Weekly Memos New Logo - white background

This Week at St. Mark December 3 - 10, 2023


Sunday, December 3 First Sunday of Advent

9:00 A.M. Worship with Live-Stream
10:00 A.M. Fellowship Hour with coffee and donuts
10:05 A.M. Sunday School
10:05 A.M. Adult Forum
11:00 A.M. Worship in Fellowship Hall
3:00 P.M. Christmas at St. Mark Concert

Monday, December 4

10:30 A.M. Classic Chorale Rehearses
10:30 A.M. Mosaic Hub
2:00 P.M. St. Mark Crafters
6:30 P.M. Emotions Anonymous

Tuesday, December 5

10:00 A.M. Staff Staff Meeting
10:00 A.M. St. Mark Duplicate Bridge
1:00 P.M. First Tuesday Book Club at Peterson Meadwos

Wednesday, December 6

9:00 A.M. Women's Bible Study
9:00 A.M. Men's Bible Study
6:30 P.M. Confirmation
7:00 P.M. Voices of St. Mark

Thursday, December 7

9:00 A.M. Cherry Valley Bridge Group
6:30 P.M. Emotions Anonymous
6:30 P.M. Blue Lights

Friday, December 8

7:30 A.M. St. Mark Breakfast Group at Denny's Restaurant
5:30 P.M. Family Fellowship Night - All Aglow Holiday Lights at Nicholas Conservatory

Sunday, December 10 Second Sunday of Advent

9:00 A.M. Worship with Live-Stream
10:00 A.M. Fellowship Hour with coffee and donuts
10:05 A.M. Sunday School
10:05 A.M. Adult Forum
11:00 A.M. Worship in Fellowship Hall
6:30 P.M. Second Sunday - Youth Event Christmas Party at Grace


News and Events


Join us this Sunday for the First Sunday of Advent
9:00 A.M. - Traditional Worship in the Sanctuary- Prelude will start at 8:55.
10:00 A.M. Fellowship hour with coffee and donuts
10:05 A.M. Sunday School
10:05 A.M. Adult Forum
11:00 A.M. Praise Service

If you are unable to be here, click here to join us at 8:55 for our live-stream service.


Adult Forum
Our Sunday morning Adult Forum is during the learning hour at 10:05 am. Sunday School and Fellowship also occur during this time between services. Bring your donut and coffee and join Pastor Katrina.


St. Mark's Christmas Concert is Sunday, December 3 at 3:00 P.M.
Kick off the magical holiday season with an afternoon of great Christmas music for the entire family. Come early for a good seat.
There will be homemade Christmas cookies and punch following the concert in the cafe.

christmas concert slide for app

Wassail Sunday
Wassail Sunday is on December 17 and we are asking the congregation to contribute homemade cookies. Bake and pack two or three dozen cookies in a cookie tin lined with festive paper and bring them to the church by 9:00 am that morning or drop them off at the church during office hours for this festive occasion. Sign-up sheets are in the Narthex or Cafe or click this link to sign up electronically.

The Happy Campers are hosting our annual Wassail Sunday this year, and we need to know who is helping that day. Please sign up in the narthex or call the office.

Wassail Sunday
Crafting is happiness

The St. Mark Makers Craft Group
will meet on Monday, December 4th from 2:00 - 4:00 P.M. We will be creating festive origami string lights. Sign-up this Sunday in the narthex or call the church office at 815-398-3557.

longest night

Longest Night Worship
December 21st, 6:30pm
For some, the joy of the holiday season can feel elusive and out of reach. As a result, churches around the world have adopted the practice of having a special service during Advent designed to provide space for prayer, reflection, and remembrance amidst the twinkle lights and holiday hustle and bustle. Join us for our first ever Longest Night service on December 21st at 6:30pm. Bring your grief. Bring your weariness. Bring your fatigue, and allow yourself a quiet space to reflect and draw near to God.


Christmas Ornaments for Sale
In July of 2024 St. Mark Lutheran Church and Grace Lutheran Church are taking sixteen people to the ELCA Youth Gathering in New Orleans. The youth are looking to raise money to help with the cost of the Youth Gathering. The youth from Grace and St. Mark made Christmas Ornaments to sell at both churches, with a suggested $5.00 donation per ornament. Thank you for supporting the youth as they prepare to attend the ELCA Youth Gathering in New Orleans in 2024.


First Tuesday Book Club will meet on December 5 at Peterson Meadows at 1:00 pm. The book this month is Someone Else's Shoes by Jojo Moyes. Our hostess is Gretchen Thornbloom and the reviewer is Judy Haggestad. Please let Gretchen know whether you will attend (815-985-4157 or gretsown@comcast.net)

We welcome new members! Next month's (Jan.9) book will be Tobacco Wives by Adele Meyers.

Brown bags of Food collected

Food Collection
Well done St. Mark! We collected 464 pounds of food for our neighbors in Rockford. This will help many families in our community. Thank you for your donations to support the Rock River Valley Pantry.


