"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." -1 Thessalonians 5:18
This weekend we will celebrate the last Sunday of the Church year, Christ the King Sunday. On Sunday we will hear a passage from Luke chapter 23 that really seems out of place for this time of year A sign is place above Jesus' head on the cross as soldiers mocked him, calling him the King of the Jews. Jesus was a different kind of king and the world had never seen a kingdom quite like his before. So what does it mean for us to call Jesus our king and Lord? On this final Sunday of the church year, we set aside some time to ask ourselves these questions.
On Thursday we celebrate Thanksgiving as a nation. We have so much to give thanks for, even when there are challenges. I thought this prayer by Diana Butler Bass may be helpful to read as it gives us a fresh way of thinking about Thanksgiving and gratitude.
A Thanksgiving Prayer Diana Buter Bass
God, there are days we do not feel grateful. When we are anxious or angry. When we are alone. When we do not understand what is happening in the world, or with our neighbors. We struggle to feel grateful.
But this Thanksgiving, we choose gratitude. We choose to accept life as a gift from you, from the unfolding work of all creation. We choose to be grateful for the earth from which our food comes; for the water that gives life; and for the air we all breathe.
We make the choice to see our ancestors, those who came before us, and their stories, as a continuing gift of wisdom for us today. We choose to see our families and friends with new eyes, appreciating them for who they are, and be thankful for our homes whether humble or grand. We will be grateful for our neighbors, no matter how they voted or how much we feel hurt by them. We choose to see the whole planet as our shared commons, the public stage of the future of humankind and creation.
God, this Thanksgiving, we do not give thanks. We choose it.
And we will make thanks, with strong hands and courageous hearts. When we see your sacred generosity, we become aware that we live in an infinite circle of gratitude. That we all are guests at a hospitable table around which gifts are passed and received. We will not let anything opposed to love take over this table. Instead, we choose to see grace, free and unmerited love, the giftedness of life everywhere, as the tender web of all creation. In this choosing, and in the making, we will pass gratitude onto the world.
Thus, with you, and with all those gathered here, we pledge to make thanks. And we ask you to strengthen us in this resolve. Here, now, and into the future. Around this table. Around the table of our nation. Around the table of the earth. AMEN
WORSHIP THIS WEEKEND
I hope to see you in worship on Sunday 9:00 as we celebrate Christ the King. Here is a link to the service outline and announcements for this weekend. There is a lot happening and lots of ways for you to be more involved in the life the St Mark community.
Peace to you,
LIFE TOGETHER AT ST MARK You can find us at:
1614 West 5th Street
Storm Lake, IA, 50588
You may log into Saint Mark Wi-Fi
WORSHIP- We gather together for worship:
In-person in the Sanctuary on Sunday mornings at 9:00.
Online live on Sunday at 9:00 on our Facebook Page
Recordings of services may be found on our website
PRAYERS: We are each invited to keep the following persons in our prayers. You may submit a prayer request here.
We are each invited to keep the following persons in our prayers: Bob Rohlfson, Marilyn Jones, Larry Wells, Ken Russell, Don Northrup, Hildy Clewell, Eleanor Schemmel, Julie Egland, Val Anderson, Marlon Gasner, Jon Kruse, Kermit Smith, Donna Schulz, Steve Korner, Jane Evans, Evelyn Messenbrink, Alex Kron, Steve Berg, Mark Sorbe, and all persons seeking healing and wholeness. Brenda Newell and family in your prayers as they grieve the death of her mother Joann Mitchell.
INVITATION TO GENEROSITY – Each fall an “Invitation to Generosity” is extended at St Mark. It is a time when members and friends are invited to prayerfully consider their financial support of St Mark for the next year. A letter describing the need and a pledge card to support the ministry of St Mark was sent out earlier this month. A good number of pledges have been received and we hope that everyone will consider prayerfully filling out a pledge card and dropping it off at the church office or placing it in the offering box on Sunday morning. We will be dedicating all of the pledges we have received during worship this weekend.
VISIT RESIDENTS AT METHODIST MANOR- Methodist Manor is in need of persons to visit residents. Training will be available to prepare volunteers for the conversations. If you are interested, please contact Maxine Lampe at 712-732-1058 or Pat Cowan at 712-299-3120.
VOLUNTEERS TO READ TO YOUNG CHILDREN- Yoanna Rosas, the Spanish Immersion teacher at the new Early Childhood Center, is asking for community volunteers to come and read to her students individually. There is a need for both Spanish and English readers. Please call Yoanna at 712 299 8624 or Di Daniels, at 712 299 9863, for scheduling.
VETS TOGETHER – This It 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 at 6:00 PM in room 128. The gatherings are open to all community persons. Please share this opportunity with friends.
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 in addition to 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.
ATTENTION ST. MARK BOOK LOVERS – The next book discussion will be on December 4th after worship service. If you have questions, please contact Cindy Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
KNIT, CROCHET, ETC – Thursday, December 1, 1:00 PM in the Library. A time to get together and work on your favorite craft and enjoy each other’s company.
MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR BRENDA NEWELL’S MOTHER– Brenda Newell has been St Mark’s custodian for many years. Last weekend her mother, Joann Mitchell, died. A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 26, at the Soldier Lutheran Church of Soldier, Iowa. A Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. The Armstrong - Van Houten Funeral Home of Ute, Iowa, is in charge of the funeral arrangements. Condolences may be sent online at www.armstrongfuneral.com. You may send cards to drop cards off at the Church Office or send them to 6411 90th Ave, Storm Lake, IA 50588
TIME TO ORDER POINSETTIAS FOR CHRISTMAS AT ST MARK – 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. You can also call 712-732-5255 to place an order. Each poinsettia is $35.00 and can be taken home following the services. Orders need to be received in the Church Office by December 12th so that we may get them ordered in time to be here for Christmas at St Mark.
LIFE SERVE BLOOD DRIVE – 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.
AN ANGEL’S TOUCH– There will be a fundraiser at St. Mark Lutheran Church on December 10th, 9:00 AM-1:00 PM. 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 underprivileged by giving one small gift at a time with heartfelt 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).
UPPER DES MOINES FOOD SHELF NEEDS OUR HELP – The Upper Des Moines Opportunities Food Shelf staff has stated that any food is welcome 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, and 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.
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 will be in the church welcome center beginning November 27th. Please select which gifts you would like to donate and return the package to the church no later than December 12th. Please wrap each gift and mark it with the family number, sex, and age of the 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!
FRIENDS WITH FOOD-
On Thursday it was a bit cold outside, so we moved everything inside to pack and deliver food to @99 families. A big thank you goes out to everyone who helped. 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 with no easy access to transportation. Volunteers are always needed. If you would like to help, or know of someone who could use some help with food, please contact Jane Hartwell 712-732-5255, Di Daniels 712-299-9863 or Julie Cook- Western Iowa Synod Office 732-4968.
FURNACE(S) REPLACEMENT TIME- 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 note that the gift is for the FURNACE REPLACEMENT FUND. The total replacement cost is anticipated to cost @$8800
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:
AmazonSmile is a simple way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to the charitable organization of your choice. Designate St Mark with the link above.