Synod Assembly Reflections

                                Pastor Viktoria
There was much work being done at the synod assembly. We presented and Rich Leahy spoke on the Tent of Nations Resolution that was voted on and adopted. We worshiped together with all congregations. We get some beautiful knitting work done during the long reports. We talked about how God is faithful and our motto for the assembly was: Let us hold unwaveringly to the hope that we confess, for God, who made the promise, is faithful (Hebrews 10:23). During the assembly it was raining and dark but the two days was a great reminder of what it means to be called church together and serving together. Besides the visitors, we had rostered ministers, congregational lay members, retired clergy, officers of the synod, and the synod council there. Our Bishop The Rev. Robert F. Humphrey reflected on all the work we do as a church.  

                                   Rich Leahy
June 7-8th, Rich Leahy and Laurel McClurken were the St. Mark delegates to the Virginia Assembly of the ELCA at Roanoke College, accompanied by Pastor Viktoria and Gene McClurken. The assembly theme was "Faithful, Bold and Serving."

It was good to hear details about the work of the ELCA worldwide, and of our Virginia Synod. We heard summaries and power points on a very diverse range of topics, from mosquito netting distribution in Papua New Guinea to Young Adults in Global Mission, to a very moving video on our prison ministry in Virginia, Grace Inside. It was also heartening to see a video on how a Lutheran congregation partnered with a mosque to package food for the community, and to see how each faith community went beyond their comfort zones to put their Abrahamic faith in action.

I'm happy to say that the resolution co-sponsored by St. Mark and Christ the King (Richmond) congregations, concerning the "Tent of Nations" near Bethlehem in the West Bank, passed. The Tent of Nations, founded by the Nassar family (who are Palestinian Lutherans) on their ancestral farm, grew out of dire necessity and boldness in faith. The Israeli Army will not allow the Nassars to build or otherwise develop their farm since it is in the West Bank, even though they have a deed of ownership that is a century old. Instead of giving in to despair or leaving the farm, they founded the Tent of Nations, to gather volunteers from around the world for workshops, to help farm the land, support the Women's Center, and to build bridges of understanding and hope.

The resolution encourages Virginia Synod congregations to designate two Sundays per year (Sunday, October 20 in 2019 and Sunday March 30 in 2020) as Tent of Nations Sunday for the purpose of prayer, education and encouraging visits by church members learn and volunteer at the Nassar farm to experience and participate in its mission. Pastor Elizabeth Yates (retired) will also lead a ten pilgrimage to the Holy Land May 1-11 2020 and may be contacted at

George Nassar, who with his brother Daoud owns the farm on which Tent of Nations is located, attended the Assembly (he's a member of Christ the King, Richmond) and it was heartwarming to meet him and support this resolution from the microphone. The resolution passed almost unanimously and we will give you more information on the Tent of Nations and its work in October. Meanwhile you can learn more about the Tent of Nations at and the Friends of Tent of Nations North America at

                              Laurel McClurken
When I think of the Virginia Synod Assembly I think of people. Since attending its predecessor body for the first time many decades ago, one of my favorite aspects is the opportunity to greet "old" friends and make new ones. This year was not an exception.

For example, I talked with 2 former organists from St. Mark - Nancy Delaney and Lavelva Stevens (and Lavelva's mom); June Nabers (from Lutheran Family Services); friends from Peace Lutheran; one of our previous supply pastors, Jim Kniseley; our past bishop, Jim Mauney and our current bishop, Bob Humphry. 

And then there are the new friends made. For example, Interim Pastor Kate Hute and delegate Kate Hoffstaetter, from Faith Suffolk as well as Central Valley Area Dean Karen Van Stee, pastor of St. Mary, Mt Jackson shared a table with Pastor Viktoria, Rich Leahy and me as we joined in a discussion about faith and participated in worship and business sessions. I look forward to seeing them again and learning where the Holy Spirit has led their congregations.
One of the gifts of attending this event is the reminder that we are part of something more than just one congregation. We are connected to 140 congregations in this synod and to 9500 congregations in the ELCA.

