St. Mark's Episcopal Church

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Christmas Celebration (12/24/2012), 5pm, at St. Mark's
Decorating of the worship space, shown in the pictures, was done in stages during Advent up until after the worship service on Sunday, 
December 23rd.  Our Christmas Eve service on Monday, December 24th at 5:00PM, was a festive communion service with several Christmas hymns (including the lighting of individual candles during "Silent Night") for our 22 friends who attended.  And, there was almost a family meal with the wonderful refreshments and fellowship afterwards. Pictures are here.

Pledge Sunday (11/25/2012 and on, at St. Mark’s)
We received and blessed those 2013 pledge commitments last Sunday, but will continue to do this as you complete yours.  Your pledges fund our ministries here at St. Mark’s—we have no endowed funds for operating the church.  This will help us to finalize the 2013 budget for the ministry of St. Mark’s.


Fantastic Bulldogs!  Montesano Wins the State 1A Football Final over the Royal Knights 43-28!  They also are the State 1A Academic winners, with a combined 3.52 GPA!

Summary of 102nd Diocesan Convention at Seatac Hilton, November 9-10
Rev. Lorraine Dierick, Rev. Bonnie Campbell, Martha Krug, Jim Campbell, and Rev. Sarah Monroe attended this annual Diocesan event.  Here are some of the highlights:
  • The theme was “Living Our Baptism”, and the activities of this convention were heavily focused on this.
  • The visiting speaker for this convention was the Rt. Rev. James Magness, the head of Federal Ministries for the Episcopal Church.  This covers all Episcopal chaplains who serve our military around the world, as well as those who serve the prisoners in our federal facilities.  This being the weekend to honor our veterans, those who had served in our military were asked to stand and were recognized by the convention.
  • Election of a new Diocesan treasurer, Barbara Fox, to replace Steve Faust, who resigned after 7 years in this position, and who served the Diocese very well in this unpaid position.  He pointed out how well the Diocese has done with its finances and managed its budget, actually lowered assessments by 15% and the budget is a similar way while bringing more support to congregations during this period.  And the Diocesan Investment Fund has just passed $50M for the first time, a self managed fund that 68 congregations in the Diocese keep their long term investment money, as well as Diocesan capital and some operating funds.
  • Our newly ordained Deacon, soon to be priest next Spring, Sarah Monroe, was with us at Convention, and was introduced as one of the newly ordained for 2012.
  • The operating budget for 2013, $4.4M, as well as the assessment rate of 17%, were approved.
  • The Diocesan Convention Eucharist was carefully designed to emphasize water and baptism, and was nicely simple and felt comfortable, not overbearing high church.  Seems to fit the 21st century church that will attract new people.
  • The Friday night banquet was highlighted by three things: great food, bishop crosses, and entertainment.  The two bishop crosses were given to 2 people who had served their churches for upward of 35 years in the areas of Christian education and music.  The entertainment was provided by the Total Experience Gospel Choir, which has been organized for 39 years.  A special highlight was our Bishop Greg Rickel’s 16 year old son Austin singing in this choir, with a solo of “Joyful, Joyful” and leading the choir in another song.  This music was amazing as always.
  • A report on the Diocesan wide survey done earlier this year yielded the following:
·         Our diocese is ready to move ahead with some planning and action for its future—the people are enthusiastic and ready to go. 
·         Things done to get to this point in our Bishop Greg’s first five years are not what will be needed to move ahead.  The first five years got us thinking together, the next five need to be innovative and open to new ideas to make a real difference.
Note: Our participation in this survey was the record for those the administrator and architect of the survey had conducted around the country for similar denominational groups like our diocese, in terms of participation (over 1800 people) and positive findings.
  • The results of the yearlong Bricks for Haiti campaign—almost $100k raised by our diocesan congregations.  St. Mark’s little cathedral on our wall of those who contributed to this effort was shown 3rd of a collage of churches photos who supported this work.
Fact: on the list of clergy canonically resident in our diocese (total of 345), our clergy are listed as follows in terms of time served:  Rev. Lorraine Dierick (114th-1993), Rev. Joyce Avery and Rev. Dorothy McMeekin (171st and 172nd-1999), Rev. Bonnie Campbell (275th-2008), and Rev. Sarah Monroe (344th-last month)

All Saints Celebration (11/4), 10:00AM at St. Mark’s
All Saints Day, on November 1 each year, was celebrated during the Sunday worship service on November 4th this year.  We had a table for displaying pictures of those loved ones who we remembered during the service, and some candles to light as we prayed for them.  Rev. Bonnie and Jim Campbell gave similar sermon messages on the saints and their examples of stewardship at St. Mark's, Montesano and St. Benedict's, Lacey.


Kids Halloween Treats (10/31/2012) at St. Mark’s 
We handed out kids treats, dog treats, and provide coffee and restrooms for all in this evening of fun in the neighborhood. From about 5-7pm, many kids with their parents came by, and the costumes are awesome!  


