You can belong at St. Mark’s simply by showing up, worshiping, and participating in the life of the church – and we encourage you to do that! Belonging at St. Mark’s means that this is the Christian faith community in which you want to encounter the one, true, and living God in the person of our ascended Jesus Christ. Belonging generally includes receiving the monthly newsletter and other St. Mark’s communications; being regular in your worship, attendance, and participation in our activities; and working, praying, and giving for the spread of Christ’s message of hope and love to all.
Baptism is the entry point into becoming part of the Body of Christ, the Church. If you have already been baptized and want to make a profession of faith as an adult or a more formal affiliation with St. Mark’s and the Episcopal Church, St. Mark’s offers instruction leading toward confirmation, reception, or reaffirmation (depending on the Christian tradition from which you have come) by the Bishop at a service at the time of their visit to St. Mark’s, or regionally at another church.
To add your name to the mailing list; schedule a time for baptism; or learn more about confirmation, reception, or reaffirmation; please contact either of our priests, The Reverend Lorraine Dierick at 360-249-3816 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org), The Reverend Bonnie Campbell at 360-612-0205 (email: email@example.com), or The Reverend Gretchen Gunderson at 360-942-3450 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Our God is the loving and caring God who has created us and entrusted us with everything God has created. We don’t own the world, but we are stewards of what God has entrusted to us. As stewards of all that God has entrusted us with, we are obliged to give God an accounting of our lives, in terms of love for God and righteousness toward our neighbors, and a return to God of the fruits from all that God has given us, in terms of our time, talent, and treasure.
We are reminded again and again of all that God has done for us, and how, out of thankfulness for all that God has given us and done for us, we will want to give back to God a portion of what God has given us. Consider how God has blessed you and how you want to return thanks to God for those blessings. Think of what God has entrusted to you. Think of what God means to you. Think of what St. Mark’s means to you. And then prepare to give back to God through St. Mark’s the first fruits of your blessings by supporting Christ’s mission and ministry in and through this church.
Our shared giving is a major backing to the mission of St. Mark’s. Together we accomplish many things. The pledging of time, talent, and treasure gives the guidelines by which the life of our church community can be planned, and the needs of the church and the members can be met.
Some people ask, “How much should I give?” Only you can answer that. Only you know how much God has blessed you. Only you know of your other commitments. You are encouraged, however, to give back to God from all that God has entrusted to you. The Biblical minimum standard for giving is the tithe – or 10%. Some, however, find it helpful to consider a system of proportional giving – a percentage of one’s income or time that one increases each year. However you want to define income – gross income, net income after taxes, net disposable income – or time – waking hours, non-work hours, charitable time - is immaterial. The important thing is that you establish a level of giving that is helpful to you and your spiritual health and well-being.