The Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Eucharist for All Ages at 10:30 a.m.

and Annual Parish Picnic

Prayers Requested
Electronic Giving Form

Celebrating 186 years of Service

parish picnic meal

Porch of our Parish Hall from last year's picnic

adult formation list

All are welcome and encouraged to participate.

Sign up at the Welcome Desk or simply come.

Spiritual Gifts Series Begins this Wednesday, September 20th, 6 p.m. The gifts of the Spirit are found in three of Paul’s epistles (Romans, 1 Corinthians and Ephesians). They are given by God to equip the people for serving with Christ on his mission in the world. Join this 3-week series, led by Steve Manskar, to explore the teachings on spiritual gifts and examine your own spiritual callings.

Upcoming Events

kids eating hot dogs
picnic kitchen

Celebration Sunday

Eucharist for All Ages and

Annual Parish Picnic, this Sunday!

It's good to be together. Meet after the 10:30 a.m. Service. Sides and desserts serving 8 people are welcomed, along with setup and cleanup help. Main courses provided by Parish Life/Hospitality and include a vegetarian option. Outdoor seating is weather dependent. 

Grand River cleanup team

20th Annual Mayors’ Grand River Cleanup

The newly-formed Creation Care Ministry at St. Mark's says thank you to all the cleaner-uppers who made Highland Park a nicer place for all, this week! We'll post photos soon. Participants can still register for the second site but will not receive detailed instructions from Jeff Brown and Anne Hiskes. There will be gloves, bags and refreshments onsite.

-Saturday, September 16 @ Wingate Apartments, Kentwood 9-10:30 a.m.

Upcoming Events

September 17 Celebration Sunday and Annual Parish Picnic

September 17 Pinball Land G.R.E.Y. (Youth) Event, 6-8 p.m.

September 20 2nd Mid-week Eucharist Service of the season, noon

October 1 Sharing the Bounty walk

Be the Help & Grow Our Community!

St. Mark's partners with Westminster's Downtown Food Pantry. Items needed for September: Macaroni and cheese, other pasta or rice mixes

Together West Michigan group logo

Keeping Up with Together West Michigan (TWM)  

Today's children are our future workers, neighbors, healthcare providers, parishioners, voters and more. When they don't have quality care and learning before age 5, their adult potential and all of our society suffers. Not to even mention parents

After months of work by TWM on the childcare crisis, The Kent County Commission is considering a proposal to let voters decide to expand the Ready by 5 Early Childhood Education Millage in 2024! To get this on the ballot, your County Commissioners need to hear from you.

1. Call or write.

2. Rally folks to the October 7 TWM Delegates Assembly, 10 a.m. at Calvin Christian Reformed Church, 700 Ethel Ave SE. Our power in numbers will help secure support from local officials at the event. Register here.

Not personally affected by childcare shortages yet? the Together West MI Early Childhood Gap Analysis and articles on why it's a crisis here.  


Opportunities to Serve Our Unhoused Neighbors

How can you help us add "Spa Day" qualities to our Saturday Breakfast Cafe?  

  • Consider a monetary gift in next Sunday's quarterly special collection.
  • Donate packages of new socks and underwear.  
  • Donate your gently used jeans, sweatshirts, tshirts, shoes, bath towels, knapsacks/duffel bags. We also need hotel-sized toiletries.
  • Join the St. Markers and others who volunteer to make all of this happen--we'd love to see you! There are opportunities to volunteer weekly, monthly or just on the holidays.  If you would like to help in the kitchen, contact Judy Freeman.  If you are interested in distributing clothing/toiletries, contact Sharon Bossemeyer or Sue York. We'd also love to be able to add foot care and nail care clinics, if volunteers come forward to perform that very Christian service.

UCCF logo

Announcing Our New Campus Ministry Partnership

Beginning Wednesday, Sept. 20th, St. Mark’s will open its doors to local Kendall and GRCC students for a weekly lunch in partnership with United Campus Christian Fellowship (UCCF). Students are invited into our Parish Hall between 11am-1pm Wednesdays for a free meal and fellowship, and will be invited to attend our midweek Eucharist. 

UCCF is a partnership organization of local Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutheran, UCC, and (now) Episcopal churches. It is led by Pastor Kate Van Valkenburg.


If you know a student at GRCC or Kendall, encourage them to attend! This group is open, affirming and a safe place to explore faith, or simply get a meal.

If you would like to help with this ministry, reach out to Laura Kozminski.  


Calling all Tutors for East Leonard School


St. Marks has a cadre of tutors for our school partner and would love to see that increase this year. Tutors go to the school on an average of one hour per week and work with a child or two who are currently in grades K-5. One large outcome of this time with a child is developing a positive and trusting relationship with the child. Another is to teach them vocabulary through meaningful conversation. Your presence makes a difference.


The new principal (Nanette Hersberger) at East Leonard would like it if all returning and new volunteers, could attend a meeting with her at the school at 410 Barnett St. NE on Thursday, September 19th at 4:00pm.  


If you have questions or would like to turn your name in as a new volunteer, please e-mail Judy Freeman at:

Sharing the Bounty, October 1, 1-3 p.m.

