This Month at St. Mark


Birthdays This Month

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

Sep 01

Jessica Mehring

Sep 02

Nate Ormond

Sep 06

Logan Zeyn

Sep 12

Nini Houck 

Jeff Kindschuh

Joan Reigle


     Happy Birthday!

Sep 14

Robert Kerr

Sep 15

Erik Brown

Martha Lippy

Sep 16

Debbie Folmer

Sep 17

Pat Brooks

Sep 19

Joanne Reifsnider

Sep 20

Vicki George

Wayne Lippy

Sep 22

Donna Jones

Sep 25

Janice Kunkel

Sep 26

Christopher Greening

Barb Wentz

Sep 27

Carol Arentz

Ty Stahl

Sep 28

Joshua Zeyn

Sep 30

Shellene Griffin

Linda Kuhn

Jane Long

Jennie Tome




Current Church Season

Our Church Season for July is Time After Pentecost

The time following Pentecost is known as the Time After Pentecost. Time after Pentecost begins on the Monday following Pentecost and continues through Saturday afternoon before the first Sunday of Advent, some five to six months later, always including the entire months of July, August, September and October and most or all of June and November (some years include small portions of May and December). The last Sunday before Advent is celebrated as Christ the King Sunday. Sundays in this season are typically refered to as the 'n'th Sunday after Pentecost. 


The 23 to 28 Sundays after Pentecost are often used to focus on various aspects of the Faith, especially the mission of the church in the world. 


The sanctuary color for the season is dark green, although...


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 this small space, we will post information about many facets, history, etc. of the church. For example, over the past couple of months you have found the church colors and seasons.

 

This month, we have provided one of the greatest sermons ever given. It was first given by Pope Leo I (440-461) on Christmas Day. Though Christmas seems far away, it message to us is appropriate throughout the year.

 

Read the sermon, beginning at the bottom of the Welcome page and continuing to the pages in the order shown above. As with so many great works, like Lincoln's Gettysburg address, though brief in length it is a great message to us all.

Spotlight on

Apostles & Saints

This month, we are highlighting the Apostle Judas. He is known for the kiss and betrayal of Jesus for thirty silver coins. His name is often used synonymously with betrayal or treason....

Judas

Judas Iscariot (died c. 30–33 AD) was one of the Twelve original disciples of Jesus Christ and son of Simon Iscariot, according to the New Testament.

 

Judas is known for the kiss and betrayal of Jesus to the Sanhedrin for thirty silver coins. His name is often used synonymously with betrayal or treason. Though there are varied accounts of his death, the traditional version sees him as having hanged himself following the betrayal, as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew. His place among the Twelve Apostles was later filled by Matthias.

 

Despite his notorious role in the Gospel narratives, Judas remains a controversial figure in Christian history. For instance, Judas' betrayal is seen as setting in motion the events that led to Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection which, according to 

traditional Christian theology, brought salvation to humanity. Gnostic texts – rejected by the mainstream Church as heretical – praise Judas for his role in triggering humanity's salvation and view Judas as the best of the apostles.


Judas is mentioned in the synoptic gospels, the Gospel of John, and at the beginning of Acts of the Apostles. Judas was a common name in New Testament times. Judas Iscariot should not be confused with Jude Thomas (Saint Thomas the Apostle), or with Saint Jude Thaddaeus who was also one of the Twelve Apostles.


The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke state that Jesus sent out "the twelve" (including Judas) with power over unclean spirits and with a ministry of preaching and healing: Judas clearly played an active part in this apostolic ministry alongside the other eleven. Origen of Alexandria, in his Commentary on John's Gospel, reflected on Judas's interactions with the other apostles and Jesus' confidence in him prior to his betrayal. However, in John's Gospel, Judas's outlook was differentiated - many of Jesus' disciples abandoned him because of the difficulty of accepting his teachings, and Jesus asked the twelve if they would also leave him. Simon Peter spoke for the twelve: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,"


Matthew directly states that Judas betrayed Jesus for a bribe of "thirty pieces of silver" by identifying him with a kiss to arresting soldiers of the High Priest Caiaphas, who then turned Jesus over to Pontius Pilate's soldiers.


Mark's Gospel states that the chief priests were looking for a way to arrest Jesus. They decided not to do so during the feast [of the Passover], since they were afraid that people would riot; instead, they chose the night before the feast to arrest him. According to Luke's account, Satan entered Judas at this time.


