Church Family News
DEAR ST. MARK MEMBERS, FRIENDS AND SUPPORTERS, 

We are thankful for all the support you provided to St. Mark and our ministries in Christ in 2019. We are all stewards of the great gifts we have in Christ through our church. 

As we are looking forward to 2020, and what God is calling us to do in Charlottesville, we remember that our faith requires that each of us give of our time, talents, and resources to make our mission a reality. 

Stewardship is a spiritual discipline that draws from our thankfulness for what we receive from God and focuses on our responsibility towards God’s mission.
 
We ask you to prayerfully consider making a commitment toward our mission and ministry in 2020. 

If you made a pledge in 2019, please consider increasing your pledge.

If you couldn’t make a pledge before, we encourage you to make a commitment with the knowledge that we understand if life circumstances and abilities change. We believe that each of us has the ability to be generous. 

This letter is your commitment card and you can fill it out:

• By sending this form back in an envelop, 
• By filling it out on webpage under SUPPORT,
• By filling it out in the weekly newsletter 

In order to work on our budget presented at our annual meeting, the deadline for pledges will be November 10.

We are thankful for your generosity and promise to be good stewards of all of our resources. 
Prosami Yard Sale at St. Mark
August 31

Join non-profit Prosami for their annual yard sale at St. Mark in support of the promotion of maternal and infant health in the Democratic Republic Of Congo (DRC). For more information on their cause, visit their website here:  http://www.prosami.ngo/
GOOD BYE AND GODSPEED

Dear St. Mark Family,
Grant and I are relocating to Greensboro NC in the upcoming weeks. We will miss our church family but hope to stay in touch. Our phone numbers and email remain the same.

Grant & Erin Burks
321 Pisgah Church Rd., Apt 2C
Greensboro NC 27455
NEWS FROM OUR SOCIAL MINISTRY COMMITTEE
By Rich Leahy

Caring for "the least of these": St. Mark Sent $1,000. to Care for Migrant Refugees through a Lutheran Aid Agency

St. Mark's Social Ministry Committee recently voted to send $500.00 of our available funds. Also $500.00 donated to us by a generous couple in Waynesboro who had read about our work collecting snacks for IRC refugees, to Lutheran Immigrant and Refugee Services in Baltimore. 

As many as 700 families per day—many with young children or infants—are being released by ICE agents outdoors, in unfamiliar cities, with nothing but the clothes on their backs and at random hours, sometimes in the dead of night.

Unable to speak English they desperately need shelter, food, medical care, and transportation. LIRS has a program called "Safe Haven Border Response", to ensure these vulnerable families are warmly welcomed by a community of churches and volunteers and that they receive shelter, food, clothes, and other essentials before traveling onward to their final destinations across the United States, and our donation will make a big difference for many of these people in their care. 

The best story that I heard just recently, is that volunteers in one of the locations have a practice of welcoming the families by having them sit down upon arrival, and the volunteers personally restring shoelaces or replace shoes worn out from the journey- an image that reminds me so much of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. It is deeply moving to hear about the work that is happening to help restore a sense of dignity and welcome these families.

Contacts for further help:
Marta Erling-Spangler
Gifts Officer | MSpangler@lirs.org | 410.625.6721
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service 
700 Light Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230 | www.lirs.org
NEW MEMBER RETREAT

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 7
9AM to Noon

If you would like to learn about our church and become a member, please come to or half day retreat. You will meet other new members, get to know other members and learn about our faith, ministry and mission at St. Mark.

If you are interested, fill out a new member form that you can pick up in our office or send an email to viktoriaparvin@gmail.com
SPECIAL OLYMPICS AND PRIDE FESTIVAL
God’s Work our Hands.

September 14

 Consider joining the  Special Olympics Pepsi walk/running the morning (details below) and then coming to the  Pride Festival at the Downtown Pavilion starting at 11 and continuing through the afternoon. 

St. Mark will have a table at the Festival as in years past.  We’ll have cupcakes, a craft, and more!  You can volunteer (sign-up sheet in the narthex) or just come by to show your support for the LGBTQ community. For questions, contact Laurel McClurken, Lois Shepherd, or Jennifer Giacalone .  

The Special Olympics Pepsi 10k and 2 mile walk will take place also on September 14th. We would love to get a team of St. Mark members to either run the 10K, participate in the 2 mile walk or volunteer to cheer and help at food tables and other jobs.   
 
