Join us Sunday, November 27, as we start the Advent season with a new study called “Hallelujah! The Bible and Handel’s Messiah,” led by Margie Dodson.
We’ll meet at 10 a.m. in the Great Room for this four-week study.
“Messiah” is a wonderful way into the Bible. We will listen to the voice of God through the prophet Isaiah and the genius of George Frideric Handel’s most-beloved oratorio as we study, discuss and celebrate the birth of Jesus.
These are the portions in focus throughout Advent:
Sunday, Nov. 27: “Comfort, comfort my people.”
Sunday, Dec. 4: “Who may abide the day of his coming?”
It’s that time of year again — Bazaar time! That means it’s time to buy unique artisan-crafted gifts and time to bring home tasty items from the baked-goods and soup sale. It’s also time to see the newest addition to our Bazaar — a full-room train display brought to us by the Rev. Robbie Ketcham! The theme of this year’s Bazaar is “Love Endures for All Time.” Here’s the plan: On Friday, December 2, we’ll host our delicious and popular Lasagna Dinner, starting at 6 p.m. Stick around after dinner and shop in the Bazaar. Tickets are $20 and will be available after Sunday services throughout November. On Saturday, December 3, the full Bazaar setup will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Make plans now to join us — and let your family, friends and other guests know they’re welcome!
That means it’s time to buy unique artisan-crafted gifts and time to bring home tasty items from the baked-goods and soup sale. It’s also time to see the newest addition to our Bazaar — a full-room train display brought to us by the Rev. Robbie Ketcham!
The theme of this year’s Bazaar is “Love Endures for All Time.”
Here’s the plan:
On Friday, December 2, we’ll host our delicious and popular Lasagna Dinner, starting at 6 p.m. Stick around after dinner and shop in the Bazaar. Tickets are $20 and will be available after Sunday services throughout November.
On Saturday, December 3, the full Bazaar setup will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Make plans now to join us — and let your family, friends and other guests know they’re welcome!
We have a great family day planned for Sunday, September 18 — Rally Day! It’s the day we kick off a new year of worship, study, service and life together!
We’ll start with worship — a Unity Service — starting at 10 a.m.
Then we’ll move outside to enjoy the company of our St. Mark’s family and friends and share a picnic lunch.
Among the special events is an outdoor concert, featuring our own Arden Shindel and friends. Arden is the daughter of Rob and Rebecca Shindel and is a student at Cab Calloway School of the Arts. She has been delighting audiences in the region with recent performances in “James and the Giant Peach” and “Into The Woods.”
Also planned are games for the kids, a candy buffet and other fun stuff.
Bring a dessert, a comfy lawn chair and your sense of humor!
It’s almost time for the 2022 Lutheran Community Services (LCS) Walk/Run — one of the biggest fundraisers of the year for LCS, which provides emergency and essential assistance to thousands of people in our community. St. Mark’s has been a strong supporter of this event for many years, so lace up those sneakers, get your cheering squad ready and pull out your checkbook or credit card to help us provide resources for this outstanding service agency.
This year’s Walk/Run will be held Saturday, Sept. 17 at a new site — Concordia Lutheran Church, 3003 Silverside Road, Wilmington, DE 19810. Registration starts at 9 a.m. and the Walk/Run starts at 10. Read more for details on how to support this event!
The day includes raffles, door prizes and a friendly, non-competitive walk for adults and kids alike. Those who fundraise for the event engage with their friends, family and other personal contacts to support LCS and its mission to help provide essential needs. The funds raised and food collected from this event go directly to LCS’ food pantries.
Pastor Fred Melton (former pastor of St. Mark’s) has been a longtime supporter of this event and returns this year with a dedicated team. St. Mark’s also has a new team — “Pastor Kelley’s Krew” — named for our new pastor, Kelley Ketcham.
To donate to a specific team or participant, you can give a check (made out to LCS) directly to the participant or donate to a specific team or participant at this website: https://secure.qgiv.com/event/20walkru/
A recent addition to the Walk/Run is a Family Fun Fair, immediately following the event. We love to interact with old and new friends with games, rides, music and food.
The Walk/Run & Fun Day is traditionally held on the third Saturday of September, rain or shine, and is hosted by one of our church partners.
Please join us Sunday afternoon, August 21, for a very special event in the life of St. Mark’s as we gather for the rite of installation of our new pastor, the Rev. Kelley Ketcham. The service, which begins at 3 p.m. in the sanctuary, is the culmination of three years of prayerful work and a day of great celebration for all.
Special guests include the Rev. Robin Simpson Litton, assistant to the bishop for leadership, who will preside over the service, and Bishop William Gohl Jr., leader of the Delaware-Maryland Synod, who will bring the sermon.
The St. Mark’s choir and “Souls on Fire” band will participate, along with guest musicians Maria Rusu (violin) and Genevieve Hahn (flute), led by John Lasher, director of music and worship arts.
Pastor Kelley wrote a wonderful description of the significance of this gathering for our newsletter, The Lion. We include that here for your benefit:
“During the rite of installation, I will make promises: To commit myself to this responsibility; to preach and teach in accordance with the confessions of the church and the constitution of the ELCA; to be diligent in my study of scriptures and the use of the means of grace; to love, serve and pray for you; to nourish you with the word and sacraments; to lead you by my own example; and give faithful witness to the world.
“This is a pretty daunting task and it is one that I’m sure I will fail more often than I uphold. And so my response to each of these questions will be: ‘I will, and I ask God to help me’ because it will only be with God’s help that I can faithfully carry out these promises.
