This Month at St. Mark

Birthdays This Month

Recognizing our congregation members who were born this month...

Jan 03

Scott Miller

Jan 04

Ken Wagner

Jan 05

Sally Hershey

Esther LeGore

MacKenzie Naill

Jan 06

Carol Greening

Leonard Stambaugh

Jan 07

Cayden Jones

Jan 09

Hollis Long

Jan 10

Melanie Brady

Brooklyn Hull

Jan 11

Kelly Dube

     Happy Birthday!

Jan 12

Carly Miller-Carbaugh

Jan 14

Charles Coppersmith

Kaitlyn Naill

Jan 15

Allison Hardin

Robert G. Miller

Jan 16

Alice O’Donnell

Penelope Spalding

Daniel Weber

Jan 17

Rick Pado

Jan 18

Jody Boyers

Bill Reese

Jan 19

Cara Lynn Clabaugh

Jan 20

Glenn Mummert

Abby Shermeyer

Pat Wagner

Jan 21

Patty Warehime

Jan 22

Sandra Haymaker

Jan 23

Lois Bolin

Jan 24

LeeAnn McDermitt

Jan 25

Irene DeMart

Jan 28

Anna Cromer

Jan 29

Mary Berry

Ashley Teal

Jan 31

Evelyn Barnhart

Current Church Season

Our Church Seasons for January are Christmas and Epiphany

Christmas begins with Christmas Day, December 25, and lasts for Twelve Days until Epiphany, January 6, which looks ahead to the mission of the church to the world in light of the Nativity. The one or two Sundays between Christmas Day and Epiphany are sometimes called Christmastide. 


For many Protestant church traditions, the season of Epiphany extends from January 6th until Ash Wednesday, which begins the season of Lent leading to Easter.  Depending on the timing of Easter, this longer period of Epiphany includes from four to nine Sundays. In some western traditions, the last Sunday of Epiphany is celebrated as Transfiguration Sunday...

Page Footnotes

You have probably noticed the red boxes at the bottom of several pages (Welcome, Events, Christian Education, Evangelism, Fellowship, Social, and Worship & Music). In these small spaces, we will post information about many facets (history, etc.) of the church. The subjects and information promises to be quite varied. But, all will be enlightening and fun.

For January, the red boxes show seven of famos hymnist Fannie Crosby's most popular hymns. For more on Fannie Crosby, see our Notables section below.

Spotlight on

Apostles & Saints

This month, we are highlighting the Apostle Luke. Luke the Evangelist is one of the Four Evangelists—the four traditionally ascribed authors of the canonical Gospels...

St. Luke

Luke the Evangelist is one of the Four Evangelists—the four traditionally ascribed authors of the canonical Gospels. The Early Church Fathers ascribed to him authorship of both the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles, which would mean Luke contributed over a quarter of the text of the New Testament, more than any 


other author. Prominent figures in early Christianity such as Jerome and Eusebius later reaffirmed his authorship, although the fragile evidence of the identity of the author of the works has led to discussion in scholarly circles, both secular and religious.

The New Testament mentions Luke briefly a few times, and the Pauline Epistle to the Colossians refers to him as a physician (from Greek for 'one who heals'); thus he is thought to have been both a physician and a disciple of Paul. Since the faith's early years, Christians have regarded him as a saint. He is believed to have been a martyr, reportedly having been hanged from an olive tree, though some believe otherwise.

The Roman Catholic Church and other major denominations venerate him as Saint Luke the Evangelist and as a patron saint of artists, physicians, bachelors, surgeons, students and butchers; his feast day takes place on 18 October.

Many scholars believe that Luke was a Greek physician who lived in the Greek city of Antioch, Turkey in Ancient Syria, although some other scholars and theologians think Luke was a Hellenic Jew. Bart Koet, a researcher and professor of theology, has stated that it was widely accepted that the theology of Luke–Acts points to a gentile Christian writing for a gentile audience, although he concludes that it is more plausible that Luke–Acts is directed to a community made up of both Jewish and gentile Christians because there is stress on the scriptural roots of the gentile mission…

Epiphanius states that Luke was one of the Seventy Apostles, and John Chrysostom indicates at one point that the "brother" Paul mentions in the Second Epistle to the Corinthians 8:18 is either Luke or Barnabas.

If one accepts that Luke was indeed the author of the Gospel bearing his name and also the Acts of the Apostles, certain details of his personal life can be reasonably assumed. While he does exclude himself from those who were eyewitnesses to Jesus' ministry, he repeatedly uses the word "we" in describing the Pauline missions in Acts of the Apostles, indicating that he was personally there at those times.

There is similar evidence that Luke resided in Troas, the province which included the ruins of ancient Troy, in that he writes in Acts in the third person about Paul and his travels until they get to Troas, where he switches to the first person plural. The "we" section of Acts continues until the group leaves Philippi, when his writing goes back to the third person. This change happens again when the group returns to Philippi. There are three "we sections" in Acts, all following this rule. Luke never stated, however, that he lived in Troas, and this is the only evidence that he did.

The composition of the writings, as well as the range of vocabulary used, indicate that the author was an educated man. A quote in the Epistle to the Colossians differentiates between Luke and other colleagues "of the circumcision."

