St Mark eNEWS
for December 4, 2022
painting by John August Swanson


“Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness. 
Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.” Isaiah 40:3
Tuesday morning- I am looking through the windows as the wind pushes the falling snow around gently. Days like this remind me of how important of a job it is to keep the roads and sidewalks open during the winter months. This snowfall, so early in the Advent season, is a timely reminder of how important this season is. It is a gift given to help “clear the way” and prepare our hearts to receive our Messiah this Christmas. 
I know from experience of just how busy the season leading up to Christmas can be.  Children’s events, concerts, school work, church services, family events, shopping, jobs, year-end tasks and more fill up our time quickly. That’s why I’m grateful we have received this snowfall today, it can remind us of the importance of finding ways to intentionally mark the days of Advent this year. 
We have placed a number resources at the welcome center to help all of us celebrate Advent in our homes this year (Advent Calendar, Advent Study, and ELCA World Hunger barn). I have been using them myself and appreciate the added meaning they are bringing to this busy season.  For those unfamiliar with an Advent Calendar, they are something that everyone in the family can participate in as the doors are opened each day revealing a new scripture to read, a prayer, or another idea to help prepare for Christmas this year. The Advent Study can be done at any time in your home, and I plan on leading us through them on the next three Sunday mornings following worship. The Global Barnyard coin boxes give us a practical way to give to others this season just by using our spare change (or dollar bills as they are lighter and add up quicker). 
I hope you will join us for worship this month as we have quite a few special services planned to mark the days of Advent and Christmas together as a community: 
  • Advent Services- Sundays December 4 and 11, 9:00 AM
  • Blue Christmas Service- Tuesday December 13, 6:30 PM
  • Children’s Christmas Service- Sunday December 18 9:00 AM
  • Christmas Eve Services- Saturday December 24  3:00 and 5:00 PM
  • Christmas Day Service-  Sunday December 25, 9:00 AM
  • New Years Day Service- Sunday January 1, 9:00 AM
I hope to see you in worship on Sunday 9:00. Here is a link to the service outline and announcements for this weekend.  There is a lot happening at St Mark and lots of ways for you to be more involved in the life here in the church building and as we reach out to more and more people.

Peace to you,

Pastor Dave  

 You can find us at: 
1614 West 5th Street
Storm Lake, IA, 50588
 Phone: 712-732-5255

      You may log into Saint Mark Wi-Fi
Password- devotion

WORSHIP- We gather for worship each Sunday morning at 9:00. You can join us in-person in the Sanctuary, or via livestream on our  Facebook page. Recordings of services may be also found on the St Mark Website.
PRAYERS-    We are each invited to keep the following persons in our prayers:
Prayers for Healing:   Royce Larsen, Bob Rohlfson, Marilyn Jones, Larry Wells, Ken Russell, Don Northrup, Hildy Clewell, Julie Egland, Val Anderson, Marlon Gasner, Jon Kruse, Donna Schulz, Steve Korner, Jane Evans, Evelyn Messenbrink, Alex Kron, Steve Berg, Mark Sorbe, and all persons seeking healing and wholeness. 
Prayers for Comfort:  Irv Strand and his family as they grieve the death of his son Bruce Strand.

ADVENT AT ST MARK-  There are a number of Advent resources at the Welcome Center for everyone to take home to help celebrate this special season (November 27 through December 23). There are Advent Study Guides and Advent Calendars available to take home to use this Advent, and each Sunday morning following worship there will be an Advent Study with Pastor Dave at the east end of the Fellowship Hall.  
SCARF AND MITTEN TREE:  The tree is up and items are arriving.  Hopefully we can cover it over and over with warm hats, mittens, scarves, gloves, etc.   These items will go to supply Upper Des Moines Opportunities as they do their best to help keep people warm this winter. 

The displaying of poinsettias at Christmas time has a long tradition at St Mark. If you would like to order one to be displayed at the Christmas Eve services, please fill out an order form and turn it into the office. The forms are available in the church office and at the welcome center.  Each poinsettia is $35.00 and can be taken home following the services. Orders need to be received in the Church Office by December 12.  

