6 Questions and a Cup of Coffee with
Mark is a Minister of Word & Service (Deacon) rostered in the Metro Chicago Synod. Mark has been a member of the ELCA churchwide staff since 1988. For most of that time he served as the Director for Outdoor Ministries. Since 2011, he has served as a Director in the Domestic Mission unit, most recently directing the Faith Formation Team. Mark has been serving in full-time ministry for the past 40 years.
Prior to joining the churchwide staff, Mark directed Lutheran outdoor ministry programs in New Jersey, Upper Michigan and Pennsylvania. He earned a B.A. degree in Sociology from Susquehanna University and an M.S. degree in Recreation and Parks from Penn State University.
Mark is originally from Maryland. He and his wife, Louise, live in a suburb of Chicago and have two young adult children, Sarah and Brian.
1. Can you describe your call to ministry?
I first felt called to ministry during the summer following my freshman year in college while serving as a camp counselor at Mt. Luther in Central Pennsylvania. I experienced first-hand the power of the Holy Spirit working through young adults to accompany children and youth on their faith journeys. I decided that I wanted to work in outdoor ministries as a camp director.
2. What is the best part of your ministry now?
Today I feel blessed to be connected to a wide variety of ministries and networks within the ELCA, all of whom support leaders to accompany people of all ages as they grow in faith. I am also privileged to work with an amazing staff team who are very passionate about the work they do in faith formation.
. What is one fact about you that would surprise people?
You might be surprised to know that I have been an avid vegetable gardener for the past 40 years. It would not be unusual for me to plant, among many other things, at least 80-100 tomato plants each year. I make and can a lot of spaghetti sauce!
4. What are three things Christian educators should keep their eyes on?
First, signs of the Holy Spirit active in the world and in the community of believers. Second, the practical questions that people are asking about the intersections of faith and daily life. Third, the technological tools that we can use to enhance learning.
5. Can you tell us about some of your favorite resources?
Most of what I read these days comes from the worlds of business, the natural sciences and technology. I am fascinated by the intersections of these fields and how the discoveries we are making as human beings are changing the way we live, learn and interact with each other. I believe these developments are having a profound impact on both the personal and communal faith experience.
6. How can we pray for you?
Please pray that the remaining years I have left in professional ministry will continue to be meaningful and productive.
If you would like to recommend a Lutheran or others with a passion for lifelong learning for the "6 Questions and a Cup" column, please let us know!
Christian Education Network of the ELCA
Building a community which equips, encourages and empowers those engaged in lifelong faith formation in a changing world.
The CENetwork will:
- Identify and evaluate resources and educational opportunities
- Facilitate communication and conversation
- Offer guidance, networking and mutual support
- Nurture spiritual growth online and face to face
Check out our website
Father, summer is near and will be
full of new experiences
for all of us: breaks from school and work;
exciting mission trips a
nd vacations to places
we've never been before.
Grow us and stretch us through whatever we do and wherever we go, so that we'll end the summer
just a little more like you.
Living Our Baptism
Baptism in a Bag
- A fun set of activities for families to explore the theme of baptism at home or while they are on vacation.
Enter the Bible
n online resource from Luther Seminary, which provides accessible and in-depth information on each of the books of the bible. A great resource for those wanting to explore the Bible or enhance their devotions.
Check out these and many other resources on our
CENetwork of the ELCA
P.O. Box 9304
Rochester, MN 55903
Phone messages may be left at