This Month at St. Mark

Birthdays This Month

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

Apr 02

Bethany Zinn

Apr 03

Robert Rhoten

Apr 04

Susan Rizer

Apr 07

Haley Luckabaugh

Shirley Szwoyer

Apr 08

Dorothy Williams

Apr 09

Lynn Gross

     Happy Birthday!

Apr 10

Richard Mondorff

Apr 11

Louis Reifsnider

Apr 13

Carol McDermitt

Apr 14

Nancy Sandruck

Apr 15

Carter Brown

Apr 16


Apr 17

Chris Kindschuh

Apr 19

Susie Laughman

Apr 21

Mary Ellen Melhorn

Apr 22

Matthew Funke

Cecelia Sell

Apr 23

Brynn Seidenstricker

Apr 26

Brian Wilson

Apr 27

Clay Brown

Lynn Peterson

Apr 28

Morgan Brown

Apr 29

Mary Bowman

Apr 30

Peggy Sue Potter

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.

Currently, the red boxes show how Easter is celebrated elsewhere in the world. Anyone hungary for a 4,500 egg omelet?

Spotlight on

Apostles & Saints

This month, we highlight Mark the Evangelist and the Apostle Matthew.

St. Mark

Mark the Evangelist is the traditionally ascribed author of the Gospel of Mark. Mark is said to have founded the Church of Alexandria, one of the most important episcopal sees of early Christianity. His feast day is celebrated on April 25, and his symbol is the winged lion.


Evidence for Mark the Evangelist's authorship of the Gospel that bears his name originates with Papias. Scholars of the Trinity Evangelical Divinity School are "almost certain" that Papias is referencing John Mark…


The Coptic Church accords with identifying Mark the Evangelist with John Mark, as well as that he was one of the Seventy Disciples sent out by Christ (Luke 10:1), as Hippolytus confirmed. Coptic tradition also 

holds that Mark the Evangelist hosted the disciples in his house after Jesus' death, that the resurrected Jesus Christ came to Mark's house (John 20), and that the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples at Pentecost in the same house.

According to the Coptic tradition, Mark was born in Cyrene, a city in the Pentapolis of North Africa (now Libya). This tradition adds that Mark returned to Pentapolis later in life, after being sent by Paul to Colossae… and serving with him in Rome (2 Tim 4:11); from Pentapolis he made his way to Alexandria. When Mark returned to Alexandria, the pagans of the city resented his efforts to turn the Alexandrians away from the worship of their traditional gods. In AD 68, they placed a rope around his neck and dragged him through the streets until he was dead.

The Feast of St Mark is observed on April 25 by the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. For those Churches still using the Julian Calendar, April 25 according to it aligns with May 8 on the Gregorian Calendar until the year 2099.

In 828, relics believed to be the body of Saint Mark were stolen from Alexandria (at the time controlled by the Abbasid Caliphate) by two Venetian merchants with the help of two Greek monks and taken to Venice. A mosaic in St Mark's Basilica depicts sailors covering the relics with a layer of pork and cabbage leaves. Since Muslims are not permitted to eat pork, this was done to prevent the guards from inspecting the ship's cargo too closely.

Donald Nicol explained this act as "motivated as much by politics as by piety", and "a calculated stab at the pretensions of the Patriarchate of Aquileia." Instead of being used to adorn the church of Grado, which claimed to possess the throne of Saint Mark, it was kept secretly by Doge Giustiniano Participazio in his modest palace. Possession of Saint Mark's remains was, in Nicol's words, "the symbol not of the Patriarchate of Grado, nor of the bishopric of Olivolo, but of the city of Venice." In his will, Doge Giustiniano asked his widow to build a basilica dedicated to Saint Mark, which was erected between the palace and the chapel of Saint Theodore Stratelates, who until then had been patron saint of Venice.

In 1063, during the construction of St Mark's Basilica in Venice, Saint Mark's relics could not be found. However, according to tradition, in 1094, the saint himself revealed the location of his remains by extending an arm from a pillar. The newfound remains were placed in a sarcophagus in the basilica.

Copts believe that the head of Saint Mark remains in a church named after him in Alexandria, and parts of his relics are in Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, Cairo. The rest of his relics are in Venice. Every year, on the 30th day of the month of Paopi, the Coptic Orthodox Church celebrates the commemoration of the consecration of the church of Saint Mark, and the appearance of the head of the saint in the city of Alexandria. This takes place inside St Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria.

In June 1968, Pope Cyril VI of Alexandria sent an official delegation to Rome to receive a relic of Saint Mark from Pope Paul VI. The delegation consisted of ten metropolitans and bishops, seven of whom were Coptic and three Ethiopian, and three prominent Coptic lay leaders.

The relic was said to be a small piece of bone that had been given to the Roman pope by Giovanni Cardinal Urbani, Patriarch of Venice. Pope Paul, in an address to the delegation, said that the rest of the relics of the saint remained in Venice. The delegation received the relic on June 22, 1968.

Source: Wikipedia

The Apostle Matthew


Matthew was a 1st-century Galilean (presumably born in Galilee, which was not part of Judea or the Roman Iudaea province), the son of Alpheus. In passages parallel to Matthew 9:9, both Mark 2:14 and Luke 5:27 describe Jesus' calling of the tax collector Levi, the son of Alphaeus, but Mark and Luke never explicitly equate this Levi with the Matthew named as one of the twelve. As a tax collector he would have been literate in Aramaic and Greek. His fellow Jews would have despised him for what was seen as collaborating with the Roman occupation force.


After his call, Matthew invited Jesus home for a feast. On seeing this, the Scribes and the Pharisees criticized Jesus for eating with tax collectors and sinners. This prompted Jesus to answer, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."


The New Testament records that as a disciple, he followed Jesus, and was one of the witnesses of the Resurrection and the Ascension of Jesus. Afterwards, the disciples withdrew to an upper room in Jerusalem. The disciples remained in and about Jerusalem and proclaimed that Jesus was the promised Messiah.


Later Church fathers such as Irenaeus (Against Heresies 3.1.1) and Clement of Alexandria claim that Matthew preached the Gospel to the Jewish community in Judea, before going to other countries. Ancient writers are not agreed as to what these other countries are. The Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church each hold the tradition that Matthew died as a martyr, although this was rejected by the gnostic heretic Heracleon as early as the second century.


The Gospel of Matthew is anonymous: the author is not named within the text, and the superscription "according to Matthew" was added some time in the second century. The tradition that the author was the disciple Matthew begins with the early Christian bishop Papias of Hierapolis (c. 100–140 CE), who is cited by the Church historian Eusebius (260–340 CE), as follows: "Matthew collected the oracles (logia: sayings of or about Jesus) in the Hebrew language ([Hebrew] dialektōi), and each one interpreted, perhaps "translated" them as best he could." On the surface, this has been taken to imply that Matthew's Gospel itself was written in Hebrew or Aramaic by the apostle Matthew and later translated into Greek, but nowhere does the author claim to have been an eyewitness to events, and Matthew's Greek "reveals none of the telltale marks of a translation. The consensus is that Papias does not describe the Gospel of Matthew as we know it, and it is generally accepted that Matthew was written in Greek, not in Aramaic or Hebrew.


Matthew is recognized as a saint in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran and Anglican churches.  His feast day is celebrated on 21 September in the West and 16 November in the East.



Notable People This Month

Each month we introduce people and other 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.


The case for the Easter Bunny being Lutheran:

From Trinity Lutheran in Memphis (source:

Among the things introduced to America by early Lutherans is Saint Nicklaus, Christmas Trees, Hot Dogs, Easter Eggs, Easter Baskets, and the Easter Bunny.

Actually the Easter Rabbit started out in German folklore as the Easter Hare.

In addition to not eating meat while fasting for Lent, pious Christians also did not eat eggs. Sometime around the 1400’s parents began telling their children that on Easter morning the Easter Hare would bring baskets of eggs, nuts, and candies to children who had been especially good. Apparently this trick was so successful in getting children to behave at Christmas that parents adapted it for Easter as well.

In some regions of the country children made special nests out of cloth in hopes that the Hare would visit. In others, the Hare would hide brightly colored eggs in special baskets that the children had to hunt for. 

As Lutherans migrated from Germany to America, they brought their traditions with them.

Soon after, German bakers in America began offering chocolate rabbits and chocolate eggs covered in brightly colored foil. Soon after, merchants started offering printed holiday cards with rabbits, chicks, and brightly colored eggs to be sent with Easter greetings.

From wikipedia:

The Easter Bunny (also called the Easter Rabbit or Easter Hare) is a folkloric figure and symbol of Easter, depicted as a rabbit bringing Easter eggs. Originating among German Lutherans, the "Easter Hare" originally played the role of a judge, evaluating whether children were good or disobedient in behavior at the start of the season of Eastertide. The Easter Bunny is sometimes depicted with clothes. In legend, the creature carries colored eggs in his basket, candy, and sometimes also toys to the homes of children, and as such shows similarities to Santa Claus or the Christkind, as they both bring gifts to children on the night before their respective holidays. The custom was first mentioned in Georg Franck von Franckenau's De ovis paschalibus ('About Easter Eggs') in 1682, referring to a German tradition of an Easter Hare bringing Easter eggs for the children.

From Time magazine (

[So] how did the Easter Bunny begin delivering eggs on American shores? According to, the theory with the most evidence is that the floppy-eared bearer of candy came over with German immigrants:

According to some sources, the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and transported their tradition of an egg-laying hare called “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” Their children made nests in which this creature could lay its colored eggs. Eventually, the custom spread across the U.S. and the fabled rabbit’s Easter morning deliveries expanded to include chocolate and other types of candy and gifts, while decorated baskets replaced nests. Additionally, children often left out carrots for the bunny in case he got hungry from all his hopping.

Bunnies aren’t the animal traditionally associated with Easter in every country. Some identify the holiday with other types of animals like foxes or cuckoo birds.

Do You Know

This month's quiz focuses on how people in othert countries say Happy Easter. How many greetings can you correctly match with the country?


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

Can you match the language with the Happy Easter greeting? If not, click Show Me the Answers.

Catalan                 ¡Felices Pascuas!

Danish                  Beannachtaí na Cásca

Dutch                    Bona pasqua

French                  Buona Pasqua

German                Feliz Páscoa

Greek                    Frohe Ostern

Hungarian           Gleðilega páska

Icelandic              God påske

Irish                      Happy Easter

Italian                   Happy Easter

Polish                    Joyeuses Pâques

Portuguese          Kaló Páscha

Romanian            Kellemes Húsvéti Ünnepeket

Russian                Paşte Fericit

Somali                  Schastlivoy Paskhi

Spanish                Szczęśliwej Wielkanocy!

United States      Vrolijk Pasen