December 14, 2014

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
10:00 am - Confirmation Class - Youth Room
11:00 am - Choral Eucharist - Sanctuary
12:15 pm - Refreshment and Fellowship Hour
1:00 pm - Worship at Nursing Home  

O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum! Join us on Dec. 13
The Christmas trees are ready to take their places in front of and inside the church building. You're invited to join us this Saturday, December 13, from 9 AM to 12 Noon as we install and light these beautiful symbols of the Christmas season. Please contact Marge Okuley or Gary Schilling if you are able to assist in this festive holiday activity.

Our guest organist this Sunday is Jonathan Dimmock. He is an active recitalist both in the States and in Europe, and is currently the organist for the San Francisco Symphony, and Organist & Choir Director at Congregation Sherith Israel.   

JIF Blessing this Sunday
At the 11:00 service, we will have the last blessing for the current group in Journeys in Faith, the Affirmation of the Vocation of the Baptized in the World. A few weeks ago, this group of people publicly affirmed their baptism and became members of St Mark's. This Sunday's blessing affirms those who continue baptismal living by carrying out their vocation as Christians in the world, nurtured in faith through word and sacrament. 

Adult Forums
Dec. 21: What is new at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary? Come and find out about the changes at PLTS since the seminary merged with California Lutheran University!  Seminary education is changing and PLTS is on the cutting edge of these changes. Everyone welcome!

Upcoming Sunday School Activities
There will be no Sunday School or Confirmation Class for the last 2 weeks in December. 

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 12/10/14, pledges received to date total $358,360.  Pledges have been received from 48% 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 or by filling out and returning a pledge card.

Time and Talent Survey
Your time and talents are valued gifts and your participation in the ministries and activities at St. Mark's is greatly needed! Please take a few minutes to consider ways you can become more involved in our community and complete the survey found on the link below.  This is a general link to the survey and can be used by multiple individuals so please forward to other family members and St. Mark's friends. The survey is also available in a paper format if preferred and copies are available in Heritage Hall and the church office. Please let us know your interests and ways you can help our community thrive by completing the survey today!

Rose Beeson Called to Serve
With joy and thanksgiving, we pray for Rose Beeson (former teaching parish student at St. Mark's) for her ordination into Word and Sacrament ministry on Dec. 13. Rose has been called to serve at St. Matthew Trinity Lutheran Church in Hoboken, NJ.

Giving Opportunity - Books for St. Mark's Nursery
St. Mark's nursery is a place where young children can learn about Christ's love through relationships, play, -- and through books. Our nursery is in need of books with Bible themes for children ages 0-6. Help us purchase additional books by writing a check to St. Mark's and write "nursery books" in the memo line or put your donation into an envelope on the hymnal rack and write "nursery books". You can also go to and designate your gift to "nursery books".

Memorial Service for our Homeless Dead, Dec. 18
Plan to attend this Annual Interfaith Memorial Service, co-sponsored by the San Francisco Night Ministry and the San Francisco Interfaith Council. The service will take place at the Civic Center Plaza, on the Polk Street side, at 5:00 pm on Thursday, December 18th 

Peace to all the Earth
This Christmas we need your help as we pray for Peace in the Holy Land and around the world. Along with the lights and gold ornaments, we are going to add olive wood ornaments to our tree. As we hang these ornaments, we offer our prayers of peace. Help us buy these ornaments by writing a check to St. Mark's and in the memo line write "Christmas Ornaments" or put your donation in one of the envelopes that are in the hymnal racks and write "Christmas Ornaments." 

Interfaith Bible Study - Everyone Welcome!
An Interfaith Bible Study, led by Pastoral Intern Rebecca Swee, will continue at Martin Luther Tower in the Brockie Lounge on Tuesdays at 2 pm. Coffee and snacks will be provided. All are welcome. Should you have any questions, please talk with Intern Rebecca or contact her at

Lands of Luther Tour, Oct. 30-Nov. 9, 2015
Join Pastor Elizabeth and Pastor Hans on this special trip to Germany as we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. For a brochure and more information contact Pastor Elizabeth at 415.928.7770 ext. 2300 (office) or 415.846.4340 (cell). You can email her at Space is limited so plan to book early.

Memorial Service for Jim Benson, January 11 at 2pm
On Sunday, January 11, there will be a memorial service for Jim Benson, St. Mark's member and former office volunteer. A reception will follow the service. All are welcome.

St. Mark's Staff Transitions
With Jun Ranches' departure on December 5, we would like to welcome Patricia Morales (morales@stmarks-sf.org415-928-7770 x2250) as our interim Office Manager. Patricia brings nearly twenty years of experience in administrative and property management to St. Mark's, and will be handling all daily office and facility-related responsibilities. Her schedule in the church office is Monday-Friday, 9:00 am-6:00 pm. 

Jeremy McClain ( and Marisa Louie ( will also be filling in temporarily in the church office as we work towards a new staffing plan. Jeremy is our interim Events Administrator. Please contact him if your ministry group needs to reserve space for a meeting. Marisa will be assisting with Parish Life-related tasks such as event coordination, publicity and outreach, website updates, and providing general assistance in the office. Marisa can also help direct any questions and concerns to the appropriate staff member during this transition.

If you would like to provide input about future St. Mark's office staffing needs, Pastor Elizabeth has invited lay leaders and members to attend a feedback meeting on Sunday, December 14 at 10:00 a.m. in Heritage Hall.