Thy Kingdom Come
Between the day that Jesus ascended into heaven and the day that the Holy Spirit came, the disciples were gathered in the Upper Room and they were praying. For days they prayed.
Between Ascension Day (May 10th) and the Day of Pentecost (May 20) the Archbishop of Canterbury has asked Christians all over the world to pray.
And so we are.
"I didn't come to St. Marks looking for a family, I already have a great one. But, at St. Mark's I found another wonderful family."
Join us as the waters of baptism, the bread and wine of the Eucharist, and the Word of God feed us, that we might sprout, and bloom, and reach for the light which shines from above.
None of us, regardless of age, are ever "done" with our faith. There is always more road on the journey ahead. And so whether it's Sunday School for the children, youth groups for the teens, or classes, pilgrimages, or seminars for the adults, come and let's walk the road together.
Jesus told us to feed the hungry and care for those in need—and so we do. Come along on some outreach initiatives which we've been involved in for decades, and others that arise as the need becomes evident.
Faith isn't all work and no play. Faith is a celebration. Jesus never talked about "church services" or "classes" but he talked an awful lot about feasts and parties. Come and find endless opportunities here to enjoy life and each other.
Appalachia Service Project
Our yearly mission to help make homes warmer, safer, and drier
Early summer, each year, a group of youth and adults head somewhere in Appalachia to work with ASP, Appalachia Service Project. This organization has coordinated effort in many of the counties of West Virginia, western Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennesee. The mission is to make the homes of people living in extreme poverty warmer, safer, and drier.
For many of the youth and adults who go, it’s a life-changing experience, where they see poverty as never before—but also where they see the face of Jesus in those who they came to serve, and those they came to serve alongside.
God's Giving Garden
Growing fresh produce for our neighbors
On Maple Avenue, about a mile away from the church, there is a large garden that St. Mark’s helps to plan and tend. In each of the last two summers, it has produced one ton of vegetables. These vegetables are then taken to the Food Bank Network of Somerset County where they are distributed to those in our county who live in food-insecure homes. This fresh produce helps to supplement the dried and canned goods that they normally receive from the food bank.
This is a project of the entire parish. Our Sunday School children help plant many seeds into cups, which are then transplanted to the garden. The garden is tended to by our youth and adults who water, weed, and harvest. To be able to help feed our hungry neighbors is a great blessing to us. To be able to offer them fresh, locally grown, produce is all the more wonderful.
Growing in faith through worship, prayer, and engagement
Sunday mornings is the heart of what St. Mark’s is all about. We gather to worship, pray, sing, and be fed by the Word of God and the Holy Eucharist (sometimes called Holy Communion). It’s also when our children have Sunday School, when our youth groups meet, when our adults gather for the Sunday Forum, and when we all share time over a cup of coffee or a glass of lemonade and hear how each other’s week went.
Each week is a little different, and so you’ll want to check the main web page to see what the schedule for the week looks like. But, every Sunday we gather with joy and a smile. This is not a “stuffy” church, so don’t feel like you need to get any more “gussied up” than you want to! Come as you are, and join in. This is a place for all God’s Children—and that means you!
Children's and youth ministries
Helping our young people grow in faith
Jesus told his disciples to bring the children to him, and so that’s exactly what we try and do here at St. Mark’s. We have Sunday School for our youngest children (k-5). They gather in the chapel at 10AM while the adults are gathering in the church. They have their own worship service, and then they head down to their classrooms for a lesson. They join their parents in the main church for Communion. The youth meet at 9AM in age-specific groupings. The youth groups go on overnight trips, have lock-ins in the church, and begin to find places where they can offer their own gifts to the church.
On Wednesday afternoons we also have smARTS, which is our faith-and-the-arts afterschool program. smARTS explores various artistic media, and ways to learn about and express our faith. In the summer we have our week-long Vacation Bible School camp.
Each year we have 3-4 Outreach Sundays, where the children and youth work together to make a difference in the world, and put their faith in action.
Ministry in Keansburg
Feeding our friends by the shore
In 2012 Superstorm Sandy rocked New Jersey, and especially the shore. While Basking Ridge was still clearing trees from its roads and trying to get its power back on, we saw on Facebook that the Episcopal Church in Keansburg was in desperate need of help in their soup kitchen. They had had a soup kitchen to feed the hungry of their town for years, but now with so many people in damaged homes, the need was all the greater. We put out a plea for people to make meat loaves, and we traveled down to Keansburg to offer the people there a hot meal. We’ve been going back twice a month ever since.
In the four years we’ve been serving lunch there, we’ve forged new friendships and partners in ministry. It is such a blessing to be with the people there twice a month, and though we’ve provided them with over 10,000 meals, we have been moved in our hearts and spirits 10,000 times over.