The Wardens, Vestry, and People of St. Mark’s, with our Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Whayne M. Hougland, Jr., request your prayers and presence as we celebrate our new ministry with The Rev. Dr. Christian F. Brocato on the 25th Day of April in the year of our Lord 2017, at 7 o’clock in the evening in the church, 134 N. Division Avenue, Grand Rapids, MI. Formal reception immediately following. Childcare will be provided.
The Gazelle Girl Half Marathon is Sunday and their course closes Lyon St. west of Division as well as Division north of Lyon, effectively cutting off access to church from the northwest, including the Ottawa Ave exit from I-196. You might want to plan an alternative route to get to church on Sunday, April 23rd.
If you are seeking a spiritual practice and wish to develop deeper ties with other parishioners, consider joining the St. Mark’s Devotional Group. Our next book will be Marilyn McEntyre’s Word by Word. This book provides daily meditations focused on single words like “Listen,” “Receive,” “Let Go,” “Accept,” and “Follow.” We meet each Sunday at 9:15am in the St. Mark’s Library to discuss the first chapter. For more information, reach out to Laura Kozminski ([email protected]).
In observance of Easter Sunday, St. Mark’s offices will be closed on Monday, April 17th. Normal office hours resume Tuesday, April 18th.
A few notes on Holy Week 2017 from Christian+
Holy Week Retreat: A time to explore the richness of the week and time for quite reflection and meditation. NEXT SATURDAY, April 8 from 9AM to Noon. I’m hoping you will join me for this time of prayer and preparation for Holy Week and Easter.
The Good Friday Collection: With services at noon and 7PM on Good Friday, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church asks that all parishes designate the Good Friday Collection for the ministry of the Diocese of Jerusalem. The Diocese of Jerusalem ministers to 5 countries in the Middle East. Please, join us for worship that day and be as generous as you can in support of the ministry of the Church in the Middle East.
The Easter Vigil: The single most important liturgy of the Church Year is the Easter Vigil. We will light and bless a fire outside from which the Paschal Candle is lit. The Paschal Candle symbolizes the Light of Christ and is solemnly processed into the Church as part of the Service of Light. A great and ancient chant is sung heralding the light of Christ in and through the Resurrection of Jesus. Several Hebrew Scriptures are read as part of the Service of Lessons. Water is blessed at the Baptism Font and the renewal of Baptismal Vows takes place. The Gloria and Alleuias return with great joy and celebration. It is a beautiful liturgy. Come and join us for this first Service of Easter beginning at 7PM. A reception hosted by Parish Life Ministry follows.
The Festival of the Resurrection, Easter Day: The glory of Easter seems most evident on Easter Sunday and is truly a joyous celebration of the Resurrection of Christ. With Services at 8:00 and 10:30AM with special music at both Services, we will celebrate the Resurrection as Christians have done for centuries. Childcare will be provided at the 10:30 service, and this year, we will provide a fun Easter Egg Hunt for the children on the Church’s front lawn. Come, join us and bring your family and friends. St. Mark’s promises to be the ‘place to be’ on Easter Sunday 2017!
I look forward to celebrating my first Holy Week and Easter with you. Please, see the calendar as we will offer opportunities for prayer every day of the week. It will be week of weeks culminating in joyous Easter Services. Come! Pray and Sing!
The Grand Valley State University Arts Chorale, under the direction of Ellen Pool, is a prestigious ensemble of 35 auditioned voices and maintains an active performance schedule of choral repertoire from all periods of music. The Chorale was selected perform in Ann Arbor at the America Choral Directors Choral Hour as part of the Michigan Music Education In-Service Conference. The Chorale performed Mendelssohn’s “Elijah”, the “Mass in C minor” by Mozart, and William Walton’s “Belshazzar’s Feast” with the Symphony Chorus and the Grand Rapids Symphony under the direction of David Lockington. In January 2008, the Arts Chorale performed the opening concert of the Michigan Music Conference. Join us April 9th at 5pm for this free concert presented by Sacred Sounds of St. Mark’s with a reception immediately following the concert.
St. Mark’s Healing Racism Ministry will lead an exploration of what our faith response should be to the Christian Justice/Racism issues covered in the film, Save the Last Dance, PG-13, 2001. Julia Styles and Sean Patrick Thomas star in this story of a white, Midwestern girl who moves to Chicago, where her boyfriend is a black teen from the South side, with a rough criminal past. The movie runs 1 hour and 52 minutes, with free popcorn and drinks available to purchase. A discussion will be led by Judith Claytor. Movie times are at 1PM and 6:30PM.
Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday, April 9th, through Easter Sunday, April 16th. See the schedule of Events below:
- Palm/Passion Sunday, April 9, 8AM & 10:30AM – Blessing of the Palms, Procession, & Holy Eucharist
- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, 7PM – Stations of the Cross & Compline (Night Prayer)
- Tuesday, April 11, 10:30AM – Diocesan Chrism Mass – All are welcome!
- Maundy Thursday, April 13, 6PM – Agape Meal of soup & bread; 7PM Holy Eucharist with Foot Washing & Night Vigil until midnight.
