The Lion's Roar
St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Chenango Bridge, NY
March 2014
From the Church Guy
     My wife saw hope on February 18.
     Emily Dickinson wrote that "hope is the thing with feathrs."  My wife Paula was out for a walk that morning of the 18th, and saw a flock of robins.  Not one robin, but a flock.  She keeps track of these things in a nature journal, and it's the earliest she's seen robins by at least two weeks.
     Who saw that coming?  This has been a harsh winter, and I would have expected returning birds to be late in their migration.  But here they are, early!
     I take those robins as a sign of hope.  Hope for a fresh spring with milder weather.  Hope for the beauty of the earth.  Hope for lighter hearts for the people of our community.
     Rachel Carson wrote that "there is symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of birds, the ebb and flow of tides, the folded bud ready for spring.  There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature, the assurance that dawn comes after the night and spring after the winter."
     Thanks be to the God of hope for all good gifts...especially spring!
                                                                         Father Mark +
 Church School Happenings
     We begin the Lenten season this month; and with it comes Lenten programs.  I will once again offer childcare for parents wishing to attend  Father Mark's program.  We will work on various projects related to Lent.  These sessions begin on Sunday, March 9 and end on April 6.  Children may attend any or all of the sessions.
     On March 28 there will be an Overnight for children in Kindergarten thru 3rd grade - accompanied by one parent.  The evening begins at 6pm with a pizza & salad dinner, and ends at 8:30am Saturday.  A sign-up sheet will be posted on the bulletin board at the side entrance.  Children will need to bring a sleeping bag, pillow, pj's, change of clothes, toiletries, and a snack to share.
     On Saturday, April 12, we will offer a Holy Week Workshop for children in grades Kindergarten thru 6th grade from 10am until 2 p.m.  We will take a look at the week to come and enhance it with stories, crafts, games and a movie.  Watch for the sign-up sheet.  
                                                                           Mary Taylor  
                                                                           Christian Education Director
 Ice Cream Bash Before Lent
     It's customary to have a celebration of some kind on Shrove Tuesday (a.k.a. Mardi Gras) on the day before Lent's austerities begin.  You're invited to an ice cream social at church on Tuesday, March 4, at 7 p.m.  The Rector will provide the ice cream, and your only admission price is a canned good for our CHOW pantry.  It would be great if you would wear loud, colorful clothing, too!  Let the good times roll!    
 Ash Wednesday: "Remember that you are dust"
     On Wednesday, March 5, the thoughtful season of Lent begins, a time for reflection, prayer, and self-examination.  Our Ash Wednesday services will be at 6:30 a.m., noon, and 6:30 p.m.  You are invited to make this right beginning of a holy season. 
 A Cotton Patch Lent
     The Rector is pleased to offer what he hopes will be a light-hearted Lenten program for 2014.  On five Sundays in Lent, beginning March 9, he will teach at 11:30, during coffee hour.  There will be extra refreshments for these sessions, which will last 45 minutes to an hour.
     He calls his program "A Cotton Patch Lent."  It will focus on the work of Clarence Jordan, who was a pastor and civil rights worker in the southern U.S. in the 1960's.  He led a Christian farming community of mixed races, which was of course controversial at the time.  He wrote "The Cotton Patch Gospels," a southern vernacular paraphrase of the New Testament.  They are delightful, as they imagine Jesus being born in 20th century Georgia.
     A musical was created from this work, called "Cotton Patch Gospel."  The musical score was by Harry Chapin.
     The Rector will use portions of the music video, readings from Jordan's version of the Gospels, and stories from Jordan's life.  He hopes this will not only be enjoyable, but will give us a fresh way of looking at the Jesus story!  Join us!
 Here's What We Are Reading in Book Club
     Edward Rutherford's book, NEW YORK, was our choice this time.  Like Michner, Rutherford has a stable of outstanding novels about major cities and countries of the world.  New York's gift to the storyteller is magnificent: Indian and Dutch beginnings; larger-than-life historical characters; huge events from the Revolutionary and Civil War - to the crash of '29 and the tragedy of 9/11.  History unfolds as we meet unforgettable people who bring their eras to life in the pages of this wonderful book.   
                                                                             Lillian Ruf
Diocesan Ministry Fair
     We are all invited to a day-long collection of workshops for ministry on Saturday, March 29.  This Diocesan Ministry Fair will be held at the Storer Auditorium at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse.  Registration and a simple breakfast begin at 8:00 a.m., and workshops on many topics begin at 9:00.  The day ends at 4:15.
     Here are some of the workshop topics: Holistic health in the parish.  Church website design.  Interfaith conversations.  Safe Church training.  The work of Vestries.  Racism in America.  Social media for parishes.  Contemplative prayer.  Firing up disciples' hearts.  Conflict resolution.  Family ministry.  How to write a Mission Statement.  Diocesan ministry in El Salvador.  And lots more!
     We have registration forms available in the church office.  (Registrations are to be sent by March 21.)  The cost is only $15.  Interested?  Talk to the Rector! 
