Web Site Makeover

If you have been a regular visitor to our web site, you will have noticed some significant changes.

The St. Mark’s Communications committee has been working hard over the last several months to determine how to transition our web presence in much the same way as we work through the transition of finding a new rector. With the guidance of the very talented people on our committee, we have made some changes to the web site that we are very excited about.

First, we have changed the look of the web site with a brand new theme. We believe it is simpler while having greater impact.

We have also removed some very old and out of date content and modernized the menu bar in order to simplify navigation of the St. Mark’s web site. We hope this will make it easier for members and visitors alike to find the information you are seeking.

Another major change is that the first page you will see when you visit the St. Mark’s web site is the News page. This means that news about important happenings at St. Mark’s will be the first thing you see. We believe that this projects a more dynamic image of St. Mark’s for visitors to our web site who are looking for a new church home, or just a welcoming place for them to worship while they visit the Raleigh area.

We still have work to do as we fine tune the web site. So expect more changes.

If you have questions or comments about our modernized web site, contact our system administrator, David Both.


Stuart Hoke to lead September Parish Retreat

The Rev. Dr. Stuart Hoke will lead St. Mark’s in a Parish Retreat in early September. The retreat will begin with an evening session on Friday, 09 September from 7:00 to 9:00 and continue on Saturday morning from 9:30 to noon. Both sessions will be held in the Centrum, followed by a Saturday lunch provided by the Vestry in the CLC. Child care will be provided.

We all remember the sermons that Rev. Hoke inspired us with when visited St. Mark’s for three months in the Spring and Summer of 2014.

Local TV interviews Stuart Hoke
Local TV interviews Stuart Hoke

J2A Pilgrims return from Costa Rica

Three years of fundraising and preparation by our Journey to Adulthood youth group paid off in June with a trip to Costa Rica to volunteer at the Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary. Our young people quickly grasped their duties and performed them efficiently – which is not always the case with youth groups — and earned the respect of the Alturas staff. Many thanks go to their leaders Bill DuPre and Carroll Gaissert who accompanied them to Costa Rica.
This fall J2A will host a Sunday school session with a presentation in images and words of their Pilgrimage to Costa Rica.


Dear St. Mark’s Family,

Tonight our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of the violence in Orlando, and to the LGBT community, the innocent targets of hate.

At times like this, the church is a place of comfort and refuge. For those who wish to stand in solidarity with others seeking comfort and healing, there will be a vigil at Pullen Memorial tomorrow (Monday) evening. Here is the information from their Facebook page:

“Pullen Memorial Baptist Church will host a candlelight/prayer vigil Monday night at 7:00 pm to remember the victims of the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fl. Reverend Nancy Petty of Pullen Memorial, Imam Abdullah Antepli of Duke University, and Rabbi Larry Bach of Judea Reform Congregation in Durham will be among the speakers. We will stand in solidarity with one another believing always that love overcomes hate.”

I am ill-equipped to act as a spiritual leader in these moments; the Rev. John Wall has offered the following words of comfort, compliments of the Episcopal Church:

Compassionate God, Draw near to us in this time of sorrow and anguish, comfort those who mourn, strengthen those who are weary, encourage those in despair, and lead us all to fullness of life; through the same Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen


Virginia Cleary, Senior Warden

Learn about strategies for seeking a new rector – Sunday, June 12 at 9:30

There will be a meeting this Sunday, June 12 in which the Vestry will inform us about the strategies that we have available to us as we seek our next Rector. The Vestry will share with us the strategies outlined to them by the Canons and will take questions as time permits.

The meeting will be held at 9:30 AM in the Centrum.  This meeting is an important opportunity for us to keep informed of the process taking place at St. Mark’s as we search for a new Rector.

What: A meeting to learn about Rector search strategies  
Where:    The Centrum
Date: Sunday, June 12
Time: 9:30AM   


We look forward to seeing you there.
The Vestry

Rector Retires

Please note that Lorraine Ljunggren, our rector of 17 years has retired as of May 31, 2016. We wish her well in her future endeavors.

While we  search for a new rector, email sent to the rector’s email account will be handled in confidence by select members of the Vestry. Please be patient while we route your email to the person best able to respond.

Bishop’s Visitation on Sunday, May 29, 2016

We are delighted that on Sunday, May 29, 2016, we will welcome our Bishop Diocesan Pro Tempore, the Rt. Rev. Anne Hodges-Copple.  We will being our time with Bishop Anne with an open forum (or ‘time with the bishop) at 9:30 a.m. in the Centrum (our worship space).  Then, at our 10:30 a.m. service, we will celebrate the Sacramental Rite of Confirmation along with the Holy Eucharist.  We will also pray together a special liturgy bidding a pastoral farewell to our Third Rector, the Rev. Lorraine Ljunggren, who is retiring from full-time parish ministry.  Following the service we will enjoy a festive reception in the Community Life Center.  And, yes, our 8:30 a.m. service will convene as usual!  Blessings to all.

Holy Week Services at St. Mark’s, 2016

March 20 Palm Sunday – 8:30 a.m. & 10:30 a.m.

We gather in the Concourse at 8:30 a.m. & in the Memorial Garden at 10:30 a.m. for the Blessing of the Palms. We’ll process into the church for the special liturgy and Eucharist for Palm Sunday.

March 24 – Maundy Thursday – 7:30 p.m.

A special and moving experience – a night that recalls Jesus’ command to serve the world, the symbol of which is washing one another’s feet. and Jesus’ gift of the Eucharist. At the end of the service we strip the church in anticipation of the events of Good Friday.

March 25 – Good Friday – 12 Noon – The Proper Liturgy of Good Friday

We worship using the Proper Liturgy for Good Friday as found in The Book of Common Prayer. The readings for this evening include the narration of Jesus’ crucifixion. Truth be told, the road to the celebration of Easter becomes a reality because of the events of Good Friday. There is no short-cut.

March 25 – Good Friday – Tenebrae – 7:30 p.m.

Tenebrae is the Latin word for ‘darkness’ or ‘shadows.’ In a darkened church this service features the recitation of readings from the Lamentations of the Prophet Jeremiah, along with the chanting of psalms. A moving part of the service involves the extinguishing of a series of candles until only one candle remains, a symbol of the Lord Jesus. That last light is hidden for a time but returns to proclaim the victory of the Resurrection.

March 26 – Holy Saturday – 9:30 a.m.

Our worship is brief but intentionally sets aside a time of waiting, commemorating the time Jesus’ body rests in the tomb. This is the one day of the year in the Episcopal Church we are not permitted to celebrate the Holy Eucharist. A meditation on the Gospel is offered.

March 26 – Baptism Instruction – 10:30 a.m.

in the Centrum (our worship space)

March 26 – A Vigil of Lessons and Psalms – 7:30 p.m.

We will gather on Easter Eve participating in a Vigil of Lessons from the Hebrew Bible, Psalms, and Canticles. The church will be darkened save for individual candles and illumination for the readings from scripture. We will be invited to depart in silence in the same silences which marked the close of previous services in Holy Week as we await the new life that is Easter.

March 27 – Easter Day

8:30 a.m. we’ll begin in the Memorial Garden to greet the Sunday of the Resurrection by lighting a fire from which our Paschal Candle (Christ Candle) will be lit and processed into the church. Elements of the Easter Vigil will be included followed by the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. A continental breakfast will follow in the Concourse (the broad hallway).

10:15 a.m. We’ll gather with the children in the Memorial Garden for some prayers to welcome Easter after which we’ll process into the church following the Paschal Candle to begin the 10:30 service.

10:30 a.m. We will have a grand procession following the Paschal Candle, we’ll celebrate the sacrament of Holy Baptism and Holy Eucharist.

Following the 10:30 service we’ll have an Egg Hunt for children and a Covered Dish Easter Brunch for all (be sure to sign up to bring a dish to share).

Child Care is available on Palm Sunday and Easter Day beginning at 9:15 a.m.

Lenten Programs on Wednesdays, March 2016

Join us on Wednesdays, either at 12 noon or at 6 p.m., for our Lenten Programs.  We meet in St. Mark’s Community Life Center for a presentation and conversation.  The evening program also includes a “Star Wars” themed series for young ones of Godly Play ages.  Before each program we enjoy homemade soup, bread, and cheese.  See you there… or rather…see you here.