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Your Weekly News & Updates
What This Issue Includes:

*  Safeguarding God's Children Class
*  Council Delegate & Alternate Election
*  Advent Devotionals
*  Oak Tree Planting
*  Fruit of the Vine
*  Access Plus Ramp Build
*  Christmas Caroling
*  Altar Flowers & Poinsettias
*  Task Force Groups
*  Children's Ministry
*  Youth Ministry 
*  Worship Leader Prayer
*  Amazon Smile
*  Calendar
*  Helpful Links

Saturday, December 8th
The Safeguarding God's Children Course is required for everyone who works with our children and youth.  If you have not taken the class, it will be offered Saturday, December 8th from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.  Patti Purdy will be the facilitator.  Please contact the office to sign up at (361) 994-0285 or email at
Delegates & Alternates to Council Election
Sunday, December 9th
Have you ever been to the Diocesan Council? It's an opportunity to see what our 'community of communities' in the Diocese of West Texas does in service to the Lord. If you are over 16 years of age and are an active member, you can be nominated to represent St. Mark's in February 2019. Council will be held in McAllen beginning Thursday, February 21 at noon. It will conclude Saturday, February 23 at noon.   

Up to eight members may go. All elected delegates and alternates must attend a pre-Council dinner at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church Monday, January 28th to become acquainted with the business that will be done in McAllen.
Advent Devotionals
Devotionals to be used during the Advent Season will be available on the name tag table between the two double doors in the entry way to the sanctuary.  Be sure to pick on up for your family to use during the Season of Waiting!
Elf Erin & Elf Beth
       Breakfast with Santa
Last Saturday marked our 14th annual Breakfast with Santa.  We had 257 guests and everyone had a wonderful time and new friends were made.  

Our children and youth performed a skit called "How the Grinch Found Jesus" that told the story of the nativity.  They really did a good job and had fun doing it.  Check it out on our Facebook page, here's a link.
        Oak Tree Plantings
Last Sunday, our Youth Group did a fantastic job planting nine tiny oak seedlings in the King's Forest. They were grown from acorns that fell from two of our most beautiful trees. When grown, they will be a circular grove with three trees on the inside. 

We also planted two southern cherry trees recommended by Mike at Gill's Landscape, and a tangerine tree to replace the citrus tree that died late last spring. 

By the way, this is a wonderful time to plant a tree. Lower winds, lower temperatures and ground moisture make it much easier for a potted plant to be successfully transplanted into the ground. 
Fruit of the Vine
Holiday Spectacular Cookie & Ornament Exchange
Thursday, 12/13 at 7:00 pm
Bring a wrapped ornament and a platter of your favorite Christmas Treats.  Erika Reily will supply munchies and to-go boxes so you can assemble your own cookie plates to take home to your families.

Iced tea, water and soda will be provided.  If you'd like to bring something else to drink, please feel free to do so.  Bring a few copies of your cookie recipe to share!

We can chat about our final impressions of Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, which is wonderful.

Fe el free to bring a friend!
                               Access Plus Wheelchair Ramp Build
Saturday, 12/15
8:00 am at 4821 Kendal Dr
If you enjoy working with your hands or building things, please consider being a part of the wheelchair ramp build.  We have built over 200 ramps since this ministry started in 2001.  Contact Doug Wayland if you'd like more information.
            Christmas Caroling
Sunday, 12/16
3:00 pm
We will meet at the church at 3:00 pm to form carpools to go to a couple nursing homes to sing Christmas Carols to the residents.  The residents enjoy the time we share with them and the opportunity to sing with us.  We will come back to the fellowship hall afterwards for soup and hot chocolate.  

Come join the fun!
Flowers & Poinsettias

A wonderful way to honor someone special or a significant event in your life is to sponsor the Sunday  altar flowers.  You can sign up for a specific Sunday on the 2019 flower chart, which is available on the small name tag table in the entry way to the sanctuary.  A month before the Sunday you signed up to sponsor, you will receive a reminder email which asks for your flower dedication and instructions on how to take care of the $55 cost.  

