Weekly Newsletter | November 23, 2021
Worship and Devotions
Sunday Morning Worship
We will continue to gather in person each Sunday at 8:30, 9:45, and 11:00 a.m. in our sanctuary. 

Also, please remember that we will continue to offer an online worship service every Sunday at 10 a.m. As in the past, this will be a livestreamed on our Facebook page and also available on our St. Mark's website.

Evening Prayer every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Parish Commons. This weekly in person evening service includes contemplative music and readings along with candlelight prayer around the cross. We will wear masks and observe the same COVID safety guidelines that we use on Sunday morning.
Please note that there will be NO Evening Prayer service at St. Mark’s on Thanksgiving Eve, November 24.

Share prayer requests with us by sending them to prayers@smlutheran.org. If you would like us to include them in the Prayers of the Church during Sunday worship, please make note of that. 
Join us TONIGHT, November 23, at 7:00 p.m. for an online Interfaith Celebration of Gratitude
This annual event will take place on Zoom. To register, please click here. A Zoom link will be sent to you before the gathering. For more than 35 years, this annual gathering has brought together people of many faith traditions. This gathering may include participants from the Bahá’í, Buddhist, Roman Catholic, Center for Spiritual Living, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Jewish, Muslim, Native American, Protestant, Sufi, Unitarian Universalist or other faith traditions. Our own Emillie Binja will represent Protestant Christians with a prayer. 
Sign Up to Have Your Holiday Shopping Dollars Help St. Mark's
Did you know that St. Mark's can earn "free" money nearly every time you shop at Amazon and Fred Meyer? These companies will donate money to our church at absolutely no cost to us - and it adds up. Every dollar earned is applied to our Mortgage Principal Retirement Fund. Please take the time to sign up, following the instructions on our church website under the Give tab. Please contact Jennifer Droubay in the church office if you have any questions.
 
Thank you in advance!
The Fair Trade Advent Bazaar is Back!
We are excited to bring fair trade handcrafts, coffee, tea, chocolate, and more back to St. Mark’s! This year, we have two ways to shop: 

  1. Shop our Trunk Sale in the Parish Commons during worship hours November 28 and December 5. We have ordered a limited selection of items that will make great Christmas gifts—and will give you a glimpse of what’s available for online purchase. 
  2. Place an online order using our custom link. Shop from their entire catalog which includes items not available at our in person sales.

By purchasing fair trade items through Serrv, you are supporting better trading conditions for the people who actually make and grow products. Artisans and farmers are paid fairly for their work and benefit from safe working conditions. Plus, 20% of each purchase will be donated back to Serrv. 

L’Arche Farm & Gardens will also be in attendance with fresh wreaths and other holiday and gift items available for purchase. Your purchases support the great work they do in our community.

Thank you for your ongoing support!
Calling all decorators!
It is time to decorate the church for the Christmas season! There is lots to decorate, so please come and lend a hand. Trees, garlands, and poinsettias galore! 

Saturday, November 27, 9 a.m.-Noon.

Email or call Laura Oellerich to let her know you can come and help!  
253-318-0302, Oellerichx5@msn.com
Chase the Chill Part 2!
Thanks to so many kind knitters and crocheters we have a growing supply of hats and scarves which means we can now start sharing the warmth and help chase the chill during these very blustery days of November. Please stop by the table in the Narthex on Sunday mornings and pick up a ziploc bag or two to take with you and then give to someone you see on the streets who might need and appreciate a hat or scarf, a granola bar and a bottle of water. Of course you can add whatever you want to the bag-an encouraging note, hand warmers, a small McDonald's or Safeway gift card. Thank you for helping us care for our community.
Children, Youth, and Family Faith Formation
All ages are invited to join in for a Cross-Generational Advent Wreath making event on Sunday, November 28, between 9:45-11:30 a.m. in the Parish Commons; students make sure you bring an adult with you. Something for the whole family. Supplies have been ordered and we are looking forward to this event! There will NOT be Sunday AM Faith Formation classes this week--Thanksgiving Holiday weekend. 

Sunday, December 5, the 2nd Sunday in Advent! Students and Families are encouraged to attend worship together at whatever service works best for you--as has happened on the 1st Sunday of October and November we will also not be having Sunday morning classes for students preschool-12th grade. The 9:45 a.m. service will feature a children's message and a song or two our students and adults will be familiar with. 

Regular classes resume for students preschool-12th grade on Sunday mornings at 9:45 a.m. December 12 and 19. 

