St. Mark’s News Volume 20/Issue 11
Advent Lessons and Carols, by The Rev. Dr. David W. Peters, Assistant Rector Author’s Note: Advent has always been a difficult time for me. Every year I wholeheartedly throw myself into the penitential, Lenten-like mood, so I fully experience the great expectation of Jesus’ coming. At the same time, I wholeheartedly throw myself into the Spirit of Christmas, the lights, the music, and the shopping. These two forces compete inside me and cause some confusion. Truly, Advent and Christmas contain many deep mysteries, so perhaps I should expect to be a little confused. So, here are some of my thoughts about this most wonderful time of the year:
The First Lesson And on the first day of the eleventh month, when thou shalt hear the schmaltzy music played at thy grocery store, especially that country music version of “Silver Bells;” and when thou shalt see the small displays of Holiday themed Treats, Candies, Wreaths, and all manner of Lights, thou shalt not shake thy head and say “Tsk, Tsk.” Even as our fathers may have done in ancient times, thus preserving the Celebration of Christmas for Christmas Eve alone. In the twelfth month, if thou shalt see an likeness of Santa Claus, thou shalt not declare that this is “Not what Christmas is All About.” Thou shalt not show on thy face that thou art dead serious and joyless, and thou shalt not remind all that stand by that there are 12 Days Of Christmas, beginning on the first day, Christmas. Thou mayest, if it is expedient, to begin to sing the Song of the same name to remind them, but thou shalt not sing the Whole Thing.
The First Carol: Sung to the tune of Silent Night Advent One, Advent Two, all is calm, all is bright Round come the Advent Police on Advent 3 and 4 They’re just checking that wreath on your door We heard you sang a Carol at your Chur—urch We heard you sang a Carol at your Church
The Second Lesson
In this Issue From the Assistant Rector ......... 1 Advent Schedule ........................ 2 Vestry Highlights ........................ 3 Outreach .................................... 4 Parish Life .................................. 5 Music Notes ............................... 6 Christian Formation.................... 6 Caffeine Ministry ........................ 8 Parishioner Highlights ................ 9 Celebrations............................. 10 ROTA ....................................... 11
And when thou shalt see that Family picture, bedecked with all manner of holiday sweaters, with children and pets, thou shalt not project upon them Happiness, such as thou hast never seen upon the earth. Thou shalt not be jealous of them, wishing that thy Family were Closer, that thy Family wert more Loving, and that thy Family might give unto thyself a better Present this year than last. Thou shalt, on that day, remember that they are of humankind, subject to all the changes and chances that thou art subject to in this season of Unreasonable Expectations for Happiness. Thou shalt be thankful for thy Blessings, and mourn thy losses, and celebrate Their happiness with them as thou would want them to do unto thee.
The Second Carol: To the tune of Joy to the World Joy to the World, the cards have come I wish I’d sent some out I want to write a thank you note To everyone who sent me one But I don’t think it’ll happen But I don’t think it’ll happen I don’t thi-ink, I don’t thi-i-ink that it will happen.
The Third Lesson And when thou shalt arrive early at the Christmas Eve service, even unto the Packed One, thou shalt not save too many seats with thy Coat, Purses, Walking Sticks, or any number of Hymnals. Thou shalt not glare at anyone who tries to take thy seats. Remember that thou art in the Lord’s House, and that there shall be with us many Souls who only attend Occasionally, or for the first time Ever. Thou shalt remember that thy behavior shall be their only memory of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ.
The Third Carol: Sung to the Tune of Away In a Manger Away in a manger, I sit in the car The engine is running, I’d rather be at the bar But this year was so brutal, so I came here to pray I came to worship the baby, asleep on the hay The engine goes silent, and I sit in the cold I see people walking, the young and the old They’re walking insi-ide the Church I can see They all look so happy, so blessed, not like me I walk to the door and sit towards the back My memories of childhood fade into black The carols they move me, and I almost can trust That I am with God and God is with us
Advent, Christmas, New Year’s Worship Services December 4 (Advent 2): 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist December 11 (Advent 3): 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist December 18 (Advent 4): 7:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist; 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 Lessons and Carols December 24 (Christmas Eve):
5:30 p.m. Holy Eucharist and Pageant 9:40 p.m. Choral Prelude 10:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist
December 25 (Christmas Day):
9:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist
January 1 (New Year’s Day): 8:00 A.M. and 10:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist, with Carol Sing at 10:00 a.m.
