Recent Posts

  • Foods for the journey of our lives.

    On the 12th Sunday after Pentecost, John 6:35,41-51 is today’s Gospel. After feeding more than five thousand people in the wilderness, Jesus teaches them regarding the true significance of this remarkable sign. Pastor David Nelson said that today’s lessons ask us to recall and remember foods for the journey of our lives. Jesus is the

  • Simple Bread Becomes a Feast

    The theme for several weeks, in the Gospel of John, has been bread. In our Gospel for today, John 6:24-35, Jesus refers to himself as the bread of life, identifying with the most basic of foods; simple, everyday sustenance. Pastor Nelson reminded us that the simple bread becomes a feast when many share the eucharist together. The bread

  • Extend Your Table

    Today’s Gospel (John 6:1-15) reminds us that Jesus saw the hunger and need for nourishment, and provided food for the 5000. He turned 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish into enough to feed the crowd, until all were satisfied. Today, even though we are blessed with abundance, we are often too concerned with carbs

  • Come and Rest a While

    Naps are a good thing! Pastor David Nelson emphasized this during his time with the children and in his sermon based on today’s Gospel (Mark 6:30-34, 53-56). Jesus told his disciples to rest after they had traveled much and taught many. They tried to get away to a “deserted place by themselves”. But they were

  • Sometimes, you need the whole story.

    Sometimes, you need the whole story. Mark’s gospels are kind of like a detective story with everything pointing to the Cross. Today was Mark 6:14-29 telling of the beheading of John the Baptist. All sorrows can be bourn if you put them into a story. Retired Pastor David Nelson said he wonders if this is

  • Remember who you are…..

    Jesus, early in God’s ministry, goes back to his hometown and is rejected by some in today’s gospel, Mark 6:1-13. Jesus had gained the trust of his twelve disciples and some authority but some of his former neighbors still looked at him as the son of Mary, son of a carpenter and uneducated.  Someone pulls

  • ELCA presiding bishop, faith leaders issue statement on family separation

    6/7/2018 12:30:00 PM CHICAGO (June 7, 2018) – The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), has convened ELCA ecumenical and inter-religious partners in a statement addressing concerns over a recent U.S. government policy calling for more stringent enforcement of federal immigration laws. The policy will most likely

  • Know that God goes wherever we go.

    Mark 5:21-43 Gospel tells the story of two people who believed in Jesus’s power to heal and bring life out of death. One, a man with riches and power, begs Jesus to leave the crowds he is surrounded by and heal his daughter and the other is an unclean woman, who knows if she can

  • Going to School with Jesus

    In today’s Gospel (Mark 4:35-41), Jesus called to his disciples to get into a boat and cross to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. It was evening and they were ready for rest near the warmth of a fire. They had no desire to get up, get in a boat and travel out

  • The Kingdom of God is like Scotch Broom…

    Retired Pastor David Nelson said that after a few week’s worth of Mark’s ‘conflict’ Gospels (they’ll be back later in the year), we now have wonderful little stories. Today’s story is about the mustard seed.  The smallest of small seeds.  In Jesus’s time, no one planted mustard seeds! They didn’t have any hot dogs and

  • A House Divided

    Mark 3:20-35 tells the story of how a house divided cannot stand. Pastor David Nelson pointed out how Mark uses conflict in his gospels and even more so in today’s gospel. Jesus is in conflict with his family and the scribes who have come to question him. His family, Mary and her other children, show

  • Laws vs. Love

    On this second Sunday of Pentecost, our Gospel of Mark (2:23-3:6) continues with a theme of conflict. The laws of the Sabbath were examined when the Pharisees questioned Jesus about his disciples plucking grain to eat, and Jesus healing a man’s withered hand, both on the Sabbath.  Jesus defends the laws of Sabbath in its

  • Trinity

    On this Trinity Sunday, Retired Pastor David I. Nelson reminded us that God is all about relationship. The Three-in-One is just as easily the One-in-Three. As we pray to God as Jesus did, the Spirit prays within us, creating between us and God the same relationship Jesus has with God. God is intimacy, community, plurality,

  • Are You Concerned about the Poor?

    Are you concerned about the discrepancy between the wealth of the poor and the wealth of the rich? Watch this short video and you will be.

  • Day of Pentecost

    Today we celebrated the Spirit, through whom and in whom the people of God are created and re-created. The Holy Spirit is everywhere infused in us. After Jesus’s resurrection, he told his disciples that he would see them down the road in Galilee. Pastor Eric sang a new song that he wrote: “I’ll see you

  • Love Never Fails

    Today we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus into heaven. Pastor Beth pointed out that the disciples rejoiced but then must have had a time of ‘Now what?’. A time of sorrow, grief, loss, and uncertainty. Two people, dressed in white, appeared to them and asked them why they were looking up at heaven since there

  • Celebrating Baptism and Graduations!

