St Mark’s Remarks St. Mark's Lutheran Church 1008 Franklin Rd., SW Roanoke, VA 24016 December 2014 Youth Ministry the coin, and the son. The hope was that our youth at Lost and Found would be reminded that whether we’re lost, found, or not sure which of those we are, God never abandons us and always seeks to bring us closer. MIDDLE SCHOOL YOUTH MINISTRY Trinity House, Caleb Anders, Abby Trout and Pastor Ar mentr out joined several hundred other youth and adults from across the Virginia Synod at the Eagle Eyrie retreat center in Lynchburg from November 21—23. They were attending Lost & Found, the Virginia Synod youth retreat for 7th & 8th grade youth. L to R: Abby Trout, Triniti House, & Caleb Anders singing at Lost & Found. The youth and adults spent the weekend making new friends, singing, dancing, worshiping, eating junk food, and conversing about God’s abiding presence with us. going on in their day to day of life. When you see Trinity, Caleb, or Abby, be sure to ask them about their experiThis conversation led them quickly to ence, what they enjoyed the most, and the three parables about being lost and how much they look forward to the next found in Luke, chapter 15 – the sheep, youth retreat. Winter Celebration The theme for this year’s retreat was “Finders Keepers” The youth who were a part of the event planning group talked about how, during the Junior High years, life’s decisions can be cluttered by things that are not only timeconsuming but can also be very disorienting. The group decided that a lot of life could be organized around two questions: 1. I’m lost, now what do I do? And, 2. I’m found, now what do I do? It’s a good set of questions to ask when we’re thinking about whether and how faith has anything to do with what’s Winter Celebration is the Senior High version of Lost & Found. Like its middleschool counterpart, Winter Celebration is a weekend-long retreat held annually in January at Eagle Eyrie in Lynchburg but for youth in 9th—12th grade. Winter Celebration is a bit larger than Lost & Found so it is held over two consecutive weekends (Jan. 16—18 & Jan. 23—25, 2015). The time has come for youth to choose which weekend they will be attending. Please get registrations from Pastor Armentrout. Participants at a previous Winter Celebration sing during one of the large group sessions. As always, our congregation helps to pay the $165 per-person registration fee. For more information, speak with Pastor Armentrout. Contact the Church David’s Kingdom Preschool Phone: 540-344-9051 Phone: 540-344-7144 E-mail: [email protected] Web: www.stmarkslutheran-roanoke.org E-mail: [email protected] Web: www.davidskingdom.com PAGE 2 S T MA R K ’ S R E MA R K S Faith Formation through Education - Preschool through Adult Angel Tree Sponsors We have identified eight children and families in our program whose income, housing, and family situations dictate they have a need for help. We have gathered clothing sizes and preferences for toys & games, books & movies, and other interests. If you would like to shop for a child or partner up with someone to do so, please contact Martha Eddleman at [email protected] or 540-9820052 (mornings are the best time to reach her). You will be given an information sheet with all the child’s information and other instructions. From the Director A s the Director of our Child Development Ministry, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about writing something that would show folks what a child’s day in our preschool is like. I’ve decided that is a tall order for one article so I’m going to share with you one very important part, the faith formation part, with the plan to share more with you later. First, it is very important that our preschool be understood as a place of learning and not a “daycare”. I never like to define something by stating what it is not but the simple truth is we don’t baby sit. Instead, we learn. Everything we do is about learning. We have the philosophy that we learn everything in the same way- whether it is the things a child needs to know to go to kindergarten, or how to be in community with other children, or just who Jesus is and what faith in our Lord, lived out daily, means. We call this part faith formation and it is as much a part of our mission and purpose as anything else we do. Gifts will be due to our director’s office by December 10th. Gifts of wrapping paper and supplies will also be needed. St. Mark’s Preschool Christmas Program Monday, December 15th at 6:o0 PM in the Fellowship Hall A FEW FACTS ABOUT OUR PRESCHOOL AND AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM: We currently have openings in both programs. Spread the word. Tuition is based on income and ability to pay in as much as we are able to do so. We employ a staff of seven with a combined 74 years experience working with children. All are invited to hear the Nativity of our Lord according to St. Luke! Each week our children