Did you know St. Mark’s is part of the Brandywine Collaborative Ministries Group? It is a group of area churches who have linked up to strengthen the community of faith in our area.
Specifically, this group gathers for monthly activities — Family Fun Nights. These events, typically on Friday nights, bring kids and adults together for dinner, followed by a brief worship service, crafts for the kids and a time of discussion for parents. Families are the focus of these gatherings, but singles and all ages are welcome to participate.
This month’s Family Fun Night will have an Advent theme and will be held at Calvary Hillcrest Episcopal Church at 304 Lore Ave. in Hillcrest, near Penny Hill.
There is no cost to attend. The evening typically goes from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
In addition to St. Mark’s and Calvary Episcopal, the collaborative includes Grace Episcopal Church, 4900 Concord Pike, and Episcopal Church of the Ascension, 3717 Philadelphia Pike.
St. Mark’s lost a beloved member and servant in 2018 — Liz Lauber, who served our congregation with her music and gifts for more than 50 years.
Many of us — including many children — were taught and encouraged by Liz. On Sunday, Nov. 4, many youth from our Sunday School classes had a hand in planting a new tree in her honor and memory.
Barb Gilbert led a brief ceremony between the morning worship services, including Scripture, prayer and a series of readings by children and adults who had written expressions of gratitude for Liz.
“Thank you for letting me sing a solo,” one young girl read. “It was lots of fun. Thank you for having me sing ‘Away in the Manger,’ even when I was scared. We miss you so so so so so much.”
An adult friend said: “We love and miss your energetic spirit and hope music fills all of your days now. You are missed and can never be replaced.”
Another adult said “Our hearts are full of so many cherished memories. Your spirit will always be with us at St. Mark’s.”
After the ceremony, Tim Gilbert, Faith Patterson and Tim Bishop helped the youth plant the small evergreen that now stands just outside our building’s main entrance.
Along with the tree, they also planted a small time capsule, filled with written tributes, and placed two cross-shaped pavers created and decorated by St. Mark’s children earlier this year.
“We ask for your blessing upon this tree and upon us. May it serve as a sign of hope and a reminder of Mrs. Lauber and her dedication to You, the children and to the music program at St. Mark’s. As we watch it grow in the years ahead, may it inspire us to grow in Your service as we remember our dear servant, Mrs. Lauber. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.” — Barb Gilbert