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.

About Summer Break

We began our summer “break” on June 3rd. 

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 the church office know. 

There will be 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. Let us make 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.

Oh for a thousand tongues to sing - Charles Wesley (1707-1788)

The original title of this hymn was “For the Anniversary Day of One’s Conversion. Charles Wesley wrote it on May 21, 1749, the eleventh anniversary of his own conversion. Before they were converted, John and Charles Wesley were dubbed “Methodists” because of the methods of spirituality they had introduced in their club at Oxford, the Holy Club. But later John and Charles met the German Moravians, who loved to sing, were very missions-minded, and emphasized a personal conversion experience.


One of the Moravian leaders, Peter Bohler, once said, “Had I a thousand tongues, I would praise Christ Jesus with all of them.” So it was fitting for Charles Wesley to build a hymn around that quotation to celebrate the date of his conversion.


Charles had known from childhood that Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for sin. But on May 21, 1738, he accepted and applied it personally – “His blood availed for me.”

The One Year Book of Hymns


What a Friend We Have in Jesus - Joseph Medlicott Scriven (1819-1886)

Not far from Port Hope, Ontario, stands a monument with this inscription “Four miles north, in Pengally’s Cemetery, lies the philanthropist and author of this great masterpiece, written at Port Hope, 1857.” Above the inscription are the words of this beloved hymn. Joseph Scriven, its author, was a man who had experienced the friendship of Jesus through a life filled with personal tragedy.


When Scriven was a young man in Ireland, his fiancé accidentally drowned the evening before their wedding. Soon after this, he set sail for Canada. He seemed destined to live his life alone, with Jesus as his only close friend.


Scriven never intended to publish this hymn. He wrote the words to accompany a letter to his mother, who was ill in far-off Ireland. He had no material resources to send her; only a reminder that the most perfect of friends, Jesus Himself, was nearby.

The One Year Book of Hymns


Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Us – Dorothy Thrupp (1779-1847)

Of all the names and titles given to Jesus, perhaps the most beloved is Shepherd, a title Jesus gave himself in John 10. The Good Shepherd knows His sheep, guards His sheep, and even gives His life for His sheep. Scripture also says that He knows His sheep by name.

Unfortunately we don’t know the author of this hymn by name. The hymn was first published in a book of songs and poems by Dorothy Thrupp of Paddington Green, England. The poems she contributed are followed by her initials, D.A.T., but this one has no initials. Either she forgot to initial it, or it came from another source. Dorothy Thrupp’s book was Hymns for the Young, and so the hymn is often identified as a children’s hymn, though its message applies to people of all ages.

Scriptural allusions are drawn from Psalm 23 as well as John 10, but perhaps the key phrase is the line “Thou hast bought us, Thine we are,” taken from 1 Corinthians 6:20. What a privilege to have a Shepherd like Jesus, who bought us with His life, who guides us day by day, and who knows us by name.

One Year Book of Hymns

I Know Whom I Have Believed – Daniel Webster Whittle (1840-1901)


“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” That’s what we say when job hunting, but it’s also a foundational Christian truth. We can study an entire lifetime to try to discover who God is and how to reach him. But it all comes down to one question: Do we know Jesus?


As a POW during the Civil War, Daniel Whittle began reading the New Testament his mother had given him as he marched off to war, and his committed his life to Jesus Christ.


After the war, Whittle was promoted to the rank of major and then became a successful businessman. In 1873, he began preaching in evangelistic services, and for a quarter-century he led revivals throughout the United States. He also encouraged some of the leading songwriters of his time and wrote many hymns himself, including “Showers of Blessing” and “Moment by Moment.” Whittle penned this hymn in 1883, perhaps thinking back to questions he had asked during his imprisonment. There were still many things he didn’t know, but he certainly did know Jesus.

The One Year Book of Hymns

Who is on the Lord’s Side? – Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879)


For someone who struggles with illness much of her life, Frances Havergal wrote a remarkable number of vigorous, robust hymns. The last manuscript she worked on was Starlight through the Shadows, a book for invalids. She died at the age of forty-three before she could complete the book, but her sister added the final chapter from Havergal’s unpublished papers. That chapter is entitled “Marching Orders” and concludes with the words of this hymn.


The hymn itself was written October 13, 1877, based on 1 Chronicles 12:1-18. In the biblical text, the early followers of David are listed; archers and slingers, experts in running and swimming. David asked them whose side they were on, and they responded: “Thine are we, David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse” (1 Chronicles 12:18, KJV). Frances Havergal put the refrain like this: “We are on the Lord’s side, Savior, we are Thine.”

The One Year Book of Hymns

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!

Time after Pentecost is also Green (up to 28 weeks - depending on date of Easter)