Christmas Events at St. Mark's
December 15-24--Angel Tree ministry, church members provided gifts for 8 children of parents in the local jails at Christmas time.
December 20--After the Sunday worship service, the church was decorated wonderfully inside the worship space for Christmas.
December 24--The Christmas Eve Festive Communion service was held at 9:00PM, followed by fellowship and refreshments. Even though it was a cold dark night and only 17 were in attendance, it was a wonderful event and all stayed well after for fellowship.
Discernment Class Started in November at St. Mark's
We have started a discernment class (first meeting on 11/10/2009) for anyone who wanted to find out more about themselves and their future ministry in and outside of St. Mark's. For details about this class, click here.
Worship Space Changes Weekend (11/7-8/2009) at St. Mark's
The Rev. Janet Campbell returned to St. Mark's and worked with us to make needed changes to our worship space, and then presided and preached at our Sunday worship service. To see more details about this activity, click here.
Halloween for Kids (10/31/2009) at 5:30PM at St. Mark’s
The church yard was decorated, the parish hall was open to get warm, there were treats for the kids, and coffee for the adults again this year for Halloween. We had a large turnout of kids in the neighborhood, and they all stopped by the church to get their treats. A great event again!
Annual Blessing of the Pets Sunday (10/4/2009) at St. Mark's
Our annual Blessing of the Pets Sunday service was fantastic! We had over 30 people attending; about 14 dogs, 1 cat and one horse by picture were blessed. The pets cake and the treats for the pets were excellent, too. And, $225 was donated at the service to give to PAWS Grays Harbor and Pawfect Connections for their work. Pictures of the event are posted here.
TCM Missioner Visit (9/27/2009) at St. Mark's
Our new diocesan TCM Missioner, Rev. Kim Forman, and his wife Mary visited us for worship and discussion on Sunday, September 27. This was a great first meeting to talk about where we are now with our church planning for a TCM circle and study. We agreed to start with a couple of things: 1) get the new CD about TCM from the Diocese and show that to our congregation along with other materials about TCM, and 2) start discernment with those interested using a book and questions developed by St. Hugh, Allyn. We also will work with Kim as far as combining our circle with other people from St. Luke-Elma, St. Christopher-Westport, and St. John-South Bend.
Annual Rummage Sale (9/12/2009) at St. Mark's
Our annual Rummage Sale again happened, successfully, on Saturday, September 12. Proceeds will exceed $725 from this event, which will fund some of our remaining church outreach offerings to the local community this year. Thanks to everyone in our church and beyond who supported with their donations and their work to prepare and conduct this event. Pictures from this event are shown here.
Bishop Rickel Visit (9/6/2009) at St. Mark's
Diocese of Olympia Bishop Greg Rickel visited St. Mark's for his first official visit on September 6, as part of our Sunday worship and at a reception afterward. This was a time for baptisms, confirmations, receptions and other blessings with the bishop here. We also got to hear Bishop Greg preach and celebrate the Communion with us. He met with us all at the reception afterwards, and then discussed with the Bishop's Committee and others about our church and its future, as we near the 100th year anniversary of being a church of this Diocese.
Judy Teague was baptised and confirmed, Brad and Yonemi Creamer and Sarah Davis were confirmed, Kevin Varness was received into the Episcopal Church, and Jim Campbell reaffirmed his vows.
Pictures from this day are shown here.
School Supplies Drive (August/2009)
We have been collecting school supplies for the Montesano grade schools during the past month. We gave four large boxes full of many items to Beacon and Simpson schools for reserve materials for the teachers in their classes. Thanks to all for their support in this drive.
Canon Atta-Baffoe Visit to St. Mark's (7/27/2009)
Bishop Greg invited the Dean of St. Nicholas Seminary in Cape Coast, Ghana to visit our diocese after General Convention, The Very Reverend Victor Atta-Baffoe. He appeared in Seattle in several venues, and we also scheduled him to come to the Willapa Region at St. Mark's.