As Bishop Eaton reminds us "We are Church Together."
Hello St. Mark,
It is with great sadness that I inform you that I have resigned as the Youth and Family Ministries Director.  I have always felt that our Youth are the most important part of our congregation and our lives and they deserve our very best. 
I took on the position with one personal stipulation.  If there ever came a time when I could not give our Youth my full attention, I would step down.  Well that time has come due to a few life changes. I felt that a solid and supportive full-time career could enable me to continue doing what I loved and felt called to do with our Youth.  My career has taken a change and I accepted a job in Richmond. Also, to take more control over my career and life I am actively pursuing a graduate degree.
My time as YFM Director has been awesome!!  We have done a lot of great and fun events together, I feel we have grown in Christ.   Thank you all for your support.
I'll see you in Church,
Confirmation at St. Mark grades 6 and older

Confirmation program will begin September 2019 If you would like to participate in a confirmation group please reach out to our pastor. 

Parent Meeting is June 30th After Church in the Student Room.

Pastor: 540-840-5426 
St. Mark Committees consider applying!

Lutheran L2020 Grants Now Open!

Impact1890-A National Lutheran Program is pleased to announce the availability of Impact grants for the 2020 year. Each year, Impact1890 awards grants to non-profit organizations that share in the same passion of serving seniors, particularly those who are aging in place in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.
All grants must address at least one of the following urgent needs faced by older adults:

* Social isolation
* Transportation
* Housing
* Navigating and accessing health care and social services
* Chronic disease management
* Dealing with Alzheimer's disease, dementia and memory loss

Does your organization qualify? Proposals will be accepted from June 3, 2019 at 9 a.m. EDT until July 31, 2019 at 5 p.m. EDT. To learn more about the submission of grant proposals, visit

Questions? Contact us at or 301-354-2703 and ask for Impact1890.

Children's Choir of Central Virginia 

They will practice in the sanctuary at St. Mark beginning in September on Thursdays  at 5pm-6:30pm. If you are interested joining your kids please contact the choir.

In addition to the "Touring Choir" and private piano and voice lessons, The Children's Choir of Central Virginia is proud to announce the addition of a totally free choir starting this coming Fall called the "Just One" choir. All commitments are on just one day (Sundays), at just one time (4pm-5pm), and there will be just one concert. No uniforms and no tuition fees. Please help to spread the word about this amazing opportunity for the children in our community. Space is limited and children will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. For more details please   visit our website by clicking here.

Thank you for your time and help.
Brian Dean Sousa, B.M., M.M.
Founder and Artistic Director

Power in the Spirit 2019 Registration Open!

Power in the Spirit is an inspirational conference for everyone who wishes to explore God's call to service through joyous worship, Bible study, keynote addresses, workshops, and fellowship.

To view this year's event packet with information on everything happening at this year's Power in the Spirit, click here.

Join us July 11-13 at Roanoke College for a conference with Lutherans for all across the state. Register for Power in the Spirit online today!
Registration is open for all Virginia Synod summer youth events!

If you are interested
 in any of these events please let the office know:

Kairos June 23-28, 2019 at Roanoke College
Kairos is our annual week-long faith formation event for youth who will be in 9th-12th grades in the coming fall. It is a chance for youth who are already committed to a life of faith to be part of a unique Christian community for an entire week, to have a fresh experience of the grace and presence of God in that community, and to develop habits for discipleship that can be taken home as they live out their baptismal call to follow Jesus. Kairos is different from our weekend events in that congregations do not send advisors with youth; the event staff serves as small group leaders and dorm advisors for the week. "Kairos" is the New Testament Greek word for "special time." It is used whenever God's people want to talk about a time of change, of renewal, of God's special work in the believer and the community.

Launch July 7-11, 2019 at Roanoke College
LAUNCH is an event for youth who have just graduated from high school. Its purpose is to give them a chance to take stock of where their faith life has led them so far and also to provide an opportunity to engage in discussion on matters of faith and life that are likely to face them as they move on to the next stage of their lives, whether it be the workforce, military or other public service, college, or something else. If participants are veterans of our Virginia Synod ELCA Youth Events (Lost and Found, Winter Celebration, Kairos, etc.), they will find that this event is structured differently. We will spend our three full days together in a rhythm of worship, informal presentations to the whole group, small group discussions, and individual reflections that engage the mind as well as the spirit. Of course, there will be time for fellowship and relaxation and enjoyable meal times together.

