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.”    

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.

Pastor Katy's February 2018 Message

What Is Ash Wednesday?

Ash Wednesday is the Wednesday of the seventh week before Easter and the first day of Lent. The day is named for the practice of imposing ashes, a practice that many Lutheran congregations have found to be a very meaningful part of the Ash Wednesday liturgy.


Taking ashes burned from the Palm fronds of the previous year’s Palm Sunday, we mark the foreheads of young and old alike with smeared, ashen crosses. We remind ourselves of the fragility and brokenness of life. We remember that “We are dust…and to dust we shall return.”


Using ashes as a sign of repentance is an ancient practice, often mentioned in the Bible (e.g., Jonah 3:5-9; Job 42:6; Jeremiah 6:26; Matthew 11:21). The early Christians adopted the use of ashes from Jewish practice as an external mark of penitence.


Ashes symbolize several aspects of our human existence: First, they remind us of God’s grief and frustration over the nature of sin, as God said to Adam “Dust you are and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19) Second, ashes suggest cleansing and renewal. They were used anciently in the absence of soap. Even on Ash Wednesday, this most penitential day, we receive ashes in the form of the cross, the same symbol placed on our bodies with water in our baptism. Even in this ashen mark of death, we anticipate the new life of Easter. Last, ashes remind us of the shortness of human life, for it is said as we are buried into the ground or as ashes are placed in a columbarium. “We commit this body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship, p. 284). 


Ashes are a symbol of our need to repent, confess our sins, and return to God.


This Ash Wednesday, February 14th, you are invited to enter into an ashen “cross-walk” - a Lenten journey with the disciples of St. Mark. As we all remember the fragility and brokenness of life, through the sign of the cross marked on our foreheads, we remember the deepest love and passion that God has for each of us, and God’s willingness to enter into our pain and suffering and bring about healing and wholeness.


I hope you will join us this Ash Wednesday at one of two worship times:

Worship with us at 11 a.m. at St. Mark Lutheran (1120 Curlew Rd in Dunedin) for an intimate daytime service of Imposition of Ashes and Holy Communion. Or join us and our brothers and sisters at St. Mark Village (2655 Nebraska Ave in Palm Harbor) at 6:30 p.m. in the chapel for a special evening service. This is a new worship opportunity we are trying this year to bridge relationships between our two communities that share the “Mark” of Christ. That evening we will share the Imposition of Ashes and Holy Communion as well as special music from St. Mark Lutheran musicians.


May you remember that you are dust this February 14th and may you cling to the promise, marked by the cross, of how DEEP and WIDE a LOVE God has…for us dusty, sinful, people.


In Christ,


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.

You may also get to our Facebook page by scanning the image to the left with a smart phone or other device.

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