Prayers Surround 199th Annual Convention

Our prayers are surrounding and supporting the bishops, delegates, clergy, and guests attending the 199th Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina.  Convention meets Nov. 21-22, 2014.  Very special guests this year will include the Rt. Revd. Metlhayotlhe Beleme, the fifth Bishop of Botswana, and his wife Mma. Bishop Thapelo Beleme.  The Diocese of Botswana is one of two companion dioceses of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina.  A warm welcome to our guests and may God bless the ministries of our peoples in the years to come.

Hear Ye, Hear Ye — Nov. 9, 2014 Special Sunday Schedule

Greetings…. Combined Worship Service – Annual Meeting – “Sunday Dinner” coming.  On Sunday, November 9, 2014, we will combine our two regular services (8:30 & 10:30) in one service at 9:30 a.m.   This will bring our entire church together for a celebration of the Holy Eucharist followed immediately by our Parish Annual Meeting.  This meeting will take place in the church so that we can take full advantage of our hearing loop.  We hope our Youth will participate in the meeting.  The Nursery will be open for children ages 3 and younger while children ages 4-10 may participate in a special activity in the Community Life Center.  An Annual Meeting includes election of Vestry members, a report on our fall Stewardship efforts, an overview of current finances, reports from some of our Ministry Teams, and any updates available on our Mennonite Peace Process.  The “Sunday Dinner” which follows the meeting is a covered dish event – sign-up posters are on doors outside our worship space.  This event is for all members of our long-time and newer households!  Youth will be servers — tip jars will be available with proceeds going to the Pilgrimage Fund for our young people.  Now is the time to mark calendars for Nov. 9, 2014!

Youth Pilgrimage Presentation

On Sunday, October 26, 2014 the AF3/J2A Youth Group will make the second of two presentations on their 2014 Pilgrimage to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.  Their first presentation was excellent.  This Sunday the youth will tell their own stories of the ways in which the experience have touched their lives.  Join us at 9:30 a.m. in the Community Life Center between our 8:30 & 10:30 a.m. services of Holy Eucharist.

An Interfaith Blessing of the Animals, Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 10 a.m.

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church will host an Interfaith Blessing of the Animals on Saturday, October 11, 2014, at 10 a.m. in the church’s courtyard (follow the driveways to park around back, 1725 N. New Hope Road, Raleigh, NC ) This event honors the furried, feathered, and even finned members of the created order.  Animals of different varieties are welcome.  To keep our animal (and human) friends safe, please have dogs on leashes, cats in carriers, hamsters-bunnies-birds-etc. in their cages, horses haltered or bridled, turtles in their bowls.  Be sure to invite your friends and neighbors. Service animals (civilian and military) are very welcome to come with their humans.  Donations will be accepted to benefit the Wake County Animal Shelter.

24th Annual Farmerworker Festival – Sep. 21, 2014

The 24th Annual Farmworker Festival will be held Sunday, September 21, 2014, from Noon – 6 p.m. at 2989 Easy Street, Dunn, NC, following a celebration of the Holy Eucharist at 11:30 a.m.   The Festival honors Farmworkers’ contribution to North Carolina.  Youth and adults from around our Diocese will be part of the Festival working alongside and on behalf of the Farmworkers and their families.  Youth and adults from St. Mark’s are planning to participate.  For more information about the Festival in general call (910) 567-6917 or go to www.efwm.org   In the meantime, let us keep in our prayers the women and men and children who give so much of who they are to bring food to the tables of those of us living in North Carolina and beyond.

Launch of New Education/Formation Program Year

On Sunday, September 7th, at both services we Commissioned those who will lead/teach/facilitate programs in education and formation for the coming year.  Also on September 7th we hosted an Open House at 9:00 a.m. for children, youth, and their families.  Then at 9:30 a.m. our fall program classes began for all ages.  Watch for coming additions to this website’s Christian Education page.  Our e-Blue Book will spell out offerings for each Sunday for children, youth, and adults.  Join us each week as we explore and strengthen our faith.

On another note, this year’s Adult Bible Study is changing their time-line.  They will meet every-other-Monday beginning September 15th in CLC-4 (Community Life Center, Room 4) from 7-8:30 p.m.  This fall’s study will follow the Episcopal version of the Revised Common Lectionary.  Feel free to join in.

Wear red for Pentecost!

Enjoy a picnic and potluck Sunday

St. Mark’s annual Pentecost Picnic will be held this Sunday, June 8, after the 10:30 worship service.

Burgers, dogs (with vegetarian options for both) and trimmings will be provided; just bring a side or dessert and a good appetite. Plans are final for a fun event with food, fellowship and kids’ activities. If you have not signed up please e-mail Meta Wilson or Dave Crum with your attendee figures. It’s a great excuse to wear the loudest red clothes you have!

We need cooks and grills for the picnic. Contact Dave Crum or Meta Wilson if you can help.

Phone and Internet upgrade delayed until Tuesday June 10

The installation of our new telephone and Internet service has been delayed until the morning of Tuesday, June 10.

The installation is scheduled to begin between 8AM and noon on that day.

There will be outages of all of our services during parts of that time. This includes the church phones and the web and email services. We hope these outages will be short but as with all technical endeavors much can go wrong.

Remember that our telephone numbers, email addresses and web site will remain the same. Only our service provider is changing. You do not need to change anything.

The purpose of this change is to improve out Internet speeds, especially the speed with which our web pages loaded when you visit our web site, and to save St. Marks money on our phone and Internet service every month. Some folks have asked me about installation costs and how much that will offset our projected savings; we were able to take advantage of a free installation promotion that Time Warner was offering so the installation will not cost St. Mark’s anything.

