The Lion's Roar
St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Chenango Bridge, NY
March 2015
From the Church Guy
     Like everyone else, I'm sick and tired of shoveling snow...but it got me thinking...
     Does God ever get sick and tired of shoveling the metaphorical snow of my shortcomings and faults?  Sometimes I wonder if God hears me starting the Confession of Sin and saying, "Oh, here comes that Giroux's the same pile of crud he wants me to shovel away from his soul again and again and again...I'm getting really, really tired of shoveling it all away!"
     Yikes, that idea make me shiver more than a subzero wind chill!
     But the good news Jesus proclaimed (a.k.a. "the gospel") is that God is gracious and compassionate, God is forgiving like a crazy-loving father, and God never gets tired of us.
     The Season of Lent is a lot of things: a time for self-denial and sacrifice, a time to think about our own mortality, a time to mediate and pray and get serious about the spiritual life.  And it's something else: Lent is a true festival of forgiveness.
     It turns out that the most popular self-help book ever written got it wrong.  I'm OK, You're OK was first published in 1969 and remains quite popular.  But it turns out to be wrong.  I'm not OK, and you aren't, either.  But the good news, the Gospel, is that I'm not OK and you're not OK, but that's OK.  And it's OK because God forgives forever, and will not rest until all that stuff gets shoveled off our souls!
                                                                         Father Mark +
A New Member of the Vestry
     At our Annual Meeting on January 5, we elected three new members to the Vestry of St. Mark's: Jeff Jacobs (Warden), Sabrina Laine, and Barry Arnold.  Unfortunately, before the first meeting of the new Vestry, Barry took a new job in the Atlanta area, and moved away.
     The Nominating Committee was consulted and a person was recruited to fill Barry's unexpired three-year term.  We are happy to tell you that Christopher Samsel accepted, and then was nominated.  At the Vestry's first meeting, Chris was elected and appointed.
     Chris works for UHS, and is married to Christine (that's right, Chris and Chris), and they have three offspring: Jason, Colleen, and Brenden.  They live in Chenango Forks, and attend our 10:00 service.  We thank Chris for his willingness to serve.
 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."
     The program began on February 22, but it's not to late to join in. The sessions are at 11:30 a.m. Sundays in the parish hall.  We'll be sure to have good refreshments for these coffee hours!     
Easter Flowers
     If you would like to make a contribution to our flowers and decorations for Easter Day and following, we welcome offerings in thanksgiving, or in memory of a loved one.  You can use the tear-off slips in the Sunday bulletins, or leave a note for Mary in the office.  We like to print the thanksgiving and memorials in the service leaflet on Easter Day. 
 Church School
     We are offering childcare during Lisa's Lenten program. So, if you want to attend but have children don't let that stop you from attending, they will be well taken care of!  We have a variety of Lenten and outreach projects to work on.
                                                                             Mary Taylor
                                                                             Christian Ed. Director
Remember: 3 Services on Easter Day, April 5
     On Easter Day, we welcome many guests along with our usual members to our celebrations of the Lord's Resurrection.  To accommodate everyone in our mid-sized building, we change the worship schedule on this one Sunday of the year.
     On Easter Day, we will have three celebrations of the Holy Eucharist: 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., and 11:00 a.m.  We'll keep reminding you!
Deacon Dorothy Invites You to Stations and Soup
    On the Sundays in Lent (February 22, March 1, 8, 15, 22), you are invited to observe the Stations of the Cross in the church at 5:00 p.m.  This service is a devotion which focuses on the final hours of the life of Jesus with prayer and Scripture.  After this 40-minute service, we'll adjourn to the parish hall for a simple supper of soup.  Deacon Dorothy will be our leader.  It's a wonderful opportunity for Lenten meditation combined with companionship with church friends.
Can You Help Out in Our CHOW Pantry?
    St. Mark's CHOW Pantry is in need of volunteers, who serve an average of
2 1/2 hours per month.  All are trained and do not work alone until comfortable to do so.  This is a very rewarding ministry!
     If interested, please speak to Jan Thompson (648-6098) or Father Mark.
St. Mark's Table, St. Patrick's Edition
    St. Mark's Table will be offered on Tuesday, March 17, at 6:00 p.m.  That's St. Paddy's Day, so wear some green!  We'll share a potluck meal at 6:00 (bring a dish to pass and your own place setting), and then sing a bit (including a portion of "St. Patrick's Breastplate").  We conclude with a simple table Eucharist, and are on our way by 7:30 or so.
