Christmas Events at St. Mark's (12/11-24/2010)
December 11--a very successful Festival of Lights in Montesano, even with very poor weather. A few of the St. Mark's faithful viewed the parade from inside on the Calder Hall stairway, watching the parade flow up Spruce Street.
December 15-24--Angel Tree ministry, church members provided gifts for children of parents in the local jails at Christmas time.
December 22--A short Blue Christmas service was held at the start of Bible study, to remind us of those people (even us!) who may not be having a merry Christmas time. We prayed for a better time for everyone--more peaceful, comforting and hopeful.
December 24--A beautiful and uplifting Christmas Eve festive communion service was held at 5:00PM, followed by fellowship and refreshments. Rev. Bonnie Campbell presided, Corby Varness gave a beautiful sermon, and 34 of our church faithful, relatives and friends attended and sung the traditional carols/hymns of Christmas we always do. Pictures are here.
Damage to Our Church Bell, Steeple and Cross (12/13/2010)
Late Monday evening a strong wind blew over our church steeple and cross onto the yard below, and forced the bell and its structure over onto the roof. Some minor damage to the roof itself occurred, too. All will be rebuilt in good order by next spring.
Snow at St. Mark's (11/21-24/2010)
Right after the Sunday service in celebration of Christ the King, the early snow began at the church. There has been about 3" so far, and it is very beautiful but strange to have any snow this early. While working on the church history book the past five years, there were not found any pictures taken with snow around--for 100 years! Pictures can be found here.
Alcohol & Drug Awareness Sunday at St. Mark's (11/7/2010)
Ruth Adams and others from the Committee on Alcohol and Substance Abuse (CASA) from the Diocese visited us to talk about their work and how we can respond to these issues with those we know and meet. Ruth gave a wonderful, heartfelt sermon about her life experiences dealing with alcohol and substance abuse in her family, and at fellowship time talked with us about some of the issues facing teens concerning alcohol and drugs.
All Saints Celebration and Halloween Treats for Kids at St. Mark’s (10/31/2010)
The All Saints celebration, usually on November 1 each year, was held during our Sunday worship service on October 31 this year. There was a table for displaying pictures of those loved ones we remembered during the service, and candles to light as we prayed for them. We also read the names of those departed leaders of St. Mark's over the years. After the service, we shared a potluck meal. And, we gave out treats for all the kids on Halloween night, with our parish hall open for coffee for the parents, the restrooms for a break (as needed), and a chance to get warm. Pictures from these events are here.
Summary of the 100th Diocesan Convention of the Diocese at the Seatac Hilton (10/29-30/2010)
Rev. Lorraine Dierick and Rev. Bonnie Campbell (clergy), John Tennefoss and Martha Krug (delegates), and Jim Campbell (Diocesan Council rep) attended the annual convention at the Seatac Hilton, this past Friday and Saturday. Highlights:
· Theme was “Becoming the Diocese of Olympia”
· A video was played highlighting the 100th anniversary of becoming a separate diocese in 1910.
· One of the courtesy resolutions recognized the 100th anniversary of St. Mark’s, Montesano as a mission.
· Resolutions passed:
o 17.5% assessment rate for 2012 budget planning (down from 18% in 2011).
o 0% COLA for diocesan employees in 2011 (tied to national cost of living index)
o Congregations in Good Standing canon change to withhold vote from those not in good standing at the next convention.
o Set a Camp & ConferenceCenter Sunday each year to raise awareness/support for them
· Approved the 2011 diocesan operating budget (slightly less than the 2010 operating budget)
· Approved revisions to diocesan canons to cleanup payment and reporting requirements by congregations, added need for physical property valuations
· Approved & welcomed Grace Church, Bainbridge as a parish in the Diocese
· Welcomed 6 small congregations as “mission stations” into the Diocese
· Approved moving St. George, Seattle from parish to mission status
· Re-appointed officers for Convention, elected new members for Diocesan Council and Standing Committee (Jim Campbell elected for SC-2nd ballot)
· Elected Deputies for 2012 National Convention (Jim Campbell elected 1st alternate on 4th ballot)
· Watched 3 short videos and attended 3 discussion sessions on the 3 focus areas of the Diocese—Stewardship, Ministry to Those 35 and Under, and Congregation Development
· At Convention Worship/Communion service, ordained 2 people as permanent deacons.
· 3 Bishop’s Crosses given out (done each year since 1951)
This year the Convention was shortened from 2 full days to 1 ½ days to reduce costs for those attending—less meals and for some 1 less night of hotel rooms. (We saved about $520 as compared to last year’s convention.)
