The Lion's Pause


Reminder: If you are visiting St. Mark's during the week, please email or call ahead so that we can let you into the building.

Rector's Ramblings

In the April 9 entry in A Vow of Conversation, Thomas Merton wrote, “A sad thing that formal obedience or non-disobedience is an expedient which, in practice, justifies us in self-will in harmless and futile matters. Thus our lives, in fact, become totally absorbed in futilities, which are licit and which are not subject to formal control. Instead of imitating Christ, we are content to parody Him.” 


As we enter this season of Lent, the distinction between “formal obedience or non-disobedience” and true obedience is something that is good for us to ponder. The older son in the Parable of the Prodigal is a good example of non-disobedience. He had been formally obedient to the father, and all the while he had been seething under that formal obedience. He expressed it when he said, “All these years I have been slaving for you.” 


The father did not want an obedient slave. He wanted a son who understood that his work was work with his father rather than for his father. Do we understand our work in the church as work for God or with God? 


Genuine obedience to God springs from a love relationship with God. It begins with the recognition that God loves us. As we return that love, we find that obedience is not a burden to be born. Obedience is an expression of love for the One who first loved us. It all begins with our recognition of God’s love for us. 


I’ve known many married couples who were non-disobedient to one another. Their marriages seemed half-hearted. Our life of faith can be the same way. If we simply engage in non-disobedience to Christ, our hearts will never fully be His. When the prodigal returned to his father, his intent was to live as a hired hand. The father did not want a hired hand. He wanted his son. Only when the prodigal recognized the love of his father could be become genuinely obedient. Christ does not want hired hands. He wants brothers and sisters who are obedient to the will of His Father because they love Him.  

Fr. RJ+

What a great Intergenerational Service we had last Sunday! The kids all LOVE this service, and I enjoy helping you all find your inner child! Thank you for joining in the fun! See below for some follow up reminders.

*Please keep making your paper prayer chains and bring them back to church around Easter. We will hang them around the church to see just how many prayers we all said during Lent. I believe it will be pretty powerful! 

*There are leftover strips of paper or full sheets of purple paper on the table by Lenten Madness that anyone can feel free to take for the prayer chains!

*Click here for the link to the history, prayer, and recipe of the soft pretzels we made if anyone wants to try it at home!

Thank you!

Emily Gordon

Sunday, February 25th:

Holy Eucharist at 8 and 10 a.m.



Live Stream

Monday, February 26:

Knitting, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, February 27:

Lunch Bunch, Grinder's (North Canton,) 1 p.m.

Thirteen ladies attended the January LUNCH BUNCH which was held at Grinder’s in North Canton. Lots of fun, food, and fellowship. Please join us for the February 27 Lunch Bunch!

Lenten Potluck Dinners:

February 28, March 6, 13 at 6:30 p.m.

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The Round of 32

Welcome the first three members of the Saintly 16!

Thomas the Apostle     Hyacinth    Kassia

+ This coming week's smackdown +

Newsletter Additions

If you are adding something to the Lion's Pause, please submit it here by the Monday prior to Friday publication.

February Anniversaries

6 Bill and Beck Rand

18 Ashely and Jess Hostetter

23 Brad and Sandi Kaustinen


February Birthdays

4 Rick Werren

5 Lesley Kiesling, Caroline Willoughby

7 Tom Turner

11 Peggy Peretzky

15 Ron Brookes

22 Lauren Hoot

23 MaryAnn Kiesling

*Please note: Your birthday/anniversary will only show up if you've completed your profile on Instant Church Directory.

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Bob's Music Notes

Attending the Friday afternoon concerts at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore enabled me to hear the Trapp Family Singers (the original ones, not the movie version); baritone John Charles Thomas (you can access his "There Is No Death" online), and course Virgil Keel Fox, the world-famous organist (who had Baltimore connections: he "aced" the four-year diploma course in one year, studied in Paris, and came back to head Peabody's organ department before moving to NYC and Riverside Church). The only concert that puzzled me was a lady who used so much damper pedal that everything was swirling in sound - but this was the exception. 

And then it happened, a concert that was to change my life. Viktoria Mikhailovna Vronskaya and her husband Viktor Gennikhovich Babin, duo-pianists, appeared on the Peabody stage with two nine-foot Knabe concert grands. They were billed as "Vronsky and Babin." The latter was head of the Cleveland Institute of Music and his wife, of course, was on the faculty. These two (unbeknown to me at the time) were the leading duo-pianists of their day. They had met in the studio of Artur Schnabel and eventually became intimate friends of Rachmaninoff who was also their mentor. 

They played several brilliant selections to start, (which, sadly, I don't remember) but then they launched into Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring."

Those three minutes sent me into another world. I had never heard anything so beautiful as what these two virtuosi were playing. I don't recall another thing about that concert, but their version of this masterpiece was to remain in my memory for the rest of my life. And it instilled in me a love for duetting! When you have two keyboardists doing their "thing," it makes for a fullness of texture that just one player can't achieve.

Prayer Concerns

Barrie Thorp, Ten Gall, Vonda Temelkoff, Henry Aegerter, Jim Weaver, Jane Schutrum, & Ron Brookes

Family and Friends:  Kit Caspar (Carol Hayn’s brother); Jody Shumway (Co-worker friend of the Rand’s daughter); Father Amjad & Molly Samuel (acquaintance of friends of Father RJ); Dr. Mallamaci (acquaintance of Bobbi Zollinger); Jolanda Mull, Dr. Sandy Lopater, Kirk Schuring, Pam Lagodich, & Bill Allen (sister-in-law & friends of the Mulls); Earl Hoot (father of Joe Hoot); Ashley Stockman (friend of Katie & Ryan Kuceyeski); Mitz Cushing, Harold Freedman, & Tim Swihart (aunt of Bobbi & friends of the Gordons); Larry Aclaska & Judy Heisser-Turner (acquaintence & sister of Bert Heisser); Lee, Theresa, and Chuck Boone (friends & cousin of the Hixons); Nori Shawk (friend of Brynn Pelger); Johnny Willoughby (grandson of the Willoughbys); Heather Armington & Mark Osterhage (friends of the Watters); Jane King; Elaine Campbell (friend of the Turners); Sammy Coates (friend of Leslie Redmon); Bob Rownd (friend of John Werren & Anne Coen); Melanie & Trish (friends of Paulette Frech); Pat Walter & family (friend of Barb Whitehouse); Alycia Geis (Karen Violand’s friend’s daughter); Don & Janet Sheatzley-Morgan (husband & sister of Barb Siegfried); DaNay Jackson (friend of Ron Brookes); Allison Cornell-Hood & Anne Higgins (daughter & friend of Diane Cornell); Finnigan Savage (friend of Pam McCarthy); Jimmy Little (son of Sue Little); Yanette Pysher (Vonda Temelkoff’s cousin); Tony Donahue (friend of the Boyds); Marc Hostetler (brother of Susan Hostetler); David (acquaintance of the Nadels).

For those who have died.

For those in the armed forces.


St. Mark's has a group of prayer warriors who pray for the specific needs of those on the prayer chain. If you would like to place yourself or a loved one on the prayer chain, please contact Bobbi Gordon at

Prayer requests may be placed on the private Prayer Chain or on the Prayer Concerns list appearing in The Lion's Pause and Sunday bulletin or in both places. Please let Bobbi know your preference. Unless otherwise instructed, names will be listed as we receive them. Please update Bobbi or Katie on the status of your friends or family members as to when they may be removed from the prayer lists.

Contact Us:

Fr. RJ



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