Church Family News


You might have noticed that we have a little bit more light in the sanctuary. The property committee is active in updating the lighting in our church building and all the lightbulbs are changed to LED in the sanctuary and the narthex. We are fortunate to able to do this for thanks to an energy-saving initiative grant from Dominion Energy and Honeywell. In order to do all the lights in the entire building will be a future plan.   One estimate to replace all the fluorescent lights everywhere with new LED fixtures was $10 000. LED will save not only money but it helps us to be environmentally friendly and kind to our World.

The ADA bathroom is under construction by Tom H. We hope to get most of the work don by the end of July.

We are working on plans for a handicap drop off, landscaping, parking expansion and more. These are future plans that will be presented to the whole congregation.

The lock on the side door will be automatically opening at 7AM and Close at 9PM so there will be no more times when one is locked out without a key.

We are proud to be a church community that welcomes many groups from the community and is welcoming to all in the name of Christ.

If you can help to make our church more welcoming and accessible or you can help out things like trimming and mowing or cleaning let the property committee know by sending an email to the office:

Soon we will have the students returning to campus. Orientation for new students began and Pastor Viktoria is at the campus to talk to new students who might be interested joining LUMIN.

Our new leader is Nano Masters and together with Ashley Houser we will be welcoming students, starting student lunches, and providing support and fellowship.

If you see students on Sunday morning, please welcome them. They are away from home and St. Mark is their family away from family and church away from their home church.

If you are interested being a host family for a student and welcoming a student in your home or including them in activities let the office know.
Are You Shopping on Amazon?

We all do. Please remember to support your church just by checking out with Amazon Smile. It cost nothing to you but the church benefits.

AmazonSmile donates to St Mark Lutheran Church Elca of Charlottesville Virginia.

Simply shop at  
 and AmazonSmile donates to St Mark Lutheran Church Elca of Charlottesville Virginia


The 8th Annual Cville Pride Festival Sept. 14, 2019. 

We are a Reconciling in Christ congregation and we are so proud of it. So proud we go every year to be part of the pride festival in Charlottesville. If you cannot help, just stop at our table. If you can, help us give out water, cookies, cupcakes, and engage the people who come to celebrate and get to know safe places like St. Mark.

If you are interested helping out or donating items, please talk to Laurel or send a message to the church office.

2019 is a BIG year for celebration for the LGBTQIA+ community! This summer we celebrate 50 years of PRIDE as we remember the Stonewall Riots, the 45th Anniversary of ReconcilingWorks, and the 10 years of LGBTQIA+ ordination in the ELCA! Together we are celebrating 105 years of welcome, inclusion, and celebration! 

Ariana Willis, our Office and Communications Director. 

Ariana is a Northern Virginia native who moved to Charlottesville last year. While working on her masters degree in English she spends her time reading, playing Minecraft, and relaxing with her two dogs: Teddy the Yorkshire Terrier and Kuzco the Brindle Rescue. 

Please say hi to her and introduce yourself when you are at the office.

She will be in the office on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9AM

"To write is human, to edit is divine."
-Stephen King
St. Mark Women Book Club

July 22 at 7PM

The Women's Book club will meet on 
July 22 at 7:00 

in the church library to discuss: 

In the Heart of the Sea The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick. 

The ordeal of the whaleship Essex was an event as mythic in the nineteenth century as the Titanic disaster was in the 20th century. 

All women of the church and their friends are invited to read the book and come to discuss your feelings about it with us.
Confirmation Planning Meeting at St. Mark 

Parents meeting July 18 Thursday at 6PM.

Confirmation program (for grades 6 and older) will begin September 2019 If you would like to participate in a confirmation group please reach out to our pastor. 
Pastor: 540-840-5426 
Memorial Service for Thomas J. Teisberg.

July 13 Saturday at 3pm

Please keep his partner Regina, Tom's sons Thomas and Tyler and Regina's children Sophia and Katharina in your prayers. 

You are welcome to bring some fruits or cookies to share after the service.
Virginia Synod and ELCA News

40 years of change
by Pastor Andy Ballentine

Editor George Kegley heard I was retiring and asked if I'd be willing to "sum up some of the changes & things I've observed in 40 years?" Of course, I can only speak from my perspective and experience in the locations I've served.

