Sharing God’s blessings with all

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

When we share the blessings God has given us, powerful things happen! We honor Him and share in His work of provision and reconciliation.

St. Mark’s supports and partners with many other groups in service to our Lord and our community. Your gifts are important to these efforts and greatly appreciated. We offer below a list of such opportunities, including the monthly focus approved by St. Mark’s Council and a special 24-hour appeal for EDGE for Tomorrow that starts March 4.

St. Mark’s monthly giving targets include:

January – Family Promise
February – EDGE for Tomorrow (more details below)
April – Lutheran Volunteer Corp & Bowlathon
May – Kairos (prison ministry)
June – Sojourners’ Place/LCS Gimme Shelter Golf
July – LIFE (Lutherans Involved in Food Emergencies)
August – Youth Group
September – Lutheran Community Services & Walkathon
October – ELCA World Hunger
November – Hilltop Lutheran Neighborhood Center

To make a designated gift, you may:

  • Note the designation on your weekly church envelope in the “Special Appeal For:” section
  • Indicate your distribution in the memo on your check or include a note with your check.
  • If you give electronically, you may include a memo or notation to specify the designation.

In addition to these ministries, the Delaware-Maryland Synod, of which St. Mark’s is a part, is in the midst of its 2021 Lenten Appeal, which continues through April 5. Every dollar given will be matched during this time, up to $40,000. These gifts support the synod’s Ministry Fund, helping to build local ministries for the future.

About EDGE for Tomorrow and the DoMore24 campaign March 4-5

EDGE for Tomorrow is thrilled to participate in the monumental DoMore24 statewide campaign, 24 hours during which your gift has extra impact. The period runs from 6 p.m. March 4 to 6 p.m. March 5. This can have a great impact on EDGE’s ability to remain nimble and continue to meet the needs of the low-income children and families we serve in Edgemoor Gardens, Bellevue and Bellefonte during the most tumultuous year of our organization’s history.

Check out our campaign page by clicking here and set up a reminder to donate. Please help us all do more together. Thank you for your support!

EDGE for Tomorrow was founded in 2011 as an outreach ministry of
our neighbor, Presbyterian Church of the Covenant (PCOC). Primary funding comes from private foundations and government grants, along with individual donations and fund-raising events. EDGE provides after-school care, addresses food insecurity, and advocates and supports the marginalized in our community.EDGE for Tomorrow logo
Located in PCOC’s building at 503 Duncan Rd, EDGE After-School is for children in grades K through 5 who attend Mount Pleasant Elementary School, offering:
  • Virtues-based programming and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) that teaches good citizenship, social skills, empathy and kindness,
  • Tutoring and enrichment activities with specialized reading and math help,
  • Homework help, healthy snacks and physical activities, and
  • STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning to enrich skills needed for reading, math, geography, science and the arts.

COVID-19 forced us to be creative and adaptive when our schools went all virtual in September, stepping up and opening an in-person Remote Access Learning Hub; a safe place to provide students’ academic support with much-needed emotional and social enrichment.

The Hub helps up to 18 at-risk students access school Monday thru Friday. EDGE offers students technical support and encouragement during the online school day, two nutritional meals and a snack from Brandywine School District, recreational activities in the fresh air, and emotional support through activities such as yoga, team building, and arts programming.

When the school day ends, students stay for three hours of after-care, where The Music School of Delaware’s MELODY program provides an outlet for kindergarten through grade 2 students to experience the art of music through Rhythm, a Bucket Band percussion group, and the violin. Grades 3 through 5 participate in Bucket Band and gain enrichment through art, creative writing, yoga, storytelling, and STEM using learning tools that build self-esteem, confidence, resilience and coping mechanisms that are so necessary in addressing the effects of childhood trauma and stress.

Midweek Extra: Family Promise ministry with Barb Gilbert and Pam Waters

Pastor David Mueller talks with Pam Waters and Barbara Gilbert

Two familiar faces joined Interim Pastor David Mueller for the “Midweek Extra” — Barb Gilbert and Pam Waters. Both have been leading our ministry with Family Promise, which provides shelter for families who find themselves in need of temporary housing in northern New Castle County.

St. Mark’s has been part of this effort for a few years, providing meals and other services at the Family Promise site on Milltown Road for one week each quarter. Barb and Pam share much more about this work and the impact it is having in the lives of many.

You’ll find the segment on our YouTube channel by clicking on the link below.

 

Worship and a picnic!

The grillmaster at work during the 2018 picnic.

You could call it our kind of block party! Once a year we join our neighbors at Presbyterian Church of the Covenant to worship our God and enjoy each other’s company.

We start with worship at 10 a.m. — just one service that Sunday — and then gather under the shady trees on PCOC’s lawn for a big ol’ picnic.

