St. Mark's Episcopal Church

Celebrating 186 years of Service

The Fourth Sunday in Lent

Laetare Sunday

March 19, 2023

We are offering two Sunday Services

at 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. 

and a mid-week Eucharist at noon on Wednesdays

The 10:30 a.m. Service will be recorded live from the St. Mark's Sanctuary through our Facebook page and YouTube Channel.

A copy of the Bulletin may be found on our website, in the button below

or on the Facebook page.


Healing Prayer: Today and moving forward, we return to offering a brief prayer of healing during the distribution of Holy Communion. A healing minister will be available near the piano in the South Transept.

*Laetare Sunday: The Fourth Sunday of Lent and traditionally a day of celebration within the more austere period of Lent. The name comes from the first few words of the Introit, Laetare Jerusalem (“Rejoice, O Jerusalem”) from Isaiah 66:10.

Statement of Inclusion

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.  

Breakfast Café Quarterly Collection, this Sunday

Please, see envelopes and be as generous as you are able.

Baptisms at St. Mark’s

The next two opportunities for the Sacrament of Holy Baptism will be at the Easter Vigil Service on Saturday, April 8, at 7:00 p.m. and the Festival of Pentecost on May 28 at the 10:30 Eucharist. If you are interested for yourself or your child, please see Fr. Christian.

Hospitality Opportunity -- Help Needed!

On April 13th from 11:30 am - 1:30 pm, members of St. Mark's will host a lunch for college students from Kendall College of Art & Design. We need help providing soup, salad, drinks and dessert, and could also use helpers who simply want to attend the lunch, socialize with these students and help cleanup. College can be a hard time of new independence and loneliness. Kendall reached out to us and asked us to host a lunch for students as a way of showing them that their downtown community supports their education and futures. If you would like to help, contact Shawn Miller

Parking and Restrooms on Sundays

Please, respect all the handicap parking spaces at St. Mark’s especially on Sundays. We have any number of people in need of access parking who have been unable to park near the front entrance.

Also, the second floor of the Parish House is always open on Sundays, and there are additional restrooms available to parishioners and visitors on that level.

Dale Van Kley Passed Away

Parishioner, Dale Van Kley, passed away Tuesday afternoon after a lengthy illness. He now rests in peace with all the saints in light.

Please, keep Sandy and the family in your prayers as they mourn the passing of Dale.

May his soul, and all the souls of the departed rest in peace.

(Details for the Memorial Service to follow at a later date)

Eucharistic Minister and Visitor Workshop

 April 29, 10:30 a.m. -12:00 p.m.

If you would like to be trained or to refresh your ministry as a Eucharistic Minister (Serving Communion at Eucharist) or Eucharistic Visitor (Taking Communion to Others), please, consider this opportunity for prayer, reflection and training.

For more information, please, see Fr. Christian or call him at 617.416.5014.

End of Life Planning

 May 13, 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

If you would like to consider what your Celebration of Life might look and feel like, please, consider coming to this workshop. Two documents will be offered and discussed which can be most meaningful to family members and loved ones once you have passed on to eternal life. 

For more information, please, see Fr. Christian or call him at 617.416.5014.  

Adult and Youth Formation Opportunity this Sunday

"The Image of God (Imago Dei) Idea in History, Culture & Politics" with Dr. Richard Hiskes

What does it mean to say, as in Genesis 1:26, that humans are created in “the image of God?” Do humans have some special ability, ingredient, or trait that makes us special and above all other creatures? If so, what?

This question has been asked by theologians since St. Augustine, and the number of different answers is both surprising and interesting. So is what those answers have meant historically, culturally and even politically in terms of difference and power.


Today the idea of human rights is often said to be based on our unique sharing of the “imago Dei.” Historically the number of those who share that image has needed to grow for it to include women, non-white men, and maybe, even children. It provides now an inclusive basis for why all adult humans are seen as having rights. 


Whether children do is still in question. Do children have human rights, or do they bear the image of a “lesser” God?


What the image of God means, what the Bible seems to indicate, and how the concept has become part of human cultures—for good or ill—is what I would like to explore together. We will start with the Bible in a wide-ranging discussion of several passages; then I will suggest several different interpretations offered by theologians and philosophers. We can explore together what those interpretations mean for us as Christians, and as, simply, humans. 

Grab a cup of coffee and join us this Sunday at 9:30 a.m.

Holy Week and Easter 2023


Palm/Passion Sunday: Eucharist at 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Holy Monday: Communal Sacrament of Reconciliation at 5:00 p.m.

