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This year we have served 2,185 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

We regularly provide food for the Food Bank. For Christmas 2023, we provided just over $3,000 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

St Mark’s offers a monthly service at Ridge Oak Senior Housing, Fellowship Village, and Holly Manor Nursing Home in Mendham. We also provided for Christmas gifts for the residents of Holly Manor who don’t have family nearby.

Reaching out to the community

On January 21st through the 28th we will be hosting several homeless families who are in need of emergency housing. We are looking for people to help cook meals for them, greet them, play games with the children, and make them feel welcomed.

HOME of Somerset County

Reader & Usher: Jeanne Wyatt

Prelude

Processional Hymn: O Come All Ye Faithful

1 O come, all ye faithful,
joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;
come, and behold him,
born the King of angels;

O come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord.

3 Sing, choirs of angels,
sing in exultation,
sing, all ye citizens of heaven above;
glory to God,
glory in the highest; Refrain

6 Yea, Lord, we greet thee,
born this happy morning;
Jesus, to thee be glory given;
Word of the Father,
now in flesh appearing; Refrain

Opening Prayers

Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
And blessed be his kingdom, now and forever. Amen.

Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Song of Praise

Angels we have heard on high,
singing sweetly through the night,
and the mountains in reply
echoing their brave delight.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.

The Collect of the Day

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray.

O God, you have caused this holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light: Grant that we, who have known the mystery of that Light on earth, may also enjoy him perfectly in heaven; where with you and the Holy Spirit he lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

The Lesson from the Hebrew Bible: Isaiah 52:7-10

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah

How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of the messenger who announces peace,

who brings good news,
who announces salvation,
who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”

Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices,
together they sing for joy;

for in plain sight they see
the return of the Lord to Zion.

Break forth together into singing,
you ruins of Jerusalem;

for the Lord has comforted his people,
he has redeemed Jerusalem.

The Lord has bared his holy arm
before the eyes of all the nations;

and all the ends of the earth shall see
the salvation of our God.
Your word is a lantern to our feet:
and a light upon our path.

The Reading from the Psalter: The Ninety-Eighth Psalm

1 Sing to the Lord a new song, *
for he has done marvelous things.

2 With his right hand and his holy arm *
has he won for himself the victory.

3 The Lord has made known his victory; *
his righteousness has he openly shown in the sight of the nations.

4 He remembers his mercy and faithfulness to the house of Israel, *
and all the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.

5 Shout with joy to the Lord, all you lands; *
lift up your voice, rejoice, and sing.

6 Sing to the Lord with the harp, *
with the harp and the voice of song.

7 With trumpets and the sound of the horn *
shout with joy before the King, the Lord.

8 Let the sea make a noise and all that is in it, *
the lands and those who dwell therein.

9 Let the rivers clap their hands, *
and let the hills ring out with joy before the Lord,
when he comes to judge the earth.

10 In righteousness shall he judge the world *
and the peoples with equity.

The Epistle Lesson: Hebrews 1:1-4

A reading from the Book of Hebrews

Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

Your word is a lantern to our feet:
and a light upon our path.

Sequence Hymn: Hark the Herald Angels

1 Hark! the herald angels sing
glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
join the triumph of the skies;
with the angelic host proclaim
Christ is born in Bethlehem!

Hark! the herald angels sing
glory to the newborn King!

3 Mild he lays his glory by,
born that we no more may die,
born to raise us from the earth,
born to give us second birth.
Risen with healing in his wings,
light and life to all he brings,
hail, the Sun of Righteousness!
hail, the heaven-born Prince of Peace! Refrain

The Gospel: John 1:1-14

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.
Glory to you, Lord Christ.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Christ.

The Sermon

The Nicene Creed

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The Prayers

Let us pray to God, who came among us in the birth of Jesus:

Gracious God, as a star rose, and drew people from great distances to Bethlehem that they might greet the Christ-child; Draw us, your people, to you – that we might be the people who you call us to be. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

As you gave Mary your Holy Spirit, filling her with the delight of your Presence; Fill us with your Spirit, and renew our lives. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

As Gentiles streamed to Jesus’ Light, and Kings to the brightness of his rising; Draw our nation, our President, and all in authority, to His brightness. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

As angels sang ‘glorias’ to you and proclaimed peace on earth, and goodwill among all peoples; Bring us your peace, and bring an end to all terror and strife. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

As shepherds were drawn away from their flocks by night; Draw those who do not know you yet to the knowledge and love of you. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

As Jesus was born in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn; Be especially present with those who have no where to lay their head, those who are vulnerable, and those who are hungry. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

As the Holy Family gathered together in Bethlehem, and traveled together to far off lands; Bless all families, especially the families gathered here today, and protect those who travel. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

As your son came to proclaim the forgiveness of sins, and the gift of Life Eternal; Give to the departed eternal rest and let Light perpetual shine on them. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Let us pray for those who are on our hearts today, especially ___________.

For those who are serving in our armed forces, at home and abroad.

O Lord our God, may the Light and Hope of this night, and of your Son’s Incarnation, reassure our hearts that you are among us, that you hear our prayer, and that you will be with us always, even to the end of the age. In the name of Jesus of Nazareth we pray. Amen.

The Passing of the Peace

The peace of the Lord be always with you.
And also with you.

