Our congregation is a place in which people come in contact with the living Lord Jesus Christ through worship, relationships, activities and outreach. While we are a traditionally Lutheran congregation in the way that we practice the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion, it is important to us that all have an opportunity to encounter Jesus in ways that are personally meaningful and life-givng.
The foundation of our beliefs is the reality of grace, the unconditional love that God shows to all people through His activity in our lives and through the suffering and sacrifice of Jesus. While we do good things for other people, we serve others not to “earn” our way to heaven, but instead to show our gratitude for the mercy and grace God has shown to us.
In worship, we practice two different styles: a traditional, liturgical worship led by the pipe organ and a traditional choir, and a contemporary praise and worship service which is led by a band and a praise choir. It is important to us that both types of worship be excellent in both music and execution, to allow the worshipers to concentrate fully on the presence of God and to bring Him glory.
As do most Lutherans, we believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, and that it is both an historical document and the revealed, contemporary presence of God in our world today. Sunday sermons are always based on a Biblical text, and Pastor Giller is careful to present the Scripture in a responsible and meaningful way. In our policies and practices, we welcome all who wish to worship and serve, including our LGBTQ+ friends. In 2015, St. Mark actively affirmed same-sex marriage as part of how we live out our faith.
We are a sacramental church and regularly celebrate both Holy Communion and Baptism. When we gather for Holy Communion, we believe that Jesus Christ is present “in, with, and under” the bread and wine (Martin Luther’s words!) So, we celebrate the real presence of Jesus in Communion, and recognize his forgiveness as we join together in that act. First Communion is generally received in fifth grade. In Baptism, we generally baptize babies, but a few times a year, we have the privilege of baptizing adults who are making a first-time faith commitment. When babies are baptized, the parents and sponsors agree to take responsibility for their life in the church until the child is able to do so for him/herself. That time of taking responsibility is called Confirmation, or Affirmation of Baptism, and usually occurs after two years of instruction in about eighth grade.
These are just the basics…please call or email Pastor Giller if you have questions, need clarification, or just want to chat! Come see what we’re about!