May Lion's Roar
Sunday May 3
Fourth Sunday of Easter
9AM Sunday Forum (Zoom)
10AM Holy Eucharist, Rite II (YouTube, Facebook, Zoom)
Coffee Hour to follow (Zoom)
7pm Youth Groups (Zoom)
Beyond Morning Prayer each day, all accessible from the front page of our site
6:30pm Prayer Group
7:00pm Music with Mike
7:30am Prayer Group
10am Holy Eucharist Rite II
12noon Midday Mindfulnes
5:00pm Friday at Five
Visit our website,
for links and schedules to all upcoming services, prayer meetings, music offerings and more.
All LIVE services can be seen
from the front page of our website
We’ve had some trouble with Facebook recently. It seems that they are struggling with bandwidth. YouTube seems to be much more stable.
There is a service streamed LIVE on Facebook and YouTube every day at 10am. We will be doing this for the duration of this crisis. If you miss these services you can always watch the service later on Facebook or on our
We are also going to be using Zoom for the daily 10AM services - audio only. Anyone can call in using their regular home phone.
We have started a prayer group that will meet on Zoom twice next week: Tuesday at 6:30PM and Wednesday at 7:30AM. This is for anyone and everyone who has concerns on their hearts, or who just wants to join in prayer with a group of other people. The format is very simple, and you can share as much or as little of the prayer requests that are on your hearts. The links are available on our home page.
Letter from the Rector
There’s a lot of grief, sadness, and anger going around these days. There are also a multitude of things to be grateful for. One of those things that I am profoundly grateful for is the re-emergence of the practice of the Daily Office. Churches around the world are rediscovering the ancient rhythms of daily Morning Prayer—and St Mark’s is one of them! I think this time might be the greatest revival of the Daily Office in the last 400 years.
The practice of fixed-hour prayer goes back thousands of years, and predates Christianity by a good bit. Early Christians picked up the practice from their Jewish brothers and sisters, and the practice developed significantly in the 5th century due to the influence of St Benedict of Nursia.
Benedictine spirituality absolutely soaked the landscape of Great Britain throughout the centuries, and when Anglicanism emerged it was deeply influenced by the spirituality of Benedict and his Daily Office. Every Book of Common Prayer ever produced has had a form of the Daily Office in it.
Basically, Morning Prayer is a way to begin the day with prayer. It sets the reading of the Psalms and other portions of Scripture at the center, and it bids us to not only pray for ourselves, but for the whole world.
If you are not already joining us every day at 10AM, I strongly encourage you to do so. When the world “opens up” again, I don’t know what we’ll do. I probably won’t have the time to lead a “live” Morning Prayer every day. But, I hope we’ll all have this ancient practice of prayer deeply ingrained in our individual lives, and in the life of our parish family.
The Warden's Corner
Hope this finds all of you happy and well during this difficult time. I think we are all feeling a little house-bound, but Easter has arrived, flowers are blooming and there are better days ahead. In the meantime, take advantage of all the wonderful online opportunities for prayer and fellowship available at St. Mark’s. There is something happening on-line every day!
Even though our buildings are closed John Lyga and the Building Commission have been working to ensure our buildings are maintained. The Rectory roof is leaking and at its life end so a new roof will be going on the Rectory soon to keep the Morley family dry. There are additional leaks around the main building that will be also be repaired at the same time.
Matt Seitz and the Finance Committee have been working extremely hard to analyze and mitigate the financial fall-out from the cancelled Rummage sale and lost building revenue. The Finance Commission and Vestry are keeping a tight watch on our finances as well as taking advantage of Federal relief programs. We rely heavily on rummage and building revenue to balance the budget, so their diligence is greatly appreciated.
While getting my thoughts together for this column I was struck by the caption on Roger’s cartoon in the April Lion’s Roar - “In these days, we all discover that St. Mark’s is not a building on South Finley but a community of believers, held together by their common love for one another”. Isn’t that true? There are programs and worship opportunities coming from St. Mark’s every day, our staff and parishioners are working hard to keep us all together in worship and friendship. Hopefully, you have been able to participate and join in the programs. St. Mark’s fellowship cannot be crushed by distance or disease.
I am sure there will be many lessons learned from this pandemic, medically, economically, and socially. I think we are also finding that it is not always bad to be at home and reach out to our families and friends who, with technology, are not far away. Wishing good health and safety to all. If you have any needs during this time, please reach out so St. Mark’s can provide help and support.
Laughter in the Pews
Sunday School News
We hope you have enjoyed getting the weekly Sunday School color and work search pages along with videos and crafts. These are the same materials we have been using regularly in Sunday School and we will continue to post these weekly. We typically have a children's service late May to early June but we are not likely to be back together by then. We are in early planning to pull together a children's service online including having the Sunday School sing a hymn. Michael is working on putting together the music and Mr. Lyga will be contacting all of you. We want all of your children to participate just like we do for the Creche service. More information will be coming soon. The hymn is one we have been practicing, “Give me oil in my lamp”.
