Decorating for Christmas and Christmas Service Eve (12/4-24/2011)
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 Decorating and Celebration Pictures Christmas History Christmas with Other Faiths Christmas in Bethlehem
The Advent Season (11/27-12/24/2011)
Advent at St. Mark's uses sarum blue instead of purple as the decorating color, and the worship is reflective as well as joyously anticipating the upcoming birth of Jesus. This is shown by our decorating of the church with much color as well as the creche and the nativity characters ready for Christmas Eve.
Pictures are here.
Visitations to Monte Health & Rehab (Ongoing)
Rev. Lorraine and Bonnie share visiting Monte Health & Rehab weekly, and each month St. Mark's supplies a borthday cake for the residents to celebrate their birthdays. Pictures are here.
All Saints Celebration (11/6/2011) at St. Mark’s
All Saints Day, on November 1 each year, was celebrated during the Sunday worship service on November 6 this year. There was a lovely table for displaying pictures of those loved ones who folks wanted to remember during the service, and some candles to light also as we prayed for them.
Kids Halloween Treats (10/31/2011) at St. Mark’s
It was a fabulous day, and then a clear and getting very cold evening, as we handed out kids treats, dog treats, and provided coffee and restrooms for all in this evening of fun in the neighborhood. From about 6-8pm, about 250 kids with their parents came by, and the costumes were awesome! Pictures are here.
Diocesan Convention at Lynnwood, Washington (10/21-22/2011)
A whirlwind trip to the Lynnwood Convention Center and back on Friday and Saturday by Lorraine, Bonnie, John, Jim and Martha for the 101st Convention was undertaken. A 2012 Diocesan budget reduced by 6% from 2011’s budget was ratified, along with approval of a ½ pt reduction in the assessment to 17% for 2013. Two new deacons for the church were ordained during the Convention Eucharist, fitting with the Convention theme being “Living the Eucharist”. A resolution for a canon change for Diocesan Council to have one lay and one clergy rep from each of the 10 regions passed. The Bishop’s address focused on the future of our Diocese and the work of mission together—using our resources wisely and efficiently. All-in-all, a quick and successful time together. More time for visiting old church friends around the Diocese would have been nice, though.
Blessing of the Pets Sunday (10/2/2011)
It’s always a fun service, and it was again this year! 12 dogs and a bird were blessed, as well as all of us humans, with treats for everyone afterwards. We received over $200 in donations to give to Aberdeen PAWS and Freedom Tails (a training dogs ministry in the local prison). Pictures are here.
Episcopal Retirement Communities (ERC) Foundation Presentation (9/25/2011)
Christy Hammrich, the director of development for this organization, met with us and presented the story of the ERC. This is an area most Episcopalians know little about, and Christy changed that for us!
Rhonni LaCroix Visit and Talk About Her Kenya Trip (8/28/2011)
Rhonni LaCroix, a young woman who grew up in our church, showed and told us about her adventure to Kenya this past May. At the Peace in the worship service, she thanked us for our support for her trip, and told us a little about her experience with worship there--much joy and all singing! After a light lunch provided by her mother Laura, Rhonni showed us pictures from a magazine article she has written for the local Jamestown, ND newspaper about her trip, and talked all about her visit. A main impression of the people there is that though having little, they are happy and need little--their attitude about life is great! (We can all learn from this!) Pictures of her time with us are here.
Annual Church Picnic (8/21/2011)
We had it here at church! The service and the "picnic" were inside, even though the weather cooperated. Our seminarian Sarah Monroe preached, and we had friends from both St. Luke, Elma and St. David, Shelton with us. We also re-dedicated the worship space for all of the changes made in the past 5 years. The re-dedication program and the list of changes with pictures are available. Included in the changes is our new altar table, and a new display cabinet for all the old worship stuff—and we thank Jeff Williams and Denny Dierick for their efforts in building these items. At the picnic we said goodbye to our seminarian Sarah, as she will be going back east to EDS in a week. Plenty of food and lots of stories and fellowship! A few pictures are here.
Annual Rummage Sale at St. Mark's (8/6/2011)
We raised over $900 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 will be given to the Children's Advocacy Center and the Montesano Community Center in Montesano, and the Coastal Harvest Regional Food Distribution Center in Hoquiam. Thanks for everyone who works to make this a great community event. Pictures are here.
