‘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

Artist from Cameroon to speak at St. Mark’s on Sunday, Feb. 10

  Jean Michel Dissake, an artist from Cameroon, will be our guest at 9:30 am Sunday, Feb. 10, in our Community Life Center.
We will have a “meet and greet” session with the artist beginning at 9 am.

Dissake will also give a public talk at the Gregg Museum at N.C. State University, along with students from NCSU’s Arts Village on Feb. 14 at 6 pm.
  Jean Michel is an inspiring artist from Yaounde, Cameroon, who creates sculptures from found and recycled materials. The concepts his art conveys are universal messages of unity, love, reconnecting with nature and balance between nature and technology. He wrote and is directing a performance/ceremony called The Rebirth of Nature. A documentary film is being made about Jean Michel and The Rebirth of Nature.

  He works in his studio, Mudiki Free Laboratory of Visual Arts, in Yaounde, and teaches interns and students from University of Yaounde.

  Africa News calls Jean Michel’s art “… new sculptural forms and an ecological discourse.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKXByMWtPDc

Racial Reconciliation Book Group to meet Feb. 10, 24

  On Feb 10 and Feb. 24 our Racial Reconciliation Book Group will discuss Living Into God’s Dream: Dismantling Racism in America, edited by Catherine Meeks.  
  Sessions are set for 12:15 to 1:30 pm in CLC 5. Childcare is available.  
  These sessions will be in preparation for our Saturday, March 9, Lenten workshop on Living Into God’s Dream, to be led by Dr. Connie Holmes.
  Mary Beth Murphy will sell discounted copies ($15) at church this Sunday, Feb.3.
  On Feb 10 we discuss the Introduction plus essays 1 through 3, pp. 1-50; the Feb. 24 discussion covers essays 4 through 6, pages 51 through 105

  Saturday, March 9 workshop: 10 am to 3 pm. Lenten workshop on Living Into God’s Dream, to be led by Dr. Connie Holmes.  
  Includes lunch. Please RSVP to the church office. Attendance at book group discussions is not required.
  For more information, contact Georgia McEwan, Rhonda Moody, or Jessie Maeck.