Women's Retreat
    The excitement builds!  Retreat time nears.  I am delighed to inform you that the cost has not increased since last year.  To be present April 26-27 at Sky Lake will cost $78. per person, all inclusive.  If you choose not to stay the night, the charge is $26 each day.  Scholarships are available if needed.  Please contact Father Mark to apply.  Linen service is included in the cost - sheets, towels and washcloths - but as I recall, bath soap is not.
     Registration begins March 25th and ends April 13th.  Call Mary Taylor at the church office to get your name on the list - 648-4400.  Registration fees must be in the office by April 13th.  The April newsletter will have a list of requested food donations; and a copy of the map to Sky Lake is available in the office.
     I'm so looking forward to our gathering at Sky Lake and I hope you all are as well.
     P.S.  The retreat will begin at 10:00 a.m. Saturday morning and will end in the early afternoon on Sunday.
                                                                            Judy Kessler 
Time Change
    Daylight Savings Time begins this month!  More light!  Alleluia!  Don't forget to "spring ahead," and set your clocks one hour ahead before you go to bed on Saturday, March 8. 
March Birthdays
Melissa Hill 3/1   Ann Range 3/12
Arna O'Neill 3/2
Breanna Whetsell 3/14  
Austen Ferranti 3/3   Kate Henderson 3/14
Trina Cooney 3/4 Reinaldo Valenzuela 3/17
Audrey Arnold 3/4/97 Dorothy Pierce 3/18
Vivienne Ciotoli 3/5 Glenn Williams 3/19
Luke Reid 3/5/11 Dana Deyo 3/21
William Merrell 3/5 Shiloh Hill 3/22
Elias Laroussi 3/6/11 Emily Phelps 3/24/09
James Rosar 3/6 Tom Cirmo 3/25
Eric Boyce 3/6 Pat Henderson 3/25
Faye Johnson 3/8 Carole Petley 3/28
Jane Buchinsky 3/8
Brenden Samsel 3/28/04 
Marcia Valenti 3/10 Nancy Cady 3/29
Christine Lockwood 3/11 Molly Hall 3/29/08
Jack Abbey 3/11/98 Barbara Fisher 3/30
*  *  *  *
Anniversaries in March
Melissa & Michael Hill 3/3/83
Mandy & Troy Black 3/14/98
Don & Sandy MacDuffee 3/14/70
*  *  *  *
For Your Calendar in March 
March 2 - CHOW Sunday
8am          Holy Eucharist Rite I & Healing
10am        Holy Eucharist & Healing
9am          Bible Study
10am        Church School
11:30am   Choir
March 3
7pm       Al-Anon
March 4
7pm        Shrove Tuesday Ice Cream Social
March 5 -Ash Wednesday
6:30am       Imposition of Ashes & Holy Eucharist
12noon       Imposition of Ashes & Holy Eucharist
6:30pm       Imposition of Ashes & Holy Eucharist
March 6
 7am      Men's Group @ Red Oak
7:30am  Women's Groups @ Denny's
9am       Morning Prayer
6pm       Weight Watchers
March 9
8am & 10am  Holy Eucharist
9am              Bible Study
10am            Church School
11:30am       Cotton Patch Lent      
11:30am       Childcare for Lenten pgm
11:30am       Choir
March 10
7pm      Al-Anon
March 11
9am       Guy's Breakfast @ Red Oak
March 12
1pm       Prayer Shawl Ministry
March 13 - Rector in Syracuse
9am      Morning Prayer 
7am      Men's Group @ Red Oak
7:30am Women's Group @ Denny's
 6pm      Weight Watchers
March 16
8am & 10am  Holy Eucharist
9am              Bible Study
10am            Church school
11:30am       Cotton Patch Lent
11:30am       Childcare for Lenten pgm
11:30am       Choir
1pm             Vestry meeting
March 17
7pm      Al-Anon
March 18
6pm      St. Mark's Table
March 19
1pm      Women's Luncheon
March 20
7am      Men's Group @ Red Oak
7:30am Women's Group @ Denny's
9am      Morning Prayer
6pm      Weight Watchers
March 21
12noon  Singles Ministry - lunch out
March 23 - Canteen Sunday
8am & 10am  Holy Eucharist
9am              Bible Study
10am            Church school
11am            Canteen
11:30am       Cotton Patch Lent
11:30am       Childcare for Lenten pgm
11:30am       Choir 
March 24
7pm      Al-Anon
March 25
9am      Guy's Breakfast @ Red Oak
March 27
7am        Men's Group @ Red Oak
7:30am   Women's Group @ Denny's
9am        Morning Prayer
6pm        Weight Watchers
March 28
6pm        Kindergarten - 3rd grade Overnight
March 29 - Diocesan Ministry Fair
March 30
8am & 10am  Holy Eucharist
9am              Bible Study
10am            Church School
11:30am       Cotton Patch Lent
11:30am       Childcare for Lenten pgm
11:30am       Choir
March 31
7pm      Al-Anon 
St. Mark's Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 458, Chenango Bridge, NY,