St. Mark Lutheran Church

A member congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Florida-Bahamas Synod.

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America website.

Florida-Bahamas Synod website.

About St. Mark

Our Mission

Gathered around Word and water, bread and wine,  we spread God’s Word by living our faith daily  and welcoming all with open hearts and minds.     

Our Statement of Welcome

St. Mark is a spiritual community that celebrates the gifts of God that empower us to engage in the struggles of life, to care for each other, and to serve Christ where we work and live.    We welcome the participation of people of all ages, faiths, ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender identities, educational backgrounds, and economic conditions – all who want to join in community to honor God and be of service to people. We recognize that each person is a unique creation of God and by the grace of God is called a “child of God.”    

August 2018 Message from Pastor Katy

“I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith…” ~Ephesians 3:16-17


This month during worship we will be focusing on excerpts from the book of Ephesians. It’s a beautiful letter that was written to a group of believers in the early church. The first part of the letter is jam-packed with good theology, and the second half with exhortations on how to live out a life of faith. This prayer comes as a transition between the two. Here Paul is praying for his church. He prays that they will be strengthened in their inner being­ – from the inside out – by the power of God’s Spirit. This is not a matter of becoming stronger in themselves, but by having Christ dwell in their hearts. 


Having Christ dwell in our hearts is akin to having a new person move into your household. If they’re just visiting, it is all rather easy; you simply offer hospitality and try to practice good manners. But if someone moves in to stay, everything changes. (Trust me, we know that at our house. This infant is here to stay and EVERYTHING has changed!) At first you might try to hold on to your familiar patterns and routines, and the new member may work hard to accommodate you and stay out of the way. But eventually they make their mark. Conversations change. Relationships shift and realign. Household duties increase and responsibilities shift. So it is when Christ moves in to our hearts. This isn’t merely the tweaking of old patterns; everything changes. 


Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase in The Message captures this sense: “that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in.” 


Writer Anne Lamott tells of her profound experience of Christ indwelling in her in her book Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith. She was unmarried, pregnant, and decided to have an abortion. She coped with the pain in her usual way, by smoking dope and getting drunk. When she started hemorrhaging a week later, she sobered up fast. 


It was that night she became aware of someone in the room with her. She writes, “The feeling was so strong that I actually turned on the light for a moment to make sure no one was there – of course, there wasn’t. But after a while, in the dark again, I knew beyond any doubt that it was Jesus.” What she felt was (believe it or not) appalled. In her circle of family and friends, nobody was a Christian. They were worldly, sophisticated, and in need of no one but themselves. But Jesus remained in the corner, “watching me with patience and love, and I squinched my eyes shut, but that didn’t help because that’s not what I was seeing him with.” 


She had been going to church for some Sundays, drawn in to a funky little church mostly by the music. The next Sunday she went back. She could not escape the feelings. “It was as if the people were singing in between the notes, weeping and joyful at the same time, and I felt like their voices or something was rocking me in its bosom, holding me like a scared kid, and I opened up to that feeling – and it washed over me.”


When she got home to her houseboat, she opened the door, hung her head and said to Jesus, “F – it: I quit.” She actually said this out loud: “All right. You can come in.” 


Christ overwhelmed Anne with such grace and love that it was as if she threw open the doors of her heart and said “Come on in and live here, Jesus. Dwell within me. Take up permanent residence and let me learn how everything changes with you here.” That’s powerful. That’s life-changing. 


I pray that each of you be strengthened this day in your inner being. May Christ dwell richly in your hearts through faith. And may your heart’s doors fling wide open to welcome in the One who overwhelms us with love. 


In God’s grip of hope,


Pastor Katy 


Reconciling in Christ

St. Mark is a Reconciling in Christ Congregation.

The Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Program is for congregations, synods, colleges, seminaries, and other Lutheran organizations. Lutheran communities that publicly welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are accepted onto the Reconciling in Christ Roster which now exceeds 600 settings.  

Facebook

St. Mark has a Facebook page.

Check us out on Facebook by clicking this link.

Contact St. Mark a Second Way.

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The Mission Investment Fund

The Mission Investment Fund of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)

For more than 100 years, the Mission Investment Fund and its predecessors have been financing church-related building projects and land purchases. The money invested will fund building loans to churches and help spread God's word.  The Mission Investment Fund is a resource for church building and much more.   

Mission Investment Fund website. Click here.  

Contact Us

The Rev. Katy A. H. Fast, Pastor

 Worship Time: Sunday at 9:30 a.m. 

St. Mark Lutheran Church

1120 Curlew Road, Dunedin, FL 34698, US

(727) 733-0474

Office Hours

Monday - Friday: 8:00 am - 3 :00 pm