St. Mark is involved with a number of service projects to the community. Bags of Blessing is a program whereby parishioners bring bags of food each month to to be donated to one of the local food pantries. St. Mark donates to FEAST, as God gives us the opportunity to share our blessings with those who are hungry.
From time to time, St. Mark has a bike drive that we donate to the North Pinellas Community Bike Drive project!
During our last drive, forty-one (41) bikes were donated to and distributed by Lutheran Services Florida (LSF) to foster children and refugees who need transportation to work, shopping and school. A check for $400 was also given to LSF to purchase locks, helmets or other needed items. Thanks to our donors and to the 30 volunteers who worked to fix and clean the bikes.
2016 marked the 16th year in a row that a group from St. Mark spent time with the families receiving services from CASA (Community Action Stops Abuse) at their shelter location in St. Pete. The children enjoyed juice and cookies, Christmas crafts, and story time.
We are so blessed to be invited to spend time with these families and share God's peace and joy during this difficult season. We are working on growing our ministry with CASA in the coming year so we can support the work they do and the families they serve. If you are interested in being involved, please see Pastor Katy or email the church office.
Each November, St. Mark receives a shipment of naked teddy bears, which are adopted by members who dress them and return them for donation to the Salvation Army.
These adorable bears brighten the Christmas of needy children in our community.
Sponsored by St. Mark's Women of the ELCA.
By selecting an ornament from our Giving Tree, members and friends have the opportunity to provide a Christmas gift for a child in need.
The Giving Tree is placed at the back of the church during the Advent season and presents are returned before Christmas.
Helping Hands is an outreach mission initiative, supported by the congregation of St. Mark, whose goal is to provide help to people in our community who are in need of hearing, feeling, and seeing God's love.
If you have an idea for a mission project to help people in your school, neighborhood or community, contact St. Mark with your proposal. If the project is deemed feasible by our Project Review Committee, Helping Hands can help by recruiting volunteers and providing financial support. Some of the funding for Helping Hands comes from a grant from the Florida Bahamas Synod's Together in Mission
Each year, the Women of the ELCA at St. Mark put together over 150 layettes (complete with a hand-made stuffed toy) which are donated to Lutheran Services Florida which distributes the layettes to mothers with babies in their programs like foster care, refugee resettlement, and migrant workers.
WELCA Christian Service works on layettes the fourth Tuesday of each month at 10:00 AM. All are welcome to participate in this ministry.
Whenever there are five Sundays in a month, we receive a special offering designated for an outreach ministry. Worshipers bring change (and currency) and drop their gifts into metal buckets to make a joyful noise of generosity.
Some past Noisy Offerings have benefited ELCA Disaster Response, Lutheran World Relief and Hurricane Matthew relief efforts, the ELCA Malaria campaign, the Mission Possible Campaign which was dedicated to the upkeep and expansion of Luther Springs and Lutherock Camps, and Tanzania Missionaries for the building of a children's hospital in that country.
Coordinated by Bryan Fast, our St. Mark community has created two teams who regularly help serve a community meal at Sarah’s Tent – a ministry of St. Timothy Lutheran Church in Tarpon Springs. The teams currently cover one evening meal a month: cooking, serving, conversing with guests, and cleaning up. Thank you to all who help serve in this way! We hope to continue to grow in our efforts to share Christ with those in need, in hands on ways. If you’re interested in learning more, contact Bryan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although this activity is currently on hiatus, for five years Gourmet Chefs John Lewis and Debbie McGiffin prepared a delicious Thanksgiving day dinner with the assistance of St. Mark Lutheran Church and others volunteers. The chefs are cookbook authors and CATERERS. Chef John was resident Chef on the syndicated “Daytime Show” for the 13 years. They made the recipes and supervise all food preparation and service. Working with local chefs, John and Debbie, and with community volunteers, St. Mark members served hundreds guests a lovingly, prepared sit-down meal on Thanksgiving Day. The chefs are on longer at St. Mark but the church is looking to continue the tradition in the near future.
The community has come to enjoy the opportunity to get out and celebrate the holiday with others in a relaxed atmosphere. You are invited also. Please check back for updated news of the 2017 Community Thanksgiving Dinner.
The dinners are always free and carry-home containers are provided so you can enjoy delicious leftovers!
We will work on having transportation provided but on on a limited basis.
Please call the church office and let us know how many people are coming and the approximate time. 727-733-0474