Skip to main content

This year we have served 2185 meals at the Soup Kitchen in Keansburg. Since we began our ministry there in 2012, we have served 24,500 meals.

Soup Kitchen at Keansburg

In 2023 we regularly provide food for the Food Bank. So far, for Christmas 2023, we have provided $2,275 in gift cards for the children of the Food Bank.

Foodbank Network of Somerset County

In 2023, $6500 was provided to households in need of emergency help with bills, medical care, and food from the Rector’s Discretionary Fund.

Providing help

The Giving Garden produced 4,350lbs of fresh vegetables to local food pantries in our county

The Giving Garden

Nine children living in extreme poverty in the Third World were supported this year by parishioners of St Mark’s through Compassion International.

Compassion International

38 boxes were provided by parishioners of St Mark’s, and are being sent to children around the world for Christmas

Operation Christmas Child

This year our stitchers made 24 prayer blankets for those who asked for them, for themselves or for a loved one. Ever since we started this ministry they’ve made and blessed 83 blankets.

Prayer Blankets

The rose vestments that you see today were designed and crafted by Katie Williams. They are to be used on the third Sunday of Advent, and the Fourth Sunday of Lent, when “rose” is the appropriate color. On these two days we celebrate the joy of Jesus’s birth, as well as the anticipation of his resurrection. These days of celebration, however, are admittedly a time of uncertainty.

When designing the rose colored vestments for St. Marks I (Katie) was incredibly inspired by the journey of Jesus’s mother, Mary, and her incredible strength and love that persists throughout her life. At both of these points in history, Mary is faced with so much darkness. As a young girl, she faces an unprecedented amount of uncertainty, as she is told by the Angel Gabriel that she is to give birth to the Son of God. As a mother, she stands with her son at his death. Yet through her love and faith she overcomes all darkness and at the end of the tunnel rejoices in the light. These hand-painted and embroidered vestments symbolize Mary’s strength and unwavering love for her son. The joy that we celebrate on these two Sundays burns in our heart and gives away to new life, and new beginnings.

The Crèche Service 

Started in 1974, this is St. Mark’s 50th Creche Service.

The Third Sunday of Advent

The Prelude

The Holly and the Ivy, Traditional
Michael McCormick, Organ

Processional Hymn

Once in Royal David’s City, 102 Hymnal 1982

1 Once in royal David’s city
stood a lowly cattle shed,
where a mother laid her baby
in a manger for his bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little child.

2 He came down to earth from heaven,
who is God and Lord of all,
and his shelter was a stable,
and his cradle was a stall;
with the poor, the scorned, the lowly,
lived on earth our Savior holy.

3 We, like Mary, rest confounded
that a stable should display
heaven’s Word, the world’s creator,
cradled there on Christmas Day,
yet this child, our Lord and brother,
brought us love for one another.

4 For he is our lifelong pattern;
daily, when on earth he grew,
he was tempted, scorned, rejected,
tears and smiles like us he knew.
Thus he feels for all our sadness,
and he shares in all our gladness.

5 And our eyes at last shall see him,
through his own redeeming love;
for that child who seemed so helpless
is our Lord in heaven above;
and he leads his children on
to the place where he is gone.

6 Not in that poor lowly stable,
with the oxen standing round,
we shall see him; but in heaven,
where his saints his throne surround:
Christ, revealed to faithful eye,
set at God’s right hand on high.

O Come Emmanuel, Come Soon, arr. Hal H. Hopson

St. Mark’s Adult Choir

Welcome

Bidding Prayer

A Christmas Carol

Read by Nicky Sant Foster

What Child is This, arr. Vince Guaraldi

Michael McCormick, piano

Night’s Lodging, by Luci Shaw

Read by Martha Heiner

Still, Still, Still, arr. Ruth Elaine Schram

St. Mark’s Adult Choir

Ox Presentation

The Prayer of the Donkey

Read by Madeline West

All things bright and beautiful, 405 Hymnal 1982

All things bright and beautiful,
all creatures great and small,
all things wise and wonderful,
the Lord God made them all.

