The Lion's Roar
St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Chenango Bridge, NY
September 2016
From the Church Guy
     "If you really love nature, you can find beauty everywhere."
     The great artist Vincent Van Gogh said that.  And it's true, of course.
     We can all see God's beauty in a colorful sunset, or a majestic tree, or the vista of the hills as they recede into the distance.  But we can also see beauty in unexpected places.
     My wife and I read a fascinating book on nature this past summer, in which a father taught his young daughter to look closely at nature visible even in the city in which they live.  He found beauty and wonder by paying attention to everything from pigeons to ants, from weeds to crows.  We don't usually expect to be struck by the beauty of nature in such creatures, but if we have eyes to see, the beauty is there.
     The book's title alone is wonderful: Unseen City: the Majesty of Pigeons, the Discreet Charm of Snails & Other Wonders of the Urban Wilderness.  So if this author can teach his daughter the wonders of creation in a major city, how much more are we privileged to see the beauty of the earth in our southern tier setting!  "If you really love nature, you can find beauty everywhere."
     Or, as Psalm 33 puts it. "the loving-kindness of the Lord fills the whole earth." attention!
                                                                                       Mark +
Come to the Table...the St. Mark's Table
     You're invited to a shared meal on Tuesday, September 20!  We call it "St. Mark's Table," and it follows a custom of the very first Christians.  We begin at 6:00 with a meal.  Please bring your own place settings and a dish to share for everyone.  By the way, wine or beer may be part of this meal, and we drink responsibly, of course!
     At about 7:00, we sing for a while, led by Father Mark on guitar.  After we offer these praises, we conclude with a simple celebration of the Eucharist around the table.  Those who attend enjoy it very much, and hope more of you will join in.
Help Feed Hungry People at Trinity's Canteen
     For years now, you have been faithful in your support of the Sunday feeding ministry of our sister parish, Trinity Memorial in Binghamton.  Each Sunday, a hundred or more people in need are given a hot meal and a sack lunch to take away.
     Can you sign up to help for our next assigned Sunday, September 25?  We ask you to bring some food (you'll get a phone call as to what to bring), but if that's too much to ask you still can offer your labor, sign up anyway!  You'd report to Trinity Church (at the corner of Main and Oak Streets, across the street from Binghamton High School) at 11:00, to help prepare and serve the meal, then clean up.  The chores are usually done by 1:00, but the good feelings last much longer than that!
Note a Coming Blessings Service for Animals
     Near the beginning of October, many churches offer blessings on the animals we love.  The custom is related to St. Francis of Assisi, who loved all God's creatures, and whose liturgical commemoration is at the beginning of October.
     On Sunday, October 9, Father Mark will offer the Blessing of the Animals at noon.  This gives people time to go fetch beloved animals after church and come back.  Our animal companions bless our lives.  In our prayers October 9, we will ask God to bless them, as well.
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 
 Youth Group Overnight!
     Let's start our new school year with the youth group with some real fun...a lock-in at church!  St. Mark's youth in grades 7-12 are invited to our opening event, an overnight at the church on Friday, September 23.
     We'll begin at 7:00 p.m., and kids are asked to bring sleeping bags, pillows, toiletries, and snacks to share (there also might be pizza on top of that!).  Friends are welcome, if you check with Father Mark.  The event will be over at 8:30 a.m. Saturday.
     We'll eat, have fun, plan coming events, and play some games.  St. Mark's Episcopal Youth Fellowship is led by Father Mark and Eric & Sabrina Laine.  Don't miss it!
 Come and Join St. Mark's Adult Choir
    St. Mark's Adult (at least we're qualified to be adults) Choir rehearsals beginning on September 11th (choir loft) following the 10:00 Eucharist.  Please join us for a challenging repertoire week after week, an awesome social interaction with some highly intelligent people and an absolutely wonderful beginning to your work week!!! 
 What's Up With the Book Club
     For September, we will discuss Mary Coin, by Marissa Silver.  A fictionalized, multi-generational story inspired by the iconic Depression-era image, Migrant Mother, this novel re-imagines the lives of both the subject and the photographer.  Compelling and honest, this dual portrait gives a human face to overwhelming disaster while exploring the questions of morality in art, and the exploitation of photographic subjects.  The group will meet at Denny's on Monday, September 12 at 1:00 p.m.  All are welcome to attend. 
A New Church School Year Begins
     It's hard to believe that summer is over and another school year is beginning.  I hope everyone had a summer they enjoyed - fun-filled adventures or quiet and relaxing. 
     Our Church school year begins on Sunday,  September 18, for children in Nursery to 6th grade.  To start off the year those in grades Pre-K - 6th grade will gather in the undercroft (big room downstairs) for a welcome back party and something special. No, I won't tell you what it is, you'll have to come and see!  Regular classes will begin on the 25th.  Our curriculum, Living the Good News, is lectionary based, which means the children are hearing the same lessons the adults are upstairs, so feel free to ask your children about the stories they heard.  Classes are the first part of the worship service; then the children come upstairs to join in the Eucharist. 
     We look forward to seeing everyone on the 18th!
     1st Note:  I am looking for another teacher in the following grade levels - Nursery, Pre-K -Kindergarten, 1st-3rd.  Do you enjoy working with children? Have you ever thought about teaching? Not sure if you know enough to teach - no problem - you can learn together!  Our children are a wonderful group of individuals; and are a pleasure to work with.  All it takes is one or two Sundays a month for approximately 35 minutes plus prep time.   If interested please give me a call at 648-4400 or 644-2157.