Junior High Servant Event
Junior High Servant Event is a week-long servant event for Youth who have completed the 6th, 7th, or 8th grade, and their adult advisors and focuses on learning about the needs of others, serving and growing in faith. We spend the week together experiencing the Christian life through worship, fellowship, and service. Of course, being in Virginia Beach, we will also spend some time having fun at the water's edge. The cost for the event is $110 per participant. To register, click here. If you have any questions, reach out to Pastor Cathy Mims of the Junior High Servant Event Leadership Team at

Theology for Teens July 28-August 3, 2019 at Roanoke College
Our fourth annual summer camp introducing teens to biblical and theological scholarship, exploring contemporary challenges & how their faith tradition can meet those challenges. We will focus on the life & thought of Dietrich Bonhoeffer-a church leader who met the challenges before him-we will explore today's social issues & encounter other faiths by engaging the students with leaders from those various communities. Come and discover a sense of mission, be equipped with theological tools to enable you to meet the challenges facing the church today.

Saint Mark Social Ministry In Action

Please join us and help provide snack bags for refugees (sponsored by the IRC) traveling through the Charlottesville area on their way to re-settlement in the U.S.

It is urgently needed because the local volunteers are regularly meeting up to 4 buses of immigrants/day and are running out of supplies.

When is this happening?
This is our social ministry focus right now
From May - July 

How can you help?
* Donate bulk items mentioned (look for a donation box in the narthex), 
* Join others who would like to make a social activity in assembling the bags at St. Mark (children welcome); 
* Make a monetary donation on VENMO, at @Cville4Asylum.

Snack bag items to donate:
  • Bottled-water 
  • Gatorade/juices 
  • protein snacks (nuts, jerky, protein bars/granola bars w/protein)
  • cereal bars/ fig bars/ Nutrigrain
  • granola bars 
  • applesauce (squeezable packs)
  • raisins
Jennifer Giacalone :, 434-409-2397. 

Stonewall 50th Anniversary: Film & Discussion

Thursday, June 20⋅6:00 - 9:00pm
Charlottesville, VA 22901, USA
The PBS documentary Stonewall Uprising will be screened followed by a discussion with members from the University of Virginia LGBTQ Center's Speakers Bureau. Film rated PG-13.

Sunday, June 23 at City Space, 6-7pm
Watch a short film about Stonewall and find out about what the City of Charlottesville is doing to try to expand and address LGBTQ rights today.

Stonewall Anniversary March and Brunch
Sunday, June 30⋅10:30am - 1:30pm
We'll start at IX, march to the Free Speech Wall, and brunch at Rapture! Bring your rainbows!

Get Involved at the 8th Annual Cville Pride Festival

It's coming soon! Sept. 14, 2019. Check out our event page for info about vending or performing. 


Join us for a Cost of Home
Campaign Kickoff Event:

Wednesday, June 12
9-10:30 a.m.
CitySpace, 100 5th Street NE

Hear from your neighbors who are impacted by the rising Cost of Home and learn how you can help make the Cost of Home something we can all afford.


Your gift today DOUBLES to protect lives!

The Democratic Republic of Congo is facing one of the worst Ebola outbreaks ever. In order to stem the growth of this epidemic, we need you to take action now, while you have the opportunity to DOUBLE your gifts.

Thanks to a group of generous supporters, your gifts between now and July 24 will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, up to $167,667!

 We need to hear from you by July 24!

Disease, hunger, extreme poverty and disasters still ruin families around the world. They still face obstacles in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but your generosity helps provide hope - and "young miracles" like Benedicte.
Follow  and "like" ELCA Global Church on Facebook!
The Facebook page for ELCA Global Church offers photos, links to stories, and all the most recent updates.

The Mask You Live In: Role Societal Messages Play in the Lives of Males - Film & Panel Discussion.  Thursday, June 27, 6 to 9 pm, at Light House Studio, 220 W. Market St. This is a Unity Day Presentation sponsored by Trinity Episcopal Church's White Feather Educational & Historical Project. Film Content and discussion intended for mature audiences, 18 & older only. Free registration required.

Webinar with Angela Davis on the fight for collective liberation - sponsored by Showing Up for Racial Justice.  Tuesday, July 9, 2019 at 8 pm - 10 pm EDT, via Zoom. Register here or Facebook event to join the call. Across the country, SURJ members are working hard to bring new people into fights for justice - this conversation will provide inspiration and wisdom for the struggles we are engaged in across the country.