Sarah Monroe Deacon Ordination (10/18/2012) at St. Mark's Cathedral
Sarah is now a Deacon, after her ordination at St. Mark's Cathedral, with five others.  She is heading toward ordination as a priest (next June 2013), following completion of her seminary work online with EDS.   (
Sarah is now serving as an intern at St. Paul's, Seattle through this school year. It is a large parish--and Anglo-Catholic—that also runs the "Fatted Calf Cafe", serving folks who are homeless in the area.)


 


Blessing of the Pets Sunday (10/7/2012) at St. Mark's
As always, a fun service!  9 dogs, 2 cats and a bird were blessed, as well as all of us 28 humans, with treats for everyone afterwards. We also received $226 in donations to give to Aberdeen PAWS and Freedom Tails (a training dogs ministry in the local prison).
   Pictures   Service

Back to School Supplies Drive at St. Mark's (Month of August/2012) 
We collected emergency/extra supplies for the local Montesano school kids each year.  And, we also participated in the Grays Harbor area Backpacks for Teens program, with supplies and money.  Thanks to all for your help and generosity!

Annual Church Picnic at St. Mark's (8/26/2012)
We had it here at church--again!  The service and the "picnic" were inside, so the weather was not an issue.   There was plenty of food and lots of stories and fellowship for the 22 of us, including 7 small children.  It's always a picnic when you have ham, baked beans, and potato salad!


Visitation by Rev. Janet Campbell (6/10/2012), at St. Mark’s, and Follow-up Plans to Update our Worship Service (August, 2012 and on)
Back on 6/10, our Diocesan Canon for Liturgy, Rev. Janet Campbell worshiped with us and then spent 2 hours talking with us about worship, music, greeting newcomers, the Peace, our worship bulletins, lectionaries--whatever we could bring up! What a resource!!  Our Worship Team met in early August and reviewed Canon Janet’s 12 page write up review and we found several things that can be improved, simplified, and made more smooth in out worship service.  Also, we were able to carefully discuss some traditional or unique things we do in our worship, and why or whether they are really important to us or not.  Going forward, the service will change slowly and carefully where it needs to, and easy simple things will be changed right away.  This will include presider and other worship leader actions and movements, and how the congregation interacts with the psalm, prayers of the people, the passing of the peace, and the use of service music.


Annual Rummage Sale at St. Mark's (8/4/2012) 
We raised $735 this year to use in our local outreach program, and provided a lot of merchandise to our local community for really low prices. The money raised again is being given to local community needs--$250 each to Montesano Food Bank, Union Gospel Mission, and Coastal Harvest food Distribution Center. 
 Thanks for everyone who works to make this a great community event.  

Montesano Ecumenical Childrens' Bible Camp at St. Mark's (7/9-13/2012) 
It was another wonderful 5 day program for local Montesano kids, 186 of them, preschool through 6th grade, sponsored by the Montesano Ministerial Group. St. Mark's hosts the preschoolers again.  Pictures are here

New Lighting at St. Mark's (6/25/2012)
Our "Green" lighting project was completed as planned in one day, and the lights are working great!  We replaced all of the very old lights in our parish hall, kitchen and upstairs classroom--removed the old T-12 flourescent light fixtures with mercury ballasts (14 of them!), exchanged with the latest new fluorescents with electronic ballasts.  Some motion sensors were installed for the lights upstairs, for the stairway light going back down to the kitchen, and for the kitchen and back entry inside lights.  These help reduce lighting overall use, except when someone is actually in those spaces.  The cost for this project is just over $2,400 for the parts, permit, and electrician work, of which about 1/2 is being rebated by the local PUD and through a Green Grant from the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia.  With the expected savings about $120/year, it may take 10 years to get our investment back, but we are using less energy, and the lights are brighter than the old tired ones!  

Rebuild the Haiti Episcopal Cathedral--Fundraiser Results (Updated 6/10/2012)





We raised $589 toward helping rebuild Trinity Cathedral in Haiti, after that horrible earthquake in 2010.  Our mini-cathedral, put together on our wall in the parish hall, shows how many helped to contribute to this effort.

**Updated Results--$40 more came in the next Sunday, so the new total raised is $629!

Pentecost Sunday (5/27/2012), at St. Mark's


Pentecost at the Other St. Mark's--our Diocesan Cathedral!

Due to a camera malfunction, there are no pictures from our own Pentecost Sunday worship and fellowship.  So, just imagine a slightly smaller version of this celebration--smaller space, less people.  But there was plenty of color--red everywhere, hanging from the ceiling, on our large cross, on the altar and ambo, and being worn by most of our people.  The message from Acts 2 was read--parts in English, Norwegian, German, and French.  Our preacher today, Rev. Lorraine Dierick, had a great message and local story about the Holy Spirit.  And, there was plenty of strawberries and shortcake!