1 Each little flower that opens,
each little bird that sings,
he made their glowing colors,
he made their tiny wings. Refrain

2 The purple-headed mountain,
the river running by,
the sunset, and the morning
that brightens up the sky, Refrain

3 The cold wind in the winter,
the pleasant summer sun,
the ripe fruits in the garden,
he made them every one. Refrain

4 He gave us eyes to see them,
and lips that we might tell
how great is God Almighty,
who has made all things well. Refrain

Donkey Presentation

O Eve, by Columba Guare

Read by Sophie Martucci

Rejoice in the Lord alway, by Henry Purcell

St. Mark’s Adult Choir

Mary Presentation

Joseph

Read by Spencer DeFeo

Joseph Dearest, Joseph Mine

St. Mark’s Adult Choir

Joseph Presentation

Christ Child Presentation

Our graduating seniors: Owen Glass, Ben Larner, Elena Nicholson, Carter Rolli, and Julia West

Behold, the dwelling place of God is with us.
He will be our God and we shall be his people.
God himself is with us. Alleluia.
Come let us adore him. Alleluia.

Blessing of the Creche

Go Tell it on the Mountain, 99 Hymnal 1982

Go tell it on the mountain,
over the hills and everywhere;
go tell it on the mountain,
that Jesus Christ is born!

1 While shepherds kept their watching
o’er silent flocks by night,
behold, throughout the heavens
there shone a holy light. Refrain

2 The shepherds feared and trembled
when lo! above the earth
rang out the angel chorus
that hailed our Savior’s birth. Refrain

3 Down in a lowly manger
the humble Christ was born,
and God sent us salvation
that blessèd Christmas morn. Refrain

The Lamb, by William Blake

Read by Ryan Gogerty

While shepherds watched their flocks by night, 95 Hymnal 1982

1 While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
all seated on the ground,
the angel of the Lord came down,
and glory shone around.

2 “Fear not,” said he, for mighty dread
had seized their troubled mind;
“Glad tidings of great joy I bring
to you and all mankind.

3 “To you, in David’s town, this day
is born of David’s line
the Savior, who is Christ the Lord;
and this shall be the sign:

4 “The heavenly Babe you there shall find
to human view displayed,
all meanly wrapped in swathing bands,
and in a manger laid.”

Lamb Presentation

There Were Shepherds, Luke 2:8-16

Read by Hannah Creighton

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Traditional

Michael McCormick, Piano

First Shepherd Presentation
Second Shepherd Presentation
Third Shepherd Presentation

Star Song, by Luci Shaw

Read by Quinn D’Angelo

We three kings, 128 Hymnal 1982

1 We three kings of Orient are,
bearing gifts we traverse afar,
field and fountain,
moor and mountain,
following yonder star.

O star of wonder, star of night,
star with royal beauty bright;
westward leading,
still proceeding,
guide us to thy perfect light!

2 Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain,
gold I bring to crown him again,
King for ever,
ceasing never
over us all to reign.  Refrain

3 Frankincense to offer have I:
incense owns a Deity nigh;
prayer and praising,
gladly raising,
worship him, God Most High.  Refrain

4 Myrrh is mine; its bitter perfume
breathes a life of gathering gloom;
sorrowing, sighing,
bleeding, dying,
sealed in the stone-cold tomb.  Refrain

First King Presentation
Second King Presentation
Third King Presentation

Closing Prayers and Benediction

The Dismissal

Closing Hymn

Joy to the world, 100 Hymnal 1982

1 Joy to the world! the Lord is come:
let earth receive her King;
let every heart prepare him room,
and heaven and nature sing.

2 Joy to the world! the Savior reigns;
let us our songs employ,
while fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains,
repeat the sounding joy.

3 No more let sins and sorrows grow,
nor thorns infest the ground;
he comes to make his blessings flow
far as the curse is found.

4 He rules the world with truth and grace,
and makes the nations prove
the glories of his righteousness,
and wonders of his love.

The Crèche figures were given in loving memory of
Francis Booth & Ivy Lennox

Thank you to our 50th Creche Service Players, including Barbara, Martin, Adelene, Patsy, Henry, Matthew, Olivia, Mattie, Gerald III, Abby, Caleb, Toby, Josh, Quinn, Barbara, James, Ben, Colin, Eli, Jad, Nicholas, Naya, Tala, and Katie.  And, with appreciation to Kristen Hauser and John Lyga.