser.
  • June 4th at Sierra Pacific Synod Assembly in Reno - Pastor John will present a “Rwanda Connection” workshop at a breakout sessions on Saturday afternoon. Assembly voting members and guests are invited.
  • June 15 at 5 to 7pm at Imani Community Church, 3300 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland, CA 94602 - RSVP by Friday June 10 to or call 510-655-2801.

Your offering of underwear and socks is needed!
At the Sierra Pacific Assembly in Reno Nevada, June 3 - 5, there will be a collection of in kind gifts from the congregations and their voting members in attendance.  This year’s offering will be NEW packages of WHITE underwear and socks for men, women and children to support the ministry of the Good Shepherd Clothes Closet in Reno, Nevada.  Please bring your packages of socks and underwear to worship for the next two Sundays or drop them off at the church office by June 1.  Our voting members:  Nadine Robinson, Jane Borg, Steve Ernst, Pr. Elizabeth and Pr. Tita will bring them to the Assembly meeting on your behalf.  More information about Good Shepherd Clothes Closet is available at

Interfaith Calendar and Activities in the Bay Area
Check out the websites - www.interfaith-presidio.organd which highlight Interfaith events and activities throughout the Bay Area.  There are many to choose from as we continue to take the first steps in getting to know our Interfaith neighbors.  Note the upcoming Memorial Day remembrances on the websites.

Final Midweek Service, this Wednesday at 6:45 pm
We will be taking a break for Summer.
Join us for this motivational midweek service.
6:00 - Home cooked dinner made by Pr. Tita and an open discussion about our Wednesday Services
6:45 - Unfailing Light Worship

Ramadan Interfaith Iftar
The St. Mark’s community is invited to the Annual San Francisco
Ramadan Interfaith Iftar Dinner on June 8 - 7:00 at Calvary Presbyterian Church, 2515 Fillmore St.

This event is very well-done, engaging, and a wonderful learning experience for our community.  We are sponsoring the event along with other religious groups in San Francisco. Please RSVP to The Keynote Speaker is Dr. Scott Alexander, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.  Pr. Elizabeth will be attending and welcomes as many St. Mark’s members and friends as possible will join her for this Interfaith event.

Donate Flowers in 2016
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. Please go to to sign up on our online chart. If you are unable to sign up online please call the office (415-928-7770).

The donation is $50 and can be paid via check in the offering plate. Please note “Flowers” in the memo of the check. If you would like to submit your payment online please click on the donate tab on the main page on St. Mark’s website and enter your flower donation under the “other” option and write flowers in the box.

Walk & Bike to Worship, Sunday May, 29
The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, Walk San Francisco, San Francisco Interfaith Council and leaders from local congregations are partnering to create Walk & Bike to Worship Week from Saturday, May 21 to Sunday, May 29.  Our date for St. Mark’s is MAY 29.  There will be a blessing of the bikes in-between early and late services, at the bike rack on the side of the church. 

Produce Market on the Square
Support our community market! Please come and purchase fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs every Wednesday from 11am-12pm in the Urban Life Center Auditorium! The market is co-sponsored by Episcopal Senior Communities and Martin Luther Tower.

Grace Gathering, New Orleans, August 10-13
The 500th anniversary of the Reformation is an opportunity to rejoice in the life-giving, liberating power of the gospel. As part of the observance, we invite you to attend the Grace Gathering, in partnership with the 2016 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. This will be an opportunity to experience the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) when gathered as the ELCA Churchwide Assembly, prepare for further observances of the 500th anniversary and reflect on how the Reformation can continue to guide us today. For more registration and more information go to:

Thrivent & Habitat “Building Blocks” June 16-18
Join Thrivent and Habitat-Greater-SF partnering with homeowners and nonprofits for a 3-day event to revitalize a Bayview corridor at “Habitat Building Blocks: Bayview.”  Pick a day!  We’ll rebuild fences, paint houses, landscape yards, and make accessibility improvements.  We’ll also partner with SF Rec & Park for green work at nearby Adam Rogers Park to trim, clean, and beautify.  T-shirts and lunch each day, and a Block Party to celebrate!  No construction experience necessary.  Contact Pr. Lyle Beckman to sign-up.  More details at Habitat’s site 

Dates are:  Repairs: Thurs-Sat, June 16-18, 8:30-4:30 (age 16+).  Park: Sat 18th, 8:30-4:00 (age 14+).  Party: Sat 18th, 4:30 - 7:30.

