The Lion's Roar
St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Chenango Bridge, NY
February 2015
From the Church Guy
     We have a few Finns at St. Mark's, so let's learn something from the Finnish about February.
     In Finnish, this month is called "helmikuu," which means "month of the pearl."  When snow melts on tree branches, it forms droplets.  When the droplets freeze again, they look like pearls of ice.  Isn't that a nice perspective on a hard month?
     Because February IS hard for most of us!  I do enjoy winter, but I don't wish for it to continue on for months and months!
     Yet it can be beautiful.  On a recent early morning exercise walk, I saw exactly what the Finns mean when they call this time helmikuu.  The trees were all glazed with silver frost and the sky was a quilted canopy of silver hues.  It took my breath away, and not just because of the was stunningly beautiful.
     It's a pretty good spiritual practice to look for the beauty of creation in all seasons, even the coldest ones.  There is a Canticle of Creation in  our Prayer Book for Morning Prayer (page 47 in traditional language; page 88 in contemporary language).  The canticle has some words that might have been written for us in Upsate New York:
     Glorify the Lord, O chill and cold, drops of dew and flakes of snow.
     Frost and cold, ice and sleet, glorify the Lord,
     praise him and highly exalt him for ever.
     As the teens in our youth group say, "It's all good."  But you have to see it with fresh eyes. 
     Besides, spring has to come eventually.
                                                                         Father Mark +
I scream, you scream, we all scream for Shrove Tuesday!
     Come to the Rector's Ice Cream Social for Mardi Gras!  The day before Lent starts is Shrove Tuesday, or Mardi Gras.  On Tuesday, February 17, the Rector will host an ice cream social to fortify us for the more austere season of Lent.  The time will be 7:00 p.m., and the price of admission is something for our CHOW pantry.  Come and enjoy!
 Remember that you are dust...
     Ash Wednesday is February 18.  It's the first day of Lent, the season for reflection and renewal.  We'll be offering Eucharist with the imposition of ashes at 6:30 a.m. (and it will not last longer than a half hour -- we streamline the early service a bit to enable you to get to work or school on time).  We will also offer the same liturgy at noon, and 6:00 p.m.  You are invited to the observance of a holy Lent, a season for self-examination, prayer, and meditation.
 Lisa's Lenten Program
     We have the pleasure this year of a Lenten program led by our seminary intern, Lisa Busby.  She is offering us a five-week series called "The Reconciliatory and Transformative Wisdom of Anglicanism."  Anglicanism is the over-arching title for the Episcopal Church, the Church of England, and the various national churches derived from them.
     Lisa will bring us the freshest historical and contemporary scholarship.  Here are the titles for each week: (1) "History: Understanding our Anglican roots." (2) "Identity: What does it mean to be an Anglican?"  (3) "The Faces of Anglicanism." (4) "Mission in the World."  (5) "Structures of Unity and Communion around the Anglican World."
     These sessions will be offered at 11:30 on Sundays in the parish hall.  We'll be sure to have good refreshments for these "enhanced" coffee hours!  And it will launch on the first Sunday in Lent, February 22.
Altar Guild Meets in February
     The faithful women who take care of our altar, the vessels and materials for Eucharist, and our sanctuary space will meet with the Rector on Sunday, February 8, at 11:30.  We appreciate their quiet work behind the scenes! 
 Church School
    We have been having wonderful attendance in Sunday school so far this year (2014-2015), especially in Nursery and Pre-K - Kindgarten.  We have been blessed with many new families with young children!   
    During the first two Sundays in February, as an extra-curricular activity, the children will be decorating ALLELUIAs that they will symbolically bury as part of the church service on February 15.  Remember, no Alleluias during Lent!  They will re-emerge on Easter Sunday!
    We will also offer childcare for the Adult Lenten program that will begin on Sunday, February 22 and go until March 22.  Children will have a variety of Lenten crafts to work on.
