Weekly Memos New Logo - white background

This Week at St. Mark May 2 - 9, 2021

Sunday, May 2

9:00 A.M. Indoor Worship with Live-Stream in the Sanctuary
11:00 A.M. Outdoor Parking Lot Service

Tuesday, May 4

10:00 A.M. Staff Meeting
11:30 A.M. St. Mark Duplicate Bridge - in the cafe
1:00 P.M. First Tuesday Book Club

Wednesday, May 5

9:00 A.M. Women's Bible Study
9:00 A.M. Men's Bible Study
7:00 P.M. Confirmation

Thursday, May 6

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

Saturday, May 8

6:30 P.M. Train Group

Sunday, May 9 Mother' Day

9:00 A.M. Indoor Worship Live-Stream in the Sanctuary
11:00 A.M. Outdoor Parking Lot Service


News and Events

worship with us

In case you haven’t heard, we are pleased to announce the addition of a second service on Sundays, beginning this Sunday, May 2!

While the services will be familiar, the timing will be different:
9:00 am - Traditional Worship in the Sanctuary
11:00 am - Blended Worship in the Parking Lot

Our weekly live-stream will occur during the 9:00 am Sanctuary service, which is a half-hour earlier than in the past. If you want to worship inside, you will need to register, as we continue to host up to 45 worshippers. Register here or call the office.
Please enter through the west doors (Sanctuary doors) for this service.

While the 9:00 am service will be fully traditional, our 11:00 am service outside will have the same musical feel as all our worship this past year, with a blend of traditional and contemporary music. As always, weather-related changes to our outdoor worship will be announced the evening before.

I am so excited for these additional opportunities for us to worship together. Plans are underway for coffee hour and worship on the lawn later this spring. Stay tuned for further announcements about these and other changes to our expanding Sunday morning schedule.

Pastor Chad


Birthday in a Bag!
This is the last week to bring in your Birthday Bag.
To celebrate 60 years of St. Mark for the month of April, the Children’s Ministry Committee is collecting donations of 60 or more birthday kits for the local food pantries! The supplies recommended are cake mix & frosting, candles, sprinkles, small candies, or other cake decorations, festive plates & napkins, balloons, streamers, or other party decorations or any other items your family loves to use for joyful celebrations. You may drop them off at the church anytime during office hours. There will be a bin inside the south doors labeled Birthday in a Bag!

Birthday in a Bag pictures
cross with musical notes

The Marksmen are coming back!
All singing men of St. Mark are encouraged to participate! The commitment is only one Sunday morning, May 9th. The song is “Victory in Jesus,” which is an old country gospel favorite. Even if you don’t know the song, it will be easy to learn, and is sure to be fun! The plan is to meet at 8:00 a.m. on May 9th for a 30-40 minute rehearsal, then sing at the 9:00 a.m. indoor service. It will be Mother’s Day, so come out and sing for God, and to honor the motherly caregivers in our lives.

Logo Secondary

Save the Date: VBS is back!
We are excited to announce that VBS will be held in person this summer! Mark your calendars for July 26-30, when we will explore the ways God shines light in the world at Discovery on Adventure Island.

VBS will be open to students age 4 through 6th grade, and volunteers can be ages 13 and up. Watch for more details and registration info in May!

Communion kits together

Home Communion Kits
If you need to replenish your communion supplies, please stop by the church during office hours, Monday - Friday 9:00 am - 4:00 pm. If you need to come by after these hours, please call the church office at 815-398-3557. Watch this short video from Pastor Chad or read more here.

Lilac may day basket

It's nearly May 1, and you know what that means!
Or perhaps you don't. After all, it's been a while since May Day, or May Basket Day, was last celebrated widely. Nowadays, springtime is often associated with occasions like Mother's Day and Easter. But years ago, May Day was celebrated with nearly the same springy hoopla on the first of the month, year after year.

When we moved to Rockford, (35 years ago) the first May in our house, we were welcomed with a May basket on our door. I recall it was lilac’s in a handmade paper cone. The sweet little neighbor girls blessed our family that day. Those little girl’s as teenagers became our children’s babysitters. We still keep in touch with them as they have grown, moved away and are now are teaching their own children about kindness. ~Melinda Alekna

St. Mark May “60” celebration continues as their will be 60 May baskets blessings others.