Victor has been a participant in the Anglican Covenant discussions that have arisen since the Windsor Report was published in 2004. He is also the Canon for Education for the Diocese of the Cape Coast. He is the head of the commission with oversight for education of all people who do ministry in Africa-lay and ordained. What a wonderful opportunity for Total Common Ministry and other congregations to find out how this kind of education is carried out there in remote areas.
The small group of us that met on this very hot evening had a wonderful visit with Victor (we had air-conditioning, though, and it was 72 degrees in the parish hall!). [There were 9 from St. Mark's and three from St. Hugh of Lincoln.] We had a nice light meal and amazing interchange with Victor about all aspects of the Anglican Church in central Africa, the culture and philosophy of the African people and how these relate to their faith, and his observations from his visiting the General Convention of the ECUSA earlier in July. He also shared about his working with the governments and other Anglican leadership in central Africa, the Anglican Communion, and the proposed Anglican Covenant. Finally we learned about his work with St. Nicholas Seminary and plans to expand. It was fascinating to hear of his work to get women into seminary to become clergy; he is truly a forward thinker!
Some pictures from the event are posted here.
Montesano Ecumenical Children's Summer Bible Camp (7/6-10/2009) at several churches
Our annual Montesano ecumenical summer bible camp for kids (preschool thru 6th grade) just concluded! St. Mark's worked with the preschoolers again this year. Some pictures from the event are posted here.
Ministry Resources Day (5/9/2009) at Highline Community College, Burien
"Being Church in Anxious Times" was the theme for this day. There were 4 one-hour sessions during the day, along with a keynote speaker, the Rev. Britt Olson, Canon to the Ordinary for the Diocese of Northern California, at the noonday communion. The 50+ workshops covered all aspects of church life. Some of the workshops Bonnie and Jim Campbell, and Lorraine Dierick attended were: College for Congregational Development, The Pleasure of Each Others Company--Total Ministry, Resilience in Hard Times:Learning from Fishing Communities, Get to Know the Anglican Church in El Salvador, Conducting a Mutual Ministry Review, Don't Worry About Anything, Communications Roundtable, Practical Tools for Hospitality.
Clergy Conference (4/19-22/2009), at Alderbrook Inn, Union
Rev. Lorraine Dierick and Rev. Bonnie Campbell attended this important conference for St. Mark's, with about 70 other clergy from around the diocese, as well as both of our bishops--Greg and Nedi. Jim Campbell also attended to talk with clergy about their church activities and financial experiences this year in this economic situation the country and our churches face.
Easter Sunday (4/12/2009), at St. Mark's
This very festive celebration was attended by 60 people this year. Jenna Marie Stubb was baptised into our church family, supported by several of her family and friends and our own church community. We rang out many bells during the singing of the Gloria, and several of the visitors joined us in Communion and in the birthdays and anniversaries at the Peace. After the service 12 children participated in an Easter Egg hunt upstairs in the church school room (since the weather was very wet this day!). What a great day celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ!
Armed Forces Prayer Books Taken to Local Armory (3/28/2009)
John Tennefoss took 10 of the Armed Forces prayer books we had recently purchased to the local armory in Central Park for distribution to the troops. We can purchase more if we find out more are needed.
Vestry/Warden’s Conference (3/21/2009), at St. Mary’s, Lakewood
John Tennefoss and Jim Campbell attended this conference for St. Mark’s. The purpose of this conference was for all who attended to recognize the long term vision of the Diocese—healthy, strong congregations working on God’s ministry—and start working toward this purpose in their congregations. Both Bishops Greg Rickel and Nedi Rivera attended and answered questions about many aspects of the church, especially explaining how we are organized and operate (polity) in the Episcopal Church as compared to other American churches, as well as compared to other Anglican communion churches around the world. Almost all of the Diocesan staff were there and presented their various programs areas, including providing information and resources useful to us. Areas presented: faith formation (especially youth & young adults), stewardship, ethnic ministries, communications, diocesan governance, finances, risk management/insurance, and records keeping.
