It has been another beautiful week here in Western Iowa. Farmers and other ag workers are moving through the fields rapidly as grain storage facilities and transports are filling up rapidly. Outdoor sporting events and community events are taking place without interruption. But, while we are enjoying beautiful weather in this part of the US, it has not been so for everyone.
Hurricanes Fiona hit Puerto Rico and the Islands, and then Hurricane Ian barreled over Florida, South Carolina and hit the coast of Nova Scotia. There were Category 5 winds, record flooding, and heavy rains throughout the regions. The amount of damage to property will be unknown for years, and people will be feeling the effects of this storm for their lifetime. Millions of persons have had their lives turned upside down by these storms that have completely destroyed vast areas with the storm surge, winds, and record rain fall. But, there is hope.......
Something that we may not lift up enough is that we as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America are there. We are there as those who have been affected, and we are those who are helping out. ELCA Lutheran Disaster Responseprovides immediate relief, such as water, clothing, gift cards, tarps and other needs. Since many hurricanes, including Ian and Fiona, require a long-term response, Lutheran Disaster Response and our partners support communities on the long road to recovery with disaster case management, construction management and emotional and spiritual care.
In response to Hurricane Ian, Lutheran Disaster Response is partnering with the Florida-Bahamas, Southeastern, North Carolina and South Carolina synods, as well as Lutheran Services Carolinas, to provide both immediate and long-term support. We anticipate relief will include water, food supplies, tarps, cleaning materials and other needs for those who have lost or damaged homes. (ELCA.org/our work/ Relief). If you would like to donate to the disaster relief effort, you can go to Hurricane Response.
It is during times like this that I am particularly grateful that we live in the mid-west, and that we are part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
INVITATION TO GENEROSITY- During the weeks, we will be sharing our annual Invitation to Generosity. During the offering time each week in worship we lift up ways in which the sharing of our gifts is making a difference in the life of this congregation and in the lives of people in the communities we are a part of. The sharing of time, abilities, and financial support makes it possible to do the many things that happen within the walls of our church building and in our communities.
An Invitation to Generosity is a time we set aside during the Fall months at St Mark to remind us of what God is doing in and through this community of faith. It is also an invitation to each of us to support the work of this congregation. Our appeals at St Mark are pretty low-key, especially if you have been through stewardship campaigns before. We have found that keeping everyone aware of what is going on, and showing the ways we are making a difference, are the best ways to invite generosity of time, abilities, and financial support.
Just like your household and business, the cost of ministry has risen rapidly during 2022. Gifts during the summer months did not keep up with expenses; however, we are confident that through the gifts offered by each person in this congregation, we will be able to do even more than we are able to do now. We will share more information during the weeks of October.
PRAYERS: We are each invited to keep the following persons in our prayers:
Prayers for Healing-
Deanna & Ken Russell, Don Northrup, Hildy Clewell, Sherry Aryanpur, Sarah Dvergsten, Dick and Eleanor Schemmel, Julie Egland, Val Anderson, Monna Gardalen (sister-in-law of Donna Schulz), Marlon Gasner, Jon Kruse, Kermit Smith, Donna Schulz, Lori Porsch, Steve Korner, Jane Evans, Evelyn Messenbrink, Alex Kron, Steve Berg, Mark Sorbe, those seeking healing from Coronavirus and their caregivers, and all persons seeking healing and wholeness
Prayers of Comfort-
The family of Aaron Cook.
PROCLAIM RADIO MINISTRY Proclaim is a radio ministry of St Mark and is broadcast every Sunday morning at 7:30 AM via FM 101.7 KAYL. The message and music are from the previous weekend. This ministry is one of the ways we reach out to Storm Lake and Western Iowa with the love of Jesus. We invite you to consider supporting this ministry and your regular financial support of St Mark. The cost is $38 per week and can be given online or by check. You can sign-up for a Sunday on the bulletin board sign-up located on the bulletin board near the west entrance to the building. Call Jane Hartwell at 732-5255 if you have questions.
VETS TOGETHER - This is a new opportunity at St Mark for veterans of the United States military branches. There is no agenda other than an opportunity for veterans of the United States military services to have a place to be with others who have had similar experiences and who are willing to receive and give encouragement to others. As veterans re-enter civilian life, they may experience short and long-term challenges unique to veterans such as PTSD; disabilities, reconnecting to family and friends, finding meaningful employment; and other struggles. Vets Together meet on Wednesday evenings at 6:00 PM in room 128. The gatherings are open to all community persons.