“But I am not the only one that will make promises in this service. You, the people of St. Mark’s, will also be asked to receive me into this community, to pray for me and my family, to help and honor me for my work’s sake, and in all things strive to live together with me in the peace and unity of Christ.
“I know that there also will be days when this is easier said than done for you. And so, your response will also be: ‘We will, and we ask God to help us’ because it will only be with God’s help that you will be able to faithfully carry out these promises.
“It is also important to remember that my installation as your pastor is not the end of the journey; it is the beginning of the next part. The past will not miraculously disappear now that you have called me to be your pastor, nor do I bring with myself a magic wand to wipe away all the struggles ahead of us. But what will happen is that we will work together as pastor and people to better share the Gospel with our community and our world.
“As we go forth in this journey as pastor and people together, may we remember the promises we will make to one another, and that it is only through God’s guidance, love and mercy that we will be able to uphold them.”
St. Mark’s is thrilled to introduce the Rev. Kelley Ketcham, who will soon join us as our new pastor. After unanimous agreement by the St. Mark’s Council and Call Committee, the congregation voted to call Rev. Ketcham to St. Mark’s and she has accepted this call. She will join us in June.
”Reverend Kelley will not only be a fabulous pastor, she is a fabulous person!” said Francine Passerini, who chaired St. Mark’s Call Committee.
Rev. Ketcham was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. She earned a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. After working in the retail industry for a few years, she attended the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, graduating in 2009 with a Master of Divinity degree.
Her first pastoral call was to a church in Pine Grove Mills, Pennsylvania, where she served for four years before moving to Ohio in 2013 in advance of her marriage to Robbie, who is also a pastor. She and Robbie welcomed their daughter, Abby, in 2015.
During this period, she served as an interim pastor in Continental, Ohio, then was called to the pastorate of Augsburg Lutheran Church in Toledo, Ohio, in 2015.
When she is not serving the church, she enjoys performing with community theater groups, leading her daughter’s Girl Scout troop and watching the latest Marvel and Star Wars content on Disney+.
We are grateful to God for his guidance and provision and ask for your prayers as Rev. Ketcham and her family make this significant transition.
St. Mark’s is also grateful for the work of the Call Committee — including Chair Francine Passerini, Amy Lane, Vicki McDowell, Elise Mitchell, Michael Patterson, Cheryl Powell, Jerry Schrack and Wayne Smiley. We are also grateful to the Rev. Robin Litton, assistant to the bishop of the Delaware-Maryland Synod, who helped to guide us through the process, and to the wonderful interim pastors — the Rev. David Mueller and the Rev. Dr. Barbara Melosh — who served our congregation during this three-year transition.
As we anticipate this wonderful new chapter in St. Mark’s history, Council President Kitty Dombroski has some observations and suggestions:
“Approximately three years ago St. Mark’s was left without a pastor. It was a difficult time for our congregation. Between then and now we have learned a lot. We were blessed to have an interim pastor who understood our situation and the pain we were going through.
“We now have a new pastor and are about to embark on a new chapter in our journey. I don’t have to tell you this is an exciting time with lots of possibilities. We are not the same congregation we were three years ago. The world has changed and we have changed. Together with Rev. Kelley we will move forward in ministry.
“I just finished watching a movie called “tick, tick … BOOM!” There’s a song stuck in my head again — “Louder than Words.” It reminds me of all the possibilities ahead of us. ‘Cages or wings — which do you prefer?’
“Let’s not get stuck in the old ways of doing things. Yes, traditions are important. So are possibilities and potential.
“Let’s lean into this next chapter, welcoming and supporting Pastor Kelley and each other. There are so many possibilities for Jesus’ ministry at St Mark’s.”
Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine on Feb. 24, millions of people have fled the country and are seeking refuge in neighboring countries including Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. There are major humanitarian concerns for both internally displaced people and refugees. Many of these Ukrainians fleeing their homes need shelter and such basic necessities as food, water and toiletries. Care for people also includes pastoral and psychological support to address the trauma they’ve endured.
Lutheran Disaster Response is accompanying our companions in Ukraine, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, as well as such ecumenical partners as Lutheran World Federation and Church World Service, in their humanitarian responses to the crisis. These partners provide refugees with immediate support and supplies such as food, blankets, water and hygiene kits. Your gifts will support people impacted by this crisis. Gifts designated to “Eastern Europe Crisis Response” will be used in full (100%) for direct response to assist those affected.
There are many ways to give:
You may write a check to St. Mark’s — including “Eastern Europe Crisis Response” in the memo line — and place it into the yellow pew envelopes
You may send checks or money orders by mail to Lutheran Disaster Response, P.O. Box 1809, Merrifield VA 22116-8009
Give by phone, by calling (800) 638-3522 (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST)
Give online at https://community.elca.org/eastern-europe-crisis-response
Be sure to write “Eastern Europe Crisis Response” in the memo line of your check.
Together, we pray for our siblings in Ukraine and Eastern Europe. May God be with them in their time of need.
A prayer for peace:
Merciful God, we pray for peace as war rages in Ukraine. Shelter all living in fear; protect those seeking refuge in neighboring countries; sustain families separated by the horrors of war; tend to those who are injured; comfort all who mourn their dead. Direct your people into the way of peace. In your mercy, receive our prayer.
We are invited to join with faith partners and musicians from around the community at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 27 to offer prayers and supplication for an end to the war in Ukraine. The vigil will be held at Presbyterian Church of the Covenant, our neighbor at 503 Duncan Road.
The Rev. Kate Morgan, interim pastor at PCOC, will be joined by The Very Rev. Volodymyr Klanichka, rector at St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church on Lea Blvd, to officiate the service.