This Sunday... November 30 - Advent Sunday

Please join us in our worship of God this Sunday...

8 am - Low Mass

Preacher: Mother Takacs

9 am - Family Mass

Preacher: Mother Johnson

Music by the Boys & Girls Choir

10 am - Christian Formation 

For Children... Schola meets in the Library on the upper floor of the Parish House.

For Adults.. The 10 am Adult Forum...   An Introduction to Islam.  Parishioner Roy Clouser, Emeritus Prof. of Philosophy and Religion, will teach a three part introduction to Islam, providing theological and historical background to help us think about contemporary issues in faith and politics.  Series continues on November 16 and 23.

11 am - Choral High Mass

Preacher: Fr. Mullen

Music:

Missa "Nun Komm der Heiden Heiland" - Johann Fischer

Ad te, Domine levavi - Alessandro Scarlatti

Matins Responsory - Richard Marlow

 

Coffee and refreshments are available in the Parish House following the 9 am Family Mass and the 11 am High Mass.

 

3 pm - A Procession of Advent Lessons & Carols

O Emmanuel - Eriks Esenvalds

O Oriens - Carlo Gesualdo

Lo How  Rose -Jan Sandstrom

O Heiland reiss den Himmel auf - Johannes Brahms

Advent Antiphon - James MacMillan

Magnificat in G - Charles Stanford

E'en So Lord Jesus - Paul Manz

 

Posted on November 24, 2014 .

Coming Up at Saint Mark's

Nov 27 - Thanksgiving - We keep this national holiday with High Mass at 10 am.  Don't forget to give thanks on Thanksgiving!

Nov 30 - A Procession of Advent Lessons & Carols (3 pm) - Every Advent Sunday we start the new church year with this service of Scripture, candlelight and carols.  The Choir moves throughout the church singing carols, punctuated by readings of expectation and hope.  Please note that this year the service takes place at 3 pm.  An Open House follows at the Rectory

Advent Saturdays: Eucharistic Adoration - Come to 10:00 Mass on Saturday mornings in Advent and stay for an hour of quiet Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction.  This simple liturgy is a beautiful way of honoring the Sacrament of Holy Communion and drawing closer to Jesus. Never prayed this way before?  We’ll have materials on hand that will help you pray and meditate.  All are welcome!  Saturday December 6th, 13th, and 20th, immediately following 10:00 Mass at the St. John’s Altar.

Dec 7 Choral Evensong & Benediction (3 pm) - On the first Sunday of the month Choral Evensong & Benediction are sung at 3.  Please join us for this beautiful offerings of worship and music to God.

Dec 10 - Simple Supper for 20s/30s - Our community of younger adults gather in homes to talk and eat and pray together.  More info available from Mother Takacs.

December 14 - An Unexpected Adventure (2 pm) - Help prepare for the joy of Christmas with a fun Advent event led by the children of Saint Mark’s. On Sunday, December 14, at 2pm, the children of our Schola and our Boys and Girls Choir will be performing a new Advent Pageant. This fun, interactive production will be combined with hymns and prayers to help prepare our hearts and minds for the coming of Christ. You really won’t want to miss this opportunity to share in a celebration of the gifts of the Advent season. All families are welcome – and are welcome to participate!   

Posted on November 10, 2014 .

Commitment

November 16 is Commitment Sunday, when we ask everyone who cares about and believes in the work and ministry of Saint Mark’s to make a pledge of financial support for the coming year.  We can only worship God and care for God’s people because many of you help us to do this work with your generous contributions.  Please remember to come to Saint Mark’s at 8, 9 or 11 on Sunday, November 16, and to RSVP for the Celebration Brunch afterwards.  For more info, please contact the Parish Office.  Please take a few minutes to watch this video as you consider what commitment you can make!

Posted on October 29, 2014 .

The Choir of Boys & Girls

Music is a powerful force in shaping children's lives, and it is one of the ways both children and adults come to know God.  The Boys & Girls Choir at Saint Mark's is a unique way to get your child involved in music, and to discover his or her own spirituality.  The video below shows the kids of the Boys & Girls Choir singing during the summer Choir Camp.  If you'd like more information about the choir, please look here, or contact Dr. Darryl Roland through the Parish Office.

