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Issue 189

November 30, 2011

Welcome Advent Welcome Advent

Inside this issue: Our Advent sermon series looks at what it means to be far from home—and God’s call for our return. We will look at passages of Scripture from Isaiah, who speaks to the people of Israel in a time before and after exile. They are far from the Promised Land, having wandered far from God. Isaiah tells them that it is time to come home...that God has a new plan he is revealing for those who are in spiritual darkness. His salvation will come in the form of a savior who will lead them to peace and joy. Isaiah’s message speaks to all of us who are far from home at Christmas. Having wandered off from God, we are called home to a more meaningful, deeper relationship with the Lord who has come to rescue us from the power of sin, death, and sorrow. We all have had moments of spiritual exile. Having wandered far from God, we have experienced our own darkness and misery. In our traditions, faith, family, love, and gifts we can rediscover that home is where our salvation is. This Advent season we invite you to come home for the holidays as you experience God’s grace in a fresh new way.

Schedule of Upcoming Advent Activities Sunday, Dec. 4 Bells Sunday 8:30 a.m. youth & adult bell choirs at Traditional service in Faith Worship Center

Thursday, Dec. 8 Women’s Fellowship Dinner Social hour at 5:30 p.m. Dinner at 6:15 p.m. Program to follow.

Sunday, Dec. 11 Christmas Cantata Chancel Choir and orchestra 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. services 9:45 a.m. reception for Allen Koepke (Crossings) 9:45 a.m. contemporary worship (Life Worship Center)

Sunday, Dec. 18 Children’s Christmas Program 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. 9:45 a.m. cookie reception (Crossings) 9:45 a.m. blended service (Faith Worship Center)

EMIM Ministry Fair


Take Note


Here at St. Mark’s




Children’s Ministry


Youth Ministry


Bells Sunday


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Thank you to everyone who participated in our Nov. 20 Ministry Fair! There was a lot of energy, enthusiasm and creativity in the displays. Every ministry area was well represented, and it was wonderful to see St. Mark’s members sharing their desire to serve. If you have not turned in a Commitment Card, please fill one out in the church office. —Carol Beyer

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Bring your ‘Giving Tree’ gift Sunday

Cards for the Kingdom Dec. 12

Thank you for taking one or more tags from our Giving Trees. Please bring your gift to church on Sunday, Dec. 4.

Cards for the Kingdom, the card-making ministry, will meet at 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 12 in the Beacon Room. We will be working on Christmas cards for the Greeting Card Ministry to send. For more information, email Lois Mulbrook at or Cheryl Meier at

Sign up to donate altar flowers If you would like to provide flowers to beautify our worship services, you can sign up on the 2012 flower chart, in The Crossings. Be sure to fill out one of the accompanying cards with information about your donation. The cost of the two bouquets is $40. Following each Sunday’s services, the flowers may be taken home by the donor or they will be delivered to those who are hospitalized or homebound.

Monday Night Football Dec. 5 Come watch San Diego at Jacksonville in our great new youth ministry area, Café Ablaze. Men high school age or older are welcome to attend. Bring some food to share. Fans are welcome to wear their team attire! Doors open at 7; kickoff is at 7:30. It’s a great time to relax and connect with other St. Mark's men.

Prayer Shawl Ministry to meet Dec. 5 The Prayer Shawl Ministry will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 5 in the Legacy Room at the church. Members lovingly donate their time and talents to create hand-knitted and crocheted shawls for those in need. For more information contact Melissa Hammersland (563) 379-1416 or

Reception for Allen Koepke at 9:45 a.m. in The Crossings

City-Wide Prayer event at St. Mark’s St. Mark’s is joining eight other churches in City-Wide Prayer. The prayer event rotates locations. The next gathering at St. Mark’s will be held from 7-8 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13.

50+ Christmas luncheon Our 50+ Christmas luncheon will be at 11:30 Thursday, Dec. 15 in The Crossings. Lea and Clyde Bean will be serving their wonderful soups. Please bring a salad or dessert. We will provide table service. The "Older Hymns," a men's choral group from Resurrection Lutheran, will entertain us, followed by Pastor Kaupins' reading of the Christmas story of our savior's birth. Please join us for great food and fellowship.