Update from the FEW (Flooring, Elevator, and Windows) Committee:
Good news from the Historic Preservation Commission - our elevator project has been approved!

The Commissioners tabled the two agenda items ahead of St. Mark’s and they called our case around 12:40. Pastor Elizabeth was still walking down the hill when we started but she made it for the final vote. Nadine and Jeremy were there to support us. The entire process was over in 15-20 minutes.

Following Pilar’s presentation of the case and the staff recommendation, I described our commitment to the building and the need for an elevator for St. Mark’s and the many groups who use our beautiful space for weddings, concerts and other events.

Debbie Cooper of ARG followed with a brief presentation of the design, explaining why the west side was the best - and really only - location for an elevator. Debbie did a great job responding to a question about our choice to blend in rather than contrast the new addition with the landmark building. Debbie explained the rationale to make the addition disappear as much as possible and the Commissioner supported this approach. Before making a motion to approve, another Commissioner praised the project, stating what an amazing job we have done in preserving our building. The vote was unanimous, 6-0, with one Commissioner, Aaron Hyland, absent. 

We now have a 30-day appeal period until the ruling takes effect. During that time, ARG can move ahead in preparing documents for bidding and the building permit application. That will be another hurdle to jump, but today’s approval moves us far ahead in the overall process.

As part of the presentation today, I presented four letters to the Commissioners in support of the project:

  • American Bach Soloists and Chanticleer each sent letters of support; thank you Barbara Bock and Judi Murio for those letters!
  • A letter from MLT was signed by 50 residents; thanks to Jo Chadwidk, Omer and everyone who participated in this effort!
  • The letter from St. Mark’s was signed by 109 members; thank you, Tim and everyone who signed this letter!

Written by Gary Schilling




Worship Leaders This Sunday
Director of Music...Dr. Timothy Zerlang
Assisting Ministers...Sharon Reinbott (9); Phil Krikau, Richard Boyle (11) 
Lectors...Randy Schieber (9) Diana Gomez (11) 
Chalice Bearers...Cristin Owens (9)
Acolytes...Nora Hurley, Katherine Lam
Sacristan and Altar Guild...Richard Boyle, Ed Chitty
Ministry of Welcome...Marisa Lee (9); Larry DeSpain, John Elford (11)
Coffee Hour Chairs...Barbara Bock
Next Week Coffee Hour Chairs...Nadine Robinson, Kimberly Hamilton-Lam

Prayers of The Parish

Cassie Allen
Debbie Brant & Ted Bernardi
Pastor Raymond H. Birkel Diana Bock
Natalie E. Bock
Riley Brooks
Lee Bryan
Michelle Chernock
Corrine Cottrell
Marilyn Desmond
Bonnie Elliot
Sharon Furiosi 

Debby Halladay
Jack Heiter
Carolyn Johnson
Taylor Jones
Arnold Lehmann
Margaret Massialas
Roderick Mobley
Stan Moeller
Lee & Irma Opitz
Ryan Parker
Cassie Pili
Lew Randall

Marc Randall
Pr. John Rutsindintwarane Travis Schwartz
Matt Seiples
Justin Stevenson
LaVonne Strutz, mother of Geri Bailey
Dana Utz
Carl Velleno
Jerry Witherspoon
Brent Wolfe 


For the upcoming Sierra Pacific Synod Assembly meeting June 3-5 in Reno
For all military personnel, especially Will Lehmann  
For the growing families of St. Mark’s, especially those who hope for andthose who are expecting children  
For the Mumeya congregation of the Lutheran Church of Rwanda  
For the Cordero de Dios congregation in El Salvador  
For our Missionary, Pastor Kate Warn, YAGM coordinator in Rwanda  
For all Christians in the Holy Land, especially Bethlehem  
For the people of the Gambia, Benin, Ghana
For the Kindergarten Cynthia Espinoza in Paraguay  
For MLT Residents who are hospitalized or in hospice care  

Every effort is made to keep the Prayers of the Parish current. 
Please email to add, remove or update a name on the prayer list.