SEW & DO will not meet in December.
NAOMI CIRCLE will not meet in December or January.
BOOK DISCUSSION ON SUNDAY– For the December 4th book discussion, everyone is invited to bring a favorite Christmas story and share a little bit about why it is one of your favorites. Just perhaps you will discover a new story for yourself, or be introduced to one. If you have questions, please contact Cindy Smith at
The book for January will be “A Fall of Marigolds” by Susan Meissner.  “This book tells the story of two women, a hundred years apart; two spur of the moment decisions that were inspired by joy but instead caused their lives to intersect with tragedy and resulted in the loss of the men they loved; and one mysterious marigold scarf that connects them and changes their lives.” We will meet on Sunday, January 15 after church to share and discuss. If you have questions, please contact Cindy Smith at
ADOPT A FAMILY: St. Mark will again participate in the Adopt a Family Christmas program with Upper Des Moines Opportunities.  Five families have been selected and information about them and gift wishes are now at the church welcome center.   Please select which gifts you would like to donate and return the package to church no later than December 12th.   Please wrap each gift and mark with family number, sex and age of person. If you would  like to make a monetary donation or give a gift card, please leave it in the church office by December 9th.   Any questions can be directed to Lori Porsch (299-3129).  Thanks for helping make some families' Christmas a lot brighter!

FURNACE(S) REPLACEMENT TIME-  the two furnaces that heat and cool the Fellowship Hall will be replaced in the next several weeks. The Congregation Council extends an invitation to anyone interested in sharing a gift to help pay for the replacements, above and beyond your regular offering.  Simply notate that the gift is for the FURNACE REPLACEMENT FUND.   The total replacement cost is anticipated to cost @$8800


  • Methodist Manor- The residents of Methodist Manor are in need of persons to visit. Training will be available to prepare volunteers for the conversations. If you are interested, please contact Maxine Lampe 712-732-1058, or Pat Cowan 712-299-3120.
  • St Mark Worship Tech- we are in need of at least 2 more persons (families)  to serve one Sunday a month as worship tech.  New tech helpers may include families with junior high or high school aged kids, possibly a great way to involve them more with helping with church service.   If you are interested, you are invited to sit back at the console on a Sunday morning and watch/help the persons working on that weekend.  Contact Pastor Dave if you are interested.  
Is an opportunity 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 one another.  As veterans go through re-entry into civilian life they may experience, short and long term challenges unique to veterans such as PTSD, disabilities, difficulty reconnecting to family and friends, and finding it challenges to find meaningful employment in addition to other obstacles. Vets Together meet on Wednesday evenings, 6:00 PM in room 128.  The gatherings are open to all veterans in the area.  Please share this opportunity with others. 

