The Lion's Roar
St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Chenango Bridge, NY
October 2016
From the Church Guy
     I'd like to say a word of thanks to a friend.
     Sandra Shaw has been the director of the Altar Guild of St. Mark's for longer than I've been the rector.  When I arrived in January of 1995, she'd already been serving in this way for several years.  She has been asking me for a while if she could retire, and I finally have accepted her resignation.  She's not leaving the Altar Guild - she'll still wash the linens (a big chore), and take her turn for Sunday assignments.  But she is leaving her role as director.
     Sue Phelps has graciously agreed to be her successor, and I know Sue will do a wonderful job in this, as she does in all areas of her life.  A big thank-you to Sue for taking this ministry on.
     I've served five parishes as a priest -- two here in Central New York, another in Pennsylvania, one in Illinois and one in Missouri.  So I've worked with five Altar Guilds.  St. Mark's is the best, and Sandra is the reason.
     Sandra makes it fun!  I'm a big fan of hers.  She and the entire Guild always have been helpful and easygoing.  She laughs a lot and has brought deep spiritual commitment to this behind-the-scenes ministry.  She is a remarkable parishioner and a good friend.
     So, Sandra, I want to thank you out loud and in writing.  I don't think a job in church should be a life sentence, but I'm tempted to make an exception in your case.  That's selfish, and I know you have a lot of other irons in the fire.  So cheers, thanks, and blessings!  May your example of service to St. Mark's inspire others to give of their time and talent!
                                                                                       Mark +
A blessing on our Animal Companions
     On Sunday, October 9, at noon, Father Mark will offer a service of blessing of the animals.  Since St. Francis of Assisi is the most famous patron saint of animals, and since his feast day in the church calendar comes at the beginning of October, this is the customary time for such a service celebrating our animal companions.
     The noontime start is to give people a chance to go home after church and bring their friends back.  If the weather is nice, we'll be outside.  We will have general prayers for our pets and for all animals, and then Father Mark will bless each one.  There will be pet treats!
A New Picnic Tradition
     You may have noticed that we had no church picnic this summer.  Schedules and a fast-moving summer got in the way.  BUT you are invited to the First Annual St. Mark's Halloween Picnic!
     On Sunday, October 30, we are going to have a picnic right at church after the 10:00 service.  (So the 8:00-ers would come back at 11:30.) We'll be grilling hamburgers and hot dogs.  We'll be celebrating our new stove/oven.  We'll have a campfire outside, weather permitting.  There will be a Halloween party during the 10:00 Sunday school; and the children are invited to wear their costumes made during the party.
     Be sure to sign up on the bulletin board so we can get enough food!  And bring your own place settings and a dish to share (picnic food!).  It will be fun!!!  
The Vestry Hopes You Will Pledge!
     Very shortly, we will be mailing our members a letter requesting a financial pledge for 2017, a commitment to support the ministries of St. Mark's.  Our monetary gifts to the church express our gratitude to God for the blessings we are given, and are vital for keeping our parish vibrant.
     We hope you will fill out a pledge card and return it (in time for Pledge Sunday, November 6).  Our parish strength depends on the time, talent, and financial giving of our members.
 Remembering Our Beloved Departed
     It is our custom at St. Mark's to remember and name our beloved dead on the first Sunday of November, on All Saints/All Souls Sunday.  This year, we will pray for our loved ones on November 6.  We print the names in a special leaflet, and Father Mark names them in prayer during the Sunday services.
     You may turn in the names on a piece of paper (we'll have tear-away slips in Sunday bulletins in October), putting them in the offering plate, or giving them to Father Mark, or sending them in to the office.  Please WRITE CLEARLY, and, if the name might be hard for him to pronounce, give him a little help.
     "Let light perpetual shine upon them, O Lord, and may the souls of all the departed rest in peace."  
 The Rev. Lisa Busby is a Rector!
    Lisa spent her senior year of seminary as a Sunday intern at St. Mark's.  Ever since, St. Mark's has been a beloved parish to her.  On Sunday, September 11, she began her ministry as the Rector of a church in Alabama.  You might want her address!  It is "The Rev. Lisa Busby, St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 402 South Scott Street, Scottsboro, AL 35768."