Refinished Worship Furniture for the Church (July 2011)
Jim Campbell with a little help from Jeff Williams, rebuilt (as needed) and stripped and refinished several items used for worship. Four worship chairs, the Bishop's chair, the hymns board, and the lectern were completed in 2 weeks. Pictures of the items involved: Chairs and Hymns Board Lectern
Montesano Ecumenical Childrens' Bible Camp at St. Mark's (7/11-15/2011)
It was again a wonderful 5 day program for local Montesano kids, preschool through 6th grade, sponsored by the Montesano Ministerial Group. There were 176 kids last year, largest camp ever. St. Mark's hosted the preschoolers again, with a high of 30 attending on Wednesday.
A New Altar Table & Stands/Small Tables Made for Worship (7/03/2011)
The new altar table was built from recycled wood taken from the old “modesty screens” that used to be placed in front of the pews on either side of the front row in the church. The altar table top itself is built from two old boards made stored away at John Tennefoss’ house. The new flower/candle stands and small tables were built from recycled wood from the old chancel and communion rails that were originally installed in the church in 1954, and were replaced in 2009. All of this wood used is older growth fir, with the darker existing finish removed by a planer and jointer, exposing the beautiful wood surfaces underneath. This effort was done by Jeff Williams, son-in-law of Jim & Rev. Bonnie Campbell, church members at St. Mark’s. A detailed description and many pictures showing the building of this furniture is here.
Pentecost Sunday Celebration at St. Mark’s (6/12/2011)
A small but enthusiastic gathering celebrated the birth of the church, with the Holy Spirit and Red everywhere! The community reading of the first part of Acts 2, describing the Holy Spirit coming upon the large gathering of believers in Jerusalem, was fun. And, the final hymn of Amazing Grace was very inspiring! We also collected over $700 (so far!) for the St. Vincent Hospital for handicapped children in Haiti to help with building a water system for them and their neighbors. Pictures are found here.
Graduation Day & Willapa Region Spring Meeting (5/22/2011)
Shawn Dierick and Marisa Lindley, both graduating from Montesano High School next weekend, were honored at St. Mark's at our worship service today. They had both been attendees of our weekly children's church school thru 6th grade years ago, and had helped with the Summer Children's Bible Camp. Both received new contemporary study Bibles, and a message by our Sr. Warden, John Tennefoss. The cake after church was great, too! Later, the Willapa Region Spring meeting was held at St. Mark's, with about 30 people attending. Good discussion about the 2012 proposed Diocesan Budget, and sharing about happenings at our churches and information about Convention. Pictures are found here. The messages read and provided from John to Marisa & Shawn are here.
Rhonni LaCroix Kenya, Africa Travels/Blog (5/11/2011--)
Rhonni, a young adult who we at St. Mark's have watched grow up in our church and in Montesano, just completed her Jamestown college experience, and is on her way to Chogoria, Kenya, Africa. Along with nine other courageous Jamestown College students and graduates they will apply their educational backgrounds and strengths in the community for a short visit.
An article on the Jamestown College website about this trip:
5/3/2011 - Students in Kenya this month
Nine Jamestown College students and two staff members have arrived in Chogoria, Kenya to practice servant leadership, learn about another culture, and gain experience in their respective fields of study.
While Jamestown College nursing students have traveled to Chogoria for the past few years, this is the first trip to the village for students from other majors. The students will spend time teaching in local schools, working at a small business lending firm, caring for children at a daycare facility, and assessing the village's technological needs.
Mass communication graduate Rhonni LaCroix is writing a blog about the group's experiences. She'll also share the stories of the people of Chogoria through articles and video.
A grant from F.I.S.H. Foundation, Inc., is supporting the trip as well as the ongoing partnership between the Jamestown College Department of Nursing and Chogoria Hospital.
Mother's Day Sunday (5/08/2011) at St. Mark's
Roses were the decoration, and gift for all women who attended this Sunday's service. Pictures of the roses displayed for worship and then given out are shown here. A Litany for Women was also read by Rev. Bonnie Campbell at the start of the service.
Easter Sunday Service and Egg Hunt (4/24/2011) at St. Mark's
Thirty-four attended this Easter Service/Celebration, which included many flowers and bells, renewal of baptism vows, and an Easter Egg hunt after church for the 10 kids. Pictures are here.
Ecumenical Good Friday Service (4/22/2011) at the Assembly of God Church
Over 100 people attended this service, with Lorraine singing in the joint choir of 40, and Bonnie delivering the offering message and prayer.
Maundy Thursday Service/Meal (4/21/2011) including foot washing and Communion
Fifteen from St Mark’s and St Luke’s enjoyed a moving service and a great meal!
Palm/Passion Sunday Service at St. Mark's (4/17/2011)
A small but passionate group of 21 celebrated Palm Sunday and read Christ's Passion together this day. Lots of color and palms and celebrating hymns. And 4 little kids, 2 babies! Pictures are here.