 

Posted on August 18, 2014 .

Saving A Treasure - Restoration & Preservation in 2014

HELP US SAVE THIS TREASURE!

Following years of preparation and planning, Saint Mark's is embarking on a project of restoration and historic preservation of the church exterior in 2014.  Funded in part by a grant from the National Park Service and National Trust for Historic Preservation, this project will address pressing needs for the restoration and preservation of the masonry, roofs, and glass of the church exterior.

For more information on the historic preservation project, please contact Cheryl Barber, Director of Development & Communications, at cbarber@saintmarksphiladelphia.org or click here

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Click here to support "Saving A Treasure"
Posted on August 18, 2014 .

Saint Mark's at Wells Cathedral

Final Update

by Matthew Glandorf

The word Religion is derived from the Latin "religio" which means to "link back". It is fundamentally about connections and connecting to the life sustaining sources in which we all participate. In that sense, our trip to England was truly a Pilgrimage. For many of our choristers this was their first trip to England, let alone to Europe. I believe we all became acutely aware that we were participating in a daily round of offering sung prayer that is centuries old, in a sacred place in which the very fabric was saturated with prayer. 

During our week, those stones echoed with the same words; 

"O Lord, open thou our lips" 

"O Lord, make speed to help us" 

"Glory be the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost" 

"My Soul doth magnify the Lord"

"He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts"

"He hath filled the hungry with good things" 

"Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace" 

"to be a light to lighten the gentiles" 

and so on, world without end, Amen (why the modern translation of the doxology leaves on "et in saecula saeculorum" I've never quite understood…) 

In a fun sense, it was incredible at our last Evensong in St George's Chapel, Windsor to be shown to my music stand, realizing that I was staining directly over the graves of Jane Seymour, Henry VIII and Charles I!! Singing an anthem by Gabriel Jackson with words by King Henry VI whose remains rested only a few feet away from where we sang…..

 In a more profound way, our music was offered on behalf of those not only present at the sung daily services, but most especially for those suffering in Iraq, Syria, Palestine and Israel as well as the continuous violence and bloodshed on our own country. Did our music matter? Is this really just about wearing silly robes and going through an ancient pageantry that is merely quaint and Anglophilic?

I came to believe firmly that it DID matter. The fact that we were there, singing and imploring God for peace, justice and care, we became a living sacrifice as we offers our selves and bodies. Hopefully, our song could be used as a vessel to help turn people's minds and hearts to other things, that we could all be reminded   of the great light of the Incarnation that our God is the God of the poor, the lowly, the downtrodden and the oppressed, and that we are loved…..

After Sunday Eucharist, I watched Mother Erika go around and blessing various members of our choir and felt eternally grateful for the beautiful, talented and slightly wacky (and ALWAYS lively) group of individuals, now linked together in ways I couldn't have anticipated. We were grounded and linked not only by our music, buy by Love Itself. 

Listen to a recording from the choir's days in Wells here.

Update: Final Days

by Tom Sheehan

As we have just arrived in Windsor on our last full day in England, I am left thinking about our trip here in terms of what we have all accomplished here, and our reasons for coming. Obviously, the choir has made a lot of wonderful music, and we have all enjoyed seeing the country, which I think were two of the major reasons that we were all thinking about going.

However, something else has happened, and that is that we as a choir have bonded on a level that we have not before. Obviously, the choir has always spent a lot of time together, because of our weekly rehearsals and our demanding schedule of performances, but going on this trip has caused us to spend the kind of time together that leads to getting to know each other beyond just “as colleagues.” The choir has become friends in a way that we have not been before, and this is actually noticeable in our music-making.

The daily schedule of worship has solidified the group in other ways, though; not just as musicians. We have been singing the office of Evensong every day this week (except for Thursday, when we took one day off). The fact that we are not only singing together, but through our song praying the ancient evening rites of the Church, is also a tangible difference. Also, the fact that we did this in a building where some form of these same prayers has been offered for over 800 years was not lost on us, and the words we sang took on an entirely new meaning to the group.

I would not be at all surprised if the effects of this tour are felt in Philadelphia through this next year, considering the incredible improvement in music making that I have seen this week from the choir. I am humbled and grateful that I have been able to be a part of the growth of this institution’s choir, and look forward to coming back and hearing what they can accomplish beyond this, too, in the future!

