A message from Pastor Varinia...

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Dear brothers and sisters, as many of you know, Human trafficking, the second largest and fastest growing illegal trade in the world, is modern-day slavery wherein people are in bondage through fraud, force, or coercion. (taken from ELCA’s web page) Whether people are aware of it or not, sex trafficking is a serious issue in several major U.S cities.
Despite law enforcement efforts and preventative laws, Hispanics are largely affected by this problem.
Because of that, we are organizing a discussion on Human Trafficking in Spanish,  “Engaging Faith Communities:  Ending Human Trafficking,” sponsored by the Global Peace Foundation and Safe Haven Campaign.  We are inviting Latino congregations and their pastors in the Springfield area to come and work together on this issue, educating our Latino population:
  • Understanding what human trafficking is
  • Realize the national and local implication
  • Know how to identify a potential trafficking victim
  • Learn about available resources
  • Hear from a trafficking survivor
This event will be at our church on Friday, July 29th, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM.
We are participating in ending human trafficking and help raise awareness about it in our congregation and community! 
Let’s continue to take action!
Pr. Varinia

Click HERE for a flyer (in English) on this meeting! 

Click HERE for a flyer (in Spanish) on this meeting! 

Useful Information...

Summer Schedule, through September 4:  Two services, English at 9:45 AM and Spanish at 1 PM.
Confirmation Mentorship Program:  We are starting our Confirmation Mentorship Program this year in order to connect our Confirmation Students to the greater body of St. Mark's as we walk together to deepen our faith. If you are interested in being a Confirmation Mentor, please let Stephanie Ogle know!
For those who are entering 7th grade or 8th grade in our Confirmation Program, we are going to be choosing our Confirmation Mentors in this next month. Please ask in person or call. If you need contact information or need help deciding who to ask to be your Confirmation Mentor, please contact Stephanie Ogle and we can pray and discern together. Click here for mentor qualifications and mentor/student responsibilities.> 
500th Anniversary of the Reformation! October 31, 2017 will mark the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. We're going to celebrate it beginning this Reformation Sunday. Chris Michaelsen has offered to help us get organized. If you would like to participate in a planning committee, please connect with Chris on Sunday morning.
Volunteers are needed to trim and weed the church property (e.g., bell tower, Friendship House, Montessori School, etc.) starting June 1 through September 30. Please contact Alan Eck at 703-569-0814 or franalaneck@msn.com.
Ride-a-Long Ministry:  What is a Ride-A-Long Ministry? A ministry that supports mentorship in the youth program between the youth director and the youth when the youth or parents are unable to assist with transportation. See how you can help here> 

Collecting School Supplies:  We know! School isn’t even out yet! However, several groups are starting a collection so that backpacks full of supplies will be available for students who cannot afford them. Our first collection will go to the children who get Free School Physicals in August. All extra school supplies will be donated to ECHO and Lynbrook Elementary.  Please leave school supplies in the collection box in the narthex.  Thank you, please click HERE to get the list!

Free School Physicals for Uninsured Children--New Fairfax county Public School Students Only:  Pre-Kindergarten through 6th Grade ONLY, Saturday, August 6, 2016, 8:00 AM to 12:00 NOON, at the Fairfax County Health Department, 8136 Old Keene Mill (Carey Building), Springfield. For informaiton and appointments, call 703-698-2550. Also, volunteers are needed from 7:00 AM until 12:00 NOON that day; please contact Trudy Stellar at tstellar@verizon.net.
Requests from ECHO:  ECHO plans to distribute backpacks filled with school supplies to grateful families for Back to School again this year. They thank you for donations to this wonderful, and much-needed, help for our neighbors who struggle with low income. (St. Mark's continued collection will help this effort after the Free Physicals Program.) They also have need for a School Food Drive Coordinator:  Learn more about those duties here.>
ECHO also distributes donated food, clothing, and household items to hundreds of local families. Click here for a list of some things that ECHO cannot accept as well as additional information on school supplies they need and on United Way or CFC campaigns. 

