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12.28.2013 - Social Ministry projects bring Christmas cheer

12.28.2013 - Youth "Open Hearts in Bethlehem" on Christmas Eve

12.17.2013 - Youth Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser

12.6.2013 - Advent Wreath Making

11.24.2013 - 1st Communion & Bible Milestone celebrated

11.12.2013 - Corning Glass Trip

11.8.2013 - Operation Christmas Child

11.2.2013 - All Saints Sunday 2013

11.1.2013 - Photos from Consecration Sunday

10.17.2013 - Blankets & Harvest Home

10.1.2013 - Hanford Baptism

9.15.2013 - Louella Bair's 100th Birthday Party

9.14.2013 - Fall Bazaar a Success!

9.11.2013 - Four Confirmed in 2013

9.1.2013 - Sunday School Kick-Off Brunch

8.12.2013 - Milestone: 70+, Single and Still Praising God

8.11.2013 - Confirmation Camp, 2013

8.7.2013 - Milestone: Progressions!

7.19.2013 - Tweens Day

7.15.2013 - Celebrating Independence Day with St. Mark's

6.24.2013 - Vacation Bible School 2013

6.17.2013 - The Flower Kids Strike Again

6.16.2013 - Highlights From the 2013 Synod Assembly

6.16.2013 - Annual St. Mark's Picnic on the Susquehanna

6.3.2013 - 2012-13 Annual Report to the Congregation

6.2.2013 - Fishing at the Doebler Farm

5.16.2013 - Children’s Church led by our Catechetical Students

3.30.2013 - Easter Egg Hunt Brings Out the Kids

3.29.2013 - Get ready for Vacation Bible School

3.18.2013 - Family Promise Wins Iron Chef Competition

3.17.2013 - Barone Brothers Participate in 30 Hour Famine

3.10.2013 - Catechetical Trip to Harrisburg Area Churches

3.3.2013 - 2013 Easter Worship & Activity Schedule

3.3.2013 - Iron Chef Competition Heats Up

3.1.2013 - John Bower Basketball Teams Wrap Up Season

2.12.2013 - Sights and Sounds from the St. Mark's Hobby Expo

1.29.2013 - Youth Quake Expedition 2013

1.28.2013 - Youth fundraising and musicfest

1.7.2013 - 15th Annual Catechetical Retreat

2012 Articles 2014

Friday service at the Synod Assembly
Highlights From the 2013 Synod Assembly


Upper Susquehanna Synod Celebrates 25 Years

Delegate Beth ShafrankoDelegate Gary WeberThe annual Upper Susquehanna Synod Assembly took place on June 14-15, 2013 at Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove. The Assembly celebrated 25 years since the formation of the Synod in 1988. Beth Shafranko and Gary Weber attended as the elected delegates of St. Mark's. At some point during the Assembly, 302 voting members were present, along with other visitors and guests.

The business of the Assembly was mostly routine, compared to some recent years where controversial social policy was brought to the delegates.

The highlight of the Assembly was the election of a Bishop.  Bishop Driesen had served for 6 years and the general feeling was that he would be reelected by the voting members.  Although that was indeed the result, it was not until the fifth ballot that he achieved the number of votes necessary to be reelected. 

Bishop DriesenBoth former Assistant Bishop Dan May and Jersey Shore area Pastor Kerry Aucker were in contention in the late rounds of voting.  The process included sessions where the candidates answered questions in small groups with the delegates.  The questions focused on issues confronting the synod - including the troubles faced by small parishes and the lack of ordained pastors in many parishes.

In the final round, Bishop Driesen won the election over Pastor May by a vote of 174 to 88.

In other reports, the delegates learned of the continued financial stress of the synod and many of it's parishes.  The synod's income came in over $80,000 under projections in the past year.  Bishop  Driesen reported that just 20% of the parishes employ a full time pastor.  Some 60% share pastors between 2 or more parishes.  In 20% of the parishes, there are no or only supply pastors.  Many of the smaller parishes are facing severe financial difficulty.

Richard Allen ordination service

The Rev. Linda Norman, treasurer of the ELCA presented the report of the ELCA and conducted the Bishop election.  She also participated in the services in various capacities.

Holy Eucharist was celebrated on the first day of the Assembly to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Synod and also the 50th anniversary of Camp Mt. Luther.  Former Bishop Main (the first Bishop of the Synod) presided.

Each day included seminars on various aspects of church life.  Your delegates attended sessions on increasing involvement in church activities, best use of worship space and the impact of Obama Care on church benefits.

One memorial was approved.  It encouraged the Israelis and Palestinians to resolve their differences in a peaceful way.

On Saturday, there was a service of Ordination.  Pastor Richard A. Adams was ordained, and he will immediately begin serving a parish in the Liberty area.