Saint Mark's Episcopal Church Website

News and Events

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bishop Carranza Visiting St. Mark's

Bishop Sergio Carranza will be at St. Mark’s for our 10:30 a.m. service on Sunday, January 25th. In addition to preaching and leading worship, he will celebrate the sacramental rites of Baptism and Confirmation, and will join us for a time of fellowship following the service. This is his first Sunday visitation to St. Mark’s, and we look forward to welcoming him.

In preparation for Bishop Carranza’s visit, we will offer an Inquirer’s Class, beginning on Sunday, January 4th from 10:00-11:00 a.m., and continuing on January 11th and 18th. This is an opportunity to learn more about the Episcopal Church, to grow more deeply into the promises of Baptism, and to decide if you are ready for Confirmation, a mature and public commitment of faith for those who have been baptized. The Bishop's visit is also the time at which those who have made a mature public affirmation of faith in other denominations may be received into the Episcopal Church; the Inquirer’s Class is appropriate preparation for this as well.

The Inquirer’s Class will explore the basic tenets of the Christian faith, the Baptismal Covenant, the history and tradition of the Episcopal Church, and our pattern of worship with the Book of Common Prayer. If you are interested in participating, contact Fr. Andrew or Mo. Betsy, or simply join us on the 4th.

If you desire to be baptized, or you have a child you would like baptized, by Bishop Carranza on the 25th, please contact Fr. Andrew or Mo. Betsy. The next opportunity for baptism at St. Mark’s will be at the Easter Vigil on the evening of Saturday, April 11th.

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Service Schedule

Join us for our celebration of Christmas.
December 24
5 p.m. Christingle Eucharist,
with Choristers and Brass
9 p.m. Carols and Anthems in the Church
9:30 p.m. Festive Christmas Eucharist
with St. Mark’s Choir, Handbell Choir, Woodwind Ensemble, Organ and Brass
December 25
10:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist, with Organ and Hymns

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Friday, December 12, 2008

The Season of Advent

The Season of Advent
Our New Year starts with Advent, the first season of the church year. Advent begins, not on a set date, but on the fourth Sunday before Christmas—November 30 this year—and continues through the day before Christmas. The name is derived from a Latin word for "coming." The season is a time of preparation and expectation for the coming celebration of Jesus’s birth, and for the final coming of Christ "in power and glory." The color of our vestments in Advent is blue or purple. Using an Advent wreath or calendar in your home, or following a particular pattern of prayer or reading (see “Further Resources” at the bottom of this page) can be a way to counteract some of the consumerism and expectations of the secular observance of Christmas.

The Season of Christmas
In the church, Christmas is a season, not just one day. It begins on December 25 and continues until the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6. During this time, our vestments are a festive white or gold. The Advent wreath, with a white candle in the center to symbolize Christ, remains lit. Spreading your Christmas celebrations throughout the season can help to lessen the let-down after Christmas Day, especially for children, and give us time to reflect on the gift that God has given us in Jesus.

Advent and Christmas at Saint Mark’s
We have many activities during this season! If you have any questions about the events listed below, call our church office at 626-798-6747 for further information. St. Mark’s Youth Group has additional activities, from gingerbread houses to Christingle-making; check the Youth Group pages on our website for details.

Sunday, November 30th
Advent I
Services at 7:45 a.m., 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Advent Wreaths:
During Coffee Hour following both 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. services. Families are invited to make an Advent Wreath to take home and use throughout the season. Instructions and prayers for use with the wreath will be included.

Handmade Jewelry Sale:
Benefiting the Saint Mark’s Choir.
Terri Jones and Roz Fleischer will return for a Christmas edition sale of their beaded necklaces, bracelets, and earrings, to give as gifts or to beautify your holiday outfits. Prices start at $5, with most items sold in matching sets for $25 or less. Gift bags and boxes will also be available for purchase.

Sunday, December 7th
Advent II
Services at 7:45 a.m., 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Advent Service of Lessons and Carols – 10:30 a.m. service
Joint the Saint Mark’s Choir, Handbell Choir and Choristers as they present “An Advent Service of Lessons and Carols.” This service of lessons, hymns and choir anthems ushers in the season of Advent and helps us in our spiritual preparation for Christmas. While Communion is not part of this service, it will be offered after the service for anyone who would like to receive the sacrament.

Alternative Christmas Market – 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Community Hall
An opportunity to purchase items or in-kind donations for loved ones and those hard-to-shop-for people on your list! We will support the Heifer Project; Habitat for Humanity, San Gabriel Valley; African Team Ministries; Episcopal Relief and Development; and our own ACTS Food Pantry. Come shop to give the gifts of hope for people here and around the world by helping them on the road to self-reliance. If you have time to volunteer at the tables either morning, please contact Anne Browne at 818-790-3046.

Wednesday, December 10th
Advent Taize Service
7:00 p.m., Saint Mark’s Community Hall
This quiet, meditative form of worship using song, instrumental music, and Holy Scripture is a great way to prepare for the coming Christmastide.

Friday, December 12th
Family Friday
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., Saint Mark’s Community Hall
Need to do some last-minute holiday shopping? Or maybe have a nice dinner out with your spouse? St. Mark's Youth Group is holding its annual Family Friday in December - without the parents and at no cost! Drop your children (age 3 and potty trained please!) at the Community Hall for dinner, games, crafts and more. We'll be there from 6 - 9 p.m. Come by for all or part of the evening.

Sunday, December 14th
Advent III
Services at 7:45 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. – 2 services only today!

Christmas Pageant at the 10:00 a.m. service:
The annual Christmas Pageant is just around the corner. Parts of varying sizes are available for all children, kindergarten and above. Choristers play an integral role as the angel choir. Preschoolers will be invited to sit in the front rows during the pageant so they won’t miss moment of the fun. We encourage all children of the parish to participate in the pageant – the more, the merrier! The time commitment is minimal.

Advent Party
Our second annual Advent Party will be held immediately following the Christmas Pageant. We encourage you to bring a potluck dish share - preferably a traditional holiday dish for your family.

Alternative Christmas Market – 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Community Hall
An opportunity to purchase items or in-kind donations for loved ones and those hard-to-shop-for people on your list! We will support the Heifer Project; Habitat for Humanity, San Gabriel Valley; African Team Ministries; Episcopal Relief and Development; and our own ACTS Food Pantry. Come shop to give the gifts of hope for people here and around the world by helping them on the road to self-reliance. If you have time to volunteer at the tables either morning, please contact Anne Browne at 818-790-3046.

Sunday, December 21st
Advent IV
Services at 7:45 a.m., 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.


Wednesday, December 24th
Christmas Eve
5:00 p.m. - Christingle Family Eucharist with Choristers and Brass

9:00 p.m. - Carols and Anthems in Church

9:30 p.m. - Festive Christmas Eucharist with Saint Mark’s Choir,
Handbell Choir, Organ and Brass

Thursday, December 25th
Christmas Eve
10:30 a.m. - Holy Eucharist with Organ and Hymns



Further Resources
If you want to find out more about celebrating Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany, these websites have excellent information and further links:

“Praying Advent”: http://www.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/Advent/

“The Season of Advent: Anticipation & Hope”: http://www.cresourcei.org/cyadvent.html

“Lift Up Your Hearts”: http://www.worship.ca/christmas.html

“Fridge Art”:
http://www.domestic-church.com/CONTENT.DCC/pages.dir/fridge.htm#ADVENT

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