The Lion's Roar
St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Chenango Bridge, NY
November 2012
     A special note:  Welcome to our new e-newsletter!  We hope to use email to save paper and get informaton to you more quickly!  Thanks for giving us you email address. 
   
From the Rector...
     They say, "Spring ahead, fall back."  Well, I like falling back WAY better!
 
     Don' forget to re-set your clocks on Saturday, November 3.  Push them an hour back before going to bed.  (I am so happy to get that extra hour of sleep back that I lost in the spring!)
 
     I had parishioners from Argentina in my church in suburban Chicago.  They were not used to this custom of time changing, but they were very faithful attenders.  So every spring and fall, they were an hour off in attending church, and we always laughed about it.  I ended up calling them personally at each time change.
 
    Don't make me call you personally!  Sunday, November 4, will be a very special, tender day at St. Mark's.  We will offer our 2013 pledge cards at the altar for God's blessing.  We will remember our beloved dead before the altar, and this is always a very sweet part of our prayer together.  And we will have a parish Harvest dinner later that day (see the separate article about it which follows.)
 
     So remember to change your clock, because it will be time for a wonderful day in our parish life.  See you then!
 
                                                                                                                       Father Mark
 
 
Come to the Harvest Dinner!
     Don't forget the dinner at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 4.  Dinner will be served family style (we hope to avoid any standing in line this way).  St. Mark's will provide the roast turkey.  Please bring a Thanksgiving style side dish to share (we hope you've already signed up).  And please bring something for our CHOW pantry, as we remember those who are hungry in this harvest season. Dessert will be ice cream provided by the Rector.  It's a time sponsored by our Fellowship team so that we can gather to enjoy one another's company and the blessings of good food. 
 
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A Mission Money Meeting
     Come help us give money away!  On Sunday, November 4, the Rector and Stewardship Chair, Sue Surgent, invite you to meet with them in one of the Sunday school rooms between the services, at 9:00.  We chose this time hoping to allow more of you to attend by either staying after church or coming earlier on that Sunday.  We have about $5,000 remaining in our budget to give away in mission.  Do you want us to give it to the agencies and ministries we've supported in the past?  Do you have new ideas?  Come tell us!
 
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Thanksgiving Services
     On the eve of Thanksgiving Day, Wednesday, November 21, at 7:00 p.m., the rector will offer a simple Eucharist.  (There will be no service on Thursday morning this year.)  The word "Eucharist" means "thanksgiving," and so offering this liturgy in conjunction with the Thanksgiving holiday is very appropriate.
 
     In addition, we are invited to an ecumenical Thanksgiving service of the area churches.  The service will be on Sunday, November 18, at 7:00 p.m.  The host church this year is St. Francis of Assisi on Chenango Street, and a highlight of this service is always the choir which is made up of singers from all the area churches.  This year's preacher is our own Rector.  The offering that night goes to the CHOW warehouse.   
  
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Diocesan Convention
     On Friday and Saturday, November 16-17, representatives from all the parishes of the Diocese of Central New York will meet in Liverpool at the Holiday Inn.  All clergy are required to attend, and our St. Mark's lay delegates are Brian Kessler and Andy Pierce.  We will be transacting the necessary business of the diocese (like a Vestry meeting for all the churches), making connections across parish boundaries, and hearing our bishop continue to articulate his vision for our life together in this part of the Episcopal Church.   
   
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Jail Ministry Update
     How many of you remember when I asked you seven years ago to contribute children's books for a new program being started at the Broome County Correctional Facility?  As always, St. Mark's came through and has continued to contribute.  The Family Literacy Program has become well known, not only throughout the state but in other states as a program to be replicated! 
 
     For those who do not know what we do, a quick explanation.  Gently used or new childrens books are donated and we take them to jail.  Men and women who have children on the outside (we have Moms, Dads, Grandparents, Siblings, etc, in our program) come to us and choose books they think their children would like.  They read the books into a small recorder, recordings are made into CD's and the books and CD's are sent to the children free!
 
     Advantages are many but there is not room to tell them all.  Children have positive bonds with inmates, improve their own reading skills and build up personal libraries.   Inmates learn some positive parenting skills, are able to give their children quality gifts (one mother said it was the first time she'd been able to give her 5 year old a birthday present) and improve their own reading skills.  Many inmates are illiterate and would never stoop to learn to read by using children's books - unless it's for their own children.  We teach them reading skills!
 
     Some books are set aside to be placed in Christmas boxes delivered to children of inmates every year.  We try to choose age appropriate reading material.  We accept books from infant, touchy/feely, nursery rhyme books to chapter books.  Right now, the infant, toddler-not chewed on please, are needed most.
 
