Announcements

TEACHING

“Sunday School Stories for Grown Ups” Many of us grew up with simplified, kid-friendly versions of bible stories: Creation, the Flood, the Exodus, David and Goliath, etc.   Scripture itself presents a much more complex, nuanced telling of these events.  Each week we will hear a different bible story as told in the Arch Books (a children’s bible story series).  We will then dig more deeply by comparing that to the bible itself.  Join us each Sunday at 9:00 a.m. as we explore how much more God’s Word has to say to us than we might think.

“Angels and Demons” is the theme for a new midweek bible study which begins on January 2.  Many of our ideas about the “angels, archangels, and all the company of heaven” as well as evil spirits, demons, and Satan himself come more from Hollywood and our popular imagination than from scripture itself.  What does the bible actually tell us about these supernatural beings?  Join us at 1:30 p.m. every Wednesday as the “spiritual” side of our faith.

WITNESS

The Mission of the Month for December has been the Lutheran Bible Translators.  They are an independent Lutheran mission organization that “…makes God’s Word accessible to those who do not yet have it in the language of their hearts.”  Imagine what it would be like if the only way you could hear the Word of God was if it was spoken or written in Greek.  Many people around the world grew up speaking a language into which the scriptures have not yet be translated.  Please consider supporting this important effort to make the bible available in the native tongue of all people.  You can find out more about LBT and its work at http://us.lbt.org.

Are You Interested in Finding Out More about St. Mark’s?  If you are thinking about joining this parish or preparing for Baptism, First Communion, or Confirmation, please speak with Pastor as soon as possible.  We hope to start a new formation group called Didache (Did-a-káy), a word which means “Teaching.”  We look forward to hearing from you soon.

MERCY

Pastor Needs Your Help… to Help Others   Many of our members, friends and neighbors have fallen on hard times.  Gifts to the Pastor’s Discretionary Fund allow Pastor Boehler to provide a helping hand.  Unfortunately, the need has far outstripped the gifts, and the fund has dwindled significantly.  Please consider a special gift designated for the Pastors Discretionary Fund, and be an answer to your neighbor’s prayer: “…give us this day our daily bread.”

LIFE TOGETHER

Get to Know Your Church… Around the World  Being a part of St. Mark’s is about more than what happens at this particular corner in Yonkers.  We are connected to a network of missions and ministries around our region and throughout the world.  In the narthex (entryway) of the church are a couple of racks.  These contain free publications from around our church body, including the Lutheran Witness (our synod’s monthly magazine) and Reporter (our newspaper).  These are for you.  Take and read; then pray for and support all the amazing ministries they portray.

WORSHIP

Christmas Is Here!  The famous “Twelve Days of Christmas” are not the shopping days leading up to the 25th.  Rather, they are the holy days (holidays) between Christmas Day and Epiphany (Jan. 6).  During this season, we will continue to use Setting Three of the Divine Service (the “TLH” service), but there are a number of changes.  The alternate order for confession is used.  The song of the angels, “Gloria in excelsis,” returns.  The psalm of the day is sung responsively.  We use the General Prayer from TLH p. 23 for the prayer of the church.  May the Holy Spirit move you during this special time of year to give, “Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth!”

The New Portals of Prayer Has Arrived   The January to March issue of Portals of Prayer is now here.  This is a resource for daily devotions that is much beloved in our circles.  If you haven’t used them yet, please give them a try.  You can pick one up in the back of the church in either a pocket size or a large print edition.  And don’t forget to take one to share with a friend.

The Anointing of the Sick   Pastor will be available on the fourth Sunday of every month for prayer and the anointing of the sick.  Whether you are seeking healing for yourself or a loved one, you are invited to come forward.  If you know someone who has been “under the weather,” invite them to come along with you.  James 5:13-20 is the biblical basis for this ancient custom.  If you have any questions, please talk to pastor.

Children in Worship  An activity sheet about today’s service is available for our youngest members.  This will help them engage in worship in a way that is developmentally appropriate for their stage in life.  Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me;”  he did not say, “Let them act like little adults.”  Help your young ones experience Jesus in a way that is appropriate for them.

The Flower Chart is in the Narthex. Flowers on the Altar are $30.00 per Sunday.

STEWARDSHIP

Stewardship Is More Than Money… It’s Your Time  Have you ever stopped to think that making the best use of your time is an act of stewardship?  God has entrusted all of us with the same 168 hours each week.  Allowing for 8 hours per day in sleep and 3 in meals, that still leaves us with 83 hours each week.  How many do we “sanctify” by being in the Word of God and prayer?  How many do we spend serving God by working on behalf of others?  And how much do we fritter away in front of the TV, computer screen, or even just daydreaming?  The origin of our “Protestant Work Ethic” is rooted in an understanding that everything we do, when it is done in faith and in love for one’s neighbor, becomes a holy work.  May the Spirit enable us all to be good stewards of the precious gift that is Time. (5)

Stewardship Last Week: Attendance: 27.  Total Income: na. (goal, $5375.00).  (offerings, na; other sources, na).