From the choir loft at Wells

From the choir loft at Wells


Update: Day Seven

Some unexpected adventures

By Kate Tibbetts

I took it as a good omen that as the bus was pulling into Wells on Sunday, there was a guy running through the field on what looked like a nice trail- surely, this would be a great place to go running. So, after setting an early alarm Monday morning, Ryan and I set out around the moat of the bishop’s palace (where the resident swans were still asleep) and found a woods called Tor Hill, with a sign promising excellent views of the cathedral from the top. Getting to the top, however, was a bit more difficult than necessary, as we evidently took the steepest route that required grabbing onto rocks and tree branches to climb up, not noticing the nearly adjacent steps leading straight to the viewing point. When we did get there, the view was half blocked by trees, so we figured that the sign meant that the view is nice in winter!

On Tuesday we met Caroline, a member of the cathedral Chapter (similar to our vestry), who is an avid runner and drew maps of running trails for us over the title page of Ryan’s Ubi Caritas, which we had sung for that Evensong. We took her first suggestion on Wednesday, following a former railway through a wood and under some bridges to the village of Dulcote, where there was a quarry of “Dulcote stone” that was used to build the cathedral. Dulcote contains about six houses and a beautiful tiny chapel that looks like it would fit all of thirty people inside. We then looped back towards Wells, passing a farmer herding his cows in for milking and then finding the “public footpath” where I noticed the runner a few days before (I now keep a look out for signs indicating a public footpath because they generally go somewhere interesting!). It was impossible to get lost, as the cathedral was visible in the distance upon turning back towards Wells.

The tower on Glastonbury Tor.

The tower on Glastonbury Tor.

Later that day, an intrepid group of us decided to climb up to the top of Glastonbury Tor to see St. Michael’s tower. As we started up the public footpath, a lady coming down warned us that it was windy and we should hold on to “lightweight people” to avoid falling off the top! Sure enough, by the time we got up the switchback trail, the wind was blowing so hard that I fell down when we were gathering together to take a selfie at the top.

Kate before being almost blown off the Tor!

Kate before being almost blown off the Tor!

On Thursday, we decided to go on a run up the hill on Old Bristol Road, as per Caroline’s other suggestion. Sure enough, it was a huge hill, going up past some cow pastures to the village of Milton (not much bigger than Dulcote) and then farther up through the woods to some sheep pastures on top. The notorious English rain started pouring down as we got to Milton, and we were completely soaked through by the time we reached the sheep. They were apparently not happy about the down pouring down rain either, as they were constantly shaking like dogs, causing sprays of water to come flying off of their wool.  After a few minutes of jumping over the large puddles in the dirt road, we gave up when they turned into what looked more like ponds and headed back to the dry dining hall to get breakfast.

The sun finally came out by mid-afternoon in Bath, so we went for a walk along the river Avon and found another public footpath along the adjacent canal. The canal has a series of boat locks built during the 19th century that make it possible to raise and lower boats by enclosing them in between two sets of locked gates and then opening sluice gates on the appropriate end (up-river or down-river) to raise or lower the water level within the lock to the level in the direction of travel. As we were walking along, we noticed a boat in one of the locks and the couple in it opening the sluice gate to let the water into the lock so that the level would rise high enough to let the boat go through. We ended up helping them open and close the gates on the next three locks, and they went on their way to Bristol.

Helping the boats through the locks in Bath.

Helping the boats through the locks in Bath.


Update: Day Six

Patti McLaughlin and Peter Gulia

Patti:

I’m a librarian:  I have to know what everything is, why it’s there, what its use was and is. Tour guides have shared that Wells was settled because of the abundance of water, flowing from an underground river in the nearby Mendip Hills. There are gorgeous fields around us; the hay is getting harvested, the cows and other livestock are enjoying the sun, and local apples are available at the market. But would that be enough to support the building and upkeep of a magnificent cathedral? Today Peter and I visited the Mendip Museum, which has exhibits on local archeology and history, and discovered that the Mendip Hills have been mined since prehistoric times. The Romans invaded to get the iron, silver and other ore. With plenteous water, abundant crops and manufacturing, I have a better understanding of why this city is here.

I’m also struck by little differences. There’s a sign in our dormitory common room that says “C’mon England, Let’s Keep it Tidy”  - so much more polite than "Don’t Litter." You can buy a 2-liter bottle of excellent spring water for 25 p, but a small coffee costs 2 pounds. All packaged cookies are delicious, and are higher quality than we get a home. All sandwiches are spread with butter or margarine. You can tell if the people passing you are British or from the Continent, depending on whether they’re walking of the right or left side of the pavement.

Peter:

Among the many benefits of daily worship is getting different texts to think about.

The Old and New Testament lessons set for use in daily evening prayer services often call for more thinking than those set for the Sundays’ common lectionary. For example, Tuesday’s first lesson, about Jeremiah buying the field at Anathoth, refers to a sealed deed of purchase, which, beyond its legal meaning, might suggest a metaphor for God’s grace that already is ours. But the lesson is about preserving both the sealed deed and the open deed, so that through faith we can preserve both what is and the opportunity for what is to come.

The psalms too are more challenging than those selected for Sundays. Some use nice word nuances. Wednesday’s psalm use the noun alien as an intensifier of stranger. And all of this week’s psalms call for extra uses of grammar and syntax to get across poetry’s intensified meanings.

This afternoon’s Evensong included a Magnificat with an Ave Maria built into it. In this morning’s rehearsal, Matthew mentioned the composition’s two conversations:  Mary’s conversation with the Lord, and our conversation with Mary. If even one of this evensong’s three or four dozen worshipers “got” the simultaneous conversations, our music-making will have accomplished another of its several purposes.


Update: Day Five - A Day Off and a Trip to Bath

by Jennifer Boorum

Today was our day off (well-earned, we hope), and what started out as Wellies-only weather turned into an afternoon of bright sunshine, spent by most in the outstandingly beautiful city of Bath, about an hour away from Wells. The city is located in the Avon Valley, surrounded by the limestone hills of the Cotswolds. We took a bus ride through the English Countryside--this is not Septa, folks--and went straight to Bath Abbey, where Matt and Tom had arrived earlier to check out the organ. It's a magnificent place, so it's no wonder they welcome over 420,000 annual visitors.

We went next to the Roman Baths, which are hard to believe until you see them. A group of us discovered that the children's audio tour was a bit more fun than the grown-up version, so we opted for it and had a few laughs amidst the ancient history. The first stop on the self-guided tour is the Terrace which overlooks the Great Bath, lined with statues of Roman Governors of Britain, Roman Emperors, and military leaders. Though they were carved in advance of the Baths' opening in 1897, the site wasn't discovered until the late nineteenth century. The Sacred Spring was most impressive: hot water bubbles up at a temperature of 46°C (114.8 degrees Fahrenheit) has been doing so for thousands of years. The mineral-rich water attracted visitors from across the Roman Empire, and was thought to be the work of the ancient gods. You can taste the water on the way out. (Not advisable.) The couple of hours spent touring the Baths were well worth the price of admission (14 pounds per person). Only regret is that we didn't *spring* for the spa package.

After roaming around town for a while, popping into markets, snacking on Proper Cornish Pasties, navigating the narrow streets, and admiring the breathtaking architecture, gardens, and surrounding hills, we stopped to eat and drink at The Crystal Palace. We were joined at the pub by Rebecca Harris's father, Mark, step-mum, Inga, and little sister, Belle (6 years old and precociously adorable), who are longtime residents of Bath and were delighted to meet so many friends of Becky from the States.

The whole group of us took a long walk to the Royal Crescent, which is a row of 30 terraced houses laid out in a "sweeping crescent," and considered among the greatest examples of Georgian architecture in the United Kingdom. I hear the rent's expensive.

The Royal Crescent, Bath

The Royal Crescent, Bath

Matt's thoughts on the trip so far....

Matt's thoughts on the trip so far....

