Welcome to St. Mark’s, Pastor David Mueller!

The Rev. David and Gigi Mueller

We are thrilled to welcome the Rev. David Mueller to St. Mark’s as our interim pastor.

Pastor Mueller was pastor of Concordia Lutheran Church for 30 years and has conducted eight interim assignments in the Southeastern Pennsylvania and Delaware-Maryland Synods.

He and his wife, Estrellita “Gigi,” were remarried here at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church by Pastor Carl Sachtleben on December 14, 1984. They are happy to be back among the people of St. Mark’s.

And we are overjoyed to have them with us!

Pastor Mueller’s official start date is August 1.

A new chapter for St. Mark’s

Council President Kitty Dombroski and former Pastor Scott Maxwell

St. Mark’s is in a time of transition as we begin the process of finding a new pastor. As was announced in May, Pastor Scott Maxwell accepted a call to ministry in the Baltimore area and his last day was Sunday, June 16.
We had a wonderful turnout for our farewell to Pastor Scott and Candy that day and this wonderful congregation gave them a generous farewell gift.
Our Leadership Council, presided over by Kitty Dombroski, now is working to provide St Mark’s with an Interim Pastor.
The Rev. Bettye Wolinski, assistant to our Synod Bishop William Gohl, attended the Council’s meeting June 9 to review the interim process with us.
“It is Council’s goal to have the right Interim Pastor in place as quickly as possible,” Kitty said. “… I am confident that with the Holy Spirit leading us St Mark’s will be on the right track.”
A Transition Team will be formed to assist the Interim Pastor.
Sunday worship services will continue as scheduled (9 a.m. and 11 a.m.).
In addition, our congregational picnic is coming soon – Sunday, July 28 – as we join with our neighbors at Presbyterian Church of the Covenant for a combined worship service.
As Kitty says: “Lots of good stuff ahead!”

In search of: Director of Music and Worship Arts

Organ console and pipes

Are we looking for each other? We are looking for a Director of Music and Worship Arts. Are you the one? If so, we’d love to hear from you!

A bit about us:

• We are part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
• Our beloved music director passed away in 2018 after more than 50 years of devoted service.Sanctuary and altar
• We have two services—a traditional 9 a.m. liturgical service, which incorporates our pipe organ and adult choir, and an 11 a.m. contemporary service, led by our praise band “Souls On Fire.”
• We have a 16-voice adult choir.
• The “Souls On Fire” band includes keyboard, guitar and several vocalists.
Choir• Our music-making inventory includes:
o A pipe organ, installed in 1971. It has approximately 1,200 pipes in three divisions, 20 ranks, with eight pipe chests.
o Two baby grand pianos, one in the sanctuary for use in our Sunday services, one in the basement Great Room for use with large gatherings.
o A console piano in the second-floor choir room, which is used in Adult choir rehearsals on Thursday nights.
Worship band vocalistso An electronic keyboard in the sanctuary, used primarily by the “Souls on Fire” contemporary worship band on Sundays.
o Hand chimes, kept in the second-floor choir room, approximately three octaves, used rarely by the adult choir on Sundays.
• We are eager to develop and expand our worship experiences and are looking for a skilled musician to lead us—planning, organizing and directing the music and other artistic elements of our worship services, always pointing us to the One who is worthy of our praise.
• This is a 30-hour, part-time position. Salary and benefits are competitive and negotiable.
• We are a collaborative congregation and value partnerships with our greater community. We love sharing music arts and worship opportunities with others.

Position Description

The Director of Music and Worship Arts serves as the primary musician and coordinator for worship experiences at St Mark’s Lutheran Church. This position has overall responsibility for planning, organizing, leading and directing the music and other artistic elements of all services enhancing the worship experience for all. The candidate must have the musical ability to support both traditional and contemporary services.
Position Expectations:

1. Principal Musician and Accompanist
• The Director of Music and Worship Arts will develop, direct and oversee the musical life of such choirs and ensembles (including hand chimes and instrumentalists) as are needed to provide for a wide variety of musical involvement and expression within the congregation including both traditional and contemporary services.
• The Director will play the organ/piano/keyboard during worship services and rehearsals.
• The Director will be proficient in vocal leadership for both traditional and contemporary worship services. The Director will oversee, schedule and recruit all vocalists.
• The Director will prepare for worship services and rehearsals through practice and enhancement of personal proficiency in accompaniment.
• The Director will serve as musician/accompanist for weddings, funerals, memorials and other celebrations (additional compensation may be possible).
• The Director will identify and secure vocalists, instrumentalists and other worship artists for participation in selected services, including Christmas, mid-week/Holy Week services and festivals as appropriate.
• The Director will work with the Pastor to attend to Scripture and use the Lectionary as a guide to plan worship services in accordance with the seasons and community life of the church.
• The Director will compose, transpose and arrange music as needed.
• The Director will strive to incorporate a full range of artistic expression to enhance and add meaning to the worship experience.
• The Director will manage the musical instruments and music library.
• The Director will maintain licenses, copyrights, subscriptions and financial resources for the Worship and Music Department.

