The Lion's Roar
St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Chenango Bridge, NY
July 2014
From the Church Guy
    Maybe you've noticed I've been using a new blessing at the end of our church services.
     I found it in another Episcopal parish of our diocese, and liked it.  Some of you have said you like it, too.  Someone suggested I put it in the newsletter.  It might even be quite suitable for a refrigerator magnet!
     So here it is:
     "Life is short and we do not have too much time to gladden the hearts of those with whom we travel along the way.  So let us be swift to love, and make haste to be kind.  And the blessing of God almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be upon you, and everyone you love, today and always."
                                                                         Father Mark +
 Ramp It Up!
     For the sixth summer in a row, the St. Mark's Youth Group will build a wheelchair ramp for a family in need.  Our work weekend is July 11-12, so keep us in your prayers.  The teens will be led by our faithful adult mentors:  Dave Gridley, Dave Surgent, Ben Reid, Eric Laine I, Jeff Jacobs, and Father Mark.
 Get ready to picnic!
    Mark your calendar for the St. Mark's summer picnic!  It will be held at Port Dickinson Park on Sunday, August 3.  THERE WILL NOT BE A 10:00 SERVICE THAT DAY!  We will have Eucharist at 11:30 a.m. at the park, and then will have our picnic meal at noon.  Chicken and drinks will be provided (we ask for $3 per person, maximum of $12 per family), and we need you to sign up ahead of time so we can plan.  You are asked to bring something for our table to share - a salad, or a dessert, or a side dish.  It'll be fun, so don't miss it!    
 It's Not Odd - It's An Audit
    Here's something important that you may not know.  Each year, the financial life of St. Mark's Church is scrutinized in an audit.  The audit underscores our confidence that the parish finances are always handled responsibly, faithfully, and honestly.
     We have an audit committee made up of members who are knowledgeable about accounting practices, while they are not involved in our day-to-day operations.  Sue Surgent is our Treasurer.  She does an excellent job and gives countless hours to us in her service.  She cooperates closely with the committee during the audit process.
     The audit committee is made of these wonderful people: Gerry Cooney, Brian Kessler, Bob Van Kleeck, and Judi Laine.  They do a fine job for us in their close examination of our financial records.  They provide the Vestry with a report each year on their findings, and St. Mark's always gets a good review, since we work hard to comply with all standard financial practices.  Their report on the year 2013 is posted on the bulletin board.
     We want to thank the audit committee for their time and work.  We want to thank our Treasurer for her hours of faithful work.  All of these people work for us and bless us by what they do! 
 Money Matters
     It takes money to keep a church running strong, and the people of St. Mark's are to be commended for their ongoing generosity.  Our parish is vibrant because of the time, the talent, and the treasure given by our members.
     Thank you for your monetary gifts to the church.  Even if you are away on vacation, your Vestry appreciates your care in keeping up to date with your pledged commitment to St. Mark's.
     The Financial Secretary (Mary Taylor) prints out pledge status reports at the end of the third quarter of the year (after September 30) to let people know whether or not they are up to date.  We do not print these out for the first two quarters, since it takes so much paper and time.  But you are always welcome to check with her if you are not sure about where you stand.  If there is some kind of error, we are eager to make it right, either in our records or yours.
     The main source of support for our church is in two categories: pledge and plate.  Pledges are the amounts promised at the end of the previous year so that the Vestry can plan the budget.  "Plate" refers to cash and checks put in the offering plate that has not been pledged.
     The Sunday collection is locked in our safe, and then later counted carefully by two people.  Careful records are kept, allocating the money to the donor's contribution record, and applied as specified by the giver.  Then the collecton is taken by yet another person to the bank for deposit.
     The records are given to the Treasurer, who puts the information in the monthly Treasurer's Report.  The Vestry receives this report of income and expenses and goes over it carefully at each meeting.  The approved reports are posted on the bulletin board.
     Money matters.  Thank you for your generosity.  Your confidence in the procedures in handling money at St. Mark's should be very high.  And, of course, we recognize ultimately that "all things come of Thee, O Lord, and of Thine own have we given Thee."
 Rector On Vacation
     Father Mark will be on vacation from July 14 until July 21.  The Rev. Judy Kessler will be our supply priest on July 20.
     In case of emergency, call the office (648-4400), or one of the Wardens.  Gary Graham (761-0907) is Senior Warden.  Karen Van Kleeck (648-2553) is Junior Warden.     