      Sunday morning, May 13th was extra special!  Not only was it Mother’s Day and Ascension Sunday, but also we were blessed to celebrate the gifts of Holy Baptism and High School graduations.   Baptized into the family of God was precious child of God, Derek.  We rejoice with you and your family! Graduating from

  • Confirmation Sunday

    On Sunday, May 6th, we celebrated the Affirmation of Baptism and Rite of Confirmation for our students Adam and Alex.  These young men were baptized and grew up in the church, participated in Confirmation classes with Pastor Beth and Dan B., were presented by their families, and affirmed their faith as loved and forgiven children

  • Abide

    The dictionary definition of the word “abide”  includes, “to accept or act in accordance with; to follow, keep, hold or stand by; to respect”. Does this sound like your relationship with Jesus? In today’s Gospel (John 15:1-8), the image of the vine and the branches is used to illustrate how Christ and we are alive

  • Earth Day statement from ELCA presiding bishop

    4/16/2018 1:20:00 PM As members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), we share a deep love for all of God’s creation and a profound responsibility for it. Made in the image of God, we are called to continue what God is already doing for the earth (Psalm 104), enabling it to flourish. God

  • The Voice

    In the spirit of Christ, Pastor Eric chose several “C” words to describe the voice of Jesus…each providing us with things we need: Captain (assurance), Coach (instructing), Critic (assessing) and Choir (inspiration). We are given Courage and Certainty, Care and wise Counsel. When we take the time to listen, we know Jesus is calling us. Hearing

  • Repentance and Forgiveness

    The gospel for the third Sunday of Easter is always one in which the risen Christ shares food with the disciples, meals that are the Easter template for the meal we share each Lord’s day. Jesus both shares the disciples food and shows them the meaning of his suffering, death, and resurrection through the scriptures:

  • It is not easy to step out in Faith.

    The story of Easter continues as the risen Lord appeared to his disciples. The disciples were captive and living in fear behind locked doors. Jesus told them that He was the way, the truth of God. God does not want us to live in fear or doubt withholding the love of God from those who

  • Easter Gallery of Images

    Below is a gallery of pictures taken during the Easter Service of 2018. These pictures display the congregation,  the Easter Art Wall, the choir, the bell choir, the added musicians, and the pastor. Click on any image to expand it.  

  • Easter Gospel Sermon & Art Slideshow

    He has Risen!  He has Risen indeed. Pastor Eric said, according to today’s text, “The promise is Jesus is ahead of you”. Resurrection is powerful, intense and it can scare us. In our lives, what keeps us going is the Resurrection promise of Jesus that there is more. We are challenged, that if we believe

  • St. Mark Community Garden 2018 Potato Planting and other News

    The 2018 gardening season is beginning and here is some news you can use! Work Parties: Saturday April 7th will be our first work party for the year, and you can mark your calendar for every other Saturday morning from 9-11am.  We provide the garden implements – hoes, rakes, shovels, trowels – and you apply

  • Sunday School Garden Planting

    The 2018 gardening season for the St. Mark Community Garden was kicked off on a beautiful, sunny day by the St. Mark Sunday School children on March 25.  With the guidance of teachers and parents, the children planted Oregon Sugar Snap peas.   It will be fun to see the expressions on their faces when they

  • As We Begin Holy Week…

    Each year, we begin Holy Week by waving palms and exclaiming, “Hosanna in the highest!” We remember Christ’s journey to the cross so that we may have life. Today, on Palm Sunday, we heard Mark’s passion story told through song and scripture readings. Members of our congregation inserted narrative while playing the parts of the characters

  • Lenten Banners Slideshow

    A series of Lenten banners have been appearing on our back wall behind the altar over the course of the Sundays of Lent and for the Wednesday Lenten services. These wonderful artistic images on banners are the creation of Josh E. We have a long history at St Mark of seeing both artistic banners and

  • As Jesus talks about seeds planted in the ground.

    Living, dying, loving, hating. There is a whole lot of mystery in our Gospel today, John 12:20-33, as Jesus talks about seeds planted in the ground. It is almost as if Jesus is speaking to his disciples and to us in a type of code. He uses things of the earth to describe things of

  • “I Know How the Flowers Felt”

    Pastor Beth began her sermon today with the Robert Frost’s poem, “Lodged”. “The rain to the wind said, ‘You push and I’ll pelt.’ They so smote the garden bed That the flowers actually knelt, And lay lodged – though not dead. I know how the flowers felt.” Many of us have felt like those flowers…blown

  • Third Sunday in Lent

    John 2:13-22, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” Jesus drives the money changers and people selling doves sheep and cattle out of the temple. Pastor Eric told us that stories are memory devices and so are songs and sayings. There are thousands of songs about Love. There are sayings that we have heard over

  • Crayons in God’s Hands

    Mother Teresa is quoted as saying, “I’m a little pencil in the hands of a writing God who is sending love letters to the world.” Pastor Eric suggested that perhaps rather than a pencil, we are crayons in God’s hands. Sometimes whole, sometimes broken, always a community of many colors. Our scripture readings for this

  • Baptism Wilderness Proclamation

    Today was the First Sunday in Lent. Pastor Eric said that, sometimes in life, we need to remember the big picture and that is what today’s text is all about. We are divinely endorsed creatures of God, who are gloriously and curiously, broken and beloved, forgiven appendages of God. But, who are we? What are

