Church Family News
Jennifer Preschool Chapel

Jennifer Elvgren loves working with and writing for children. She and her husband of 28 years, Erik, met during college when they were councilors at Family Guidance camp, a Christian ministry in Pittsburgh, Pa., that served urban neighborhoods.

When they moved to Charlottesville, Jennifer and Erik developed a summer camp program for Abundant Life Ministries. Jennifer has also taught Sunday School at her church Trinity Presbyterian and participated in several of Scripture Union’s Children’s Sand and Surf Missions. Jennifer has been a long-time volunteer at Stony Point Elementary School as well as a Girl Scout troop leader.

A published picture book author, Jennifer has three children: Will, a junior at Christopher Newport University; Lizzy, a junior at Albemarle High School; and Sophie, a 7th grader at Community Middle. She is looking forward to her new role as Chapel Teacher for St. Mark Lutheran Preschool.


There are many stories about Jesus healing people when he was walking with us.

On August 18 we will hear from the the Gospel Luke, who according to Colossians, was a physician (the Greek word for one who heals).

God cares about our pain and suffering, our struggles and problems. I know you have experienced God's Spirit of healing and life working through people. These special people are often caring friends or those who work in the medical field or caretakers.

On Aug 18 we will remember those who are doctors, nurses, caretakers or use their gift of healing for the people in need. If you know someone we can lift up during the prayers please send an email to the office with their names or leave a note in the office on Sunday.

During this service we will also offer prayer and anointing to those who need healing in body, mind or spirit.

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.
AUG 25

You are invited to a picnic on the playground immediately following church on Sunday August 25th. 

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! 

There will be a sign-up sheet in the narthex. 

If you have any questions please contact Christa Escobar.

We look forward to seeing you there! 

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.

God’s Work our Hands
  September 8-September 15 .  

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.
Synod and ELCA News
LIRS needs help for families leaving detention

             Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services is providing support for families seeking asylum on the southwest border, according to information relayed by LIRS to Ann Hess, Luther Memorial, Blacksburg.

            Lutherans are invited to send financial support to LIRS to share with congregations in Arizona, Texas and New Mexico who are caring for these people.

      An humanitarian crisis is unfolding as thousands of traumatized asylum-seeking families are released from detention and abandoned on the streets, according to Marta Spangler with LIRS.

            As many as 700 families a day, many with young children or infants, are being released by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents outdoors in unfamiliar cities. Often, they have only the clothes on their backs. Sometimes, at night, unable to speak English, they desperately seek shelter, food, medical care and transportation.

            Their release is not the crisis, said Sarah Eary of Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest. "The crisis is the complete lack of support they receive afterward."

            Many migrant children and families are fleeing drug trafficking, gang violence and extortion in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. They have the right to seek asylum, under federal law. Since December, ICE has released more than 14,500 people who are released with no clothing, food, water or a place to stay for the night.  
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 .
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced in mid-July plans to narrow food assistance eligibility for low-income families. The drafted rule would tighten Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit access to people applying through “broad-based categorical eligibility,” a method by which households earning slightly above the poverty line can apply if they have exorbitant costs (such as housing or child care) that place them below the poverty line.
Historically, the policy has had popular bipartisan support since it incentivizes families to seek higher-paying jobs or small income increases without immediately losing federal support. Early estimates gauge that over 3 million low-income seniors, working families and those of us with disabilities could be affected. The rule is open for public comment until Sep. 23, and ELCA Advocacy will share an action alert on the issue in the coming weeks.
Interfaith events are being planned around the U.N. Climate Change Summit 2019. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres has called on leaders to come to New York Sept. 23 with concrete, realistic plans to enhance their commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the Episcopal Church, GreenFaith and others are planning an interfaith service Sept. 20; participating in a youth mobilization, also Sept. 20, declaring a climate emergency; and hosting a faith-based consultation Sept. 24, with the theme: “Climate Emergency: Faith-based Organizations Raising Ambition – Leaving No One Behind.”
Lawmakers in Congress and the administration reached a deal to raise federal budget caps and the debt ceiling, which was signed by President Trump Aug. 2. The bipartisan agreement raises limits on discretionary spending by $321 billion over two years and addresses the issue of the debt ceiling until July 31, 2021.
While the increase in federal funding could help maintain existing low-income and humanitarian programs, a significant percent of the nondefense funding will be allocated to support the 2020 Census, meaning ultimate gains will likely be minimal when the budget process is finalized.
With an ELCA voice through the signature of Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton , an interfaith letter signed by more than 30 heads-of-communion was sent to lawmakers July 25, shortly before the agreement was made. The message highlighted the need to raise spending caps to maintain low-income and community programs that help the most vulnerable among us.
STANDING AGAINST #CHRISTIANNATIONALISM: The  ecumenical letter   opposing Christian nationalism was released last week with the launch of the “Christians Against Christian Nationalism” campaign. More than 9,000 Christians have already signed, and momentum from  a social media introduction  by ELCA Advocacy is strong.
Border Crisis Resources for Congregations
(from ELCA Advocacy)

The God-given dignity in all people and value of family unity have been cornerstones of ELCA faith-based advocacy, and we understand that many of us, immigrants as well as families and neighbors, are both afraid and confused by recent developments. Ways to take action can be found in  our latest blog post , which includes worship resources, Action Alert links, meaningful  ELCA Ammparo   strategy ministries,  Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service   tools and more.

Here are things you can do:
1.  Sign our petition to "Welcome All" to Virginia   and send a letter to state Delegate and Senator urging them to support driver's privilege cards and in-state tuition.

2. If you are in the Richmond area, connect with the  

3. If you are in the Northern Virginia area, connect with the

4. Arrange a speaker to talk with your congregation about the immigration crisis and advocacy.    Contact Yanet Limon-Amado  for more information.

Called to Be Prophets
Called to Be Prophets is a 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.

We are pleased to announce the debut of the   Virginia Interfaith Center YouTube Channel  and the launch of a short video that tells our story. 
Visit and subscribe to our channel  to see videos highlighting our priority issues, marches and rallies, and messages from our board members and community leaders.  Please share this link  with your network and encourage people to subscribe.

In Appreciation,Kim Bobo and Pastor Rodney Hunter Co-Executive Directors
Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy
Community News
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!

Click on the red: -  Sign our petition  to show your support for two Virginia policies to welcome immigrants.

In Solidarity, Kim Bobo Co-Executive Director
Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy

Pastor Viktoria will hold office hours any time by appointment. 

Please leave a message at 434-293-3311  
Sunday Aug 18
Welcome:  Alice McKenna
Greeter:  Lois Shepherd
Ushers:  Ali Griffit & Lewis Horton
Crucifer/Acolyte/Chalice:   Nora Giesecke
Assisting Minister:  Constance Johnson
Children Moment:  Pastor
Lector:   Helen Ida Moyer
Cantor:  Paul Shepherd
Altar Guild:  Elaine Oakey
Nursery:  Izzy Hecmanczuk
Snack:  Gail Milligan & Sue Ann McCarty
Coffee/Clean up:  Linda Roberts
Counters:  Christa Escobar & Elain Oakey
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
St. Mark Lutheran Church (ELCA) of Charlottesville, VA
(434) 293-3311 |