2. Colleague, Collaborator and Coordinator
• The Director of Music and Worship Arts will serve as a partner in ministry with the pastor, staff and congregation.
• The Director will connect the choir/ensemble/congregation with the greater community.
• The Director will create a network of colleagues and a list of substitute musicians.
• The Director will oversee and serve as the principal staff liaison to worship team leaders as a member on the Worship and Music Committee, including the altar guild, ushers, greeters, liturgists and nursery.
• The Director will determine and submit the annual budget requirements for the Worship and Music Committee and administer the expenditures of the approved budget.
• The Director will pray for, support and encourage members of the congregation to discover their personal gifts for leadership as well as participation in worship art expression.
• The Director will oversee the design of bulletins, programs and audiovisual effects (e.g., screen projections) to assist the community in worship.

Desired Skills:
• Proficient on the pipe organ, piano and electronic keyboard.
• Proficient in vocal leadership.
• Proficient in directing choirs, instrumentalists and bands.
• Proficient in management and administrative skills.
• Proficient in the use of MS Word and MS PowerPoint.
• Strong organizational and interpersonal skills.
• Self-starter and able to follow through on specific tasks.
• Able to conceptualize and explain his/her work as ministry.

Professional Requirements:
• A degree in sacred church music, a degree in music or a musician with equivalent experience.
• Familiarity with a wide range of church music, including classical, traditional hymns, Gospel and contemporary Christian, rock, pop and country genres.
• Basic knowledge of sound amplification, mixing and recording technology.

Professional Relationships:
• The Director of Music and Worship Arts reports directly to the pastor.
• The Director of Music and Worship Arts is supported by the members.

Notes:
This position requires a criminal background check and drug test. The above position description and duties stated are not all-inclusive. Additional duties and responsibilities may be assigned as needed.

To apply:
Does this strike a chord with you? Do you feel called to this kind of ministry? If so, let’s get to know each other and see where God leads.

We invite you to respond in either of these ways by April 30, 2019.
• Mail your resumé with a cover letter and contact information to: Worship Search Committee, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 501 Duncan Rd., Wilmington DE 19809
• Send your resumé with a cover letter and contact information electronically to resume@stmarksonline.org.

A new chapter for Gail Rodger

Gail Rodger, director of faith formation

“To everything there is a season,” the writer of Ecclesiastes tells us, and our Director of Faith Formation, Gail Rodger, has announced plans to retire, effective April 30.

Gail has been part of the St. Mark’s staff for nine years, accepting the part-time position after more than 20 years as a music teacher and choirmaster in South Jersey.

“I felt God had drawn me to St. Mark’s,” she said. “My heart’s desire has been to help people grow — myself included — through studying God’s Word, discussion and talking to one another. So many Christians go to church and don’t think about how real God is and that he wants a relationship with them. That relationship grows through spending time with him and through our contact with our brothers and sisters.”

She loves the spirit of generosity and service she sees at St. Mark’s.

“Many at St. Mark’s put their lifeblood into service here,” she said, “in Sunday School, at Sojourners’ Place, with Lutheran Community Services, Family Promise and so many other efforts.”

Through the past decade, Gail has coordinated ministries including Sunday School, the adult forum, special services such as Candlemas, fun events such as “Trunk or Treat,” community service in Edgemoor and women’s ministries, including the quarterly brunch, and St. Mark’s partnership in Vacation Bible School at Presbyterian Church of the Covenant.

“Gail’s leadership as our Faith Formation Director has greatly impacted countless lives for the sake of Jesus Christ and her involvement in the community has connected us to our neighbors like never before,” said Pastor Scott Maxwell. “I am grateful for Gail’s willingness to share her gifts in ministry with our congregation. I will deeply miss her and her laughter, but I look forward to a continued relationship as she will still be a part of St. Mark’s. Thank you, Gail!”

The Human Resources Team will work with the Leadership Council to discern next steps, Pastor Scott said.

Gail said any successor “can expect a lot of freedom to dream together here and can expect a lot of support from the pastor and congregation.”

She hopes to spend more time with her family, especially her brother, Donald, who is seriously ill. She also plans to travel, do some writing and remain in fellowship with St. Mark’s.

“Thank you all for allowing me to serve God and you in this way for these nine years,” she said. “It will be hard to let go of a lot of things, but I’m excited to turn the page to the next chapter.”

St. Mark’s joins forces with Family Promise

New doors are opening – literally – for the St. Mark’s family in its partnership with Family Promise of Northern New Castle County, which recently announced its  new Hospitality Center for families in need of temporary housing. And our first week of service is special indeed – Christmas Week! We will serve from December 23-30.

Barb Gilbert
Barb Gilbert

“What an opportunity for us to be Jesus’ hands and feet, opening our hearts and giving of our time and ourselves by providing meals, hospitality and support to those who need it most,” said Barb Gilbert, who with Pam Waters is coordinating the St. Mark’s team.

The Hospitality Center includes two ranch houses on the grounds of the Jesus House on Milltown Road. The Center will accommodate six families, up to 20 individuals. Continue reading “St. Mark’s joins forces with Family Promise”