Recent Posts

  • Prepare the Way!

    On this second Sunday of Advent, we hear the message, “Prepare the way!” The Gospel of Luke, 3:1-6 shows John the Baptist heralding the coming of Jesus, telling the baptized people to prepare for the crooked to be made straight and the rough ways to be made smooth. The coming of Jesus, this time of

  • First Sunday of Advent

    Pastor Beth asked us how, as we start the new church year and prepare our hearts for the birth of Christ, Jesus talking about the end times in Luke 21:25-36 makes us feel. The words are foreboding and unsettling. We live in a world of mixed up priorities.  Jesus shakes us up from complacency. Be

  • Christ The King

    On this Christ The King Sunday, the Gospel from John (18:33-38) emphasizes Jesus telling Pilate, “My kingdom is not from this world.” Jesus is not an earthly king but a king who exercises his power with truth; knowing his victory will be won through love. In his sermon, Pastor Eric suggested hearing sad songs can

  • Not One Stone

    In today’s Gospel, Mark 13:1-8, Jesus wanted his disciples to know that things would get difficult and that the temple was not the center of their religion.  People were the church. Does the bible say we have to go to church? If we are the church, Pastor Beth asked us why is it important for

  • Widows, Victims and Veterans

    On this Armistice / Veterans Day, our Gospel (Mark 12), tells of Jesus warning the people to beware of scribes who, for the sake of appearance, walk around in long robes and contribute large sums into the church treasury. Yet they are the ones who “devour widows’ houses”.  In contrast, Jesus remarks about the truly

  • Message on Racism, Hate, and Violence from ELCA Bishop Jaech

    29 October 2018 A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children” Jeremiah 31:15 Once again we are horrified and in anguish following a mass killing in a house of worship. Last Saturday morning an intruder burst into the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA, killing eleven

  • All Saints Sunday

    “We give thanks for the many different Saints in our lives” was Pastor Beth’s beginning to her sermon. She shared with us some of the life and then the death of her father who died this past February. Love and grief are intertwined. In today’s Gospel, John 11:32-44, the humanity of Jesus, who wept over

  • Reformation Sunday

    There have been many changes and reforms in both church and society since the fifteen hundreds when Martin Luther posted his Ninety-five Theses on the church door.  Important words. Pastor Beth spoke to us about reformation in our present time. There is a sharp polarization in our society due to us facing serious issues. Words,

  • Quilt Blessing 2018

    Let us pray. Almighty God, it is your will to bring comfort and help to the distressed. Thank you for all who use their talents to create these beautiful messages of love to people all over the world who may be seeking your word of grace and comfort. Bless these quilts wherever they may be

  • There is a chair for you.

    Mark 10:35-45 Gospel starts with the disciples obsessing over who’s number one, which leads Jesus to say something about God’s take on importance and power. On the way to Jerusalem, the disciples ask Jesus to grant them seats of honor.  Jesus responds by announcing that he and his followers will ‘rule’ through self-giving service. Pastor

  • Blessing of the Animals – All New 2018 Gallery Pictures

    A “Blessings of the Animals” ceremony took place at both services at St Mark Lutheran Church on Oct 14, 2018. Check out below, the gallery of pictures of our many animal friends who attended these services this year and the Litany which was read at the services. Litany of Thanksgiving for Animals and Creation Gracious

  • St. Mark Monthly Drop-In Lunch

    Everyone is welcome to drop-in to the St. Mark Parish Hall for lunch on the last Tuesday of each month between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.  Whether you are in Lacey running errands, at the church for a bible study or other meeting. or just want to get out to enjoy some conversation with a

  • St. Mark Summer Sabbatical – Breathe Deep!

    Pastor Beth, Pastor Eric, and their children, Grace and Isaiah, would like to thank the people of St. Mark and the Clergy Renewal Project for an amazing sabbatical this summer.  St. Mark approved a pastoral sabbatical leave which gave them the gift of time.  The Clergy Renewal Project awarded St. Mark a grant which gave

  • The Sunshine Singers

    The Sunshine Singers is a new group of singers and musicians from St. Mark who are bringing music to members of our congregation who reside at assisted living and memory care facilities. The group has had several practice sessions and visits to care communities over the last couple of months. Responses have been positive from our homebound members and other

