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This Week at St. Mark November 27 - December 4, 2022


Sunday, November 27 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
10:10 A.M. Adult Forum Adult Ministry Room
11:00 A.M. Worship in Fellowship Hall

Monday, November 28

10:30 A.M. Classic Chorale Rehearses
7:00 P.M. Lydia Circle at St. Mark

Tuesday, November 29

10:00 A.M. Staff Meeting
11:00 A.M. St. Mark Duplicate Bridge

Wednesday, November 30

9:00 A.M. St. Mark Ringers
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 1

9:00 A.M. Cherry Valley Bridge Group
6:00 P.M. Decorate the church for Christmas
6:30 P.M. Emotions Anonymous
6:30 P.M. Blue Lights

Friday, December 2

7:30 A.M. St. Mark Breakfast Group at Denny's Restaurant

Saturday, December 3

10:00 A.M. Christmas Concert Rehearsal

Sunday, December 4 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
10:10 A.M. Adult Forum
11:00 A.M. Worship in Fellowship Hall
3:00 P.M. Christmas at St. Mark Concert


News and Events

Happy thanksgiving for memos

Thanksgiving Eve Worship
Join us for worship tonight at 6:30 P.M. and enjoy cider and treats after the service in the Common Grounds Café. This year 100% of the offering will be donated to ELCA World Hunger. Also, you are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to be donated to the Northern Illinois Food Bank. Give thanks this holiday season. If unable to attend follow this link to watch the service on our YouTube channel and click here to give/donate.

thanksgiving message bishop

Thanksgiving Message from Bishop Stacie Fidlar
Where are the places that taught you to be thankful?
Please enjoy this brief Thanksgiving message and know that I am thankful for you and the ministry we do together.


First Sunday of Advent, November 27
9:00 am - Traditional Worship in the Sanctuary (Prelude will begin at 8:55)
10:10 am - Sunday, School, Adult Forum and Fellowship Hour with coffee and donuts
11:00 am - Praise Service in Fellowship Hall

Our weekly live-stream will occur during the 9:00 am service in the Sanctuary

Follow this link for the live-stream service Sunday.

SA fromgentogen slidegraphic generaltheme

"Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.” -Mary, Mother of Jesus (Luke 1: 48b-50)

For Advent and Christmas this year, we will center around the theme, “From Generation to Generation.” The theme and its meaning will unfold as we journey through this holy season, both in our worship and in the daily devotional many of you have already taken home.

Despite the challenges and vulnerability she faced, Mary could glimpse the scale and scope of the good news she was part of bringing forth. This good news transcends time and space—it was and is bigger than just her. Christ is coming for collective liberation: God’s redemption is at work for years to come. Therefore, the promise is meant to be lived out and passed on from generation to generation. Please join us as we take a deep look at story of Christmas, through the generations of people whose lives led all creation to that holy night in Bethlehem.

Advent devotional booklet

Advent Devotional Booklets
Advent Devotional Booklets are available for you to pick up in Fellowship Hall or the office.
This year’s theme, From Generation to Generation… “reminds us of the ways our lives, histories, actions, and stories are interconnected and woven together. The work of God is always unfolding – in and through us. This Advent, may you remember that you belong – to a story etched into the wrinkles of time, to generations that have come before and will come after, to a love that won’t let you go.”

Adverbs of Advent Cover

The Adverbs of Advent: Daily Devotions for Children and their Families
Sunday school families are each receiving a special devotional booklet and paper chain activity filled with adverbs! The Adverbs of Advent will lead us to see HOW, WHERE and WHEN God’s great promises of Advent really come true.

Families will read and discuss a short devotional each day, then add a link to the paper chain. Let’s wait HOPEFULLY and EXCITEDLY together – Jesus is coming SOON!

don t forget

Pledge Update
Like last year, our 2023 Pledged Giving goal is $720,000, and the response we receive this fall will determine our actual budget for the coming year. To date, we have received 184 Pledges totaling $595,130. This amount represents 83% of the pledged giving needed to meet our budget goals for the coming year. In addition, we have received 68 Servant Commitment Forms expressing many new desires to volunteer! Even if you are already an active volunteer, we ask that everyone fill out one of these forms in order to recommit to the ministry we share. Thank you for your participation in these important expressions of support and gratitude. Together, we can continue to Grow in Faith and Share God’s Grace!

Click here to submit your pledge online.

Along with a pledge card, there are servant commitment forms that can be turned in. There will be a basket in the Narthex to put your completed servant forms in or mail them to the office.

Extra planned for giving cards and servant commitment forms are in the narthex. Thank you for prayerfully considering your commitment to the mission we share!

Lydia Circle

Lydia Circle will meet in the cafe on Monday, November 28 at 7:00 pm. We'll do an Advent devotion to help prepare our hearts and minds for this holy season. Even if you've never attended a Lydia Circle meet-up, you are welcome to join us.

