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August 26—September 15, 2010

Issue 160

Forum allows input on ELCA issues Congregational meeting to be held Oct. 3; Vote will decide ELCA relationship This past Sunday the church council held the final forum related to the study of our ELCA relationship. After presenting the findings for social, cultural and perceived topics, an overall study summary along with next steps in the process were reviewed. The forum concluded with an open discussion time for members of the congregation to express opinions and ask questions. A consistent wish expressed by members of the church council and the congregation at Sunday’s forum was that regardless of the outcome of the vote on October 3, all of us at St. Mark’s should continue to respect each other’s beliefs, welcome everyone into the St. Mark’s family and continue to focus on the mission of this congregation which is to: To share God’s love, welcome others into his church, and grow to become like Jesus. Following Sunday’s Forum the church council met and set the following important dates. Watch for more information about these gatherings and the church council’s plans to help us move forward together: September 20 — Regular Council Meeting, 5 p.m. September 29 — Congregational Listening and Discussion sessions, 6 p.m. October 2 — Prayer Vigil in the worship center from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. October 3 — Special Congregational Meeting to vote on ELCA relationship, 3:30 p.m. October 3 — Prayer session following the vote; approximately 4:30 p.m. A letter mailed to the members last week announced an upcoming vote regarding our relationship with the ELCA. (Please read the letter to gain a full understanding of the process.) The vote will take place during a special congregational meeting called for October 3 at 3:30 p.m. at St. Mark’s. All active, confirmed members are eligible and encouraged to attend this meeting and to vote. Our constitution requires members to be in attendance at the meeting in order to vote; absentee and proxy voting are not permitted. The documents produced throughout the study may be accessed at our website by looking under the “About” tab and scrolling down and clicking the “Church Council” tab. We encourage congregation members to educate themselves regarding all of the issues in order to make an informed decision. If you do not have access to the website, please contact the church office. This study process has been a lengthy, but necessary, process to help us determine direction for our church’s future. Please join us in prayer as we conclude this journey of faith together.

Inside this issue: Ministry Matters


Prayer Requests


Connect & Grow


Thank You Letters


Construction Update


Weekly Calendar


Youth Ministry


Children’s Ministry


Crop Walk


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Sign-ups begin Sept. 19 for Beautiful Day projects As the church, we are called to be the light and salt of the world, bringing hope to the hurting. On Saturday, Oct. 9 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., St. Mark’s will be reaching out to serve more than 10 different agencies in Cedar Rapids and Marion. Our current sermon series is preparing us in the ways that God calls us to be about serving and building a everyone within our congregation will bridge to those in need within our find a way to be involved in our local community. It is our hope that “Beautiful Day”, and to commit to

serving in some way, for whatever amount of time you are able to volunteer. There will be projects for all skill levels and ages. Opportunities include yard work, painting, inventory, making greeting cards for shut-ins, and more. Please mark your calendars to DO Something on Oct. 9, and help impact our community while also Making Your Life Count! Watch for our special Beautiful Day brochure. Sign-ups begin

Prayer Shawl Ministry weaves prayers and yarn into shawls “You created every part of me, knitting me the upper room loft area at the in my Mother’s womb. For such handichurch. work, I praise You. Awesome this great Competed shawls are available for wonder!” -- Psalm 139:13-14 donation at the church office. St.

Mark’s members may donate a shawl to someone who needs comforting, The St. Mark’s Prayer Shawl Miniswith the blessing that God’s loving try combines a love of knitting and “arms” are wrapped around them crocheting with a desire to give peace, through this caring ministry. prayer and comfort to others. To sign out a shawl, please record The group meets once a month to the number of shawl donations on the create hand-knitted and crocheted “check in” page at the back of the shawls for those in need. New memshawl notebook. The notebook is kept bers are always welcome. Join them in the shawl bin in the church office. Monday, Oct. 4 from 7 to 8 p.m. in We collect this information to have a

Meetings Oct. 4

Jan. 3

April 4

Nov. 1

Feb. 7

May 2

Dec. 6

March 7

more accurate count for grant fund reports and the annual report of the Prayer Shawl Ministry Donations of yarn or money to buy yarn and prayers for the ministry are also appreciated. For more information contact Melissa Hammersland, (563) 379-1416 (cell) or

Hospitalized  Russell Anthony, at Mercy  Janette Braumann, at Mercy  Jim Henderson, at St. Luke’s

Upcoming surgery/procedures  Jace Jackson, undergoing a heart catheterization on Wednesday, Sept. 15.  Mary Ellen Blackledge, undergoing knee replacement surgery Sept. 17.  Darrell Ophaug, undergoing back surgery on Sept. 17.

