Recent Posts

  • He is Risen Easter Day

    “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Alleluia! Luke 24:1-12 tells of the women going to Jesus’s tomb with embalming spices only to find that the tomb was empty because He had Risen! Pastor Eric, for the first time, read his sermon to us.  It

  • Lay Stoles – New Worship Tradition

    A new worship tradition began at St. Mark on Palm Sunday. At our worship services, those serving communion will now wear a lay stole. The idea came from Pastor Eric. He enlisted two talented members, Jerry C and Dorothy R, to design and sew the stoles. He then asked Gary D, member and resident wood

  • Good Friday – April 19, 2019

    On this day we take time to hear the Passion of our Lord as recorded in the Gospel of John.   As we hear the story of Jesus’ trial and crucifixion, candles are extinguished as the sanctuary becomes increasingly dark. So then, why do we call it “Good” Friday?  When Jesus proclaims, “It is finished!”, we

  • Maundy Thursday, April 18

    April 18th was Maundy Thursday.  This night receives its name from Jesus’ mandate, or command, that we love one another.  On this day, we gather to remember the final night Jesus shared with his disciples.  Together, they broke bread. While they were eating, Jesus washed his disciples feet as a gesture of deep love and

  • God’s Extravagant Love

    Today’s Gospel Reading from John 12 tells of Mary’s gift of comfort to Jesus. As she anointed Jesus’ feet with fragrant and costly oil, Judas exclaimed his objection to this wasteful, extravagant act. Jesus, however, recognized that Mary’s gift was an expression of her love for him, and in anticipation of his burial. Pastor Beth

  • Prodigal = Extravagant

    The Gospel for today, the Fourth Sunday in Lent, is from Luke 15, which contains the parable of the “prodigal son”, who’s father’s extravagantly welcomed him home after he extravagantly squandered his share of his father’s property. When the older son saw the extravagant celebration for his errant brother, he became angry and questioned his

  • A God of Second Chances

    The Gospel for the day, Luke 13:1-9, holds the parable of the fig tree saved one more year by the gardener. After bearing no fruit for three years, the landowner was ready to “Cut it down!” But the patient gardener urged the landowner to wait another year, and see what his care and attention may

  • Second Sunday in Lent

    At this time in Luke’s gospel, the theme is determination.  Today is Luke 13:31-35. Jesus is speaking truth at this time. Jesus is continually speaking scriptures at this time. People come into our life at the right time with a gift of wisdom. Pastor Eric gave us examples of how he has received gifts of

  • First Sunday in Lent

    Today’s gospel reading is Luke 4:1-13 in which we hear of how the devil tempts Jesus after Jesus returns from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit for forty days in the wilderness. Pastor Beth asked us ‘Aren’t we all traveling through this wilderness?’ and what does the word wilderness mean.  Some answers given

  • Transfiguration of our Lord

    Pastor Eric asked us what did you do today to be a good listener? To listen means attending to something. In today’s gospel, Luke 9:28-43, God speaks directly to Peter, John and James telling them: “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” The congregation was asked to look at the alter wall art,

  • Bold Women’s Day

    Describe a bold woman.  She is self assured, a leader, courageous, goes beyond established standards, daring, shameless and much more. Jesus is calling us to go where none have gone before. We are to love our enemies.  Bless and praise and be generous and forgiving to those that have hurt us.  Be merciful and compassionate

  • Blessings to you…Woe to you

    On this Sixth Sunday after Epiphany, we are presented with a Gospel full of many “blessings” and “woes” described by Jesus as the nature of discipleship. “Blessed are you who are poor”. In other words, “Welcome to the Kingdom. That is the program I am establishing for you in heaven”. “Woe to you who are rich” but

  • St Mark Weather Update #2

    Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.                                                                  

  • St Mark Weather Update

    Dear people of St. Mark, We hope and pray you are safe and warm during this cold weather and snow.  The forecast shows we will get more snow tomorrow (Monday). The church office will be closed tomorrow (Monday).  (We typically follow the North Thurston Public Schools schedule in terms of closures for inclement weather).  Please

  • Sunday, February 10, 2019 + Fifth Sunday after Epiphany + St. Mark Snow Day!

