Church Family News

As I settle into the rhythms and routines of the new school year I find myself considering how to prioritize our collective daily needs and wants. What or whom is my priority--my concern, interest or desire that comes before all others? 

While my list grows longer each year and the concerns are reordered from time to time, my faith in God remains top on the list. Above all else I aim to follow the teachings of Christ each day. For me, these include:
·      Caring for myself, my family, and friends so that we can care for others and the world in which we all live.
·      Loving my neighbors and those whom I do not know so that we can all share in God’s ever-present love and grace. 
·      Sharing my time and talents to help those who struggle to see or to know of God’s love. 
·      Pledging support and offering resources to help my community of faith continue in the missional work currently underway and yet to come.

St. Mark Lutheran Church is my faith community. Many people share their time and talents by visiting the homebound, educating children and young adults, supporting those who are ill or grieving, planning for meaningful worship services, maintaining the financial and administrative operations, tending to the property needs, welcoming all of God’s children to our church, and so much more.

Where does your faith fit into your priorities? Will you join me in supporting the work of this church? Please consider sharing your resources with St. Mark Lutheran Church as you complete and return the pledge form recently was distributed. 

In Peace,
Amanda Nelsen (Mission Council)
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. 

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. 

Weekly preschool chapel has started again! This week we learned that “God made the world and God made me!” We are all different and all special! Chapel is held every Wednesday morning for children at the preschool.

It is September and the beginning of St. Mark LUMIN.

We gather to have lunch together, talk about student life, faith and have fun amidst of study.

Favorite spot? Food for All Nations.

Thank you to everyone who brought food for the Blue Ridge Food Bank last Sunday ("God's Work Our Hands" Sunday).

We collected over 100 pounds of food for the hungry! There are still St. Mark-branded cloth bags you can use to collect canned and dry goods that you can bring in any time and leave in the corner of the narthex.

A special thanks to Carolyn Rader for taking the food to the food bank!

Rich Leahy,
Chair of Social Ministry Committee

Shabbat Shalom - Welcome!

On a Friday night, September 13, we were invited by our Jewish brothers and sisters to join in celebrating Bar Mitzvah with our confirmation class. Rabbi Tom Gutherz at Beth Israel greeted us as we arrived.

We sang and prayed together and followed the songs accompanied by Rabbi Rachel Schmelkin on guitar.

We saw a young man become a "son of the commandment," one deemed responsible by Jewish tradition as an adult. Similarly to our confirmation right, it is a celebration of promises fulfilled and a passage into religious adulthood.

We saw this young man reading the Torah, that contains the first five books of the Bible. He also offered interpretation of the passage that he read. It was very special to listen to the original Hebrew language that these books were written. Each Tora scroll that we saw carried around the congregation was written by hand on parchment by a Sofer, a scribe.

After the service, we were invited to sing, share a cup of drink and break bread together.

St. Mark is a Reconciling in Christ Congregation and it has been a tradition to have a table at the Charlottesville Pride festival.

This ye ar we invited kids to make bracelets, gave out more than 600 cupcakes, and celebrate love together.

Over 9,500 people attended

74 generous vendors provided resources, merch, & services

24 incredible sponsors helped make this possible

Over 50 performers graced the festival stage with gifts of dance, music, and drag performance

About 175 volunteers of all ages worked at all hours of the day

To come together to learn and grow in prayer, individually and collectively. We will meet from 1PM to 2:30PM each Monday for the next 8 weeks. (Sept 23-Nov 11). Come Join us.

We are reading: Henry Nouwen: The Only Necessary Thing.

For more information contact:
Laurel McClurken
Linda Roberts

You are invited!
Our Beer and Hymns

Trinity Pub on the Corner, 7pm to 8 pm.

All ages are welcome. We meet the second Monday of each month, same time and place. Bring your friends to experience this Lutheran tradition. We will have a great time!
The adult Sunday School class is an informal discussion group, open to all. We usually have a topic planned, but current events, concerns on the minds of attendees, studies requested by the ELCA, and books or articles on a range of topics have been known to stimulate conversations.

We meet at 9 am on Sundays in the Student Room. Some come late; some need to leave early. Some read topics in advance of class; some come if and when they can. Some contribute liberally to conversations; some choose to listen.

Our first planned topic will be an introduction to and discussion of Dear Church, a book by ELCA pastor Lenny Duncan. We may dedicate our time in September and October to this interesting book. An article by Pastor Duncan was published in the July 2019 issue of Living Lutheran magazine:

9AM to 1PM


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

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

We'll have cool drinks, food and free T-shirts.
Synod and ELCA News
683 Thomas Jefferson Parkway
Palmyra, VA
September 28, 2018
4:00 p.m. in the afternoon

By the grace of God, The Rev. Meredith Williams will be installed to the offie of pastor of Grace and Glory Lutheran Church in Palmyra, VA with reception following the service.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”
(Psalm 46:1).

