We are partnering with First Steps and the Great Start Parent Coalition, to help them reach their goal of One Million Diapers. All babies deserve to be clean, dry, and healthy! Over the last nine years, the Great Start Parent Coalition has collected over 800,000 diapers to assist families in Kent County who struggle with diaper need. Please bring a package or more of diapers, larger sizes are recommended, but all are accepted. For more information on the diaper drive, be sure to visit www.DiaperDriveKent.org or www.firststepskent.org/diaper-drive.
G.R.E.Y.’s Middle School Fun Night will take place on Sunday, May 21st, at Craig’s Cruisers off 131 and 54th Street on Clyde Park Ave in Wyoming. This event is open to all current 5th through 8th grade students. We will meet there at 6pm for a pizza buffet, followed by two activities: go karts and miniature golf. G.R.E.Y. will pick up the tab for attendees. Though we typically encourage bringing friends to G.R.E.Y. events, we would like to limit this event to our Episcopal parishioners only. An RSVP is required by this Wednesday, May 17, if your child plans to attend. See Jeff Brown for a permissions slip.
The Access of West Michigan’s Hunger Walk is TODAY (May 7th). The event takes place at Park Church downtown beginning at 1:30, with walk (5K) starting at 2:15. All proceeds help Access of West Michigan support organizations in our community that are fighting hunger. We’ll have lunch in the Parish Hall for all walkers beginning at 12:30. Please let Jeff know who’s attending so that he can have enough food. Even if you are not walking, there’ll be another opportunity to make a donation to support our team after each service during Coffee Hour. Our fundraising goal is $2,000.
St. Mark’s Needleworkers are meeting this Tuesday, May 9, from 7-9 in the Canterbury Room. At our monthly meetings, we share our knitting, crocheting, sewing, stitching, and other needlework projects, including socks, sweaters, prayer shawls, and decorations, both completed and just starting. We ask questions, offer advice, and admire everyone’s work. Contact Leigh Eicke ([email protected]) if you have any questions.
The Bishop Whittemore Foundation of the Diocese of Western Michigan strengthens our ability to be a visible presence in our communities and the world based on the generosity of the Foundation. Bishop Hougland has stated that the Foundation has “granted funds for renovation, repair, and ministry work for parishes in the diocese including an amount of $85,000 in 2016,” as an example. This Sunday (May 7th), we will be asked to contribute to the Foundation for its continued good word among us. Envelopes are available on the resource tables of the church. Please consider being as generous as you are able.
The Access of West Michigan Hunger Walk is NEXT SUNDAY. St. Mark’s has a long tradition of supporting this event which raises money to fight hunger in our community. The funds raised help provide micro-grants to local and international agencies working to create sustainable solutions to hunger and poverty. Our own Grand Rapids Episcopal Youth will once again be leading St. Mark’s & St. Andrew’s participation this year. We need parishioners to join our team by donating and/or walking. There will be a table set up during coffee hour the next few Sundays where you can donate and/or sign up to walk. You can Google Access of West Michigan Hunger Walk and donate to and/or join our team- Grand Rapids Episcopal Youth – online. The actual event will take place at Park Church downtown beginning at 1:30, with the walk starting at 2:15. We’ll have lunch at church at 12:30 in the Parish Hall prior to the event. Questions? See Jeff Brown.
Our next Women’s Spa Day is Thursday, May 11th. Many volunteers are needed to make this Spring gathering a success for Heartside area women. Be one of them! Sign up at the Welcome desk!
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 new 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]).
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.
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!