The Lion's Roar
St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Chenango Bridge, NY
February 2016
From the Church Guy
     I like to listen to the people of my church.
    My friend Val Young was born and raised in Hungary.  She and I were talking about how people always sit in the same pew on Sundays.  So she quoted an old Hungarian proverb: "I know how to dance, but I always have to start in the same corner."
     My friend Steve Valenti shared some of his philosophy with me: "Two 'attaboys' cancel one 'Oh, crud!'" He was saying to me that we always seem to remember the negative more than the positive.  And I've experienced that.  If five people give me some praise while one person criticizes me, I'll mostly remember the criticism.  Steve's words underline our need to do more good than bad, and we oughta remember the good stuff.
     And my friend Mary Stasko recently said, "Getting older is like church....if it's not the pipes, it's the organ."  Since your priest is now too old to claim to be middle-aged, this one resonates with me!  'Nuff said!
     So you see, Mister Rogers was right when he said, "Listening is where love begins....listening to ourselves and then to our neighbors."  The people of St. Mark's are worth hearing.
                                                                         Father Mark +
Fat Tuesday
     Mardi Gras is Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday.  It's a day for a bit of celebration before the more serious season of Lent.  On February 9,  the Rector invites you to ice cream in the undercroft.  Time: 6:30 p.m. Admission price: an item for the CHOW pantry.  Preferred attire: colorful!
 Ash Wednesday
     Lent is the 40-day season of preparation for the festival of Christ's Resurrection.  It's a time for contemplation, repentance and renewal.  And it begins with Ash Wedneday, on which we receive the sign of ashes.  The ashes on our foreheads signal our penitence (sorrow for our failures) and our mortality (our awareness that death will come to us sooner or later).
     We will have three times for the Ash Wednesday Eucharist in hopes that one of them will work for you: 6:30 a.m., noon, and 6:00 p.m.
     "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return."
 Father Mark Gets Personal for Lent
     On the Sundays of Lent, beginning February 14, Father Mark will offer a Rector's Lenten Program at 11:30 a.m. after the second service.  There will be extra refreshments during this time, and childcare will be offered.
     He will be giving an overview of the Episcopal Church, and why this particular Christian tradition means so much to him.  He calls it, "Why I Joined Up: Meeting Church Again for the First Time."
     Everyone is welcome, and those who are newer or would like to know more about our church are especially welcome.  Our Bishop, Skip Adams, will be visiting us on June 27.  It will be his very final official visitation in the Diocese of Central New York before his retirement.  Anyone who wishes to be Confirmed or Received into the Episcopal Church will find Father Mark's Lenten series especially helpful.
 Church School News 
    The Adult Lenten program begins on Sunday, February 14.  We will offer childcare during that time so that parents may attend the sessions.  The children will work on a craft project and listen to a story. 
      Our Junior Youth Group has been well received.  We have seven or eight children attending each month.  We alternate between outreach projects and fun and games.  If you have  children in grades 3 through 6 we would love to have them join us!  We meet on the second Sunday of each month at 11:30 a.m.  Weather permitting we are planning a sledding party sometime in February.  Date depends on snow!
                                                                         Mary Taylor
                                                                         Christian Education Director
 EYF Goes Skating!
    The St. Mark's youth group is having an ice skating party on Sunday afternoon, February 21.  We plan to skate at the BCC rink, and the cost is $5 to skate, plus $4 for skate rental.  Save the date!  More information will come to the teens in a mailing.  The youth group is led by Father Mark and Eric & Sabrina Laine.
 Creative Writing Group
     Do you love to write but never know where to start?  Would you like to share your passion with others during Lent?  Come to an eight week group at St. Mark's with Margaret Wedge (Rosie's Mama) who is getting her master's degree in creative writing.  Topics to include: Moving Beyond the Facebook Status, Starting Your Story, Choosing a Point of View, Integrating Mindfulness into Our Daily Actions During Lent, and more.  Snacks provided.  Tuesday evenings, February 2nd - March 22nd, 6:30 -8:30 p.m.
 Book Club Update
     For February, you will find the group discussing a book entitled Tamar by Mal Peet.  Tamar was published in 2005.  Within a 1995 frame story, where a 15 year-old girl inherits papers and other momentos from her deceased grandfather, it is set in the occupied Netherlands near the end of the Second World War; there it features two British-trained Dutch agents and the resistance to German occupation of the Netherlands.  The novel interweaves past and present to show the lasting effects of war and the passions it arouses.
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
Christopher Phelps 2/2/12 Evie Allport 2/16
Abbie Carr 2/3/98
David Pierson 2/18
Jenny Carr 2/3/98
Don Heller 2/18
Brooke McCall 2/2
Jaidyn Ericksen-Hrehor 2/19/08
Jeff O'Neill 2/4 Don MacDuffee 2/20
Lori Sciamanna 2/9
Art Sexton 2/20
Alexis Brito 2/9/99 Ben Bertram 2/22/93
Henry Thomas 2/10/00
Christine Samsel 2/23
Jackie Deinhardt 2/11
Elizabeth Abbey 2/24/10 
Christine Abbott 2/13 Esther Sabol 2/27
Ruth Pierce 2/28
*  *  *  *
Anniversaries in February
Reinaldo & Janee Valenzuela 2/16/2002
Mike & Kelly Renfro 2/22/1982
*   *   *
For Your Calendar in February
February 1
7pm             Al-Anon
February 2
6:30pm        Creative Writing Group - Lounge
February 4
7am             Men's Group @ Red Oak
7:30am        Women's Group @ Denny's
9am             Morning Prayer
6pm             Weight Watchers
February 7 -  CHOW Sunday
8am             Holy Eucharist - Rite 1 & Healing
9am             Bible Study
10am           Holy Eucharist & Healing
10am           Sunday School
February 8
7pm             Al-Anon
February 9
9am             Guy's Breakfast @ Red Oak
6:30pm        Mardi Gras Ice Cream Party
6:30pm        Creative Writing Group - Lounge
February 10 - Ash Wednesday
6:30am        Holy Eucharist - Ashes
10am           Prayer Shawl Ministry
Noon            Holy Eucharist - Ashes
6pm             Holy Eucharist - Ashes
February 11
7am             Men's Group - Red Oak
7:30am        Women's Group - Denny's
9am             Morning Prayer
6pm             Weight Watchers
February 14
8 & 10am     Holy Eucharist
9am             Bible Study
10am           Church school
11:30am      Lenten Program
11:30am      Junior Youth Group
February 15
7pm             Al-Anon
February 16
6:30pm        Creative Writing Group - Lounge
February 18
7am             Men's Group @ Red Oak
7:30am        Women's Group @ Denny's
9am             Morning Prayer
6pm             Weight Watchers
February 19
12noon         Singles Ministry - out to lunch
February 20
12:30 - 2:30pm Vestry Work Session
February 21
8 & 10am      Holy Eucharist
9am              Bible Study
10am            Church school
11:30am       Lenten Program
1pm ?           EYF - Ice Skating @ BCC
February 22
7pm             Al-Anon
February 23
9am             Guy's Breakfast @ Red Oak
6:30pm        Creative Writing Group - Lounge
February 24
7:30am        Father Mark at Clericus           
February 25
7am            Men's Group @ Red Oak
7:30am       Women's Group @ Denny's
9am            Morning Prayer
6pm            Weight Watchers
February 28 - Canteen
8 & 10am    Holy Eucharist
9am            Bible Study
10am          Church school
11:30am     Lenten Program
February 29
7pm            Al-Anon
St. Mark's Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 458, Chenango Bridge, NY,