     Currently there are 4 volunteers, all women, in the program which is an increase from the original 2 but with illnesses and vacations, often only 2 are there.  We must have a minimum of 2 or the weekly program is cancelled.  There are no officers in the room with us but I always feel safe walking through the halls and being in the Chapel where we do it now.  I never feel I'm walking alone.
 
                                                                                                                Ann Range
 
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Church Women United
     Know about it?  St. Mark's belongs and any woman is always welcome to the monthly program held in different churches.  I went in September to Ogden Methodist Church to support The Rev. Cris Mogensen when he spoke to the group on Jail Ministry.
 
     I went again on October 3rd to Main Street Baptist Church where I learned about the Life Choice Center on Oak Street in Binghamton.  They help men and women with free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, information on options, classes for teens, parenting classes, mentoring, baby supplies and more.  It was interesting to hear of the classes for young fathers as well as the mothers.  I've posted a flyer on our board.  It's definitely a Christian Center!  One neat idea was to crochet, quilt or knit a baby blanket for a pregnant mother.  You pray for her, by her first name, and the child during pregnancy.  You are told when the baby is born and whether it was a boy or girl.
 
     Church Women United is composed of women from all different churches in our area.  The purposes are to encourage one another, make resources known and to go into every neighborhood as instruments of Jesus Christ's reconciling love.  I think it's great we are learing about other kinds of religions but I found I don't know as much as I thought about my fellow Christians!  There's a directory which Marion Shoop, our representative, has available and you would be amazed at how many denominations belong to this group!  There's no preaching or attempts to change anyone from one church to another, just getting together to find ways to help or learn about people, their needs and how we might help, in our greater world.
 
     I'm posting the Program and Directory (it's orange) as I have it.  Marion will get more detailed information for you, if you wish.  You can just walk into a meeting.  You will feel at home, be fed sandwiches, dessert and beverages and learn something new.  Materials will be available, including your own directory if you want one, at each meeting.  We need to have some women go on a regular basis.  Not fair to ask Marion to do it alone and have all the fun!
                                                                                                                   Ann Range 
 
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What Does Fellowship Have in Store?
     The Fellowship Commission met on Sunday, October 7, to make plans for the rest of 2012 and 2013.  The purpose of Fellowship is to serve as a vehicle to provide opportunities for members of the parish family to get together and have fun.  We strive for a balance of activities that appeal to multigenerational groups as well as those geared towards adults.
 
This is a tentative schedule of events for the coming year - so mark your calendars!
 
November 4: Harvest dinner - 5:00 p.m. Family style, bring a side dish to pass & a contribution to our CHOW 
                   pantry
December 15: Caroling to nursing home(s) - 3:00 p.m.  Get-together at church afterwards 
January:  A show or concert - adult activity
February 12: Shrove Tuesday celebration
March 12: Guest speaker - 6:00 p.m Soup & Sandwiches, 7:00 p.m. presentation 
April 13: Progressive dinner - appetizers at church, dinners in homes, dessert at a central location
May 18: Hiking - Waterman or Finch Hollow?
June 9: Flat water kayaking, canoeing possibly at Dorchester - 16th as rain date?
August 18 or 25: Parish Picnic - Yes, it's a change!
 
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This is What's Happening in Church School
      Church school is off and running smoothly.  It is always such a pleasure to see their smiling faces coming down the hall - some more exuberant than others but still happy.  We've welcomed several new children into our program this fall,  and hope they enjoy being with us as much as we enjoy having them here. 
 
     Here are a couple of extra-Church school projects in the works.  On November 9, we will be offering a 4th-6th grade Sleepover.  Start time will be 7:00 p.m. and run until 9:00 a.m. Saturday.  The children always have a great time on the sleepovers - and yes, they can bring a friend.  On December 14, we will be having a Children's Christmas party.  It will begin with dinner and continue with crafts, games and a movie.  This is open to all Pre-K through 6th graders.  Sign up sheets will be on the bulletin board. 
 
     We will also be working on our Christmas pageant in November and December.  It is entitled "Just a Little Christmas".  It's a little different than past pageants, but I think it will be quite enjoyable for all.
 
                                                                                                     Mary Taylor, Christian Education Director
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College Care Continues in a New Way
    We like to send our college students reminders at the end of each term that their home church thinks of them as they face final exams.  However, the postage cost of shipping our donated goodies has become very, very high.  So in consultation with some of the parents and students, we have decided to give gift certificates to a fast food restaurant (along with a big "fun size" candy bar for immediate gratification!)  This will be funded through the St. Mark's Discretionary Fund, and we would be glad for your donation!  
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Book Club News
     During November we will be reading The Queen Mother by Lady Colin Campbell.  One of the most popular and influential figure in modern British history, the queen mother was truly a far more interesting and complex individual than usually assumed.  The author, connected to the royal family through mutual ancestors and marriage, takes us inside the private world of the royals.
 
