Rally Day is here! Bring your friends and family!

Arden Shindel of St. Mark's

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!

Vigil for Ukraine

Vigil for Ukraine information

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.

All are welcome!

New Pettit Scholarship to benefit Hilltop youth

Helen and Clarence Pettit

We thank God for a new scholarship designed to provide support for students affiliated with one of St. Mark’s ministry partners, Hilltop Lutheran Neighborhood Center.

The scholarship, created in honor of the Rev. Clarence and Helen Pettit by philanthropists Gordon and Fran Fisher, will help multiple students with the cost of private secondary schooling and/or post-secondary schooling.

The Pettits have served the community for many years and Clarence Pettit will also be familiar to those who have seen St. Mark’s Midweek Extra videos, where he was featured in several conversations with our former Interim Pastor David Mueller.

The scholarship offers successful applicants up to $2,000 for tuition and up to $500 for textbooks.

All are invited to support Hilltop students and honor the Pettits through this fund. To learn more about the scholarship and how to give, visit Hilltop’s website.

 

Joining together to support Afghan refugees

An illustration showing people holding hands in a circle

By Jan Sullivan

On November 14, more than two dozen St. Mark’s members and guests joined Rosi Crosby, chief strategy officer at Jewish Family Services of Delaware, to learn of the status of Afghan refugees arriving in Delaware. Those present included members of Good Shepherd, St. Stephen’s and St. Philip’s Lutheran Churches.

Jewish Family Services is the refugee resettlement agency in Delaware. Rosi reported that a few Afghan refugees have already arrived in Delaware and more are coming, possibly more than 30 by the end of the year.  She explained volunteer “circles of care,” which are meant to support the refugees, including transportation and advice/support on settling in to the community.

St. Mark’s members donated more than a wagonload of towels, washcloths and bath products for refugees and their families and Rosi reported that all items were promptly distributed within a few days.

What can we do going forward? A lot! Consider one or more of these:

— Anyone who wishes to volunteer and/or join a “circle of care” could contact Jewish Family Services of Delaware at www.jfsdelaware.org/volunteer to complete a form, or e-mail volunteers@jfsdelaware.org. Learn more about JFS’ Refugee Integration Support Effort (RISE) and reach Rosi at rcrosby@jfsdelaware.org.

— If you wish to donate gently used furniture or household items, they cannot go directly to Jewish Family Services. Instead, take them to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, 3312 Seminole Avenue, Wilmington, DE 19808. Habitat’s phone number is (302) 652-5181. Call ahead and let them know you are bringing these items for Jewish Family Services or the Refugee Integration Support Effort (RISE).

— Used clothing in good condition can be taken to Friendship House Clothing Bank, 1603 Jessup Street, Suite 3, Wilmington, DE 19802 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The phone number there is (302) 654-1390. JFS will refer refugees there as needed. Monetary donations specifically for refugees can be forwarded to Jewish Family Services, earmarked RISE, and sent to 99 Passmore Road, Wilmington, DE 19803. Donations can also be made online at www.jfsdelaware.org.

— Additionally, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services encourages us to support the Afghan refugees by contacting our U.S. Congressional Delegation through a convenient form here:  https://www.votervoice.net/LIRS/campaigns/89654/respond? Most of our Afghan neighbors are arriving with humanitarian parole, which only temporarily allows people fleeing danger to remain in the U.S. These Afghans will need to find another pathway to safety once their parole expires. To ensure that Afghans find real, lasting safety in the U.S., Congress must pass the Afghan Adjustment Act, which would allow Afghan humanitarian parolees to seek legal permanent residence in the United States.

Delaware Legislative Night

State Representative Debra Heffernan and State Senator Sarah McBride

Please join us at 7 p.m. Monday, December 20 for a 40-minute Zoom session with the two state legislators who represent our area.

State Senator Sarah McBride and State Representative Debra Heffernan will discuss the upcoming legislative session and take your questions. This is a valuable session even if you don’t live in the same Senatorial District or Representative District which serves our church home.  Don’t miss this opportunity to share your thoughts and learn about the work these lawmakers are doing in Dover.

If you have questions about this event or need the Zoom link, please contact Jan Sullivan.

Christmas Carols together — singing and sharing!

Sheet music with an ornament and greens

Christmas Carols + You + Me: Join us at 10 a.m. in the Great Room for this Adult Education class as we share personal stories of the role Christmas carols have played in our lives. All are invited to share a carol that has a special memory or has shaped your faith in some way. This class is designed as an opportunity to learn more about each other and to reflect upon the significance and meaning that Christmas carols have had in our lives. Cliff Smith will facilitate the discussion.