The final segment of the conference was a presentation from Rev. Melissa Skelton of St. Paul’s, Seattle about the newly formed College for Congregational Development. This is an initiative of Bishop Rickel’s and ties in with the vision above—how we can strive to make strong, healthy congregations. Everything is focused on the unique purpose of a congregation—to gather those called by God into Christ’s body, the church, a community of transformation of mind, heart and action, and to send these same people into the world to be and act as God’s loving and transforming presence there. This program is not required, but is highly recommended for all congregations. It involves sending 1 or 2 people up to a team of church members to this “college” in Federal Way for either 4 weekends each for 2 years or a full week session each for 2 years to learn about all aspects of congregational life, operation, leadership, and ministry outside the church.
At St. Mark’s we have started initial discussions about attending this conference next year and hope we can get a team to go. More information will be available in the coming months as we start planning how we can attend this college and begin real work on our future. Bishop Rickel will be visiting St. Mark’s on Labor Day weekend, and it would be good to be ready to discuss our future along with asking more about how we can use this college to help our planning.
Total Common Ministry Retreat (3/13-14/2009), at the Priory in Lacey
The Rev. Bonnie and Jim Campbell attended this retreat for St. Mark’s. All 7 TCM congregations were represented in the 15 people who attended, along with Canon Rev. Joan Anthony from the Diocese. The Friday night session involved a time to discuss general happenings in our churches, and concluded with Evening Prayer.
Saturday morning included a study of various styles of prayer from several different cultures and countries. Some observations included how much different these prayers were in tone and substance: demanding vs. asking, down to earth vs. more ethereal, and praising vs. lamenting. Then the group worked on several prayers to send out with the new TCM curriculum.
After lunch the group listened to a 4 people who had attended the Living Stones Conference, a consortium of dioceses who have forms of Total Common Ministry in some of their congregations, plus a couple of dioceses who were observing and inquiring about TCM. The Diocese of Chicago, with their recently consecrated Bishop Jeffrey Lee from our Diocese, who observing and inquiring about TCM. Bishop Lee has decided that their smaller outlying congregations are all candidates for TCM and will lead them toward working on becoming TCM congregations. The final version of the TCM curriculum for those seeking ordination in the TCM model, developed in our Diocese, was provided for all at the conference to review.
Other items discussed at the retreat included the hiring of a missioner for the southern half of the Diocese, where all 7 present TCM congregations reside. A small subgroup will review the candidates; Bishop Greg Rickel is hoping to hire this position by June. Canon Anthony said that Christ Church, Anacortes and St. Paul, Mt. Vernon are looking to start work on becoming TCM congregations, which would be the first ones in the north half of the Diocese. It was discussed how TCM will be supported in the future by the bishops and what the possibilities for a separate TCM-focused Commission on Ministry to handle TCM ordination process. TCM congregations will have a TCM workshop at the Ministry Resource Day event in early May in Burien. TCM is looking to start a website linked to the Diocesan website holding all of our information about TCM. St. Hugh, Allyn said they could help with this and the TCM website could reside on their website as well, if needed.
The retreat was completed with the Rev. Bonnie Campbell leading Holy Eucharist.
99th Annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Day Event at St. Mark's (2/24/2009)
This event was very attended and supported by the local community, and we received about $1360 in gross proceeds, resulting in the giving to Coastal Harvest (formerly called Grays Harbor Food Bank Distribution Center) a check for $1100. We also gave away 100 compact fluorescent light bulbs to those attending to remind them about "thinking green" and to work at reducing their energy use. Thanks to all of those who helped with this event, and all who came and enjoyed themselves and contributed to this successful event. Next year is our 100th, and there will be grand plans for this event.