From the Rector: Christmas Thanksgivings

The celebrations of Christmas conclude this Sunday with our observance of the Feast of the Magi. If you have not bought tickets for our 12th Night Party following the Epiphany Lessons and Carols Service, it is not too late. It promises to be a great time. Even the Magi will be making an appearance at the carol service. Come see your fellow parishioners dressed as the kings, parading down the aisle to the altar. We will also bless the chalk for the blessing of homes, and we will bless the school supplies brought by parishioners for the after school program at St. Elizabeth's. 

Please also take note of the many wonderful ministries starting up again this January. The Latin Class will begin again on Sundays, and the catechumens will continue to meet weekly. Godly Play has posted all of their stories onto the parish website through May, and our Bible Study on Matthew resumes this coming Sunday. Also, be sure to check out the information about the Annual Meeting. The time has come to sign up for the parish potluck, and as I write this on Monday, we have several people running for Vestry and for Diocesan Convention Delegates. More names may be added to the election list in the coming weeks. 

I also want to share with you the success we are having with our weekly Evensong and Benediction service on Sundays at 5:00 pm. We have had good turnouts for this service, and the simple hospitality time that follows has been a nice addition. Most Sundays we simple sing Evensong as a congregation, accompanied by the organ. In the future we will have our choir, as well as guest choirs, on occasion.  Many have said how much they enjoy the time spent in adoration before the Sacrament too. The service lasts about fifty minutes, and ends with the Angelus being sung before the Mary and Child Statue. We will not have Evensong and Benediction this Sunday due to the Epiphany Carol Service with the choir. However, Evensong and Benediction will resume on January 12, and continue on Sundays thereafter.

Finally, thank you to everyone who made Christmas so wonderful at St. Mark's. We had an excellent attendance at our Christmas Eve and Day services this year. We topped last year's number significantly, and I need to go back and look at the books, but I do not think our numbers were this high for quite some time.  New Year's Day was also a great success with many of our friends from the Church of the Epiphany joining us for the high mass. Your hard work as a parish is producing results!

Blessings to you this Epiphany,
Father Paul Lillie+
Rector of St. Mark's