Vestry Highlights The St. Mark’s vestry met in the Bennett Wing classroom at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 15. Elizabeth+ opened the meeting with the Collects For the Unity of the Church (BCP 818) and For Our Country (BCP 820). Elizabeth reported the following:
St. Mark’s needs four delegates to Diocesan Council in Galveston, and they need not be vestry members. Ann and Roger Seyler will be two of the four. To date we have 119 pledges for a total of $416,651. We are behind where we were this time last year and Elizabeth+ will be sending an email to those from whom we have yet to receive a card. Charles Brewer is going to coordinate the construction work on the Columbarium wall extension. We have several upcoming facility expenses that will come to a total of @ $2300: painting a patch of ceiling in the narthex that has water damage; painting and patching the Parish Hall ceiling (also caused by water damage); a gutter replacement; a roofing repair; and sprinkler system repair and inspection (required by the City of Austin). Elizabeth+ has done three funerals in the past month, the most recent of which was Jim Sherrard’s on November 12.
David+ has been busy recently with Veterans events: a Veterans Conference in Austin on November 4 and two Houston Episcopal church services on November 13. He is also involved with consulting with the Seminary of the SW’s chaplaincy degree program and he attended a recent Episcopal Health Foundation luncheon about the availability of grant money for health related initiatives. David+ is going to write two grants: one for a possible ministry to the deaf at St. Mark’s and another for possible Elder Caregiver Respite. He also reported that there will be a Newcomers’ luncheon on December 11. Senior Warden Diana Stangl reported on the nominating committee’s new vestry member slate: Dan Aja, Dru Cabler, Scott Forrest, Marjie Lawrence, and Pattie Rose. They will officially be voted into vestry office at the Annual Parish Meeting on January 22, 2017. Junior Warden Clarence Bonnen reported on Safeguarding God’s People (he did two training sessions in October), on Youth (Eric Panter has begun leadership with the youth ministry on Sunday mornings at 10 and on Sunday afternoons, and $380 was earned with the breakfast taco sale), and on Outreach (the Angel Tree will be up on the first Sunday in Advent). Becky Poynot gave the Day School report: there are currently 105 enrolled students and in January there will be 108. $1100 worth of children’s art was sold at the recent Day School Art Show and $6500 has been contributed to the Annual Fund. It has been several years since St. Mark’s has had a Boy Scout troop use our facilities, so Mike Brode is going to see if there is a troop in need of a space. The meeting concluded with Compline.
Thank you Generous St. Mark’s! At St. Mark’s we do not wait for the “season of giving” to be generous to others. The newly constructed Bluebonnet Studio affordable housing on South Lamar was the recent recipient of five “welcome baskets” full of requested household items: two cars full! El Buen Samaritano was the recipient of our financial donations ($850) to their annual Hands for Hope Thanksgiving meal distribution during which time our children and young people were participating in the annual “Trick or Treat for Unicef.” On November 12, St. Mark’s joined
December 2016 Good Shepherd and St. Edward’s in the last day of the Habitat for Humanity faith build. This is what Nancy Kibler had to say about that day: It was the last official volunteer day before next weekend when five houses will be officially handed to their owners…. The house we were finishing will belong to a pastor from Ethiopia who is working to get his wife and child to join him. Before we started he spoke of the importance of faith, hope, and love, which the builders exemplified. The five trees planted on his property were donated to Habitat by the Muslim family next door. During the morning one of the volunteers was the woman whose house St. Mark’s worked on last year. She and her husband, a taxi driver originally from Morocco, continue to help although they are no longer required to do so. Because it was the last day there was a huge turkey feast, complete with Moroccan vegetable stew. After the nastiness of our national political scene, I was grateful to see the simple goodness of people from many backgrounds trying to make life better for others. I felt the most at peace that I have in a very long time. Our next opportunity for giving will be the Angel Tree that will be in the Parish Hall on the first Sunday in Advent. The recipients of those gifts will be the Austin Children’s Shelter and AISD’s Project HELP (Hope & Empowerment – Leveraging Possibilities) that provides resources for homeless AISD students. Thank you for your goodness and your generosity.