Upcoming May events highlighting history: Monacan History, Sally on Main Street, Monticello to Main St. tour, Jewish History, Irish and Enslaved People History, African American Men in the Union Army, Eugenics and Segregation at UVA. Please visit the city's official Unity Days calendar for dates and times.

"Beginning with ME: Creating Just and Thriving Organizations" Workshop.  Saturday, June 15, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at the CitySpace on the Downtown Mall. This is a free 6-hour experiential workshop--facilitated by The Sum. Participants will have the opportunity to self-reflect and interact with one another, within a variety of structures and models, to develop greater internal clarity, empowerment, and better alignment between intention and impact...across our differences of race, culture, religion, socio-economic class, gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation for just and joyful lives and organizations. Light lunch will be served.

Webinar with Angela Davis on the fight for collective liberation - sponsored by Showing Up for Racial Justice
Tuesday, July 9, 2019 at 8 pm - 10 pm EDT, via Zoom. Register here or Facebook event to join the call. Across the country, SURJ members are working hard to bring new people into fights for justice - this conversation will provide inspiration and wisdom for the struggles we are engaged in across the country.

Do you know a rising 5th - 8th grader interested in helping out their community? Then our second annual Summer Service Camp is for them!

Held July 15th - 19th from 9:00 - 12:30, kids will help pack and deliver meals, make crafts for clients, have lunch with friends and learn about our neighbors in need! Children and grandchildren of volunteers get a $25 discount!

Go to our website for sign up or contact Robin at

Sunday June 16                  
Welcome:                                 Tom Hecmanczuk
Greeter:                                     Charlotte Owen
Ushers:                                     Ali Griffith & Lewis Horton
Crucifer/Acolyte/Chalice:      Sylvie Bon-Harper
Assisting Minister:                   Jack Milligan
Children Moment:                    Pastor
Lector:                                      Tom Hecmanczuk
Cantor:                                      Sylvie Bon-Harper
Altar Guild:                              Sandy Werner
Nursery:                                   Izzi Hecmanczuk
Snack:                                      Gail Milligan & Sue Ann McCarty
Coffee/Clean up:                    Gail Milligan
Counters:                                 Christa Escobar & Pat Dwiggins            

Sunday June 23
Greeter:                                     David Brumbaugh
Ushers:                                     Tom and Caroline Hecmanzuk
Crucifer/Acolyte/Chalice:      Andrew Roache & Phyllis Stewart
Assisting Minister:                  Helen Ida Moyer
Children Moment:                   Tom Hecmanczuk
Lector:                                     Lewis Horton
Cantor:                                      Helen Ida Moyer
Altar Guild:                              Jessica Ney-Grimm
Nursery:                                  Carolyn Evans
Snack:                                      Linda Imhoff & Sue Hess
Coffee/Clean up:                    Linda Roberts
Counters:                                Lynn Stephenson & Greg Wichelns
Pastor Viktoria will hold office hours any time by appointment.
Please leave a message at 434-293-3311

Monday --
Narcotics Anonymous 12:15pm - Student Room
Chess Club 6:30pm - Welcome Area
SAA Group 7:30pm - Library

Tuesday --
Fellowship of Christian Athletes noon - Library
Narcotics Anonymous 12:15pm - Student Room
12-Step Group 5:15pm - Student Room
12-Step for Women 5:30pm - Library
Al-Anon 7:15pm - Student Room

Wednesday --
Preschool chapel - 9am
Narcotics Anonymous 12:15pm -Student Room
12-Step for Women 5:30pm - Student Room
SAA Group 7:30pm - Student Room

Thursday --
Narcotics Anonymous 12:15pm - Student Room
CODA 7:15 - 8:45pm - Student Room
Children Choir of Central VA 5pm-6:30pm - Sanctuary 

Friday --
Fellowship of Christian Athletes Prayer Group 11:30am - Youth Room
Narcotics Anonymous 12:15pm - Student Room

Saturday --
AA Meeting 9-11pm - Student Room

During Summer no Sunday School and Discussion Group 
Holy Communion service 10:15AM
UVA Student lunch at noon
CODA STEP WORK 5pm - undercroft confirmation room
Children Choir of Central Virginia - 4-6pm - Sanctuary
CODA 5:45 - 7:15


To access the church calendar, please click on the calendar button on the left.
St. Mark Lutheran Church (ELCA) of Charlottesville, VA
(434) 293-3311 |

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