When faced with the request to write about how and why I became a member of St. Mark’s I really had to think about how I arrived at this place in my life. Making a change is not easy, particularly since I am a recent transplant from New York, which was a major life changing event. At this point in life, changes must be for an important reason and a real necessity. And, so it was that I found my way to St. Mark’s, seeking a church that would feed my spirit. Now, I am tasked with writing about my decision to become a member of St. Mark’s. Let me start by saying that, it was “ love at first sight”. Thinking back to a little more than a year ago, when I made the choice to become a part of St Mark’s Episcopal Church, I am reminded of the kind and thoughtful invitation to visit extended by my friend Nadine O’Leary. Nadine was passionate about her newly found church home and wanted to share what she was experiencing. She knew that I was searching for spiritual renewal and a like minded church community to feed my heart, mind and soul. So, one fine Sunday morning, my husband Alvin and I decided to visit St. Mark’s. It was indeed “love at first sight”.
There are many things that convinced us that St. Mark’s was the right place for us. The clear welcome offered to visitors is unmistakable. It comes from members of the congregation, in the printed material and at the end of the service from the officiating clergy. It is a place of intentional spirit filled worship without being contrived or artificial. The word in common use today that aptly describes St. Mark’s is authentic, truly a reflection of Christian beliefs put into practice.
St Mark’s is special. The enchanting musical selections, inspiring sermons, creative art installations, spectacular floral arrangements, thought provoking forums and the people combine to create an environment that support a meaningful worship experience. Although we have been worshipping at St. Marks since the summer of 2013, and are newcomers, it feels as if we have been here forever. Names are remembered and used, conversations at coffee hour are spirited and friendly with opportunities extended to participate in the life of the church. I leave St. Mark’s each Sunday renewed by the messages from Matt, Salying and the guest preachers, coupled with the spiritual nourishment of gathering around the table to receive the blessed bread and wine. This time is enriched by the presence and participation of beautiful children. St. Mark’s is indeed a special place and I feel blessed that the spirit led me to it.