Lenten Program, Fridays in Lent, 11:45AM at St. Mark’s and Other Churches
About 15 to 25 people attended these events during the 6 Fridays of Lent, conducted for the first time ecumenically. Pastors Marc, JoDene, Bonnie and Lorraine led the short services of readings, prayer and music, after some great soup and bread meals. About $150 was donated to the Monte Ministerial Association Benevolence Fund from these meals, too.
Willapa Region Meeting at St. Mark's (3/27/2011)
Twenty-nine reps from our region, along with Rev. Josh Thomas from DSOMAT, attended this event.
The Church Bell, Steeple and Cross are Back! (3/16/2011)
Lupo Construction completed its rebuild, got the permit, and re-installed the church bell structure, steeple and cross. It looks the same as before but is rebuilt in a much more solid way and tied together well. And it is freshly painted! They did this between cloudbursts and even some hail! Pictures are here.
Ash Wednesday Service at St. Mark's (3/9/2011)
A full and reflective Episcopal service of the imposition of ashes and communion, followed by a soup and bread meal to begin Lent was attended by not only 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. We're pretty sure this is a first for this community! The service was presided and homily by Rev. Lorraine Dierick, a reading by pastor JoDene Romeijn-Stout, guitar/vocal by pastor Marc Rice, and great work by the rest of the St. Mark's worship team (Rev. Bonnie Campbell, Rev. Joyce Avery, Mary Venske, and John Tennefoss). Everyone fully participated--in the worship service, and certainly in the wonderful meal of soups and breads afterward. And the offering taken is being sent to the Montesano Ministerial Association, for their fund that supports local crisis needs.
101th Annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Day Event at St. Mark's (3/08/2011)
This event was very well attended and supported again by the Montesano local community, and we have received over $1330 in gross proceeds, resulting in funds available to support local food banks, clean wells/water for remote areas, and Japan quake/tsunami relief totaling $1100. We again served over 1000 pancakes, ham, applesauce, and beverages to our friends from Montesano, Aberdeen, and even from Olympia and Chehalis. 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.
New Display Cabinet Delivered to St. Mark's (3/05/2011)
Thanks to Denny Dierick, son of our Rev. Lorraine Dierick, who has built a beautiful display cabinet for the church over the past year. It is a replica of one that sits in the front entry of Diocesan House, near St. Mark's Cathedral on Capital Hill in Seattle. Pictures of this fine piece of cabinetry are here.
Vestry/Warden’s Conference (3/05/2011), at Immanuel, Mercer Island
John Tennefoss and Jim Campbell attended this conference for St. Mark’s. The purpose of this conference was for all who attended to receive tools for healthy, strong congregations working on God’s ministry—and work 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: finances, legal and responsible issues of vestries & bishop committees, risk management/insurance, and records keeping. About 80 folks from around the Diocese attended.
Church Annual Meeting at St. Mark's (1/16/2011)
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, Chris Boardman, Mary Venske, Wanda Wahl, and Rev. Joyce & Lee Avery.
John Tennefoss led the meeting, which included a written reports package on the many activities of the church in 2009, the 2011 budget plan along with the 2010 budget actuals, and the 2010 year end funds summary. A review of the 2005-2010 budgets with information showing the expenses especially for outreach, utilities and maintenance/capital improvements and how the surpluses each year have been used for some of these areas and reduce our future assessments. Also provided was a summary of potential costs for a congregation like ours if we had to pay for either a full/part time priest or supply priest or other staff positions, showing how much positive impact being a TCM style congregation has on our ability to do ministry which requires funding (like outreach). The presentation package is here.
The 2010 Bishop Committee has agreed to continue in 2011, with no new people asking to join. The reps for the Convention could be the same as in 2010--John Tennefoss and Martha Krug, but checking with everyone to see if there is someone who would like to attend and serve.
The rest of the meeting was spent discussing the present worship service style, and ways to change that might draw new people to attend and join. Such things as the merits (and challenges) with paying for a clergy person (that might possibly lead/draw new membership), dramatically change our worship/music to be much less "Anglican/Catholic", and having sermons that focus clearly/totally on spiritual/Jesus aspects. Also, ideas about having events to invite people to that might lead them to come to church were mentioned. It was agreed that at the present amount of members and our overall age that it is a struggle to have the energy to make dramatic contacts and draw people to our church. It was further agreed to provide a survey to all members and mailing list folks to see what they like and what they would want to change about our worship and programs.