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The Gospel According to St. Mark's - Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Second Sunday of Epiphany, Jan. 15, 2012

9.00 AM:  Holy Eucharist + Laying on of Hands – Justi Schunior, Presider; Paul Abernathy, Co-Presider


9.00 AM:  Children’s Chapel (Adams Room) – Paul Abernathy, Leader


10.00 AM:  Sermon Seminar – Justi Schunior, Presider & Preacher; Paul Abernathy, Co-Presider


11.15 AM:  Holy Baptism & Holy Eucharist + Laying on of Hands – Justi Schunior, Presider & Preacher; Paul Abernathy, Co-Presider

                    Baptismal Candidate:  Ryan Patrick Cullinan, son of Amanda Folsom and Chris Cullinan


5.00 PM:  Contemplative Eucharist – Justi Schunior, Presider & Preacher

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A Spectacle of Compassion That We All May Be One Snakes and Other Dangers in the Gospel of Mark

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
Capitol Hill, Washington, DC

3rd & A Streets, SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 543-0053

The Reverend Paul Roberts Abernathy, Rector
The Reverend Rebecca Justice Schunior, Associate Rector
Ms. Marcella Gillis, Director of Youth Ministries
Mr. Jeff Kempskie, Director of Music
Ms. Susan Block, Parish Administrator for Membership & Finance
Ms. Angela Nedd, Parish Administrator for Programs & Facilities

Service Notes and Music

Prelude Élévation Nos. 2 & 3 from Noёls, Op. 60, Alexandre Guilmant (1837-1911)


Opening Hymn 497 – How bright appears the Morning Star, Tone: Wie schön leuchtet


Hebrew Scripture: 1 Samuel 3.1-20


Psalm139:1-5, 12-17 (sung)


Gospel: John 1.43-51


Procession to the Font (11.15 only) Baptized in water, Words by Michael Saward, Music by Eugene W. Hancock


Offertory Anthem What wondrous love is this, Words & music: American folk hymn, arr. Geoff Weaver – Chancel Choir                                          


Presentation Hymn119 v. 1, Tune: Dix

      As with gladness those of old did the guiding star behold;

     As with joy they hailed its light, leading onward, beaming bright;

     So, most gracious Lord, may we evermore be led to thee.


Sanctus and Fraction Anthem – Mathias


Music During Communion

      Hush! Somebody’s Callin’ My Name, Traditional Spiritual, arr. Brazeal W. Dennard – Chancel Choir

      Hymn 324 – Let all mortal flesh keep silence, Tune: Picardy

      Hymn 123 – Alleluia, song of gladness,  Tibe, Christe, splendor Patris, plainsong, Mode 2


Closing Hymn 477 All praise to thee, for thou, O King divine, Tune: Engelberg


Postlude Offertoire No. 2 from Noёls, Op. 60, Alexandre Guilmant

From Paul Roberts Abernathy, Rector

My Dear Parish Family,


With the coming of January 6, we entered the Epiphany season of the Church Year.  “Epiphany” (from the Greek) literally means “revelation” or “manifestation”.  Traditionally, the Epiphany season is an opportunity for Christians to contemplate our understanding that Jesus, whose birth we celebrated at Christmas, is not only the Jewish Messiah, but also the redeemer of all peoples.  To reinforce this point, the lectionary-appointed gospel passages for the Sundays in Epiphany reveal various manifestations of Jesus’ nature and mission and the perceptions of others about him.


Now, in my view, we of St. Mark’s live with a decidedly cosmopolitan appreciation of the incontrovertible cross-culturality of our world.  Thus, our communal emphasis is less given to the necessity of proselytizing others so to encourage their conversion to Christianity.  Rather, we, in pursuing a Christian path (though, in so doing, each of us exercises our individual freedom is discerning and articulating what that means to us) remain open in our awareness and understanding of the multiplicity of traditions through which humans seek to embrace the ineffable mystery of life.  In other words, we follow Jesus and we accept the validity of other ways of being in the world.


Thus, again, for us, Epiphany may be less about, to paraphrase the Collect for the 1st Sunday after Epiphany, “boldly confessing Jesus as Lord and Savior” to the world.  Then, what is it?


