It's long been said that one of the strengths of the Episcopal Church is that you don't need to check your brain at the door. In fact, we encourage you to bring your brain, to use it, exercise it, even stretch it. A variety of opportunities to grow in faith and understanding, or to explore ideas about God and issues in the world, are available at Saint Mark's.
Every Sunday at 10 a.m., our parish gathers for discussion and teaching on topics that matter to us as Christians. Usually our talks are energetic and fulfilling, with lots of great ideas in the air. Come by for a good cup of coffee, stay for a great class and a rousing discussion! All classes meet in the Parish Hall at 10 a.m., ending in time for the 11 a.m. Mass. Contact Mother Nora Johnson if you have questions or would like to hear more.
September 11: School Sunday. Join members of the staff at Saint James School to hear all about the wonderful work they do, and all about how to support them. This is a great chance to ask questions and to be inspired by how far the school has come since it opened as a middle school in 2011.
September 18: Hope. Mother Nora Johnson will lead a discussion about hope: what is it, and why do Christians have it? What does it mean to look ahead with hope in difficult times?
September 25: Sabbatical Reflections. Father Sean Mullen will tell us what his recent sabbatical was like, and what it meant to him, and what he has begun to imagine that it might mean for our parish. This first session will be about his journey along the Camino de Santiago, a medieval pilgrimage route through Spain.
October 2: Sabbatical Reflections - The Camino. Father Sean Mullen will tell us what his recent sabbatical was like, and what it meant to him, and what he has begun to imagine that it might mean for our parish. This session will be a continuation of his September 25 presentation about his journey along the Camino de Santiago, a medieval pilgrimage route through Spain.
October 9: Sabbatical Reflections - Mount Kilimanjaro and Africa. Come hear Father Mullen’s thoughts about the challenge of climbing the highest mountain in Africa, and the time he spent in Africa after the climb.
October 16: Stewards of God’s Gifts: Godly Play. Join Mother Erika Takacs and the children of Schola as they use Godly Play, a reflective and prayerful method of storytelling, to explore the scriptural question “Who is my neighbor?” We will be using this intergenerational opportunity both to enjoy and celebrate the work done in Schola, and to help us undertake the challenge posed for us by the Stewardship Committee this year: to “meet our neighbors and go deeper into the call of Jesus to ‘go and do likewise.’”
October 23: Stewards of God’s Gifts - The Darby Ministry. The Rev. Dr. Doris Rajagopal is the Episcopal Missioner to Darby, where she runs the Darby Ministry, a collaborative effort to respond to poverty and hunger here in one of the neighborhoods of Philadelphia. Come hear about how she answers the call to serve struggling communities and people, and how her work in Darby has become a focal point for our diocese and a model for outreach.
October 30: Stewards of God’s Gifts - The Welcome Church. The Rev. Violet Little is Pastor and Developer of the Welcome Church, a Lutheran congregation without walls here in the city. They celebrate the Eucharist on the Ben Franklin Parkway and offer worship and community at locations across the city. They work tirelessly to “proclaim the hope and love of a gracious God to all people and especially to people experiencing homelessness.” Learn more about their wonderful congregation as we continue to explore our own parish’s call to further ministry and outreach.
November 6, 13, & 20: Illness, Death and Dying - The Gift of Grace. How do we start a conversation with the people we love about our own illness and death--and theirs? How do we make decisions about the end of life? How might we even start to talk about these topics with those to whom we are closest? Join parishioner Kevin Daugherty Hook, MSN, MA, MS, CRNP, an Adult and Gerontologic Nurse Practitioner and Mother Nora Johnson at the November Forums. This three-part series will include hands-on experience with "The Gift of Grace," an engaging conversation game designed to encourage such discussions.
Coming in Advent: Our Incarnational Gifts
Members of the parish will talk to us about the creative work they do and its relationship to their lives of faith. Come hear more about how God is incarnate in and through Saint Mark’s and the work of its parishioners. Don’t miss these compelling sessions on November 27, December 4, 11, and 18.