“I don’t know much about church. Am I welcome?”
Absolutely. All are welcome here at St Mark Evangelical Lutheran Church. As Christians who are all considered “sinners and saints” at the same time, we are called to share the good news of Jesus Christ with all people, especially with those who have little or no church background or relationship with Jesus Christ. Our congregation is made up of many different people and families brought together by our love of Jesus Christ. We welcome YOU to become part of our community!
“What’s a Lutheran anyway?”
Lutheranism is a branch of Christianity that began in the 1500s when Martin Luther was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church. If you are interested in more information about Lutheranism and our denomination, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), check out www.elca.org.
“Is the building accessible?”
YES! Access for those with physical disabilities is through the yellow doors at the rear of the building. Handicap parking spaces are also located next to this entrance. Once inside, take the elevator up to the worship and fellowship spaces, or down to the classrooms and main office. Our building is also air conditioned during the warm months.
“Where do I park and enter the building?”
Traffic through the St Mark parking lot is one-way: enter via White Horse Aveand exit onto Orchard Ave. If our parking lot is full, park along the closest side street (Orchard Ave) or in the parking lot of the medical building across White Horse Ave. If you enter the building from the front door on White Horse Ave, you will go straight into the worship space. If you use the entrance located at the rear of the building (yellow doors), go up the stairs and an usher can direct you into the worship space.
“How long does the service last?”
Our worship services are just over an hour long.
“What about my children?”
Children are welcome in worship! There is a weekly children’s sermon as part of our service. Ask an usher for the special Children’s Bulletin and/or for an Activity Bag to keep them occupied during worship.
“Will I have to introduce myself?”
We do NOT ask visitors to stand up and introduce themselves. If you would like to be contacted, please complete a visitor card found in the pew and put it in the offering plate so that we may have a chance to get to know you better. We do ask that visitors sign our guest registry.
“What should I wear?”
There is no dress code for worship. Many folks dress somewhat formally. Others dress more casually. Come as you are.
“How do I know what to do?”
We have a worship bulletin that is easy to follow and lays out the order of worship. Most of our liturgy and our hymns are found in the red hymnal, Evangelical Lutheran Worship.
“Am I expected to contribute to the offering?“]
We ask our members to contribute financially as a grateful response to all that God has given to them. Our offerings help to fund the ministries of our congregation and of the larger church in our community and the world. Visitors are welcome to contribute if they are so moved, however no one is required to make a financial contribution.
“Can I take Holy Communion?”
We practice Eucharistic hospitality, meaning all baptized people are welcome at the Lord’s Table. Those who commune in their home congregations are also welcome to commune here at St Mark.
“How is communion served?”
The manner of receiving communion is by individual cups. As you come forward, select either an empty cup (to receive wine) or a cup pre-filled with grape juice from the usher. At the altar rail you may kneel or stand. If you are unable to come forward for communion, simply alert an usher and you will be served at your seat.
“What if I don’t take communion?”
Those (of all ages) who do not receive communion are invited to come forward for a blessing at the altar rail. Or, you may remain quietly in your seat.
“What if I or my children need to leave during worship?”
If you have a need to leave the sanctuary during worship, feel free to do so quietly. Congregational singing is the best time to make an exit. Fussy children may be taken out to the fellowship hall.
“What happens after worship?”
After our 8:30am service (or 9:30 service on the first Sunday of each month and during Summer), coffee and refreshments are served in the Fellowship Hall. All are welcome to join us for this casual time to get to know each other better.
“What does it mean to be a member of St Mark?”
All are welcome to worship with us and to be a part of the life of our faith community. Those who wish to make a deeper commitment to our ministries at St Mark may officially join our congregation as “members.” Membership means that a person may vote at congregational meetings and serve as an officer of the congregation. Membership is maintained through reception of Holy Communion and contributing financially to St Mark.
“How can I get more information?”
For more information about St Mark and its ministries, please look through the rest of our website. Feel free to contact Pastor Ian. Please come and join us for worship!
We hope to see you this Sunday!