Stock the food pantry for LCS!

Grocery cart

July brings challenges for low-income families with school-aged children, as they may need to provide an additional 10 meals each week during the summer. This year, inflation makes that challenge even greater for food-insecure households.

We at St. Mark’s have a special opportunity to help these families and others who find it tough to put food on the table.

July is “LIFE” Month for us — and that stands for “Lutherans Involved in Food Emergencies.” During this month, we focus on helping to stock the food pantries of Lutheran Community Services, which includes LCS’ headquarters and pantries at St. Stephen’s, Unity, and Hope Lutheran churches.

As in years past, the grocery cart is in the Narthex. You know what to do! Please bring shelf-stable items, diapers and personal hygiene products.

Making a financial donation is also a great way to help. You can write a check directly to Lutheran Community Services or designate your gift to LIFE on your St. Mark’s offering envelope.

Join us as we work together this month to keep the LCS food pantries stocked for those who need them most.

Thank you for your support!

What’s your story?

What's your story?

If you have encountered the transformative love of Jesus, you have a great story to tell and we want to hear it. In fact, we need to hear it!

Jesus’ love gives us hope for the future and hope for each other. All of us are strengthened when we share that good news.

So please join us for “What’s Your Story?” — our Adult Forum summer series, starting at 10 a.m. July 9 in the Great Room, as we share our faith stories and real-life experiences of God’s work in our lives.

Margie Dodson, who has been at St. Mark’s since 2007, leads us off this Sunday.

Here are a few things to know about Margie:

Margie Dodson
Margie Dodson
  • She is the youngest of five girls, has been married to Ollie Dodson for 30 years and is blessed with a “big, blended family” that includes two stepdaughters, five grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
  • Margie has worked as a dental hygienist for more than 40 years and continues to work three days a week.
  • Margie loves music. Her favoriate hymn is “Be Thou My Vision.”

There’s so much more to her story! Join us, bring your questions and see what God has been up to with one of our dear family members.

We have a growing list of folks willing to share their stories and we’d love to add your name. If you’re interested, please contact Margie Dodson or Beth Miller and we’ll be glad to help you do it!

“Worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.” 1 Peter 3:15 (NLT)

Service of Love

Service of Love 10 a.m. Sunday, June 11

St. Mark’s will present a unity Service of Love at 10 a.m. Sunday, June 11, where God’s radical love — shown through philia (brotherly love), eros (romantic love), and agape (unconditional love) — will be featured through scripture and song.

Family and friends are invited and encouraged to come and be a part of this beautiful event.

Following the service, a reception and special exhibits encompassing the three types of love will be on display in the Narthex.

We hope to see you on this joyous day!

Holy Week at St. Mark’s

Journey through Holy Week with us.

We continue our Holy Week journey at St. Mark’s, reflecting together on the life, work and sacrifice of Jesus, celebrating His triumph over death and considering His call to action.

Our schedule includes worship in our sanctuary as well as livestream options on our YouTube channel. To find a specific service, click on the underlined text for a link. Join us in person or online as we worship our Lord!

  • Good Friday, April 7: 7 p.m. Joint evening worship service with Presbyterian Church of the Covenant, hosted by St. Mark’s
  • Holy Saturday, April 8: 9 a.m. to noon. Prayer vigil in St. Mark’s sanctuary
  • Easter Sunday, April 9: 8:45 a.m. Traditional worship service; 11:15 a.m. Contemporary worship service (There are no Christian education programs on this day.)
  • Monday, April 10: St. Mark’s office will be closed on this day.

Thursday Lenten Series: Who are we and what are we doing here?

Pastor Kelley Ketcham leads a discussion during the Lenten Series

Our mid-week Lenten meal and service series continues weekly on Thursdays through March 30. Dinner is served in the Great Room at 5:30 p.m. and includes bread, drinks and dessert. Please bring a crock pot of soup or a bowl of salad to share if possible.

Pastor Ketcham’s message starts at 6:15 p.m.

This series of messages — titled “Who are we and what are we doing here?” — will help us reflect on our future and give us opportunity to reexamine our identity and mission.

What does it mean to be a Lutheran Christian congregation? What does it mean to be St. Mark’s Lutheran Church? How have we lived out our identity and mission in the past, and how can we continue to live this out today and in the future?

Through this five-week Thursday evening series, we are looking at these questions and discerning our congregation’s identity and mission.

Join us in the Great Room on Thursday evenings. You may also listen in on our YouTube channel, where you will find recordings of any session you may have missed.

March 2 and 9: Our Lutheran Christian identity, ministry, and mission

What does it mean to be a Christian church? To be a Lutheran church? We’ll look at five basic Lutheran beliefs to help us discern our mission as Lutheran Christians, how well we follow them, and how they are reflected in our congregation’s life. Watch recording of March 2 on YouTube. Watch recording of March 9 on YouTube.

March 16: The historic identity and mission of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church

How has St. Mark’s Lutheran Church lived out its mission in its over 80-year history? When were our periods of growth and vitality, and what factored into this? How can our past practices inform us as we look to our future? Watch on YouTube.

