Church Family News

In our celebration of God's Spirit reforming the Christian Church, this Sunday when you come to worship, wear something RED. Reformation is the renewal of the church. We turn our hearts to God instead of our own selfish desires or human ideas to only follow Christ.

The year of 1517 in Germany, reformation meant big changes in the church. Luther translated the Bible from Greek and Hebrew, stopped practices like selling forgiveness for money, and returned to the understanding that the grace of God is a free gift to all Christians.

Reformation is happening today! As a church we grow and renew in our learning about God's love and grace. Living a Christ like life as a community and showing it to the World is as difficult, demanding and dangerous as it was in the very beginning.

As we celebrate on Sunday, we are bold to proclaim our alliance to Christ alone and give thanks for the life of countless reformers who gave their life for their faith.

Pastor Viktoria has ben at the Gathering of the Ministerium at Virginia Beach since Monday. This event is a gathering of all pastors from the synod to learn, worship and have fellowship with each other.

This year the theme was: congregational vitality. A difficult topic to cover, the presenter lifted up the need to not only "do" but to "speak". God's Work Our Hand's is a motto for our church. The second half of this motto that needs to be lifted up more is God's Word Our Voices. As a church we are good in social work and ministry but failing in proclaiming Christ and giving credit to God in everything we do.

Our shyness and hesitation of proclaiming God's work in our lives makes faith inconsequential. We are recommitting ourselves as congregations and church to speak about our faith, build faith based relationships and learn the language of faith by using the words of Christ. The worship and sermons at the event centered on Jesus' question: "WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM?"

We thank you as one community for your gift and commitment of your pledges. The pledge drive has been completed and we are excited to plan the budget and gather to present it to you at our annual meeting in December. Watch for the invitation to gather, pray, share fellowship and not only look at numbers but think about the mission of our church, the needs of the people and our community and also see how we can make St. Mark more welcoming and accessible. These goals are not easy but we are positive that with your support we can be a church that is unique because following Christ' puts us on a road that is unique from all other direction.

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.

We will begin with a short prayer and a sharing of highs and lows. Then we will spend about an hour in a discussion of the readings. Please read the designated chapters prior to the meeting. As you read we suggest you look for/ note your thoughts about the readings.

During the last 15 minutes we will close in shared prayer.
10/28 Chapters 11 and 12     Forgiveness; Hinderances
11/4  Chapters 13 and 14     Eucharist;  Death and Eternal Life
11/11  Summary
For more information contact:
Laurel McClurken
Linda Roberts
Synod and ELCA News
A Call for Dignity and Respect in Politics

Recently, Bishop Eaton added her name to a Statement of Support titled "Golden Rule 2020: A Call for Dignity and Respect in Politics." This project was developed through a convening hosted by the National Institute for Civil Discourse in Washington, D.C. earlier this year.

Churches have an important role to play in helping to heal America, and we hope and pray that local congregations will be active in efforts to increase understanding and bridge divisions in our country between now and the 2020 election.

To this end, we encourage Christians of different political views, to come together on Sunday, November 3, 2019 --exactly one year before the 2020 election--to participate in Golden Rule 2020: A Call for Dignity and Respect in Politics. On that day, we invite congregations and individuals to do two things:
  1. Pray for the healing of the divisions in our country, and 
  2. Promote the use of the Golden Rule in our own political discussions and election activities in 2020 Learn more and read the full statement.
Lost and Found Youth Event
If you are interested, let the pastor know.

is our annual weekend retreat for youth in 7th and 8th grade and their adult advisors. We have Large Group gatherings that consist of singing, energy, comedy, worship and a presentation on our event theme. After each Large Group gathering each person is part of a Small Group made up of about 8 youth and a couple adult leaders where participants will get to know other Lutheran youth from Virginia and discuss life, faith and other topics that arise throughout the weekend. On Saturday afternoon there is large chunk of Free Time during which we will also hold out annual Talent Show. In the evenings you will relax in your Cottage and talk with other youth and adults from your congregation and other congregations about how the weekend is going.

