Community VBS planning meeting

Vacation Bible School lion logo

It’s time to ROAR about our love for God and plan for another exciting summer Community Vacation Bible School.

An organizational meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 1 at Presbyterian Church of the Covenant at 503 Duncan Road, right across the street from St. Mark’s.

We need many volunteers to help share God’s love with children of our community. Please plan to attend and learn more about ROAR!

Retirement celebration!

Gail Rodger, director of faith formation

Join us between services on Sunday, April 28 to celebrate the ministry of Gail Rodger, who will retire as director of faith formation effective April 30.

We’ll have light refreshments in the Great Room (downstairs) starting at 10 a.m. and all are welcome to enjoy this time of thanksgiving and well-wishing.

And just to be clear — Gail is retiring from the staff, not the church! She’ll still be part of our St. Mark’s family.

Hope to see you there!

Pancakes with Zero Gravity!

Siblings serving at a pancake breakfast

As if Easter morning wasn’t special enough! Join us this Easter for an extra special breakfast — hot, fresh pancakes served up by the St. Mark’s Youth Group known as Zero Gravity.

We’ll gather between services in the Great Room (downstairs), starting at 9:45 a.m., and enjoy a great breakfast and the company of our wonderful kids!

A freewill offering will be collected, with all proceeds going to support Zero Gravity’s planned trip to Mar-Lu-Ridge Camp. Any extra proceeds will be squirreled away to help send youth delegates to the 2020 ELCA Youth Conference in Minnesota.

Come celebrate Easter, get to know our kids and have a great breakfast! Hope to see you there!

Vibrant Faith Goals

Jim LaDoux

Join us for a conversation with Jim LaDoux, executive staff with Vibrant Faith.

You may recognize Jim’s name, as he has been working with the Compass Team as a consultant on the strategic plan that team is working to develop. He is visiting St. Mark’s this weekend as part of a leadership retreat focusing on the work and communication that plan requires.

Today in our Adult Forum, Jim will talk about Vibrant Faith goals, including:

* Identifying your strengths and bright spots. Find ways to build on your strengths and use them to transform people’s lives and your community.
* Gain clarity about who you are, what you do best and where God is leading you.
* Create a plan. Develop a road map for moving forward that builds on your strengths and focuses your assets, actions and energies on the things that matter most in life and faith.
* Develop adaptive skills and strategies. Learn new strategies and approaches to address adaptive challenges facing the congregation.

Habitat for Humanity’s Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith of Habitat for Humanity

We are delighted to host Kevin Smith, chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County, in our Adult Forum this week.

As you know, the U.S. housing market had an unprecedented number of foreclosures in 2008. Though the housing market has recovered, a new housing crisis looms across the country, in Delaware and in our community.

Habitat for Humanity brings a powerful remedy as volunteers and community partners join forces to develop and upgrade housing opportunities. New Castle County has many examples of Habitat’s life-changing impact.

Join us as we hear how Habitat is addressing the lack of affordable housing and helping to revitalize neighborhoods by putting God’s love into action.

Lutheran Volunteer Corps BOWLATHON

Bowling ball in the middle of the bowling alley

So you say you can bowl? We’ve got just the thing for you. And even if you can’t really knock ’em over, you can be a bowling powerhouse by supporting the Lutheran Volunteer Corps’ annual Bowlathon.

Planning is already underway, with five-person teams forming for youth, adults and combination teams. Individuals also are welcome to register. LVC will connect you with a team if you need one.

If you register by Wednesday, March 20, fees are: $10 for individuals, plus at least $30 in pledges; $50 for five-member teams, plus at least $150 in pledges. After that fees go to $15 for an individual, $70 for a team.

Bill Fuson is the coordinator for St. Mark’s participation. See him for registration forms and more information.

Come out and roll with us–or cheer us on with a donation!

Online donations are accepted, too.

All proceeds benefit the work of Lutheran Volunteer Corps, which you can learn much more about on its website.

Jewish-Christian Understanding

Peter Pettit

Peter Pettit, director of the Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa., will visit to talk with us about efforts to build bridges of understanding between the Jewish and Christian faith traditions.

Dr. Pettit has been active in Christian-Jewish dialogue for more than 25 years, giving leadership in local, national and international settings.

He earned his Ph.D. and master’s degrees at Claremont (Calif.) Graduate University and a master of divinity degree from Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.

Mardi Gras Potluck Festival

Mardi Gras items

Put on a Mardi Gras mask and come join the fun at St. Mark’s Mardi Gras Potluck Festival!

We’ll have a potluck dinner, so bring a dish or dessert to share.

And get a team together (five people on each team) for the Family Feud Tournament! We’re all one big family so ANYONE can be on your team.

Bring the kids! Bring family! Bring friends!

Zero Gravity Spaghetti Dinner

Spaghetti and meatballs

Here’s an evening you definitely don’t want to miss — Zero Gravity’s luscious spaghetti dinner fundraiser!

The kitchen lineup includes: Chef Leonard McClane, sous chef Jerry Schrack and coordinator Cecilia Schrack.

On the front lines will be servers Holly Schrack, Solomon Schrack and Matthew Bradley. These youth enjoy serving and they do a great job. Get to know them!

Bring your family and your friends. You can expect great food and a chance to hang around with your St. Mark’s family.

Tickets are on sale now at $12 each. The money raised will support Zero Gravity’s trips to Mar-Lu-Ridge Summer Christian Camp as well as a trip to the 2021 National ELCA Youth Conference.

Come out, enjoy a good time and help this awesome team get some traction this year!

Ash Wednesday Service

Bishop Peggy Johnson

Our Ash Wednesday service includes a special guest preacher, a deaf Bible drama, the imposition of ashes and holy communion.

Join us as we hear from Bishop Peggy A. Johnson, who serves as the episcopal leader of the United Methodist Church’s Philadelphia Area, which includes the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference and the Peninsula-Delaware Annual Conference.

Her sermon title is: “Can You Keep A Secret?”

“I am looking forward to taking part in this service as we continue to model our ‘full communion’ relationship with the ELCA and the UMC,” she said. “My hope is that the deaf community’s involvement will spark some interest in deaf ministry at your church and further collaborations.”

Bishop Johnson is a native of Baltimore, Md. She is a graduate of Lebanon Valley College, Asbury Theological Seminary and Wesley Theological Seminary, where she earned the Doctor of Ministry degree.

Prior to her election to the episcopacy in 2008 she had served as a pastor in the Baltimore-Washington Conference for 28 years. Her churches included a four-point rural circuit in Frederick, Md., a suburban Baltimore congregation, a campus ministry at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., and for 20 years she was the pastor of the Christ United Methodist Church of the Deaf.

Bishop Johnson has a passion for ministry with people with disabilities and her years as the pastor of an all-deaf congregation led her on paths of experience with not only the deaf and deaf-blind communities but also with those who have mobility, intellectual and mental health challenges.

She is married to the Rev. Michael C. Johnson, a United Methodist pastor. They have two adult sons, Peter and Gabriel.

We hope to see you there!