 What's Up With the Book Club
     For October the Book Club will discuss "The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son on Life, Love and Loss."  The book contains a year's correspondence between CNN journalisht Anderson Cooper and his famous 91-year-old mother, Gloria Vanderbilt -- a rare window into their most private thoughts, the hard-earned truths they've learned along the way, and what they still want to learn about each other.  We will meet at Denny's on Monday, October 3 at 1 p.m.  All are welcome to attend. 
Church School News
     Our church school began another year with a welcome back gathering complete with a pinata (which the kids really enjoyed!).  
     Regular class sessions have begun for those in Pre-K through 6th grade; and all children in those grades are encouraged to join us.  We use "Living the Good News," which is a liturgical curriculum - meaning they hear stories (Readings) that you hear upstairs.  We work on a craft project and/or play a game that reinforces the story.  Classes are the first part of the worship service; then the children come upstairs to join in the Eucharist.  Are you new to St. Mark's with elementary aged children?  We invite you to come downstairs and check us out!      
     Last year I tried something new with the children - Bible Trivia.  They were given 3 or 4 questions regarding the bible and/or church at the end of each class session to be brought back in the following Sunday where they received a small incentive (treat).  It didn't go as well as I'd hoped. So this year we will focus a period of time during class on prayer.  What is prayer, different kinds of prayer, when should we pray etc. 
     While I truly believe one of the most important things the children can learn at Church school is a sense of being accepted and safe as part of our St. Mark's family.  I also would like them to be familiar with basic parts of our worship services and parts of the Bible.  And I don't want to stress them out by giving them more 'homework', so we'll start with small, in-class, time periods and see how it goes.  Please feel free to share any questions or thoughts you have with me.
                                                                       Mary Taylor,
                                                                       Christian Education Director 
Grab Bag Halloween Party
     On Sunday, October 30, during the first part of the service, all the children from the Church school are invited to come to a Grab Bag Halloween Party!  No need to come in costume -- there will be bags of items (all either freshly laundered or new) to choose from to make up a Halloween costume on the spot! Mix or match to create one-of-a-kind outfits.  There will be fun and games for all! 
St. Mark's Altar Guild - by Susan Phelps
    A little history....
     Altar Guilds, as known to the Episcopal Church, did not become a formalized body until the nineteenth century.  The history of its development goes back to the time of the apostles.  In the early days of the Church, followers of Christ gathered in private homes to break bread together and to share their memories of him.  Presumably, the head of the household provided whatever was required for the meal.
     As the Christian population increased substantially, larger buildings in which to meet were required.  Certain people were given the ministry of caring for these places, the worshipers themselves providing the food for the meal.  Food was also being set aside to take to those more remote areas and circumstances which did not allow them to be part of corporate worship, such as the shut-ins and the poor.
     By the fourth century, parish ministry had been generally established, and for hundreds of years to follow the ordained clergy referred to as sacristans were responsible for maintaining all the paraphernalia of worship, for preparing for the services, and for doing the Church housekeeping as well.
     In the Church of England, beginning in the sixteenth century, altar care was also the task of the sacristan (who was an ordained member of the clergy), and the verger (who was not ordained) in cathedrals.  In the parishes, these duties belonged to the cleric of the parish.
     Years later, laymen became the sacristans and, eventually, in the nineteenth century, women were included in this ministry as assistants to sacristans.  By the turn of the twentieth century, women were beginning to organize into Altar Guilds, and in most parts of the United States they assumed the sacristan's duties themselves.  Until the 1970s this channel was the only one through which they could serve God at the Altar.
     Now, however, men are taking part in increasing numbers, as once again the decoration of the Church and preparation for worship is becoming a joint ministry of all the baptized. (Reference: "The Altar Guild Handbook," The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, Venice, Florida.)
     St. Mark's is fortunate to have a group of dedicated ladies, who have for many years cared for our altar.  They clean, set up and decorate the church throughout the church seasons.  Meetings are held three times a year after the 10 a.m. Sunday service in the Lounge.  We hope to expand our numbers, and would welcome anyone, including gentlemen, to our ranks.  This is an important part of church life which offers time to quietly meditate in prepara- tion for celebration of the Eucharist and the other sacraments so important to us.