Holy Tuesday: Evening Prayer for Holy Week at 5:00 p.m.

Holy Wednesday: Eucharist at Noon and Tenebrae

(Service of Shadows) at 7:00 p.m.

Maundy Thursday:

Soup Supper with Table Readings at 6:00 p.m.

Eucharist with Foot Washing and Striping of the Altar at 7:00 p.m.

Keeping Vigil until 10:00 p.m.

Good Friday:

Ecumenical Service at Westminster Presbyterian Church at Noon

Solemn Liturgy with Choir for Good Friday at 7:00 p.m.

Easter Decorating of the Church at 9:30 a.m.

Holy Saturday: Easter Vigil Service at 7:00 p.m. (Incense)

Easter Sunday, The Day of the Resurrection:

Festival Eucharist with Instruments and Choir at 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. (Incense)

Easter Egg Hunt Following the 10:30 a.m. Service, St. Mary’s Garden

Stations (Way) of the Cross: March 24 and 31, Fridays at Noon throughout Lent.

Sacrament of Reconciliation:

Especially offered during the Season of Lent. Please, see Mother Sue or Fr. Christian for an appointment.

Individual Private Prayer at St. Mark’s during Lent:

St. Mark’s is open during the week to parishioners who wish to pray in the Sanctuary or Chapel. Books of Common Prayer and Prayer Walking Cards are available for individual prayer. 

All are welcome.

Wednesday Forums during Lent

Join us on Wednesdays, March 22, & 29 for Soup & Bread

in the Parish Hall followed by

"Appreciating the Psalms in the 21st Century"

with Dr. David Beach.

The 21st century continues to challenge the faith of many and test our capacity to trust God. For thousands of years, the Psalms have nurtured the faith of believers in all kinds of life situations. They model the kind of dialogical faith manifested by Jesus, and they can help us listen and respond to God with wise confidence in God’s loving care and faithfulness. Come and explore how the Psalms are God’s provision for us in times of orientation, disorientation, and reorientation. Dr. Dave Beach is a retired educator/counselor/author, most recently serving trauma survivors as the mental health director at a nonprofit agency in Michigan. He created and taught several undergraduate adult social sciences courses, authored the award-winning Following the Man of Sorrows: A Theology of Suffering for Spiritual Formation and co-authored The Essential Bible Companion to the Psalms. His perennial interests are in human suffering, spiritual formation, and running a new non-traditional publishing house. You may find him presenting at conferences and retreats or in Sweet Seasons coffee shop in Lowell. Dave lives in Lowell with Cynthia, his wife of nearly 30 years.

Calendar of Events for Adult Formation Sunday & Wednesday Forums 
Lenten Devotional 

Help needed for Easter Decorating on Saturday,

April 8 at 9:30 a.m.

All Things Episcopal — An Inquirer's Journey

The schedule for the sessions is posted on the bulletin board in the Foyer and copies are available in the bookcase of the Canterbury Room. Hard copies of the texts are available for those who signed up for the program. 

Please, know that anyone can attend any of the sessions as an adult formation opportunity. 

All are welcome.

Facebook & YouTube Help

If you are not a "friend" of St. Mark's or have not subscribed to the St. Mark's YouTube Channel, we invite you to do both. Many communications come through our Facebook Page and all live-streams are there as well as on YouTube. Please, consider both if you will and also consider sharing that information with others as a way of helping us to market to the broader community.

Many thanks!

~ Communications Ministry

Safety Ministry at St. Mark's

Each month we plan to showcase a feature of the Safety Ministry at St. Mark's.

March, how to use a fire extinguisher.

Did you know we have fire extinguishers all over the building? Take a scavenger hunt with your children or take a walk around the building yourself. Please locate them and become familiar in case you ever have to use one.

Click here for YouTube Video on how to use a fire extinguisher

Safety & Security Ministry - Volunteers Needed!

We are growing and becoming ever-more visible in downtown Grand Rapids! The not-so-good news: increasing violence throughout the nation, the Grand Rapids community and even here at St. Mark's. 


We find it necessary to expand and formalize our Safety and Security Ministry to safeguard not only our property, but also our congregation, staff and visitors. 


Please prayerfully consider whether this is an area where you may be able to serve - and contact Father Christian to learn how you can help!  

