Living a Life Filled With Awe and Amazement

On January 18, 2019, Pulitzer Prize winning poet and author Mary Oliver passed away at the age of 83. I have been a fan of her poetry for many years, drawn to the simplicity of her poems and her use of images from the natural world to speak of the experiences of human life. I did not realize, however, how many of my friends and colleagues were also drawn to her works. Facebook was filled with posts commenting on her passing and reflecting upon her life and its impact on the lives of so many others. Many posts shared their favorite Oliver poem or quotation.

One of my favorites is The Journey, published in 1986 in her collection of poems Dream Work. It speaks to me of listening to your inner voice and discovering your particular life calling.

One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice –

though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles.

“Mend my life!”

each voice cried.

But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do,

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at the very foundations,

though their melancholy was terrible.

It was already late

enough, and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen

branches and stones.

But little by little,

as you left their voices behind,

the stars began to burn

through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice

which you slowly

recognized as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

 the only thing you could do –

determined to save

the only life you could save.


Mary Oliver was more of a mystic than a theologian. However, her observations of the most intimate and minute details of the natural world speak to a world longing for simplicity and connectivity with human community. Her words speak of living a life filled with awe and amazement. It is a message we so desperately need to hear today.



Pastor Kelly

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2018 is the year of Stewardship here at St. Mark’s.  For me what comes to mind for is “why?”  There have been a lot of whys asked this year.  When people as themselves “why,” aren’t they really trying to find “understanding and relevance?”  Therefore, all these “why” questions can be answered by one simple word, “purpose.”

We have all heard the questions; “Why do we need more stewardship?” “Why, what else is going to change?”  “Why should I give more money?”  “why, do they really need that much?”   “Why did he really have to go?”

The first of these questions can be answered by an excerpt of Acts 13:36 “Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his ancestors …”

We now know why he was sent here.  St. Mark’s has been transformed into a multi-ethnic parish, with capacity to properly nurture, house and educate Christian theology and worship.  David was done here.

As for us, we need to look forward to what will be. This forward-looking “purpose” will answer the other questions.  The best place to start is Jeremiah 32:19, which says, “Great are your purposes and mighty are your deeds. Your eyes are open to the ways of all mankind; you reward each person according to their conduct and as their deeds deserve.”

Unmistakably, “purpose” contains deeds, or simply put doing something. Isn’t t that what Stewardship is all about. Isn’t that what we’re all about, here at St. Mark’s.  Drawing from the Holy Spirit, the spirit of Stewardship, the spirit of St. Mark’s, I call upon you, “Go do good deeds.”

Don Fontana

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Welcome to St. Marks


Faith, hope and love are the foundations of the Christian faith.  We are building a diverse community of people upon this foundation at St. Mark’s.  We welcome you to gather with us.  Come and experience a community that has learned how to find unity, without uniformity through the power of God’s love.   This website is designed to help you find that experience. We look forward to meeting you!

Rev. Jeffrey E. Koth

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