     Please consider joining us in service to St. Mark's!  We'd love to have you!  Our next meeting is at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, October 23.  See Father Mark or Susan Phelps (648-5559) if you'd like to know more!
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 
October Birthdays
Dave Gridley 10/1
Evan Jacobs 10/13/03
Liam McCall 10/1/10  
Brian Pease 10/13
Amanda Reid 10/2 Jean Rosenthal 10/14
Ruth Sutliff 10/6
Lianna Quinn 10/17
Madison Mika 10/8/10
Andrea Rutherford 10/17 
Lynne McRae 10/8
Marcus Dattoria 10/17
Charlie Syron 10/10/00 Ben Syron 10/26/03
Herman Tio 10/10
Jane Sweet 10/27
Lorrie Spear 10/10
Rayma Wilson 10/29
Marie Giroux 10/11
Carolyn Hill 10/29
Eric Castellucci 10/12 Andre Blaise 10/29/11
Dana Holcomb 10/12 Kathi Holcomb 10/30
Jerry Marinich 10/13 Connor Mika 10/31/09
*  *  *  *
Anniversaries in October
    Jeff & Arna O'Neill 10/5/74
Brian & Kate Abey 10/5/95
Ron & Kristen Bertram 10/7/89
Kenney & Debora Gardner 10/10/09
Kevin & Brooke McCall 10/11/13
Jerry & Melody Marinich 10/17/89
Dennis & Sandy Walker 10/21/78
David & Stacey Gridley 10/21/89
Mark & Joan Tymeson 10/21/78
Oliver & Dalya Blaise 10/23/99
*   *   *
For Your Calendar in October
October 2 CHOW Sunday
8am             Holy Eucharist - Rite I, Baptism of Jayce Laine
9am             Bible Study
10am           Holy Eucharist
10am           Church school
11:30am      Choir
October 3
1pm             Book Club @ Denny's
7pm             Al-Anon
October 4
 8:30am        Pastor's Breakfast
October 5
7pm            Bad Girls @ Peterson home
October 6 
7am             Men's Group @ Red Oak
7:30am        Women's Group @ Denny's
9am             Morning Prayer
6pm             Weight Watchers
October 7
1pm             Singles Ministry
October 8
11:00am       Lenga Baby Shower
October 9 
8 & 10am      Holy Eucharist
9am              Bible Study
10am            Church school
11:30am       Choir Rehearsal
12:00pm       Pet Blessing
October 10
7pm              Al-Anon
October 11            
9am             Guy's Breakfast @ Red Oak
October 12
10am           Prayer Shawl Ministry
7pm             Bad Girls @ Peterson home
October 13
7am             Men's Group @ Red Oak
7:30am        Women's Group @ Denny's
9am             Morning Prayer
6pm             Weight Watchers
October 16
8 & 10am      Holy Eucharist
9am              Bible Study
10am            Church school
11:30am       Choir Rehearsal
11:30am       Vestry Meeting
October 17
7pm             Al-Anon
October 18
6pm             St. Mark's Table
October 19
1pm            Women's Luncheon @ Cortese
7pm            Bad Girls @ Peterson home
October 20
7am            Men's Group @ Red Oak
7:30am       Women's Group @ Denny's
9am            Morning Prayer
6pm            Weight Watchers
October 21
1pm            Singles Ministry
October 22
11:00am      Syracuse OnCenter farewell to Bishop Adams
October 23 - Canteen
8 & 10am    Holy Eucharist
9am            Bible Study
10am          Church school
11am          Canteen
11:30am     Choir Rehearsal
11:30am     Altar Guild    
October 24
7pm            Al-Anon
October 25
9am            Guy's Breakfast @ Red Oak
October 26
7:30am        Clericus
7pm             Bad Girls @ Peterson home
October 27
7am             Men's Group @ Red Oak
7:30am        Women's Group @ Denny's
9am             Morning Prayer
6pm             Weight Watchers
October 30
8 & 10am    Holy Eucharist
9am            Bible Study
10am          Church school - Grab Bag Halloween
11:30am     Halloween Parish Picnic
October 31
7pm            Al-Anon
St. Mark's Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 458, Chenango Bridge, NY,