Worship & Music Ministry

What's Going On This Month

What's up at St. Mark Lutheran Church? In addition to our Saturday and Sunday services, choir, and hand bells, we've got some special things coming up. You can find more information about these 'happenings' on the Events page.

Music Recap and a Notice About Summer Break


What a year this has been. We are approaching the one year anniversary of our organist Martha “Organ” Lobaugh.  We have to make this delineation since we have Martha “Cello” Lippy in our program as well. 


There were several exciting services held here.  The Hanover Conference chose St. Mark to host their Reformation celebration of 500 years.  The Hanover Area Council of Churches found a home in St. Mark for their Thanksgiving eve service. 


This Holy week was observed in a different way than usual as well.  Worship & Music wanted to present a cohesive, continuous and prayerful journey of Jesus to his final destination in human form.  We hope that the congregation could feel the connection from the celebration of Palm Sunday to the end of the Easter Vigil.  It was our great joy to be part of the vigil for the first time.


We will be on our summer “break” beginning June 3rd.  This creates a void in the service.  However, we always enjoy hearing the offerings of others not typically active in our program.  If you are interested in providing a vocal offering, a dramatic reading, instrumental solo, dance or anything else you can think of please let me know.  I will be placing a sign-up sheet in the Narthex where all can see. Be adventurous this year.  Give it a try.  We are all here by the grace of God and what a way to say thanks.  Share your gift.  We are NOT in the business of perfection but making a joyful noise.  Serve the Lord with gladness.

Our Hymns - A Little of the Backstory

The origins for some of the Hymns scheduled for this month are presented here. Some will be sung at one of our services. Others are suggestions to be sung as a personal 'Hymn Sing' on Sunday.

He’s Got the Whole World  

"He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" is a traditional American spiritual, first published in 1927. It became an international pop hit in 1957-58 in a recording by English singer Laurie London, and has been recorded by many other singers and choirs.

The song was first published in the paperbound hymnal Spirituals Triumphant, Old and New in 1927. In 1933, it was collected by Frank Warner from the singing of Sue Thomas in North Carolina. It was also recorded by other collectors such as Robert Sonkin of the Library of Congress, who recorded it in Gee's Bend, Alabama in 1941. That version is still available at the Library's American Folklife Center.

Frank Warner performed the song during the 1940s and 1950s, and introduced it to the American folk scene. Warner recorded it on the Elektra album American Folk Songs and Ballads in 1952. It was quickly picked up by both American gospel singers and British skiffle and pop musicians.


We Praise Thee, Oh God (Julia Cady Cory 1882-1963)

From her student years, Julia Cady wrote Christian poems and songs. Her father, a prominent architect, was also a longtime Sunday school superintendent at New York City’s Church of the Covenant.

When Julia was in her twenties, the organist at Brick Presbyterian Church asked her to write new words for a traditional Dutch Thanksgiving Hymn. She produced “We Praise Thee, Oh God” and the new words were sung for Thanksgiving at both Brick Presbyterian and her home church.

The original Dutch hymn goes back to the 1600s. The familiar words “We Gather Together to Ask the Lord’s Blessing” are an English rendering of a German version of the Dutch original. Julia Cady Cory’s words express the same theme of thanks for God’s blessings but in a fresh way.

One Year Book of Hymns

Come Down, O Love Divine (Bianco da Siena, ?? – 1434)

Six hundred years ago, Bianco da Siena, living in Venice, Italy, wrote this hymn, which he entitled “The Holy Spirit Desired”. It was one of the ninety-two hymns he wrote in a hymnbook he called Spiritual Praise. In the nineteenth century, Richard Littledale – a man of broad interests who had a special interest in writing and translating hymns – discovered the hymn and translated it from Italian into English. He published it in The People’s Hymnal in 1867. The amazing thing about Littledale is that he also translated hymns from Danish, Swedish, Greek, Latin, Syrian, and German. This hymn is a lovely, sensitive invitation to the Holy Spirit to enter our hearts and consume all our earthly passions, transformin us into the people God wants us to be.

One Year Book of Hymns

Holy, Holy, Holy (Reginald Heber 1783-1826)


“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty who was, and is, and is to come” (Revelation 4:8). These are the words of worship that believers will proclaim in Heaven one day. This majestic text based on these words was written approximately one hundred and [seventy] years ago by an Anglican minister, Reginald Heber, and it is still one of the hymns most frequently used in our corporate worship.


Worship is the cornerstone of a believer’s spiritual life. The bedrock of a local church is its worship service, and all aspects of a church’s ministry are founded here. It is only as a Christian truly worships that he [and she] begin to grow spiritually. Learning to worship and praise God, then, should be a believer’s lifetime pursuit. Our worship reflects the depth of our relationship with God. We must learn to worship God not only for what He is doing in our personal lives, but above all for who He is – His Being, character, and deeds.


Reginald Heber was a highly respected minister, write, and church minister, serving for a time as the Bishop of Calcutta. His early death at age 43 was widely mourned throughout the Christian world. One year after his death, a collection of 57 of his hymns was published by his widow and many friends as a tribute to his memory and faithful ministry.

Amazing Grace – 366 Inspiring Stories of Daily Devotions

Join the Fun

Make Thursday night your music night​​​​​​​

Consider joining one or both of these music ministries

with instrument and/or song.

A place in the choir...

We are getting ready to rev up the old Victrola and start singing on a regular basis in the balcony or on the floor and occasionally ringing those bells and chimes. 

Don’t you want to be part of this incredible, fun ministry? It is our position that we present the word of the Lord in prayerful song to open the hearts, minds and ears of the congregation in order for them to receive the message of the day. We are just one instrument to deliver the good news of the love of Christ. The more instruments, the louder the band. The louder the band, the better they hear! 

Please consider joining us. Choir begins September 7th from 7pm-8pm. Then on September 14th, hand bells begin from 6:15pm-7:10pm and the Trinity Choir begins with their NEW TIME—7:15pm-8:15pm.

See Melinda or any member of the choirs for more information.  It could be the best hour or two you spend with us!

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, by the will of God, to the saints who are also faithful in Christ Jesus; Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.