Caring for one another in community is part of who we are as the church. At St. Mark's, community care includes ministries of clergy and laity who respond to needs and concerns.
We want to know when something important happens in your life. At any hour, the easiest way to share a need, whether urgent or not, is by calling the church. After hours, our emergency call system allows you to leave a message for the priest on call, who can then be in touch with you. We welcome any call, for whatever reason a member is led to be in contact, and we value the deep relationships that form as we share one another’s sorrows and joys. You might request a pastoral conversation with a priest, or notify the church of a hospitalization. Our clergy love to be in touch, whether by phone or video call. They are fluent in Zoom!
When you welcome a child by birth or adoption, a member of the clergy will be happy to reach out and offer a blessing for the child. Clergy and Lay Eucharistic Visitors keep in touch with those who have difficulty getting out, or who are in the hospital, and, when public health guidelines allow, visit to share communion with them. The Community of Hope is a group of lay persons trained in the spiritual art of pastoral presence, who are available to serve as regular visitors for a period of time, such as a season of illness or bereavement. The Flower Delivery Ministry delivers smaller arrangements of Sunday altar flowers to share joy and encouragement with others. We are exploring a variety of ways to support those with mental illness, and their families.
Prayer is an important part of our care for one another. Names of members and relatives of members may be included in our Sunday prayer list with that person’s blessing; this list is public, and appears in our online bulletin. The Daughters of the King, an order of laywomen who have undertaken a Rule of Prayer, maintain an unpublished list. These names are prayed for daily, for as long as there is need. You may request a prayer concern be added to this list. Any person, whether member or not, may be included in the Sunday prayers for those who have died. Please call the church office to request an addition to our prayer list.
As members of the Body of Christ, we care for one another in times of gladness or sorrow. Heart surgery, the birth of a child, a bout of depression, a job change - any of these life events would call for the care and kindness of our faith community. We are learning how to support mental health needs as an aspect of our pastoral care for one another, building a culture of listening without judgment and connecting to the right kind of care. Our core vocation to feed those hungry for knowledge and meaning calls us to reflect and learn together. St. Mark's is part of San Antonio's Bridges to Care network, working with partners to "strengthen and sustain our community's ability to cope with and recover from the negative health consequences of personal and community crises." Several members of the St. Mark's community have undergone training to build capacity in the way we respond to mental health needs in our congregation and beyond. We are growing and discerning the ways we can support one another in body, mind, and spirit. Know that you have fellow parishioners who care about matters of mental health, who care about you, and who want you to have the support you need. We are invited into the healing presence of the risen Christ, and we bear witness to and for one another when we make space for health and fullness.