I want to thank everyone who made Sunday’s annual meeting such a success. The potluck was a great spread of delicious food, and I was especially pleased at the dedication of so many of our 8:00 am mass attendees who returned for the meeting. Just to recap, we do not have the meeting between the Sunday morning services, because there is not enough time during that slot. We also do not change our Sunday service schedule to have one single service, because this always confuses visitors who come to St. Mark’s. It is much easier to have the schedule remain consistent, especially for those who are new or visiting. Many years ago at St. Mark’s there was the practice of having a single service on Annual Meeting Sunday. Interestingly enough, the vestry discovered that the Sunday attendance fell dramatically on such Sundays. Many people skipped church or attended elsewhere when the schedule of worship changed. Annual Meeting only happens one Sunday a year, so in the larger scheme of things, it works fine to have the meeting at 11:30 am. That being said, one congregant proposed to me that we have our meeting on a Saturday evening around 5:00 pm. I am open to that possibility. Please let me know your thoughts.
We are in the season of Christ’s light spreading into the world. The positive and joyful atmosphere at Sunday’s meeting reminded me of that light. We have much to give thanks for at St. Mark’s. We enjoy beautiful worship with good music, the weekly Bible studies are thought-provoking, our outreach to Hale Kipa warms our hearts, and financially, over two-thirds of our budget is supported through stewardship. Christ’s good news is all around us. Just yesterday, two dedicated parishioners provided a delicious lunch for all of the preschool teachers and staff as a sign of gratitude from St. Mark’s. Amidst so much pain in our world, it is good to be here and enjoy the light of Christ.
This Sunday’s Gospel is the story of Jesus teaching in the synagogue in Nazareth. (View the readings online.) Jesus quotes the prophet Isaiah and proclaims, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." With this teaching Jesus begins his public ministry, and again we see how the light of Christ is spreading throughout the world. Enjoy this light - enjoy it at worship, enjoy it at Bible Study, enjoy it when helping the helpless, enjoy it especially when you are feeling down. Christ gives us good news to proclaim, and we are so fortunate to share this light through our ministries at St. Mark’s.
Father Paul Lillie