2017 Article – Deborah

deborahbMy life at St. Mark’s

I first came to St. Mark’s during a time of upheaval at my previous church (All Saints Palo Alto). The rector retired, the interim left after less than a year, and then the newly-called rector had a style which I disliked. The entire staff at the church left and were replaced. The bishop had also resigned under a cloud. I started to feel like I was worshiping in a construction zone. I was a new mother of a 2-year-old in a parish without many children or activities for them.

I became friends with the associate Rector, Lori Walton. The parish troubles continued. When Lori left to come to St. Mark’s, I wondered what that parish across town was like. I stopped attending All Saints, but after a few months I found I was missing going to church singing in the choir. So I decided to give St. Mark’s a try.

My first time at St. Mark’s was the Sunday between Christmas and New Year’s. I discovered that a member of the choir (Ron Hodges) was an old friend with whom I had been in another choir. He introduced me to Rebecca Maggi, and we talked for a while after the service. I came several times that spring, and then decided to join the choir that fall. I had joined All Saints to be in the choir, and here I was doing it again!

I found a warmth and welcome at St. Mark’s which was truly meaningful to me. I was very impressed with the music staff – a former opera singer and a fantastic organist! I knew Lori had a goofy sense of humor, and I was pleased to find that Matt had one too. And he could sing! So music was my way in, but St. Mark’s means much more to me.

My first real interaction was with Mary Greene. We tried putting my son William into Sunday School. After a few weeks, Mary came to me and said she thought he wasn’t ready – he had trouble sitting still in the circle. She asked, concerned “Is that a deal-breaker for you?”. I assured her it was not, and we would just try again later. But I loved her concern for how that would affect our whole family’s church life.

My main stewardship is volunteering in the church office. I started volunteering in the office when Katie Yates went on maternity leave and Lori was trying to pick up parts of her job. I started by printing all the bulletins, but expanded the job later to straightening out records, and helping with space use rentals. I handled all the space use rentals at two different times, and still handle the groups who meet here regularly. This is my way of giving back to St. Mark’s, a place which has been a refuge and a support through the almost 10 years I have been a member.

I have been through some difficult and wonderful times during my time here. It’s hard to express how grateful I am for the community which was there for me through the good times and the bad. The prayers I’ve said with Matt, and Lori, and Corrie, and Salying, and Lindy. How I have watched my son grow through Sunday school and into Youth Group. The wonderful retreats and the weekly services. The holidays. The pain, the joy and the laughter. And around and in it all, the music.

Posted in 2017 Campaign.