WELCA FALL RETREAT 2022 (at St Mark) - A day of fellowship, conversation, and strengthening of our faith. Bishop Lorna Halaas will provide the Bible Study and lead the conversation. The theme is: God touches us in mysterious ways, and we rejoice in this miracle. Included is a tour of the Western Iowa Synod Office in their new location here at St Mark. The retreat will start at 9:00 AM-3:00 PM THIS coming Saturday, October 15, 2022. Every woman in the Western Iowa Synod of the ELCA is invited to attend. To register, please send your full name, address, phone number, email address, and registration fee of $15 to Nancy Peters, 1020 9th St., Sheldon, IA 51201, or contact Nancy at firstname.lastname@example.org
ATTENTION ST. MARK BOOK LOVERS - Are you interested in reading and discussing books with others? We have a new small group at St Mark to do just that. Our next gathering is on October 30th as we discuss the book Finding Chilka: a Little Girl, an earthquake, and the Making of a Family by Mitch Albom. The discussions will take place right after worship at @10:00. We will meet for about an hour, and anyone is welcome to drop in for whatever books may pique your interest. Attendance every month is not required. Book selection may include many different genres. If you would like to suggest a book for the group to read, please let Cindy Smith know, and she will put it on the monthly schedule. We hope the person suggesting the book will then lead the discussion. If you have questions, please contact Cindy Smith at email@example.com.
UPPER DES MOINES FOOD SHELF NEEDS OUR HELP - the Upper Des Moines Opportunities Food Shelf staff has said that food is very, very low at the pantry. The following items are very needed: cereal, oatmeal, peanut butter, canned fruit & vegetables, beans and rice, spaghetti sauce, and pasta. Other items needed: laundry soap, dish soap, shampoo, and body soap. Hot dogs, turkey, and ham for sandwiches, milk, and juice. Fresh vegetables are welcome. You can drop the food off in the grocery cart by the church office or at Upper Des Moines Opportunities Food Shelf, 620 Michigan Street, in Storm Lake. TRUNK OR TREAT -is coming up on Monday, October 31. We are looking for persons to “open their trunks” to share “treats” and for persons to purchase and drop off “treats” here at the church for the kids. We will share more specifics on the time (and date) as soon as we confirm the info with the city and school. If this year is like previous years, the number of kids coming to St Mark from the community keeps growing.
LIFE SERVE BLOOD DRIVE - Did you know LifeServe Blood Center provides blood products to 157 hospitals primarily in Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota? From Avera St. Anthony’s in O’Neill, NE to Allen Memorial Hospital in Waterloo, IA. Hospitals choose Life Serve to be their ONLY provider. If you would like to know any other info about donating blood and Life Serve Blood Center, just click on this link, or contact Jane Hartwell in the Church Office. The next Life Serve Blood Drive will be at St. Mark on Tuesday, November 1, 2022, 12:30-5:30. You can register online or text LIFESERVE to 999-777 to make an appointment to Give Blood.
FRIENDS WITH FOOD UPDATE - Would you like to help? Friends with Food is a partnership of St Mark Lutheran Church and SALUD working together to offer a monthly food distribution to those who are permanently or temporarily homebound and with no easy access to transportation. The next food distribution will be Thursday, October 20th at St. Mark. Please contact Jane Hartwell at 712-732-5255, Di Daniels at 712-299-9863, or Julie Cook at Western Iowa Synod Office at 732-4968 if you want to help, or know of someone who could use some help with food, or have questions.
DID YOU KNOW THAT WIC MEETS AT ST MARK? - WIC is a service offered through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Iowa Department of Public Health and Human Services to support the needs of (Women, Infants, and Children). They help with health, nutrition, and other services to those who are eligible. Starting in October, WIC will be making St Mark their home for the next several months.
OFFERINGS AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT - We are grateful for all financial gifts as they provide the
needed support for the ministries of this congregation. If you have a financial gift you would like to share this morning, you may place it in the offering box found at the welcome center. We are in the process of revising the St Mark Give Page where there are links and instructions for sharing your gifts. You can: