St. Augustine’s Chamber Singers at St. Mark’s

Last Sunday our Centrum rang with the voices of the St. Augustine’s Chamber Singers. It was also the first Sunday service for our new director music, Marcia Klinder-Badgley (she was at our Ash Wednesday service). The Rev. Nita Byrd was our guest preacher. A memorable day, with contributions from so many talents.

God and Empire: Adult class delves into Hebrew Scriptures

God and Empire I: Tension in the Hebrew Scriptures
9:30 am Sunday, March 17
  In this first of a four-part series, we will look at the two main streams of theology that dominate the Hebrew scriptures.
  Oversimplified, the Law and the Prophets share a concern for the well-being of the people of Israel that flows directly from God, while the Writings seem more concerned with a top-down social model in which the king is the font from which God’s blessings flow.
  We will look at the influence of Egypt and Mesopotamia on the idea of Royal Jerusalem as the center of religious life and the critiques of that model found elsewhere in the first testament.

‘Living Into God’s Dream’ is Saturday

While the dream of a “post-racial” America remains unfulfilled, the struggle against racism continues. 
  Living Into God’s Dream is a report from the front, combining personal stories and theoretical and theological reflection with examples of the work of dismantling racism and methods for creating the much-needed “safe space” for dialogue on race to occur. Its aim is to demonstrate the ways in which a new conversation on race can be forged.
  Dr. Connie Holmes will facilitate a workshop examining the movements of white privilege to white supremacy, understanding the rational for reparations for slavery, developing cultural humility and appreciating the limits of solidarity while yet becoming conscious allies.

Lunch included; must RSVP
Living Into God’s Dream, led by Dr. Connie Holmes, is Saturday, March 9, 10 am to 3 pm.
It includes lunch.

We welcome our new minister of music

St. Mark’s has a new music minister. Marcia Klinder-Badgley will start with us on Ash Wednesday.
  She writes:
  “From performing on concert stages throughout the United States, Europe, Scandinavia and Asia to lecturing college students as an instructor of humanities/religion/music to serving as a chef at restaurants, cafes and wine bars to serving in music ministry in the Midwest, west and east coasts … what incredible plans God has for us on this Earthly journey!
  “With undergraduate and graduate performance degrees from Luther College and Arizona State University, I have been privileged to serve as director of music ministry, director of worship and arts, and minister of music within Lutheran, Presbyterian, and Episcopal churches.
  “It is with great excitement that I join the staff of St. Mark’s and look forward to meeting you all!”
  Big thanks to Beth Frazier and Robert Burton for stepping in during our long period without a permanent music minister.

Lenten study begins March 13

How can we begin to look at racism beyond simply bemoaning the burden placed upon the backs of people of color but the work that whites must make conscious to face and overcome their complicity in it?
  This year, our Lenten Study series will feature the critical work White Fragility by Robin Deangelo.  
  Deangelo writes: “White people in the U.S. live in a racially insular social environment. This insulation builds our expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering our stamina for enduring racial stress. I term this lack of racial stamina “White Fragility.” White Fragility is a state in which even a minimal challenge to the white position becomes intolerable, triggering defensive responses. These responses reinstate white racial equilibrium and maintain white control. Those who see themselves as ‘the choir’ can be particularly challenging, for we tend to focus on ‘evidence of our advancement’ rather than reach for humility and continually grapple with how to engage in intentional action.”

6:45 Light meal

7:30 Presentation
 and discussion    

8:50 Compline

This Sunday, March 10, St. Aug’s Chamber Singers perform

You will want to be at St. Mark’s on Sunday, March 10, when our parish will host the Chamber Singers from Saint Augustine’s University.
  The group will perform sacred music at our 10:30 service on the First Sunday in Lent along with their chaplain, the Rev. Nita Byrd, who will preach.
  St. Aug’s is one of the few remaining HBCUs (Historic Black Colleges and Universities) founded by the Episcopal Church.
  To celebrate the hard work that their president, faculty, staff and students performed in overcoming some of the university’s recent challenges, our plate offering will be in support of St. Aug’s.

A pancake party for Shrove Tuesday

  Before we hunker down for Lent, let yourself go at our Shrove Tuesday Mardi Gras pancake supper and celebration.
  Join us Tuesday, March 5, 6:30 to 7:45 pm, in our Community Life Center.
  It’s the same great prices and food (gluten-free and vegetarian options available). Join us for fun and music. Wear your colorful attire!
  Tickets will be on sale soon. It’s $5 per person and $20 per family. 
  Contact Jane Lambert if you have questions or want to help!
  On Sunday, March 3, our Rite 13 and Journey to Adulthood youth groups will stay after church for lunch and to decorate.

Ash Wednesday 7:30 pm March 6

  We begin this season with the Imposition of Ashes: A sign of our mortality and a time to begin the
holy work of self-examination and repentance by prayer fasting and self-denial and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word.

Wednesday night study-series for Lent

White Fragility

6:45 Light meal

7:30 Presentation
and discussion    

8:50 Compline

How can we begin to look at racism beyond simply bemoaning the burden placed upon the backs of people of color but the work that whites must make conscious in order to face and overcome their complicity in it?  
  This year, our Lenten Study series will feature the critical work White Fragility by Robin Diangelo.  
  Diangelo writes: “White people in the U.S. live in a racially insular social environment. This insulation builds our expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering our stamina for enduring racial stress. I term this lack of racial stamina “White Fragility.” White Fragility is a state in which even a minimal challenge to the white position becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive responses. These responses function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and maintain white control. Those who see themselves as “the choir” can be particularly challenging, for we tend to focus on “evidence of our advancement” rather than reach for humility and continually grapple with how to engage in intentional action.”  Our sessions will begin with a light meal and move to a series of presentations involving media and group discussions. Jessie Maeck is coordinating transportation for those who have difficulty driving at night. You may order the book online and use it as a Lenten devotional and study-companion. Several copies are available in the church office for $10; scholarships are available; please see Father Tyrone.

A sober look at racism: Living Into God’s Dream

  While the dream of a “post-racial” America remains unfulfilled, the struggle against racism continues. 
  Living Into God’s Dream is a report from the front, combining personal stories and theoretical and theological reflection with examples of the work of dismantling racism and methods for creating the much-needed “safe space” for dialogue on race to occur. Its aim is to demonstrate the ways in which a new conversation on race can be forged.
  Dr. Connie Holmes will facilitate a workshop examining the movements of white privilege to white supremacy, understanding the rational for reparations for slavery, developing cultural humility and appreciating the limits of solidarity while yet becoming conscious allies.
  This workshop includes lunch, but an RSVP is required.  Prior reading of the book is not essential, but participants should have a copy of the book to participate fully in the workshop.  A few copies are on sale for $15 in the St. Mark’s office or by email at:
jmclaurin@stmarks-ral.org .
  You may also order it online