A Prayer for Thanksgiving Day

Gracious God, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them.  Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.  (Adapted from The Book of Common Prayer 1979)  


Sunday, November 1, 2015 – Viewing the Installation of the Episcopal Church’s Presiding Bishop

On November 1, 2015, following our 10:30 a.m. service, our Memorial Garden Committee will host Community Time.  Then at 12 noon we will live-stream the Installation of Bishop Michael Bruce Curry as 27th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.  Events will be broadcast from the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, DC.   Feel free to bring a bag lunch as beverages will be available.  This is a momentous event in the history of our church as our Bishop Diocesan transitions to serving the larger Episcopal Church.  Come and celebrate.

Guest from Wake Habitat for Humanity, Sun., Oct. 25, 2015

On Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015, at 9:30 a.m. St. Mark’s, Raleigh, will welcome as a special guest speaker Rick Beech of Wake County Habitat for Humanity. Rick’s visit in part of the foundation on which we will participate with other Episcopal churches and entities in Episcopal Build 2016. At Community Time following our 10:30 a.m. service we will also welcome a special guest Habitat homeowner. Hope to see you there (here!).

October 18, 2015, at 9:30 a.m., St. Mark’s Welcomes Special Guest Speaker

The Episcopal Farmworker Ministry (EFwM), a joint ministry between the Diocese of East Carolina and North Carolina, has been serving farmworkers in Johnston, Harnett and Sampson Counties in eastern North Carolina for nearly three decades. EFwM ministers to 3,500 farmworkers each growing season by providing Spanish-language sacramental ministries and Eucharist celebrations. Some of the programmatic ministries include immigration assistance; transportation services; food, clothing and toiletry kit collection and distribution; labor camp visits; counseling; and English as a Second Language (ESL classes), as well as a visitors program for church, community and school groups. No one is denied services based on ability to pay. Come, learn more about this important ministry, and welcome our guest speaker from EfwM, Dr. Juan Carbana, Interim Director.  Join us in our Community Life Center between the 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. services.

Bringing the Whole of Who We Are

In the Episcopal Church we get teased about ‘Episcopal aerobics.’  That’s because in our worship services we bring the whole of who we are — embodied creatures, made in the image of God.  We stand…we sit…we kneel and, at St. Mark’s, we walk forward and form a circle to receive communion.  We speak, we sing, we are silent.  We are younger and older and all in between.  We use words ancient and contemporary.  We seek and we wonder, we muse and we ask.  Bring the whole of who you are to be with us Sundays at 8:30 or 10:30 a.m. for services and at 9:30 a.m. for intellectual and spiritual inquiry.

Worship Returns to Main Church

Good news to share…. as of Sunday, August 2, 2015, we resumed holding Sunday worship services in the Centrum, our regular worship space.  We look forward to seeing everyone in between and at the end of summer travels.  Regular services at 8:30 and 10:30 a.m.   Sunday School resumes in September.

Services continue in Community Life Center

Our 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. Sunday services at St. Mark’s continue to be held in our Community Life Center.  We hope that our air conditioning replacement will be completed by the end of July.  As soon as completed, we’ll move back into our regular worship space, the Centrum.   See the website of Yavneh, A Jewish Renewal Community, which nests at St. Mark’s, for those service times and locations in July, www.yavneh-raleigh.org   Summer blessings to one and all.

Update on Centrum A/C problems

This very important message is from our hard-working Junior Warden, Lou Aiello:

Those of you who tried to attend church last week know that the Centrum A/C was out and that we met instead in the CLC.

I met with a representative of Carolina Commercial on Friday and have a meeting with a representative of Newcomb on Monday. Based on my Friday meeting and a conversation I had with the Newcomb representative, we will replace not only the exterior A/C unit, but also the air handling equipment in the furnace room. This is due to the current EPA requirements that no longer permit the use of the old R-22 refrigerant.

When the Vestry first became aware of this problem, and indeed even before this occurred, as Robin Maycock, RPaul Smith, David Both and I at various times looked at our physical plant, we knew that we would have to replace this unit soon as it is about 30 years old. We also thought that it might be necessary to take down the wall between the furnace room and the north entryway to facilitate that due to the size of the air handler. Fortunately that will not be necessary as the old and new units can be disassembled and the new one reassembled in the furnace room. Carolina Commercial has indicated that they have done this at other churches in the past and we will determine whether Newcomb has also.