Child care for holiday services We will provide child care for the two Christmas Eve services at 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. We will also provide child care for the 10 a.m. service on New Year's Day.

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Selected Items from St. Mark’s Calendar SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4 8:15 AM Crossways 8:30 AM Children’s Ministry 9:30 AM Men’s Fraternity 9:45 AM Adult Forum—Revelation Children’s Ministry Bible 101 11:00 AM Crossways 3:00 PM GriefShare 5:30 PM Alpha MONDAY, DECEMBER 5 5:30 PM Harmony Ringers 6:15 PM Dance Rehearsal 6:30 PM Spiritual Gifts Class Chancel Bells 7:00 PM Monday Night Football Prayer Shawl Ministry Boy Scouts AYSO meeting TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6 9:00 AM Quilters 12:00 PM Crossways Crafters WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7 6:00 AM Crossways 10:30 PM 50+ Board Meeting 5:00 PM Mission Team Leaders 5:30 PM Alpha Confirmation Children’s Ministry H.S. Leader Huddle 7:00 PM Crossways

7:15 PM 7:30 PM 8:00 PM

The Edge Chancel Choir Children’s Min. Task Force

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8 5:00 PM Celebration Rehearsal 5:30 PM Women’s Fellowship Dinner Crossfire! Prayer Team 7:00 PM Financial Peace University 7:15 PM Impact Rehearsal SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10 9:00 AM Christmas Cantata Rehearsal 9:30 AM Pre-Baptism Class SUNDAY, DECEMBER 11 8:15 AM Crossways 8:30 AM Chancel Choir Christmas Cantata in Faith Center Children’s Ministry 9:30 AM Men’s Fraternity 9:45 AM Children’s Ministry Adult Forum—Revelation Bible 101 Reception for Allen Koepke Worship service in Life Center 11:00 AM Chancel Choir Christmas Cantata in Faith Center Crossways 3:00 PM Griefshare 5:30 PM Alpha For a complete listing of St. Mark’s monthly calendar, go to our web site:

GRIEVING  Beth and Carl Zauche and family on the death of Beth’s mother on Nov. 22.

HOSPITALIZED / RECOVERING  Al Anderson, hospitalized at St. Luke’s  Haakon Wilz

Let us know where prayers are needed The St. Mark’s Care and Prayer Team genuinely cares about your concerns and prays for your needs. Please let us know if: You have a prayer concern that you would like to share with the prayer chain, staff, and/or the congregation. You are scheduled for surgery or hospitalization. You are homebound and unable to attend worship, and would like visits from a member of the Care Team or inhome communion. You would appreciate spiritual support and encouragement from a Care Team member through a difficult time in your life. The Care Team exists to support, encourage, and uplift members of our St. Mark’s family. Please let us know how we can be of help. Call the church office, 447-0100 or email

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Council passes resolution regarding affiliation At its Nov. 21 meeting, the church council adopted the following resolution: Continue to be an ELCA-denominated Lutheran church, based in the Word of God, that recognizes only marriage between a man and a woman. Continue to use resource materials that best support the mission of Christ. Continue to use the ELCA call process to bring pastors to St. Mark’s. Require called pastors to affirm The Lighthouse Covenant (see below, right). Provide a national church connection for St. Mark’s members who feel distanced from the ELCA by affiliating St. Mark’s with the LCMC. Support appropriate ELCA and LCMC missions that are consistent with St. Mark’s mission. Members may continue to direct some or all of their contributions toward the ELCA or LCMC. Keep St. Mark’s concentrated on its mission and hold no denominational votes until after 2018. The council also reviewed and discussed a "Congregational Plan for Healing" which included: A time of congregational conversation and prayer A series of Sunday morning forums on conflict resolution A congregational service of healing A study and forum on the book “Love Is an Orientation” by Andrew Marin Consider retaining a professional consultant to assist the congregation, council and staff in the healing process.