The cultural context for church is significantly different. In 1979, active members showed up for worship three or four times a month, and there was significant cultural support for attending worship. That is much less true now. For many, Sunday morning worship has become an act of resistance against the pressure to be productive 24-7.

Is the mission opportunity to teach about the concept of sabbath as if it is a brand new idea? Pastors and teachers cannot assume any knowledge of the Bible or church tradition. Why should we engage in worship and study, prayer and service? Can the basic practices of the faith be presented as fresh, life-giving alternatives to the deadening effects of our culture?
In my first office, in 1979, my communications technology tools were a telephone and a typewriter. (It was a rich parish. I had an electric typewriter!) Long gone are the days when effective communication was an announcement during Sunday morning worship, or a newsletter article. Now, different generations pay attention to different media. An effective communicator has to cover all of them: e-mail, face book, twitter, Instagram, snapchat, etc., as well as traditional printed materials and spoken announcements.

Women have taken leadership in ways that would have been strenuously resisted in our Virginia Synod 40 years ago. It is significant, for instance, that women are senior pastors or sole Pastors in such traditionally important Shenandoah Valley congregations as Muhlenberg, Harrisonburg; Grace, Winchester; Holy Trinity, Wytheville.

A significant change is an openness to the leadership of young pastors and pastors new to the Synod. That certainly was not true in the "good old boy" Virginia Synod of 40 years ago. No way would there have been Conference deans in their 30s, for instance. I loved it that a "millennial" pastor and a "Gen X" pastor were the ones instructing us elderly clergy on how the Assembly's Holy Communion service would go! I love it that two millennial pastors are chairing the Synod's Mission Table, encouraging mission opportunities in our congregations.

So - just a few observations from my perspective and experience. I look forward to experiencing what the Holy Spirit is creating among us!

(Andy Ballentine is retiring as pastor of St. Stephen, Williamsburg.)
The ELCA celebrates

alongside this year's graduates of the International Women Leaders (IWL) initiative, giving thanks to all who have prayed for them and supported them over these four years.

We join with their families and churches in wishing them the very best as they move into the next chapter of their lives! This year's graduates join Sarah Abendanon, who graduated from Augsburg University in 2018, as the first six scholars to complete their degree programs with IWL.

Pictured, at left, from Luther College are (L-R) Yuen Ching Lee, Lutheran Church in Malaysia, Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in education; Melissa Neo, Lutheran Church in Malaysia, Bachelor of Arts in psychology; and Sthela Gun Holly Hanitrinirina, Malagasy Lutheran Church, Bachelor of Arts in social work.

Pictured, at right, from Newberry College are (L-R) Abby Lai, Lutheran Church in Malaysia, Bachelor of Science in accounting and business administration, and Elisa Perez-Trejo, Mexican Lutheran Church, Bachelor of Arts in international studies.

Make a gift to the International Women Leaders initiative today to support future IWL scholars!

On June 3, the annual debate took place in the General Assembly concerning the Implementation of the 2001   Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and the 2011  Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS . The  UNAIDS   target of reducing HIV by 2020 is just a year away —  90-90-90  (diagnose 90% of all HIV-positive people, provide antiretroviral therapy to 90% of those diagnosed and achieve viral suppression for 90% of those treated by 2020). This target is in line with  Sustainable Development Goal 3 target 3:3   of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

As Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, chef de cabinet of the secretary general’s executive, pointed out, when AIDS was first identified more than 30 years ago, suffering and death seemed unstoppable. Years later, nearly 8 million deaths have been averted since 2000 and three-quarters of people living with the virus now know their status. Unfortunately, this progress remains uneven. Since 2010, Eastern Europe and Central Asia have witnessed a 30% increase in HIV infections.

Ten years ago the ELCA Church Council adopted the  ELCA Strategy on HIV and AIDS   and called on the ELCA to respond faithfully and effectively to this pandemic. Find information concerning the ELCA’s HIV and AIDS Ministry, worship resources and more  here .
Read  the secretary-general’s report: “Galvanizing global ambition to end the AIDS epidemic after a decade of progress”. Read the full report with short summaries of the statements   here .

(click on the blue for more)

The Sanctuary Movement is a growing movement of immigrant and faith communities in the current political climate.   Sanctuary: A Discernment Guide for Congregations   from the Presbyterian Church USA may facilitate discussion of this possible involvement in your congregation.

