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A Note from St. Mark's-Sept. 14

Dear Parish Family,

We continue to learn of parishioners who have experienced considerable loss due to hurricane Irma, and we've heard from many who are anxious to help their neighbors but need some direction. Therefore, we're trying to facilitate connecting those who have with those who need. For instance, those without power may need somewhere to do laundry, or a place to take a hot shower. Others may need help cleaning up their home from flooding, or with debris in their yard. Please email Elizabeth Crosby at
ecrosby@stmarksjacksonville.org or call her at 388-2681 ext. 224 to let us know if you or someone else needs help, or to offer your assistance.

Additionally, Leatherbury Hall will be open during office hours today and tomorrow. So if you're still without power and would like to charge your cell phone, get a cup of coffee, or get some ice to take home, you're welcome to come here. We'll keep Leatherbury Hall cool, and you'll most likely run into a friend or two.

Also, we've decided to begin our Friday morning (7:00-8:00am) Men's Bible Study & Breakfast with the Rector tomorrow, as scheduled. If you'd like to assist with getting the breakfast ready for that, please contact Chris Thompson at
cthompson@stmarksjacksonville.org or 388-2681 ext. 219.

Finally, we are getting ready for Sunday and hope you can join us! It seems to me that more than ever our parish community needs to count on the church being open and prepared for our weekly Sunday gathering. This Sunday we return to our full schedule of Sunday worship times, with Christian Formation for all ages at 10:00am. There are new offerings, so I once again commend to you our Fall Program Guide (that was mailed to you a couple of weeks ago), and encourage you to make a decision to be present (if you can) for Sunday worship and Christian Formation. More details about everything scheduled for Sunday will be sent out tomorrow in this week's Epistle.

This is a stressful time for all of us. Many of us still don't have power, and others have lost much more than that. Please pray for all of those effected. And, again, if you are available to help those who may need it, please let us know.

The Lord be with you,



 

"O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy: Increase and multiply upon us your mercy; that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we lose not the things eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen."
Book of Common Prayer, pg. 231.

A Note from St. Marks-September 12
"...we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him..."  Romans 8:28

Dear Parish Family,

I'm happy to report that the power is back on at St. Mark's! We will have our regular midweek services Wednesday at 7:00am and 5:30pm, and now that we are back on the program year schedule, the afternoon service will have an emphasis on healing prayer. So if the stress over hurricane Irma has distorted your perspective, or if you're among those who experienced significant loss due to damage caused, please consider this weekly opportunity to have healing prayers said over you.

The  only Wednesday or Thursday cancellations to report are:
  • there will be no Wednesday breakfast after the 7am service.
  • the Mothers of Young Children Bible study has been re-scheduled to begin Wednesday, September 20.
  • there will be no Grace Lunch this Wednesday at 12 noon.

 

Please be on the lookout for Friday's E-pistle for additional weekend information. And now, a brief theological reflection.

I've become familiar this past week with a new kind of fatigue, 'storm fatigue.' For an entire week, I was obsessed with the direction of hurricane Irma. And once I got past the stress of whether or not Perrin and the kids were going to evacuate, I moved onto the stress of what we all might experience since we chose to stay.

So my defenses were down when Irma finally did hit in the middle of the night, and boy did she hit. Many experienced way more damage than expected, either because of flooding or destruction caused by fallen trees. And I don't like the effects of such a storm and neither do you. But consider this. I also heard (and continue to hear) example after example of parishioners expressing love and concern for others in the midst of it all.

I heard about some driving around in their sport utility vehicles (able to go places most cars can't) just looking for someone to help. I heard about staff members leaving the challenges they had at their own home to go out to help someone else who had it worse. And I saw and participated in the comforting conversations that neighbors were having with one another in the middle of the street.

So even if you are among those who experienced considerable loss, I hope you will join me in thanking God for the grace and beauty of the community of faith, for those who take advantage during such times to put the needs of others first, and for the power of God's Holy Spirit to touch and transform during such difficult times.

I don't like 'storm fatigue' and I will continue to hope and pray that such storms stay out in the ocean. But I do thank God for the witness of the Communion of Saints, who rise to the top on such occasions to bear witness to some of the sentiment behind Paul's words to the church in Rome, "...we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him...".

Faithfully in Christ,

| 4129 Oxford Avenue | Jacksonville, FL 32210 | 904-388-2681