- Good Friday, April 14, 12 noon – Stations of the Cross & Vigil until 3pm; 3PM Bell Toll; 7PM Solemn Liturgy & Adoration of the Cross with Choir
- Holy Saturday, April 15, 7PM – The Great Vigil of Easter & reception
- Easter Sunday, April 16, 8AM – Holy Eucharist with Choral Ensemble & 10:30AM – Festival Holy Eucharist with choir & instruments, followed by an Easter Egg hunt & reception
Celebration of New Ministry of Rev. Dr. Christian Brocato is scheduled for Tuesday, April 25th, at 7pm. More details soon!
Beginning Monday, March 6th, the Labyrinth will be available for use during Lent, Monday through Friday during office hours. Labyrinths are important spiritual tools for prayer and reflection. There is no right way to walk a labyrinth, you only have to enter and follow the path. As you start, pause and wait at the entrance to become quiet and centered. Enter and walk purposefully. Observe the process. When you reach the center, stay there and focus. Leave when it feels appropriate and be attentive on your way out. Reflect on your experience afterwards. Feel free to walk more than once. Many do not get a feel for the labyrinth experience until they have walked it more than once.
Lenten prayer cards are available to write particular prayers during Lent. These prayers may be placed in the wicker basket on the altar in front of the Lenten Cross and will remain there throughout Lent, as a acknowledgement of our need for God in our lives of faith with particular personal intentions.
The narrative poem Remede de Fortune by the medieval composer Guillaume de Machaut tells of a lover counseled by Lady Hope on how to persevere in the ups and downs dished out by Fortune and her wheel. This collaborative production by Boston’s Blue Heron and Cleveland’s Les Délices presents Machaut’s magnificent music with narration and projected images from the original manuscripts. The New York Times has praised the “wonderfully round and sleek sound of the Blue Heron singers.” Performers include Martin Near, Owen McIntosh, and Jason McStoots, voice; Scott Metcalfe, fiddle & harp; Debra Nagy, recorders, douçaine, and harp; Charles Weaver, lute.
St. Mark’s invites our Heartside neighbors in for the Man Cave from 10:30-3:00pm. Our friends will enjoy chili and dessert with the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament playing! Looking for volunteers for table companions for the men. If you are able to stop in for a half hour, 1 hour, or the whole day, it is certainly appreciated!
Start this Wednesday, March 8th! Begin at 5:30pm with Soup suppers followed by Fr. David Brower’s teachings and discussion at 6:15pm, “Jesus’ Holy Week”. The first session of our Lenten program will begin with an overview of the Synoptic portrayal of the events of Jesus’ last week in Jerusalem. Special focus, however, will be Mark’s portrayal and a discussion of why his account is significant for a day by day delineation of the events of that week. Following the overview, there will be a detailed examination of what has been mislabeled as ‘the triumphal entry’ of Jesus and his followers from Judea into Jerusalem on what is now called ‘Palm Sunday’. Read Mark 11:1-11 in preparation for this session. You might also want to reference Zechariah 9:9. Copies of the readings are on the Welcome Desk for your use in preparing for the session. Childcare is available for those who need it in order to attend. Please contact Jane Stidolph at [email protected].
Please see the signup sheets on the Welcome Desk for more information. Reminder: when it is a regular Sunday, costs are reimburses up the $35-40, just turn in your receipts to Pam Stevenson. Thanks again to all who have volunteered and continue to volunteer to serve at this important Welcoming ministry.
Ash Wednesday is this Wednesday, March 1st. St. Mark’s will have two services, one at 12 noon with Holy Eucharist with Imposition of Ashes and one at 7pm with Choral Holy Eucharist with Imposition of Ashes.
Our annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, hosted by the Parish Life & Fellowship Ministry, is this Tuesday, February 28th. Luscious pancakes & sausage are served in the Parish Hall from 5:30-7:30.
Deadline to register is Today, February 19th. Living Water Ministries, a ministry of the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) in Michigan, will be offering a youth event for junior high youth (grades 6-8). Grand Rapids Episcopal Youth will be attending along with others from The Diocese of Western and Eastern Michigan! The “Junior High Charge” event will be held at Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City from March 24-26. The mission is to energize and form faith through worship, small groups, and congregational time. It is hoped that through skillshops emphasizing service opportunities, leadership development, and community (through team building) youth return home equipped ready to make change in the world in the name of Christ. There will also be time to enjoy the recreational opportunities at Great Wolf Lodge. Jeff is asking for RSVPs by TODAY, February 19, 2017. We will leave around 5pm on Friday, March 24, and return early to mid-afternoon on Sunday, March 26.
With the culmination of one of the most rancorous and stressful election cycles most of us have experienced, many St. Mark’s parishioners are questioning how we could live into our baptismal covenant in a more tangible and visible manner. Today, February 19th, we will have a conversation surrounding this question at 12:30pm in the Parish Hall. Spaghetti and beverages will be served. Childcare will be available. Everyone’s voice is welcome, whether a newcomer or a long-timer; liberal, conservative, or somewhere in between.
Today (February 19, 2017) is the last Sunday for The Rev. David Brower as our Pastor During Transition. We are extremely grateful for his wise and gentle leadership. Please take the time to personally thank him at both services today. He will join us again to teach and lead discussions on Lenten Wednesdays (March 8 through April 5) following the tasty soup suppers in the Parish Hall.