The Acolyte Ministry is an important part of the worship service at St. Mark’s.  It allows a variety of generations to participate in worship.  We always are looking for new acolytes of any age, 8 to 80, to join our ministry. If you would like to join as an acolyte or get more information about the ministry, please contact Jeanette Dowrey Smith at acolytes@stmarksop.org or 716-341-5492.

Altar Guild

Altar Guild

Amazing                  Gentle
Likeable                   Useful
Talented                   Important
Accomodating        Levelheaded
Radiant                    Delightful

Come join us - New Members are always welcome!  Contact Misty Burney or Jane Pigut if interested in joining.

Building and Grounds

The Committee is composed of Brian Harrison (Chairman), Lance Crawford, Alan Dewart, Tom Morrow, Bill Nitteraur, Deacon Lee Rose, and Ron Straitiff.

It serves two basic functions.
1.  The Committee is responsible for the physical plant including the Church and Rectory. It reviews requests for maintenance, repair or for new projects. If a project is necessary, members obtain bids and monitor the work. The Committee also conducts its own inspections and discusses maintenance projects which are necessary.
2.  Lance Crawford, Ron Straitiff and Bill Nitterauer meet at the Church on Tuesday mornings to repair any items reported to them and to provide maintenance and upkeep of the physical plant. They paint, repair walls,  perform heavy cleaning, assist the Sexton , install and remove air conditioners, screens and many other jobs necessary to maintain the building in good condition.
For larger projects (spring clean up, large painting projects, etc.) the Committee will ask for volunteers from the congregation.

The work of the members saves thousands of dollars for the church in that outside contractors are not necessary for many maintenance and repair items. We are presently working on refurbishing the Rectory which includes contracting for cleaning, painting and floor refinishing. Kitchen remodeling has been approved by the Committee but funding is not presently available. We are also exploring the renovation of the Ladies bathroom in the basement off of the kitchen into a unisex handicapped rest room so there will be handicap access on both floors.

Endowment Committee

At the annual meeting of the parish in May of 1989, St. Mark’s established the Endowment Fund to “Enhance the mission of St. Mark’s for outreach projects and the operation of the parish”.  Since that time, the Endowment Fund has grown considerably as a result of generous gifts from members of our Parish.  As of the end of September, 2016, the Fund had grown to over $513,000.00.  St. Mark’s currently receives 5% of the three year rolling average of the value of the Fund as of November 30th each year.  This past year the church received $25,674.00 out of income and appreciated value from the Endowment Fund for outreach and general operations purposes.

The Endowment Fund is managed by the Endowment Committee consisting of five members nominated by the rector and wardens and elected by the Vestry.  The members of the Committee serve for three years and may serve for an additional three year term.  The current members are Jane Jewell, Bruce Keiser, Tom Morrow, Fred Turner and Mike Welker.  Also serving on the Committee as advisory members only are the rector and the church treasurer, Peggy Stoddard.  Currently the Committee’s financial advisor is Charles F. Kreiner, Jr. of UBS Financial Services Inc.  Since his involvement as Financial Advisor in January, 2000, the Endowment Fund has had a total return of 168.21 % net of fees vs. a return of 114.66% for the S&P 500.

The Endowment Fund is separate and apart from the day to day operating funds of the church, which are provided by member’s annual pledges and regular offerings.  There are many ways to support the Endowment Fund.  Gifts through bequests in wills, changing beneficiaries of insurance policies that have outlived their original purposes, cash or stock are ways that members can support St. Mark’s and future generations of the church through the Endowment Fund.  No amount is too small.  Remember that many small gifts accumulate to significant dollars.

Bequests should be made to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church Endowment Fund, Orchard Park, N.Y.

If anyone has any questions about the Endowment Fund, you should contact any member of the Endowment Committee.

Eucharistic Ministers

Eucharistic Visitors

The ministry of Eucharistic Visitor is a ministry that works in cooperation with the ordained clergy to ensure that ill or home bound members of St. Mark’s receive the sacrament of Holy Eucharist on a regular basis. Eucharistic Visitors provide a crucial link between our homebound parishioners and our community of faith. Due to the importance of this ministry, Eucharistic Visitors must be dedicated to the fulfilling their duties month in and month out. The ministry of Eucharistic Visitor is licensed by the Diocese of Western New York after being trained and approved by the Rector and Vestry of St. Mark’s.

During the month of June, Eucharistic Visitors, Marcy Arthur, Bruce Brown, Pat Burgess, Diane Durant, Marilyn Culkowski, Roberta Grundtisch, Sue O’Brien, Grace Brown and Jane Pigut, encourage the congregation to remember those who are home bound and unable to worship with us, by remembering them in your prayers, sending a card or visiting.

Flower Guild

The Flower Guild was formed in the Fall of 2015 to take over the ordering, arranging and watering of the Christmas and Easter flowers previously taken care of by the Altar Guild. The Flower Guild has four members so far, Pat Burgess, Barbara Hanitz, Sue McGarry and Marilyn Culkowski and we are looking for more help. If you have any interest and talent in floral decorating please let one of us know. We would like to thank Northridge Nursery and Linda Brown for donating the lovely Christmas poinsettias and supplying the beautiful Easter flowers.



Newcomer and Greeter

Parish Life

This dedicated and ambitious group of men and women cheerfully and selfishly give of their time and talents to build a sense of community and fellowship at St. Marks. 

For five years, on the third Sunday of each month, September through May, Parish Life hosts a coffee hour for the 8 a.m. service and a lunch for the church community following the 10 o’clock service.  Appropriately named Souper Sunday, a freshly-made, nutritious lunch of soup or salad is served to approximately 60 to 90 of our parishioners. Perhaps you have walked into church and have smelled something delicious coming from the undercroft. That’s the Parish Life Team inviting you to the table.

Each Sunday, Parish Life sponsors those who generously volunteer to host the post-service coffee hour. Many of these folks also provide delicious home-baked goodies to enjoy with a cup of coffee, tea, or juice.

How about Lemonade-on-the-Lawn, strawberry shortcake for Father’s Day, pancake lunch or soup Jou-Mou at the Haiti Fair?  These are the efforts of the Parish Life Team building the sense of community and fellowship, a sense of family, sharing and caring.

Good food, fellowship and fun- caring for our St. Mark’s family.  Thank you to those who serve in this ministry and welcome to anyone who would like to join us.

Prayer Shawl Ministry



What do our Ushers do? They greet us and hand out bulletins; they count the numbers to make sure the priest blesses enough wine and wafers for the eucharist; they take the collection and present it at the altar; they organize the traffic flow as the congregation goes up to the altar for communion. On special holidays such as Christmas and Easter, they make sure everyone finds a place to sit sometimes using folding chairs. They are there to solve any problems which may arise.

A big thank you to our wonderful Ushers; Michael Hanitz, Barbara Hanitz, Ron Straitiff, Jeff Slawson, Gary Arthur, Tom Morrow, Michael Welker, Jerry Berwalt, Michael Lopian, Bruce Brown, Fred Tornow.

If you would like to be an Usher please call The Head Usher, Mike Hanitz 667-3409