Christmas Carol sing: We’ll gather outside at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, December 5 (weather permitting), as our St. Mark’s family joins together for a Christmas carol sing.

Support for Afghan refugees

Rosi Crosby of Jewish Family Services

Please join us Sunday, November 14 at 10 a.m. in the Great Room as we welcome special guest Rosi Crosby, chief strategy officer at Jewish Family Services of Delaware.  

Jewish Family Services is in charge of welcoming Afghan refugees to Delaware.  Approximately 30 refugees are arriving before the end of the year and more may be coming next year.

During her visit, Ms. Crosby will provide more information about this effort, including opportunities for community members to help welcome and support these new neighbors.

As part of the November 14 program, we will host a “Shower for Showers.” Please consider purchasing and bringing a gift of a new neutral-colored bath towel and matching washcloth, plus possibly a new two-in-one (shampoo and creme rinse) or three in one (shampoo, creme rinse and liquid soap) bath product of your choice. (Three-in-one products are usually found in the stores with children’s grooming products.)

If you have questions, please contact Jan Sullivan.

St. Mark’s helps LCS set fundraising record

The start of the Lutheran Community Services Walk/Run for Hunger

Whether you laced up your sneakers, recruited donors, wrote a check or cheered on those who walked the walk and ran the run, thank you for helping Lutheran Community Services exceed its fundraising goal at the annual Walk/Run, held Saturday, September 18.

LCS reported a record-setting total of $71,983.42, which was more than $10,000 beyond its $60,000 goal.

Mim Stunkard of St. Mark's holding her T-shirtThe money supports LCS’ food program.

St. Mark’s was listed as the top fundraiser, thanks largely to its link to the No. 1 fundraising individual, the intrepid Pastor Fred Melton, who raised $19,935. Pastor Melton retired as pastor of St. Mark’s several years ago and continues to inspire service and generosity in those who come within his force field.

Why does he do that? We asked, he answered.

“Every day before eating a meal, I remain rather humbled by the fact that I have never had to worry about a meal, about where the food will come from,” Fred said. “it’s a good fortune beyond calculation that is so easy to take for granted. So, as people of faith, sincere ‘giving thanks’ (that’s the table prayer) virtually begs us to do something to help others who are not so fortunate.

Pastor Fred Melton

“I really cannot say a prayer without being reminded that helping others is both a response to God’s blessings to us and a virtual requirement for having such easy access to food. I recall a powerful quote from the speaker at my oldest son’s college graduation (from the University of Michigan), which was: “Service is the rent we pay for being alive.”

 

Souls On Fire, the praise band that leads St. Mark’s contemporary services, provided music before the event, which was hosted by Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd.

A group shot of some members of the St. Mark's Praise Band "Souls On Fire."

Join us for LCS’ 30th Hunger Walk/Run

The start of the 2019 LCS Walk Run for Hunger

The Lutheran Community Services Hunger Walk/Run is back and all of us — runners, walkers, volunteers and givers — are invited to participate in this event, which supports the ministries of LCS in our community.

The funds raised and food collected from this 5-kilometer event go directly to LCS’ food pantries.

This year’s event marks the 30th anniversary of the Hunger Walk/Run. Though the 2020 event was “virtual,” allowing everyone to choose the place and time of their participation because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year we return to an in-person event on Saturday, September 18 at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church at 1530 Foulk Rd., Wilmington, Delaware 19803. Registration starts at 9 a.m. The run/walk starts at 10.

Afterward, stick around for the Family Fun Fair. Games, rides, music and food all are on the agenda.

You can contribute to the success of this day without lacing up any sneakers by supporting those who hit the streets . Register and/or contribute to the individual or team of your choice by visiting LCS’ website here.

Love drama, art, music? Volunteer with Creative Arts Camp!

Summer Arts Camp graphic

Our next-door neighbor, Presbyterian Church of the Covenant (503 Duncan Road), is hosting a Creative Arts Camp on weekday mornings through July 30.

More than 60 children have signed up for the camp, which started Monday, June 21. The camp runs from 8:15 a.m. through noon each weekday. Drama, art and music are all on the agenda.

Sound wonderful? Volunteers are needed! You can join in by filling out the form at this link: https://forms.gle/otvNehPHeZ44miKi9