St. Mark’s has been a very special place for me for many years – spiritually, socially and even physically. Much of this time I did not realize how special and important St. Mark’s has been. I was busy with the typical myriad of activities, some important and some less so, involving family, friends, business and profession, “church”, travel, various groups, and the list goes on. However, reflecting a bit, I am realizing how St. Mark’s has supported and guided me through all these activities. In other words, how St. Mark’s has helped and continues to help me live my life in our challenging world.
Spiritually, St. Mark’s is a place where we gather for worship services that include prayer, thought provoking sermons, inspiring music and sharing of the Eucharist. In addition, there are many other ways that we grow spiritually at St. Mark’s – scripture and book studies, small prayer groups, forums and other adult education opportunities, youth and children’s teaching, etc..
Socially, there is enjoyment that comes from being together with people that share values and interests, along with some opportunities for participating in community service activities. However, maybe more importantly, there are opportunities to support and appreciate what other people are doing as devoted Christians, both in the St. Mark’s community as well as our wider community, that are often quite different than my natural inclinations. For me, this has guided me towards an understanding of how diverse we may be, but still unified around a common purpose of Christian love.
Physically, we have buildings and a campus, while challenging to care for, are generally well maintained and support our activities including worship, learning and gathering. To me, our worship spaces, including liturgical furnishings, organs, seasonal decorations, and stained glass windows all contribute to my spiritual base. We also have comfortable and useable space to gather together, share and learn, and to be together for meals and other social activities. Further, much of our space is shared with others when we are not using it as a way of offering something back to our wider community. Of course all of the foregoing would be just space if there were not people doing holy things within these spaces.
In order to accomplish what we do and continue what we have at St. Mark’s we must continue our support and participation – time, talent and treasure. We have wonderful clergy and staff most worthy of our support. Our outreach activities continue with substantial amounts of time and talent and relatively modest amounts of treasure, and the same applies to taking care of our buildings and grounds. I continue to give thanks that St. Mark’s is blessed with a broad and diverse base of people who support this place to the extent they can so that we continue offering meaning in our lives together. Let us continue our support so that St. Mark’s remains one of God’s special places.