From the Vestry: Celebrating Our Success

Last Sunday the Vestry met for their monthly meeting. The Vestry is chaired by the rector and is composed of 11 elected members of the congregation. Part of our monthly work is the monitoring of parish finances and property, but most importantly our work revolves around the mission of St. Mark’s. How is our church helping God transform lives through Christ? This is why we exist.

Easter Vigil Notes

Our meeting began with a discussion on a recent article, Notes for Next Year’s Easter Vigil, in the Living Church by Bishop Daniel Martins of the Episcopal Diocese of Springfield. As a vestry we enjoyed reading this article. (View the link above or download this pdf of the article.) St. Mark’s has always had a vibrant Easter Vigil. Within the past twenty years, this service has been conducted at sunrise on Easter Day, and most recently after sundown on Easter Eve. The consensus of the Vestry is that the service works best on Easter Eve for St. Mark’s, even though parking can be difficult on Kapahulu Avenue on Saturday evenings. The Vestry is committed to hiring a valet company for this service to facilitate parking.

We also resonated with Bishop Martin’s concern that the Easter Vigil is often second to Easter Day. At St. Mark’s there have been years when the Easter Vigil was the best attended service, and Easter Day was a lesser affair. For the parish this was a success, but we also discussed how this was a challenge on Easter Day, because most visitors and unchurched seekers who come for Easter attend an Easter Day mass. How do we maintain the integrity of the faith and prayer book, keeping the Easter Vigil in first place, but also maintain the resources to effectively minister to visitors on Easter Day? As well, we discussed how there are fewer and fewer Christmas and Easter Christians in our current context, so perhaps this issue is not as great as we think it is. One vestry member rightly discerned that when we study when our new members first came to St. Mark’s, none of them attended for the first time at Easter. The consensus of the Vestry is to put our greatest energy into the Easter Vigil. The service continues to be the highlight of the year.

Capital Campaign Update

The vestry was presented with statistics from the capital campaign, and we were pleasantly surprised about what we have accomplished, especially for a parish our size. We may be small, but we are mighty in will. On Pentecost Day, June 9, there will be presentations after both morning masses on the capital campaign. These presentations will be short and informative, and we hope that everyone will attend. There is a lot of good news to share, but we do not wish to spoil the surprise.

Sunday Worship

Our meeting ended with a discussion evaluating Sunday mornings at St. Mark’s, especially the times of the services. Are there benefits to having the masses start earlier? What time works best for families? How is the music working at the early mass? These and other questions were discussed. Beginning on the first Sunday of June, St. Mark’s will try the following schedule. The early mass will be celebrated at 7:30 am, and the Solemn High Mass will be celebrated at 9:15 am.

The Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ

A reminder to everyone that the great feast of the Ascension is Thursday, May 30. St. Mark’s will celebrate with a solemn high mass at 6:00 pm, followed by a potluck in the Parish Hall. We hope to see everyone for this great occasion. Evensong will be chanted at 5:30 pm. Please join us.

St. Mark’s Vestry