Mtr. Sara has valiantly served as St. Mark's Interim Rector since July 2021.
In the short time she was with St. Mark's, she re-energized and normalized operations and policies at the church, while re-igniting St. Mark's passion for its mission of outreach through the Academy. St. Mark's has had 14 baptisms during her tenure, and school enrollment increased more that 40% in the last year. As well, Mtr. Sara led the church to work together to establish its vision for the future as a place of beautiful traditional worship, fellowship, and being a vital force of love and courage in Cocoa and Central Brevard. Mtr. Sara has helped St. Mark's see its long history as an indication of its power to transform and reinvent itself as an institution with relevance, sustainability, and joy in being a beacon of Christ's love in our changing world.
We thank Mtr. Sara for helping St. Mark's to "let go," embrace its future boldly, and prepare the way for our permanent Rector.
With her efforts coming to a successful conclusion, Mtr. Sara has been called by the Vestry of The Church of the Good Shepherd in Maitland to serve as Rector. It has 50 members, and also hosts a school on its campus.
Mtr. Sara, we will miss you very much, but we are so grateful for the time we have had with you. We look forward to hearing about the love, hope, and joy in living as Christ's hands in the world that you will help bring forth at Good Shepherd. And we expect that in not too many years, another Diocese may need you to become their Bishop. Godspeed!
Linda Cox has graced St. Mark's as the Organist, Choir Director, and Music Director since 2017. Every week, Linda's musicianship has transported our hearts and imaginations into a spiritual realm of prayer and beauty where we can more easily connect our regular daily lives with the divine. Her work is transcendent! She takes the intellectual intentions of written music, transforms them into vibrations of air that tickle our brains through our ears. Then she teaches others to do the same, in concert and complementing harmony, so that the congregation shares the experience. As a result, our spirits and hearts are touched, and our understanding of love, community, and something far greater than ourselves, is both expanded and made more real.
Every week Linda identifies a prelude that sets the tone for the service. She chooses hymns that amplify the lessons and gospel readings, and unite our voices in worship. She teaches the choir inspired anthems. She plays an organ postlude that sends us out into the world with strength and courage and thanks to God! Linda has also supported the Academy and played for them at services and special events.
Through COVID, Linda's service music helped maintain a sense of normalcy for online services. She founded Mark III a flute, cello, piano trio. Hearing this trio and her service music was a great comfort for congregants sitting in their living rooms; it reconnected us through its beauty and reverence. Linda's contribution to the quality of worship at St. Mark's is difficult to measure. Similarly, we cannot overstate the degree to which her musicianship has sustained St. Mark's long-standing culture of appreciating the arts and things that are most fine and worthy in God's creation.
Linda, you have done great work. We will miss you terribly. And your efforts will inspire us to continue to support great musicianship in our worship lives at St. Mark's. God's blessings to you!
Come unto me all ye that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you" Matthew 11:28
Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify they holy Name; through Christ our Lord. -- Book of Common Prayer, Holy Eucharist Rite 1.
Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:29-31
Send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord. -- Book of Common Prayer, prayer after Communion, Holy Eucharist Rite II.