Hurricane Dorian has hit with devastating force, causing major damage and a growing number of reported deaths in the Bahamas, and inundating the Carolinas with flooding and storm surge. 

Lutheran Disaster Response is communicating with the Florida-Bahamas Synod, the South Carolina Synod, the North Carolina Synod, Lutheran Services Carolinas and other partners, who are assessing the immediate needs and initiating a response. While the extent of the damage is not yet known, we will accompany impacted communities from immediate relief through long-term recovery. This is our commitment as a church. 

Stay connected to the latest events and our response to this and other disasters through our  Facebook   page.
Called to be a Prophet
Sept 27 and 28th.
2-day conference at Christ the King, Cary, on Friday-Saturday, 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.
North Carolina is beautiful in September! Link to the event is .
Community News
Charlottesville Youth Climate Strike
Friday, September 20 at Noon

Three days before the UN Climate Summit in NYC, young people and adults will strike all across the US and world to demand action to address the climate crisis. Rally in Charlottesville at noon on the downtown mall at the Free Speech Wall.
Domestic Violence Awareness
Thursday, October 10, 6:30-8:30pm at Northside Library
For Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, Cville NOW hosts Jonathan Yglesias, Policy Director for the  Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance , who will share information on state and federal action priorities.
“Refugees in America” by Rabbi Lee T. Bycel
Thursday, September 19, 7:30 pm, Congregation Beth Israel, 301 East Jefferson St.
Rabbi Bycel will describe his experiences in refugee camps and share stories about some of the refugees profiled in his new book  Refugees in America   (read  press release ). This event is part of  Welcoming Charlottesville Week , an extended week of educational & cultural programs planned by the Welcoming Greater Charlottesville task force to affirm and celebrate the contributions of immigrants to our community. Contact  Dela Alexander for more information.
“A Different Side” Documentary Premiere
Thursday, September 19, 6:30 to 8:00 pm, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Performance Arts Center, 1400 Melbourne Rd.
This documentary was created by five Charlottesville High School students who wanted to tell their story and experiences as young Black men living in central Virginia. They spent six weeks filming, editing, and producing this documentary. They even composed their own original score of music for the film. This is unprecedented given their age and experience. Read  letter  from Daniel Fairley, Charlottesville’s Youth Opportunity Coordinator, and  d ownload t he flyer   and  register  for the event.
Interfaith March for Peace & Justice at the Downtown Mall
Sunday, September 22, starting at 4:00 pm at Thomas Jefferson Freedom of Expression Wall.
The  Interfaith March for Peace & Justice   in cooperation with the  Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice   will be conducting a march on the downtown Mall to publicly reassert the basic principles of equal justice for all and religious liberty for all in a peaceful way. Read this  press release  for more information about the march. 
“A Conversation on Race and Democracy” with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
Thursday, September 26, 6:30 to 8 pm, Historic Academy of Music Theatre, 600 Main Street, Lynchburg, VA.
Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, Dr. David Blight, Dr. Martha S. Jones, Dr. Peter Onuf and moderator Dr. Edward L. Ayers will discuss Thomas Jefferson and how has the legacy of racial slavery shaped our democracy.   Purchase your tickets ($10-26) here .
Pastor Viktoria will hold office hours any time by appointment. 

Please leave a message at 434-293-3311  
Sunday September 22
Welcome: Marco Escobar                   
Greeter:  David Brumbaugh
Ushers:  Tom & Caroline Hecmanczuk
Crucifer/Acolyte/Chalice: Mia Martin/Alice McKenna
Assisting Minister:  Jack Milligan
Children Moment:  Tom Hecmanczuk
Lector:  Lewis Horton
Cantor:  Tony Marbury
Altar Guild: Patty Marbury
Nursery: Mia Martin
Snack:  Carolyn Rader & Kristen Wray  
Coffee/Clean up:   Lisa Veale & Caroline Hecmanczuk
Counters:  Greg Wichelns & Mark Giesecke
Sunday September 29
Welcome:  Tom Hecmanczuk
Greeter:  Jennifer Dwiggins
Ushers:  Lewis & Crosby Horton
Crucifer/Acolyte/Chalice:  Crosby Horton
Assisting Minister:  Nano Masters
Children Moment:  Christa Escobar
Lector:  Tim Hess
Cantor:  Susan Horton
Altar Guild:  Heidi Jones
Nursery:  Nora Giesecke
Snack:  Margi Roache & David & Will Zentmyer
Coffee/Clean up:  Gail Milligan & Amanda Nelsen
Counters:  Pat Dwiggins & Mark Giesecke
St. Mark Lutheran Church (ELCA) of Charlottesville, VA
(434) 293-3311 |