    I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with my whole heart. + Psalm 138:1 Dear friends, We hope you enjoyed a peaceful, warm, snowy morning. We missed worshiping with you today! While the sun was shining, we took a leisurely walk through the glorious winter wonderland. During our walk, we offered prayers of thanks,


    Due to the amount of snow still on the ground (and on roads), the extremely low temperatures forecast for this evening and tomorrow, and the unsafe conditions of our parking lot, worship services tomorrow are canceled. We and your church council want you to please stay home, keep warm, and be safe. We apologize for

  • LOVE…The Word of the Day

    Mercy and healing extended to the oppressed and outsiders was never a popular concept in Jesus’ day.  In today’s Gospel (Luke 4:21-30), we see the people of the synagogue becoming so threatened by the  power of Jesus to free, cleanse and heal the outsiders that they were ready to “hurl him off the cliff”. Pastor

  • Pastor Chris Ode of Living Stones Congregation

    Today, on this Third Sunday after Epiphany, we had the pleasure of meeting Pastor Chris Ode of the Living Stones Prison Congregation from the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton. Pastor Chris shared with us the fascinating story of his calling to this ministry just last summer. Pastor Eric and members of our congregation here at St.

  • Welcome Sheri!

    Sheri was born and raised in Southern California. Since 2011, she has fellowshipped at Living Water, where she and her husband met.  Sheri still attends and participates in serving there occasionally.  Prior to 2011, Sheri attended Gloria Dei. She says she has been blessed to be part of a church family since she was 13 years

  • We Are the Body of Christ

    In today’s Gospel, a huge problem occurred…the host of a wedding ran out of wine. Pastor Beth described running out of wine as being way beyond embarrassing. It could bring a curse on the wedding couple, or be a sign of the host’s lack of hospitality, resources, and friends. So, as the first of his

  • Baptism of Our Lord

    Today we started our worship service with being reminded that the baptismal font is central to our lives as God’s people. In the waters of Holy Baptism, we celebrate the gift of God’s Grace and this morning we received the sign of the cross with baptismal water from our pastors. Pastor Eric read Luke 3:15-17,21-22,

  • Epiphany of Our Lord

    What does Jesus bring to the world? What do we bring to Jesus and the world? Pastor Eric gave us examples of what we can do in 2019 as gifts to Jesus. 1. Pray the Lord’s prayer. 2. Love your neighbor as yourself. 3. Don’t be afraid. 4. Forgive. 5. Go make disciples. 6. Feed the hungry,

  • Lessons and Carols

    At the turn of the year, we meditate on Endings and Beginnings, knowing that all the world’s time begins and ends in God. We watch and keep vigil for the coming of God’s justice. Check out below one of the readings and the Children’s time message for this Sunday.

  • Welcome Jim & Sharon Lochner

    Meet new members Jim and Sharon Lochner. Jim grew up in Sunnyside, Washington. He is employed by Trader Joe’s as a forklift driver in the warehouse, while he continues to apply for work at a state agency. Sharon grew up in Vancouver, Washington. She is retired and has gone back to work at COSTCO as

  • Christmas Eve Cantata – Choir, Readers, & Instrumentalists

    “COME NOW TO BETHLEHEM – Lessons and Carols for Christmas” Lesson 1 – Luke 2:1, 3-7 Choir – “O Little Town of Bethlehem” Lesson 2 – Luke 2:8-12 Choir – “Good People All, Rejoice!” Lesson 3 – Luke 2:13-14 Choir – “Angels We Have Heard on High” Lesson 4 – Isaiah 9:6-7 Choir – “He

  • St. Mark Christmas Kids

    On December 23, the 4th Sunday of Advent, our St. Mark Sunday School students led worship by reading scriptures, offering prayers, providing special music and serving communion. To augment the scriptures, the story of the birth of Jesus was portrayed by the students in costume on a big screen slideshow. Pastor Beth created the program

  • Christmas Schedule 2018

    Sunday, December 23 – Sunday School Christmas Program On this Sunday, our children and youth will lead us in worship at both services (8:30 am and 11:00 am) celebrating “The Advent of Love”. Come hear the Christmas story and sing many of your favorite carols. Monday, December 24 – Christmas Eve 5:00 pm – Family

  • 3rd Sunday of Advent

    Luke 3:7-18 talks about trees, producing fruit and being worthy of turning and John-the-Baptist who spoke of the One to come.  John taught that preparation for God’s reign is not a matter of identity but of bearing fruits of merciful justice, radical generosity, and vocational integrity. Pastor Eric asked us what kind of tree do

  • 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 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