This fundraiser for the Westminster Food Pantry and St. Mark’s Breakfast Cafe will feature a guided 1.75 mile walking tour of the Heartside area. It will be led by Daniel Drent, a knowledgeable Heartside resident. Walkers are encouraged to get pledges from friends, family and parishioners for this vital fundraiser. Sign up and get your packet from the Welcome Desk on Sunday, September 17th or at the special table during coffee hour on Sunday, September 24th. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend! ~Sue Poll

Heartside neighborhood photo

Image: Heartside Downtown Neighborhood Association

Additional calls for volunteers will be posted at the Welcome Desk. If you'd like to give of your talents, and build stronger connections at St. Mark's, but aren't sure where to begin, contact Kate at the front desk. (, 616-456-1160)

From Your Ministries

Season of Creation

St Mark's is among the leaders in the worldwide celebration of the Season of Creation, to highlight environmental stewardship. With support from our denomination and diocese. The resources came too late for us to fully expand upon our standard liturgies and prayers for the month of September in 2023. We will use some elements this year and look to fully adopt in September of next year. It is important that the congregation knows that we are doing this. ~ Creation Care Ministry

"During the Season of Creation, we join our sisters and brothers in the ecumenical family in prayer and action for our common home... The season starts 1 September, the Day of Prayer for Creation, and ends 4 October, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology beloved by many Christian denominations."

Image: Season of Creation:

book group

Have a copy of The Church Cracked Open that you're willing to share? 

A year ago the Dismantling Racism Ministry organized discussions of The Church Cracked Open by the Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers. The book addresses the challenges facing the church today and invites us to reimagine the way our church engages with our neighbors and the world. Because St. Mark's is going through a transition, we think the time is right to offer additional discussions for parishioners who missed out last time. If you're willing to share your copy of the book, please leave it at the welcome desk. Be sure to put your name in the book if you'd like it back. Thanks so much! ~Dismantling Racism Ministry

Sacred Sounds at St. Mark's

The wonderful, five-part 2023-2024 Concert Series will be announced in less than a week! *drum roll*

Changes in St. Mark's Outreach to Our Homeless Neighbors

St. Mark's has hosted Spa Days for our neighbors in the downtown homeless community for over 15 years. In an effort to be responsive to the needs of this community, however, the Outreach Committee is redirecting Spa Days service and resources to the growing number of men and women who arrive at our church door each Saturday for Breakfast Cafe. In addition to a delicious hot breakfast, neighbors may receive:

  • exams by medical students offered monthly
  • haircuts offered 1-2 times a month
  • clothing and toiletry items offered each week
  • a monthly concert offered by volunteers from the Grand Rapids Symphony

We hope to add a foot care clinic and nail care in the near future.

~Outreach Committee


Safety Ministry Monthly Showcase

We seek parishioner volunteers to be more active members of the Safety and Security Team during Church services.

The Safety Ministry will host a Social Hour to explain what our functions are to parishioners.

We continue our important updates to standardizing building access, enhancing building alarms, providing medical training to staff and communicating emergency procedures to staff, volunteers and all property users. Details below.

~ Safety & Security Ministry

Minutes from August Meeting

Please "friend" St. Mark's on Facebook and subscribe to the YouTube Channel. Many thanks! ~ Communications Ministry

Prayer for the Transition

Holy Spirit of God –

So many come to our Parish for a sense of home. The consistency and constancy of our community provides a special peace, a haven. Now, our Parish family faces a change which may be frightening or discomforting. We ask for calm and an openness to hear every voice. May we remind ourselves and one another: We are in God’s hands. We ask for Shalom–balance, patience and peace.

May we find our hearts strangely warmed by this process.

May we find strength, joy and endurance. Amen.                  (Laura Kozminski)

Announcements & Celebrations


This September, St. Mark's is hosting what may be our first non-parishioner wedding in our church since COVID quarantines began. Cheers to the happy couple!

New to St. Mark's? Welcome!

Sunday Services at 8:00 a.m. and at 10:30 a.m. (recorded live)

Healing Prayer during Holy Communion, near the piano in the South Transept

Mid-week Eucharist at noon on Wednesdays from September-May

St. Mark's Episcopal Church is a growing, welcoming, and affirming community of faith in a vibrant urban community. In our worship and in our service to the community, we proclaim that all people are worthy of God's love. We celebrate and uphold the dignity of all people whose ethnicity, cultural heritage, and denominational traditions are examples and celebrations of God's love. We welcome visitors and parishioners from all social, political, and educational backgrounds, and all abilities, sexual orientations, and gender identities. We affirm all people and celebrate diversity, as we work to fulfill God's love for all people as a community of faith.  

Parking and Restrooms on Sundays

Please, respect the handicap parking spaces at St. Mark’s, especially on Sundays. These are needed by many parishioners.

Consider the free metered parking on Pearl, Ionia, Lyon, Fountain and other streets near the church, the upper and lower levels of the GRCC building on Fountain Street, and the Ellis Parking Lot at 210 Ionia just west of Lyon Street. For Sundays only, white validation tickets for the Ellis lot can be found from an usher or greeter.

Main floor restrooms are limited. The second floor has additional restrooms.

Sunday Children's Opportunities

During the 10:30 Service, in the Lower Level. 

For more info and to volunteer, contact Evan Knill, Director of Children's Formation:

Grand Rapids Episcopal Youth

For info on virtual and in-person youth group meetings as well as events and activities, contact Jeff Brown, Director of Youth Ministries at

Thank you for your continued

support of St. Mark's!

Link Here for Financial Update

Ways to Give to St. Mark's

1.)  Mobile App Square Cash - Cashtag: $stmarksgr Web address:$stmarksgr or use the top QR code

2.) Online at our website at through PayPal 

3.)  Electronic Giving (email Pam for form – see the attachment in our e-news)  

4.)  Vanco Mobile App from any mobile device (Search: St Marks Episcopal Church - no punctuation) or use the QR code below

Or go to (use invite code EVDBRF)

5.) Pay by text - text 616-205-9714 from your phone and send in a payment

6.) Mail in a check to the church

7.) Gifts or Transfer of Stock

8.) Remember St. Mark's in your Estate Planning

9.) Life Insurance or Gift Annuities

10.) IRA/Retirement Accounts

Vanco QR Code


St. Mark's Episcopal Church

134 N. Division Avenue

Grand Rapids, MI 49503