You can also purchase a poinsettia plant that will be used to decorate the altar for Christmas Eve.  After the 10:00 pm service, you may take your plant(s) or pick them up the next Sunday.  The cost of each plant is $10.  Red dedication forms will be in the Sunday bulletins and in the entryway to the sanctuary as well as in the fellowship hall.  Place your dedication form and payment either in the offering basket or in the box outside our bookkeeper's door.  

Our task force groups want as many of our parishioners as possible involved in the consultation process.  If you are not part of one of the task forces, please look at the list below and consider joining one of them.  Contact the convener to let them know of your interest and get information about their group.

Task Force 1    Building Mentor/Mentee Relationships
Convener:  Adam Remlinger (361) 877-8257

Task Force 2   Guest Ministries: Retention/Assimilation/Follow-up
      Convener:  Teresa Bacon (361) 446-4922

Task Force 3 :   Small Groups
      Convener:  Mal Nesloney (361) 945-8513

Task Force 4    Second Service  
        Convener:   Mark Hartlaub (361) 443-2363

You can also contact our task force group overseers - Rodney Hart (361) 215-9023 or Steve Altheide (361) 876-5691 for more information.  
Children's Ministry

Drama Kids International of the Coastal Bend will
be offering an exciting  program for kids ages 6 through 11 to develop important confidence building skills that will help them personally and academic ally throu gh drama.  Click here for a flyer.   The program will be offered Thursdays 5:30-6:30 pm.  The tuition is $50 a month.   You can register your children for the spring session by clicking here .  

* Junior Kids' Church--during the 10:00 am worship service 
* Kids in Christ--begins with lunch around 11:30 am, after the       
  Sunday morning service
Patti Purdy--Director of Children's Ministry,
Kids in  Christ Children's Ministry is for children 3 years old through 5th grade.
Click here  St. Mark's Kids in Christ Facebook   to go to St. Mark's Kids in Christ Facebook page.  For Kids in Christ calendar, click here KIC Calendar.
SEEK Youth Ministry
Students Engaging the Eternal Kingdom

"But SEEK first His Kingdom and His Righteousness,  and all things will be given to you. "  
Matthew 6:33   
This Week' Schedule     

Sunday, December 9 -  SEEK Youth Group

Below are some helpful links for SEEK Youth Ministry.

Pray for a Worship Leader for our Second Service
Task Force #4 is charged with working on what a second service would look like for us.  One of their tasks is to find a worship leader.  This is an important part of the process.  Please keep them and our future worship leader in your prayers.  
Christmas Shopping:  It's Just Around the Corner!
If you do your Christmas shopping on Amazon, as a lot of us do, please consider logging into Smile Amazon.  It is exactly the same as Amazon, but a percentage of your total sale will go to St. Mark's.  It is not an additional charge for you, Amazon is giving to charitable organizations through their Smile Amazon site.   
Here's the link to access Amazon to support St. Mark's 

Thank you!
Calendar and Ministry Schedule

Click HERE to view the December Lay Ministry Schedule.  

December 8 - Saturday
9:00 am - Safeguarding God's Children Course

December 9 - Sunday
9:00 am - Adult Bible Study--Fellowship Library
10:00 am - Holy Eucharist
11:30 am -  Election of Delegates & Alternates to Council
11:45 am - Lunch
12:00 pm - KIC & SEEK

December 10- Monday
1:30 pm - Women's Group--Brookdale Senior Living

December 11 - Tuesday
9:00 am - Staff Meeting

December 12 - Wednesday
12:00 pm - Elders Meeting--Fellowship Library
December 13 - Thursday  
6:45 am - Elder's Prayer Group--Sanctuary Parlor
5:30 pm - Drama Kids--Fellowship Hall
7:00 pm - Bible Study & Prayer Group--Sanctuary Parlor
7:00 pm - Fruit of the Vine Cookie & Ornament Exchange--Reily Home

December 15 - Saturday
9:00 am - Access Plus Ramp Build 4821 Kendal Dr

Helpful Links

Below you will find several links to websites or  
Facebook Pages that you might find helpful.

St. Mark's Episcopal Church | (361) 994-0285 |
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