Please contact me at dboth@stmarks-ral.org if you have any questions.

Thank you for your patience as we continue to improve our services.

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David P. Both, RHCESystem Administrator
St. Marks Episcopal Church
Raleigh, NC
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Telephone and Internet upgrade Thursday, June 5; Outages expected

This coming Thursday, June 5, Time Warner will complete the installation of the new phone lines and our new Internet connection. This is scheduled to begin between 8AM and noon on that day.

There will be outages of all of our services during parts of that time. This includes the church phones and the web and email services. We hope these outages will be short but as with all technical endeavors much can go wrong.

Remember that our telephone numbers, email addresses and web site will remain the same. Only our service provider is changing. You do not need to change anything.

The purpose of this change is to improve out Internet speeds, especially the speed with which our web pages loaded when you visit our web site, and to save St. Marks money on our phone and Internet service every month. Some folks have asked me about installation costs and how much that will offset our projected savings; we were able to take advantage of a free installation promotion that Time Warner was offering so the installation will not cost St. Mark’s anything.

Please contact me at dboth@stmarks-ral.org if you have any questions.

Thank you for your patience as we continue to improve our services.

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David P. Both, RHCESystem Administrator
St. Marks Episcopal Church
Raleigh, NC
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Telephone and Internet upgrade at St. Mark’s

We will be migrating both our Internet and telephone service from AT&T to Time Warner Business Class (TWBC). TWBC will provide us with faster upload speeds than any other service provider is able and at a lower price as well.

The upload speed is what really needs to be improved at St. Mark’s as that is the speed at which our server can send you the contents of a web page. This has been severely limited with AT&T, our current provider, and will be increased by a factor of between 6x and 8x.

The telephones, web site and email will not be impacted and should not be disturbed during the installation of the physical cable connections until they have been extended into the furnace room. At that time our telephone PBX will be connected to the TWCBC cable, and we will also move to the new TWBC Internet connection.

The telephone system should be down for an hour or so as the connections are transferred and then tested. We will have the same telephone numbers as we always have.

The Internet connection is easy and fast to swap, so we won’t “technically” be down for long, but we will get new a IP Address so I will have to change that at our Name Service registrar. That will take anywhere from 10 minutes to a few hours to propagate throughout the entire Internet. If you send an email, it will be held at your ISP’s outbound email server until that server can communicate with ours and it will then be sent.

We do not yet have from Time Warner a date when this work will take place. We will let you know as soon as we do.

Please, if you have any questions, address them to me at sysadmin@stmarks-ral.org and I will answer them as best I can.

Thanks.

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David P. Both, RHCE
System Administrator
sysadmin@stmarks-ral.org
St. Marks Episcopal Church
Raleigh, NC
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April 28, 2014 New Hope Road Alliance Meets

On Monday, April 28, 2014, lay and ordained leaders from among the eight faith communities comprising the New Hope Road Alliance will gather for a lunch meeting at St. Mary’s Coptic Church.  Topics on the agenda will include the New Hope Road Community Garden, the relationship with Wilburn Elementary School, and other possible outreach projects.  A picnic is in the planning stages to be held in early August so that many more members of the various faith communities can build relationships.  More information will be published as details are determined.

St. Mark’s Installs Hearing Loop

We recently caught up with many churches, concert halls, and other buildings in Great Britain and Europe — we are now an even more accessible and welcoming community than we were last Sunday. Thanks to the research and generosity of members here in St. Mark’s along with a local audiologist, we now have what is called a Hearing Loop.“ See the American Hearing Loop web site for details.

Induction loop systems transmit magnetic energy directly to hearing aids fitted with telecoils, T-coils.” NewHearingLoopLogoBlueSmall_2011 It is technology which also enables those who have cochlear implant with those settings to hear what comes through our sound system with amazing clarity. It isn’t about volume, though that is important – it’s about clarity.

An individual from the Hearing Loss Association of North Carolina has already notified us that we are listed on their website, that we are a welcoming location and up and running. We are also listed on a website which helps people locate churches and venues with hearing assistance. Social media does work well sometimes!

The commitment to install something like a Hearing Loop reflects who we are as a community of faith on our very best days. Because it is an outward, and sort of visible, sign that we care about one another whatever our physical abilities. Because it reflects what we mean when we say, “Our purpose is to help each other experience and worship God, openly share the Good News of Jesus Christ, and respond in love to the needs of our neighbor.”

A phrase kept coming to mind this week during the installation process: “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation…everything has become new,” which comes from the Second Letter to the Church in Corinth. That reading and the other ones today are about loving one another and loving God – about reconciliation – about we as human beings finding our way to or back to a good and healthy relationship with God. The readings are about our human frailty and, at a deeper level, about our desire to know and be known by God.

—From a Sermon, March 10, 2013, Lorraine Ljunggren

New Look for St. Mark’s Web Site

March is a month of renewal. This month flowers are already blooming; we will “spring forward” into Daylight Savings Time; we will celebrate Easter and the Resurrection; and Spring will arrive. Very soon we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Raleigh, North Carolina.

In another act of renewal, your computer and network administrative team at St. Marks has been working with an ad hoc committee of interested folks in the Parish to redesign our web site. Our primary objectives, in no particular order, are:

  • Create a clean look that will be harmonious with the Diocese and other Episcopal churches in the area while emphasizing the unique aspects of St. Marks and our people.
  • Highlight our many mission activities.
  • Be easy to read for visually impaired visitors to the web site.
  • Attract visitors and encourage them to become members.
  • Add a slide show.
  • Provide easy consistent navigation between pages.

This web site is a result of that work.

Contact me if you have any questions, suggestions, or comments about this web site.

David Both – sysadmin@stmarks-ral.org