The Lion's Roar
St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Chenango Bridge, NY
August 2016
From the Church Guy
     You probably wouldn't label me as a super-patriot.  I grew up in the era of Watergate and the Vietnam War, and my generation is famous for its anger against some aspects of America's government in those days.
     But I had a great Fourth of July this year.  My wife and I were visiting my little brother (okay, he's nearly six feet tall, but he's my baby brother) and his wife in the Saratoga area.  On the Fourth, we hiked 5 miles at the Wilkinson National Park, which is a battlefield of the Revolutionary War.
     As we finished our ramble and arrived back at the Visitor's Center, we happened to arrive in time for a ceremonial reading of the Declaration of Independence, followed by musket and cannon salutes fired by men in period costumes.
     As the Declaration was read, I was surprised to have my eyes fill with tears.  Winston Churchill famously said that democracy is the worst form of government...except for all the rest.  I have no illusions about the continuing imperfections of our American society.  But I'm grateful and happy to live in this country.  I hope you are, too.
                                                                                    Mark +
P.S.  Here's a long prayer from the back of our Prayer Book you may not know.  This prayer has sometimes been attributed to George Washington (who was an Episcopalian and vestry member), but it was actually written in 1882 by a priest named George Locke.  It was not used in the 1892 version of the Prayer Book, but was included in the 1928 Book, and in our current Prayer Book on page 820. The language is old-fashioned, but we still need the things for which this prayer asks!
     Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage: We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favor and glad to do thy will.  Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners.  Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way.  Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues.  Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth.  In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.
Electing a New Bishop for Central New York
     On August 8, delegates from all the Episcopal Churches in the Diocese of Central New York will gather at the Holiday Inn in Liverpool. Our current, but retiring, Bishop, Skip Adams, will preside over the election of his successor.
     Five nominees are standing for election (we have had their profiles posted at church)... four women, one man...four priests from other dioceses, one priest from our own.
     (Interesting note from Father Mark: I asked the bishop during his last visit with us in June if he had decided for whom he would vote.  He told me he does not have the right to vote, since by the rules of the Episcopal Church, he is not a member of the Diocese...he is a member of the House of Bishops.  In the same way, I am not actually a member of St. Mark's, but as a priest, I am a member of the Diocesan Clergy.)
    Your representatives in this election are the clergy (Father Mark, Deacon Dorothy, the Rev. Judy Kessler) and two lay delegates, Brian Kessler, and Jeff Jacobs.  (Andy Pierce was originally our delegate, with Brian as alternate, but Andy was asked to serve as overseer of the electronic voting process, and so asked to be relieved of his duties as delegate.  Brian graciously agreed to serve.)
     "Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on your Church, and so guide the minds of those who shall choose a bishop for this Diocese, that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen."  (Book of Common Prayer, p. 818.)
To the Women of St. Mark's
     The Bad Girls group will be gathering again this fall.  We will be studying Hildegard of Bingen's illuminations which are paintings of the visions she had during her lifetime and which represent the deep spirituality she embraced.
     We will be using a book by Matthew Fox called Illuminations, and Sandy Zanker-Nichols has ordered, in bulk, copies at a super fantastic reduced price for us to use.  Yea, Sandy!
     Our first session will be on October 5th and our last will be November 16th.  We will meet at Bob Peterson's house, 8 Poplar Hill Rd., at 7 p.m. each week.
     We have great fun and lively discussion every week, and we would welcome your presence with us.  All are welcome.
                                                                                    Judy Kessler 
 Please Sign Up to Help at the August Canteen
     On the fourth Sunday of the month (August 28), St. Mark's will provide the food and volunteers for the Sunday hot meal program at our sister parish, Trinity Memorial in Binghamton.  Can you sign up to help?  It's just a couple of hours of work that will make a huge difference in the lives of our needy neighbors.  The sign-up sheet is on the church bulletin board.
 What's Up With the Book Club
     For August, we will discuss Mark L. Strauss's Jesus Behaving Badly, The Puzzling Paradoxes of the Man from Galilee, an invaluable tool for understanding the Jesus of the Gospels.  A much more complicated character than the gentle teacher of Sunday school familiarity, Jesus is shown in his own words and historical context to be a name-calling troublemaker who offended the religious establishment, resisted accepted family values, and started a revolution in Judaism.  The group will meet at Denny's on Monday, August 1, at 1 p.m.  All are welcome to attend. 
The Rev. Lisa Busby's Farewell
     Lisa will be with us on Sunday, August 14, as preacher and celebrant.  It will be her farewell to this parish she loves.  She is in the process of accepting a call to be the rector of a parish.  (As our newsletter is being written, we can't yet reveal her destination.)  We'll rejoice with her and send her with our blessings.
Father Mark's Vacation, Part Deux
     Father Mark plans to take the rest of his vacation at the end of August.  He will be away from August 16-30.  If there is a pastoral emergency, you may contact Mary in the office (648-4400), or call one of our wardens: Jeff Jacobs (648-4911) or Stacey Gridley (648-4225).
August Birthdays
Mike Henderson 8/1
Fred Dootlittle 8/19
Sandie Walker 8/4  
Mary Lou Zanot 8/19
Martin McHale 8/6 Evan McCall 8/20/12
Katelyn Black 8/6/10
William Thomas 8/21
Judy Heller 8/8
Melissa Sweet 8/21
Diane Schaumberg 8/10
Mary Brom 8/23/05
Tracy Langstaff 8/11 Barbara Badger 8/23
Cindy Ferranti 8/12
Jeffrey Jacobs 8/24
Kelly Johnson 8/15
Sue Thomas 8/26
Clyde Gruver 8/16
Mary Taylor 8/28
Amber Desjarlais 8/17/03 Barbara Ferrari 8/29
Caroline Thomas 8/17 Dawn Moochler 8/29
Sam Ciotoli 8/17 Brooklyn Dattoria 8/29/14
Kim Meier 8/30
*  *  *  *
Anniversaries in August
Greg & Barb Fisher 8/3/85
Brian & Judy Kessler 8/5/61
Josh & Lianna Quinn 8/9/14
Bob & Mary Lou Zanot 8/10/75
Steve & Pam Carr 8/11/90
Sam & Viv Ciotoli 8/11
 Clyde & Virginia Gruver 8/12/67
Brandon & Heather Benning 8/14/10
Cody & Shiloh Whitman 8/16/14
John & Cindi Ferranti 8/20/88
Robert & Karen Van Kleeck 8/21/76
Dale & Kelly Johnson 8/22/87
Dana & Kathi Holcomb 8/26/67
Gerry & Trina Cooney 8/28/82
*   *   *
For Your Calendar in August
August 1
1pm             Book Club @ Denny's
7pm             Al-Anon
August 4 
7am             Men's Group @ Red Oak
7:30am        Women's Group @ Denny's
9am             Morning Prayer
6pm             Weight Watchers
August 5
12pm            Singles Ministry - Out to lunch
August 6      Election of our next Bishop
August 7
8am              Holy Eucharist - Rite 1
9am              Bible Study
10am            Holy Eucharist
August 8
7pm              Al-Anon
August 9            
9am             Guy's Breakfast @ Red Oak
August 11
7am             Men's Group @ Red Oak
7:30am        Women's Group @ Denny's
9am             Morning Prayer
6pm             Weight Watchers
August 12
4:30 p.m.      Wedding Rehearsal
August 13
                    Bergman/Quick Wedding
August 14
8 & 10am      Holy Eucharist - The Rev. Lisa Busby
9am              Bible Study
August 15
7pm             Al-Anon
August 16     Father Mark on vacation through 8/30
August 17
1pm            Women's Luncheon @ Cortese
August 18
7am            Men's Group @ Red Oak
7:30am       Women's Group @ Denny's
9am            Morning Prayer
6pm            Weight Watchers
August 19
1pm            Singles Ministry - Lillian Ruf - Book Review
August 21
8 & 10am    Holy Eucharist - The Rev. Judy Kessler
9am            Bible Study
August 22
7pm            Al-Anon
August 23
9am            Guy's Breakfast @ Red Oak
August 25
7am             Men's Group @ Red Oak
7:30am        Women's Group @ Denny's
9am             Morning Prayer
6pm             Weight Watchers
August 28
8 & 10am     Holy Eucharist & Healing - The Rev. Judy Kessler
9am             Bible Study
August 29
7pm            Al-Anon
August 31 - Father Mark back in office
St. Mark's Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 458, Chenango Bridge, NY,