                                                                             Mary Taylor
                                                                             Christian Ed. Director
2014 Statements are available for pickup
     Statements for 2014 may be found on the table at the side entrance.  Those not picked up this Sunday, January 25, will be mailed during the week.  These are basic statements with pledged amount and amounts contributed for various categories i.e. Pledge, Altar Guild, CHOW.  If you would like a more detailed statement, or if you have any questions, please contact Mary Taylor.
St. Mark's Book Club 
    We will review WITNESS by Debbie Webb and Mary Owens.  This is a fictional but very moving memoir of one of Jesus' closest and most controversial followers, Mary Magdalene, revealed through the discovery of five ancient parchment scrolls.  Unique symbols, one explained in each scroll, convey the life of Jesus and its effect on the Magdalene's spiritual growth.
                                                                                      Lois McRoberts 
February Birthdays
Hallie Mayo 2/1/96  
Gary Graham 2/15

Torilyn Braden 2/1/05
Haleigh Bodine 2/15/02
Kelly Renfro 2/1  
Wendell Weller 2/16
Abbie Carr 2/3/98 Evie Allport 2/16/99
Jenny Carr 2/3/98
David Pierson 2/18
Brooke McCall 2/3
Don Heller 2/18
Jeff O'Neill 2/4 Don MacDuffee 2/20
Alexis Brito 2/9/99 Art Sexton 2/20
Henry Thomas 2/10/00 Christine Samsel 2/23
Jackie Deinhardt 2/11
Elizabeth Abbey 2/24/10
Christopher Phelps 2/12/12 Esther Sabol 2/27
Christine Abbott 2/13 Ruth Pierce 2/28
*  *  *  *
Anniversaries in February
Reinaldo & Janee Valenzuela 2/16/02
Mike & Kelly Renfro 2/22/82
*   *   *
For Your Calendar in February
February 1   -  CHOW Sunday
8am             Holy Eucharist - Rite I & Healing
9am             Bible Study
10am           Holy Eucharist & Healing
10am           Church school
11:30am      Choir rehearsal
February 2
7pm            Al-Anon
February 3
6:30-8pm     Writing Circle - led by Dorothy Pierce
February 5 
7am            Men's Group @ Red Oak
7:30am       Women's Group @ Denny's
9am            Morning Prayer
6pm            Weight Watchers
February 8
8 & 10am    Holy Eucharist 
9am            Bible Study
10am          Church School
11am          Choir Rehearsal
11:30am     Altar Guild
February 9
7pm            Al-Anon
February 10
9am            Guy's Breakfast @ Red Oak
February 11
1pm            Prayer Shawl Ministry
February 12
7am            Men's Group @ Red Oak
7:30am       Women's Group @ Denny's
9am            Morning Prayer
6pm            Weight Watchers
February 15
8 & 10am    Holy Eucharist
9am            Bible Study
10am          Church school
11:30am     Choir Rehearsal
4:00pm       Vestry gathering at Girouxs'
February 16
7pm            Al-Anon
February 17  
7pm            Rector's Ice Cream Social - SHROVE TUESDAY
February 18 - Ash Wednesday
6:30am       Holy Eucharist/Imposition of Ashes
Noon           Holy Eucharist/Imposition of Ashes
6:00pm       Holy Eucharist/Imposition of Ashes
February 19
7am           Men's Group @ Red Oak
7:30am      Women's Group - Denny's
9am           Morning Prayer
6pm           Weight Watchers
February 20
12:00 noon Singles Ministry - Lunch out
February 22 - Canteen
8 & 10am    Holy Eucharist
9am            Bible Study
10am          Church school
11:30am     Choir Rehearsal
11:30am     Lenten Program
February 23
7pm           Al-Anon
February 24 
9am           Guy's Breakfast @ Red Oak
6:30-8pm   Writing Circle - led by Dorothy Pierce
February 26 - Rector to Liverpool for Commission on Ministry
7am           Men's Group @ Red Oak
7:30am      Women's Groups @ Denny's
9am           Morning Prayer
6pm           Weight Watchers
St. Mark's Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 458, Chenango Bridge, NY,