New doors are opening – literally – for the St. Mark’s family in its partnership with Family Promise of Northern New Castle County, which recently announced its new Hospitality Center for families in need of temporary housing. And our first week of service is special indeed – Christmas Week! We will serve from December 23-30.
“What an opportunity for us to be Jesus’ hands and feet, opening our hearts and giving of our time and ourselves by providing meals, hospitality and support to those who need it most,” said Barb Gilbert, who with Pam Waters is coordinating the St. Mark’s team.
St. Mark’s lost a beloved member and servant in 2018 — Liz Lauber, who served our congregation with her music and gifts for more than 50 years.
Many of us — including many children — were taught and encouraged by Liz. On Sunday, Nov. 4, many youth from our Sunday School classes had a hand in planting a new tree in her honor and memory.
Barb Gilbert led a brief ceremony between the morning worship services, including Scripture, prayer and a series of readings by children and adults who had written expressions of gratitude for Liz.
“Thank you for letting me sing a solo,” one young girl read. “It was lots of fun. Thank you for having me sing ‘Away in the Manger,’ even when I was scared. We miss you so so so so so much.”
An adult friend said: “We love and miss your energetic spirit and hope music fills all of your days now. You are missed and can never be replaced.”
Another adult said “Our hearts are full of so many cherished memories. Your spirit will always be with us at St. Mark’s.”
After the ceremony, Tim Gilbert, Faith Patterson and Tim Bishop helped the youth plant the small evergreen that now stands just outside our building’s main entrance.
Along with the tree, they also planted a small time capsule, filled with written tributes, and placed two cross-shaped pavers created and decorated by St. Mark’s children earlier this year.
“We ask for your blessing upon this tree and upon us. May it serve as a sign of hope and a reminder of Mrs. Lauber and her dedication to You, the children and to the music program at St. Mark’s. As we watch it grow in the years ahead, may it inspire us to grow in Your service as we remember our dear servant, Mrs. Lauber. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.” — Barb Gilbert
What began as a mission to nurture the faith of one church has developed into something more meaningful for the greater community. The Covenant Bible Study – a community-driven exploration of the Bible – started Sept. 9. Eight groups now are meeting in six locations across New Castle County, reading the Scriptures and connecting with God and each other through discussion and prayerful study.
About 130 people are participating, including 19 group leaders and nine clergy from six congregations. Leaders facilitate group discussions and all contribute to the group’s growing understanding of the biblical concept of the covenant God established with his people.