New Books

It’s New Book November at the St. Mark Library!

The library has added new books recently, and we’ve spent the month of November highlighting the memorials and gifts that we received this past year.

Special thanks to Ruth Circle and St. Mark Book Club for their thoughtful and generous gifts of books in memory of Naomi Hagen, Inara McGroarty, and Erlene Martin. Thank you also to Pr. Chad for sharing a collection of books he read during his sabbatical, focusing on nature and creation care.

Let’s take a look at three more of these new books!

jellybeans by Sylvia van Ommen presents a delightfully – and deceptively – simple tale introducing a pair of friends whose favorite treat inspires some existential questions. Illustrated with spare, charming ink drawings, the characters’ conversation about life and what comes after will likely inspire your own conversations, as well as offer reassurance, about what lies ahead.

Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv brings together cutting-edge studies that point to direct exposure to nature as essential for a child’s healthy physical and emotional development. The author’s message has galvanized a new nature movement and become an international force for change. It includes a field guide with 100 practical actions, plus a discussion guide for book groups or community learning.

The Nativity illustrated by Julie Vivas is a loving retelling of the miraculous story of the Nativity, with text from the King James Bible. A remarkable and unexpected view of the traditional tale, this is a volume that will be cherished by children and parents alike.

flower bouquet

The 2023 Altar Flower Chart is Up
Each Sunday we have two beautiful bouquets of flowers on the altar. The 2023 flower chart is up in the narthex on the bulletin board. You may sign up on the chart, call the church office or click on this link. We will continue to purchase them from Cherry Blossom. The price per arrangement will stay the same $40. If you sign up online, put your memory or honor of in the comment line and pay here or write a check to St. Mark. If you have the mobile app you can do all of it on there. You may take your flowers home after the service or stop by the office
during the week to pick them up.

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Youth Ministry

youth group

Sunday Youth Group Schedule
Dec. 2022 - Jan. 2023 - 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

December 4, 2022: NO St. Mark Youth Group tonight. I encourage you to attend the Christmas Concert at 3 pm with your family.

December 11, 2022: Second Sunday – Christmas Party! We will meet at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 3301 Corbridge Lane, Rockford

December 18, 2022: Hot Chocolate, Cookies, and Christmas Carols (or Christmas movies)

January 8, 2023: Second Sunday @ St. Mark Lutheran Church

January 15, 2023: St. Mark Youth Group (maybe sledding depending on the weather)

January 22, 2023: St. Mark Youth Group


Outreach Ministry

Angel Tree


Thank you St. Mark. All of the Adopt-An-Angel tags have been taken. Please remember to bring back your gifts wrapped with the angel tag attached.

Please have these back to St. Mark by Sunday, November 27. You may place them in the red truck in Fellowship Hall.

Blankets for Rock House Kids
Winter is coming and the Sew and Sews, our active quilting group, will again be making cozy fleece blankets for the children at Rock House Kids.

The budget is tight this year and the Sew and Sews will be unable to purchase the fleece throws for our St. Mark members to sew together. We have researched ways to continue our support of this project.

Options for our St. Mark members:

Buy 2 "Mainstay" Fleece Throws, 50 x 60 inches, $3.78 each at Walmart. Sew them together or put them in the Red Truck in Fellowship Hall, and the Sew and Sews will sew them together. Choose colorful, contrasting prints.

Buy a "Wild Frontier," 50 by 60 inches, Plush Throw at Walmart. No sewing required. $9.98 each. Just put it in the Red Truck.

Buy a "Make It Gift It" fleece kit for $10.99 at JoAnn Fabrics. There are 2 throws, 48 by 72 inches, in the kit. Sew them together or put the kit in the Red Truck and the Sew and Sews will sew them together. Avoid the Christmas patterns so the blanket will be useful all year.

Thank you for helping us keep the children warm. Donate any time in the months of November and December.


Remember In Our Prayers

Our St. Mark members:

Pat Venstrom, Stan Steinke, Norm Kortus, Beth Johnson, Betty Lundvall, Carol Kilts, Dennis Pitcock, Tim Panjkovich, Rita Olson, Fritzi Panjkovich, Bev Johnson, Russ Oelligl, Jack Sowl, Lorine Kortus, Jan Cotter, Diane Swanson, Sherri Lindquist, Bette Patterson.

Family and friends of St. Mark members:

Barbara, Buttchen, John Ayotte, Carrie Kielty, Ed Sobczyk, Jeff Basset, Kevin Kuntzelman, Elizabeth Woodworth, Carrie Nelson, Bill Hart, Ellie Krepfle, Carl Steingraeber, Don Minnis, Tom Montgomery, Jon Baylander, John Mortensen, Carolyn Neagle, Jenny Hobby, Bill King, Carolyn King, Norma Comstock.

Those serving in the military and their families:

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

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 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.
Please click to watch.

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