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Cheers! St. Mark’s Turns 100

taste st marks


St. Mark’s is turning 100 in 2013. It’s going to be a great year and we’d love for you to celebrate with us at the Taste of St. Mark’s: A Centennial Celebration on July 20, 2013. The evening is sure to be a grand celebration, highlighting years of ministry in the City Heights community as well as leading us into the future. We will celebrate with delicious food and drink, live music and dancing as well as many opportunities to bid on treasures in both the silent and live auctions.

“A fireweed is the first flower to bloom in burned-out places after a catastrophe, bringing abundant, colorful life out of the ashes of death,” said Elizabeth R. Geitz.

City Heights is an urban community noted for its diversity. It has a dense population of about 95,000 living in approximately 6.5 square miles. Residents speak over 30 languages and 80 dialects. The average yearly income for a family of four is between $19,393 and $24,400; within the range of the federal poverty level of $22,050 for a family of four. Unemployment in City Heights is 20.5 percent; roughly twice the County of San Diego average of 11 percent. The community has some of the highest regional levels of child obesity, asthma and violence. In some ways this is a catastrophe. But it’s not an accident that in the midst stands St. Mark’s, City Heights. It’s our hope and prayer that God would continue making us a fireweed in City Heights, offering new life to all we encounter.

Thousands of people are served each year through the ministries of St. Mark’s. Each week hundreds of people enter our doors.

Some of them come to access the Neighborhood Food Cupboard, an emergency food assistance program run solely by volunteers.

Others attend support groups including Ala-non, Ala-teen and Freedom from Exploitation (for victims of human trafficking).

About 100 refugee school children attend tutoring twice a week to improve their English and receive homework help.

St. Mark’s also distributes fresh fruits and vegetables the third Sunday of each month to 250-350 families.

Each year we host the Interfaith Shelter during Christmas and welcome 10-15 guests to live at St. Mark’s for two weeks.

In 2012 we hosted the first Back 2 School Bash and served over 150 children with new backpacks, school supplies, shoes, socks, underwear and more. In 2013 we hope to increase that number to over 200. In recent weeks we opened our Community Computer Lab thanks to a grant from San Diego Futures Foundation to assist folks with basic computer skills, resumes and job searches and next month we are launching a senior meal program.

For several years, St. Mark’s has partnered with the women of Maseno, Kenya in a micro-economic program. By selling their handmade cards, 100 percent of the proceeds go directly to the women caring for thousands of HIV/AIDS orphans.

Have you been a part of St. Mark’s in the last 100 years? Do you have stories or photos to share? We’d love to hear from you.

Will you consider being a part of this great legacy and propelling St. Mark’s into the next 100 years? There are several ways to get involved.

Please contact me, Heather Smith, for more information: nunns1@yahoo.com or 619-847-2856.

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