In my walk-through Friday, it was determined that there is also a need to trim the tree overhangs around the A/C unit to create a clear vertical space so that a crane can be used to remove the old unit and drop in the new one.

We anticipate that we will be without A/C in the Centrum for about 4 weeks. So please plan to attend services in the CLC until this work is completed. The current estimate for replacing the A/C unit and air handler for the Centrum is subject to change but the working number for now is $28,000.00.

Please know that for 18 months, we, the Vestry, especially Lou Aiello the Junior Warden, and Robin Maycock, who is also responsible for our physical plant, have been taking inventory of our property and buildings and trying to assess the status of our aging infrastructure. Even before this failure occurred, we had already obtained a ball-park estimate from the Newcomb representative in anticipation of replacing this Centrum A/C unit before it failed due to its age. Unfortunately we were not able to anticipate just how soon this A/C unit would fail.

As a result of our continuing assessment, we do anticipate the potential need to update other portions of our infrastructure in the relatively near future. We will communicate those needs as we identify the specifics.

Fortunately the A/C for the St. Mark’s office spaces is now working after having refrigerant added last week. This was necessary because the recent repairs to replace the stolen copper tubing from this unit did not account for the extra length of the tubing on our unit compared to other, similar installations. As a result the A/C unit for the office spaces, which is separate from that for the Centrum, was unable to cool sufficiently during the recent heat wave.

Please contact Lou Aiello or other members of your Vestry if you have questions, and look for articles in the Messenger regarding progress on this project.

May 24, 2015 — The Feast of Pentecost

At our 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. services on May 24, 2015, we will celebrate the Feast of Pentecost, what is known as ‘the birthday of the church.’  This date in the church’s calendar is always 50 days after Easter and, as recounted in the Acts of the Apostles, commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the women and men who first followed Jesus.  It is a custom of the church to wear red — the color associated with ‘the tongues as of fire’ which rested on each person receiving the Holy Spirit.   Our table fellowship will continue following the 10:30 a.m. service in the form of our Pentecost Picnic.  We’re told to keep an eye out — that the rector’s red ‘Pentecost Polo’ hightops will make their annual appearance!  We also hope members and guests will consider wearing red hats this year in memory of a long time member whose festive hat adorned with red would appear on Pentecost.

May 17, 2015 – Honoring Graduates and our Christian Ed Leaders

On Sunday, May 17th, we honored the members and family members of St. Mark’s who are graduating from high schools, tech schools, colleges, and graduate schools.   We also gave sincere thanks to those who served this year, and for mulitiple years, in our Godly Play, Journey to Adulthood, and Adult Christian Education/Formation Programs.  Joy!

Garth Hewitt in Concert – Monday, May 4, 2015, at 7:30 p.m.

Join us Monday evening when we welcome back Garth Hewitt for a multi-media production of Songs, Stories, and Photographs.  This event is presented by the Coalition for Peace with Jusice and co-sponsored by St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and other area faith communities.  Garth is committed to working for peace and justice worldwide.  Among the songs he will perform on Monday evening is “I Didn’t Speak-Up.”  The song is dedicated to the memory of three young Muslim humanitarians Deah Barakat, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, and Razan Abu-Salha, all of whom worked for justice in our surrounding communities as well as abroad.  Suggested donation is $10 – $20; Youth free.  Garth’s CD’s and most recent book will also be available.  Come join us for this inspiring witness.

Nominees for the 27th Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church are announced.

The following four bishops are nominated for the 27th Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church.

Thomas Breidenthal SOUTHERN OHIO
There may well be additional nominees eligible for the slate.  Those names are due by May 15, 2015.   In July at General Convention the House of Bishops will elect a bishop for this important office.  The House of Deputies, made up of clergy and lay deputies, will then be asked to Consent to the Election.  If both Houses find themselves led by the Spirit to agree, we will then have the person who will serve as our next P.B.

Special Topic and Special Guest Sunday Morning 4/26/15

How Climate Change is a Religious Issue” will be the subject of a talk by Dr. Stephen Jurovics at both our 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. services on April 26, 2015, four days after the 45th Earth Day.  Stephen will identify several environmental teachings in the Old Testament and describe their relationship to the damaging effects on the earth that result from emissions of greenhouse gases. He will also illustrate how the teaching “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39) served as a guiding principle for decisions about individual behavior within a community.  Between the two services at 9:30 a.m., Stephen will hold a Q&A session about both the biblical and secular aspects of climate change.