I have continued to reflect on the sermon, “Our Name Day”, that Justi Schunior, our Assistant Rector, preached on Sunday, January 1.  That day in the Church Year, commonly called the Feast of the Holy Name, gives occasion to recall that, according to Jewish custom, Jesus, eight days after his birth, was given his name.  In her sermon, Justi invited us to consider the power of a name and, by extension, how it is that we, as Christians who, in our daily living, figuratively and literally bear the name of Jesus, reveal him to the world.  She closed her brilliant meditation, saying:


Doing something in the name of Jesus has power…because of the actions that we take in this name.  Are we trying to heal or hurt?  Dole out mercy or judgment?  Jesus is a name that still provides intimacy and access because we gather here to learn how to do what Jesus did and learn how to walk as Jesus walked.  We are the bearers of this name.  And so, on this New Year’s Day, think of this day as our name day.  What will we do with our name?  In the name of Jesus, what will we do?


Aha!  Thank you, Justi.  You, I believe, offer to us an understanding of what the Epiphany season can mean for us – an opportunity to explore how we, through our daily living, reveal, manifest Jesus, particularly his way of embracing, verily, embodying love and justice.


My dear sisters and brothers, during this Epiphany season, I pray our contemplation of this.  Yea, even more, I bid our doing it.


Love and Peace,


From Grady Hedgespeth, Senior Warden

Dear All,

I have reprinted below, for those of you who may not have seen it yet, a letter to the St. Mark’s parish from the rector and the wardens regarding the current state of the capital campaign, addressing both fundraising and design work.  Next week, the Vision 2020 Steering Committee will write of next steps, detailing the choices and decisions that must be made and their expected timetable.  Please stay tuned!



January 11, 2012


Our Dear St. Mark’s Family,


We write to you, at the dawn of this new year, to share an update on our Vision 2020 Capital Campaign.  Our Steering Committee, particularly the co-chairs, Kenn Allen and Mike Townsend, and the resident architect, Ed Corr, have labored for months raising the funds that are crucial to the success of the project and refining the scope and the details of the planned renovation of our beloved church building.


The fundraising effort, headed by Mike Townsend and aided by Rob Hall, Janet Vail and others, has been very successful.  Andi Tillman, our Episcopal Church Foundation consultant, had suggested that we aim toward $1.3 million.  Mike and his team believed we could do more and, to date, we have raised nearly $1.7 million.  This is a powerful testament to the faith that we, the St. Mark’s community, whether old-timers or newcomers, whether near or farther from Capitol Hill have placed in our common dream of creating more functional and beautiful space for parish, staff, clergy, and larger community.


In the building and design aspects of our undertaking, we face the challenge of escalating costs.  In September, total cost estimates were roughly $4 million, substantially higher than our original plan of $3.4 million.  After extensive discussion and design work, Kenn and Ed, along with Monarc, our construction company and Bonstra-Haresign, our architectural firm, concluded that by leaving unfinished the new proposed space under our Parish Hall the price could be lowered to $3.5 million.  The Vestry agreed to pursue this new design.


In November, the revised estimates registered at $4.6 million.  To say the very least, we were shocked.  This rise in cost, in various parts, was due to the increased precision in the design drawings and in the specification of materials, design assumptions that led to incorrect estimates, and additional pricing of a number of subsequently engaged subcontractors.  And, frankly, some of our cost rise remains a mystery.


As a result of this escalation, our building and design team asked the contractor and architect to go back to the proverbial (and in this case, very real) drawing board to seek and to recover some savings.  This they did, but it wasn’t enough.  Thus, our current test is to identify all possible savings, to continue to discuss financing options with banks, and to re-examine the current design.


In another more personal and pastoral development, in early December, two members of our Vision 2020 Steering Committee, Jane Rutherford and John Sedgewick, resigned.  Both, former Junior Wardens, brought to our common labor a wealth of knowledge and commitment; Jane, with her passion for sustainability and community engagement, and John, with a reservoir of experience in project management.  As we honored their efforts, we also respect their decisions relative to not continuing their service as Steering Committee members.


Dear sisters and brothers, as always, should you have questions, comments, or concerns – any at all – we ask that you contact us.


Yours truly,


Paul Roberts Abernathy, Rector

Cecilia Carter Monahan, Senior Warden

Philip E. Guire, Junior Warden