According to the account in the Gospel of John, Judas carried the disciples' money bag or box, but John's Gospel makes no mention of the thirty pieces of silver as a fee for betrayal. The evangelist comments in John 12:5-6 that Judas spoke fine words about giving money to the poor, but the reality was "not that he cared for the poor, but [that] he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it." However, in John 13:27-30, when Judas left the gathering of Jesus and His disciples with betrayal in mind, some [of the disciples] thought that Judas might have been leaving to buy supplies or on a charitable errand.


There are several different accounts of the death of Judas, including two in the modern Biblical canon:

 - Matthew 27:3–10 says that Judas returned the money to the priests and committed suicide by hanging himself. They used it to buy the potter's field. The Gospel account presents this as a fulfillment of prophecy.

 - The Acts 1:18-19 says that Judas used the money to buy a field but fell headfirst, and burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. This field is called Akeldama or Field of Blood.

 - The non-canonical Gospel of Judas says Judas had a vision of the disciples stoning and persecuting him.

 - Another account was preserved by the early Christian leader, Papias: "Judas walked about in this world a sad example of impiety; for his body having swollen to such an extent that he could not pass where a chariot could pass easily, he was crushed by the chariot, so that his bowels gushed out."

 - The existence of conflicting accounts of the death of Judas has caused problems for scholars who have seen them as threatening the reliability of Scripture.


Various attempts at harmonization have been suggested. Generally they have followed literal interpretations such as that of Augustine, which suggest that these simply describe different aspects of the same event – that Judas hanged himself in the field, and the rope eventually snapped and the fall burst his body open, or that the accounts of Acts and Matthew refer to two different transactions. Some have taken the descriptions as figurative: that the "falling prostrate" was Judas in anguish, and the "bursting out of the bowels" is pouring out emotion.


More recently, scholars have suggested that the Gospel writer may also have had a passage from Jeremiah in mind, such as chapters 18:1–4 and 19:1–13 which refer to a potter's jar and a burial place, and chapter 32:6–15 which refers to a burial place and an earthenware jar.


The betrayal of Jesus by one of his disciples is widely regarded by scholars as authentic, based on the criterion of embarrassment: it is considered unlikely that the early church would have invented this tradition, since it appears to reflect badly on Jesus.


Bart Ehrman, though suggesting that the betrayal is "about as historically certain as anything else in the tradition," argues that what was betrayed was not the whereabouts of Jesus, but his private teachings.


In his book The Sins of Scripture, John Shelby Spong says that "the whole story of Judas has the feeling of being contrived." He writes: "the act of betrayal by a member of the twelve disciples is not found in the earliest Christian writings. Judas is first placed into the Christian story by the Gospel of Mark (3:19), who wrote in the early years of the eighth decade of the Common Era." He points out that some of the Gospels, after the Crucifixion, refer to the number of Disciples as "Twelve," as if Judas were still among them. Comparing the three conflicting descriptions of Judas's death – hanging, leaping into a pit, and disemboweling – with three Old Testament betrayals followed by similar suicides, he suggests that these were the real source of the story.


Spong's conclusion is that early Bible authors, after the First Jewish-Roman War, sought to distance themselves from Rome's enemies. They augmented the Gospels with a story of a disciple, personified in Judas as the Jewish state, who either betrayed or handed over Jesus to his Roman crucifiers. Spong identifies this augmentation with the origin of modern Anti-Semitism.

Jewish scholar Hyam Maccoby suggests that in the New Testament, the name "Judas" was constructed as an attack on the Judaeans or on the Judaean religious establishment held responsible for executing Jesus.

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 August, we give extend our look at some of the oldest Lutheran churches in America; several of them are right in our back yard.

Historic Lutheran Churches in America

 

The Lutheran church in America is much older than our country, and while many of its buildings and congregations have evolved or moved, we still have many historical churches we can see. The seven churches below are some of them. 

 

Gloria Dei Church (Old Swedes of Philadelphia) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

 

Gloria Dei Church is the oldest standing church in Pennsylvania and the second oldest Lutheran church in the United States.  Among the many national and religious groups to arrive in the Philadelphia area in the mid-17th century were Lutherans from Sweden, the first Scandinavians to settle in the United States.  In 1677 a Lutheran congregation was formally established in the city.  The Swedish Lutherans met for many years at a temporary worship facility before they finally built their own church in 1700.  The Lutheran community used this church continuously until 1845, when it was acquired for use by an Episcopal congregation.

 

Old Swedes Church is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Philadelphia and possibly its best preserved early 18th century structure.  It is home to a small collection of rare early Bibles in Swedish.  A memorial to John Hanson, ninth president of the Continental Congress, is on display in the church graveyard.

