Our Mission

The St. Mark’s Day School promotes educational integrity, moral strength, personal responsibility and cultural awareness. The school is driven by the pursuit of academic excellence within a religious community creating a foundation for lifetime learning.

WELCOME

ABOUT US

Welcome

At St. Mark’s we are committed to the growth and development of the whole child. This begins with the belief that God’s children are beings in the image and likeness of God, they are not only test takers, the future workforce or little troublemakers. They are beings with minds that need nurturing, hearts that need affection and wills that need strengthening in truth. Our curriculum design is intended to strengthen every God given faculty so that they may grow up to, see the beauty in God’s creation, understand the natural laws of creation, and be empowered to be good stewards of creation. Hence, there is an equal place for the Humanities, Arts, and Sciences.

We urge our teachers to remember that our children are not only cerebral and therefore their hearts must be stirred to find joy in learning and the fellowship of the entire school. In class they are to be reminded of their God given potential and in chapel they are drawn to the awareness of God’s love and concern for their welfare. As stewards of God’s children it is also our responsibility to train them in making healthy decisions. Life generally presents itself as a series of choices and our children must learn to choose that which is good for their welfare and pleasing in the sight of God. At St. Mark’s we would like every child to become well rounded individuals that are able to live in full and not just survive but thrive. Our concern is for the whole child.

The School's History

In the Fall of 1972, the Vestry of the Church of St. Mark, under the leadership of their new rector, Father Heron Aloysius Sam, acknowledged in principle, the need for a comprehensive approach to the question of education, and the importance of education at all levels, as a very necessary component of the missionary and liberating thrust of the Gospel in particular, and religion in general.

Four years of planning, praying and advice-seeking were to elapse before the Vestry, in 1976, at their annual retreat, adopted a resolution which set the wheels in motion for an irrevocable progression of events leading ultimately to the establishment of St. Mark’s Day School in September, 1977.

The Vestry, as an expression of its earnest intentions and the high priority it had placed on this project, voted to spend what turned out to be $240,000 to provide a suitable home for the school at 1435/37 Union Street. St. Mark’s Day School opened its doors at 8:30 a.m. on Monday September 12, 1977, to an enrollment of 90 children, aged 3 to 9 years.

By the summer of 1978, the enrollment increased rapidly to within 500, and it became readily apparent that the needs of parents were being addressed by the Church in this Crown Heights Community

And so, with reckless daring, divine conviction, and an empty bank account, the Church of St. Mark with the help of the people in the community, acquired the Hospital Of St. Giles, a defunct orthopedic facility, at 1346 President Street for $250,000 to become the permanent home of its school, with 1435/37 Union Street becoming the annex.

The decision was made to create an exceptionally organized, well staffed and fully equipped school to serve the community, enrolling children from the Nursery through the twelfth grade, by adding a grade annually together with the necessary equipment and facilities to ensure accreditation.

Mission

The St. Mark’s Day School promotes educational integrity, moral strength, personal responsibility and cultural awareness. The school is driven by the pursuit of academic excellence within a religious community creating a foundation for lifetime learning.

THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH

WHAT IS THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH?

The Episcopal Church is part of the Church founded by Jesus Christ when He commissioned His disciples to go into the entire world with the Gospel. The Episcopal Church today is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion with over 78 million baptized members, whose mother is the Church of England.

Episcopal is from a Greek word meaning bishops, after those who have governed our church in an unbroken succession from the Apostles. The Anglican Communion is the largest Christian body in the English-speaking countries of the world. Yet it is today a multilingual, multi-national, multiracial church that is second only to the Roman Catholic Church in worldwide geographic span. In this welcomed diversity there are common essential characteristics as follows

THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH IS A BIBLE CHURCH

We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be “the Word of God, and to contain all things necessary to salvation.” The Bible is the source of our belief and moral standards. As God’s word to us, the Bible is the lens through which we view and evaluate all other claims to truth. At most Sunday services, three Bible readings are proclaimed; the congregation recites a fourth, a Psalm. The sermon is based on one or more of these four Bible passages, and our Lectionary insures that we read most of the Old Testament and virtually the entire New Testament on Sundays over a three-year period.

THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH IS A CATHOLIC CHURCH

Catholic means that which has been consistently believed and practiced from the New Testament times. Our worship and life draw from the rich treasure of almost 2,000 years of Christian experience. We have kept the essentials of the historic Catholic tradition, including orders of ministry within the apostolic succession, the sacraments, the historic creeds, and the essential liturgy inherited directly from the early church and purged of unscriptural corruption. The Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the ancient, ecumenical statements of the undivided Church based on Biblical truth, are our statements of faith today. We have neither added to nor subtracted from them, and no one is required to assent to any other creed or confessional statement. The rich inheritance of the liturgical year (Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost), centuries of sacred music, and solemn and festive ceremony are welcomed and encouraged in our church.

THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH IS A REFORMED CHURCH

Much of our distinctiveness was formed in the Protestant Reformation in England in the 16th century. At that time, we redefined our doctrine to make sure it was in strict accord with Scripture. The word Protestant means “to witness for.” The Protestant faith is to witness “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself.” Protestantism is Christcentered, just as the apostolic faith is Christ centered. Corporate worship, clarity that we are saved by God’s grace and not by our works, the laity’s strong voice and vote in the church life, an emphasis on individual conscience and on Jesus Christ as “our only Mediator and Advocate,” and using scripture to judge and inform all come from our reformed Protestant heritage.

THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH IS A REVERENT CHURCH

Worship in the Episcopal Church tends to be reverent and dignified. The Book of Common Prayer is the norm for our services, and enables us to worship together and not just passively participate in the minister’s worship. The structure of our Holy Eucharist service today is the same as that of earliest existing descriptions of Christian worship. The vestments worn by our clergy and lay ministers date back to antiquity. These are the historical “uniforms” of Christ’s ministers. Our uniformity of worship, while allowing for variations, reminds us of the universal nature of the church. In our worship, we are united with past, present, and future generations of Christians. Our worship is carried out for the glorification of God, not for our entertainment; thus Episcopalians are not spectators but active participants in worship. Not only do we express ourselves in words but also in gesture. Generally, we kneel to pray, we stand to praise, and we sit to be instructed. All devotional gestures are entirely optional and purely personal. They are forms of prayer, just as words are. To Episcopalians, worship is the most important thing we do, and ultimately, this reality should characterize all that we do in every day life. Adapted from the Anglican Digest

THE BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER

Many people think the Episcopalians hold the Book of Common Prayer in as great esteem as the Holy Bible. This is not so. However, this book is very important to Episcopalians as it serves not only as our worship guide but also as a summary of that which we believe. It holds the forms of Worship, our Creeds, our Articles of Religion, Prayers for almost any occasion, the Psalter, and other historical documents. It began in 1549 when Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury translated from Latin form into English. Since then, it has undergone timely revisions to adapt it to the present needs of the Church. The current Prayer Book was approved in 1979.

The Book of Common Prayer is divided into sections according to daily usage. Those services that would be used more frequently come first such as Daily Morning and Evening Prayer as well as individual Daily Prayers. The path to Holy Communion is through Holy Baptism. Therefore, those services that lead to Baptism at Easter are next. Here you will find the services for Lent such as Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil. The forms follow these for Holy Communion. Then those used less frequently are called Pastoral Offices. These include Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Unction, Reconciliation, and Burial. Following these we find the Episcopal offices that are the forms for Ordination.

The next section is the Psalter. Following these are the Prayers for Various Occasions then the Office of Instruction or Catechism. (This is a good place to look for answers as to the beliefs of the Episcopal Church). Next are the Historical Documents followed by the Lectionary.

THE LECTIONARY

Back to the question, “Do we worship the Prayer Book?” The answer is “NO!” We worship Jesus Christ and we look to the Holy Bible “as containing all things necessary to salvation and as being the rule and ultimate standard of the faith.” (Page 877, Book of Common Prayer) We include in the Prayer Book a method for reading Holy Scripture regularly and in a coordinated manner. This is called the Lectionary. It contains two schemes for using the Bible. The first ofthese is for use in the Sunday Worship and on Holy Days. It is found beginning on page 888 of the Book of Common Prayer. In this format, we use a three-year cycle. The years are called A, B, or C. These are determined by dividing the year in which Advent begins by three. For Daily Prayer there is another method for reading the Bible in a regular and coordinated manner. This format starts on Page 934. In this method, the years are divided into Year One and Year Two. To determine the year, go to the first Sunday in Advent. If the year to follow is odd, the year is Year One; if it is even, it is Year Two.