Links:

City of Bath: http://visitbath.co.uk/

Bath Abbey: http://www.bathabbey.org/

Roman Baths: http://www.romanbaths.co.uk/

Update: Day Four - A Day Trip to Glastonbury

by David Stoverschlegel

Today, in between our morning rehearsal and Evensong, the choir ventured into Glastonbury. Before we left Wells, we had a chance to explore the outdoor market, which was full of crafts, jewelry, food, books, flowers, and many more things for any interest or need. We traveled by bus to explore the Glastonbury Abbey, Glastonbury Tor, and the town. The Abbey was originally built by the same masons who built the Wells cathedral; unfortunately, Glastonbury Abbey was stripped for its lead during the dissolution of the monasteries during the reign of King Henry VIII and is now a ruin.

The ruins of Glastonbury Abbey

The ruins of Glastonbury Abbey

The Tor is a large hill that overlooks the town of Glastonbury. The "Tor" is the hill; the tower on top of the hill is St. Michael's tower.It is quite a trek to get to the top of the hill, but it is well worth it. The English countryside is beautiful from the top of the Tor.

The town of Glastonbury has a very eclectic selection of shops. Due to the legends of King Arthur in the town, many of the shops have a medieval and/or magical feel. In town is also a well called the Chalice Well, known to have a connection to King Arthur's Court and to have healing powers. We caught a bus back in time for Evensong rehearsal and mass, conducted tonight by Tom Sheehan. After Evensong, the choir moved into the Chapter House of the Cathedral to record the "O Salutaris" of Eriks Esenvalds.

Preparing to record the "O Salutaris"

Preparing to record the "O Salutaris"

Update: Random Musings on Day 3

Welcome

It would be hard to overstate the true warmth and friendliness of the welcome we've received at the cathedral. As Leslie mentioned yesterday, all of the tour guides and volunteers who have come to speak with us have taken the time to learn a little bit about us first. Their interest was not just in telling us about the cathedral but making a connection with us. It is remarkable how this kind of an approach helps to make the cathedral feel like home. True hospitality, indeed.

Evensong

Evensong at the cathedral is a profoundly holy experience. Of course the music is sublime. Matthew and Tom are leading this choir in ways that helps to bring not only our best musical offerings to our singing but also the best of our whole selves. More than this, though, the entire office has a feeling of stillness - of all of the earth (at least that part of the earth in Quire at Wells Cathedral) being silent before the greatness of God. There is a beautiful intentionality to the movement of the office - virgers (C of E spelling) guide the processions and lead the readers to the lectern with grace and dignity...and a certain flair. The lessons begin with a brief but meaningful introduction that helps the listener to find his or her place in the cycle of scripture. The officiants then use these lessons to shape their prayers, prayers which also allow for silence and create space for holy listening. There is a sense of the whole in these offices, a feeling that all of our words, spoken and sung, are of a piece.

Perhaps most impressive is the care with which the officiants introduce the anthem of the day. Since the text of these anthems is not in the leaflet for the congregation, each officiant has taken the time to learn about the piece so that he or she can describe it well - open the door, as it were, for the listening ear. Case in point: last evening we all enjoyed a wonderful reception after Evensong where we were introduced to members of the clergy staff and the cathedral chapter. In my conversation with the priest who will serve as the officiant for tonight's Evensong, she was very keen to be introduced to Dan Shapiro, the composer of tonight's anthem, so that she could discuss with him his setting of George Herbert's "The Church Floore." She wanted to be able to craft an introduction that will help to place this anthem into the liturgy in a meaningful way. It is humbling and inspiring to see such care taken to shape the holy worship of God.

Adopting British traditions...especially the yummy ones

The Saint Mark's Choir is rapidly becoming addicted to cream tea. Yesterday afternoon we essentially took over one of the little tea shops right outside of the cathedral and ate them out of their scones. Philadelphia vendors, attend! There will be a decided upswing in the demand for clotted cream in about a week and a half.

 - Mother Takacs

Another day, another scone....

Another day, another scone....

Update: More photos from Leslie

The chained library.

The chained library.

The doodles of Thomas Cranmer.

The doodles of Thomas Cranmer.

Update: Day Two - 11 August 2014

by Leslie Delauter

Today, our first full day in Wells, was spent mostly in the cathedral. And what a cathedral!
The current structure's construction commenced in 1174, and continued off and on into the 15th century (the speed of constructions depended on what kings or bishops were around and what their priorities were). The plague of 1348 put a damper on construction as well.

The choir proceeded to rehearsal immediately after breakfast. The recently built music practice space, off the east cloister, is lovely and simple in an almost Danish modern sort of way, and the acoustics were terrific.  Matt tortured us until he got the sound he wanted (he suggested we represent him as an ogre on the blog!), before releasing us to take the private cathedral tour he'd arranged for us. We learned hundreds of interesting facts, and I wished that some of you could have been there to see/hear it all (Davis, you especially might have enjoyed seeing the medieval cope chest, as well as the embroidered textiles in the Quire. They are of a 20th century vintage, and very colorful.)

Rehearsing in the "Song Room."

Rehearsing in the "Song Room."



Before we sang Evensong this afternoon, we took a tour (once again, private) of the old library, which sits on an upper story along the full length of the east cloister. It's original to the building, having been built by mid-fourteenth century; however, the books are not original. Those first occupying the library in its first hundred years or so seem to have been "liberated" (there is some suspicion that dear Tommy Cromwell, with his eye for quality, may have played a part in their disappearance, as he was secular Dean - strange! - of the cathedral for a brief period of time).  We were permitted into the sacrosanct realms of the "chained library," so-called because the books are attached to their shelves by - you guessed it! - chains. There were some amazing texts that our librarian guide had thoughtfully laid out for us. Others may disagree with me, but I thought that the most wonderful book we were shown contained marginal notes and doodling by a young Thomas Cranmer!  (I have a close-up photo of his handwriting, but I don't have access to those photos - catch me when I get home.)

What stood out about these two tours, and our marvelous tour guides, is they both made a point to learn something about us (Saint Mark's) and about Philadelphia before talking with us, so that they could relate what we were seeing to reference points at home. Very kind of them!

The highlight of the day was, of course, singing in the Quire. The space is enormous and beautiful, and it was filled with people come to hear/pray Evensong. We did pretty well - at least, they *seemed* to like us!  We got stronger/more confident as the hour progressed, ending with a rendition of Philip Moore's "Through the Day" that gave me goosebumps. The soloists, Jessica (Magnificat) and Jackson (Nunc), did a lovely job, as did our wonderful "cantrix," Mother Erika.  I felt so proud to be a member of this choir today!

The day ended with a pilgrimage to Waitrose, the fun grocery in town, where folks bought food to prepare back at the dorm. We're thinking of you! 


11 August 2014

Half-past seven in the morning and all is very well!

The Saint Mark's Adult Choir arrived safely in the beautiful medieval city of Wells, England, last evening after a long day of travel. We began our journey in the Saint Mark's courtyard at 3pm, where a coach picked us up and drove us out to JFK airport. 

All packed and waiting for the coach....

All packed and waiting for the coach....

And yes, the coach was late, and yes, there was traffic, and yes, our flight was delayed. But there was some very good news - our flight on Norwegian Air was on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which meant a quieter flight, better air pressure, less dehydration, and a generally happier group of people on Sunday morning!

We arrived in Gatwick around 11 in the morning and were quickly whisked off into another coach (affectionately nicknamed the blueberry bus) and began the truly beautiful drive out to Wells. We took a break at a rest stop for some lunch, where we were delighted to see not only the ubiquitous American fast food options (McDonald's and Papa John's), but also a shop selling fish and chips and beef and ale pies. (Let the carb loading begin!)

After our lunch break, we were off again, this time driving over rolling green hills and along roads hemmed in tight by high hedges. We were actually grateful for the traffic when we realized that the road we were on would take us right by Stonehenge - the slow pace helped us to grab some great shots from inside the blueberry bus.

Stonehenge!

Stonehenge!

At 5:30pm, we arrived in Wells, where we all couldn't have been happier to meet up with Matthew Glandorf and Rebecca Harris. We settled in to our rooms in the Wells Cathedral School (bunkbeds!) and then enjoyed a lovely evening out at a local pub, The Crown at Wells. This traditional British pub is famous not only for its being featured in the Simon Pegg film Hot Fuzz but also because William Penn (yes, our William Penn) was arrested there once for preaching to a large crowd from the balcony. Very. Small. World. 