To the Women of St. Mark's
   The annual Sky Lake retreat wil be held on May 2nd and 3rd.  We will begin promptly at 10:00 a.m. Saturday and will end in the early afternoon Sunday.  Our focus will be the cross as the tree of life.  It is a most exciting and intriguing topic and the discussion will be enlightening and vibrant.
     The cost of the full retreat is $80, which includes meals, snacks and linens (sheets & towels).  The daily rate is $30 per day.  There are a couple of single rooms available at $90 for the night.  They are in a different building but nearby.  Scholarship aid is available through Father Mark.
     Please make sure to reserve your spot by calling Mary Taylor at the church office (648-4400).  If paying by check, please make it out to me rather than the church.  Reservations must be in and paid for by Sunday, April 12th.
     All are welcome to attend this event and we would welcome your presence, but space is limited, so reserve yours early.
                                                                               Judy Kessler
March Birthdays
Melissa Hill 3/1  
Breanna Whetsell 3/14

Arna O'Neill 3/2
Kate Henderson 3/14
Austen Ferranti 3/3  
Reinaldo Valenzuela 3/17
Trina Cooney 3/4 Dorothy Pierce 3/18
Audrey Arnold 3/4/97
Glenn Williams 3/19
Vivienne Ciotoli 3/5
John Syron 3/20
Luke Reid 3/5/2011 Dana Deyo 3/21
William Merrell 3/5 Abigail Beston 3/24/2010
Elias Laroussi 3/6/2011 Emily Phelps 3/24/2009
James Rosar 3/6
Pat Henderson 3/25
Colleen Syron 3/7 Jordyn Ericksen-Hrehor 3/25/2010
Faye Johnson 3/8 Jonah Ericksen-Hrehor 3/25/2010
Jane Buchinsky 3/8 Carole Petley 3/28 
Marcia Valenti 3/10 Brenden Samsel 3/28/04
Jack Abbey 3/11/98 Shelby Reid 3/28/2013
Ann Range 3/12 Nancy Cady 3/29
Barbara Fisher 3/30
*  *  *  *
Anniversaries in March
Michael & Melissa Hill 3/3/83
Troy & Mandy Black 3/14/98
Don & Sandy MacDuffee 3/14/70
*   *   *
For Your Calendar in March
March 1   -  CHOW Sunday
8am             Holy Eucharist - Rite I & Healing
9am             Bible Study
10am           Holy Eucharist & Healing
10am           Church school
11am           Choir rehearsal
11:30am      Lenten Program
5pm             Stations of the Cross & Soup
March 2
7pm            Al-Anon
March 5 
7am            Men's Group @ Red Oak
7:30am       Women's Group @ Denny's
9am            Morning Prayer
6pm            Weight Watchers
March 7 - Set your clocks one hour ahead
March 8
8 & 10am    Holy Eucharist 
9am            Bible Study
10am          Church School
11am          Choir Rehearsal
11:30am     Lenten Program
5pm            Stations of the Cross & Soup    
March 9
7pm            Al-Anon
March 10
9am            Guy's Breakfast @ Red Oak
March 11
1pm            Prayer Shawl Ministry
March 12
7am            Men's Group @ Red Oak
7:30am       Women's Group @ Denny's
9am            Morning Prayer
6pm            Weight Watchers
March 15
8 & 10am    Holy Eucharist
9am            Bible Study
10am          Church school
11am          Choir Rehearsal
11:30am     Lenten Program
1pm            Vestry meeting
5pm            Station of the Cross & Soup
March 16
7pm            Al-Anon
March 17  
6pm            St. Mark's Table, St. Patrick's Edition
March 19
7am           Men's Group @ Red Oak
7:30am      Women's Group - Denny's
9am           Morning Prayer
6pm           Weight Watchers
March 20
12:00 noon Singles Ministry - Lunch out
March 22 - Canteen
8 & 10am    Holy Eucharist
9am            Bible Study
10am          Church school
11am          Choir Rehearsal
11:30am     Lenten Program
5pm            Stations of the Cross & Soup
March 23
7pm           Al-Anon
March 24 
 9am           Guy's Breakfast @ Red Oak
March 26 - Diocesan Clergy Quiet Day 
7am           Men's Group @ Red Oak
7:30am      Women's Groups @ Denny's
9am           Morning Prayer
6pm           Weight Watchers
March 29 - Palm Sunday
8 & 10am    Holy Eucharist
9am            Bible Study
10am          Sunday school
11am          Choir Rehearsal
March 30
7pm           Al-Anon
St. Mark's Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 458, Chenango Bridge, NY,