December 24 at 4 p.m. Christmas Eve Family Worship--students-children and youth are invited to help lead this virtual service. Please sign up here by Tuesday, November 22, if your student wants to be one of the storytellers for this service--this service will be pre-recorded and then shown online at 4pm on Christmas Eve. In person worship will also be happening this night--see the Advent letter/bags for the times and more information. 

For youth grades 6-12:
Thursday Nights at St. Mark's: 
  • 5:30-6:30 p.m. Youth Group--1st and 3rd Thursday of each month. Remaining dates for 2021: last date of 2021 December 2 (we will have a pizza party so don't eat dinner beforehand). 
  • 6:30-7:30 p.m. Youth Choir--Weekly with Cooper--no meeting Nov. 25
  • 7:30-8:30 p.m. Youth Marimbas--Weekly with Jeff--no meeting Nov. 25
The Well (High School Youth) meets the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month at Bruce and Ingelaurie's outdoor patio--from 6:30-7:3 p.m.--remaining 2021 date: Dec. 5. Dress for the weather. Stay tuned in case the location changes. 

It is not too late to sign up to attend the 2022 ELCA Youth Gathering in Minneapolis, MN this summer (July 24-28, with a couple travel dates added on)- If you are a youth grades 8-12 please check out the bulletin board near the Welcome Center in the Narthex for registration materials. Questions? please contact Ingelaurie Lisher at ingelaurie@smlutheran.org
Adult Faith Formation 

Wednesday Noon Bible study: No Wednesday noon Bible study with the pastor this week; Bible study will resume next Wednesday, December 1. Happy Thanksgiving!

This week, there is no Sunday forum. There will be lots of activity, though, as we will join in the festivities of the intergenerational advent wreath-making event in the parish commons. 

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Pub Theology discussion night on the book Sacred Earth, Sacred Soul. We have decided to cancel the next two pub theology nights. We look forward to more conversation and learning about Celtic Spirituality in the new year.
Wednesday Morning Bible Study
The Wednesday 9:30 a.m. Bible study has resumed in the Fireside room with our study of Proverbs-God’s wisdom for applying to our daily experiences and challenges. All are welcome to arrive at 9:15 for coffee and visiting. We encourage sharing insights, questions, and concerns. Join us! For information, contact Linda Durant (253) 363-8202, hotdouug@centurylink.net. Masks will be worn.
Fully Alive Bible Study
Fully Alive Bible Study meets Tuesdays at 5:15 p.m. We will meet in the Fireside Room and study: Elohim: God the Creator, Yahweh Yireh: God the Provider, El Roi: The God who sees ME. These are just a few of the names of God. In our English Bible, the Supreme Being is called "God' or "LORD'. However, the original translations in Hebrew and Greek have a rich, full variety of names for God. We learn these names through different Biblical stories, and as we study them, we begin to experience the breadth of God's character. Join us as we explore the characteristics of God. For more information please contact Sherry Maiura 253-303-1681.
Advent
Art+Faith in Advent
Beginning on December 5, we will dwell in the Word through art and music for our 10 a.m. forums in the season of Advent, engaging in the spiritual practices of lectio divina and visio divina. Visio Divina, latin for “divine seeing,” is a method of meditation, reflection, and prayer through a process of intentional seeing through art. Dr. Michelle Marshmann and Dr. Mary Jo Larsen will lead us through reflection with art, music, and scripture for a beautiful exploration of art and faith through the season of Advent. 

Devotional Study
Using the Living Well Advent devotional we will be exploring the theme “Practicing patience with all your heart, soul, strength and mind." Each day during Advent there will be a daily reading with reflection questions from various perspectives. Who couldn’t use a little help with practicing patience these days? You are invited to be part of a book study group during Advent to discuss the content and questions on Wednesday nights beginning December 1 at 6:15 p.m. in the Parish Commons Classroom. An online option will also be available through Zoom.

Sign up for the Advent book study and devotional by emailing sigi.helgeson@smlutheran.org. The devotional books are free to all. 
Congregational Care
If you would like to join a support group to walk with you during a season or would like to be connected with a care minister, contact Pastor Sigi either by phone at the church office or email.
Worship Volunteers Needed
Would you like to volunteer to be a part of worship services as a greeter, usher, lector, or communion assistant? We need you and would love to include you in this important ministry. Call the office at 253-752-4966, email linda.mckeller@smlutheran.org, or drop by the office any morning from 8:30-12:30 to sign up to be involved in the worship service of your choice. Thanks!
Altar Flowers
Would you like to donate flowers for the altar in honor or memory of a person, event, or special occasion? You can sign up on the flower chart calendar on the board outside the office door. Questions? 253-752-4966. Thank you!
St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows