Important Parish Announcement

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


It brings me both joy and sadness to write to share with you the news that our Associate Rector, Mother Erika Takacs, has been called to serve as the eleventh Rector of the Church of the Atonement in Chicago.  This is a marvelous call to ministry in a parish where Mother Takacs’s many gifts are extremely well suited.  I know that together with God’s people in that place, Mother Takacs is sure to build ministry that glorifies God’s Name and serves God’s kingdom, as she has done here for nearly seven years.  Anticipating this good work accounts for the joy!

Facing the tasks of saying good-bye to Erika, and of imagining ministry here without her accounts for the sadness.  Erika is not only an exceptional colleague in ministry, she is a one-of-a kind priest, whose extraordinary talents in liturgy, music, as a preacher, teacher, and leader of various ministries (especially with children and families) are matched by her faithfulness, the grace apparent in her life, and her warmth and love.  It has been my delight to realize with regularity over these past years that I am sometimes called to serve in her shadow, as her reputation has grown and been recognized far and wide.  And it has been a blessing of untold measure to be fed by her preaching.  Any rector would thank God for Erika: I certainly do!

The Church of the Atonement enjoys a reputation that will only be enhanced with Erika’s leadership.  Erika appreciates the challenges the church at large faces, and she has shown how well-equipped she is to take them on, and to help the church to grow and to thrive.  It is not only good and right that she should move on to lead a parish as its rector, it’s important that she does so - the church needs leaders like her - and I am thankful that God is calling her to serve in such a fine place.

Erika will continue to be with us through June 17.  Shortly I’ll reach out to you all to share plans to rejoice with her as she moves on, and to thank her and her husband Dan Shapiro for all they have done for this parish, and to send them on their way to Chicago with our blessings and love.  Meanwhile, I know you will waste no time in getting a head start in letting her know how much we will miss her.


(The Rev.) Sean E. Mullen

Posted on May 9, 2018 .

Gerre Hancock Fellow in Church Music Announced


Saint Mark's is delighted to announce that David Heinze has been appointed as Gerre Hancock Fellow in Church Music for the academic year 2018-2019. The Fellowship, a full-time position, is sponsored jointly with the Association of Anglican Musicians. It is named in memory of one of the founders of the Association. Gerre Hancock, among the very greatest organists, choir trainers, and church musicians of his time, was for many years Organist and Master of Choristers at Saint Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, New York. The Fellowship is designed to offer the opportunity for a gifted young church musician to spend a program year in a demanding and comprehensive music program, assisting the Organist and Choirmaster, and further honing the Fellow's skills. Saint Mark's was chosen by the Association to partner in this endeavor.

David was selected from a field of nearly a dozen talented applicants, a smaller number of which were chosen to interview and audition in person. A native of Michigan, currently undertaking graduate studies in the U.K., he impressed us greatly with his musicianship, passion for church music in the Anglican tradition, and strong sense of vocation. He will be a tremendous asset to our parish and our growing music program, being involved in all facets of the program. He will work under Robert McCormick and alongside Clara Gerdes, who will remain as Organ Scholar as she continues her studies at the Curtis Institute. Further information about David Heinze follows.

Dāvids (David) Heinze graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance from Hope College (Holland, Michigan) where he studied the organ with Huw Lewis and the piano with Andrew Le. David is an honors graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy as well as an alumnus of Interlochen Arts Camp, where he studied with Thomas Bara. He has won first prize and Audience Prize in the L. Cameron Johnson Organ Competition and first prize in the Annamae Rotman Organ Competition. He has held posts at the Latvian Lutheran Church and Trinity United Methodist Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he also served as Organ and Choral Scholar for the Grand Rapids Choir of Men and Boys. David was the John L. Edwards Organ Scholar at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Detroit, and a Teaching Assistant in the Hope College Music Department. Currently he is a candidate for the Master of Music degree at the University of Cambridge, and is Graduate Organ Scholar at Selwyn College under the direction of Sarah MacDonald. David studies the organ with Margaret Phillips (of the Royal College of Music) and is organist for St. John’s Voices, a mixed-voice choir at St. John’s College directed by Graham Walker. In addition to his studies in Cambridge, David also recently obtained the Associateship diploma from the Royal College of Organists.

Posted on March 21, 2018 .