Thanks and praise  Kale Albrecht is home from the hospital.

Health concerns     

Everett Hite E. Jane Jones. Ken Kaness Ruth Pannkuk Jean Seery, at Manor Care

Ongoing safety concerns  Scott Gray, Aaron Hopp, Derick McClintock, Jason Staton, Aaron Termain, Chad Vieth, and others serving in the military.  Construction workers at St. Mark’s.

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Fellowship for the engaged or newly married—Being

engaged or newly married can be an exciting, but also difficult, time in life. At St. Mark's, we’re committed to pro(60 sessions) overview of the Bible from Genesis through viding you with a place to belong. We want to provide a Revelation. There are four options: 12 noon Tuesdays; 6 safe place to grow, to gather with other people at a similar a.m. or 7:45 p.m. Wednesdays; or 6:30 p.m. Thursdays. All life stage to experience the joy of service for others, and to start the week of Sept. 16. Contact Donna Lunstrum, celebrate the presence of Christ. Here are a couple places, or call the church office to where you can get connected: register.

Crossways—Crossways is an ambitious two-year long

Alpha Engaged and Married Without Kids Group— Meeting Sunday nights at 5:30 p.m. Contact Jessy Vera for more info: Do Something Small Group—Meeting Monday nights at 7:00 p.m. starting Monday, September 13. Led by Phil & Louanne Neville at the Neville's home (close to the church). Contact Louanne Neville for more info:

Using Your Spiritual Gifts—Explore how better to serve by discovering your gifts and passions in one of these two sessions: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Sept. 21 and 28, and 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25. Contact Carol Beyer at or call the church office.

GriefShare—Watch a video and participate in a discussion about grief and recovery in this series. We will meet every Sunday through Dec. 5 from 3:30-5:30 p .m. in the church library. For more information, please contact one of the facilitators at or call 447-0100.

FELLOWSHIP OPPORTUNITIES Now What’s, a fellowship group for empty nesters—Bruce and Betty Lindholm are hosting a potluck on Sept. 18 before the Orchestra Iowa concert on the lawn at Brucemore. Gather at the Lindolm house at 5 p.m., with eating to begin at 5:30 p.m. We will furnish barbequed pulled pork sandwiches and the table service. Those attending should bring a side dish to share for the potluck. The concert begins at 7:30, with gates opening at 6:30. Address: 316 Forest Drives SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403. Park in our driveway, or for a quicker get-a-way, on our end streets: Linden Dr or Linden Terrace where allowed. RSVP Betty or Bruce at 363-6872.

Fifty Plus—Our 50 + trip to Prairie du Chien on Sept. 23 has been canceled. Instead, we will meet at 11:30 Thursday, Sept. 23, for a board-hosted “Be Our Guest” potluck in the Fellowship Center. The board will provide the food and table service. Tim Wilson, Executive Director of the Willis Dady Emergency Shelter, serving homeless men and families, will present the program. Please bring new adult men's work socks and/or a package of toilet tissue to help stock their supply closet for fall and winter, and/or a monetary donation.


SMALL GROUPS Mom’s Group Now Forming – Are you interested in being in a small group with other moms of young children? A group is now forming that will be meeting Wednesdays from 9:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. at the church. We are in the process of finding child care, and would like to hear from any mom who feels they would like to be a part of a group like this. Please contact Robyn Vera at or Emily Wellnitz at

Child Care Provider Needed Do you love children, and have a heart to see young mothers deepen their relationship with Christ to be the daughters, wives, and mothers God intended them to be? We need one or two adult child care providers to care for the young children of these moms while they meet as a small group. They meet Wednesdays from 9:15 to 10:45 a.m. at the church. If you can help, please contact Louanne Neville at or call the church office at 447-0100.

