I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink.
We are called to care for our neighbors in need due to our faith in Jesus Christ. We also seek to follow the example of our patron saint, Queen Emma - she was a tireless advocate for those in need. St. Mark's supports a variety of projects, some of which are listed below, and any member of St. Mark's may participate in these outreach ministries. Projects are funded via three sources - the parish budget, donations from parishioners, and grants from the Ifuku Foundation of the Rainbow Drive-In.
CARING FOR THE HOUSELESS & HUNGRY
Every week St. Mark's collects non-perishable food and hygeine products for the houseless and the hungry. We have partnered with Family Promise and Church of the Crossroads to provide evening meals for the houseless as well.
YOUTH AT RISK
We regularly donate food and other needed items to Hale Kipa's program for houseless youth in Waikiki, a growing and persistent challenge for our neighborhood, and especially Waikiki.
ST. FRANCIS ANIMAL BLESSING
Every October we have a pet blessing for our community, and we collect linens for local animal shelters. It is a popular event for our neighborhood, filling the church with mostly non-members.
St. Mark's has an active Preschool and Daycare program that runs Monday through Friday from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. In order to nurture early literacy, parishioners have the opportunity to read children's story books to the preschoolers, as long as they are willing to complete the diocesan Safeguarding Our Children class. Story books are provided by the church, and donors are always needed to cover the costs of purchasing books.
Every April St. Mark's participates in the Honolulu AIDS Walk. See our volunteers by clicking here. We also observe World AIDS Day on the first weekend of December. St. Mark's was one of the first churches in Honolulu to reach out to those affected by HIV and AIDS.
St. Mark's was one of the first churches of the Episcopal Diocese, as well as Honolulu, to welcome LGBT persons. We are proud of our long history of inclusion. Recently our Vestry unanimously affirmed marriage equality legislation for the State of Hawai'i, and the Episcopal Diocese allows St. Mark's and other Episcopal churches to marry and bless loving, committed gay couples.
PEACE IN THE HOLY LAND: THE EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF JERUSALEM
We provide financial support to the Palestinian Episcopalians of the Holy Land and their various outreach projects helping all the children of Abraham. St. Mark's also sponsored a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in order to experience first hand the challenges of the Middle East conflict, as well as witness the Episcopal Church's peacemaking witness.
EPISCOPAL RELIEF & DEVELOPMENT
We have regular offerings for the work of our church's official outreach agency. Money has been collected for typhoon relief in the Philippines, tsunami relief in Japan, and earthquake relief in Haiti and New Zealand.
The Aloha Ministry of St. Mark's cares for senior citizens and their families in our parish and the greater community. Part of the interfaith initiative of Project Dana, parishioners volunteer to help seniors with various projects such as grocery shopping, transportation to doctor's appointments, or just lending an understanding ear.
KUPUNA O ST. MARK'S
Kupuna o St. Mark's is a lively seniors fellowship which gathers for a program and food. It is a time in which members gather to talk story, have fun, and give each other support. Past gatherings have included outings to the Waikiki Aquarium, the Honolulu Academy of the Arts, the Historic Mission Houses, and the Manoa Heritage Center. We also invite speakers to come and share their area of expertise with the group. Past talks have included lectures on Islam, Medicare fraud, Marian Artwork, and the Holy Land. All seniors and their friends are welcome to attend.
PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY
A number of our parishioners are talented knitters, and they have begun to knit prayer shawls for those who are in need of healing for extended periods of time. The shawls are blessed at our masses, and then delivered to those in need by other parishioners.
During Advent we purchase gifts for the children of local families, and we also coordinate a Christmas basket drive for low income seniors. Every Epiphany we collect slippers, socks and underwear for homeless youth.
St. Mark's collects magazines for local inmates on a regular basis. The magazines help with adult literacy in our local prisons.