Advent Devotional Booklets
Advent begins on Sunday, December 3, and devotional booklets are now available! This year’s theme is How does a weary world rejoice? and the booklet includes prayers, songs, commentary and art for each week. One booklet per household please. If you prefer a large-print format, you may pick up a copy of A Season of Peace. Sunday school families will also receive Open Before Christmas booklets and paper chains to assemble at home!

Stewardship Sunday

Thank you to those who returned your Plan for Giving Cards. For those of you who have not, there are giving cards at church or click here to submit your pledge for 2024.

Thank you for your participation in this important expression of support and gratitude. Together, we can continue to Grow in Faith and Share God's Grace!

Pledge Update: Our 2024 Pledged Giving goal is $710,000, and the response we receive this fall will determine our actual budget for the coming year. To date, we have received 135 Pledges totaling $559,861. This amount represents 79% of the pledged giving needed to meet our budget goals for the coming year. In order to meet our goal, we are asking everyone to prayerfully consider an increase in giving. Please refer to the table on the back of your pledge card to see what it might take to raise your pledge by a small percentage.

All Aglow lights - families

Family Fellowship Night
The next Family Fellowship night is a visit to Nicholas Conservatory to see the All Aglow holiday light display on Friday, December 8. If you’ve been before, you know how magical it is walk around the pond and the rose garden while it’s lit up with thousands of colorful lights. Last year there was even a rainbow tunnel at the entrance!

We will meet in front of the conservatory at 5:30, then tour the display together. This is an outdoor event, so dress for the weather. Perhaps we’ll have some snow by then!


We will be decorating the Sanctuary with poinsettias again this year for Christmas Eve. The cost is $12 per plant. You may pay with cash, check, or online at stmarklc.com/give - poinsettia fund. The forms are on the table with a box to put your completed form and money in. You may also click this link to fill out a form.

bible study

No women or men's Wednesday Bible studies on December 20 or 27. They will resume on January 3, 2024.


Outreach Ministry


Socks for Schools
Warm, dry socks make winter learning easier! Let’s give the gift of new socks to some Rockford school kids this Advent.

Outreach and Children’s Ministry are teaming up to collect new socks of all colors and sizes to give to the students at Ellis, Lewis Lemon, McIntosh, and Haskell schools. These are the schools that St. Mark already supports through the uniform project, and we have heard from parents and teachers that many children simply don’t have enough socks. Can we collect 100 pairs of socks for each school? 200 pairs? Could we collect 1000 total pairs of socks??

Let’s fill the bins by the red truck this Advent!

Rock House Kids Logo

Rock House Kids
Rock House Kids is a program on 7th Street that works with the children in that area.

Rock House has reached out to us to say that they need blankets for the kids. Last year we delivered 115 fleece blankets to them and we would like to do this again. We have had a generous donation of many fleece throws and the Sew and Sews have begun to sew them together for Rock House. There will be a table in Fellowship Hall where you can pick up 2 fleece throws, take them home, and sew them together. This makes a warm blanket for a child.

There is also a poster in the cafe to inform members where to purchase fleece throws to sew together at home. This is a project sponsored by the Outreach Committee.

Korve Sausage

RALM's Annual Korv Sausage Christmas Sale
Time is running out to place your order for the traditional korv sausage sale. Korv is $8 per pound (same as last year) and is sold in 1 lb. packages. Pick up will be on December 14 from Noon to 6:00 pm at Katies' Cup (5-2 7th St.). Last day to order is Friday, December 8 at noon.

Call to place your order or if you have any questions, 815-962-4279 or email director@ralm.faith.


Remember In Our Prayers


Our St. Mark Members:

Linda Vivian, Lis Pearson, Joe Garcea, Jeanne Zeschke, Ulla Kercher, Mark Honzel, Lorine Kortus, Beth Johnson, Carol Kilts, Fritzi Panjkovich, Diane Swanson, Sherri Lindquist, Bette Patterson.

Our condolences to:

Mary Mallow upon the death of her husband, Patrick Mallow.

Family and Friends of St. Mark Members:

Shirley Drummond, Billy Berkheimer, Mark Nelson, Gina Meeks, Greg Dunham, Natena Berry, Barbara Buttchin, Ruth Hewitt, Mike Balles, Chris Nack, Ron Gentry, Terry Backen, John Ayotte, Carrie Kielty, Ed Sobczyk, Elizabeth Woodworth, Carrie Nelson, Bill Hart, Ellie Krepfle, Tom Montgomery, Jon Baylander, Jenny Hobby.

Those serving in the military and their families:

Holden Paddock, Logan Gehrke, Hunter Haggestad, Scot Hornick, Jim Tammen, Brandon Ballenger, Taylor Eversole.

Strengthen and encourage those in public health services and in the medical profession: caregivers, nurses, attendants, and doctors, all who commit themselves to care for the sick and their families.


Office Hours
Monday through Thursday
9:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M.
Friday - 9:00 A.M. - 1:00 P.M.

Telephone: 815-398-3557
St. Mark Memos, the weekly e-newsletter, is distributed each Thursday. The deadline for submission is Monday by 3:00 P.M.
Please click to send submissions.
Worship Services
Miss a Sunday at St. Mark? Please visit our website and watch the service online.
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