In the ELCA, many congregations are sanctuary congregations. Identify  ELCA  welcoming and sanctuary congregations and synods on the map.
Community News

SUPPORT THE IRC (International Rescue Committee)

Donate supplies for students returning to school

This fall, refugee students will return to school, many for the first time in the US. Help students start their school year with the right tools. Donate backpacks in gender-neutral themes and colors, school supplies, children's socks and underwear (new, please), and shoes to the IRC.  

Donations can be dropped off at the IRC office (609 E Market St) Mondays and Wednesdays 9am-12pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays 2-5pm, or Fridays 9am-5pm. Please email if you have questions about donating.
22nd Annual Westhaven Community Day - Participation and Contribution
Saturday, August 3, 10 am to 6 pm, 803 Hardy Dr, Charlottesville

Westhaven Community Day has become a pillar of strength in the Charlottesville community by bringing individuals, families and organizations together each year. Residents from all surrounding neighborhoods are invited to a day of family fun and activities, including Music, Food, Dancing, Community Information and Health Fair, Games, Awards, Sports Physicals and more! We also have 60 vendors and exhibitors, free sports physicals, free blood pressure screenings, and free HIV and Hep C testing.

Cville Resonates ( A Unity Days event )
Saturday, August 10, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm, Market St. Park, 101 E Market St,

"Charlottesville Resonates" is a gathering in Market St. Park at 11:00 am, to bring musical resonance and community participation using musical harmony. Various brass ensembles from around the Commonwealth will play and encourage community members to engage in resonance exercises. A "Pot Luck" meal will follow in the Fellowship Hall of First United Methodist Church.
C’Ville Sing Out! ( A Unity Days event )
Saturday, August 10, 4 to 6 pm, The Sprint Pavilion in the Downtown Mall

Everyone in our community is invited to participate in a wonderful group singing event - a positive celebration of our town to promote love and brotherhood among all races, cultures, and beliefs. More information and registration to sing in the choir can be found at .
CCC Interfaith Service ( A Unity Days event )
Monday, August 12, 7 to 8:30 pm, First Baptist West Main St., 632 W Main St, Charlottesville

The focus of this service (organized by the Charlottesville Clergy Collective) will be to honor and remember those who recognize the past racial and economic inequities and who stand up to the racism and hate of white supremacy; to educate the community about the harmony among the various faith traditions practiced in the area; and to inspire acknowledgement of the truth of Charlottesville's painful past of exclusion with the hope for transparency, forgiveness, and repair.

Meals on Wheels Wish List

Here are the most needed items:
- Wet & dry cat food 
- Puzzle Books
- Plastic grocery bags
- Homemade Birthday Cards
- Large gift bags
- Unopened toiletries

Pastor Viktoria will hold office hours any time by appointment. 

Please leave a message at 434-293-3311  

Sunday July 14
Welcome:                Linda Roberts           
Greeter:                  Linda Imhoff      
Ushers:                  Marcy Wisbauer & Will &Leo Abrahamson
Crucifer/Acolyte/Chalice:     William Abrahamson        
Assisting Minister:          Constance Johnson   
Children Moment:          Christa Escobar    
Lector:                  Carolyn Evans
Cantor:                  Duane Osheim
Altar Guild:              Marcy Wisbauer 
Nursery:                 Caroline Hecmanzuk
Snack:                   Yvonne Osheim & Marcy Wisbauer
Coffee/Clean up:           Yvonne Osheim
Counters:                 Elaine Oakey, Lois Shepherd   

Sunday July 21
Welcome:                  David Zentmyer
Greeter:                     Constance Johnson
Ushers:                   Ali Griffit & Lewis Horton
Crucifer/Acolyte/Chalice:        William Abrahamson
Assisting Minister:              Heidi Jones
Children Moment:           Pastor Viktoria
Lector:                         Duane Osheim
Cantor:                        Duane Osheim
Altar Guild:                    Heidi Jones
Nursery:                  Anna Bon-Harper
Snack:                        Kathryn Stephenson & Amy Robbins
Coffee/Clean up:                Charlotte Owens
Counters:         Greg Wichelns & Pat Dwiggins
St. Mark Lutheran Church (ELCA) of Charlottesville, VA
(434) 293-3311 |