  • A Mountaintop Experience

    In today’s Gospel (Mark 9), Jesus takes his three closest friends, Peter, James and John, to the top of a mountain where they see Jesus dazzlingly transfigured before them, and they hear the words, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!”  This miracle on the mountain is interpreted as a preview of how

  • The Healing Jesus

    This was the 5th Sunday after Epiphany and the Gospel was from Mark 1:29-39 where we hear Mark tell of Jesus healing people wherever He goes. The essence of everything is in today’s text. Pastor Eric feels it captures the mystery of our Faith because it is the intimate Jesus lifting us up. Jesus goes

  • Approach the Unapproachable

    Throughout the Bible, there are stories of Jesus approaching the unapproachable. In our Gospel (Mark 1:21-28) for this fourth Sunday after Epiphany, as Jesus began teaching inside the synagogue a man with an unclean spirit began shouting at Him. The force of the man’s accusations struck fear in those around him. With authority, Jesus commanded

  • He will make them fish for people.

    The Third Sunday after Epiphany’s Gospel is from Mark1:14-20 in which Jesus, who comes upon some men fishing, gathers more followers by saying that He will make them fish for people. Pastor Eric, with his fishing tackle box, talked of how different lures trick different fish to bite the fishing hook. Jesus did not trick

  • ELCA Presiding Bishop Responds to Reported Racist Comments

    1/12/2018 1:30:00 PM “I am very disappointed and disturbed by the remarks that President Donald Trump is reported to have said yesterday – and confirmed by others who were present – in the context of a discussion about immigration. Regardless of the context, references of that kind have no place in our civil discourse and,

  • Can anything good come out of Nazareth?

    Today’s Gospel is from John, Chapter 1. Can anything good come out of Nazareth? Pastor Eric drew our attention to two phrases from it: The word ‘found’, which comes from the Greek word eureka, and ‘heavens are open’. He asked us what is something we have found in our life after sharing an example of

  • Beloved, Be Loved, Be Love

    Jan Richardson, author, says, “Beloved…it comes like a mercy to the ear.” On this Sunday, the baptism of our Lord is remembered in the Gospel of Mark 1:4-11. As Jesus is being baptised by John, the heavens opened up and a voice spoke, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

  • Endings and Beginnings

    On the last day of the year, we celebrated together the end of 2017 and the anticipation of the new year.  As we “meditate on endings and beginnings, we watch and keep vigil for the coming of God’s justice”. Our scripture lessons for the service reminded us of the light that Jesus’s birth brings to

  • St Mark Christmas Eve Music

    The St Mark Chancel Choir and St Mark Bell Choir provided the following Music for our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. For those of you who were unable to attend this 10PM service (or just want to listen to it again), the audio of these numbers was recorded and is provided below. (The gospel and sermon

  • Christ’s Light Shines

    Tonight, we heard the glorious story of Jesus’ birth, as we gathered on Christmas Eve for our traditional candle light service. We were reminded that Jesus was not only born in Bethlehem, but he is born among us, again and again and again. His light reaches us in the darkest corners of our lives, and

  • Jesus: The Impossibility of God

    Mystically conceived, born in a “nowhere” town, parented by an underaged mother, a King who behaved as a servant. How is this all possible?  On this 4th Sunday of Advent, we hear the story of the angel Gabriel (Luke 1: 26-38) appearing to the virgin Mary saying, “Greetings favored one! The Lord is with you.”

  • The Light

    Our Gospel reading for today, the 3rd Sunday of Advent, is from John 1:6-8, 19-28, which starts off as ‘There was a man sent from God whose name was John.  He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.  He himself was not the light, but he

  • It’s a Super Christmas!

    The St. Mark Sunday School students shared the Second Sunday in Advent’s hope-filled message.  The students offered their Christmas Program and the debut showing of “It’s a Super Christmas.”  (An original play, “Super Christmas” was written by  Heather Unti.  Pastor Beth rewrote it for the children of St. Mark.)    During the program, joyous songs rang out:  “Is

  • God’s love is always shaping us. (includes video)

    First Sunday of Advent The First Reading for today is Isaiah 64:1-19, ….”You, o God, are the potter and we are the clay–the work of  your hand.” Pastor Beth ‘threw’ a wedge of clay on the potter’s wheel while she spoke to us of God’s love.  Like an artist, God is always shaping us with

  • Art of Christmas – December 17th

    The 3rd Annual St. Mark “Art of Christmas” is coming on Sunday, December 17 at 5pm.  The Art of Christmas is a church-wide art show presented by anyone at St. Mark who has some art to share!  Your art can be something you’ve made like metal yard art, painting, drawing, woodworking, singing, playing an instrument,

  • ADVENT FAIR – This Sunday 12/3/17

    You won’t want to miss this inspiring hour that never fails to get you into the holiday spirit. Advent Fun and Festivities, our 2017 Advent Fair, will be “happening” in the Parish Hall, 9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m, Sunday December 3. Come enjoy some Christmas crafts and lots of fun for all ages. Please bring some