     Attention Teachers - There will be a teacher's meeting on Sunday, September 11.  Hope you all can make it, but if not, please let me know.
                                                                       Mary Taylor,
                                                                       Christian Education DIrector 
Another 2016 High School Graduate
     Jacob Osterhout   
     Jake graduated this past June from Chenango Forks High School.  Throughout his school years he wrestled, played lacrosse and was a member of all three New York State Championship football teams.  Jake was the most outstanding student in his BOCES Building Trades class; and he made high honor roll for all marking periods.  He also acheived Eagle Scout.
     Jake has been a member of the St. Mark's Youth group and acolyted for five years. 
     In the fall, he plans to go to Nelsonville, Ohio and take Natural Resources and Law Enforcement at Hocking College.  His ultimate goal is a careet in law enforcement. 
Liturgical Corner
     Some time in September, we will once again use a form of the Great Thanksgiving which is not in our Prayer Book, but which is authorized by the Episcopal Church, and our own bishop.  We've been encouraged to try some of the newer forms of the Eucharistic Prayer, and will do so for some weeks this autumn.
     There is a basic shape to the Eucharistic liturgy.  The word "liturgy" means "the work of the people."  The shape of the liturgy is based on the actions of Jesus at his Last Supper with his friends.  He took the bread and cup, gave thanks (or blessed the bread and wine), broke the bread, and gave it to them.  It's a four-fold shape: taking, blessing, breaking, and giving.
     This basic shape is part of the newer prayers, as well.  The language is newer and perhaps unfamiliar, but is solid and beautiful.  And the shape is always the same.
     Your reactions to the newer forms are always welcomed by the Rector. 
September Birthdays
Judy Kessler 9/1
Mark Giroux 9/16
Dalya Alkass-Blaise 9/1  
Anne Blakeslee 9/16
Zach Bodine 9/1/99 Kristen Ericksen 9/17
Brian Kessler 9/4
Jerri Bush 9/18
Claire Ernstrom 9/4
Elisabeth Syron 9/18/98
Sue Blythe 9/5
Jeff Desjarlais 9/19
Teresa Lockwood 9/7 Alanna Lenga 9/21
Maureen Mizzoni 9/10
Carter Mika 9/23/13
Donavan Benning 9/11/14
Heather Benning 9/24
Paul Bibbins 9/11
Zachary Dattoria 9/15/11
Mary Stasko 9/11 Duane Mayo 9/28
Ava Laroussi 9/13/06 Judi Laine 9/30
Karen King 9/14 Peyton Dattoria 9/30/09
*  *  *  *
Anniversaries in September
    Jim & Mary Stasko 9/4/82
Brian & Erin Kasmarcik 9/4/09
Frank & Lillian Ruf 9/6
 David & Sue Surgent 9/7/85
Diane Schaumberg & Holly Sensenig 9/8/12
Nate & Cristina Phelps 9/8/07
Greg & Dawn Moochler 9/10/90
Tony & Bonnie Guzenski 9/12/81
Chuck & Sue Praefke 9/14/74
Larry & Chris Sweet 9/14/91
Wendell & Patricia Weller 9/16/66
Christopher & Christine Samsel 9/20/97
Tyler & Kasey Easton 9/22/12
Andy & Dorothy Pierce 9/28/91
*   *   *
For Your Calendar in September
September 1
7am             Men's Group @ Red Oak
7:30am        Women's Group @ Denny's
9am             Morning Prayer
6pm             Weight Watchers
September 2
                   No Singles meeting - Labor Day Weekend
September 3
2pm             Private Baptism
September 4 - CHOW Sunday
8am             Holy Eucharist - Rite I
9am             Bible Study
10am           Holy Eucharist
September 5
1pm             Book Club @ Denny's
7pm             Al-Anon
September 8 
7am             Men's Group @ Red Oak
7:30am        Women's Group @ Denny's
9am             Morning Prayer
6pm             Weight Watchers
September 11
8 & 10am      Holy Eucharist
9am              Bible Study
11:30am       Altar Guild
11:30am       Church school teacher's meeting
11:30am       Choir Rehearsal
September 12
7pm              Al-Anon
September 13            
9am             Guy's Breakfast @ Red Oak
September 14
10am           Prayer Shawl Ministry
September 15
7am             Men's Group @ Red Oak
7:30am        Women's Group @ Denny's
9am             Morning Prayer
6pm             Weight Watchers
September 16
1pm             Singles Ministry - Father Mark
September 17
                    Bush Wedding at CV State Park
September 18
8 & 10am      Holy Eucharist
9am              Bible Study
10am            Kick-off to Church school
11:30am       Choir Rehearsal
11:30am       Vestry Meeting
September 19
7pm             Al-Anon
September 20
6pm             St. Mark's Table
September 21
1pm            Women's Luncheon @ Cortese
September 22
7am            Men's Group @ Red Oak
7:30am       Women's Group @ Denny's
9am            Morning Prayer
6pm            Weight Watchers
September 23
7pm            Youth Group Lock-in (7th-12th)
September 24
8:30am       Lock-in ends
September 25 - Canteen
8 & 10am    Holy Eucharist - Prayers for Healing
9am            Bible Study
10am          Church school
11am          Canteen
11:30am     Choir Rehearsal
1pm            Private Baptism
September 26
7pm            Al-Anon
September 27
9am            Guy's Breakfast @ Red Oak
September 28
7:30am        Clericus
September 29
7am             Men's Group @ Red Oak
7:30am        Women's Group @ Denny's
9am             Morning Prayer
6pm             Weight Watchers
St. Mark's Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 458, Chenango Bridge, NY,