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 This past Saturday was the opening day for our Outdoor Market Fair. It was a little chilly but there was a good turnout of vendors and customers.

This outreach to the community was begun over 7 years ago originally led by Alma Young and Carol Norton. It has been a bridging event bringing people to our church that otherwise would not have darkened our door. It has also been a great fun raiser for the ministries that go on at St. Mark, last year, in spite of bad weather raising $5,600 and the year before $6,000. 

As I spoke Saturday with Vivian Falcone, who with Ellie Elder and Marlene Kowalski coordinates this ministry, a woman named Colleen interjected, "Of all the Open Air Markets, this one is my favorite. There is good food and friendly people."   Vivian shared with me how a vendor came into the church to get her blood pressure checked by our parish nurse Kristie Oblak, and upon her urgent recommendation, went to see her doctor. A week later she came back and thanked Christi for saving her life.

The culmination of this bridging event is the August 30th fun fare.  This year we are doing it in coordination with the Village of Worth's 100th anniversary celebration and we're a calling it the "Old Time Friendly Fair." The day will include Bingo (or W.O.R.T.H.) , face painting, a cake walk, a softball game, a hot dog eating contest, a Dunk Tank, a Taste of St Mark," children's games, and more.

            If you would like to donate items bring them to the church during office hours.  If you would like to serve in this ministry, your help would be welcome. Contact Vivian Falcon.

Jenelle Williams Paris writes, "A quick look at our culture shows that idealized images of motherhood are inaccurate, and Scripture reveals the same. Ruth was left childless. Rachel, Hanna and Sara were infertile. Eve and Mary lost sons under terrible circumstances. (As we will see in the next few weeks of "The Story") two mothers of two kings both named Ahaziah encouraged their sons to be wicked and unjust. The Bible tells stories of families like those in our churches. Women in diverse circumstances, sometimes thriving, sometimes coping sometimes going under.  I've recently learned that my own biological mother gave me up for adoption, because her husband left her and she didn't have the means to feed one more mouth.

Of course our culture also includes wonderful families with great kids and strong marriages. The point is there is not a one size fits all pattern for women, and we hurt people in our churches by venerating one path over or the other."

This Mother's Day I gratefully think of my adopted mother Hazel, who raised me, and saw to it I went to church and Sunday school because she loved me.  I gratefully think of my biological mother Ann, who found herself alone and pregnant and who had the courage to carry me to full term, rejecting the option of abortion.  I think of my wife Susan, the mother of our three children and one who died before she was born.  I could not have asked for a better more loving mother for our girls.  And I think today too of a half dozen women in our church who have taken me under their wing, and treated me like a son these past 17 years.

So let's be gentle with each other. Let us remember and celebrate women of every circumstance. Let's remember our mothers and grandmothers and great grandmothers. Let's remember the mothers who have lost their children, the women who long to be mothers but are not. And especially let us remember and pray for those mothers that may have hurt us deeply, loving them as God in his grace loves us.


Your brother in Christ, 

                                                          Pastor Jay

11007 S. 76th Avenue, Worth, IL 60482  (708) 448-6555

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