Today we'll have our first rehearsals and sing our first Evensong in the Cathedral. Matthew has also arranged for us to take a tour of the Cathedral and the Library. By the end of the day, I suspect that Wells is going to feel very much like home. And any day that ends with singing the Stanford Evening Service in G is a good day in my book!

-Mother Takacs

Posted on August 11, 2014 .

Vacation Music Camp at Saint Mark's

Updated: Day Five!

What an incredible week we've had. Dr. Roland is "ecstatic" about the progress his Vacation Choir Campers have made, Mother Takacs said this is the best singing and best behaved Vacation Music School we've ever had, and the campers are going home singing the songs that they've learned. We finished up our camp here by having two presentations for our families - a presentation at lunch for the parents of our littlest campers in Vacation Music School, and a concert this afternoon for the families of our choir students. Both groups are singing extraordinarily well and have been an absolute joy to work with. After our noontime concert, all enjoyed a celebratory feast with tacos, cupcakes, and delicious ice pops.

Quote of the day (from a departing camper): Why does VMS have to be only five days?

And to that I say - there's always next year! A million thanks to all of our incredibly hard working volunteers. They are, and always have been, the heart of Saint Mark's and of our ministries.

Come, let us sing to the Lord!

Vacation Music School-ers singing beautifully for their parents today.

Vacation Music School-ers singing beautifully for their parents today.


Updated: Day Four

Another day of beautiful singing and sharing here at our Vacation Music Camps. At this point in the week, campers who didn't know each other on Monday have become fast friends, and parents who come into pick up their children at the end of the day are invited to sit in on one of our singing circle games just so the campers can have one more turn. We have practiced all week and are looking forward to sharing with parents tomorrow all that we have learned.

Our Vacation Choir Campers working with volunteers from the Walnut Street Theatre - one of the best parts of the week, one of our campers told Mother Takacs!

Our Vacation Choir Campers working with volunteers from the Walnut Street Theatre - one of the best parts of the week, one of our campers told Mother Takacs!


Updated: Day Three

Today was the story of Jonah and the Whale for our Vacation Music School students. We explored Jonah, this "Backward Prophet" and wondered what he might have done next in the story! The choir campers enjoyed another fun day of work with their leaders from the Walnut Street Theater so much that one of our younger students wondered what they were doing to make such a happy "ruckus" upstairs. They continue to sing incredibly beautifully. Two more days of fun to go!

Some of our younger campers enjoying an organ presentation in the church.

Some of our younger campers enjoying an organ presentation in the church.


Updated: Day Two

Our Vacation Music Camps had another wonderful day today. We all learned new songs, listened to the story of Moses and the Red Sea, and enjoyed a beautiful presentation by a classical guitarist. All of our Choir Campers are singing beautifully already, after having been together for only two days!

Vacation Music School and Vacation Choir Camp listen to a brilliant presentation on the classical guitar.

Vacation Music School and Vacation Choir Camp listen to a brilliant presentation on the classical guitar.



Day one of our Vacation Music Camps at Saint Mark's has been a huge success. In Vacation Music School, we learned new songs, heard the story of The Flood and the Ark, and got to listen to some incredible singing by our very own Veronica Chapman-Smith. Our older choir campers worked hard improving their singing technique and learning some new music together. And everyone enjoyed a delicious lunch of grilled cheese and tomato soup!

Quote of the day:

When one child's mother came to pick him up, he pulled her over into our singing circle game and said, "Come on, Mom! Join the fun!"

Mr. Fischetti helps our youngest campers do their work after hearing the story of The Flood and the Ark.

Mr. Fischetti helps our youngest campers do their work after hearing the story of The Flood and the Ark.


Posted on August 4, 2014 .

A New Tradition: 20s/30s Simple Suppers

The 20s/30s Simple Suppers is a new tradition here at Saint Mark's. Each month, we'll gather in someone's home for a simple home Eucharist, a delicious meal, and lively conversation.  These dinners have involved a lot of our Saint Mark's 20s/30s - they are a great opportunity to get to know each other a little better and to invite some new friends to get to know us. Interested in joining us or hosting a Simple Supper at your home or apartment? Please contact Mother Erika Takacs at 215-735-1416.  

 

Posted on July 18, 2014 .