This week at St. Mark’s February 23, 2020
A weekly message from Pastor Alan
Being Best Neighbors


It probably comes as no great surprise to any of us that when surveys were taken of churches with growing youth ministries they found that young people were attracted to church communities that spent less energy on condemning the world outside and more on empowering people to build loving connections and loving ministries in the wider community.

When compassion is done well it is very attractive to people who are seeking meaning for their lives. Growing Young uses neighbor as a verb. Young people are drawn to church communities that neighbor well, both locally and globally.

The Good Samaritan story is probably the best known and least understood teaching of Jesus. The main point of the story is not the traveler’s kindness to a wounded crime victim, but the simple fact that the kindness was extended by a person whose religion was believed to be inadequate… a person who in spiritual terms was viewed as unclean. The two holy people who came along the road betrayed their own religion by ignoring the wounded man. The demands of love transcend religious beliefs.

The story raises questions about how all of us might be an example of compassionate faith in a world where, in public, most people don’t seem to care. How can the youth of St. Mark’s grow up in a community where the Good Samaritan is truly the role model of the love for neighbor that Jesus taught?


Luke 10:25-37 (Common English Bible)
A legal expert stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to gain eternal life?”

Jesus replied, “What is written in the Law? How do you interpret it?”

He responded, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.”

Jesus said to him, “You have answered correctly. Do this and you will live.”

But the legal expert wanted to prove that he was right, so he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

Jesus replied, “A man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. He encountered thieves, who stripped him naked, beat him up, and left him near death. Now it just so happened that a priest was also going down the same road. When he saw the injured man, he crossed over to the other side of the road and went on his way. Likewise, a Levite came by that spot, saw the injured man, and crossed over to the other side of the road and went on his way. A Samaritan, who was on a journey, came to where the man was. But when he saw him, he was moved with compassion. The Samaritan went to him and bandaged his wounds, tending them with oil and wine. Then he placed the wounded man on his own donkey, took him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day, he took two full days’ worth of wages and gave them to the innkeeper. He said, ‘Take care of him, and when I return, I will pay you back for any additional costs.’ What do you think? Which one of these three was a neighbor to the man who encountered thieves?”

Then the legal expert said, “The one who demonstrated mercy toward him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”


With Sympathy
Please extend love and sympathy to the families that recently lost a loved one.

…the family of Sally Weinland,
who died Tuesday, February 18.

…the family of Shimba Bulaya,
who died Thursday, February 20.

…the family of Jim Brownell,
who died Thursday, February 20.

Pastor Alan will circulate details for the memorials as they become available for Sally, Shimba, and Jim.

Please keep these families and friends in your prayers…


Prayer Requests
*Paul Blankenship* Pat & Gordon Close*
*Lola Cruz *Celina Davin *
*Doug & Charlotte Gardner* Debbie Kenngott *
*Vivian Noble* Barbara Peterson* Shirley Reese*
* Terry Travis * Fred Stallcop* Al Vopata *
*Laura Warren *

They need to build a base of regular donations.