Boy Scout Troop 881's Life Scout Daniel Tran's Eagle Scout project:  "The Outdoor Classroom" Learn about Daniel's design, construction, and installation of the Physical Education Trail at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Reserve's Outdoor Classroom... Learn more> 

Next Military Packages Collection:   Sunday, July 31

This month, our recipient was suggested by Sandy Lind--she received the name from a friend. We will be sending packages to John Haberkern, who will be in Afghanistan for a year. We have not received specific requests from him yet, so your usual wonderful goodies and supplies will be most appreciated!
***** Thank you for your always-generous support! And remember that we need some more names of potential recipients--please give the names and any contact info to either Mary or Gerald Eskelund, Bev Clemsen, or Gayle Parsons--Thanks! ***** Click here for a MUST READ excerpt of a note from Chaplain Hodges!!! 
ST. MARK'S VBS 2016--July 31-August 5... save the dates! “The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything: A Veggie Tales VBS” Learn more> 
New "Building Use Policy"... See it here! (or find it on the FORMS page)
Share warm clothes with "Margret's Kids"... Learn more>
Prayer Shawl Ministry: a reminder that prayer shawls are available—knitted and crocheted—to be given as a comfort to anyone in need of such ministry... Learn more>
Distribution of communion to those who are ill and homebound; call the church office if you are in need of this service... Learn more>
Request for interpreters at Arlington Free Clinic... Learn more>
3rd Quarter Benevolence:  Metro DC Companion Synods... For the 3rd Quarter, our benevolence gifts will go to two of the Metro DC Companion Synods, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia (ELCRN) and the Salvadoran Lutheran Church (Iglesia Luterana Salvadorena - ILS).
-  Namibia is an African country twice the size of California, with a majority Christian population, and over half are Lutherans. The ELCRN operates 19 hostels around the country that provide a home away from home to about 1,400 children ages 6 to 16.
El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America. The ILS is the largest Lutheran church in Central America, with 15,000 active members in 60+ congregations.
Please use the supplementary offering envelopes in the pew racks and give generously! Learn more here about the 2nd Quarter benevolence to LCM> 
ESL:  God's Work, Our Hands! Call Joan Smith if you can help--Tuesday and Wednesday evenings... Classes from June 7 through August 3! Learn more here> 
Congratulations to our newest citizens... see who they are here!
Have news to share with the congregation?  Send it via email to tstellar@verizon.net to be published in the appropriate publication—E-Messenger, This Week, our website, and our Facebook page. Deadline is Tuesday at 3:30 PM, for same-week publishing.

Upcoming Events

Click HERE, print and fill out the GIFTS FOR MINISTRY form, then bring it to the office the next time you are at church.
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Church Office hours 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM [Specific info here] 
Join the staff in Gathering for Prayer, Singing, and Devotions every day at 12:00 noon in the lounge.
9:30 AM to 2:00 PM in the Friendship House
- Quilts and More (every Tuesday)
6:00 PM to 6:30 PM in the Fellowship Hall
- Food for Others (every Tuesday)
6:30 PM to 7:00 PM [Registration $5, Books $15-20]
7:00 PM to 8:30 PM in Rooms 214, 216, 217, 218
- ESL (every Tuesday) through August 3rd
7:00 AM in Room 214 of the Education Building
- Men's Wednesday Morning Breakfast Group (every Wednesday)
6:30 PM to 7:00 PM [Registration $5, Books $15-20]
7:00 PM to 8:30 PM [Classes in Rooms 214, 216, 217, 218]
- ESL (every Wednesday)
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM in Fellowship Hall
- Engaging Faith Communities:  Ending Human Trafficking (in Spanish)... Learn more (in English)> and Learn more (in Spanish)> 
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM in Fellowship Hall
- Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts (every Saturday)
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM in Room 216
- ESL Citizenship Class (every Saturday)
SUNDAY, JULY 31 - Military Collection TODAY!!!
9:45 AM English Worship Service
1:00 PM – Spanish Worship Service
* * * * * SAVE THE DATE * * * * *

"Engaging Faith Communities:  Ending Human Trafficking" (in Spanish) - July 29th at St. Mark's... Learn more (in English)> and Learn more (in Spanish)>   

St. Mark's VBS 2016 - July 31-August 5... Learn more>