Gloria Dei Church (Old Swedes of Philadelphia) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

 

Gloria Dei Church is the oldest standing church in Pennsylvania and the second oldest Lutheran church in the United States.  Among the many national and religious groups to arrive in the Philadelphia area in the mid-17th century were Lutherans from Sweden, the first Scandinavians to settle in the United States.  In 1677 a Lutheran congregation was formally established in the city.  The Swedish Lutherans met for many years at a temporary worship facility before they finally built their own church in 1700.  The Lutheran community used this church continuously until 1845, when it was acquired for use by an Episcopal congregation.

 

Old Swedes Church is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Philadelphia and possibly its best preserved early 18th century structure.  It is home to a small collection of rare early Bibles in Swedish.  A memorial to John Hanson, ninth president of the Continental Congress, is on display in the church graveyard.

Source: http://thecompletepilgrim.com/historic-lutheran-churches-across-america/

 

 

Augustus Lutheran Church - Trappe, Pennsylvania

 

The Augustus Lutheran Church is the oldest Lutheran church in continuous use in the United States.  Completed in 1743, it is one of the oldest churches in Pennsylvania.  It also played a small role in the American Revolution.  The first German Lutherans to migrate the American colonies began arriving in the 1730s.  In 1745 the first German-Lutheran church was completed in Trappe.  During the American Revolution it served as a makeshift hospital for the Continental Army.  The church was replaced by a larger structure in 1852.  The old church was maintained by the congregation for other uses, and periodically renovated.

 

Augustus Lutheran Church was designed by Henry Muhlenberg, a pastor, resulting in an odd style that looks like a colonial barn that has been cut in half. Muhlenberg is buried in the church graveyard.

Source: http://thecompletepilgrim.com/historic-lutheran-churches-across-america/

 

 

Holy Trinity Church (Old Swedes of Wilmington) - Wilmington, Delaware

 

The Holy Trinity Church of Wilmington, also known as Old Swedes, is the oldest Lutheran-built church still standing in the United States. It is also among the oldest churches in continuous in America.  The tiny colony of New Sweden, located along the Delaware River, was established in 1638.  A few decades later New Sweden was absorbed into the Dutch colony of New Netherlands, and soon thereafter into the British colonial system.  Despite this the tiny Lutheran community survived, thanks in part to the close relations that Britain shared with the Protestants of Germany, who for the most part were Lutheran.  In 1698 they built the New Trinity Church in Wilmington on the site of the old burial ground of Fort Christina.  The Lutherans sold the church to the newly formed Episcopal Church in 1791.

 

Holy Trinity Church is one of the oldest brick buildings still standing in the United States. The main building is built of hewn stone, with a red-brick bell tower that dates from a later period.  The church interior is noteworthy for its brilliant, vibrantly colored stained glass window featuring the holy family, set amidst an otherwise completely whitewashed interior.  The grounds of the church are also home to the original church burial yard, meditative labyrinth and the Hendrickson House, a 17th century farm that is now run as a museum.

Source: http://thecompletepilgrim.com/historic-lutheran-churches-across-america/

 

 

Zion Lutheran Church - Cleveland, Ohio

 

Zion Lutheran Church in Cleveland is a stately old church with an interesting claim to holiday fame.  It is believed to have been the site of the first Christmas tree erected by a congregation inside of a church.  The location and party responsible for America’s first Christmas tree is a matter of some conjecture.  But the earliest known documented, fully decorated Christmas trees appeared in the area of Cleveland around the mid-19th century.  In 1851 a pastor named Heinrich Schwan placed a Christmas tree inside the Zion Lutheran Church.  The tree, which initially caused a scandal, kicked off a craze the following holiday season.  In 1852, the festive trees appeared all over Cleveland.

 

Zion Lutheran Church is not only home to one of the oldest Lutheran congregations in the Midwest but also one of its oldest schools. The neighboring Zion Lutheran School is also listed on the National Register of historic Places.  The church maintains its annual tradition of raising a Christmas tree to this day.  A small monument marks the spot a few blocks away where the original Christmas tree stood.

Source: http://thecompletepilgrim.com/historic-lutheran-churches-across-america/

 

 

Chapel In The Hills - Rapid City, South Dakota

 

The Chapel in the Hills is a Norwegian style stave church, something that is extremely rare outside of Scandinavia.  Lutheran settlers arrived in the area of Black Hills in the 1870s.  Many of these were immigrants from Norway who came to South Dakota as prospectors and farmers.  In the 1960s, Harry Gergerson, a popular Lutheran minister, decided to make Rapid City the base for his ministry and radio show, Lutheran Vespers.  To house his ministry, and to honor the Norwegian heritage of the area, Gergerson oversaw the construction of the Chapel in the Hills, a close replica of the 12th century Borgund stave church in Norway.  It served as home to Lutheran Vespers from its completion in 1969 until 1975.  Today the chapel is a popular tourist destination in Rapid City and is used to host weddings and other events.