Outreach Gratitude Thank you all for your participation in the El Buen Samaritano Hands for Hope event. El Buen provided 1,000 Austin families with food for a Thanksgiving meal this year. And thank you, Turkey, the wonderful Resa Dunn, for your enthusiasm to spread the word about this wonderful event, and to those from the Junior Confirmation class who volunteered at the Distribution Day.
Angel Tree The spirit of giving and love continues as we quickly roll into December! This year we are honored to support Austin Children's Shelter and Austin ISD's Project HELP at Christmas. Year round, the Austin Children's Shelter provides on-campus services for children, young adults and families affected by abuse, exploitation and neglect. They believe that every child, youth and young adult deserves to feel safe; to receive nurturing care; and the opportunity to grow into happy, responsible and fulfilled adults. We are excited to help share the Christmas love to the precious children and youth they serve. After our book drive in August, we found out that we could also support AISD's Project HELP (Hope and Empowerment ~ Leveraging Possibilities) at Christmas. Project HELP provides services to an increasing number of Austin ISD students who experience homelessness by maintaining partnerships and collaborations with community resources to ensure student academic success. Please consider taking an angel tag home and purchasing a gift for a child or his or her family member this Christmas. We loved our “2 angel” technique last year, as it helped us stay organized. 1. 2. 3. 4.
Each angel ornament has two cards. When you select your angel, please remove one, sign the back, and place it in the bin provided. Take the second tag home and return it with your gift. All gifts need to be returned, unwrapped, by Sunday, December 11th.
Thank you for your generosity and love that you so freely share all year and especially at Christmas!
Parish Life First Friday Book Group Our last meeting of 2016 will be Friday, December 2. We meet at 11:00 a.m. in the Bennett Wing classroom and the book we are discussing is Dead Wake: the Last Crossing of the Lisitania by Erik Larson.
Daughters of the King Training class for membership begins this month. If you are interested in becoming a Daughter of the King, contact Judy Elkins at 512-312-9690 for information. Thank you to everyone for helping to make the Coat Drive a great success. The DOK is sponsoring an Advent Quiet Day at the church on Saturday, December 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Daughters invite you to attend this day of quiet reflection, meditation, and listening to God’s voice in preparing your heart for Christmas. Quiet Days are for men and women, and members of other parishes are invited as well. There is a sign-up sheet in the Parish Hall to help us plan, but if you find yourself available to attend and haven’t signed up, please come. We will provide a simple lunch and end our day with Eucharist. Members, please put our Christmas Salad Luncheon on your calendars for Sunday, December 11, after the 11 o’clock service. It will be at the home of Brenda White.
Women’s Group News On Sunday, November 6, Beth Chenoweth was recognized as St. Mark's Honored Woman. Congratulations Beth! Beth Chenoweth has been a member of St. Mark's since 1979. She is a past member of the Vestry and served as senior warden. She is a past member of the Altar Guild, and continues to help out at Altar Guild work parties before Easter and Christmas. She provides the palms for Palm Sunday. Beth assists when flu shots are offered to parishioners every Fall. She was a co-organizer for the first yard sale and continues to volunteer each time one is held, and is a member of the planning committee for the annual chicken barbeque. Beth prepares the parishioner highlight article every month for the church newsletter. She has been a volunteer for the shower ministry since its inception in 2010. She's easy to spot at church—she's the one doing what needs to be done, and always with her easy smile and great sense of humor. Congratulations, Beth. We're so glad you are a member of St. Mark's. There will not be a Women's Group meeting in December. Our next Bunco date is Monday, January 23. Please mark your calendar for February 25 at 11 a.m. for our annual champagne brunch. Quilters Group - Our next quilters get together is January 27. Quilters Beth Greenlee and Maria Lubeck are finishing up quilts for St. Mark's newborns. Shower Ministry - The Shower Ministry/Trinity Center is in need of travel size lotion, shampoo and conditioner. Please place in the Shower Ministry bin in the Parish Hall. Thank you!
