The January Lion's Roar
The Lion's Roar
Years ago we started offering healing prayer on Sunday mornings. At first it was one Sunday a month. Then it was two Sundays a month. And then it was every Sunday! But, with the current social-distancing protocols, it just isn’t not feasible.
And, while that’s a total bummer—I mean what better time for healing prayers than during a major health crisis!—it has inspired some incredible creativity of late. The new Prayer Blanket initiative is just absolutely amazing.
Blankets crafted with love by members of the parish family, and then they are brought into the Sunday service to be blessed for a specific person. We pray that God would bless every stitch and fiber, so that when the person is wrapped in that blanket they are wrapped in our prayers.
I want to thank all of our knitters, the stitchers, and the amazing creative energy that has gone into this. When we can start up our regular healing prayer ministry, I hope that we continue with the blankets, for they are terrific and long-lasting outward signs of faith, love, hope, and healing.
Keansburg Soup Kitchen
Despite limitations brought on by the pandemic, we were able to prepare 1,898 meals this year in Keansburg, and have now served 18,452 meals since we started helping back in Dec 2012.
Many thanks to everyone that has donated time, money, baking and prayers to benefit our mission. A very very special thanks goes to Jeanne Wyatt, Emie and Katie Williams for traveling to Keansburg and prepping takeouts throughout the COVID pandemic, and for our dedicated meatloaf makers - Shirley Baker, Carol DeCoste, Jody Hough, The Morley’s, Nancy Opremcak, Lea O’Shea, Jenny Phillips, Anne Post and Elizabeth Seitz.
Please visit our
if you are able to help with some meatloaves for our January 6th trip.
Weekly Offerings in January
Morning Prayer, on Facebook and YouTube
Alpha begins Jan 19th, 7pm-8:30pm (
sign up here
9am Holy Eucharist Rite II in the Sanctuary
7PM Adult Forum (starting soon)
12noon Midday Mindfulness on Facebook
5pm Holy Eucharist Rite II
8am Holy Eucharist Rite I
10am Holy Eucharist Rite II
All our services are also broadcast on Youtube and Facebook. In addition, they can be seen directly from the front page of our website.
Visit our website,
for links and schedules to all upcoming services, music offerings, signups, and more.
Please make yourself familiar with our current
for participating in in-person gatherings at St. Mark's
Zoom on over to Alpha!
St Mark’s will be joining up with St. Luke’s in Gladstone for a virtual Alpha. This unique program combines video learning with meaningful discussion about our Christian faith. You can do it all from the comfort of your home! We welcome you to see it for yourself beginning Tuesday, January 19th at 7:00 pm. We encourage you to register in advance so that you receive the Zoom link.
Click here to register.
For questions about the program, email Lea O’Shea (firstname.lastname@example.org).
As 2020, a year like no other, comes to an end, I want to wish you all a very happy and healthy new year. I am hopeful that the end of social distancing is near, and the time is coming when we can all meet at St. Mark’s and worship together without restrictions. One day at a time, we are getting closer to the end of this strange period. In the meantime, we will continue to pull together because that is what St. Mark’s does best.
Although we were not all together on Sundays for part of the year to see it all happening, life continued around St. Mark’s. This year, thanks to negotiations by Jim Lunny, the inactive Solar Panels were removed from the Church roof. John Lyga organized a new roof for the Rectory and repairs to the chimney, along with rectory heating repairs. Pete Kochek organized a fun Fall cleanup to keep St Mark’s looking great. Laura Mooney managed Christian education and Marcie Hanhart and Sandy Gogerty have the difficult task of managing Membership and Fellowship during Covid. Lastly, behind the scenes, Matt Seitz and the Finance Committee did an incredible job navigating the loss of fundraisers and building use donations to keep the St. Mark’s budget whole.
At the center of it all was the leadership of Father Rick who guided us through this difficult year. Seamlessly, as the pandemic began, he had us all attending services and coffee hour online and the online programs kept coming. Although our building was closed, St. Mark’s was always up and running. When the building opened, he organized safety measures and pandemic procedures to keep us all safe. His leadership has been phenomenal. Thanks Father Rick!
Finally, I want to especially thank all the outgoing Vestry members who have contributed so much to St. Mark’s over the last three years. Eileen Barna has chaired Communications and kept us and the community well informed on St. Mark’s activity. Gerry McDonnell has chaired Stewardship, a difficult job that he has managed with great warmth and sensitivity. Lea O’Shea chaired Outreach, maintaining and organizing our numerous programs to benefit the community. Gerry and Lea also chaired two highly successful and enjoyable fundraisers for St. Mark’s. Under their direction we exceeded the 2018 and 2019 fundraising goals and the parish had fun in the process. Thanks so much to all our outgoing Vestry for their efforts and support of St. Mark’s. St. Mark’s and the 2021 Vestry will be in very capable hands with Jeff West as Senior Warden.
It has been my pleasure to serve as Warden for the past two years and I thank Father Rick and the Vestry for their work and support.
Wishing the entire St. Mark’s family, the very best in the new year.
Sunday School News
We are continuing to use the Sermons4Kids Sunday school lessons each Sunday. You can access through the
Sunday School Tab on St. Marks Home Page
. Each week there is a short Lesson or video aligned with the Sunday readings as well as coloring pages, word search, and extras such as the occasional video from Mr. Lyga. Also, for 2021 we will be starting up quarterly children’s outreach projects that kids can do at home such as growing plants for the Ross Garden. Stay tuned - more on that coming later this month!
2020 Year-to-Date (YTD) Financial Results (through November)
Operating Income is $320K, -$17K (or -5%) below budget. Full and partial year pledge income received earlier in the year and higher donations have been exceeded by lost income from the cancellation of March and September Rummage Sales (due to COVID-19 social distancing), reduced Building Use Donations (due to COVID-19 and generally reduced utilization), and reduced plate income (due to no in-person worship services from COVID-19).
Operating Expenses is $329K, $6K (or 2%) below budget, driven by Buildings and Grounds favorability (e.g., snow removal savings, insurance, favorable utilities), reduced worship expenses (e.g., limited in-person worship services), and timing of expenses.
Operating Net Income is -$9K, -$11K below budget, driven by COVID-19 induced shortfalls and lower building use donations.
Above financials exclude the favorable impact of the Paycheck Protection Program. As communicated previously, St. Marks received a loan of $35,900 via the US Cares Act Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). PPP enables small businesses (including non-profits and faith-based organizations like St. Marks) to access federal funding via forgivable grants and loans and loan deferrals to alleviate the adverse financial impact and uncertainties caused by COVID-19. St. Marks believes the full loan amount will be forgivable; effectively eliminating any potential liability. PPP funding will be recorded as operating income on the income statement by year end. This will alleviate substantially any full year operating net income losses for 2020.
Laughter in the Pews
Take a look at what we’re doing here at St Mark’s to keep things as safe as we can.
Jan 3 Lance Marshall
Jan 4 Laura Taylor
Jan 6 Andrew Hargy
Jan 9 Christopher Hale
Jan 10 Francis Sanchez
Jan 11 Norm Graff
Jan 17 Lauren Keenan
Jan 20 Katie Lyga
Jan 21 Gordon Ahalt
Jan 23 Claire Buesser
Jan 25 Emma Moussally
Jan 26 Jeremy Richardson
Jan 27 Libby West
Jan 30 Miyako Urbas
Rector: The Rev. Richard M.C. Morley
Senior Warden: Joan Graff
Junior Warden: Jeff West
Grounds: Pete Kochek
Buildings: John Lyga
Outreach: Lea O’Shea
Finance: Matt Seitz
Stewardship: Gerald Mcdonnell
Christian Ed. Laura Mooney
Comm. / Evangelism: Eileen Barna
Fellowship: Sandy Gogerty
Membership: Marcie Hanhart
Warden Emeritus: Jim Lunny
Treasurer: Teri Passarello
Recording Treasurer: Doug Post
Assistant Treasurer: Bruce Walker
Sunday School Director: John Lyga
J2A Coordinator: Chip Rubendall
Music Director: Mike McCormick
New Vestry Members coming on later this month:
Junior Warden: Sean Gogerty
Communications: Marliese Knill
Outreach: Jody Hough
Stewardship: Shirley Baker
As the COVID19 pandemic reaches its worst stage so far, the Diocese of New Jersey has asked all churches who have opened to in-person gatherings to review their plans and consider whether it is prudent for them to remain open We currently believe that our mitigation strategies are as good as they can be. However, the possibility that we might encounter someone who is infected is higher than it was several months or weeks ago.
Please, if you have any symptoms, do not come to church.
Since we reopened in June more and more people have felt comfortable returning to in-person worship—which is wonderful. But, I also know that that comfort is contingent on all of us looking out for one another.
on Friday, January 1 at 5:00AM