The Offertory

Coventry Carol

The Eucharistic Prayer

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give God thanks and praise.

It is right, and a profound joy to give you thanks, Father Almighty, for you created the universe, forming stars and worlds, creating light and time, and giving life to every creature which teems on the earth, which swims in the deep, and which flies in the skies.

And so we join with the angels and the stars in proclaiming your glory, as we sing,

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

We sing of your glory and grace, for after bringing the universe into being, you came into it, sending your only son to be born of a human mother, to live as one of us, to live among us, to live for us, and to give his life for us.

In a manger in Bethlehem, you united heaven and earth, and you called us to live in you as you already live in us.

On the night he was betrayed he took bread, said the blessing, broke the bread, and gave it to his friends, and said, “Take, eat: This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.”

After supper, he took the cup of wine, gave thanks, and said, “Drink this, all of you: This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.”

And so, Father, we bring you these gifts. Sanctify them by your Holy Spirit to be for your people the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Gather us by this Holy Communion into one body in your Son Jesus Christ, and into the fellowship of Blessed Mary, St Joseph, and all your saints.

Remember, Lord, your Church, redeemed by your Son.

Remember all your people, and those who seek your truth and your love.

Remember those who are broken, those who are in need, those who are grieving, those who are lonely, and those who are hungry for your presence.

Nourished with your body and blood, fashion us into heralds of your love, like the angels. Make us shine with the light of your grace, like the Christmas Star. And, shape our hearts and minds to follow the One who was born in the humble manger.

By him, and with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and glory is yours, Almighty Father, now and for ever.

Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those
who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power,
and the glory,
forever and ever. Amen.

The Fraction

Alleluia! Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us;
Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia!

Communion Music

Away in a manger
Away in a manger, no crib for his bed,
the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.
The stars in the bright sky looked down where he lay,
the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
but little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.
I love thee, Lord Jesus! Look down from the sky,
and stay by my side until morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask thee to stay
close by me for ever, and love me I pray.
Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,
and fit us for heaven to live with thee there.

The Post-Communion Prayer

Almighty and everliving God,
we thank you for feeding us with the spiritual food
of the most precious Body and Blood
of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ;
and for assuring us in these holy mysteries
that we are living members of the Body of your Son,
and heirs of your eternal kingdom.
And now, Father, send us out
to do the work you have given us to do,
to love and serve you
as faithful witnesses of Christ our Lord.
To him, to you, and to the Holy Spirit,
be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

The Blessing

May Almighty God, who sent his Son to take our nature upon him, bless you in this holy season, scatter the darkness of sin, and brighten your heart with the light of his holiness. Amen.

May God, who sent his angels to proclaim the glad news of the Savior’s birth, fill you with joy, and make you heralds of the Gospel. Amen.

May God, who in the Word made flesh joined heaven to earth and earth to heaven, give you his peace and favor. Amen.

And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you for ever. Amen.

Recessional Hymn: Good Christian Friends Rejoice

Good Christian friends, rejoice
with heart and soul and voice;
give ye heed to what we say:
Jesus Christ is born today;
ox and ass before him bow,
and he is in the manger now.
Christ is born today!

Good Christian friends, rejoice
with heart and soul and voice;
now ye hear of endless bliss;
Jesus Christ was born for this!
He hath opened heaven’s door,
and we are blest for evermore.
Christ was born for this!

Good Christian friends, rejoice
with heart and soul and voice;
now ye need not fear the grave:
Jesus Christ was born to save!
Calls you one and calls you all
to gain his everlasting hall.
Christ was born to save!

The Dismissal

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Postludes

The Christmas Garden is offered to the Glory of God
and in memory of our loved ones

Marie, Anna
Pat, Phyllis, Lenny
Joe, Zoraida

Kyra Marija O’Dwyer

John, Sara, Barbara, Sara

Bryan Opremcak
Christine & Thaddeus Slodowski
Jenny Lou & Stephen Opremcak

John, Monica, Patty, Louis
Ruth, Ruthie, Pat, Olin Sr., Olin Jr.
Charles, Ruth, Connie, Steve, Vicki, Dottie, Charlotte
Billy

Robert & Ruth Hooper, Guy Brennert,
Jeremy Kopf

Phillip Pitney, Gus Loveys,
Jean, Betty

Patricia Lee
Mary & Ian Walker
Mildred & Walter
Muriel & Russell Lee
Pertti Pimia
Julie Schreck

Brenda & Eldridge

Victor, Louis, Gussie, Jimmy, Wendel, John M, Johnny, Fran, Alan, Timothy,
Caroline, Jack, Becky, John, Bob, Stacey Dick
Bette, Joe, Sue

Carolyn and George
Diane and Ray
Dorothy and Russ
Anne and Pat
Yvonne and Joseph
Emma, Carolyn and Carl

Norman, Jane, Annetta, James, Llewellen, Alicia, Welland, Mary
William, Anne, George, Charlotte, Jack, James

Margaret, Donald, Howard, Katharine,
Howard Jr. Florence, Nelson, Audrey

In Thanksgiving & Celebration

Our grandchildren, Jordon, Lily, Liv, Rose & Chip

Roger Conover

Daughters & sons-in-law,
Granddaughters and new grandson
Family & friends