December 2016 Music Notes Some of the most beautiful music ever composed has been written for the seasons of Advent and Christmas. During the four weeks of Advent, we sing songs of expectation and anticipation as we await Christ’s coming. While these songs are not usually as familiar as Christmas carols, they are some of my favorite hymns of the church year. Waiting for something—striving towards a goal—can be as rewarding as the result. I often find that I enjoy the journey as much as the destination. In that spirit, I encourage you to embrace the keeping of Advent. The music and scriptures we will share together come but once a year, and they will enhance the meaning of Christmas. The songs of Christmas, of course, are beloved by everyone. No other sacred repertoire is as widely known throughout the secular culture. It is always a thrill to gather on Christmas Eve and the Sundays following to sing carols in our beautifully adorned church. Because we’ve sung the songs of Advent and prepared our hearts for the true message of Christmas, we can fully open ourselves to joy and wonder as we sing the familiar carols. By singing the songs of the seasons and meditating on their words, we can keep the deep truths of Christmas alive in our hearts throughout the year. Sunday, December 18th is our annual Service of Advent Lessons and Carols. The Choristers, Youth Ensemble, and Adult Choir will sing anthems in a variety of styles at the 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. services, bringing to life the Bible readings for Advent. We begin with anticipation, as the world awaits the Savior. We end with wonder and exuberance as the angel Gabriel announces God’s plan to the Virgin Mary. The timeless liturgy of Morning Prayer, the reading of scripture, and the singing of hymns, psalms, and anthems will help you prepare your heart for the coming of Christ this Christmas! Saturday, December 24th is Christmas Eve. The St. Mark’s Choristers will sing for the early pageant service at 5:30 p.m. The St. Mark’s Adult Choir will sing for the late service. Plan to come early—a program of Christmas music will begin at 9:40 p.m., followed by the festive Christmas Eve liturgy at 10:00 p.m. On Sunday, January 1 we will have our annual Christmas Carol Sing during morning worship at 10:00 a.m. Come prepared to request your favorite Christmas songs from the hymnal! Poinsettia/Wreath Sale Update: Thanks to everyone who ordered poinsettias and wreaths from the Music Ministry! If you haven’t yet paid, please bring checks made out to “St. Mark’s” to the church office, or give them to Mark Reed on Sunday. Please write “Choir Sale” in the memo field of the check. Poinsettias and wreaths will be distributed on Sunday, December 4th. Best wishes for a Blessed Advent and a Merry Christmas, Mark Reed Organist and Director of Music
Christian Formation for Children, by Cathy Nelson DRE Last month, on the Feast of Christ the King Sunday, one of our young Children’s Chapel attendees held up the children’s bulletin to point at Jesus hanging on the cross between the two criminals who were crucified with him. Connor said, “I think this is creepy.” And, I said that I agreed with him, while I quickly thought of an appropriate response that would include an explanation of why, just before Thanksgiving and not during Lent, we hear the story of Jesus dying on the cross. The graphic drawn for the children was more “in your face” than hearing the readings during the service. The crucifixion part of the story was clear, but how to actually make sense of it for a six year old and his younger
December 2016 sister is another story. I saw his eyes glaze over as I attempted to explain this part of the story of our faith. This story tells us that at the end of Jesus’ life, he was given authority over heaven and earth where he reigns, now and forever. And, now, as members of this kingdom, we are subject to Jesus’ reign of love and peace in our own lives. A big piece of an even bigger story! And counter-cultural, but it is a story of hope that brings perspective to our lives. What stood out most for me was how important it is to tell the story over and over so we can continue to grapple with its meaning. In “What if all we did was tell our kids the story?” an article by Bill Irwin for the Grow Christians website, he writes “The best stories—and let’s be honest, ours is a pretty good one—can be absorbed, entered into. They become part of us, and we become part of them. Except, unlike cosplay, our kids can play a real part in this story—right here in this world.” Irwin says as a parent he wonders: “why don’t we trust our kids with Children’s Formation December Schedule the story? Why don’t we just let The Church School program will take a break during December so children can prepare them have it—not in moralizing for St. Mark’s Christmas Pageant during the 10:00 a.m. education hour. All of St. Mark’s bits and pieces, but the children are invited to take part in the Christmas Pageant on Christmas Eve during the whole story?” For the last couple 5:30 p.m. service. Those children who wish to be in the pageant will pick out their of years at Advent he has been costumes and practice for the pageant on December 4, 11, and 18. introducing their children to the December 4: St. Nicholas Day & Pageant Preparation - St. Nicholas will be here to “big