hear and learn from the same texts that you hear on Sundays. The text is introduced to them at their chapel service on Mondays and it always informs our emphasis for the week. For example, this past Sunday we all heard the Gospel from Matthew about the sheep and goats and what it means to care for each other. Our emphasis then is to explore and learn just what that means to care for each other. Our children explored what that means for each other daily at our school with the importance of sharing and helping and using nice words and of remembering those that don’t have enough. We toured our food pantry and clothes closet and they met with volunteers around the church. Our mission comes alive in their learning and practicing of these things. We support this with another chapel service on Wednesdays that continues the theme but explores it in a different way. Then on Fridays we have what we call “chapel groups” where the children discuss their learning from the text with their teachers along with song and prayer. Each day also begins with what we call Morning Celebration. Staff play guitar with the children and we sing songs of faith. We talk about the day of learning in front of us and talk more about our Bible story for the week. The children learn to pray and remember things to be thankful for and the needs that we see around us. While this faith formation has certainly long been some part of what we do, this academic year we have given it a much heavier emphasis. We have come to see that to “Love God and Love Our Neighbor” means also to equip others with this mission and purpose and it has everything with how we choose to see the world around us and how we understand our place in it. Have heart and be encouraged that every day at St. Mark’s we are at work, God’s work. Advent Blessings, Wil Robertson, Dir. S T MA R K ’ S R E MA R K S PAGE 3 Worship & Music Notes is a win-win opportunity for our congregation and CHIP of Roanoke Valley. The response to support this year’s Carols by Candlelight service has been overwhelmingly positive. There has been a wonderful, generous outpouring of gifts to make this major community worship service a success. If you have not yet done so prayerfully consider how you may wish to support this worship service and help St. Mark’s continue to grow its mission in the community. You may designate your gift in honor or memory of anyone you wish. More importantly, however, your generous outpouring of support is helping us reach our goal of giving 100% of the offerings from the worship service to CHIP of Roanoke Valley. If you have already made a gift, you are welcome to designate that gift in honor or memory of anyone you like—just as we have always done. Either way, complete the card below and send it to the church office. CHIP stands for Child Health Investment Partnership. CHIP of Roanoke Valley is an early childhood home visiting program. They pair low-income children, ages birth to kindergarten-entry, with a Community Health Nurse and Family Case Manager for health care coordination (help accessing needed medical services, assistance with the management of chronic conditions, and preventive services like fluoride dental varnish); developmental education, kindergarten preparation and regular child assessment and monitoring. Their families receive services like anticipatory child development guidance, employment and education support, parent meetings and transportation. These services work to help build parenting capacity and to provide support to families as they set and reach goals and move toward self-sufficiency. CHIP also offers supplemental case management services that target specific needs: Prenatal Case Management, Mental Health Case Management, and Asthma Case Management. This community ministry is one which St. Mark’s has not been a part of the in the past but we are excited to be able to support now. By giving the offering collected at Carols by Candlelight we will be able to support a well-established community ministry, grow our own mission in this one-time gift and continue to share the grace of God in the community. This Your generous giving now will make the flowers and music at this worship service and throughout the Christmas season possible. St. Mark’s music program enthusiastically welcomes new members. If you would like to be a part of the adult or handbell choir, please speak with the , Organist— Choir Director, Steve Lawrence, the pastor or any choir member. Carols By Candlelight 2014 I would like to support this year’s Carols by Candlelight, music & flowers for Christmas at the following level: Sustainer ($500 and above) Benefactor ($200-$499) Patron ($100-$199) Sponsor ($50-$99) Friend ($25-$49) Name: _____________________________________________ Address: __________________________________________ In honor____ or memory_____ of: __________________________________________________________________________ Please make checks