Expert grillmasters deliver sizzling burgers and hot dogs and everyone brings a dish or dessert to share.

Dwight Novotny, coordinator for St. Mark’s, says there will be Irish music this year, by the two-man band known as the King Brothers. Does it get any better?

Hope to see you there!

Shot of 2018 picnic
There is always great food at the annual St. Mark’s-PCOC picnic, but the best part is getting together and getting to know each other!

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!

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!

Family Night

Supper table illustration

The Family Night event planned for Friday, Feb. 1 at Calvary Episcopal Church has been CANCELLED. But we are hosting the next one on Friday, March 15.

These events are sponsored by the Brandywine Collaborative Ministries Group, which St. Mark’s is part of. The Brandywine Collaborative is a group of area churches linked to strengthen the community of faith in our area.

The Collaborative’s Family Nights are typically held on Friday nights and are meant to bring kids and adults together for supper, a brief worship service, activities for the kids and a time of discussion for parents. Families are the focus of these gatherings, but singles and all ages are welcome to participate.

There is no cost to attend. The evening typically goes from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

In addition to St. Mark’s, the collaborative includes Calvary Episcopal Church at 304 Lore Ave., Grace Episcopal Church at 4900 Concord Pike and Episcopal Church of the Ascension at 3717 Philadelphia Pike.

St. Mark’s serves families, makes new friends in new partnership with Family Promise

Hector hugs his child

St. Mark’s partners with Family Promise of Northern New Castle County again from January 27 to February 3, our second week of “hosting” families at the Hospitality Center.

Our first week of service — Christmas Week 2018 — was a great introduction to this ministry, which serves families who are in transition and in need of housing. Scores of volunteers participated — preparing and serving meals, planning activities, providing overnight security and bringing special gifts and other essentials for this holiday week.

We made many new friends and one of them — Hector (seen in the photograph above) — was featured in Family Promise’s recent report on the things accomplished during 2018. His story, which was also covered by several local news outlets, was shared this way in Family Promise’s report:

“Hector had a full-time job and was supporting his four kids. But when his job was cut to just 25 hours, he couldn’t make ends meet. He had to give up his apartment, and his family bounced between houses of friends and family members — eventually ending up in a motel. The day before our new Hospitality Center opened in November, Hector had just enough money to pay for one more night in the motel. For a family like his — one headed by a single father — it was difficult to find resources, and he faced the grim choice of living in his car or splitting up from his kids. Supporters like you gave Hector a third option: our new Hospitality Center. He was able to keep his family together while receiving shelter, food, and hospitality. He shared his story on WDEL and Community Issues with Omar Rashada, and just this week, he moved back into permanent housing!”

What a glorious testimony to God’s provision — and what amazing timing for Hector and his family.

The Family Promise Hospitality Center, which opened in November 2018, shares space at The Jesus House and Retreat Center on Milltown Road. It has capacity for up to six families with children — about 20 people in all — giving them a way to stay together while they pursue new housing.

Each congregation that partners with Family Promise provides seven days of “hosting” services, which include meals, washing linens, activities for the kids (as desired by residents) and other things as needed. Our commitment is for four weeks each year.

There are many ways to participate. Connect with our coordinators, Barb Gilbert and Pam Waters, if you’d like to join us!

And if you’d like to help with supplies, here is a list of needed items which can be dropped off at the Family Promise Day Center at 2104 St. James Church Rd., Wilmington DE 19808 or stored in a (yet-to-be-established) Family Promise Ministry storage area at St. Mark’s: twin comforters, twin sheet sets, new bed pillows, towel sets (bath, hand, wash), dish sets, flatware sets, plastic drinking cups, sets of glass drinking glasses.

Thank you for caring for families such as Hector’s! Working with Family Promise and the many other congregations and groups who support this work, we can do so much more. Hope to see you at the Hospitality Center!

Photo: Courtesy of Family Promise of Northern New Castle County

Family Fun Night – Advent

Advent family

Did you know St. Mark’s is part of the Brandywine Collaborative Ministries Group? It is a group of area churches who have linked up to strengthen the community of faith in our area.

Specifically, this group gathers for monthly activities — Family Fun Nights. These events, typically on Friday nights, bring kids and adults together for dinner, followed by a brief worship service, crafts for the kids and a time of discussion for parents. Families are the focus of these gatherings, but singles and all ages are welcome to participate.

This month’s Family Fun Night will have an Advent theme and will be held at Calvary Hillcrest Episcopal Church at 304 Lore Ave. in Hillcrest, near Penny Hill.

There is no cost to attend. The evening typically goes from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

In addition to St. Mark’s and Calvary Episcopal, the collaborative includes Grace Episcopal Church, 4900 Concord Pike, and Episcopal Church of the Ascension, 3717 Philadelphia Pike.