 

The Chapel in the Hills is a breathtaking four story stave church that seems to have been lifted straight out of Norway’s fjord country. The original blueprints, provided by the Norwegian Department of antiquities, were used in its design, and traditional craftsman techniques in its construction.  The site is also home to an original 19th century log cabin as well as a visitor’s center.

Source: http://thecompletepilgrim.com/historic-lutheran-churches-across-america/

 

 

New Hanover Evangelical Lutheran Church - Gilbertsville, PA

 

The New Hanover Evangelical Lutheran Church was founded in 1700 by Daniel Falckner. He gathered the German immigrant Lutherans living between the Schuylkill River and what is now Pennsburg to form a congregation. He was followed by a number of "circuit" pastors who served a number of congregations. Among them was Henry Melchior Muhlenberg who arrived in 1742.

 

In 1768, the congregation built the stone building currently being used for worship. Prior to that, they worshipped in log buildings. During the war for American Independence, the building was used as a temporary hospital during the retreat of Washington's army following The Battle at Brandywine.

 

Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, son of Henry, served the congregation from 1777 to 1778 before he entered government service in the continental congress and them, in the First congress of the United States where he became the first speaker of the House of Representatives.

 

New Hanover's history shows evidence of God's continuing grace. It was given a significant role in the birth of the Lutheran Church in America, as well as the birth of the nation itself. Fifty Revolutionary War veterans are buried in the New Hanover cemetery.

Source: http://www.newhanoverlutheran.org/about-nhelc.php

 

 

Evangelical Lutheran Church - Frederick, Maryland

 

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Frederick, Maryland is the oldest Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in Maryland (1752) and one of the oldest in the United States. While the congregation began to meet in 1733, the first minister of the church was Rev. Bernard Michael Houseal (1752-1759).

 

Evangelical Lutheran Church turned 275 years old in November 2013.  It is older than the United States of America. George Washington was only six years old when The Rev. John Caspar Stoever, Jr., began preaching to families in 1733 and effected the organization of the Lutheran Church in Monocacy on November 26, 1738. The early congregation met at different locations near Thurmont until the first home in Frederick, a log church, was constructed in 1746 on the site of what is now the Rupp Hospitality House.

 

During the summer of 1752, construction started on a new building made of limestone. The foundation was dug and construction on the walls had started when the French and Indian War broke out. Men laid down their building tools and took up arms. As a result, no progress was made until the war ended about seven years later. In 1762, the entire community came to the official dedication of the new church. The building was constructed of native blue limestone and had just a single tower. Part of this building still exists as Trunk Hall and the Music Ministry suite.

 

Notable Information: The first church in Frederick County. The largest ELCA Lutheran church in the state of Maryland. An American pioneer of the Sunday School movement. Served as a hospital following the Battle of Antietam, 1862. Played key role in the founding of Gettysburg Seminary. (first Lutheran seminary in America). Played key role in the creation of Maryland Synod and General Synod (grandparent of Evangelical Lutheran Church in America).

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evangelical_Lutheran_Church_(Frederick,_Maryland)

Do You Know

This month's quiz focuses on the the church seasons, their colors and meaning. The seasons, colors, and meanings are listed but they're all jumbled together. Can you match the color with its season and meaning? There are some extra ones -- somehow, somebody named Mr. Confusion seems to have added three fake ones.


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

Hi, Mr. Confusion here. I need your help in sorting out the colors associated with the church seasons. I know the correct ones are in this list below, but so are some fake ones. I need to match the colors to the church season, get them in the right order, and maybe even figure out these fake ones.

Advent 

 

Bonitatis

 

Canumpar

 

Christmas

 

Day of Pentecost

 

Easter

 

Epiphany

 

Humilem

 

Lent

 

Time After Pentecost      

Purple

 

White

 

Red

 

Blue

 

White

 

Green

 

White

 

Light Blue

 

Brown

 

White, Brown, & Black

Coming of the Holy Spirit: Birthday of the Church

 

Celebrate the birth of Jesus

 

Prepare for the transfiguration of our Lord

 

Honor the sacrifice of Jesus

 

The week after Ordinary Time; be humble in our service to God and those around us.

 

Just before Advent, when we celebrate God's greatest gifts - the wonderful dogs and cats that bring joy to all.

 

The coming of hte Holy Spirit

 

When we reflecton the life of Jesus and what it means to follow Him.

 

The two weeks before Ordinary Time, it is the season when we strive for goodness, integrity, moral excellence, benevolence, and tenderness in our interactions with others.

 

When we celebrate Our Savior’s return.