For more information on Lost and Found and
to register for the event,   click here .
Message on racism and white supremacy

On Sept. 13, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton issued a statement regarding actions the 2019 Churchwide Assembly took to address “the deadly power of racism and white supremacy.” The actions included offering a public apology titled “Declaration of the ELCA to People of African Descent,” adopting a resolution condemning white supremacy and adopting a resolution to establish June 17 as “Emanuel 9 Day of Repentance.” Eaton said, “Standing equally under the judgment and promise of the gospel, we, as a church, can recognize the overt and covert ways that a culture of white supremacy denies full humanity to all people, and we can work to dismantle it.”  
  Annual State ECUMENICAL LARCUM Conference  

being held in Virginia Beach, Virginia at Holy Spirit Catholic Church on  Friday and Saturday, November 22 and 23, 2019.   Please note this is a week earlier than usual .

LARCUM (Lutheran/Anglican/Roman Catholic/United Methodist) Conference being held in Virginia Beach, Virginia at Holy Spirit Catholic Church on  Friday and Saturday, November 22 and 23, 2019 . Fr. James Loughran, SA, Director of the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute will present the historical development of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the challenges to the modern day movement and practical ways in which local ecumenical communities can celebrate this year’s theme  “They Showed Unusual Kindness” .Please visit  to learn more. Registration fee is $35 and includes a box lunch - registration closes November 8, 2019.

...“as we gather annually throughout the world to pray for the unity of Christians we are reminded of the importance of need for “unusual kindness” in the dialogue that leads to growth in unity. We do this in a world where separation and division hinder the quest for Christian Unity. “... Fr. James Loughran, SA. Click below for the program. PROGRAM OF THE ECUMENICAL CONFERENCE

On Nov. 9, 2019 , the world will commemorate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. As we look back to remember this important moment in human history, we are reminded that there is much work to be done to tear down the walls that divide us today. … My friends, I encourage you, your congregations and your communities to join together in proclaiming this truth — that we are one human family.”
— The Rev. Rafael Malpica Padilla, executive director for Global Mission
Join us for a FREE, 2-day course featuring Victor Vieth called “When Faith Hurts".

This course deals with the intersection of child abuse and faith communities. Held on November 12-13, 2019 from 8:30 Am to 5:00 PM at Lexington Presbyterian Church. Topics include:
  • When Faith Hurts
  • When Child Abuse Hits Home: Corporal Punishment, the Law and the Faith Community
  • Understanding the Impact of Trauma on Children
  • Recognizing and Responding to Sexual Offenses Committed by Children, addressing emotional and spiritual injuries, care in action: a collaboration between faith and child protective communities, responding to allegations of child abuse within a congregation

To register for this event,  click here . For an informational flyer  click here . For more information about the speaker,   click here .
Theological Touchstones for Disagreeing in the Body of Christ

This article was published on October 1 in the Journal of Lutheran Ethics. Given some of the conversations happening in our Synod and across the ELCA, it would seem that congregations in our midst are not immune to differences of opinion among God's saints. Whether we are viewing congregational finances, times of transition, or theological or societal questions, these theological touchstones might be helpful in framing Christian dialogue.

The authors -- Amy Carr and Christine Helmer -- offer three touchstones in particular, rooted in Word and sacrament. From our confessional position where "for the true unity of the church it is enough to agree concerning the teaching of the Gospel and the administration of the sacraments," the authors point us toward:

  1. remembering our baptismal adoption as the covenantal framework for all ecclesial disagreement.
  2. in communing at the Lord’s Table, eschatological trust infuses our current grappling with enduring conflicts.
  3. mindfulness about two orienting tendencies that take turns animating many expressions of sin: presumption of our own righteousness on one hand, and on the other, despair of divine mercy and of creation’s goodness
Community News
Trinity Episcopal Church’s 100th Anniversary Joint Concert Celebration
Friday, October 25, 6:30 pm, Trinity Episcopal Church, 1118 Preston Ave.
The choirs of Trinity, Christ Church, St. Paul’s Ivy, and others will present “Songs of Struggle, Justice, and Hope.”   Download flyer  for more information. 
Janet McKenzie’s “Icons of Jesus” Exhibit
Tuesday, October 29 through Sunday, November 3, at St. Paul's, Ivy Episcopal Church, 851 Owensville Rd, Charlottesville.  Download flyer   for exhibition times.
Janet McKenzie , a Vermont artist who won national recognition for her icons of Jesus. She will display 20 icons which depict the Holy as people of various colors, reflecting the whole human race. Her work has appeared in Richard Rohr’s daily emails.
Divine D.I.V.A. Extravaganza, presented by Mt. Zion First African Baptist
Saturday, November 2, 6 pm, Doubletree Hotel
Featuring Morgan McCoy, Actress, Author, Speaker. Cost: $55.  Download flyer   for more information.
Bicentenary Celebration of the Birth of the Bab - Baha'i Faith
Sunday, November 3, 2:30 to 4:15 pm at PVCC Dickinson Theater, 444 College Dr, Charlottesville.
Baha'is all around the world will be celebrating the bicentenary of the Birth of the Bab (the Gate and Herald of Baha'u'llah) who is one of the two founders of the Baha'i Faith in late-October/early-November. The Greater Charlottesville Baha'i Community invites you to celebrate this occasion on Sunday, November 3.   See flyer   for more information. Please RSVP with Manouchehr Mohajeri < >.
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville’s “Building on Faith” Breakfast
Thursday, November 7, 8:30 to 10:30 am, Church of the Incarnation,  1465 Incarnation Dr,
Clergy and members of faith communities who have supported  Habitat for Humanity  in the past or are interested in supporting Habitat are invited to this FREE breakfast. Our highlights this year will be:
  • Pathways to Housing, providing mentorship and training for individuals and families who want to apply for homeownership through Habitat but aren’t yet in a position, financially, to do so.
  • Southwood Mobile Home Park Redevelopment, engaging residents to take the lead in the process of planning a mixed-use, mixed-income community. Residents have already put in over 3,000 hours to the planning process and been a part of 70+ workshops on land planning, rezoning, finance, and design/development.
If you would like to go ahead and RSVP, please email .
The P ower of Difference Brown Bag Series
All sessions from 12 to 1:00 pm, at The Sum Study Center, 914 E Jefferson, Suite G4
Monday Series: Cultivating the power of difference within ourselves and our organizations
Nov 18, Nov 25, Dec 2
Wednesday Series: Facilitating diverse groups
Nov 20, Nov 27, Dec 4
Friday Series: Exploring my whiteness
Nov 15, Nov 22, Dec 6
3 sessions per series. $10 suggested donation per session--come to any or all! 
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Thursday, December 5, 8:00 am to 5 pm, leave from Mt. Zion First African Baptist, 105 Lankford Ave.
What: Field trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture
Where: Washington, D.C.
When: Thursday, DECEMBER 5, 2019
  • Leave Mt. Zion First African Baptist Church at 8:00 am
  • Arrive for our 11:00 am timed entrance pass
  • Leave museum around 2:30 pm
  • Return around 5 pm at Mt. Zion First African Baptist Church
How: Travel by Mt. Zion’s coach bus (40 seats)
Cost: $20 per person to cover the cost of gas, the driver, and parking. Bring $20 cash or check to Alvin Thursday morning. 

YOU MUST   REGISTER HERE   to secure your spot on the bus! 
We’ve reserved 40 tickets...first come, first served.  
Sunday October 27
Welcome: Duane Osheim                   
Greeter:  Karen Love
Ushers:  Tom & Caroline Hecmanczuk
Crucifer/Acolyte/Chalice: Christophe Escobar/Phyllis Stewart
Assisting Minister:  Pat Dwiggins
Children Moment:  Tony Marbury
Lector:  Rich Leahy and Alice McKenna
Cantor:  Pat Dwiggins
Altar Guild: Jessica Ney-Grimm
Nursery: Christa Escobar
Snack:  Christine Giesecke & Caroline Hecmanczuk
Coffee/Clean up:  Charlotte Owen & Kara McClurken
Counters:  Lynn Stephenson & Pat Dwiggins
Sunday November 3
Welcome: Linda Roberts               
Greeter:  Gail & Jack Milligan
Ushers:  Lewis & Crosby Horton
Crucifer/Acolyte/Chalice: Zoe Martin
Assisting Minister:  Constance Johnson
Children Moment:  Tom Hecmanczuk
Lector:  Suzanne Hess
Cantor:  Kevin Konart
Altar Guild: Linda Imhoff
Snack:  Yvonne Osheim & Kathryn Stephenson
Coffee/Clean up:   Lisa Veale, Bill & Linda Roberts
Counters:  Pat Dwiggins & Greg Wichelns
St. Mark Lutheran Church (ELCA) of Charlottesville, VA
(434) 293-3311 |