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Your Weekly News & Updates
What This Issue Includes:

*  Fruit of the Vine
*  Access Plus Ramp Build
*  Wrapped in Prayer
*  Christmas Caroling
*  Help with Lunch
*  Altar Flowers & Poinsettias
*  Task Force Groups
*  Christmas Services
*  Children's Ministry
*  Youth Ministry 
*  Mid-Winter Camps-Camp Capers
*  Worship Leader Prayer
*  Amazon Smile
*  End of Year Giving
*  2018 Tax Changes
*  Coming in 2019
*  Wellness Wisdom Workshop
*  Calendar
*  Helpful Links
Fruit of the Vine
Holiday Spectacular Cookie & Ornament Exchange
TONIGHT 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.
              Wrapped in Prayer
Saturday, 12/15 10:00 am
7425 Lake Neuchatel
Wrapper in Prayer is a ministry where women crochet borders on pieces of fleece fabric to create blankets.  They pray for the recipients and Fr. John blesses them before they are given away.  Every wheelchair ramp recipient receives one.  Blankets are available for you to take to those who are sick, in the hospital or nursing home or confined at home.  

The group meets monthly for fellowship and to bring completed blankets to be blessed and to pick up a new one to work one.  

Come join them if this ministry appeals to you.
                                                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 the fixings.  

Come join the fun!
       Help with Lunch
It was decided to have the sandwich bar after services every Sunday for everyone, not just during the Community Bible Experience.  We need two families each Sunday to help with this ministry.  

The church is supplying the sandwich fixings, chips and drinks.  The two families would supplement the sandwich bar with salads, fruit or bring their own lunch option, like soup or pulled pork.  Each team decides what they'd like to do.  

If we get enough families involved, you would only serve once every two months.  If you can help with this ministry, please contact Erika Reily at 
(206) 331-8191.  She can answer any questions you may have and would be happy to put you on the schedule.
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.  
Christmas Services

12/24 5:00 pm----- Christmas Eve Evening Prayer Family Service
12/24 10:00 pm---Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
12/25 10:00 am---Christmas Day Service at Church of the Good Shepherd 
                                 700 S Upper Broadway
Children's Ministry

Drama Kids International of the Coastal Bend will finish up the fall program today.  But, they will be offering it again in January after the Christmas break.  This 
is a wonderful  program for kids ages 6 through 11 to develop important confidence building skills that will help them personally and academic ally throu gh drama.  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's Schedule     

Sunday, December 16 -  SEEK Youth Group

Below are some helpful links for SEEK Youth Ministry.

Camp Capers 2019 Mid-Winter Camps

There are three Mid-Winter Camps scheduled in January 2019.  Here are the dates:

Mid-Winter Camp 1 January 4-6
   for senior high campers currently in 9th through 12th grade

Mid-Winter Camp II January 11-13
   for junior high campers currently in 6th through 8th grade

Mid-Winter Camp III January 18-20
   for primary campers currently in 3rd through 5th grade

The registration for camp is $165.  Scholarships are available.  You can sign up here, using this link.
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:  Is Here!
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!
                End of Year Giving
Each year we receive several monetary gifts in January that are actually for December the year before because people are trying to get donations in for tax purposes.  During a recent financial review, the committee advised that accepting gifts after the first week of January complicates the bookkeeping process.  They recommended that a deadline be set for all prior year giving.  So, a deadline of Sunday, January 6th has been set for all 2018 gifts.  Any donations that are not received by that date will be included in the 2019 giving reports, even if they are dated 12/31/18.  So, please be aware of this change.  

Changes in 2018 Tax Laws
There have been some changes to the 2018 tax deductions that may be a little confusing concerning charitable giving and the standard deduction.  Click this link for a synopsis that explains these new laws.  
Upcoming in 2019!
We've already got several events lined up to start 2019.  Please put them on your calendars!

1/12/19  Wellness Wisdom Workshop

1/13/19  Foundations for Discipleship Course--a 5 week class open to all, but is also for those who want to be confirmed in March.

1/20/19  Dr. Bob Whitesel will be back for our next clinic.

1/27/19  Annual Meeting to review 2018, look at 2019, elect new vestry members and learn about various ministries.

2/16/19  Valentine's Dinner

2/24/19  Community Bible Experience--Session 2 begins.
Wellness Wisdom Workshop
Saturday, 1/21/19
           10:30 am
St. Mark's will be hosting a Wellness Series beginning Saturday, January 12th with the Wellness Wisdom Workshop.  Jim & Margie Hickey are organizing the event.  Different wellness topics will be addressed each month.  Guest speakers and professionals will share their expertise with us on how to become healthier.  
Calendar and Ministry Schedule

Click HERE to view the December Lay Ministry Schedule.

December 13 - Thursday
5:30 pm - Drama Kids--Fellowship Hall
7:00 pm - Fruit of the Vine Book Club--5609 Leicester
7:00 pm - Bible Study & Prayer Group--Sanctuary Parlor

December 15 - Saturday
8:00 am - Access Plus Wheelchair Ramp Build--4821 Kendal Dr
10:00 am - Wrapped in Prayer--7425 Lake Neuchatel Dr

December 16 - Sunday
9:00 am - Adult Bible Study--Fellowship Library
10:00 am - Holy Eucharist
11:30 am - Lunch
12:00 pm - KIC & SEEK

December 17- Monday
1:30 pm - Women's Group--Brookdale Senior Living

December 18 - Tuesday
9:00 am - Staff Meeting
6:30 pm - Thrive--Contact office for location

December 19 - Wednesday
12:00 pm - Elders Meeting--Fellowship Library
December 20 - Thursday  
6:45 am - Elder's Prayer Group--Sanctuary Parlor
7:00 pm - Bible Study & Prayer Group--Sanctuary Parlor

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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