A letter from our Pastoral Staff
March 19, 2020

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the
ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives
power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the
young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall
mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint”
(Isaiah 40:28-31, NRSV.)

Dear Friends,
There is an ancient Chinese saying, “May you live in interesting times.” At first, this sounds like a blessing, but, in reality, it is meant as a curse. Uninteresting times mean prosperity, peace, and normalcy. Interesting times, on the other hand, are uncertain, dangerous, and filled with fear and anxiety. This past week has certainly been interesting as we all seek to navigate our way through treacherous waters. While I am saddened we cannot meet in-person for worship, education, fellowship, and mission during this period of social distancing, I am also thankful for the many ways we can remain connected.

St. Mark Presbyterian Church is moving all of its worship services online until further notice. We are following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance of canceling any gathering of 10 or more people. We will continue to gather online for worship services on Sundays at 10:30 am. We will have links to these services on our church website and Facebook page. In addition to these gatherings, we will also have links to online programs for children, youth, and adults. We will also publish the St. Mark Spark video chat daily during these interesting times.

We will make every effort to keep everyone updated on ways we can connect with each other and with the larger community. Please contact the church office if you need help with running errands, picking up groceries, or going to the pharmacy. We have a number of volunteers who are willing to help.

Finally, I recognize this is a financially uncertain time for many people. Even though we are unable to meet in person, I encourage everyone to continue to contribute to St. Mark’s mission and ministry through your tithes, offerings, and gifts. We can still process checks at the church or you can give through the website:
https://www.discoverstmark.org/giving/make-an-on-line-donation-to-st-mark/.

Please be safe, wash your hands, and continue to keep the church and community in your prayers. God is good, even in these interesting times!

In Hope and Confidence,
Pastor Dave & Pastor MP

A letter from our Pastoral Staff
March 14, 2020

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. New developments emerged since our email to you all yesterday, and we are responding accordingly. There are now Federal, State, and County States of Emergencies as everyone efforts to slow the spread of the COVID19 virus. The Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy also sent out a message discouraging all churches from having in-person worship. In our effort to ensure everyone’s safety, we are making the following changes:

– The Session decided to cancel all worship services this weekend.
We will still meet virtually at 10:30 on Sunday morning on YouTube and Facebook. We will provide links to this service on our church website and social media.

– We are canceling all non-essential meetings at the church this week.

– The Presbyterian Women are canceling all chocolate sales. They will offer refunds to those who have already ordered.

– We are working on creative ways of staying connected while maintaining a safe distance from one another. We will have more information about this in the coming days.

We love worshipping together, and this decision is very hard. However, our top priority is the health of our family and all our neighbors. Please feel free to contact dburgess@discoverstmark.org or mpanco@discoverstmark.org with any questions or concerns.

In Hope and Confidence,

Pastor Dave & Pastor MP

God is Good…All the Time!