Food Pantry Items needed for the Month of March: Canned Vegetables, Canned Baked Beans

United Thank Offerings (UTO)

The United Thank Offering (UTO) is a ministry of The Episcopal Church for the mission of the whole church. Through UTO, individuals are invited to embrace and deepen a personal daily spiritual discipline of gratitude. UTO encourages people to notice the good things that happen each day, give thanks to God for those blessings and make an offering for each blessing using a UTO Blue Box.

UTO is entrusted to receive the offerings, and to distribute the 100% of what is collected to support innovative mission and ministry throughout The Episcopal Church and Provinces of the Anglican Communion. Boxes will be available at Church and to take home. 

Your generosity will be much appreciated. 

~ Christian+

Award Winning Concert Tour Coming to St. Mark's

April 21 @ 7:00 p.m.!

The Concert for the Human Family is an inspiring collaboration between musicians and church leaders who believe in the power of music and storytelling to foster Beloved Community.

Experience genre-crossing original music that bridges jazz, hip-hop, rock and bluegrass, performed by a multi-cultural, award-winning team of recording artists, led by GRAMMY-nominated pianist and composer Kory Caudill and Wordsmith, a Baltimore-based songwriter, performer and recording artist. Guided by their music and friendship, they invite concertgoers into an exploration of Beloved Community and the power of racial reconciliation through relationship.

The Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan are thrilled to host two stops on the nationwide Spring Tour: in Grand Rapids on April 21st and in Flint on April 22nd. This is a destination experience -- see below for tickets!!

Get a taste of the concert here!

Tickets are on sale now! Tickets are $18 per person with our local discount codes and additional savings are available for students and group registrations. This event is open to all, regardless of denomination or faith background -- please share!

Discount Code: STMARKS

TicketsMany hands make light work!

We will need volunteers for this event.


The Wardens, Vestry, and People of

St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Muskegon

With our Bishop,

The Rt. Rev. Prince G. Singh

request your prayers and presence

as we renew and celebrate our ministry with

The Rev. Eileen Stoffan

on the Thirtieth day of March

in the Year of our Lord Two Thousand Twenty-three,

at five thirty in the evening

St. Paul's Episcopal Church

1006 3rd Street

Muskegon, Michigan 49440

Reception to follow.

Clergy: surplice, cassock, red stole

Part-Time Job Opportunity at St. Mark’s

Operations Manager


The Operations Manager will coordinate and perform a diverse set of support tasks, concerning people, property, and events. This position supports the Rector by helping facilitate the efficient operations of the Church.  

For more information or to obtain the full job description, please contact

Marie McKendall, HR Ministry Chair, at or phone


Social Hours at St. Mark's Assistance

Please, consider offering to host a Social Hour either after the 8:00 or the 10:30 on Sunday mornings. You might partner with another parishioner or whichever ministry in which you might be involved might sign-up as well. Coffee is always provided, and really as simple as cookies, cheese and crackers, or whatever is all that's needed. With receipts, costs can be reimbursed by Pam Stevenson, Finance Manager. 

There's a sign-up sheet on the Welcome Desk of the Parish House. Please, consider offering your gifts for this important ministry at St. Mark's. 

Sunday Children's Opportunities

During the 10:30 Service, opportunities for children are offered in the Lower Level of the Parish House. Please plan to be with us!

For more information and to volunteer to be of assistance, please contact Evan Knill, Director of Children's Formation at

Prayers Requested

Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the LORD's people.
Prayers Requested

Grand Rapids Episcopal Youth

For information on our Virtual and In-person Youth Group Meetings as well as events and activities, please contact Jeff Brown, Director of Youth Ministries at

Pledges for 2023 

If you have not yet pledged and would like to offer a pledge for 2023, we are graciously still accepting pledges towards our life together. Pledge cards are available at the Resource Table and the Welcome Desk. 

Please join us if you are able!

Ways to Give to St. Mark's

1.)  Mobil App Square Cash - Cashtag: $stmarksgr Web address:$stmarksgr

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 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

2023 Pledge Card

Thank you for your continued support


St. Mark's!

Please see the ways to give to St. Mark's in the link below.

Link Here for Financial Update
Electronic Giving Form

Parking on Sundays

Limited parking is available in the Parish Lot. Therefore, 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 the Ellis Lot, please, pick up an exit ticket from an Usher, a Greeter or on the little table where the bulletins are in the north transept. Parking is free on Sunday only. A white ticket is required to accompany the parking ticket and to exit the lot.

St. Mark's is a part of the
For a calendar of events visit here.
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St. Mark's Episcopal Church

134 N. Division Avenue

Grand Rapids, MI 49503