2020 YTD Financial Results (through April)
·Operating Income is $168K, flat (or 0%) to budget. Full and partial year pledge income received earlier in the year and higher donations have been offset by lost income from the cancellation of the March Rummage Sale (due to COVID-19 social distancing) and reduced Building Use Donations (due to COVID-19 and generally reduced utilization).
·Operating Expenses is $117K, $8K (or 7%) below budget, driven by Buildings and Grounds favorability (snow removal savings, insurance), reduced workship expenses, and timing of expenses.
·Operating Net Income is $50K, $8K (or 18%) above budget, driven by favorable pledge income (offset by COVID-19 induced shortfalls and lower building use donations) and overall expense favorability.
·On April 23, 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. Over the 8-week time period immediately following the loan disbursement, St. Marks will be using PPP funds to pay for qualifying expenses, in accordance with PPP rules. Qualifying expenses include payroll expenses, mortgage interest, and applicable utilities. At the end of the 8-week period, St. Marks will apply for forgiveness on applicable portions of the loan. It is expected St. Marks will receive forgiveness on the vast majority of the total loan amount.
·The Vestry and Finance Committee are monitoring closely the impact of COVID-19 on St. Mark’s finances and are working through steps to mitigate financial risk, including postponing notable non-essential expenditures. The Vestry and Finance Committee will apprise parishoners of any financial implications and mitigation plans as the pandemic evolves.
May Birthdays & Anniversaries
May 6 Laura & Tom Mooney
May 7 Marty & Mary Urbas
May 14 Jack & Connie Smythe
May 18 Lois & Ron Buesser
May 27 Rich & Christine Thoma
May 2 Sandy Lazo
May 3 Gerald Creighton
May 4 Sophie McDonnell
May 6 Colin Buesser
May 8 Amelia Kendall
May 9 Charles Knill
May 10 Suzanne Walczak
May 11 John Lazo
May 13 Jeff Heiner
May 14 Brit Vaughan
May 15 Jensen Vaughan
May 16 Madeline West
May 18 Alex Corson
May 20 Claudia Hughes
May 23 Cindy Campbell
May 24 Avery Grace Licata
May 26 James Finger
May 28 Mark Iantosca
May 29 Peter Daut
May 30 Bernard Jewson
May 31 Christina Creighton
Red Cross Blood Drive
Thanks to everyone who participated in the April Red Cross Blood Drive! A total of 28 precious pints were collected. The results of this drive will help save the lives of about 84 patients! St. Marks will be hosting a second drive on May 8th and fortunately all time slots are full at this time.
The Food Bank Needs Our Help
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more households than ever need our support. Please consider donating in the following ways:
With so many kids home from school, peanut butter and jelly is in great demand! You can buy these specific items as well as other non-perishable foods and either drop off at the church in the link or to the Taylor’s house (17 Woodstone Road, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920). Jackie goes to the food bank on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Thanks in advance Jackie!
If you would like to donate monetarily to the food bank directly, you can send a check to Foodbank Network of Somerset County, P.O. Box 149, Bound Brook, NJ 08805 or
God’s Giving Garden
While we are not currently allowed to hold work sessions at our lovely Ross Farm Giving Garden, the County recognizes that the fresh food we produce there is essential to those in need in our community. Our garden is prepped, and we are all set to deliver fresh food to those in need again this Summer and Fall. We hope to be able to open up for our volunteers to return soon.
Keansburg Soup Kitchen News
We are heading down this coming Wednesday, 5/6, with meatloaves and tater tots! Although we are not providing sit-down meals at this time, we are handing out take-away meals to the clients on our scheduled Wednesdays.
Buildings need constant attention whether fully occupied or not and our facilities are no exception. A number of smaller important projects have been completed this month thanks to the dedication of our sexton, Martin Hale. These include painting, replacing damaged ceiling tiles, repairing the chapel door closure (which often got blown open in strong wind) and numerous other maintenance projects. Martin has also been working closely with the contract cleaning staff to refocus their work to perform more major tasks such as the lavatory tiles that badly were in need of grout cleaning.
We will be starting one major buildings project in May and that is replacing the roof of the rectory which presently is leaking. This will be a full shingle tear off and replacement with new gutters, guards and leaders. Much needed chimney reflashing and chimney cap installation will also be done. The work will be done by a very reputable local company from Stirling, Nicholson Roofing. Work should start by mid May.
There is no further news on our Solar Panels; however, the company, Sunfarm Solar, will be removing them sometime this spring. The panels are presently switched off due to numerous electrical problems and there is no longer a viable financial incentive for us to maintain them.
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on Friday, May 1, 2020 at 8:39AM