We are honored that you have chosen to explore Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church and hope that you find experiences of joy and wonder, comfort and care. We are a faithful community of Christians inspired by God’s call to deepen our faith and serve those in need.
Worship and services are central to our identity. Our members come from a radius of 25 miles and often participate in every area of ministry, from worship to administration, youth ministry to adult formation.
You are most welcome to join us for our various worship services, our programs and our special events. We’d be blessed by your presence. Feel free to call upon any of the clergy or staff at any time.
Centering Prayer - Kennedy Room
Compline Prayer - Church
St. Mark’s Church is located south of Oregon Expressway at 600 Colorado Avenue in the midtown area of Palo Alto – between Middlefield Road & Cowper Street.
From highway 101, exit Oregon Expressway heading west. Turn left at Middlefield Road. At the 3rd traffic light, Colorado, turn right. St Mark’s will be on your left hand side.
From 280, exit Page Mill Road heading east. Follow Page Mill for just about 3 miles until it merges into Oregon Expressway. Continue east on Oregon Expressway and Turn right at Middlefield Road. At the 3rd traffic light, Colorado, turn right. St Mark’s will be on your left hand side
Our Sunday services all center around Holy Communion (also called Eucharist), when we bless bread and wine in the name of Christ and share them as a sign of unity and a source of strength. Everyone is welcome to receive Communion at our altar.
The Eucharist, a word that means “thanksgiving”, has two major parts, the liturgy of the Word and the liturgy of Communion. In the first part, we are reminded of our place in God’s story as the scriptures are read, a sermon is preached, prayers are said together, and as we offer a common confession and are reminded of God’s forgiveness. In the second part, we experience afresh God’s acts of redemption as we see the bread broken and the wine poured out and share in these elemental representations of God’s presence with us. Finally, we are sent out bearing that presence and our common story to the world.
Here at St. Mark’s, we offer kids a safe, fun, and nourishing environment in which to experience Christian community and explore the Church's rich heritage. We are dedicated to providing thoughtful programs that engage and challenge children at all stages of faith development. We invite your participation!
Worship: For children ages 5-11, we offer a Children's Chapel during the 10am service. Kids gather for a time of prayer, music, and Bible lessons in a multi-age setting. Children's Chapel ends in time for kids to gather at the altar and receive Communion with their parents.
Nursery: For our infants and toddlers, we provide a loving nursery environment during the 10am service each Sunday morning.
Learn more about Children's Ministries
Youth are always welcome during Sunday morning services. The young people of our parish may also assist in regular services by being an acolyte or help with children's programs. There are also special occasions where the youth can lead services on Sunday morning or at parish events.
Youth Group: The youth group at St. Mark's welcomes 6th-12th graders. The goal of youth group meetings is to build an inclusive, supportive community that models God's unconditional love and acceptance. Sunday night youth group meetings include dinner, games, activities, discussion, and prayer.
Learn more about Youth Ministries
As Episcopalians, we follow Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. We believe in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe God is active in our everyday lives through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The mission of the Church is to restore all people to unity with God and with each other in Christ. The Church pursues its mission as it prays and worships, proclaims the gospel, and promotes justice, peace and love. The Church carries out its mission through the ministry of all of its members.
We uphold the Bible and worship with the Book of Common Prayer. We believe the Holy Scriptures are the revealed Word of God. In worship we unite ourselves with one another to acknowledge the holiness of God, to hear God's Word, to offer prayer and praise, and to celebrate the Sacraments. The Celebration of Holy Eucharist is the central act of worship in accordance with Jesus' command to His disciples. Holy Communion may be received by all baptized Christians, not only members of the Episcopal Church.
The Episcopal Church is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion with 70 million members in 165 countries. The word "Episcopal" refers to government by bishops. The historic episcopate continues the work of the first apostles in the Church, guarding the faith, unity and discipline of the Church. Both men and women, including those who are married, are eligible for ordination as deacons, priests and bishops.
We strive to love our neighbors as ourselves and respect the dignity of every person. We welcome all to find a spiritual home in the Episcopal Church.
