Episcopal 101 concludes this week, Sunday, September 25

Our two-part Christian Education series, Episcopal 101, facilitated by John Monahan, concludes this week. Whether you are a newcomer to St Mark’s or a long-time member with unanswered questions, join us in CLC-4 at 9:30AM  for a discussion of the foundations of our faith. We will discuss topics such as what we believe, a brief history of the church, and the Book of Common Prayer.

‘Blessing of the Animals’ is Oct. 1 at St. Mark’s

St. Mark’s holds its annual ‘Blessing of the Animals’ Saturday, Oct. 1, at 10:30 a.m.
The service is in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi’s love for all creatures. Francis, whose feast day is Oct. 4, loved the larks flying about his hilltop town. He and his early brothers, staying in a small hovel, allowed themselves to be displaced by a donkey.
Francis wrote a Canticle of the Creatures, an ode to God’s living things. “All praise to you, Oh Lord, for all these brother and sister creatures.”
Please bring your furry, feathered or finned friends for this happy occasion. They should be on leashes, in carriers, in cages or in bowls.



Join us Friday for a Godly Play workshop

Have you ever wanted to know what Godly Play is all about? Boy, do we have the workshop for you!
Parents, grandparents, children ages 3 to 12 and all adults who are interested are welcomed to come Friday, Sept. 23, from 6 to 9 p.m., share dinner and participate in a fun-filled workshop with the Rev. Dick Gibson, Godly Play trainer from Clover, S.C. Childcare will be provided for kids younger than 3. Sign up and let us know how many to expect and if childcare is needed.
Those people interested in completing the workshop and becoming leaders in our Godly Play program will also come on Saturday, Sept. 24, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; lunch provided.
Godly Play Workshop
Friday, Sept. 23, 6 to 9 p.m. Parents and children are invited
Saturday, Sept. 24, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., primarily for Godly Play teachers
Questions? Contact Margaret Thurston at 919-844-0200

Episcopal 101 – This Sunday, September 18, at 9:00 AM

Our Christian Education year begins this week with the first of a two-part series, Episcopal 101, facilitated by John Monahan. Whether you are a newcomer to St Mark’s or a long-time member with unanswered questions, join us in CLC-4 at 9:30 AM for a discussion of the foundations of our faith. We will discuss topics such as what we believe, a brief history of the church, and the Book of Common Prayer.

Christian Education year kicks off

This is a great week to visit St. Mark’s. Our lively Christian Education program begins this Sunday with a light breakfast at 9 a.m. Classes for children, youth and adults begin at 9:30.

Godly Play classes for preschool through second grades and third through sixth grade
  Our children will hear the story of the Circle of the Church Year and then make their own church year circles. Parents and any adults who are interested can come.
Godly Play is Montessori-based Christian education and spiritual direction for children.

  Youth are on a Journey to Adulthood
  Youth programs at St. Mark’s focus on building relationships, seeking the holy and searching for answers to tough questions. We take seriously the need to deal with what is real for young people, to honor their questions, and to assure them that they are real people with real, valid, and authentic experiences. To accomplish this, we use the Journey to Adulthood curriculum, a program that balances Bible study, prayer, and both serious and playful activities to nurture the whole person during the passage from childhood to adulthood.
This program is based on two key concepts:

  • Manhood and Womanhood are gifts from God.
  • Adulthood must be earned.

Young people in Rite 13 (grades 7 and 8) and in high school will meet.

Class for adults: Episcopal 101
Whether you are a newcomer to St Mark’s or a long-time member, come for a discussion of the foundations of our faith.
Topics include what we believe, a brief history of the Episcopal church, and the Book of Common Prayer.
This is the first of two parts led by John Monahan.

 For a complete look at what’s going on at St. Mark’s this week, check our weekly newsletter, The Messenger. Click on the “About Us” link at top left, then click on “The Messenger.”


National award recognizes Tom Vitaglione’s life’s work

Congratulations to Tom Vitaglione, a long-time member of St. Mark’s! Tom has been honored by the American Academy of Pediatrics as the national winner this year of the Child Advocacy Award. This an honor that is richly deserved.


Tom has long been an advocate for children, in his time with the Peace Corps in Malawi, in his career at the N.C. Division of Maternal and Child Health and now at NC Child.

During his time with the state, Tom helped develop the Child Health Insurance Program and helped implement the graduated license program for teens and the federal requirements for educating children with special needs. Tom also worked toward ending corporal punishment in N.C. public schools. Tom helped found and served on the NC Child Fatality Task Force.

After his retirement from the state in 2000, he began working with NC Child. Tom also volunteers as a reading tutor and, along with his wife, Eve, volunteers at the Natural Science Museum.

Read more about Tom Vitaglione at: www.newsobserver.com/news/local/counties/wake-county/article98326177.html

Parish Area Care groups: Fellowship, fun and support in times of need

As the Parish Life Commission is strengthening and revitalizing Parish Area Care groups, people may be asking what they are.
Here is the reminder for old-timers and answer for questioners.
Parish Area Care at St. Mark’s reaches out to all members of the congregation and helps them to grow in awareness that they are loved and cared about. PAC members are present to one another through life transitions, giving and receiving love and support. Friendships develop and members become aware of each other’s special needs.
A Parish Area Care Group is composed of families and individuals from a geographical location. Everyone is in a PAC group. Although the gatherings are social in nature, the primary purpose of a PAC is “to respond in love to the needs of our neighbors.” It does not work to accomplish other tasks within the church. Participation in the activities of the group is voluntary.
Every PAC is long-term. If the group becomes too large, it can divide; or if too small, it may combine with another PAC.
Each PAC decides on its own activities and how often it will meet. Most groups find that six-week intervals work out well. The favorite activity is a potluck meal at one another’s homes. However, groups are encouraged to try out new ideas, e.g. a picnic in a park or even a trip to the beach. The Community Life Center is also available for meetings. Children are welcomed. If you have relatives, friends, or neighbors who are looking for a church home, bring them along.

Monday Night Bible Study examines Matthew

This fall, the Monday Night Bible Study Group invites you to join us as we continue our study of the Gospel According to Matthew, which we began in January. Because Matthew is so rich with engaging anecdotes, thought-provoking paradoxes and inspirations that seem so relevant to our own tumultuous present days, we decided as a group to “take our sweet time” with this Gospel.

Our next class is Sept. 26. If you are interested in joining us at this midway point through our journey through Matthew (or at any point during the fall), know that we welcome newcomers and the opportunity they give us to revisit earlier material. All you will need is a Bible (any translation will do – in fact, the more the merrier, as we enjoy comparing texts!) and relevant passages from our supplementary text “Daily Life in the New Testament” by James W. Ermatinger will be provided by the facilitator, David Carter.

For the time being, at least, we will continue to schedule our meetings biweekly on alternate Monday evenings at the Community Life Center, from 7 to 9 p.m., with a small break at 7:45. As the fall progresses, we may decide as a group to meet at the home of two of our longtime study members, and if that happens due notice will be given via an announcement in The Messenger.

Please feel free to join us! As ever, our study will be a text-led, discussion-based forum that welcomes all perspectives.