The money raised from this run goes directly to the Local Area 3 Special Olympics.  There are no paid positions at the local level and all the coaches and staff are volunteers.  All funds are used to pay for equipment, uniforms, travel to competitions and educational materials about Special Olympics.
 
Come, have fun, and mingle with some of the best runners in Charlottesville and several UVa Athletic teams and Special Guest, our very own "COSMO" the famous sheep dog.  
 
To sign up for the run/walk you can go to the website,  


If you are interested in participating as a family and would like to get a discounted family rate, please talk to or email Pastor Viktoria ( viktoriaparvin@gmail.com )
HELP MAKE OUR CHURCH BEAUTIFUL

SEPTEMBER 28
SATURDAY
9AM to 1PM

Join us for an indoor and outdoor cleanup morning at the church. 

Bring your favorite cleaning and gardening tools and gloves. Bring your kids, we have something to do for everyone.

We'll have cool drinks and food and free T-shirts.

If you can, let us know you'll be helping--contact Tim Hess our new property committee chair in person.

Sign up sheets at church or email: office@stmarklutheran.org
Synod and ELCA News
WE ARE A SANCTUARY CHURCH

Dear siblings in Christ,

As many of you know, last week the ELCA Churchwide Assembly adopted a resolution that, among other things, declared the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) a sanctuary denomination. Many of you are asking, “What does this mean?”
 
Our call to love our neighbor is central to our faith. In our baptismal covenant we promise to strive for peace and justice in all the world. One of the ways we live out this vow is through our commitment to welcoming the stranger. With this declaration, we publicly state that walking alongside refugees and immigrants is a matter of faith.


 We have prepared to provide a better understanding and further clarification on what sanctuary means for you and your congregations. We acknowledge this will look different in different contexts across the ELCA.
 
We also hope this resource will help guide conversations with your parishioners and your community about what our faith says about immigration.
 
“Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you,
for the glory of God” (Romans 15:7).
 
In Christ,
The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Presiding Bishop
VIRGINIA INTERFAITH CENTER
You are invited to our annual Celebration and Awards party!

Join us on Thursday, Sept. 19, at 5:30PM at the Hippodrome Theatre in Richmond for dinner, music, and an exciting awards ceremony.  
This is our only annual statewide fundraising event and your participation is greatly appreciated. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by the IRS.

There are many ways to support our mission:
2 -   BECOME A SPONSOR LINK   - Individuals, congregations and company sponsors will get free tickets, recognition in the program, and online PR
3 -  DONATE AN ITEM FOR ONLINE AUCTION LINK   - Donate a gift certificate, a service, or an experience.

Kim Bobo and Pastor Rodney Hunter
Co-Executive Directors
Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy
Save the Date: ACTS Fall Course

Save the date! The ACTS Fall Course on The New Testament will be led by The Rev. Kelly Bayer Derrick on September 21 and November 2, 2019. Registration information will be released in the coming weeks! For more information about ACTS,  click here .
Called to be a Prophet
Sept 27 and 28th.

2-day conference at Christ the King, Cary, on Friday-Saturday, September 27-28 , to help you wrestle with the question: what is God calling you to do? Our world faces issues we can solve--or at least improve--in areas of climate change, racial inequality, and acceptance of all genders and sexualities as the Image of God. 

Join theologians, activists, pastors, and advocates as we answer the call to be modern-day prophets. Presented by the NC Synod; Christ the King, Cary; and Homebrewed Christianity; and featuring speaker Brian McLaren. The first 100 people signing up will receive copies of Brian's and Robyn's new books.

You can stay and worship with us on the 29th as well! Brian McLaren is the headliner, Robyn Henderson-Espinoza is a very talented prophet, and Dr. Steed Davidson was our OT professor at PLTS back in the day. The conference is going to be great and I'd ask that you'd help us spread the word. North Carolina is beautiful in September! Link to the event is  tinyurl.com/calledtobeprophets .
Community News
International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Charlottesville

You are invited for a brown-bag discussion with former refugee community members on Friday, September 13 at 12pm at Central Library. Former refugees will share their experience rebuilding their lives in Charlottesville. The discussion will be moderated by IRC in Charlottesville Executive Director, Harriet Kuhr. 