Congregational Gathering for Discussion and Prayer About Council Resolution

7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13 at the church Everyone is invited to attend

The Lighthouse Covenant We covenant to teach a high view of Scripture. We trust the Bible as the only final authority for all aspects of life. We affirm an aggressive, positive stance on kingdom expansion and congregational growth. We choose to advance the use of all spiritual gifts through unleashing the priesthood of all believers. We teach and practice that a full sexual relationship belongs exclusively within the biblical boundaries of a publicly committed marriage between one man and one woman. We believe that mission and ministry is best accomplished within the context of congregations. Facilitating that mission and ministry should be the central focus of all expressions of the church.

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Joy for the World! Dates to Remember Sunday, Dec. 4 at 9:45 a.m.— Mandatory clinic for speaking parts and solos. Saturday, Dec. 17 — Mandatory dress rehearsal for all children (see times below).

Christmas Program Dress Rehearsal Schedule 8:30 a.m.— Dancers, speaking parts and solo singing parts 9:00 a.m. — Costume kids (Mary, Joseph, angels, wise men, shepherds, etc.) 9:35 a.m. — All other elementary children 10:45 a.m. — Preschool Children Dress Rehearsal to conclude by 12:30 pm.

How do you gain wisdom? AHEAD OF TIME - Draw a picture of or write the name of each of the following ways to get wisdom—Bible, parents, pastor, godly Christians, prayer—on an index card or piece of paper. Hide these when the kids are not looking. ASK - Where can you find wisdom? Instruct the kids to search for five cards (hidden around the room) that tell how to get wisdom. After you have found them, let each child read his card and tell how one can gain wisdom, and maybe give examples. Read Proverbs 2:1-6 aloud to see what Solomon (one of the wisest men who ever lived) said about finding wisdom.

Family Devotion

We’re recruiting a puppet, drama team We are looking to add some creativity to our Large Group opening times in our new space. We’ll soon have theatrical lights installed, and we are looking for adults and teens to join our Puppet and Drama Team. Scripts and costumes will be provided. If you are interested in being part of this team, please email today!

Bible Quest Fun Fact Encourage your kids to look in the Bible or ask God for wisdom or ask you or another godly person when they want to know the right thing to do.

Be the first to let Dana know the answer to this Bible Quest clue and you’ll get a special surprise. What are we supposed to give to God? (See 1 Peter 5:7)

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

Christmas gift night On Wednesday, Dec. 7 the Confirmation Students will be going to Target together to purchase gifts for children or families in need. Each Confirmation Small Group will purchase and wrap items for the person they select from our Giving Tree. Students can contribute to the gift purchase in any way they choose, and any amount is fine. In the past, students have earned money by doing chores at home, babysitting, etc. They should bring their money Dec. 7. We also need donations of large gift bags and/or tissue. If you can help, please send them with your child to confirmation, or you may drop them off in the church office. Questions? Please contact Jody Skogen at or call the church office, 447-0100.

Youth Quake parent and student meeting ke

a Youth Qu

Come learn more about Youth Quake at our special parent/student meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m. We will meet in the Life Worship Center.

H.S. mid-winter retreat Jan. 20-22 Ignite your passion for Jesus, make unbelievable memories with friends and new friends and get away for something special at the high school mid-winter retreat in Newark, Illinois. Learn more on our web site, www. HighSchool.

Current 8th-12th graders: Register for 2012 summer mission trip We’re heading to Louisville, Ky., again next summer from June 16-24 to partner with the Youth With A Mission group. Don’t miss this incredible experience! The early bird deadline is Thursday, Dec. 8. We have space for 70 participants, and spots are first come, first serve, so please sign up ASAP! Download our registration packet at Youth/HighSchool. Friends are always welcome, and scholarships are available. Additionally, we would love adults to join us as leaders.

Join us Wednesday nights for The Edge and Confirmation Ministry! We are meeting Dec. 7 and 14. Confirmation Ministry meets at 5:30 p.m. and The Edge at 7:15 p.m. Remember, friends are always welcome!



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

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