November 29, 2015

Join Us This Sunday

9:00 am - Holy Communion with Children's Time - Sanctuary
9:45 am - Sunday School - Conference Room
10:00 am - Refreshments and Advent Conversation with Pastor Elizabeth - Heritage Hall
10:05 am - Confirmation - Heritage Hall
10:10 am - Journeys in Faith Gathering - Fireside Room
11:00 am - Choral Eucharist Worship Service - Sanctuary
12:15 pm - Refreshments and Fellowship Hour - Heritage Hall
12:30 pm - Usher Meeting - Sanctuary
6:00 pm - Interfaith World AIDS Day Service - Sanctuary

11th Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service
The San Francisco Interfaith Council will be having a Thanksgiving Service on Thursday, November, 26 from 10:00am-11:00am at The Baha'I Community in San Francisco-170 Valencia Street. For more information visit 

Adult Forum
This Sunday: Grab a cup of coffee and gather with Pastor Elizabeth in Heritage Hall. We'll talk about the season of Advent, Advent Traditions and how to prepare for Christmas.

Dec 6: Back from Germany! Come hear stories of our St. Mark's travelers, back from their German Adventures and exploration of Martin Luther. What did they learn? What were the biggest surprises?

What is Journeys in Faith?  
We are forming a new group for Journeys in Faith!  You are invited to join us.   Our Sunday gatherings start shortly after 10AM in the Fireside room.  Everyone is welcome to join in!  Learn about this opportunity to set aside time this Fall and Winter for reflection on our faith and faith community.  Journey with others who are considering joining St Mark's, being baptized, or affirming their baptism.  All questions welcome.  Contact Liv Beck (

Save the Date: 24 Hour Prayer Vigil Starting Sat, Dec. 5
We invite you to be a part of a prayer vigil, in which individuals, families and groups are invited to pray in the church for the 24 hours prior to the Sunday on which we commit our pledges.  Signups for individual slots will be available soon, but for now, please mark the date on your calendars!

Advent Luncheon and Fair at First Unitarian Universalist Society
On Dec. 6, members and friends of St Mark's are invited once again to be the guests of our Unitarian neighbors across the street from us.  We had a wonderful time last year at this event and look forward to it again.  Our choir will sing an Advent anthem during the luncheon,  in addition to the festive music, there are many baked goods and crafts to purchase - including products from Bethlehem.  The cost for the lunch is $10 and all are invited to attend beginning at 12:30 pm.

Holiday gifts direct from the Holy Land!  
You can shop for beautiful, meaningful Christmas gifts on December 6 across the street at the First Unitarian Universalist Church's Holiday Faire.  (St. Mark's folks are invited for lunch that day...)  Olive wood angels and nativities; traditional hand embroidery on bags, shawls, wallets; Christmas tree ornaments and much more - handcrafted by artisans and families in the "Little Town of Bethlehem"  and brought to us by St. Mark's friend Claire Anastas.   Questions?  Contact Linda Krauskopf: or just come, see and buy on December 6!  

Holden Evening Prayer 
Wednesdays in Advent at 6:45 "My heart shall sing of the day you bring. Let the fires of your justice burn. Wipe away all tears for the dawn is near, and the world is about to turn." This is the refrain of a famous paraphrased hymn of the Song Mary from Luke 2 set in an Irish traditional melody. It is powerful and gentle. With this at the heart of our waiting and anticipation in Advent we will gather using the meditative Holden Evening Prayer, while centering our reflection on paintings and essays of current women leaders in the North American Christian communities. This is based on the book, "Holiness and The Feminine Spirit: The Art of Janet McKenzie. Come every Wednesday and worship December 2, 9, 16, and 23 at 6:45 with simple refreshments afterwards. These Advent Mid-week Services with Holden Village Vespers are essential preparation for Christmas. Take a break from your week, take a breath, take time - Wednesdays at 6:45. 

Women's Monthly Study Gathering 
All women are welcome to come and study together at our evening and/or morning Women of the ELCA Gatherings. In December our groups will meet on: 

December 1 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. This month we will be reading The Testament of Mary by Colin Toibin. 

December 8 from 11:00am -1:00pm in the Fireside Room The December meeting will be the annual Christmas luncheon. Please contact Pam Ruh at 415/292-4496 for more information. 

Grace Lao Tree
The gift of giving and receiving This Christmas season, we hope to share the spirit of giving and receiving with the children of Grace Lao Lutheran Church in Richmond, CA. The Grace Lao tree is set up in front of the sanctuary for you to get an ornament with the name, age and gender of a child. Some of them may not include a name as the gifts will also be shared as part of the congregation's neighborhood outreach. Let the giving begin by buying an age appropriate gift, bringing it to the church and placing it at the foot of the trees during (or after) the next two Advent Sunday worship services (December 6 & 13). The Grace Lao's Christmas Children's Program will be held on December 19, 2015, so we plan to deliver all of the gifts on or before December 18th. Questions? Speak with Pr. Tita.

Calling All Current and Future Ushers!
There will be a meeting at 12:30 in the sanctuary. Today, in an hour we will be covering:


                  -Our purpose

                  -Information about duties and resources

                  -Scenario practice

                  -Holiday planning

There will be time for questions as well, and we will note any items that we're not able to fully cover in this meeting so that we can come back to those topics later.  Please join us!  We also welcome those that would be new to ushering.  There are both options for ushering every Sunday, as well as the option to usher occasionally.  Looking forward to seeing all the ushers on the 29th in the sanctuary.  Contact Susan Sall at if you have questions about the meeting.  Hope you will consider being part of this engaging ministry at St. Mark's!  

Extra Help Needed During Advent Season
We are about to enter into the very busy Season of Advent at St. Mark's and are in great need of office volunteers to augment our permanent staff, who will be taking on the many extra responsibilities of the season.   As you know, all members of the current permanent office staff are still relatively new, are still learning their numerous responsibilities and this will be their first Advent Season. 

The period of greatest need is Monday, November 30 through Friday, December 18. Please consider freeing up a few extra hours (Monday through Friday) during this four week period and volunteer in the St. Mark's office!  Everyone is welcome and no prior office experience is needed.   This is a great short-term opportunity for Retirees looking for an opportunity to serve St. Mark's for a few hours.

You will be performing light office duties - answering telephones, distributing mail, greeting visitors, answering the front door, assisting permanent office staff and the Pastors,  as needed.   Office hours are 9:00 am to 5:00 pm,  If you can volunteer for 3-4 hours in the morning or afternoon that would be wonderful.  Please contact Jane Borg at,  if you are interested in volunteering for this important ministry.

Calling All Angels and Shepherds
Our annual St. Mark's Christmas pageant is coming together for 5:00 pm, December 24, 2015, but it will not be complete without you!  Sunday School families and all others interested in being a part of the fun will gather to rehearse Saturday, December 12, 10:00-12:00,  and Saturday December 19, 10:00-12:00.  Don't miss being a part of this fun St. Mark's Christmas tradition.  If you are interested in volunteering for a speaking role or helping out behind the scenes, contact our director, Laura Evenson,

O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum... 
What better way to get into the holiday spirit than by decorating St. Mark's Christmas Trees! Please join us on Saturday, December 12th, starting at 9 a.m. and finishing up around noon. If you're not able to come for the entire morning, you can join us for any portion of the morning. Please contact Marge Okuley at or Gary Schilling at and let them know of your interest in helping prepare St. Mark's for the Christmas season. C

Pictures of St. Mark's Events
We are currently working on updating our website and we would like to include some pictures of St. Mark's members, ministries, and events. Please send any photos to Stefani Lawrence at

Donate Flowers in 2015
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  for our online chart to sign up or sign up on the flower donation chart posted in the hallway across from the church kitchen.

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.  

Nominating Committee
We are seeking candidates for council positions on the ballot for our 2016 election which will be held at the annual meeting on January 31, 2016.  Please contact Lisa Gray, Liv Beck or Bill Mooney if you are interested in candidacy or would like to learn more about the position.

Pr. Elizabeth hosting Mosaic television show 
Sunday, Dec. 20 @ 5:00 a.m. KPIX Set your alarm and grab a cup of coffee in order to watch Pr. Elizabeth host the Mosaic Christmas show on television. Her guests include Pr. Maggi Henderson from Old First Presbyterian Church in SF and Mr. Larry Sly Director of the Contra Costa and Solano Counties Food Bank.

Worship Leaders This Sunday
Director of Music...Dr. Tim Zerlang
Assisting Ministers...Liv Beck (9); Greg Jahnke, Phil Krikau (11) 
Lectors...Diane Villeno (9) Matthias Will (11) 
Chalice Bearers...Matt Helland, Jerrold Allen (9) Jane Borg, Kimberly Hamilton-Lam (11) Acolytes...Grace Ekdale-Hoch, Katharine Lam
Sacristan and Altar Guild...Richard Boyle, Ed Chitty
Ministry of Welcome...Jerry Lundblad, Randy Schieber (9) 
Coffee Hour Chairs...Diana and Greg Gomez
Next week Coffee Hour Chairs...John Elford, Marge Okuley, and Hiroko Nagata