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 in addition to your regular financial support of St Mark. 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 732-5255 if you have questions.
FINANCIAL PLEDGE CARDS FOR 2023- As of the printing of this bulletin we have received $203, pledges of financial support for 2023.  We hope that more pledge cards will be received over the next weeks. The information received so far is helping the Congregation Council to make plans for 2023.  We want to thank everyone for your generous support of St Mark.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR OFFERINGS AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT-  We are grateful for your faithful financial gifts to St Mark as they provide the needed support for all of our ministries, outreach, operating expenses, and staff. We are hopeful that through all of our gifts we will finish our year in the positive. 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.  You are welcome to drop off an offering at the Church office or send it in the mail.  You can also go to the St Mark Give Page where there are links and instructions for sharing your gifts. You can:  
  • Give via EFT, banking cards, and credit cards. Make a one time, or set up ongoing gifts. 
  • Text your gift to 833-643-0608. 
  • You can also give during the service electronically through the new Vanco Mobile giving app available atApple App Store on Google Play Store.
  • And through Amazon Smile, with every purchase on you make. 
Friends with Food is a partnership of St Mark Lutheran Church, SALUD, and other community persons who work together to offer a monthly food distribution to those who are permanently or temporarily homebound and without easy access to transportation. The next food distribution is December 15. Volunteers are needed to help with loading the bags and delivering. If you would like to help, or if you know of someone who could use some food, please contact Jane Hartwell 712-732-5255, Di Daniels 712-299-9863 or Julie Cook- Western Iowa Synod Office 732-4968.
There will be a fundraiser at St. Mark Lutheran Church on December 10, 9:00AM- 1:00PM.  The mission statement of An Angel’s Touch is to improve the lives of the elderly, children and those with special needs, who are impoverished, distressed and underserved, or under privileged, by giving one small gift at a time, with heartful love and caring.  An Angel’s Touch (a nonprofit charitable organization) was created, in memory of Ron and Janette Willer of Schaller, IA, to continue to forward the love and kindness they shared for others. Selling cookies, candies and An Angel’s Touch Coffee (personal containers are encouraged).  
PASTOR DAVE AND LESLIE GIFT: To help express our thanks and appreciation to Pastor Dave and Leslie, the St Mark Church Council is asking our St. Mark family members to contribute to a gift for them. These monetary gifts will be presented to him at a Christmas Eve Service.  Your gift may be dropped off or mailed to the church office.  Label the envelope “Pastor Dave Christmas Gift.”
The Upper Des Moines Opportunities Food Shelf staff has stated that any food is welcomed at the pantry. The following items are very low and needed at this time: cereal, oatmeal, peanut butter, canned fruit & vegetables, beans and rice, spaghetti sauce and pasta.  Other items needed: laundry soap, dish soap, shampoo, body soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, toilet paper, paper towels. 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. 

The next Life Serve Blood Drive will be Tuesday, December 6 at St. Mark, 12:30-5:30.  You can register online or text LIFESERVE to 999-777 to make an appointment to Give Blood.  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.  
Sunday, December 4
7:30AM -               Proclaim Radio broadcast on FM101.7
9:00AM-                Worship Service- in-person and streamed live
                              on Facebook
10:00AM-               Fellowship Time (Fellowship Hall)       
10:00AM@-           Sunday School Christmas Rehearsal. (Sanctuary)
10:00AM@-           Adult Advent Study.  (Fellowship Hall)
10:00AM@            Book Discussion (Library)                            

Monday, December 5
5:00PM-                  Family Access Center-Domestic Assault 
                               (Room 128)
6:30PM-                  Stephen Ministry (Conference Room)
Tuesday, December 6
12:30PM-5:30PM     Life Serve Blood Drive (Fellowship Hall)
6:30PM-                   Quilt Sewciety (Sewing Room)               
7:00PM-                    NA- (Room 128)

Wednesday, December 7
8:00AM-6:00PM        New Opportunities (Women, Infants &
                                  Children) (Library, Fellowship Hall, Room 122,
                                  Room 123.  Meeting Room 107)
6:00PM-                     Vets Together (Room 128)
6:00 PM-                    Confirmation Class

Thursday, December 8
8:00AM-6:00PM-         New Opportunities (Women, Infants &
                                    Children) (Library, Fellowship Hall, Room 122,
                                    Room 123.  Meeting Room 107)
10:30AM-2:00PM-       Western Iowa Synod (Room 128)
12:00-                          AA-(Fellowship Hall)

Saturday, December 10
9:00AM-1:00PM              Angel Touch Cookie Walk (Fellowship Hall)  

Sunday, December 11
7:30AM -                          Proclaim Radio broadcast on FM101.7
9:00AM-                           Worship Service- in-person and streamed
                                        live on Facebook
10:00AM-                         Fellowship Time (Fellowship Hall)       
10:00AM@-                     Sunday School Christmas Rehearsal.
10:00AM@-                     Adult Advent Study.  (Fellowship Hall)
10:00AM@                      Book Discussion (Library)          

Join friends from the Storm Lake area for a "Blue Christmas Service" on December 13, 6:30M. It is a time to gather together to acknowledge the losses we have experienced, and grief we experience as we enter into the holidays and new year. The service itself is rather solemn for listening and pondering. There will be piano music and readings, along with a time to light candles to acknowledge our grief and losses. The service is @40-45 minutes long. 
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