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“We are at a very interesting moment in the history of the church that requires experimentation.  If we try to measure our success by traditional metrics, we will fail—because the church is no longer a popular social institution.  It’s no longer just a matter of what people give or how many come to church, but how many times we touch another person’s life either virtually or in person.  We must ask ourselves how many lives are changed through community programming and online engagement, whether there is a spirit of love and kindness in this place, and if we treat one another with respect.” 
—Rev. Amy Butler, Riverside Church, New York
“So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another.”  Ephesians 4:25
Last Sunday was such a joy—we had clear, warm weather for the first beach service on Mission Bay.  Meanwhile, back in the sanctuary, we celebrated baptism and communion, and watched as the United Methodist Women honored longtime custodian Angel Cardenas as its quiet disciple of the year.  It was such a joy-filled time.
And the month is just getting started!  This coming Sunday August 12th we’ll serve the monthly free community pancake breakfast starting at 7:30—so you can plan to get some food before either service.  Then, after 9:30 worship in the sanctuary, there will be a celebration of summer at a potluck lunch!  Plan to come, and bring some summery food to share.  As always, if you’re not able to bring food, please come anyway.  This promises to be a very special time together, and we want to see you!
We are also looking ahead to Sunday, August 19th, when Rev. Bill Jenkins, director of the Christ Ministry Center, will preach.  Bill is known and respected as an excellent preacher and a passionate leader in our region for providing transitional relief for refugees seeking asylum.
Also coming up: September 9th will be Welcome Back Sunday, when we collectively lift up our return to routine.  It sounds like an odd thing to celebrate, but think about it.  After some breaks, perhaps some traveling, and some time off, we refresh ourselves and bring a new perspective to our “routine,” so that it is richer and more life-affirming.  That is worth celebrating!
On Sunday, September 16th we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the St. Mark’s Preschool.  Our church service will joyfully focus on celebrating the children and the staff of the school.  It will be a fun time indeed, and it will continue with a catered lunch afterward.  That lunch will feature foods from Puerto Rico, and donations will help the United Methodist Committee on Relief in its ongoing work to rebuild Puerto Rico and to help it prepare for coming storms.
Starting Monday, September 10th, Rev. Lydia and I will team-teach a six-week class called “Fresh Expressions.”  It’s a biblically-based study on the relevance and meaning of the mainline church as we move into the third decade of the 21st century.  The author of the study is Bishop Kenneth Carter, the President of the United Methodist Council of Bishops.  “Fresh Expressions” will meet in the New Room (near the church office) on Mondays from 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m., beginning September 10th.
See you in church on Sunday—on Mission Bay at 8:30 and in the sanctuary at 9:30!
UPDATE: Office phone number is working normally again.

As we now approach August, I am so happy to share that I will finally be moving into the Clairemont community, which I know will make such a difference for my ministry as incarnational living is one of the most important factors of building relationships. 

I definitely had some grief about moving away from L.A. and my family but I have to say, these past four weeks of visiting San Diego have really changed my mind. People are happier here! The weather is cooler here! The beach is absolutely stunning and of course, you all have won me over.

I'm looking forward to going to parent teacher meetings, shopping at the Clairemont grocery stores, working in local coffee shops, going to yoga classes and building a new community of friends and family. Here's to a new chapter!
Sermon - August 5, 2018
Rev. Craig Dorval
Copyright © 2018 St. Mark's United Methodist Church, San Diego, All rights reserved.

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