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Ministry and mission in Japan

Mission Sunday

We want to express our heartfelt thanks to the people Thanks to all who were involved in making Mission Sunof St. Mark's for all their love, prayers and financial supday such an exciting day! We heard how God is using peoport for us and for our ministry and mission in Japan. ple all around the world, including Cedar Rapids, to spread -- Mark & Maki Wolter the Good News and help people come to know Christ. We had speakers who shared about Latvia, Japan, Malawi, Tanzania and Mexico as well Local Missions here in the San Lucas and missions Cedar Rapids area. It’s amazing to see and hear how God is Our congregation of San Lucas and missions has been working! grateful for your financial support, prayers and love. Katie Kascel was one of our speakers on Mission SunThrough your faith and commitment, our congregation day. She went on an amazing short-term Mission Trip to was able to comply with our debts for June 2010. We con- Malawi this summer. If you’d like to hear about her trip, tinue to pray for St. Mark’s brothers and sisters, that God please visit our web site, or ask the may empower you, give you strength and be with you in church office for a printed copy. your journey. Those who attended the Mission Fair and filled out a The Congregation of San Lucas was able to stay up to card were eligible for a drawing to win credit toward a date through your contribution. Our work here was possi- Mission Trip. The two winners this year were Betty Lindble because of your generous hearts, prayers and support. holm and Hannah Lunstrum. Congratulations and blessings On behalf of our members, we thank you and each and to both of them in their upcoming adventures! every one of your members and pray God to bless you and —Marlys Fruhling your congregation. – Mr. Cristobal Teran, Treasurer Rev. Nelson L. Velaquez, Interim Pastor My trip to Malawi First off, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for contributing to my trip to Malawi. I cannot exDoor hangers press how thankful I am for your willingness to help me, A huge thank you to all of you who helped deliver “Do both financially and prayerfully. Something” door hangers. Your outreach to our commu—Katie Kascel nity is making a difference! —Marlys Fruhling Read about Katie’s trip on-line at or request a printed version from the church office.

The Journey Continues Sign up for a small group. Invite someone to church. Pray that God will “DO Something” miraculous in our hearts and in our community.

Did you get your Designated Giving Guide?

We invite you to pick up your IMAGINE Designated Giving packet, then to spend some time dreaming and some time with God in prayer

DO Something! Make Your Life Count September 19

Purpose: Obedience

September 26

Pain: It Doesn’t Have to Only Hurt

October 3

Power: The Ability to Do

October 10

Passion: Never Give Up

Information Update If your phone number has changed, your email address has changed, or if you no longer use a land line, please help us by calling the church office at 447-0100 or emailing Donna Lunstrum at

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Steel beams up, concrete poured on new addition By Tom Brennom Construction Project Manager

"real" building with walls. Flags to be placed in children’s ministry floor Sept. 22 Even with our slow The good weather has allowed us to start shoring up walls make signficant visual progress on our floors are poured, the remaining backfill and then all the rain, we should be able to new addition. around the buildings walls and the grading get the building enclosed before cold The last steel beams were erected of the site will continue. The new berm Sept. 9. Smaller steel pieces are being in- will also receive a more artistic touch, de- weather moves into the area. This objective was in our original plans so we could stalled and other welding is taking place. signed by Gary Landhauser, our architect. eliminate the costs associated with using The steel decking for the roofs is being If you have been by the church the plastic to keep the work going on the exteinstalled and will be completed over the last few days, you will have noticed that rior. The current good weather will hopenext few weeks. walls are being erected on the north office fully continue and the cold winter air not Concrete floors were poured last addition. You will be seeing much more of come early this year! week for the new fellowship center addi- this during future weeks, of course, but Finally, the flags that people wrote on tion (main floor) and the youth area in the this is needed before the exterior masonry and then were placed along the out outlower level. Concrete work continues this can be applied. line of the new addition will be placed in week, completing the main floor and Expect to see the masons begin block the new lower level children’s area before some of the lower level, with all the con- and brick work the week of Sept. 20. The its concrete floor is poured. This will occur crete floors being completed during the first area to get exterior walls will be the on Sept. 22 during the youth activities. next two weeks. Keep the nice office addition. With exterior walls, the We are also planning a tour of the confall weather coming! building will move from looking like a struction site. Watch for details. You will also notice that after the "skeleton" of steel to looking more like a

Coming Up!

Selected Items from St. Mark’s Calendar SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 8:00 AM -12:00 PM Blood Drive Sign-up 8:00 AM -12:00 PM “Beautiful Days” Sign-up 8:00 AM -12:00 PM Spiritual Gifts Sign-up 8:00 AM -12:00 PM Crop Walk Sign-up 8:30 AM & 9:45 AM Adult Forum— “Do Something” 3:30 PM GriefShare 5:30 PM Alpha 5:30 PM Celebrate Recovery Dinner 6:00 PM Celebrate Recovery TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 9:00 AM Quilters 12:00 PM Crossways 1:00 PM Crafters 6:30 PM Financial Peace University 6:30 PM Spiritual Gifts Class 7:00 PM Texas Mission Trip Meeting WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 6:00 AM Crossways Bible Study 7:30 PM Community Bible Study 7:30 PM Crossways Bible Study

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 9:30 AM Thursday morning Bible Study 6:30 PM Crossways Bible Study FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 9:30 AM Life Guides Bible Study SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 8:00 AM Spiritual Gifts class For a complete view of St. Mark’s monthly calendar, go to our website:

Children’s Ministry Sunday, 8:30 p.m. & 9:45 a.m.