March 23: The current identity and mission of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church

What is St. Mark’s Lutheran Church identity today, and how do we see our mission in today’s environment? What is Bellefonte and northern New Castle County like today? Why does our surrounding community need us? What has led more recent members to become partners in our ministry? Watch on YouTube.

March 30: The future identity and mission of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church

God has a plan for us, and God is calling us to a bright future spreading God’s Gospel today. How can our Lutheran Christian tradition and our historic identity and mission help us meet today’s need for the Gospel? How can we carry out this mission and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ? Watch on YouTube.

All are welcome and encouraged to join us!

Girl Scout Sunday and Toy Drive

US postage stamp: Girl Scouts

Did you know that St. Mark’s hosts three different Girl Scout troops in our building each week?

Girl Scout Sunday — which we will observe during our 11:15 a.m. contemporary service on Sunday, March 12 — celebrates the powerful ties between Girl Scouting and faith. Girl Scouts are encouraged to connect their faith to the Girl Scout Law and earn the religious recognitions of their faith, because at the heart of Girl Scouting are many of the same values most faiths hold:

  • Supporting girls
  • Making our world a better place
  • Building compassionate leaders

Girl Scouts from our service unit will join us as we honor the Girl Scouts and adult volunteers who give their time and talents in service of others.

All Girl Scouts and past/present volunteers are invited to wear their uniforms or other Girl Scout gear to both worship services on that day as we give thanks for your commitment to making our world a better place!

Stuffed Animal and Toy Drive

Girl Scout Daisy Troop 424 (which Pastor Kelley leads) invites you to join us for a stuffed animal drive to benefit patients at Nemours Children’s Hospital.

We are collecting new Squishmallows for older children, as well as small lightup toys or loveys for babies age 3-12 months.

All donations must be new, in the package as you receive them (tags on, still in the bags/boxes). Please place any donations in the box in the narthex between March 5 and April 9.

Thank you in advance for your support!

One-and-done garage sale

Blue wooden wall with the inscription Garage Sale

It’s time to clean out our attics, cellars and garages! St. Mark’s is cleaning out items from our basement areas, too. Bring your treasures to church for this “One and Done” garage sale, which we’ll host from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 22.

Your donated items may be placed in the basement classroom behind the Great Room, effective immediately.

We also need your help setting up, pricing, cleaning up and working on the day of the sale. Set up will begin April 11 and helpers are welcome during the day or in the evening. Look for the signup sheets on the kiosk in the Narthex.

If you have questions please contact Lori Weniger or Karen Hansell. We hope to see everyone here!

Lent and Easter schedule at St. Mark’s

Lent: A season of renewal

We have begun our observance of the Lenten season,  which culminates in Holy Week and Easter Sunday. Join us as you are able.

  • Every Thursday evening in March, we will host a Lenten Dinner, with soup, salad, bread and dessert in the Great Room. This is followed by a 6:15 p.m. program, led by Pastor Kelley Ketcham.
  • Palm Sunday, April 2: 8:45 a.m. Traditional worship service; 10 a.m. Christian education; 11:15 a.m. Contemporary worship service
  • Maundy Thursday, April 6: 7 p.m. Joint evening worship service at Presbyterian Church of the Covenant
  • Good Friday, April 7: 7 p.m. Joint evening worship service with Presbyterian Church of the Covenant, hosted by St. Mark’s
  • Holy Saturday, April 8: 9 a.m. Prayer vigil in St. Mark’s sanctuary
  • Easter Sunday, April 9: 8:45 a.m. Traditional worship service; 11:15 a.m. Contemporary worship service

Winter Forum: Jesus’ Radical Welcome

Stylized handshake

“Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” (Romans 15:7)

Have you experienced the welcome of Jesus? Do you remember what it meant to you when you realized that He loved you immeasurably?

Learning more about Jesus’ welcome and how to share that with others is the focus of St. Mark’s 2023 Winter Forum, which we’re calling “Come Unto Me”: Jesus’ Radical Welcome.

The series is held at 10 a.m. in the Great Room.

In our first session, we heard from Ashlei Buhrow of Reconciling Works, who shared a comprehensive approach to that ministry’s work toward full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ people and racial equity. Last week, Michael Farthing of St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church in Wilmington shared his story and the value of becoming a “Reconciling in Christ” congregation.

  • On Sunday, January 22, we will explore the practical and comprehensive approach to “Radical Welcome” as presented in Stephanie Spellers’ book of the same title. This will be an open discussion, facilitated by Beth Miller and Cliff Smith. Handouts will be provided.
    • On Sunday, January 29, St. Mark’s will hold its annual meeting (details below). The Winter Forum will not meet this week.
  • On Sunday, February 5, Dr. Natalia Marandiuc, will join us to discuss the theological and scriptural basis for “radical welcome.” Dr. Marandiuc is associate professor of systematic theology at Union Lutheran Seminary.
  • On Sunday, February 12, In the final session of Winter Forum 2023, Cliff Smith will guide us in a discussion of “radical welcome” and the implications for St. Mark’s. (Please note the change of date. This was previously scheduled for February 19, but has been moved up to February 12.)

Join us!