story of the Bible.” “Granted, celebrate St. Nicholas Day with us. After visiting and photos, children and parents can stop by the Common Room to choose their costumes for the Christmas Pageant. We will they’re young. There’s only so need volunteers to help label the costumes chosen. Actors with speaking parts will much they pick up on, at this point. practice with teen coaches in Classroom D. But I don’t just want them to December 11: Pageant Practice Continues - Stop by the Common Room to choose believe that Jesus was born or that costumes for the Christmas Pageant. We will need volunteers to help label the costumes he died or that he rose again. chosen. Actors with speaking parts will practice with teen coaches in Classroom D. Among other reasons, a Jesus who December 18: Service of Lessons & Carols, Cookie Exchange & Pageant Practice is disconnected from the larger We will have pageant practice in the Sanctuary at 10:20 a.m., after children have enjoyed story—a Jesus who magically the Cookie Exchange. At noon, we will have a final practice for actors with speaking parts appears out of thin air—is no and stage managers. different from the fantasy December 24: Christmas Eve Schedule for the 5:30 p.m. service - Please bring your TV characters my kids love. I want children to the church at 4:45 p.m. on December 24, Christmas Eve, to dress for the them to know how the story goes pageant. Plan to come early to get a costume if your child does not already have one. We will process into the sanctuary at 5:00 p.m. to pose for parents who would like to take from God’s good world to all pictures. Remember that there will be no cameras allowed during the actual service. the brokenness and injustice of our world and ultimately to Jesus. I want them to know something of the world he came into.” http://www.growchristians.org/2016/05/13/what-ifall-we-did-was-tell-our-kids-the-story/ Another thing that struck me as I tried to explain the significance of the story of Jesus’ crucifixion was that it made sense in the context of the cycle of the Church year, which takes us through the significant events of our salvation story. Every year, we mark these moments in our story of redemption to help us remember and experience them anew, and to help us align our lives with the life of Christ, shaping us as God's people. Christ the King Sunday was the last Sunday of the Church's liturgical year and the next Sunday we celebrated Advent I when we began the story of Jesus’ life again. This month we will celebrate the last three Sundays of Advent and Christmas. During this season, we wait in hope and expectation that Christ will come. While we are waiting, we can take advantage of the many rituals for the home and activities and services at St. Mark’s to help bring focus to this crucial story of our faith. We can slow down for moments and remember the big story of God’s plan for his people and truly celebrate the coming of the Christ Child.
December 2016 Lighting candles on the Advent wreath and opening the doors of an Advent calendar each day teach us to count the days, patiently praying and preparing for Christ's coming. Other ideas for incorporating symbols, rituals, and worship in the family's celebration of Advent: decorate our homes for Christmas, deliberately and in steps; set up a crèche with an empty manger and over the next few weeks have the children move the characters slowly to their places, in sequence with the story; make a Jesse tree with symbols representing the family of Jesse and those people who helped prepare the world for the coming of Jesus; celebrate St. Nicholas Day on December 6 (December 4 at St. Mark’s) and St. Lucy's Day on December 13. There are many ideas to be found on the Internet and in the books in St. Mark’s bookshelves! And join us in church for the many services, outreach programs and activities offered during the month, and take part in or watch the Christmas pageant on Christmas Eve. Look for more information about these in this newsletter.
Adult Formation in December at 10:00 a.m. There will only be two Adult Formation classes in December: December 4 and 11 (the Cookie Exchange is December 18 and Christmas Day is December 25!). On December 4, Jonea Raney will continue our theme of Pilgrimage with a discussion of our End of Life Pilgrimage. On December 11, David+ will teach a class entitled “Pilgrimage to Bethlehem: Celebrations of Christmas in the Early Church.”
Adult Confirmation Classes January 7, 14, and 21 at 10 a.m. – Noon (childcare provided if needed) Our Diocesan Bishop, The Rt. Rev. C Andrew Doyle, will be at St. Mark’s on Sunday, January 29 for our annual Bishop’s visitation and service of Confirmation/Reception at the 11:00 service. If you are interested in being confirmed/received in the Episcopal Church, or want a refresher class on Episcopal Church history, polity, and liturgy, plan on attending the class. Please let Elizabeth+, David+, or the church office know that you will be attending.
Caffeine Ministry Vestry Contact: Jill Collins Dec 4: Diane & Charles Brewer Dec. 11: Beth & Mike Brode Dec. 18: Cindy & Dru Cabler Dec. 25: Christmas Day Jan. 1: New Year's Day The parishioners assigned for Caffeine Ministry are asked to do two things: replenish cookies, if needed and wash the coffee pots and counters after the 11:00 service (and put away any extra cookies).