  • Building Community

    In today’s sermon, we are reminded that there is true freedom in valuing those around us more than our possessions or wealth. Jesus said to Saint Francis, “Repair my church”. After some thought, it occurred to him that Jesus was speaking of rebuilding the people rather than the actual church structure. He stripped himself of

  • Blessing of the Animals 2018

    Baa! Moo! Woof! Neigh! Meow! In pet language, that means, “Please bring me to church with you on Sunday, October 14th.” Why? We will celebrate St. Francis with the blessing of all creation and our animals at both services.  Large animals (horses, cows, etc.) will be blessed between services in the church parking lot. Please

  • Have peace one with another, Mark 9:50

    On their way to Jerusalem, Jesus teaches his disciples about ministry that involves service and sacrifice. Think of someone you are not at peace with. Pastor Eric pointed out that we use the differences of another as weapons but peace can happen because it’s not about winning or losing. Sometimes we hurt each other even

  • Do I Know Who Jesus Really Is?

    When Jesus tells the disciples that someone will betray him and that he will be killed (Mark 9), they are confused by this message. Fearing being rebuked like Peter was, they do not ask questions that may reveal their ignorance of who Jesus really is. So, Jesus tries to teach them through an example of

  • Reading and Gardens

    Those involved with the St Mark Community Garden, Mountain View Elementary School, and the Thurston County Food Bank hosted author Katherine Pryor on Sept 21 to celebrate Food Literacy Month. Featured events included a reading of the book “Zora’s Zucchini”, a visit to the pumpkin patch in the St Mark Garden, and a picnic of

  • St. Mark Community Garden Potato Harvest

    Saturday September 15th was the annual potato harvest at the St. Mark Community Garden. This year we planted a new potato variety, Red Lasoda, hoping to have a better harvest – and we did!!   The potatoes were large and beautiful and we harvested about 1500 pounds. We also harvested 500 pounds of pumpkins. Two

  • Fear, Faith, Failure, Forgiveness

    The Gospel for today, the 17th Sunday after Pentecost, is from Mark 8:27-38. Jesus issues a strong challenge to all by connecting discipleship and the cross, by saying, “If any wants to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Pastor Eric gave us a four-word example of

  • Welcome Home

    A summary of the Welcome Home worship as the pastors return from their sabbatical is presented below.     Audio of “What Makes Your heart Sing” sung by congregation. Audio of Litany written by and read by Pastor David, Poem “Sabbatical Report” written by and read by Pastor David, and Welcome Home ceremony read by

  • An Unexpected Gospel from An Unexpected Place

    In Mark’s gospel, Mark 7:24-37, Jesus has a conversation with a Syrophoenician woman which marks the beginning of his mission to the Gentiles and the world.  A turning point. Pastor David Nelson asked us how many of us grew up with the perfect Jesus.  A Jesus who was never rude, grouchy or offensive.  Never messed

  • Doers

    Mark’s gospel, 7:1-8,14-15, 21-23, depicts Jesus as challenging the traditional ways in which religious people, the Pharisees, determine what is pure or impure. Aren’t we like the Pharisees? We don’t like change or challenges to evolve.  We police our boundaries.  We are self righteous.  We decide who’s in and who’s out.  Sometimes based on political

  • Choose

    On this 14th Sunday after Pentecost, our Gospel (John 6:56-69) tells of the disciples being offended by Jesus’s claim that his followers must eat his flesh and drink his blood. Jesus told them he is the bread that comes from heaven and whoever eats this bread will live forever. With that, Jesus gave his disciples

  • St. Mark Softball Champions!

    Do you know what’s fun about St. Mark Softball?  I mean – REALLY fun?  It’s having a group of players come together on Friday evenings throughout the summer and play some power-packed games of softball with other church teams from around the Thurston County area.   We get to share in spirited fellowship, do some laughing, giggling,

  • The Beginning of Wisdom

    Pastor David Nelson’s sermon brought us the “back story” of King Solomon and his request for wisdom (1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14).  God grants Solomon’s request and he becomes known far and wide for his great wisdom; his ability to understand and govern great numbers of people. The Bible shows, however, that there were other versions of

  • Reclaiming Jesus: A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis

    A group of about 50 people from St Mark Lutheran Church and Gloria Dei Lutheran Church met at Gloria Dei for 4 consecutive weeks to discuss a document which is circulating nationwide titled “Reclaiming Jesus: A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis”. That document, which is signed by a large number of religious

  • Foods for the journey of our lives.

    On this 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