payable to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church Please do not print my name in the service bulletin as a contributor PAGE 4 S T MA R K ’ S R E MA R K S Outreach Outlook THE FOOD PANTRY DURING THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER, THE FOOD PANTRY DISTRIBUTED FOOD TO FEED 549 INDIVIDUALS! Thank you to the November volunteers: Ralph, Sandy, McKinley, Caleb, Luke, Melissa, & Scott Anders, Sidney Miller, George Kegley, Laura Bolton, Clara Chitty, Judy Adkins and Mark Heinlein. The Food Pantry shelves following food distribution on Monday, Nov. 24. Food Pantry Donations Congregational support of the Food Pantry has been exceptional! Increased demand has been met with increased generosity. Thank you! Know that your ongoing giving to the food pantry is not in vain. THANKSGIVING FOOD BAGS Tuesday, November 26 was a beautiful day to deliver Thanksgiving food boxes. A new record number of volunteers came out to work. 50 boxes of food were delivered to families across the city. Thank you to Ralph & Sandy Anders, David & Pearle Thompson, Alex Adkins, David Johnson, Pat & Brad Gibbs, Walley Coffey, Lynn Gregory, Carl & Carol Jensen, Harris Scere, Mark Heinlein, Ashley Spangler, Kathleen Miko, Sid & Gail Scott, Howard Barnard, Avi & Pratibha Joshi, George Kegley, Sissy Kegley and Edmond Koroma for volunteer ing. THE CLOTHES CLOSET During the month of November the Clothes Closet provided clothing to a total of seventy-five (75) people. Thank you to the November Clothes Closet volunteers: Suzy Bubnell, Laura Bolton, Judy Adkins, Sonny & Charlotte Scholz, Gail & Sid Scott, Wayne Eddleman, Brad Gibbs, Melissa Anders, and Barbara McLelland Particularly helpful donations to the clothes closet would be men’s socks, underwear, jeans, thermals, shoes & childrens’ sizes 8—16 Congregational Life—Member Profile: George Kegley A Call to Social Ministry: Loving God, Loving Our Neighbor George Kegley grew up in Wythe County, Virginia, attending a one-room school house until the seventh grade. He has deep roots in Virginia. His German ancestors have been in Wythe County since the 1760s. George grew up with many Christian mentors. Three of his uncles were pastors, and his grandfather was a Lutheran preacher. Sometimes, when George sings hymns at St. Mark's, he wonders if his grandfather once sang the same ones too. His mother, a very compassionate woman, especially influenced George's commitment to social ministry. As a child, George attended to Holy Trin- ity Lutheran in Wytheville. He then attended Roanoke College, a Lutheran college. After graduating, he became a journalist for the The Roanoke Times. He was with The Roanoke Times for forty-four years, and is actively involved in the Roanoke community with organizations such as Meals on Wheels, the Historical Society of Western Virginia, and Blue Ridge Literacy, and the Rescue Mission, to name a few. In 1958, shortly after he married his wife, Louise, he began attending St. Mark's Church. Since then he's been involved in many programs at the church. Currently, he teaches the men's bible study, volunteers at RAM House once a month, participates in the Crop Walk, coordinates our bi-monthly food pantry and the LuCom program to send children in need to Caroline Furnace, a summer camp, and volunteers at the Rescue Mission and Highland Park Elementary School as a lunch body. He also spends time working with Congreagations in Action at Highland Park School and arranges food bags from the church for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. He has been the editor for the V irginia Lutheran since the 1960s, and is currently editing a book about the history of the Lutheran church in southwest Virginia. George has a particular fondness for working with refugees, and has assisted refugees from many countries including Hungary, Liberia, and Vietnam. He is now one of the three trustees of our church. George doesn't talk much about what motivates him, but it is his faith that undergirds what he does. Next time you see George in church, ask him about one of these social ministry programs and how you too can get involved. S T MA R K ’ S R E MA R K S PAGE 5 Finance Notes T alking about money is uncomfortable for us sometimes. We generally don’t like to do it. But it is important for us, as Christians, to be able to talk about money with the same faithfulness, conviction, and ease with which we talk about worship, Christian education, or social ministry. The way we begin to do this is by understanding that our money isn’t ours. Like everything else money is a resource entrusted to us by God. It is simply another resource with which we are called to be good stewards. As stewards we invest, we care for, we make faithful use of what God gives to us—including money. As we begin to wrap our heads around the notion that money isn’t really ours—it’s just entrusted to us—then we can really make a great leap of faith and