Parishioner Highlights What a talented and faithful St. Mark’s couple, Jay and Kay Brown! As I read the marvelous story of their lives, I felt joined in the story of their lives since so much of it occurred and is ongoing at St. Mark’s. I know nothing about publishing but what a great human interest story ……maybe for the Diocese of Texas publication the Dialogue! Needless to say we thank you both for your in depth and ongoing service to St. Mark’s and for the difference you make in student lives as you function in your human resources and academic advising roles at UT Austin!
Jay and Kay Brown Our lives at St. Mark’s are very full. Kay is a sporadic member of the Daughters of the King and is in her third year in Education for Ministry. She occasionally serves as lector on Sundays. Her biggest service to St. Mark’s has been her steadfast encouragement of me, Jay, as I pursue my various ministries. I began my ministry in the autumn of 1997 when I started helping with the St. Mark’s Acolyte Ministry. I find it frightening that those first teenage acolytes are now in their mid-thirties. I have served three terms on the vestry. I also serve as a Lay Eucharistic Minister. Three of the most joyous occasions in the life of the church were when I served as Master of Ceremony for: Elizabeth Turner's Celebration of New Ministry as St. Mark's rector and the Ordinations of Bert Baetz and Travis Smith. I attend Sunday services and Kay joins me regularly for the Wednesday Evening Eucharist. Back in the mists of time, February 1995, Kay and I were married while living in Northwest Hills but later that year moved to south Austin. It was before it was the “chic” thing to do. In fact many friends worried about us moving to such a rough hood which is now known as Lower SoCo. Toward the end of that year we began looking for a new parish closer to our home. We then started visiting churches in south Austin, beginning with St. Mark’s. A new rector by the name of Bill Bennett had just started and it was his second Sunday. Kay was a bit frightened because the church was so small but we were impressed with the tightknit community. We knew quickly that this would be our new parish home. It took us a little longer to have our letter moved since I was the chair of a committee at our original church. During the interim Kay attended St. Mark’s on Sundays and took part in the life of the parish, like the Chicken Bar-B-Q. After the start of
1997 we were sitting together on Sundays at St. Mark’s. It was quite a winding road that brought us to point of making St. Mark’s our home. Kay is one of those rare birds, a native Austinite born at the old Brackenridge Hospital and raised in south Austin. She graduated from Crockett High School followed by UT-Austin where she earned a B.S. in Advertising. She attended various churches as a child and but as a young adult none seemed to feed her soul. Kay did not attend church again until in the mid1980s when at the invitation of a friend she went to an Episcopal Church. Here she found the face of God for which she had longed. Kay was baptized at Easter Vigil 1988. When the rector asked her why she wanted to be baptized she told him Christianity is the only place offering a savior and salvation which is what I NEED. I, on the other hand, was born in Oregon and grew up in "The Garden Spot" of the Texas panhandle, Amarillo. I was raised in the Roman Catholic Church of my mother. My father was Methodist so I was exposed to Protestantism. I was an acolyte early at the age of six and I excelled. I was assigned to be Chaplain to the Bishop of Amarillo, even though as a seven year old I had set him on fire with a censer. I renew this role once a year at the annual Bishop's visitation, although without any fire. Kay and I met in January of 1989 after I had moved to Austin to attend UT. (I earned a B.A. in Art in 1991.) I was drawn to her 1980s super short haircut, which was colored bright fuchsia. I said, "Now that is someone I need to know!" Who knows what she saw in me? She says it was “laughter and adventure!” It didn’t hurt a thing (and probably helped) since she thought I was cute. We were soon inseparable friends...which was hard to be prior to texting. It slowly dawned on both of us that we were a couple. Our friends and families said, “Finally! We’ve known it for a long time.” Kay asked me to the Episcopal Church on a “Bring a Friend to Church Sunday.” I found the experience
December 2016 different while familiar. Later, I was received into the Episcopal Church on Holy Cross Day 1994 after we had become engaged. We married on February 25, 1995, and both remember it as the happiest day of our lives and one of the wettest. It rained 14 inches on that day.
next yummy place. We attend concerts at UT and around Austin. I drag Kay to Art museums as often as I can. She is a good sport who tries to look interested for the first hour. Kay and I look forward to the end of 2016, which for us was the most challenging of years. The anchor of our lives will be St. Mark’s.