This event is free and no RSVP is required.
For additional information, please contact the IRC in
Charlottesville at 434-979-7772 x 114 or  Charlottesville@rescue.org

This event is part of Welcoming Greater Charlottesville's Welcoming Week festivities. For a full listing of Welcoming Week events and to learn more about Welcoming Greater Charlottesville, please visit their website.
Join the fight for Alzheimer's First Survivor!

2019 Charlottesville Walk to End Alzheimer’s
Saturday, October 26, 2019 at 9:00AM
IX Park

The Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. This inspiring event calls on participants of all ages and abilities to join the fight against the disease.
Civil Rights Movement and It's Music

Sunday, September 8, 3:00 to 6:30 pm, Trinity Episcopal Church, 1118 Preston Ave. Claudrena N. Harold of UVA and Writer Works from Freedoms Writers of the 60's will present and lead discussion. Music by DJ and Cool Lane. Food provided. Part of Trinity Episcopal’s Whitefeather Project. Free registration at Eventbrite page.
You are invited to the Richard E. Myers Lecture Series
September 17-19 at 5:00 PM
at  University Baptist Church , Charlottesville, VA. This is an academic lecture series that will result in a monograph published by the  University of Virginia Press
David Tracy  will deliver the lectures at University Baptist Church, Charlottesville, VA. A Q&A and reception with wine and hors d'oeuvres will follow the lectures.
Prof. Tracy is Andrew Thomas Greeley and Grace McNichols Greeley Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Catholic Studies and Professor of Theology and the Philosophy of Religions at the University of Chicago Divinity School. His publications include  The Analogical Imagination: Christian Theology and the Culture of Pluralism  and On Naming the Present: Reflections on God, Hermeneutics, and Church .
The title of Prof. Tracy's series is "The Prophetic & Mystical Understanding of God"
CROP WALK
Walk.  Give.  Change the world.
Walkers have reported $250 in online and offline gifts! 

The 48th Annual Charlottesville Albemarle CROP WALK will be on Sunday, October 13, 2019 . Last year we raised $27,074 for local and international hunger relief.

Our CROP WALK will follow our route that starts and ends at Westminster Presbyterian Church on Rugby Rd. We will walk past the University Corner, and on Main Street to Ridge Street, on Cherry Ave., Jefferson Park Ave., to University Avenue and back on Rugby Rd. to Westminster. Alternatively, a shorter walk can end at Cherry Avenue Christian Church. Together, we can help end hunger in our community and around the world!
“Building a More Diverse Community” Six-Part Weekly Series

Starting Thursday, September 12, 6:30 pm,
The Center, 491 Hillsdale Drive Charlottesville

The Center  (formerly The Senior Center) is sponsoring a free series of presentations (by Rev. Dr. Lehman Bates, Leontyne Clay Peck, Dr. Kelly Palmer, Juandiego Wade, Khizr Khan, and Dr. Aliaa Khidr) regarding the need for increased diversity and inclusion in organizations.   Download this flyer   for more information.

Pastor Viktoria will hold office hours any time by appointment. 

Please leave a message at 434-293-3311  
Sunday September 1
Welcome:  Duane Osheim
Greeter:  Dick Rabe
Ushers: 
Crucifer/Acolyte/Chalice:   Zoe Martin/Howard Imhoff
Assisting Minister:  Pat Dwiggins
Children Moment:  Christa Escobar
Lector:   Laurel McClurken
Cantor:  Duane Osheim
Altar Guild:  Sandy Werner
Nursery:  Sylvie Bon-Harper
Snack:  Christine Giesecke & Caroline Hecmanczuk
Coffee/Clean up:  Karen Love
Counters: 
Sunday September 8
Welcome:   Linda Roberts                
Greeter:   Carolyn Rader
Ushers: 
Crucifer/Acolyte/Chalice:  Katharina Ravichandran
Assisting Minister:   Jack Milligan
Children Moment:   Tony Marbury
Lector:  Jeff Werner
Cantor:   Tony Marbury
Altar Guild: Heidi Jones
Nursery: Zoe Martin
Snack:      Yvonne Osheim & Karen Love
Coffee/Clean up:  
Counters: 
St. Mark Lutheran Church (ELCA) of Charlottesville, VA
(434) 293-3311 |  www.stmarklutheran.org