Hold On: A message from our Council President

Photo of Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes, taken by Liza Agsalud. Used under CC2.0

I’ve been listening to music over the past few months while stuck in the house. I always feel better when I listen to songs I love and I tend to get them stuck in my head. YouTube is nice, it’s free and a bit of a time waster. Perfect.

I started with Bonnie Raitt singing “Angel from Montgomery,” but then John Prine died of COVID-19 and I was bummed. The world lost a beautiful writer. I don’t care how old he was.

The April “Lion” arrived and after reading Rev Mueller’s Musings I had Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young wailing “Ohio” for days. The distrust resonated with me.

Bob Marley and the Wailers’ “Exodus” came next. Not exactly Lutheran theology, but I like being one of Jah people — even if just for a few minutes.

And now — Alabama Shakes. “Hold On.” I can’t get it out of my head. If you haven’t heard it (and you like loud, rock, Janis Joplin-type music) find it on YouTube. It’s addictive. Brittany Howard mentions somebody up above a few times in the lyrics so God’s in there too. At least I believe he is. It’s my kind of prayer — especially when she wails “I don’t wanna wait.” It feels like a cry from one of the Psalms.

St Mark’s Council met on May 17. It was a long meeting — three hours. We had a lot to discuss. Fortunately, before I wrote this letter, the Governor sent guidelines for opening churches. And then we heard from the ELCA and then the Synod. We are getting a lot of advice. But, to be clear, no one is sure. We have a lot of information and common sense to sift through. Members of the congregation have had some great ideas too.

And now we have to buy stuff that may take awhile to get here. We need to be clean and safe. We are still working on a tentative date and we’ll get those specifics out when we have them. We have to be safe. But I want you to know we are working on a plan.

Council formed a Building Safety Committee to come up with suggestions for opening the building for a service. The Worship and Music Committee is working on how to have a safe service. We may not know exactly when we will be together but we will do our best to be safe. Council will meet again on May 31 via Zoom for more discussion.

A few other things:

  • We applied and were approved for a PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loan. The money has been deposited in our account.
  • The Great Room is finished – waiting for us to return.
  • We have changed the locks on the outside doors. Inside door locks remain the same. We are going to be careful about distributing keys. There were way too many keys out there and this was a good time to get that under control. Let me know if you need to get in the church and I will arrange for you to get in. Council will decide on May 31 how many and who to give keys to. The church building remains closed at least through May 31.

Hold On.

Jesus is Coming Soon (it’s on YouTube, too).

 

Kitty Dombroski

President, St. Mark’s Leadership Council

Photo of Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard by Liza Agsalud of Los Angeles, Calif. / CC BY 2.0

Together, we can help in times of disaster

For the healing of the nations, we pray to you, O God

Many of our neighbors in the United States and around the world are facing disasters and you can provide real help. Donations to Lutheran Disaster Response’s general fund enable us to react quickly whenever and wherever disaster strikes, including at times such as these, when the need is great. With multiple disasters threatening the lives of people around the world, will you consider making a gift?

Consider:

* In Australia, intense wildfires have been raging across the country. In New South Wales, more than 1,200 homes have been destroyed and nearly 9 million acres have burned. In Victoria, over 4,000 people were trapped by the bushfires, which forced them to take refuge along the beachfronts and in boats. The wildfire season is expected to get only worse due to the severe drought experienced throughout the country. Lutheran Disaster Response is sending a grant to the Lutheran Church in Australia so it can continue to respond immediately, providing food and other necessities.

* In Indonesia, heavy rain caused severe flooding and landslides in the greater Jakarta area. More than 60 lives were lost and close to 100,000 people lost their homes. The government opened 255 evacuation centers as temporary shelters for displaced families. Huria Kristen Batak Protestan (HKBP, the Batak Christian Protestant Church), a companion of the ELCA, opened a tent in Jakarta to provide free medical checkups to families affected by the flooding. HKBP also supplied cleaning materials to help communities remove debris and clean water-damaged homes. Lutheran Disaster Response is providing support to HKBP to continue the relief and recovery activities.

* In Puerto Rico, a series of earthquakes up to a 6.4 magnitude have killed at least one person and caused power outages and widespread damage. The earthquakes come as many residents of the U.S. territory are still recovering from the 2017 hurricanes, painstakingly repairing or rebuilding their damaged homes. Lutheran Disaster Response is communicating with the Caribbean Synod and Lutheran Social Services of Puerto Rico about the best way to support the recovery effort.

With your support, we are able to respond with Christ’s love, hope and healing — and practical support for disaster survivors.

The Rev. Daniel Rift, director, ELCA World Hunger and Lutheran Disaster Response Funding
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Is compassion on your gift list?

The ELCA has put together a fantastic Good Gifts catalog, chock full of unique ideas that can make a real difference in people’s lives and support almost 80 ELCA ministries around the world. And none requires fighting with mall traffic!

To learn more, watch the ELCA video.

Here are other great options:

    Lutheran World Relief: This global effort works for sustainable development, helping families rise out of poverty and hunger. You can contribute a herd of animals or one or two. Families also receive training. The herds help them to earn income and find stability.
    Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service: Your gift helps vulnerable families who are fleeing unspeakable violence in search of a safe home. LIRS helps reunite families and provides real help and hope that can change the lives of those who need it most.

    Lutheran Community Services: LCS of Delaware helps individuals and families address food, housing and other essential needs with dignity and respect.

      Delaware-Maryland Synod: The Syndod’s “Strong Roots–Wide Branches” fund supports the ministry of Christ in the Delaware and Maryland regions.

Legislative Night with Rep. Debra Heffernan

Representative Debra Heffernan

Please join us for Delaware Legislative Night at St. Mark’s at 7 p.m. Sunday, November 17, when our guest will be State Representative Debra Heffernan, who represents the district in which our church resides.

You are welcome to ask Rep. Heffernan questions about the church’s neighborhood and the wellbeing of its residents and especially about issues and pending legislation that will come before the Legislature when it returns to Dover in January. The Delaware Lutheran Office on Public Policy will be focusing on issues related to Education and Environment next year. Rep. Heffernan has expertise in both of these critical areas, so please be thinking of questions for her about these two topics especially.

Rep. Heffernan is the former President of the Brandywine School Board and an environmental toxicologist with more than 30 years of experience. She has served on the state’s Brownfields Advisory Committee, which is working to protect Delawareans from pollutants while making the state greener and more economically viable. She graduated from Caesar Rodney High School, earned a bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of Delaware and a master’s in environmental toxicology from Duke University.

Rep. Heffernan volunteers with the Girl Scouts of Chesapeake Bay, the Mary Campbell Center, and Special Olympics of Delaware. She and her husband, Pat, live in Edgewood Hills with their three children.