Middle School/Confirmation Wednesday, 5:40 p.m.

Youth Ministry Wednesday: 7:30 p.m.

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For those impacted by St. Mark’s 6th – 12th Grade Ministry Middle School Ministry

High School Ministry

Kick-off of Confirmation!

The Edge starts Sept.15 From 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Wednesday, September 15 5:40-7:30 p.m. Don’t miss it! Know that you can always have your friends join us! Call the church office or email Jody at to get them registered!

SPECIAL EVENT High School Lock-In Oct 15-16 6:03 p.m. - 9:01 a.m. Come and join us for 15 hrs

God is so good! Students Confessing Jesus Boldly! Saturday, September 4, we celebrated with 50 students as they publically confessed Jesus as Lord and Savior! It was an incredible day, with over 650 people in attendance! Students also had the opportunity to share a statement of their faith with their family and friends and small group. A huge thank you to the incredible leaders who have poured into these young men and women! We are excited to see how God will use them live out this faith in our high school ministry and the rest of their lives.

Our Leaders! It is amazing to see how God is leading His people to step forward in faith and be leaders in our Middle and High School Ministry! Whether as small group leaders, planning team members or behind the scenes, God has raised up people who love Him and want to be a part of this dynamic ministry as we reach a new generation of students and encourage them to follow Jesus. Join us in thanking God for how He is working in this area—and how He has been and will continue to tap on hearts in the future.

St. Mark’s Youth Ministry exists to EQUIP youth with God’s Word, REACH out with the love of Jesus, CONNECT Christians, and challenge youth to SERVE and CELEBRATE God with their lives.

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The Rally Day celebration is behind us and fall sessions are underway on both Sunday morning and Wednesday nights. If you haven’t registered your children, it’s not too late! Registration forms are available on the church website and also at church on Sundays.


Third Grade Bible Sunday

Mark your calendar for this fun Halloween alternative happening Saturday, Oct. 30 and watch for more details.

3rd Graders – be watching the mail ….a letter will be coming soon regarding your Third Grade Bible Sunday, Oct. 31.

Family Devotion: Escape Plan

Volunteers needed for all grade levels Do you love kids? Do you want to grow closer to Jesus? Children’s Ministry is looking for volunteers for 8:30 Sunday School and Wednesday Night Children’s Ministry! Openings for hospitality folks, leaders and helpers in all grade levels! Email

Nursery volunteers needed The Childcare Ministry (nursery) is expanding and we need YOU! If you have a heart for the wee ones, there are opportunities on Sunday mornings as well as throughout the week to get connected. Email

Devise a fire escape plan for your family. Tell them what they should do in the case of fire. Assure them you want each one to be safe and not be hurt just in case there is a fire. Practice the drill a few times.

Ask: Why is important to have a fire escape plan? So we can all get out of the house in case of fire and be safe. God has made a plan so we can be safe. God is holy and must punish sin. When Jesus died on the cross, He took the punishment for sin. If we accept Jesus into our lives, we will not have to suffer the punishment for our sin. Say a prayer thanking Jesus for suffering the punishment for our sin and making a way for us to be with God in heaven.

WALKERS NEEDED FOR CROP WALK The annual Church World Service/CROP Walk will be Sunday, October 3, at Thomas Park in Marion. The walk starts with a prayer at 1:30 p.m. CROP Hunger Walks are community-wide events sponsored by Church World Service and organized by local congregations to raise funds to end hunger at home and around the world. St. Mark’s has set a goal of 200 walkers and raising at least $5,000. Both walkers and sponsors are needed. Stop by the table in the Fellowship Center Sunday between services to pick up a packet or drop a check in the boot. If you have a conflict or aren’t up for a 5k walk, you can still pick up a donation packet and be a “spirit walker”.

Connections Sept. 17, 2010  

Newsletter for St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Marion, Iowa

Connections Sept. 17, 2010  

Newsletter for St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Marion, Iowa