     The Book Club will be taking some time off during the winter.  Look for a new selection in the February or March newsletter. 
 
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Birthdays
    
Brian Blaise  11/1/2005
                       
Greg Fisher 11/17
    
Erin Kasmarcik  11/3
Nicholas Rowe   11/17/99
Carmen Valenzuela  11/3/2004
Lillian Ruf  11/17
Mandy Black  11/4
Brenda Castelucci  11/17
Conrad Range  11/5
Kaiyu Tio  11/20/2001
Lorraine Allen  11/6
Ginger Bronson  11/20
Evelyn Smith  11/9
Aaron Phelps  11/24
Rebecca Cooney  11/11/92 
Dan Koval  11/26
Robert Peterson  11/12
Judy Peterson  11/27
Erica McRae  11/12/91
Jenna Castelucci  11/30/2001
Oliver Blaise  11/14
Michael Van Kleeck  11/30
Simon Kasmarcik  11/16/2007
Morgan Whittington  11/30/2001
Andrew Pierce  11/16
 
*  *  *  *
Anniversaries
 Conrad & Ann Range  11/11/83
Gloria & James Dattoria  11/15/49
Jim & Christine Abbott  11/23/61
Michael & Janet McGuane  11/27/81
Stephen & Marcia Valenti  11/29/08
 
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      Don't Forget to Set Your Clocks Back One Hour on   Saturday, November 3!
     
Thursday, November 1
                                                        7am      Men's Group/Red Oak
                                                        7:30am Women's Group/Denny's
                                                        9am      Morning Prayer
                                                        6pm      Weight Watchers
 
Friday, November 2
                                                              1pm  Singles Ministry
                                                              6pm  Quilters
 
Saturday, November 3
                                                             Set Clocks Back 1 Hour
 
Sunday, November 4 - PLEDGE SUNDAY
                                                          8am     Holy Eucharist - Rite I
                                                          9am     Mission Money Meeting
                                                          9am     Bible Study
                                                          10am    Holy Eucharist
                                                          10am    Church school
                                                          11:30am Choir
                                                          5pm  Harvest Dinner
 
Monday, November 5
                                                                  7pm  Al-Anon
 
Wednesday, November 7
    7pm Bad Girls @ Peterson's home
 
Thursday, November 8
                                                        7am      Men's Group/Red Oak
                                                        7:30am  Women's Group/Denny's
                                                 NO MORNING PRAYER - Rector in Syracuse
                                                        6pm       Weight Watchers
 
Friday, November 9
                                                       7pm  4th-6th grade Sleepover
 
Sunday, November 11
    8am     Holy Eucharist/Phelps Baptism
                                                     9am     Bible Study
                                                    10am    Holy Eucharist/Benning Baptism
                                                    10am    Church School
                                                    11:30am Choir
 
Monday, November 12
                                                                  7pm  Al-Anon
 
Wednesday, November 14
                                                         1pm  Prayer Shawl Ministry
                                                         7pm  Bad Girls @ Peterson's home
 
Thursday, November 15
                                                        7am      Men's Group/Red Oak
                                                        7:30am  Women's Group/Denny's
                                                        9am      Morning Prayer
                                                        6pm      Weight Watchers
 
Friday, November 16
                                                            1pm      Singles Ministry
                                                            6pm      Quilters
                                                            Diocesan Convention 
 
Saturday, November 17
Diocesan Convention
 
Sunday, November 18
                                                            8am      Holy Eucharist
                                                            9am      Bible Study
                                                            10am    Holy Eucharist
                                                            10am    Church School
                                                            11:30am Choir
                                                            11:30am Vestry meeting
                                                            7pm      Ecumenical Thanksgiving sevice
                                                                        at St. Francis of Assisi
 
Monday, November 19
                                                                  7pm     Al-Anon
 
Wednesday, November 21
                                                          1pm      Women's Luncheon
                                                          7pm      Holy Eucharist - Thanksgiving
 
Thursday, November 22
THANKSGIVING DAY
 
Sunday, November 25
                                                             8am      Holy Eucharist
                                                             9am      Bible Study
                                                             10am    Holy Eucharist
                                                             10am    Church School 
                                                             11:30am Choir
 
Monday, November 26
                                                                   7pm Al-Anon
 
Thursday, November 29
                                                         7am      Men's Group/Red Oak
                                                         7:30am Women's Group/Denny's
                                                         9am      Morning Prayer
                                                         6pm      Weight Watchers
 
Friday, November 30
                                                                  6pm      Quilters
 
St. Mark's Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 458, Chenango Bridge, NY, www.stmarks-cb.org