People often joke at St. Mark’s that we are the “Church of the Holy Activity.” It’s a busy place and every day is full of classes, meetings, events, rehearsals, social activities, and, of course, worship. An important part of life at St. Mark’s is the time we spend together in community, sharing meals, telling stories, and just having fun. We have a variety of social groups for people who share common interests, from film and book lovers to the young (20/30s) and less young (Third Agers). There is something for everyone at St. Mark’s! See below for descriptions and contact information for the various groups at St. Mark’s.
“I dreamed of a faith community that valued my questioning skeptical mind. I kept coming back because on my first visit I heard a sound, intriguing sermon that kept me thinking long after I left the building. I yearned for a faith community where I could be known and accepted and loved, for who I was. I kept coming back because I looked around the nave and saw people who treasured each other – and I wanted that. I longed for a community where I would grow and be challenged – mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, I kept coming back because it was clear St. Mark’s was not business as usual. And I wanted a faith community where I could make true and lasting friends. I kept coming back because I realized these people could be those friends.” – Marilu
St. Mark’s has a vibrant, growing 20s/30s community and we would love for you to come join us! We meet at 6:00 pm in the Dozier Library on the last Sunday of the month for Faith Fellowship, where we catch up over tea and discuss spirituality and religion as young adults. We also hold quarterly social events (including hikes and cookouts) and quarterly volunteer events (past activities have been with Sunday Suppers and the Anacostia Watershed Society). If you would like more information about any of our activities, please email Emily McDuff at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to have you!
The Green Lions is the environmental group at St. Mark’s. We believe that human choices, now and over the coming decades, have a profound effect on the world’s climate and web of life, including people’s access to water, food, and a healthy environment. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions to a level that will avoid the worst impacts of climate change, which threaten major disruptions to our economic, environmental, and social systems, is still possible. The Green Lions strive to support the St. Mark’s community in efforts to respond to the environmental crisis in our corporate life, our homes, and in the world. Read more here. Contact Betsy Agle to learn more about getting involved. All are welcome!
The Lambda Lions is an affinity group of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) members of St. Mark’s parish. St. Mark’s has a history of inclusion of LGBTQ members and positive policy change, including a 1997-98 task force on the blessing of same-sex unions, which—after an inclusive discernment process—led St. Mark’s to be the first church in the Diocese of Washington to bless same-sex unions in July 2001. LGBTQ members serve in a variety of staff and lay leadership positions, including the Rev. Michele Morgan, who joined St. Mark’s as interim rector in 2015 and was installed as the 12th Rector in 2017. The Lambda Lions hope to provide a supportive space for LGBTQ members and visitors to socialize, discuss issues of identity and faith, engage in positive change, and support one another wherever we may find ourselves on the faith journey. If you are interested in learning more about the Lambda Lions, please contact co-facilitators Brandon Knight
and Mary Ellison
Lichfield Cathedral (UK) Link
St. Mark’s “link” with Lichfield Cathedral, located in the British mid-lands in Lichfield, England, is managed by Doris Burton and her counterparts in Lichfield, Pat and Brian Empsall. Over the years St. Mark’s has hosted the Lichfield Men and Boys Choir and Lichfield has hosted the St. Mark’s Choir. Representatives from St. Mark’s have attended key events in Lichfield Cathedral’s life and we have welcomed representatives from Lichfield to our major events. Consider a visit to Lichfield on your next trip to the UK. See the cathedral’s website or Contact Doris Burton for more information.
Middle-Timers and Baby Boomers
We continue to grow opportunities to be more involved at St. Mark’s. A new group has solidified around some core themes. Called most recently “Middlescence” (the period of self-doubt at mid-life), this group includes folks from early to mid-40s up through early to mid-60s. This period is often accompanied by aging parents or the loss of parents and grown (or soon-to-be independent) children. It is a time when we still have dreams unfulfilled and/or unexplored. It’s a time when a state of grace is often sought or desired.
If you have not been part of the early formation of this group, now is the time to find your place. Below are activities planned for the near future along with contact people. This group will only thrive if folks show up at events and if many hands dive in to make the events happen. These are the people who understand your hopes, dreams, and challenges—they are living similar ones. So pitch in and participate!
- We will host a potluck on Saturday, June 15, from 6 – 8 pm in Baxter Hall to discuss the book Love’s Way: Living Peacefully with Your Family As Your Parents Age. The authors, Carolyn Miller Parr and Sig Cohen, will be present to talk about the necessary legal hurdles and emotional difficulties that arise with aging parents and will have copies of the book available that evening. For more information about the potluck and the book, email Martha Huizenga.
- Linda Staheli would love to hear from others who might be interested in organizing a cabin-style camping trip in July at Camp Misty Mount near Thurmont, Maryland. This lovely park is a short drive away and offers a loop of open-air structures with firepits, etc., perfect for an overnight camping experience. Email Linda if you are interested in helping put this together.
If you have not been invited to one of the prior group events, contact Jim Brooks and/or Jennifer Dalzell.
Since the 1960s, Mary Cooper and her late husband Bert have kept the parish history of our historic building and its beautiful windows, and the key events in our life as a parish. Bert’s books and articles chronicle St. Mark’s from when it was a mission church serving the government workers in the neighborhood, through its period as the pro-cathedral prior to the building of the Washington Cathedral and on to the development of the church we are today. Contact Doris Burton with any questions you might have. Read some of the Coopers’ fantastic historical research.
St. Mark’s Film Club
St. Mark’s Film Club gathers on the third Friday of each month at 7:30 to view, enjoy and discuss a classic film. Films are chosen from many genres. Held at a parishioner’s home located in Northwest DC, attendees bring refreshments and dessert to share with others. For further information, email Alicia Ruble, or call 202-420-9256 (cell).
St. Mark’s Reading Group
St Mark’s Reading Group meets the third Wednesday of each month at 12:30 in the Dozier Library to discuss a book chosen by the members. Books read include fiction, non-fiction, classics, and those published more recently. See the event calendar for up-to-date information, or email Linda Ewald for more details.
Third Agers, a lively affinity group for people aged 60 and above, has potluck luncheons with speakers, discussion, and good fun in the Fall, Winter, and Spring. The program also includes field trips, usually in the Greater Washington DC area. Activities are generated, managed, and funded by members. The coordinator is Don Gangloff.
Widows and Widowers Group
Anyone who is facing or has experienced a major change in life, due to the death of a spouse or loved one is invited to attend. Learn how to join our first Friday widows and widowers meeting. The convener for this group is Mary Cooper.
Women’s Investment Group
Those interested in expanding their knowledge of the investment world through the experience of direct learning should contact leaders Nancy Donaldson and Penny Farley.
Woman to Woman
Woman to Woman (W2W) is committed to creating opportunities for the women of St. Mark’s to meet, learn, laugh, grow, share stories, and strengthen bonds of friendship. W2W events are open to all women of the parish and their female friends. Woman to Woman events have included Thanksgiving and International Women’s Day dinners; hosting speakers including Diane Rehm, Ysae Barnwell, and Eleanor Clift; sponsoring sacred circle dancing, ice skating parties, and casual gatherings for women of the parish. These events, scheduled throughout the year, are advertised widely in the Sunday Bulletin and on the website. For more information, email Edna Boone.