Announcements

TEACHING

“The Augsburg Confession: The Magna Carta of the Lutheran Church” This year marks the 500th Anniversary of the first Lutheran Reformation.  To mark the occasion, we will take an in depth look at the Augsburg Confession.  This is the document which most clearly expresses our Lutheran understanding of the Christian faith and life.  The Ninety Five Theses were meant to precipitate an academic debate, and the Small Catechism was meant to be a practical resource for instructing the young.  When the Augsburg Confession was first presented to the public on June 25, 1530, it was intended to serve as a conciliatory summary of the evangelical faith and life in dialog with the theologians of Rome.   During this study we will take a look at each article (or chapter) of this document to see what it has to tell us about the gospel.  Join us every Sunday this year at 9:00 a.m. to explore our identity and history as Lutheran Christians.

“The Fruit of the Spirit” is the theme for our midweek bible study series based on Galatians 5:22-23.  Each week we will look in depth at one of the ways in which the Holy Spirit works in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Join us at 1:30 p.m. every Wednesday as the Holy Spirit helps us to grow in our faith, hope, and love through the power of his Word.

“Head 2 Heart” Youth Confirmation  Our youth confirmation program is going strong.  We meet on Thursdays, from 5:00 – 6:30 pm.  It’s not too late to join, though!  If you know a young person who needs to prepare for Baptism, First Communion, or Confirmation, please speak with Pastor as soon as possible.

WITNESS

Arts In Mission – NY AIM is an outreach ministry of St. Mark’s.  By bringing the gift of music to children (and their families) from birth to toddlers, we seek to “Make Music and Create Community.”  It provides a great opportunity to share the love of God in Jesus with the families of our community.  The Spring semester began on January 22 with sessions for toddlers scheduled for Mondays at 9:15 and 10:30 and Saturdays at 10:00.  For more information call 914-315-4246 or visit our website at www.artsinmissionny.org.  Please pray for this effort, and talk it up with anyone you know who may have young children at home.

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

The Mission of the Month for April is the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services.  Witnessing to God’s love for all people, LIRS stands with and advocates for migrants and refugees, transforming communities through ministries of service and justice.  LIRS was developed to serve the needs of people who were displaced after the Second World War.  Many people were able to make a new beginning in America because of Lutheran efforts at resettlement.  To find out more about the current work of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, go to www.lirs.org.

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

The New Issue of Lutheran Women’s Quarterly Is Now Available  It’s the journal of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, a national organization of women committed to sharing the love of God in Jesus Christ.  Make sure to pick up your copy today.

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

Welcome to the season of Easter!  But, to ask that most Lutheran of all questions, “what does this mean?”  Christians consider Easter to be the “first day.”  From Easter comes the practice of worshiping on Sunday morning.  It is the first day of the week.  It is also the first day of new creation, sometimes called the “eighth day” of the week, for on it Christ restored the image of God in the human and in so doing also brought restoration and renewal to all of creation.  The Easter season proceeds from and celebrates this first day.  In the resurrected Christ, there is time after the end, life after death, restoration of what was broken, the brightening of what had gone dark.  In the fifty days of Easter, Christian communities around the world strive to worship God in a way that illustrates that the body of Christ lives now in the heavenly places and also in the gathered body in the world.  Worship is where heaven and earth meet.

Sunday Worship During Easter  During the season of Easter, we will be using Divine Service – Setting One.  During this season, a “Thanksgiving for Baptism” replaces the Brief Order of Confession at the start of our service.  Our Hymn of Praise will be “This Is the Feast.”  The “Alleluia” makes a joyful return after the somber season of Lent.  As a sign of the presence of the risen Christ in our midst, the Gospel will be read from the midst of the people. Finally, a number of the prayers of the service are drawn from Evangelical Worship, one of the newer resources available for use in worship among Lutherans.

The New Issue of Portals of Prayer Is Now Available   The April to June 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 New Issue of My Devotions Is Also Here  Did you know that we make available a devotional booklet for the young people of our congregation?  My Devotions is a resource targeted at middle and upper elementary aged children.  It is used in our school, and it is also available in the back of the church for any family that might find it helpful.  The current issue is still available.  If you haven’t done so already, pick yours up today.

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 Flowers for This Week have been given in loving memory of Christine Vogel in honor of her birthday this week (May 11) by Wilma Endrich and A.J. Vogl.  “You are more special than words can say; you are in our thoughts every day.”

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

STEWARDSHIP

Giving Is “First-Fruits”   In scripture, the people of God were expected to dedicate to the Lord the first of what they harvested from their fields and the firstborn of their livestock.  In this way, they would demonstrate their confidence that the Lord would provide for them.  Christian giving continues to be “first fruits” giving.  We do not bring our Lord our “leftovers,” whatever loose change remains after we have paid all of our bills.  Instead, the first thing we do when the check arrives is set aside a portion of it as our thank-offering to the Lord.  In this way we demonstrate that we trust God to provide for all that we need and we act on the fact that God is the first priority in our lives… more than housing, or groceries, or transportation, or entertainment.  We do this not in order to earn God’s favor, but because we have received God’s favor.  May your gifts be this kind of witness to your faith. (3)