As part of our Digital Ministries at St. Mark’s program, we are offering two new activities via Zoom beginning the first week of January 2021.
We will host a weekly Compline Service via Zoom and Facebook at 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday evenings starting January 5, 2021 and continuing through February 23, 2021. The service of Compline is the “goodnight prayer of the church.” It is a contemplative service that emphasizes spiritual peace. Churches throughout the Diocese, across the country and around the world have added Compline to their digital offerings. To participate in this service, contact Lisa Bell-Loncella at firstname.lastname@example.org in advance of the service to obtain the meeting ID and password.”
Epiphany Bible Study
The Gospel of Mark
Throughout the season of Epiphany we will join with The Good Book Club as we journey through the Gospel of Mark. This is the Gospel appointed for Year B in the Revised Common Lectionary. Mark is the earliest and shortest of the four gospels. Mark is our namesake so this study seems appropriately fitting.
Bible Study will be held on Thursday evenings from January 7 through February 11, 2021 from 6:30 to 8:00p.m. via Zoom. We will gather for some fellowship, begin with a short video that sets the stage for the week’s readings, share in discussion and reflections, and conclude with the service of Compline.
About the Gospel of Mark— The following is taken from a two-page introduction to the Gospel of Mark developed by Forward Movement.
If you like the sparse literary style of Earnest Hemingway, you’ll love the Gospel of Mark. The shortest of the four gospels, Mark is a just-the-facts approach to telling the stories of Jesus as miracle-worker and Messiah. Mark doesn’t begin with an account of Jesus’ divine birth but instead dives right in with the start of Jesus’ public ministry, his baptism by John the Baptist. In the first chapter alone, we read of his baptism, temptation in the desert, selection of his disciples, and several healing stories. Mark doesn’t add much context or reflection on the actions (or even very many adjectives): the gospel reads like a slide show presentation. Jesus heals many at Simon’s House. Next slide. Jesus preaches in Galilee. Next slide. Jesus cleanses a leper. Next.
Coupled with this succinct writing style is a clear message: Jesus is the Messiah. Viewing Mark as a three-act play, the first chapters reveal the miracles and preaching of Jesus to the crowds, then his transfiguration and teaching among his disciples, and finally the crucifixion, the ultimate expression of the suffering servant. Interestingly, early versions of the Gospel of Mark end with the women fleeing the empty tomb. But a longer ending, likely added sometime in the second century, includes the resurrection, commissioning of the disciples, and Jesus’ ascension. This could well be the first instance of the ultimate Director’s Cut.
Our study is part of a larger study, The Good Book Club, sponsored by Forward Movement and partner organizations from across the Episcopal Church. To learn more about The Good Book Club check out https://www.goodbookclub.org/ For the daily readings (with links) check https://www.goodbookclub.org/readings/ If you would like a head start on our study, check out this overview of the Gospel of Mark, created by the Bible Project: https://youtu.be/HGHqu9-DtXk
To participate in this Bible Study, contact Lisa Bell-Loncella at email@example.com in advance of the study to obtain the meeting ID and password.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, St. Mark’s is closed for in-person worship and study.