Annual Blessing of the Pets Sunday Service at St. Mark's (10/3/2010)
We celebrated our 7th or so annual event of this fun service. Twelve dogs, one cats, two birds, and a horse (in absentia!) received their annual blessing and most got treats after the service. The people were also treated to the joy of this event and the entertainment from our wonderful pets, and visiting with each other. Pictures are posted here. A short video link is also posted here.
Remembrance of the Reiter Family at St. Mark's (9/12/2010)
The Reiter family, who were active at St. Mark's back in the late 1940s until well into the 1970s, returned to remember their father (Herbert Campbell Reiter) on what would have been his 100th birthday today. The large wood sanctuary cross behind the altar was given back in 1974 in memory of Herbert, and was made by a local artisan, Andrew Jonassen. Michael, Dorrit, and Nancy celebrated their father’s birthday with the people of St. Mark’s. (Fittingly, this also is close to the annual date for the celebration of Holy Cross Day, on September 14th.)
Back to School Supplies Drive at St. Mark's (Early September/2010)
We collected supplies again for the local Montesano school kids this year. Thanks to all for your help and generosity!
Annual Church Picnic at the Averys' (8/29/2010)
Our worship service at 10am at St. Mark’s included Sarah Monroe (our hopeful postulant) giving a great sermon, followed by a picnic at Lee and Joyce Avery’s house on the Oaksridge Golf Course. Again, the weather was cool, so the event was in their garage! Plenty of food, 26 people attended and it was a wonderful time to visit our friends. Four from St. Luke, Elma also were able to attend. And, we sent off our seminarian Sarah Monroe to Episcopal Divinity School near Boston with a few cards and some money to help her get settled there. A few pictures from the event are here.
Annual Rummage Sale at St. Mark's (8/7/2010)
It was a grand event, and very successful again! We raised over $930 to use in our local outreach program, and provided a lot of merchandise to our local community for really low prices. The money raised was given equally to the Union Gospel Mission in Aberdeen andCoastal Harvest Regional Food Distribution Center. Thanks for everyone who worked to make this one of our best sales ever. A few pictures from the event are here.
Montesano Ecumenical Childrens' Bible Camp at St. Mark's (7/12-16/2010)
It was a wonderful 5 day program for local Montesano kids, preschool through 6th grade, sponsored by the Montesano Ministerial Group. There were in excess of 170 kids this year, largest camp ever. St. Mark's hosted the preschoolers again, about 30 signed up and 20 or so each day of the event. Corby and Lorraine did a great job leading the preschoolers program again. Pictures from the event are posted here.
Graduation and Other Events with St. Mark's (6/11-13/2010)
A wonderful graduation weekend and other events for St. Mark's. Sarah Monroe's graduation from Evergreen College on Friday and celebration at a local restaurant, an emotional funeral for Canon Carl Knirk on Saturday at St. Mark's Cathedral in Seattle, a beautiful St. Mark's worship service with an inspiring sermon from Corby Varness on Sunday morning, and more celebrating with Sarah after church. Last, a great Willapa Region meeting at St. Andrew's House on a sunny Sunday afternoon! Pictures from the events are here.
New Bible Study Series at St. Mark's (started 5/26/2010)
We offered a special bible study called "Your Bible! The Study Begins", which started Wednesday, May 26 at 10:00am. This was an excellent overview of the library of books which form the foundation of our faith. This course took seven, one hour weekly sessions, and provided a refreshing orientation to the Bible.
Pentecost Sunday Celebration at St. Mark’s (5/23/2010)
We celebrated the birth of the church, with the Holy Spirit and Red everywhere! Rev. Bonnie Campbell presided at the Communion worship service, we read the Pentecost story from Acts together, the Rev. Lorraine Dierick gave a great sermon about the power of the Spirit, while reminding us of the power from the 30 year old Mt St Helen eruption events. The Rev. Joyce Avery prepared a beautiful strawberry banana cake for the celebration. Pictures from the event are here.
Total Common Ministry Retreat at St. Christopher's, Westport(5/14-15/2010)
Lorraine, Corby, Joyce, Jim and Bonnie attended parts or all of this event, along with people from the TCM churches in Allyn, Anacortes, Cathlamet, South Bend, and Westport. All but Bonnie received the required Diocesan training for Safeguarding God’s Children, needed to work with any children at St. Mark’s. (Bonnie had received the training previously.) Bonnie and Jim attended the rest of the events. This included a talk with Rev. Kathleen Patton from the Diocesan Commission on Ministry, to clarify their latest policies and programs about working with TCM church circles; Carl Knirk from the Diocesan Stewardship/Evangelism office, to hear about stewardship ideas and legacy giving; and Kerry Allman, Diocesan Internet Strategist, who gave a presentation on website design and best practices. Pictures from the event are here.