stop fearing and functioning with an attitude of scarcity. We can, instead, begin to trust that God is always providing us with the resources we need to be about his work in this world. God won’t short change us when it comes to doing the work of the kingdom. God is providing for us abundantly. When make that leap of faith we realize that we can be generous without fear. We can be generous without worry that there won’t be enough. We give to God in gratitude for his abundant love. We give to God generously and boldly because God is being generous with us. This year at St. Mark’s you have been and are being faithfully generous. Together we are moving toward a way of giving that is rooted in faith, not fear. Well done! You are giving to St. Mark’s mission and ministry. Well done! You are giving and making a difference in the lives of God’s people within the congregation and beyond it. Well done! Below is a chart which shows the generosity of our congregation through Sunday, November 23. (In other words, there is still one more Sunday to report for the month of November). If our giving continues as strongly as it has thus far we will not only finish the year in the black but we will most likely finish the year ahead of the budget! Well done! We are moving forward in mission and ministry as a congregation. God is providing us with an abundance of resources to change lives and live out our mission of “Loving God, Loving Our Neighbor” Stewardship Reminder Mission & Ministry Surveys 2015 2015 Mission & Ministry Surveys—Have you completed and returned your blue 2015 Mission & Ministry Survey (a.k.a. Time & Talent)? If so, thank you! If not, please do so ASAP. We use these forms to update the church directory and to help identify ways to keep everyone in the congregation plugged into the ministries here. We’ve simplified the surveys so they are easier to complete. Extra copies are available in the church office and on the table in the Highland Avenue hallway if you need / want one. S T MA R K ’ S R E MA R K S PAGE 6 December Baptismal Birthdays We give thanks to God for the gift of new life through the sacrament of Holy Baptism. Celebrating baptismal birthdays in December are: 12/1 12/16 12/19 12/20 12/21 Kathy Bryant Kathleen Pillis Margaret Pillis Jessica Thompson Mitch House Becky Whisnant Jordan Bryant Janet Natt Seth Poore THE ANNUAL CONGREGATIONAL MEETING WILL BE ON SUNDAY, DEC. 7 FOLLOWING WORSHIP. On the agenda: election of new church council members, trustees, and consideration of the 2015 spending plan. In the Congregational Family Welcome new members: In November we welcomed into the congregational family through Affirmation of Faith, Candace Ordean, Katalin Adamku and her son, Sandor Deli, Sr. We welcomed thr ough the sacrament of Holy Baptism, Katalin’s daughter, Norah Al-Asadi. Congratulations to Whitney Snider on the birth of her daughter, Brooklyn, in October. Congratulations to George and Karen Arthur on the bir th of their gr anddaughter, Lilah Grace. Prayer Matters The following individuals and families were named in prayer in worship during November. Let us continue to keep them in prayer. We pray: O God, the strength of the weak and the comfort of sufferers: Mercifully hear our prayers and grant to your servants the help of your power that they may experience the healing power of your Holy Spirit. We pray for: Judy Riley Calvin & Arbutus Compton The Anna Kugler Class Sharon Barbour The Financial Books: St. Mark’s will close the financial books for the 2014 fiscal year on Dec. 31, 2014. In order to receive credit on your 2014 contribution statement for any pledges and or donations for the year, your check must be dated no later than 12/31/2014. We will continue to receive 2014 pledges and contributions through January 4, 2015. Valerie Turner Nena Elechi Jack Brumfield Cathy Thompson James White Sharon Nickerson Blake & Sharon Norma Bradford Alma Wertz David Wertz Georgia Sieler Kathy Jo Finn Steve Thompson Shirly Aynes Teresa Kincer Rae Karkos Roy & Joyce Sisson Mary Ann Wade Don Williams Kathy Bryant Jean Wills Wanda Miller Lori Lucas Pam Kingery Dick Moore Opal Dyer Bert Hood Buddy Captio Joe May Shannon Thompson Starr Wendy Haylee Frankie Ricky Eakin Terry Parsell Holiday Closings: St Mark’s church office & preschool will be closed on Wednesday, December 24th and Thursday, December 25th in observance of the Christmas holiday. The church office and preschool will also be closed on Thursday, January 1, 2014. The Roger Lee Family Elsie Spangler Chelsea Ellis Sam Southerland & family Dale Hagen Arnold Terveen Mary Claire Suggs Frank McFadden Jennie Crites Eugene Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen. Advent Program Mark your calendars for Sunday, December 14th, immediately after worship for lunch and a fun afternoon of Advent crafts and activities. Speak with Mary Ann Snider for more details.
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