Lent is one of the few seasons in our lives when we are invited in a formal way to reflect on what it is like to be human, to be limited, to be mortal. So much of what the world tries to sell is eternal youth, happiness, and comfort. In the church, we know that simply isn’t true. Lent is a time to look into the corners of our souls, our families, our businesses, and our parish to see where the cobwebs are. Perhaps we need to be more in prayer, more in fasting. Maybe, we are being asked to give more of our time or our wealth to create a more just world. I’m not sure what your souls look like, but I know that mine could always use a good dusting.
Join Us on Our Lenten Journey
Ash Wednesday, March 6
7:30 a.m. Eucharist & Imposition of Ashes
12–2 p.m. Prayer & Imposition of Ashes
6 p.m. Eucharist & Imposition of Ashes
UTO Blue Boxes | Lenten Offering for Families
Lent is often a season when people try to pay less attention to the many things they find around them and focus more on the one who gave us everything: God. Every year, the United Thank Offering (UTO) invites Christians to thank God for each and every blessing they are given and to make an offering using a UTO Blue Box. UTO, a ministry of The Episcopal Church for the mission of the whole church, distributes 100% of donations to support innovative mission and ministry throughout The Episcopal Church and Provinces of the Anglican Communion in the form of grants. Grants have recently been awarded to Bridges Reentry of Arizona, which provides long-term housing and support for formerly incarcerated women, and San Francisco de Iglesia Episcopal and their Food Ministry, serving a large Hispanic immigrant and refugee community in the surrounding low-income apartments of East Dallas, Texas.
Beginning Sunday, March 10 and throughout this Lenten season, your family can count and give thanks for your blessings by collecting change in your Blue Box. We will be giving out the boxes during Church School. We will collect the boxes at church on Easter Sunday.
8 a.m. Eucharist Starts March 10
St. Mark’s will launch its expanded Sunday schedule beginning the first Sunday of Lent (March 10). The 8 a.m. Eucharist will be spoken, alternating between Rite I and Rite II in the Book of Common Prayer depending on the needs of the congregation. The main sanctuary doors will open at 7:40 a.m., and we will conduct the service in The Chapel of the Bread of Life, just dedicated last December.
Wednesdays, 6 p.m., in the Chapel of the Bread of Life
Thursdays, 6 p.m. — One Book, One Parish
This Lent, come and enter into a parish-wide discussion on Sara Miles’ marvelous book City of God: Faith in the Streets. A former atheist and founder of a daily food pantry in the Mission District of San Francisco, Miles writes with strength and passion about what it is to see God in the faces of those she serves. Publishers Weekly describes the books as, “A convincing Lenten adventure into a dynamic Christian view of faith in the streets, of repentance and blessing, life and death, in the cracked sidewalks and fractured realities of the city of God.”
There are several ways to participate. Each Thursday of Lent, beginning March 14, we will gather for a simple soup supper in the Parish Hall at 6 p.m., followed by small group conversations on the book. If Thursday nights are difficult for you, we will post study questions on our Facebook page as well as some teaser questions in the bulletin. You may come for one or all the Thursday night sessions. It should be a thoughtful and meaningful series. The church has 25 copies. Feel free to take one from the back of the church and kindly put $10 in the basket provided. You’re welcome to use your own copy as well. Or, if we run out, we’ll order more!
Fridays, at noon — Campus Ministry Café | Stations of the Cross
Every Friday during the school year, college students are invited to attend our free Campus Ministry Cafe. Join us from noon to 3 p.m. for a cup of hot coffee or tea and great snacks. Gluten-free options are available. During Lent, each Friday’s cafe will begin at noon with a brief liturgy for Stations of the Cross in the Sanctuary.
Sundays, 11 a.m. — Adult Education Lenten Series
Faces of Evil: On The Nature of Wickedness
All civilizations have recognized that evil is a reality in the world. Using scenes from films to set the stage, these Sunday Lenten classes will explore the varied ways we experience evil and how as Christians we are called to respond. Classes held in the Library, at 11 a.m.
March 10 – “The Devil Made Me Do It” – The Exorcist: Satan, demoniacs, and dualism
March 17 – “I Was Just Following Orders” – Schindler’s List: The banality of collective evil
March 24 – “If I’d Only Had A Pony” – Strangers on a Train: Psychological explanations of bad behavior
March 31 – “Hey, It Was in Grandpa’s Genes!” – Young Frankenstein: Science, materialism and the doubtful existence of free will
April 7 –“The Face in the Mirror” – A Simple Plan: Personal responsibility and the community’s response
April 14 – “I Won’t Play That Game” – No Country for Old Men: Two different yet distinctly Christian responses to evil
Sunday, March 31, 5 p.m. — Lenten Film
In addition to our Lenten book series and expanded opportunities for worship, we have added a Lenten Film to our observance this year. This year’s film is Antonia’s Line, winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1995. It’s a lush and moving film that tackles themes of religion, family, and power — all accompanied by peerless acting and a lush score. The film is rated R and contains sexual violence, suicide, and adult themes. If parents are interested in bringing little ones to the movie night, I’ll have a more appropriate film going in my office for the kids. ~Fr. Burch