Today we both work at UT Austin. Kay is a Human Resources Coordinator for a major research institute and I am an Academic Advising Coordinator for the College of Liberal Arts. We live close to Kay’s family – in fact, her sister lives next door and we visit my father in Plano often these days. Our pets are like our kids – they have brought much joy and some sorrow. Currently we have a five-year-old standard poodle name Breena and an 18-year-old cat named Noni. They make life interesting to say the least.
St. Mark’s is our spiritual home. The caring clergy and our dearest friends have seen us through the most difficult times in our lives: Kay’s heart valve replacement in 1999, our realization that we would not be able to have children, the death of parents and close friends. They have laughed and celebrated with us in the happiest of times: birthdays, anniversaries and job promotions. Nearly twenty years of community and we pray to God every day to protect and care for this community of faith and love.
In our off time we try to meet up with friends and enjoy good food. We are always on the hunt for the
December Celebrations Birthdays Christopher Olivas Benjamin Ramsey Grace Kochelek Amy Sepos Susan Randle Sharon Scarborough Winston Raines Ray Smith Brodie Doidge Bill Adkins Sarah Bancroft Jonathan Vande Streek Gage Pitt Paul Berndt Sue Borel Ryder Denniston Yvette Webb
12/01 12/01 12/03 12/03 12/04 12/05 12/07 12/07 12/08 12/10 12/10 12/10 12/11 12/13 12/13 12/13 12/13
Jim Casparis Brian Crozier Ashley Denniston Samantha Linderman Sonia Randle Sam Dunn Kay Brown Patrick Camp David Kurak Ella Blanding Clara Bogard Zachary Mayor Genevieve Vande Streek Jack Considine Terry Dempsey Casey Edgerton William Pugsley
12/14 12/14 12/14 12/14 12/14 12/15 12/16 12/16 12/16 12/17 12/17 12/17 12/17 12/18 12/18 12/18 12/18
Beverly Crozier Douglas Smith Sandy Harwood Melissa Markman Misty Stafford Sandy Sterzing Cynthia Zuniga Zachary Borja Lily Phillips Flo Puryear Jon Dullnig Nolan Duffin Ann Seyler Mary Carole Sitzes Jenna Ramsey
12/19 12/20 12/21 12/21 12/21 12/21 12/21 12/22 12/22 12/24 12/25 12/26 12/27 12/27 12/31
Anniversaries Silvia & Adam Gates Susan & William Willis Tracy & Matthew Cain Sloan & David Kurak Sandy Harwood & Amy Newman Phyllis & Dennis Millirons Marty & Jim Clark
12/04 12/10 12/14 12/15 12/17 12/18 12/22
Michael Davis & Pattie Rose Vanessa & Matt Joyce Don Camp & Kim Kiplin Amy & Kevin Farley Shirley & Lloyd Schwartz Berit Kragas & Dave Thiessen Julie & Kyle Rush
12/27 12/27 12/28 12/29 12/29 12/31 12/31
December 4 Advent 2
December 11 Advent 3
December 18 Lessons & Carols Advent 4
NO 7:30 A.M. Service
LEM / ACOLYTE
Danielle Adkins Stephen White
Ed Shipsey Al McKinney
Jonea Raney Jill Collins
Jon & Judith Dullnig
Mary-Alis Kelly (1) Brian Kelly (2)
Neal McGowan Meredith Childs Abbe Kelly Will Kelly Nora Kelly Mairin Bachschmid Kim B., Carol Mark Breen Dee Ann Thomasson Dodie Wells Amalia de la Rosa
Mike Brode Phil Aboussie Ross Ramsey Stephanie Young
Ken Whalen Barbara Wilson Stephen Wilson
Yvette Webb Evelyn McMillen
Kevin Cromack Meredith Childs
Laura Merritt Ellie Reshetnikov
Bill Willis (1) Christie Stockstill (2)
Phil Aboussie (1) Ginny Acker (2)
Chris Blanding, Beth Holmes, Karen Milton, Michael Meigs, Melissa Blanding
Brian Prall Liz Davis
Brian Prall Dru Cabler
