Church Family News
Blessing of Students

Are you ready for learning and school? This Sunday we will bless students of all ages who are starting their educational journey.

We will present Bibles to our confirmands who will begin their confirmation at St. Mark.

Leaving for Army training: Emily Marbury

Our confirmands: Zoe, Mia, Madeleine, Breena, Ananda, Kirsten, John and Andrew


You are invited to a picnic on the playground immediately following church

We will provide the main dish (grilled hot dogs, hamburgers, along with vegetarian options) but ask that you provide a side dish to share. So bring your sunscreen, blanket and chairs and invite a friend! All are welcome! 

If you have any questions please contact Christa Escobar.

We look forward to seeing you there! 
Prosami Yard Sale at St. Mark
August 31

Join non-profit Prosami for their annual yard sale at St. Mark on August 31st 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:


We are in the season of stewardship talks and learning about how we can offer, time, ministry gifts and financial resources to the community of Christ through St. Mark.

Each Sunday in August, we will have noisy offering, a way to remind ourselves and teach our kids about giving financially.

Of course we are fare removed from the time of using coins, instead of credit cards, PayPal or any on-line giving. And yet I still have coins in my purse hanging around. If you do, please bring it to church and we will drop it in the offering plate during offering.

For those who prefer on-line giving we have plastic coins right at the bulletins that you can use to put in the offering plate.

It is also a fun way to give. Help your kids learn about giving for mission by giving them some coins to put in the bucket.

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
SPECIAL OLYMPICS God’s Work our Hands.
September 14

Have you signed up yet? One of the missions that we are focusing on this year is the Special Olympics Pepsi 10k and 2 mile walk which will take place 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 ( ), David Zentmyer or Marcy Wisbauer. Scholarships are also available for individuals.

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.

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


We are blessed to have so many of our St. Mark family members leading the psalms during worship. It is wonderful to sing the words together. Do you wonder why and how the psalms are so central to Christian worship? Click below to learn.

Synod and ELCA News

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
New Immigration Policy

A new policy would impose an unprecedented income test on persons seeking legal entry to the United States and deny entrance if they are judged likely to be or ever in the future become a “public charge” entitled to assistance with nutrition, housing or healthcare.

In addition, current lawful permanent residents may have their applications for citizenship denied solely based on using or ever having used certain public programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This policy will cause a cascade of negative impacts, including increasing hunger, blocking family unification and severely restricting immigration of people who want to come and contribute to our nation.

“This cruel policy change flies in the face of our commitments as a church to people seeking a new home here. Our social message on immigration commits us to ‘work for policies that cause neither undue repercussions within immigrant communities nor bias against them,’” says the Rev. Amy Reumann, ELCA director of advocacy. “The public charge rule is an unneeded departure from current practice that prioritizes family unification and humanitarian needs and that values the vitality and contributions of all immigrants regardless of economic status.”

We support benefits for lawful permanent residents as a public good, as stated in the ELCA social message on Immigration ”:

This message that the only ‘worthy’ immigrants in the U.S. are wealthy is not only contrary to the country’s history but also a notion that stands against our faithful teachings as Lutherans.

The rule will go into effect October 15, 2019, unless constrained by Congress or the courts. Please follow along with ELCA Advocacy as we continue to oppose this punitive and unnecessary rule change.


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 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 .
Community News
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.
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"

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.
LGBTQ EVENT - Fralin Museum of Art
August 9, 2019- January 5, 2020
 University of Virginia, 155 Rugby Rd
Inspired by the fiftieth anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising, Otherwise seeks to visualize LGBTQ+ themes and histories as a way of valuing them. Art historian David Getsy defines the ‘otherwise’ as the “endless positions of apartness from which queer stances are posited.” The exhibition brings together work by over twenty-five modern and contemporary artists from The Fralin’s permanent collection to examine the influence LGBTQ+ culture has had and continues to have on artistic production from the early twentieth century to the present. The exhibition presents works by artists who identify as LGBTQ+, as well as artists who have explored queer themes throughout their work. More info and hours   please click here

Pastor Viktoria will hold office hours any time by appointment. 

Please leave a message at 434-293-3311  
Sunday August 25
Welcome:   Amanda Nelsen                        
Greeter:   Sue Picket            
Ushers:  Tom and Caroline Hecmanczuk
Crucifer/Acolyte/Chalice:   Andrew Roache  
Assisting Minister:   Carolyn Rader
Children Moment:   Tom Hecmanczuk
Lector:   Karen Love
Cantor:   Tony Marbury
Altar Guild: Sandy Werner
Nursery: Mia Martin
Snack:      Linda Imhoff & Sue Hess
Coffee/Clean up:  Amanda Nelsen
Counters:  Lynn Stephenson & Constance Johnson
Sunday September 1
Welcome:  Duane Osheim
Greeter:  Dick Rabe
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
St. Mark Lutheran Church (ELCA) of Charlottesville, VA
(434) 293-3311 |