For children ages 5-11, we offer a Children's Chapel during the 10am service. Kids gather for a time of prayer, music, and Bible lessons in a multi-age setting. Children's Chapel ends in time for kids to gather at the altar and receive Communion with their parents. Children who prefer to stay with their parents throughout the morning service are welcome to draw from the provision of children's bulletins, crayons, and clipboards available at the sanctuary entrance.
The youth group at St. Mark's welcomes 6th-12th graders. The goal of youth group meetings is to build an inclusive, supportive community that models God's unconditional love and acceptance. Sunday night youth group meetings include dinner, games, activities, discussion, and prayer.
We believe that the mission of the church, in part, is to engage the whole person – the body in action, the intellect in learning, exploring, and questioning and the soul in prayer, meditation, and worship, and all three as an integrated whole. We are a community committed to creating spaces in which each person may ask questions, examine their own beliefs, engage in contemplative practices and explore historical and contemporary religious thought.
Our goal is to create opportunities for members of St. Mark’s to learn to better understand God and our neighbors through God’s words and God’s presence in our lives, and to apply this knowledge to the daily living of our faith.
Throughout the year, several venues for education and conversation are offered by a wide variety of parishioners and friends of St. Mark’s.
St. Mark’s Young/Youngish Adults meet once a month, with gatherings such as potluck dinners at the church to dinner out in Palo Alto. We try to have a good balance of socializing and spiritual formation, with many of our meals revolving around a discussion of some topic of mutual interest.
At St. Mark's, we follow the Revised Common Lectionary. This means that, along with other churches who follow the RCL, we are all reading the same readings each Sunday across denominations. The lectionary is a 3 year cycle, labeled years A, B, and C. The Christian year starts with Advent I, just before Christmas, and ends with Christ the King Sunday, the last Sunday after Pentecost. Currently, we are in Year A.
One of the great treasures of the Anglican tradition is our Book of Common Prayer. The "BCP" as we call it for short is where all of our worship draws from; we use the rubrics from it each Sunday here at St. Mark's. Generally speaking, no matter where you go to an Episcopal church, you should be able to find common threads in the worship. We are not a church bound by doctrinal agreement; rather, the Anglican way is to be bound by common worship and prayer.
Your contributions to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church help sustain our programs and services that bring meaning and community into the lives of all who enter our doors as well as our ministries in the greater community. Please consider giving as generously as you can.
A pledge is a commitment to give a certain amount of money each year to help St Mark’s grow in its ministry and mission. Most of our support comes from annual pledges. Knowing a total pledge amount allows us to create a responsible budget.
Your annual pledge helps us support all the ministries and the programs of St Mark’s! Your pledge tells us, “I am a part of this community, and I want to show that this church and its goals are important to me.” Pledging is considered to be an important part of membership at St. Mark’s. Ninety percent of our members make an annual pledge of support.
A planned gift is a gift deferred – a way of expressing your wishes now about how your resources are to be used later. A planned gift is a commitment made to protect those you love – and an opportunity to benefit the Church for generations to come.
Planned giving is not separate from Christian Stewardship, but is rather an important part of it. Planned giving offers ways – over and above our regular support to the Church’s on-going work – to share God’s gifts with others, and to grow spiritually as we live out our vocations and ministries within the mission of the Church. There are many types of planned gifts (Bequests, Gift Annuities, Trusts, Appreciated Securities, etc)
The Anglo-Saxon word from which we have our word “steward” is the word “sty ward” meaning “the keeper of the sty.” In true Anglo-Saxon linguistic tradition, it’s not necessarily a pleasant word, or a pleasant job for that matter, to “keep the sty,” but I suppose someone has to do it!
That’s often how we feel about fundraising – someone has to do it! Stewardship campaigns are about raising money to pay for bills and accomplish the ministry goals of a parish. We challenge ourselves with goals and hope to meet the challenge. But, on a deeper level, money is only one part of the picture, and while it’s vital for keeping this parish running, it’s not the most important, or the most challenging way we ask you to give of yourselves.