Jennifer McGowan Michael Meigs Morgan Dew Karen Milton Jay
Bonnie Brode Claire Cabler Emma Kloninger Meredith Shaw Cindy
Kevin Childs, Meredith Emma Kloninger (1) Childs, Becky Janes, Bill Brodie Doidge (2) Kibler, Nancy Kibler Pam Castles None needed Neal McGowan Claudia Janes Aidan Brady Matthew Awitan (only Crucifer needed) Henry Janes Beatrice Reshetnikov Kim B., Carol Kim K., Carol
Carolyn Wier James Wier JP Kloninger Bo Overstreet Rick Tennant John De Marines
Jean & Frank Severn
Jonea Raney-TC Jill Collins Lynn Edgerton Pat Bullock Helen Anderson
Jay Brown (only Crucifer needed)
Charles Brewer Bob Peterek Manuel de la Rosa Jim Nolan Ryan Marquess
Henry Olivas Yvonne Chavez Darlene Goodnight Debbie Thornal Sandy Sterzing
Shelly Botkin Ryan Marquess
December 25 9:00 A.M. only
Sarah Bancroft (1) Jonea Raney (2) Jill Collins
January 1 Carol sing 8 & 10 AM 8:00 AM Jonea Raney
10: 00 AM Brian Kelly (1) Mary-Alis Kelly (2) Michael Brown Bill Kibler Abbe Kelly Will Kelly Nora Kelly Mairin Bachschmid Kim K. Mark Breen Dee Ann Thomasson Dodie Wells Amalia de la Rosa Yvette Webb Evelyn McMillen
NO 11:00 A.M. SERVICES on DECEMBER 25 and JANUARY 1 Dec. 24th Christmas Eve Services 5:30 p.m. Lectors: Abbe Kelly, Meredith Shaw, and Ryan Dempsey LEMs: Bill Kibler and Carol Oppel Acolytes: Abbe Kelly, Will Kelly, Nora Kelly, and Xander Stockstill
10:00 p.m. Lectors: Kay Brown, Rex White LEMs: Brenda White, Jay Brown Acolytes: Max Genet, Joey Genet, Wenlan Lawrence, and Sophie Lawrence Ushers:
Ushers: Ken Whalen and Mike Brode
Dec. 17 Altar Guild Diana Stangl-TC Dee Ann Thomasson-TC Work Party! Susie Baxter-Harwell Millie Casparis Meredith Childs-TC Debbie Karen Milton Judy Elkins Thornal, Darlene Goodnight, Evelyn McMillen Dodie Wells, Henry Olivas, Carolyn Wier Sandy Sterzing Tina Stonebarger
Jonea Raney-TC Jill Collins Carolyn Wier Pat Bullock
WED. 6 p.m.
Vestry Diana Stangl, Sr. Warden Clarence Bonnen, Jr. Warden
Vestry members: Melissa Blanding, Clarence Bonnen, Michele Bonner, Mark Breen, Mike Brode, Jill Collins, John Cooper, Suzann Dvorken, Ryan Marquess, Laura Merritt, Karen Milton, Becky Poynot, and David Randle
Committees Acolytes: Jay Brown, Carol Oppel, Cindy Cabler, Kim Kiplin, and Kim Buckner Altar Guild: Millie Casparis Building Committee: Amelia Sondgeroth Christian Formation: Cathy Nelson Communications: Pattie Rose Daughters of the King: Judy Elkins Women of St. Mark’s: Pat Bullock Facilities: Ray Smith
Deadline for the January 2017 St. Mark’s News is Thursday, December 15, 2016. Please submit your article by email as an attachment to: email@example.com.
Finance: John Edgerton Outreach: Laurie Mayor
Rector The Rev. Elizabeth Zarelli Turner Assistant Rector The Rev. David W. Peters Director of Religious Education Cathy Nelson Organist/Director of Music Mark Reed Seminarian Neal McGowan Brian Prall Head of Day School Anne Wingler
Parish Life: Brenda White Pastoral Care/Health Ministry: Jonea C.S. Raney Stewardship: Amelia Sondgeroth Ushers: Henry Olivas
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church 2128 Barton Hills Drive Austin, TX 78704 512.444.1449 www.stmarksaustin.org firstname.lastname@example.org
Parish Administrator Joanne Foote Newsletter Editor Becky Janes
CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED
Episcopal Church Newsletter