St. Mark’s 100th Anniversary Celebration at St. Mark’s (4/25/2010)
We celebrated our 100th anniversary as a mission church of the Diocese of Olympia, with several old friends and members attending. Rev. Bonnie Campbell presided over the Holy Communion worship service and Rev. Lorraine Dierick gave a wonderful history and patronal saint Mark sermon. We had a nice lunch event to visit with old friends, while looking at several displays of pictures, news articles and other memorabilia from the past, and a 90 page history book available for purchase. More information and pictures from the event can be found here.
Easter Sunday (4/4/2010), at St. Mark's
This very festive celebration was attended by 48 people this year. Several family and friends and our own church community attended. 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. Sarah Monroe gave a very inspiring sermon, and our clergy designed a wonderful service. We even had Mary Venske's young grandson Jeffrey sing to us, "Jesus Loves Me, This I Know!" before the offering, and we all joined in for the chorus. After the service 8 children participated in an Easter Egg hunt outside between the rain storms. What a great day celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ! Pictures are here.
Good Friday Ecumenical Service (4/2/2010), at St. Mark’s
Almost 75 people braved the strange cold weather to come to this very inspiring Good Friday service. The special music by the kids fromMonteBaptistChurch, and from Connie Napiontek and Ken Albert was lovely. The drama was very meaningful, including carrying a large cross down the aisle of the nave as the drama was read. It is nice to have our Montesano people meet together for a common worship service and give generously to the Ministerial Association to help with local needs, too.
Maundy Thursday Service (4/1/2010), at St. Luke’s, Elma
It was a small group gathered for a beautiful dinner served by the folks from St. Luke's, and a very spirit-filled communion service with foot washing and healing prayers.
Willapa Region Meeting (3/21/2010), at St. Mark’s
About 25 reps from various churches in the Willapa Region met here for their Winter meeting. Items of discussion included roles of delegates and alternates for the year (not just at Convention), 2011 first draft diocesan budget , and finding youth reps for our region. Also there was a presentation about St. Andrew's House, and it was agreed to meet there for our Spring meeting on June 13th.
Vestry/Warden’s Conference (3/13/2010), at St. John’s,Kirkland
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. Bishop Greg Rickel answered questions about many aspects of the church. Several of the Diocesan staff were there and presented their various programs areas, including providing information and resources useful to us. Areas presented: stewardship, diocesan governance, finances, legal and responsible issues of vestries & bishop committees, risk management/insurance, records keeping, and web/internet usage.
Church Annual Meeting at St. Mark's (2/21/2010)
The meeting was held following the Sunday morning Holy Communion/Healing Prayers service, in the Parish Hall. Attending were: Rev. Lorraine Dierick, Rev. Bonnie Campbell, John Tennefoss-Senior Warden, Jim Campbell-Junior Warden/Treasurer, Natalea Brumfield, Rev. Dorothy McMeekin, Chris Boardman, Brad & Yo Creamer, Mary Venske, Wanda Wahl, Corby & Kevin Varness, and Sarah Monroe.
Jim Campbell led the meeting, which included a written reports package on the many activities of the church in 2009, the 2010 budget plan along with the 2009 budget actuals, and the 2009 year end funds summary. Also provided was a summary of potential costs for a congregation like ours if we had to pay for either a part time priest or supply priest, showing how much positive impact being a TCM style congregation has on our ability to do ministry which requires funding (like outreach).
Two new members were elected to Bishop Committee--Natalea Brumfield and Kevin Varness. The rest agreed to continue serving. The reps for the Convention will be the same as in 2009--John Tennefoss and Martha Krug.
We discussed possible projects for building improvements for this year: wireless microphones, a concrete pad for the handicap access parking space, cleaning and refinishing the back wall of the worship space, a handrail for the sidewalk leading to the church, and new letters for the reader board.
Presented was the idea of Sarah Monroe's discernment for ordination through seminary, and our church's unique opportunity and responsibility to support her in this calling.
Last, we discussed the upcoming 100th anniversary celebration on April 25th, and the plans so far. It was agreed that all would be working on this to make it a special and great event for everyone involved.
100th Annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Day Event at St. Mark's (2/16/2010)
This event was very well attended and supported by the local community, and we received about $1220 in gross proceeds, resulting in giving to Coastal Harvest Food Bank Distribution Center and Haiti Relief checks totaling $925. We served over 1000 pancakes, ham, applesauce, and beverages to our friends in Montesano, including our Bishop Greg Rickel. Thanks to all who helped, and everyone who came and enjoyed themselves and contributed to this successful event. Detailed event information and pictures are found here.