From the Rector: Christmas Generosity

We have two spectacular weeks coming up here at St. Mark's. This Sunday we gather to decorate the church after high mass while enjoying a parish potluck. It will be a fun time spent together as a parish family. Then Christmas comes a couple of days later. During December we have been reviewing and adjusting our Christmas liturgies to make them even more beautiful and holy, and they are truly ready for Christmas. And this is just the beginning, for Christmas spans a great twelve days, and for those twelve days we have a variety of liturgies, spoken and sung, low and high, celebrating the birth of our Savior.

Concerning the Christmas masses at St. Mark's, the midnight mass (11:00 pm) at St. Mark's is well-attended, and last year the Christmas Day high mass was almost as full as the midnight mass. Both of these masses have the choir. We will also offer a sung mass with cantor and carols at 5:00 pm on Christmas Eve. This service is less crowded for those seeking such a service. For the two Sundays after Christmas we will offer our normal full schedule of services, including Sunday night Evensong and Benediction.

Many thanks are due to everyone who contributed to the clothing drive for homeless youth in our neighborhood. The boxes were completely filled in the back of the church, and the outreach guild has many backpacks to fill due to your generosity. In addition to this Advent collection, we have also done an Epiphany collection at St. Mark's for a number of years now. This Epiphany we are requesting school supplies which will be given to the Pacific Islander Ministry After School Program at St. Elizabeth's Church. More information is listed below. You may bring your gifts for the Christ Child and other children, just like the wise men, on Sunday, January 5, the Eve of the Epiphany (12th Night). The school supplies will be blessed at our Epiphany Lessons and Carols Service at 5:00 pm on that Sunday. Stay tuned for more information about a 12th Night Party which shall follow the carol service.

One of the great gifts of the Christmas season is that an increased generosity of spirit is born in our society. Through the birth of our Savior, and the gift of faith that he brings us, humans respond with generosity. All of us have been blessed by our Lord in multiple ways. Let's increase those blessings through our worship of God and our outreach to those less fortunate.

Father Paul Lillie+