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

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.

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!

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 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.

New tree in memory of Liz Lauber

Group gathered around newly planted tree

St. Mark’s lost a beloved member and servant in 2018 — Liz Lauber, who served our congregation with her music and gifts for more than 50 years.

Many of us — including many children — were taught and encouraged by Liz. On Sunday, Nov. 4, many youth from our Sunday School classes had a hand in planting a new tree in her honor and memory.

Liz Lauber
Liz Lauber

Barb Gilbert led a brief ceremony between the morning worship services, including Scripture, prayer and a series of readings by children and adults who had written expressions of gratitude for Liz.

“Thank you for letting me sing a solo,” one young girl read. “It was lots of fun. Thank you for having me sing ‘Away in the Manger,’ even when I was scared. We miss you so so so so so much.”

Tree plantingAn adult friend said: “We love and miss your energetic spirit and hope music fills all of your days now. You are missed and can never be replaced.”

Another adult said “Our hearts are full of so many cherished memories. Your spirit will always be with us at St. Mark’s.”

After the ceremony, Tim Gilbert, Faith Patterson and Tim Bishop helped the youth plant the small evergreen that now stands just outside our building’s main entrance.A girl reads during the tree planting ceremony

Along with the tree, they also planted a small time capsule, filled with written tributes, and placed two cross-shaped pavers created and decorated by St. Mark’s children earlier this year.

“We ask for your blessing upon this tree and upon us. May it serve as a sign of hope and a reminder of Mrs. Lauber and her dedication to You, the children and to the music program at St. Mark’s. As we watch it grow in the years ahead, may it inspire us to grow in Your service as we remember our dear servant, Mrs. Lauber. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.” — Barb Gilbert