Easter Sunday Service & Easter Egg Hunt (4/8/2012), at St. Mark's
A half way sunny day greeted us for the celebration of the risen Christ.  Bells, flowers, candles and much singing and saying of "Alleluias" were part of our worship, as well as lots of smiles and thankful prayers.
After the service, fellowship, lots of great sweets, and an egg hunts for 5 kids was held.  Pictures are here.


Easter Season Events at St. Mark’s:
Palm Sunday Communion Service: April 1st, 10:00AM—reading of the passion story and blessing of the palms.
Maundy Thursday Communion Service: April 5th, 6:30PM—included foot washing like Jesus did for his disciples, and a meal after the service.
Good Friday Service: April 6th, 12:00 noon at St. Mark’s.
Good Friday Ecumenical Service: April 6th, 7:00PM at the Montesano Church of God.

Lenten Season Events: 
--Lenten Lunch/Prayer Series (Fridays in Lent), 11:30am , at Various Churches in Montesano
 
For the 2nd year the Montesano Ministerial Association sponsored the Lenten Lunch Series on the Fridays during Lent.  Lunches of soup were served beginning at 11:30 with a short 30 minute service beginning at 12:15. Several at St. Mark's helped with this series, including hosting, leading the services, and writing articles for the local newspaper, The Vidette.

--Ash Wednesday Service (2/22/2012), 6pm, at St. Mark's
A service of the imposition of ashes and communion, followed by two wonderful soups and bread meal to begin Lent was held with not only with some of our own members, but also some of our friends from the Montesano Church of God and First Methodist churches, and St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Elma.  

102th Annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Day Event (2/21/2012), 11am to 6:30pm, at St. Mark's 
In spite of poor weather, this event again was very faithfully and well attended and supported again by the Montesano local community!  This year we again raised funds to support the local food banks Montesano FOod Bank and Coastal Harvest), and for the Childrens Advocacy Center--totaling $1100.  We also served over 1000 pancakes, ham, applesauce, and beverages to our friends from Montesano, Aberdeen, and even from Bremerton and Chehalis.  Thanks to all who helped, and contributed to this successful event.   A few pictures are here.

Church Annual Meeting at St. Mark's (2/12/2012), 11am, at St. Mark's

This short meeting was held following the Sunday morning Holy Communion service, in the Parish Hall.  Rev. Joyce Avery provided most of the lunch for all.  Review of the last year at St. Mark's, the 2012 approved budget, and elections for the Bishop's Committee and Delegates for Convention were discussed.  Then our Seminarian, Sarah Monroe, showed us pictures of her ministry with the homeless in Cambridge at EDS in her second year there.  SHe was visiting for a week to attend her sister's wedding and to see her friends.

Snow Day! (1/15/2012), at St. Mark's 
An overnight snowfall left about 3-4 inches on everything Sunday morning in Montesano.  There had been a plan to have our Annual Meeting today after worship, but that went away, with just 9 of the faithful able to get here.  The service was laid back, with healing prayers and a great sermon by the Varness family (led by Corby), and wonderful joyous singing.  A great lunch was served, which included a celebration of Rev. Lorraine Dierick's birthday with a cake and laying on of hands in prayer.  Pictures   Sermon

Jim Stewart Event (1/7/2012), at the Museum of History in Aberdeen
An open house to celebrate the life of Jim Stewart was held at the Aberdeen Museum of History.  Many of his friends and those whose lives he had impacted came!  Read were parts of some cards and letters with beautiful and kind words of love for Jim and support for his family.  Jim and Vera were long time members and benefactors of St. Mark’s; Jim died just before Thanksgiving after a long stretch at Montesano Health & Rehab, a few years after Vera.  Jim's family had already celebrated a private memorial service for him at St. Mark’s, so this event was for the public in the Grays Harbor area who knew him.  His son's Bill and Bob each spoke, and their remembrances of Jim are here.

Decorating for Christmas and Christmas Season (12/4/2011-1/8/2012) at St. Mark's
The church was decorated in two parts. The outside lights and the Christmas tree and stairway decorating were done on Sunday, December 4th before the Montesano Festival of Lights on December 10.  Decorating of the worship space was done after the worship service on Sunday, December 18th.  The Christmas Eve service was on Saturday, at 5:00PM, with a festive communion service with Christmas hymns, and refreshments and fellowship afterwards.  Christmas Morning Day service was also celebrated, with a few dedicated folks attending both Eve and Morning worship.  Finally, Epiphany/Baptism Sunday celebrated the recognition and baptism of Jesus.  Christmas Decorating and Celebration Pictures  Christmas Eve Sermon    Christmas Day Sermon     Christmas History      Christmas with Other Faiths
Christmas in Bethlehem


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