The practice of Christian stewardship begins with the recognition that everything we have comes from God. Jesus taught his first disciples to be good stewards of the gifts God had given them: their talents, the earth and their money. 21st century disciples face many challenges and opportunities as we try to be good stewards of all that God has given us.
Every parish community depends on the financial support of its members - Saint Mark's is no different. We are only able to carry out our mission because of the support of all those who contribute to it in large ways and small. We happen also o be the stewards of beautiful and historic buildings as well as several treasures of ecclesiastical artistry. Our care of our buildings and its appointments likewise depends on the support of our members and those who take an interest in this community and what we stand for.
Each year, normally in the fall, a stewardship campaign is conducted in which the parish leadership asks for pledges of financial support for the coming calendar year. For more information, please contact Joshua Castaño, chair of the stewardship committee.
2016 Season of Stewardship: Who Is My Neighbor?
For over a century and a half Saint Mark’s has been committed to loving our neighbors and showing mercy. This fall, the Stewardship Committee invites us to engage the neighbors we know and the ones we have yet to meet. Through October we will have a series of opportunities to serve, learn, and reflect on how God’s gifts to us can be offered to further the work of the Gospel. Our hope is that we will find ourselves renewed in our mission to serve God’s people through relationships that help knit together the Kingdom of God.
Tuesday, October 4: Darby Dinner. Saint Mark’s is hosting a “Darby Dinner”! These dinners are festive community celebrations organized by the new Darby Mission, a joint project of Episcopal Community Services, the Diocese of Pennsylvania, and Darby Borough. Dinners are held twice monthly at the Darby Borough Recreation Center and give neighbors opportunity to sit down with neighbors, with guests ranging in age from infants to elderly. Episcopal parishes are encouraged to sponsor these meals as a way to get to know our neighbors, with the focus not on serving the poor but on breaking bread with new friends. Contact Jay Blossom or sign up during coffee hour to attend and bring a dish to share.
Sunday, October 9: Dedication Sunday. Learn more about all of the events in Stewardship Season, how to participate, and why we as a parish are asking: “Who Is My Neighbor?”
Saturday, October 15: Campus Work Day at Saint James School. We will work on a variety of activities to help keep the classrooms, grounds, and neighborhood around Saint James clean and welcoming for students and families. Contact Nicole Green.
Saturday, October 22: Mental Health First Aid Learning Day. Presented in coordination with the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Mental Health, you’re invited to this one-day class held here at Saint Mark’s, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Parish Hall; lunch will be provided. Stay some or all of the day - those who finish the class receive a certificate of attendance from the city. This is an excellent opportunity for volunteers involved in Soup Bowl, Ushers’ Guild, Hospitality, or anyone in our community who greets the public. We have extended this invitation to our neighbors at other churches committed to such mission work. Please join us! RSVP to Ken Pearlstein.
Saturday, October 29: Foot Care for the Homeless. Join the Saturday Soup Bowl from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. as we provide foot-washing, foot care, and new socks to our guests. For this event, we are extending an invitation to local podiatrists and nurses from within our community. If you cannot be with us, please consider a donation of new athletic socks, old towels, and foot lotions to support our work!
Saturday, October 29: Philadelphia FIGHT and AIDS Outreach Today. Join us at Saint Mark’s at 10:30 a.m. to learn from staff at Philadelphia FIGHT about how AIDS work and outreach continues today in our region. We will also hear from parishioners about the parish’s AIDS Memorial Altar Frontal and the statue of Our Lady which commemorate the history of HIV/AIDS ministry here at Saint Mark’s.
Sunday, November 13: Commitment Sunday. Join us in church as we make our pledges of support to Saint Mark’s for 2017. A parish brunch will be held at 1 p.m. at the Racquet Club (Locust and 16th Streets); RSVP to Noah Stansbury.
At the Adult Forum: Sundays at 10 a.m.
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.