This Month at St. Mark

Birthdays This Month

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

Aug 01

Sandra Connelly

Aug 03

Kimberly McCachren

Aug 04

Barbara Baublitz

Aug 05

Tammy Snyder

Aug 06

Darbe Bailey

Eileen Laabs

Marcia Peters

Aug 07

Jana Arentz

     Happy Birthday!

Aug 10

Noah Shermeyer

Aug 11

Bethany Hoke

Jean Weikert

Aug 12

Zachary Hardin

Marilyn Kirschner

Aug 14

Olivia Brodbeck

Aug 15

Barbara Kerr

Aug 17

Allen Bowersox

Michele Eline                                                 

David Snyder

Aug 18

Barbara Noble

Diana Weaver

Aug 20

Braelon Jones

Aug 21

Ashley Hoke

John Peterson

Aug 22

Dale Glass

Aug 24

Gil Carter

Aug 28

David Bailey

Aug 29

Sharon Bish

Heather Farley

Becki Wisotzkey

If you ever see that we miss a birthday or overlook a name, please contact the office at 717-637-8904 so wwe can update our computer record.

Page Footnotes


You have probably noticed the red boxes at the bottom of several pages (Welcome to St. Mark, Outreach Mission, Spiritual Growth Mission, and Stewards of Blessing Mission). In these small spaces, we will post information about many facets (history, etc.) of the church and the Bible. The subjects and information promises to be quite varied. But, all will be enlightening and fun. If you want to check them out, click the Start at Welcome Page link.


This Month, in the red boxes. we recognize several key African Americans who contributed to Lutheranism in the United States, and an early 18th century African American pastor who nurtured the faith of African American Baptists, Lutherans, and other Protestant faiths in the U.S.A.

Spotlight on Apostles & Saints

This month, we highlight the apostle Judas, one of the original twelve.

Judas Iscariot

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 or things that are notable for us Lutherans. Some will be saints. Some will be recognized as having made other significant contributions. Some will be interesting seasonal information.

This month we provide Martin Luther's morning prayer.  

A Model for the Christian’s Daily Life - by Rev. Michael Schuermann

“I thank you, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray that You would keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.”


Why does Luther bother providing a whole section of daily prayers in his Small Catechism? There’s no doubt that, as is usually the case, Luther relied on the overwhelming testimony of Scripture as to the necessity and effectiveness of prayer in the life of God’s people as a reason to teach and model the prominent place of prayer in the Christian’s daily life. As he puts it in the Small Catechism, God the Father “has commanded us to pray…and has promised to hear us.” (SC, Lord’s Prayer, Conclusion)


What are some of these commands and promises of God that Luther refers to?

     “And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks

         receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10)

     “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good

         things to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11)

     “[C]all upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” (Psalm 50:15)

     “[P]ray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstance so for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18)


Luther writes about the command and promises, “You should say, ‘My prayer is as precious, holy, and pleasing to God as that of St. Paul or of the most holy saints. This is the reason: I will gladly grant that Paul is personally more holy, but that’s not because of the commandment. God does not consider prayer because of the person, but because of His Word and obedience to it. For I rest my prayer on the same commandment on which all the saints rest their prayer. Furthermore, I pray for the same thing that they all pray for and always have prayed. Besides, I have just as great a need of what I pray for as those great saints; no, even a greater one than they.'” (LC, III, 16)


St. Paul’s exhortation to pray “without ceasing” highlights the importance of regular prayer in the life of the Christian. Luther’s years of monastic life modeled a regulated daily life of prayer. The various monastic daily prayer offices seem to have influenced Luther’s teaching of prayer in the Small Catechism. Not only is a prayer for morning provided, but Luther places that prayer within a simple liturgy: first, the name of the Triune God is spoken and the sign of the holy cross is made, then the Creed and Lord’s Prayer (two of the Chief Parts!) are spoken. Finally, Luther suggests his little prayer may be said “if you choose.” Humbly, Luther considers his own contribution optional and the handed-down texts of the Faith essential.


Luther’s modeling of prayer seems deliberately designed to avoid the type of praying that Jesus warns against: “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.” (Matthew 6:7) With many words comes much work; Luther aims at a simple liturgy of prayer that can be adopted in the daily lives of Christians both in his time and in our present day.


The above entry and the remainder of  Rev. Schuermann's article can be found at:




Do You Know

This month's quiz focuses on July festival s. 

How many people can you correctly match with the festival date?


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

Can you match the the day in July for each of these people? Where there is more than one person listed on the line, their festival dates are the same. If not, click Show Me the Answers.

July 1

July 3

July 6

July 16

July 20

July 21

July 22

July 25

July 28

July 29

July 31

Catharine Winkworth & John Mason Neale



Isiah, prophet

Johann S. Bach, Heinrich Schutz, George F. Handel

Joseph of Arimathia

Mary, Martha, Lazarus of Bethany


Saint James the Elder

Saint Mary Magdalene

Saint Thomas