My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. 11: Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews among my co-workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me. ... 14: Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings. (Colossians 4:10–11, 14). This comment has traditionally caused commentators to conclude that Luke was a gentile. If this were true, it would make Luke the only writer of the New Testament who can clearly be identified as not being Jewish. However, that is not the only possibility. Although Luke is considered likely to be a gentile Christian, some scholars believe him to be a Hellenized Jew. The phrase could just as easily be used to differentiate between those Christians who strictly observed the rituals of Judaism and those who did not.

The gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles make up a two-volume work which scholars call Luke–Acts. Together they account for 27.5% of the New Testament, the largest contribution by a single author. The earliest manuscript of the Gospel, dated circa AD 200, ascribes the work to Luke; as did Irenaeus, writing circa AD 180, and the Muratorian fragment from AD 170.

In traditional depictions, such as paintings, evangelist portraits, and church mosaics, Saint Luke is often accompanied by an ox or bull, usually having wings. Sometimes only the symbol is shown, especially when in a combination of those of all Four Evangelists.

Source: Wikipedia

Notable People This Month

Each month we introduce people who are notable for us Lutherans. Some will be saints. Some will be recognized as having made other significant contributions. 

In January, we look at one of the great hymn writers -- Fannie Crosby.

Fannie Crosby

Frances Jane van Alstyne (née Crosby; March 24, 1820 – February 12, 1915), more commonly known as Fanny Crosby, was an American mission worker, poet, lyricist, and composer. She was one of the most prolific hymnists in history, writing more than 8,000 hymns and gospel songs, with more than 100 million copies printed, despite being blind from shortly after birth. She is also known for her teaching and her rescue mission work. By the end of the 19th century, she was a household name.

Crosby was known as the "Queen of Gospel Song Writers" and as the "Mother of modern congregational singing in America", with most American hymnals containing her work. Her gospel songs were "paradigmatic of all revival music", and Ira Sankey attributed the success of the Moody and Sankey evangelical campaigns largely to Crosby's hymns. Some of Crosby's best-known songs include "Pass Me Not, O Gentle Saviour", "Blessed Assurance", "Jesus Is Tenderly Calling You Home", "Praise Him, Praise Him", "Rescue the Perishing", and "To God Be the Glory". Some publishers were hesitant to have so many hymns by one person in their hymnals, so Crosby used nearly 200 different pseudonyms during her career.

Crosby also wrote more than 1,000 secular poems and had four books of poetry published, as well as two best-selling autobiographies. Additionally, she co-wrote popular secular songs, as well as political and patriotic songs and at least five cantatas on biblical and patriotic themes, including The Flower Queen, the first secular cantata by an American composer. She was committed to Christian rescue missions and was known for her public speaking.

Frances Jane Crosby was born on March 24, 1820 in the village of Brewster, about 50 miles (80 km) north of New York City. She was the only child of John Crosby and his second wife Mercy Crosby, both of whom were relatives of Revolutionary War spy Enoch Crosby. He was a widower who had a daughter from his first marriage.

Crosby was "the most prolific of all nineteenth-century American sacred song writers". By the end of her career she had written almost 9,000 hymns, using scores of noms de plume assigned to her by publishers who wanted to disguise the proliferation of her compositions in their publications.

It is estimated that books containing her lyrics sold 100 million copies. However, due to the low regard for lyricists in the popular song industry during her lifetime, and what June Hadden Hobbs sees as "the hypocrisy of sacred music publishers" which resulted for Crosby in "a sad and probably representative tale of exploitation of female hymn writers", and the contemporary perception that "Crosby made a very profitable living off writing songs that were sung (and played) by the masses", "like many of the lyricists of the day, Crosby was exploited by copyright conventions that assigned rights not to the lyricist but to the composer of the music... Crosby was paid a flat fee of one or two dollars a hymn". In her 1906 autobiography, Crosby insisted she wrote her hymns "in a sanctified manner", and never for financial or commercial considerations, and that she had donated her royalties to "worthy causes".

Crosby set a goal of winning a million people to Christ through her hymns, and whenever she wrote a hymn she prayed it would bring women and men to Christ, and kept careful records of those reported to have been saved through her hymns.

Referring to Crosby’s songs, the Dictionary of American Religious Biography indicated: "…their simple, homey appeal struck a responsive chord in Victorian culture. Their informal ballad style broke away from the staid, formal approach of earlier periods, touching deep emotions in singers and listeners alike. Instead of dismissing her words as maudlin or saccharine, audiences thrilled to them as the essence of genuine, heartfelt Christianity". Crosby’s hymns were popular because they placed "a heightened emphasis on religious experiences, emotions, and testimonies" and reflected "a sentimental, romanticized relationship between the believer and Christ", rather than using the negative descriptions of earlier hymns that emphasized the sinfulness of people.

Source: Wikipedia

Do You Know

This month's quiz focuses on Hymns sung most often in churches. There are some extra ones. 

That darned Mr. Mischievious.


The answers can be seen by clicking the Show Me... button below.

I have a short list of Christmas carols most often sung in churches. But, sneaky ol'd Mr. Mischievious added three fake ones to my list. Look at the list below and see if you can figure out the fake ones.

Christmas Carols Most Sung in Church


Angels We Have Heard on High

Go Tell It on the Mountain


Hark the Herald Angels Sing

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

Little Animals Near to Him

Mary Did You Know

O Come All Ye Faithful

O Come O Come Emmanuel

O Father Watch O’er Him

O Holy Night

O Little Town of Bethlehem

Joy to the World

Ring Loudly the Church Bell

Silent Night

The First Noel

What Child is This