St Mark eNEWS
for December 16, 2022


Good morning friends!  It looks like we are going to have a white Christmas this year in western Iowa. As I write this note to you, workers with snowplows and snowblowers are pushing the snow off of the sidewalks and parking lots here at St Mark.  This time of year we can easily get caught up in the hustle and bustle of time of year. But, how about saying thank you to some of the people who help make it possible for getting around on snowy days, or who make it possible for events to be held.  I invite you to consider extending a greeting to some of the people you may walk by every day who keep things working. I am sure there are plenty of workers who would appreciate hearing the words "thank you" and "May you have a blessed Christmas" when you pass by. 

We had a very busy week here with the Blue Christmas Service on Tuesday. People bringing and then picking up all of the gifts for Upper Des Moines families. And Friends with Food on Thursday as people drove through the snow and slush to help pack and deliver food to persons in need.

I invite you to look through this email message today to see what is coming up in these next days as we draw closer to Christmas and the end of 2022.  


This Sunday morning 9:00, the Sunday School students will be offering leadership to our worship service. They will be telling the story of Christmas through "The Symbols of Christmas" written by Deb Mortensen. Come early and get a good seat as we are hoping for a big crowd. There will be plenty of singing, and lots of children telling the story of Jesus Birth.  

This is the St Mark Christmas worship service schedule. We hope to see you: 
  • 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 can email us at

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

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.
You are invited to keep the following persons in our prayers:
Prayers for Healing:   

  • Irv Strand, Marlon Gasner, Royce Larsen, Marilyn Jones, Larry Wells, Ken Russell, Don Northrup, Hildy Clewell, Julie Egland, Val Anderson, Jon Kruse, Donna Schulz, Steve Korner, Jane Evans, Evelyn Messenbrink, Alex Kron, Steve Berg, and all persons seeking healing and wholeness. 
Prayers for Comfort:  
  • The family of Bruce Strand (son of Irv Strand)
  • The family of Neil Lawton (Brad Lenhart’s brother-in-law)
  • The family of Mark Sorbe 
  • The family of Meta Davis (sister of Anna Hughes)
We want to thank everyone who shared their pledges for 2023. Our fall Generosity Appeal $209,598.00 in pledges of financial support for 2023 ,an increase of @$30,000 over last year.  The information received so far is helping the Congregation Council to make plans for 2023.  The Congregation Council members extend their gratitude to everyone for your generous support of St Mark.
ADOPT A FAMILY: Thank you to everyone who participated in the Adopt A Family Christmas program.  With your help more families’ will have a brighter Christmas this year.  
SCARF AND MITTEN TREE:  Thank you to everyone who donated mittens, scarves, hats, gloves etc.  Many items were received, and they will go to supply Upper Des Moines Opportunities as they help people stay warm this winter. 

The two furnaces that heat and cool the Fellowship Hall were installed this past week. The Congregation Council extends their gratitude for everyone who shared financial gifts to help pay for them.  Thank you. 
CHRISTMAS BOOK IDEAS– Looking for some new/different Christmas books to help get you in the Christmas spirit? The book discussion group shared some of their favorites and wanted to share them with the members of St. Mark. They are:
  • Skipping Christmas – by John Grisham
  • The 13th Gift – by Joanne Huist Smith
  • The Crippled Lamb – by Max Lucado
  • The Christmas Shoes and The Christmas Hope – both by Donna VanLiere
  • Christmas Bells – by Jennifer Chiaverini
  • A Christmas Carol – by Charles Dickens
 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.
Everyone is encouraged to check out the selection of Christmas books from the St. Mark library located on the table in the Welcome Center. In addition, there are many on display in the library. If you have questions about the book group, contact Cindy Smith
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 others. As veterans go through re-entry into 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, 6:00 PM in room 128. The gatherings are open to all community persons.  Please share this opportunity with friends. 

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.

Your faithful financial gifts to St Mark 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 at Apple App Store on Google Play Store.
  • And a new way to give is through Amazon Smile each time you purchase something online. 
Food distribution was on December 15. Thank you to the volunteers who helped with loading the bags and delivering. 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 distribution will be January19th.  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.
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 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. 

Sunday, December 18
7:30AM -            Proclaim Radio broadcast on FM101.7
9:00AM-             Children’s Christmas Service- in-person and
                           streamed live on Facebook
 10:00AM-           Fellowship Time (Fellowship Hall)       

Monday, December 19
5:00PM-              Family Access Domestic Abuse Class
                           (Room 128)       
6:30PM-              Stephen Ministry
Tuesday, December 20
10:30AM-2:00PM    Western Iowa Synod (Room 128)
Wednesday, December 21
8:00AM-6:00PM       New Opportunities (Women, Infants &
                                 Children) (Library, Fellowship Hall, Room 122,
                                 Room 123.  Meeting Room 107)
5:00PM-                   Buena Vista County Suicide Prevention Meeting
                                 (Fellowship Hall)
6:00PM-                   Vets Together (Room 128)
Thursday, December 22
12:00PM-                 AA-(Fellowship Hall)
Saturday, December 24
3:00PM                     Christmas Eve Worship Service
5:00PM                     Christmas Eve Worship Service
Sunday, December 25.           CHRISTMAS DAY
7:30AM -                   Proclaim Radio broadcast on FM101.7
9:00AM-                    Worship Service- in-person and streamed live
                                 on Facebook

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