The Rev. Robin Biffle was a deputy from the Episcopal Diocese of Spokane to the Episcopal Church’s General Convention in Salt Lake City. Here is her report on major actions:
- We elected a new Presiding Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Michael Bruce Curry. He’ll be installed on Nov. 1.
- We appropriated millions of dollars for evangelism, outreach, church planting, anti-racism and anti-violence efforts, and for other action as we “strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being.”
- We asked the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to create a plan for BCP revision and Hymnal revision—knowing each will likely take more than a decade, AND the finished product will likely be offered primarily in a downloadable, digital version; the days of pew copies have likely past.
- We approved rites of marriage for people regardless of gender and changed the canons to reflect an understanding of marriage as between two persons, again regardless of gender.
- We voted to divest from investments in fossil fuels, although not to divest from investments in Israel. (Because the House of Bishops voted no—we deputies couldn’t even consider the legislation.)
- We authorized options for more flexible Sunday liturgies—retaining the shape of the ancient rites, but adding more contextual, contemporary material, much as we already do at St. Mark’s, with the Bishop’s approval.
For more details, please see this summary from Episcopal News Service: http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/ens/2015/07/07/general-convention-wrap-up-historic-actions-structural-changes/
Things slow down at St. Mark’s during the summer:
• Sunday evening liturgies are on hiatus
• Campus ministry is done for the year
• There are no regular formation classes for adults or children
• The choir doesn’t rehearse
• Theology on Tap doesn’t meet
But some things continue:
• Sunday worship at 9:30 a.m.
• Our ministries in Family Promise
• Our ministry at the Food Bank
• Our Thursday mid-day worship at 12:10 p.m.
• Our ministry at the care centers
• Our First Friday Friends and Family (a lunch ministry) at Good Samaritan
• Our Friday Lunch Bunch (a lunch ministry) at Fairview Village
• Our Eucharistic Visiting ministry
• Our Coffee Break gatherings at Café Artista
• Our Vestry meetings (although we may take a month off!)
And some things happen only in the summer:
• Our “Weekend backpack meals” ministry. Demand has tripled this year—from 30 bags to 90. Donations are MUCH appreciated—and help with shopping, packing, delivering, etc.
• Spur-of-the-moment outings such as bike rides, hikes, litter pick-ups
• Mass with St. James’ (the last Sunday in July)
• Mass-on-the-grass (the last Sunday in August) AND parish picnic
• We go to the County Fair together (Sept. 17-20)
We hope you will join us this summer—doing less, perhaps, but doing what you do more deeply, taking God’s own sweet time, with joy.
The Rt. Rev. James E. “Jim” Waggoner Jr., bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Spokane, will visit St. Mark’s on Sunday, April 26.
Bishop Waggoner will preside over the Holy Eucharist, including confirmation, and will be the morning’s preacher. The service will begin at 9:30 a.m. at St. Mark’s, 111 S. Jefferson, across from the Moscow-Latah Public Library.
Waggoner was consecrated the eighth Bishop of the Diocese of Spokane in October of 2000. A native of Ohio, he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Marshall University and Master of Divinity, Doctor of Ministry, and Doctor of Divinity degrees from the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Va. Before entering seminary, he served in the U. S. Navy for six years.
Prior to his election as bishop, Bishop Waggoner served 21 years in the Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia, 12 in parish ministry and nine on the Diocesan staff assisting the bishop.
In his ministry, Bishop Waggoner emphasizes effective leadership grounded in ongoing Christian formation as being essential to empowering all members for the mission to which God has called us: proclamation of the Gospel by word and example. In his teachings, he emphasizes the baptismal imperative to respect the dignity of every human being and the call to live this out in our words and our work.
Sunday, March 29: Sunday of the Passion/Palm Sunday 9:30 am Procession of the Palms and Holy Eucharist
Monday–Friday, March 30-April 3: (daylight hours) Stations of the Cross: A guided, individual encounter
Thursday, April 2: Maundy Thursday Liturgy with (optional) foot-washing, 12:10 p.m. and 7 p.m. (with choir)
Friday, April 3: Good Friday Liturgy with Communion from the Reserved Sacrament,7 a.m. and 7 p.m. (with choir)
Saturday, April 4: Holy Saturday Liturgy, Noon
Sunday, April 5: The Great Vigil with Holy Baptism, 6 a.m.; Festal Eucharist with flowering of the cross, 9:30 a.m.
Ash Wednesday, which begins the penitential season of Lent, will be observed Wednesday, Feb. 18.
St. Mark’s will offer services of Holy Eucharist and Imposition of Ashes at 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. For those who can’t make it to one of those services, the Rev. Robin Biffle will offer the imposition of ashes in downtown Moscow for an hour or so beginning at 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Look for her near the intersection of Sixth and Main streets.
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church invites you to share a traditional pancake supper on Tuesday, February 17, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.
We’ll serve a yummy all-you-can-eat buffet of pancakes, sausage, and scrambled eggs. No charge—donations are welcome to support St. Mark’s outreach in Family Promise—a community-wide ecumenical ministry among homeless families.
In the Episcopal Church tradition, the day before Lent is known as Shrove Tuesday. The word “shrove” comes from the Old English and means to seek pardon and absolution—a reference to the traditional practice of penitence during Lent which begins on Ash Wednesday. On the last day before Lent families use up their eggs, butter, and other fats in anticipation of a 40-day Lenten fast. (In France, the occasion became known as Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday.”)
St. Mark’s is at 111 S. Jefferson—the church with the red door across from the public library. Handicapped access for the dinner is available through the Parish Hall door on the west side of the church, on the alley between Washington and Jefferson streets. For more information, call 882-2022.
Mark your calendar for our annual Epiphany Dinner on Monday, January 5.
Evening Prayer begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by the festive dinner at 6 p.m. This year’s theme is “Light.”
Once again, Katherine Sterling has kindly offered to oversee this event, so early reservations are requested. Tickets are $12/adults; $6/ children (ages 3 and under free); $30/family. Call or email the office (882-2022; stmark [at] moscow.com) for reservations.
Need a ride? Contact Bette Hoskins (208-484-0472; jbhoskins [at] frontier.com).
The people of St. Mark’s invites you to join us as we celebrate the birth of Christ.
Christmas Eve: Wednesday, Dec. 24—4:30 p.m., Carols; 5 pm Family service with choir and Sunday School Christmas pageant.
Christmas Eve: Wednesday, Dec. 24—10:30 p.m., Carols; 11 pm Christ Mass. A Festal Eucharist with music.
Christmas Day: Thursday, Dec. 25—11 a.m., a simple Christ Mass (Rite 1) with seasonal meditation and simple carols.
St. Mark’s invites the community to a non-denominational “Blue Christmas” service at 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21.
This service offers time set aside to recognize that the holidays can be hard for a variety of reasons and experiences, and it’s not “the most wonderful time of the year” for everyone. Joy can be difficult to find. Feeling “blue” is real whether related to the loss of a loved one, a significant life change, a broken relationship, isolation, or a lingering pain from the past.
We also welcome those who simply long for a quiet sanctuary from popular culture’s superficial commercialization of the season.
This candlelit quiet service will last an hour, and consist of short readings and meditations, with reflective musical interludes featuring musicians Sue Anne Chen, Martha Kitzrow, Melissa Parkhurst, and Bill and Linda Wharton.
Come, please. Bring a friend. Be still and know.
“The single star that once guided lonely shepherds to find their hope and healing still shines. It shines quietly above all of the noise and laughter. Look up and see it. It shines for you” (The Rt. Rev. Steven Charleston).