Definition of May basket
: a small basket holding a gift (as of flowers or candy) hung at the door of a favored person on May Day

Thank you

Thank you for a successful year of Sunday school!
The 2020-2021 Sunday school program year was full of challenges and experimentation, and I am so grateful to those students and their families who enthusiastically participated in remote lessons. Many students joined me live via Zoom each, and several more families regularly viewed the lessons later in the week on YouTube. Special thanks to Alex Ferry for being my technology assistant!

It is our hope and our intention that in-person Sunday school will resume in September. Meanwhile, we are planning fun events and activities over the summer months as well, not least of which is in-person VBS, July 26-30!

You can find updates in the weekly Memos and occasional emails from me. And as always, you can email me with any questions or concerns: julie@stmarklc.com

Thank you to everyone for the support and encouragement you have provided to me and the students throughout this year! St. Mark is an exceptional community!

Julie Eshleman
Director of Christian Education

summer fun

Kindness Matters Tour continues this summer. Our summer of fun and service will be June 23-27th, 9 AM-3:30 PM. This local mission trip is for youth entering high school in the fall of 2021 through 12th grade. We will learn from members of our congregation, volunteer at the food bank, Habitat Re-Store, and do some volunteering for some elders in our congregation. We will also participate in worship Sunday, June 27. The cost is $50 and includes lunch and a t-shirt. Please email or call Melinda Alekna to sign-up! 815-871-0390 or melinda@stmarklc.com


St. Mark Mobile App!
Download our free mobile app on the app store or google play. If you are having trouble downloading or have any questions, please call Jill Davenport at 815-218-3403 or email jill@stmarklc.com, she will help you through the process. This is different than our church directory app. We encourage you to download the app. It's about getting involved and staying connected.

Click on this link for information on how to download the app!

power of prayer

St. Mark Prayer Chain
Would you like to be a part of the St. Mark prayer chain? Prayer requests come into the church office weekly. As we receive prayer requests we would send out an e-mail and ask that you pray daily for the persons mentioned in the requests. All requests are to remain confidential. Please e-mail melinda@stmarklc.com if you would like to participate in the prayer chain. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” Colossians 4:2.

Here and Now Album cover

St. Mark Praise Band Album Now Available

Good news! The St. Mark praise band, Hear and Now, has just released their first Album! It is a collection of original pieces and a few classic old favorites and is available as a compact disc (CD) or digitally thru Band Camp. The CD’s will be available for pick up at the church in the hallway. A $10 donation is asked to help offset the cost of producing the Album. Digital copies are available at the following link. A suggested price of $9 hearandnow1.bandcamp.com

Update sign

For the safety of all our members, and in keeping with our calling as Christians to love our neighbors, groups that meet on-site must follow these guidelines. Groups that meet off-site strongly encouraged to follow these to the best of their ability. The health and welfare of our members and visitors is our number one priority in resuming all activities at St. Mark Lutheran Church. When 100% of attendees are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, certain precautions are not required. Small group leaders are responsible for determining if their group is fully vaccinated and able to forego these guidelines. See the link below for the full guidelines, the church council and pastors have put in place. Thank you.
Click here Guidelines for Small Groups at St. Mark


Remember In Our Prayers

Our St. Mark members:

Jan Stringer, Adleigh Siemans, Lorine Kortus, Linda Crooks,
Jan Cotter, Roger Lind, Diane Swanson, Billie Reinhold, Sherri Lindquist, Bill Jennings, Bette Patterson, David Young,
Keith Haggestad.

Our condolences to:

Dave and Peggy Bargren upon the death of Peggy's brother, Larry Backens.

Family and friends of St. Mark members:

Ezra Mark Wiegel, Ed Benfield, Conrad Semmelroth, Nici King,
Vicki Kalnins, Kris & Jack O'Brien, Kate Cuccaro, Debbie Adams, Wanda Adamson, Milane Bagel, Janet Webster, Rae Ann McIntire,
Linda Johnson, Eva Love Sherbondy, Norma Comstock,
Carolyn King, Ashton Henley.

Those serving in the military and their families:

Hunter Haggestad, Tristan Davenport, Scot Hornick,
Bailey Panjkovich, Xander Gehrke, Jim Tammen, Brandon Ballenger, Taylor Eversole, Dean Barron.

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


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

Sermons Online
Miss a Sunday at St. Mark? Please visit our website and watch the sermons online.
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