 Deacon Dorothy's Going to East Africa
     Deacon Dorothy will be on a mission trip the first three weeks of September doing volunteer teaching at St. Elizabeth School in Timau, Kenya, East Africa.  The school, which is run by Franciscan Sisters at Timau, has about 200 children, PreSchool and Grades 1 to 4.  Dorothy is collecting small stuffed animals (new ones) and jigsaw puzzles for the children, which the Sisters say will be a very special treat for them.  The children would also love to receive handmade cards, poems, notes of love, and pictures from our St. Mark's Family, especially our children.  Let's fill a suitcase with these gifts for our little brothers and sisters at Timau.  We'll be collecting these items until the middle of August.  Thank you!   
 Summer Project for St. Mark's Children
     Our children have an opportunity this summer to give some gifts of their time and talents to the children of St. Elizabeth School in Timau, Kenya, East Africa.  They'll be making small stuffed animals and cards to send with Deacon Dorothy to the school.   They'll have a variety of materials to pick from and may decorate them and stuff them - adults will do the sewing.  We will be working on the project July 13, 20, 27, and August 3.  Hope to see you there.
 To the Sky Lake Retreat Participants
     My mother would not be at all happy about my tardiness in thanking all of you who were at the retreat at Sky Lake.  The success of our gathering is because of your presence and your purpose, to say nothing of the money offerings you contribute.  We could not do this without you, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity and support.
     This year's retreat is living on and, if you look around, you will see the cross as the tree of life in many different places.  My sense is that we have only just begun to explore this concept, and I am excited about where further investigation might lead us.  I'm already looking forward to next year and I hope you are too.
     Again, my most profound thanks to you for who you are, what you do, and what you bring (in every sense of that phrase) to our retreat.  Your are the best!!!
                                                                            With love and gratitude,
July Birthdays
Helen Ruspantini 7/1   Terry Black 7/11
Crystal Howland 7/2
Bill Henderson 7/11  
Mina Tio 7/3   Tomee Crooks 7/12
Tim Carr 7/5 Ron Bertram 7/12
Dana Ferranti 7/5
Nate Phelps 7/13
Peg Prentice 7/5
Cristina Phelps 7/13
Dave Knox 7/7 Jan Kloda 7/14
Robert Deyo 7/7/12 Faith White 7/15
Leslie Resciniti 7/8 Troy Black 7/18
Stephen Valenti 7/9 Remedy Allport 7/17/04
Douglas Leigh 7/10 Eric Laine I 7/27 
Janee Valenzuela 7/10 Sue Praefke 7/29
*  *  *  *
Anniversaries in July
Jim Rosar & Janet Zapata 7/4/2006
William & Susan Thomas 7/6/1996
Gary & Pat Henderson 7/13/1985
Eric & Sabrina Laine 7/14/2007
Chris & Theresa Brom 7/29/2000 
*  *  *  *
For Your Calendar in July
July 3
7am       Men's Group @ Red Oak
7:30am  Women's Groups @ Denny's
9am       Morning Prayer
6pm       Weight Watchers
July 4 - Have a safe and joyful holiday!
July 6
8am        Holy Eucharist - Rite 1 & Healing
9am        Bible Study
10am      Holy Eucharist & Healing
July 7
7pm      Al-Anon
July 8
9am     Guy's Breakfast @ Red Oak
July 10
7am        Men's Group @ Red Oak
7:30am   Women's Group @ Denny's
9am        Morning Prayer
6pm        Weight Watchers
July 11 & 12
              Ramp It Up Weekend
July 13
8am & 10am  Holy Eucharist
9am              Bible Study
July 14 - Father Mark on Vacation 7/14-7/21
7pm      Al-Anon
July 16 
1pm      Women's Luncheon @ Cortese
July 17
7am        Men's Group @ Red Oak
7:30am   Women's Group @ Denny's
9am        Morning Prayer
6pm        Weight Watchers
July 18
1pm       Singles Ministry - out to lunch
July 20 - The Rev. Judy Kessler
8am & 10am  Holy Eucharist
9am              Bible Study
July 21
7pm           Al-Anon
July 22 
9am           Guy's Breakfast @ Red Oak
July 24
7am           Men's Group @ Red Oak
7:30am      Women's Group @ Denny's
9am           Morning Prayer
6pm           Weight Watchers
July 27
8am           Holy Eucharist 
10am         Holy Eucharist & Neubauer Baptism
9am           Bible Study
11am         Canteen
July 28
7pm            Al-Anon
July 31
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,