With all Christians, Lutherans trust and respond to the love of the Triune God; one God yet three persons. God the Father is creator of all that exists. God the Son, Jesus Christ, became human to suffer and die for the sins of all human beings. He rose to life again in victory over sin, death and Satan. God the Holy Spirit creates faith through God’s Word and Sacraments. The three persons of the Trinity are coequal and coeternal, one God.
Part of being “Lutheran” means that we believe that the Bible is God’s Word. We accept the Bible-based, Christ-centered teachings of Martin Luther and his colleagues as the correct interpretation of God’s Word. They inspired the reformation of the Christian Church in the 1500′s. Luther’s teaching is summarized in three short phrases:
God loves all people of the world, even though they are sinful, rebel against Him and do not deserve His love. He sent Jesus, His Son, to love the unlovable and save the ungodly. Salvation is the free gift of God’s grace (undeserved mercy) for Christ Jesus’ sake alone.
By His suffering and death as the
substitute for all people of all time,
Jesus purchased forgiveness of sins
and eternal life for them. Those who
hear this Good News and believe it
have the forgiveness of sins, new life
and salvation that it offers. God the
Holy Spirit creates this faith (belief,
trust) in Christ through the Good News
message of the Gospel.
The Bible is God’s Word. Because God Himself inspired the Bible, it is without error and completely reliable. In it God reveals two great messages: His Law (God’s will for how we are to live — yet when we do not follow His will, God’s law shows us our sin); and His Gospel (the Good News of forgiveness for our sins, new life, and salvation in Jesus Christ). This Bible is the only source for Christian life and church practice.
As Lutherans, we accept the Lutheran Confessions, including The Small Catechism written by Martin Luther, because they give a faithful witness and correct explanation of teachings fo the Bible.
Three Centuries of Heritage
St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church
Organized in 1874, St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church was established to serve the growing German Lutheran community around Steeleville. The new congregation grew rapidly. The current santuary was built in 1897, and enlarged in 1922. Today, St. Mark’s has around 1200 baptized members and continues to meet the spiritual needs for the Steeleville community 134 years after its founding.
Making Joyful Noise
“God created…and it was good,” we read in Genisis. All creation is a gift given to us to be used in service and praise to our gracious Lord. God’s gift of music plays an especially important role in our congregation’s worship services. Music is a vehicle to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ and a way to respond back to God with our love, praise, and thanks. Here are some examples of the many ways we proclaim the Gospel through music at St. Mark’s.
Members of St. Mark’s who wish to celebrate their love of singing are welcome to join St. Mark’s Adult Choir. Continuing in the choral tradition of the Lutheran Church, the choir focuses on assisting with worship by providing musical and spiritual enrichment for both its singers and the congregation. Adult Choir practice is held Wednesdays at 7:00 P.M. during the school year.
Although some existing musical skills are required, participation in the St. Mark’s Handbell Choir is open to interested musicians of all ages. The bell choir generally plays anthems based on congregational hymns. Handbell Choir practices are held Wednesday nights at 6:00 P.M.
Contemporary Worship Team
On the 2nd and 3rd Sunday of each month at the 10:30 A.M. service, the Contemporary Worship Team accompanies our worship using a variety of musical selections appropriate for the liturgical season. Although some existing musical skills are preferred, any member of St. Mark’s is welcome to join the Contemporary Worship Team.
On special occasions, St. Mark’s Brass complements the congregation’s singing of hymns. From time to time, instrumentalists may accompany choirs and cantors. They also play other pieces of music which are fitting for specific seasons of the church year.
Loving Our Neighbor
Stephen Ministry, a program at St. Mark’s, trains lay caregivers (called Stephen Ministers) to provide one-on-one Christian care to the bereaved, hospitalized, terminally ill, separated, divorced, unemployed, relocated, and others facing a crisis or life challenge. Stephen Ministry helps pastors and congregations provide quality caring ministry for as long as people need it.
Lutheran Braille Center
Once a month a number of members gather to help produce braille Bibles through the Lutheran Braille Workers at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Chester which is a congregation a few minutes south of Steeleville.
For a few months each year, a dedicated group of ladies meet in the Ladies Aid Room at St. Mark’s School and stitch together quilts. The quilts are then taken and donated to a different charity each year. Usually anywhere from 100 to over 200 quilts are made and given away annually.
St. Mark’s Altar Guild is a wonderful group of very dedicated people who work diligently behind the scenes to make sure that everything is in place for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. The Altar Guild launders and cares for the altar linens, poliches the silver and brass, sets out the wine and the bread and sets up for worship services.
On the third Sunday of each month, members are encouraged to bring food items or a monetary donation to one of the weekend services for the Steeleville Food Pantry. The Steeleville Food Pantry is graciously operated and staffed from the facilities of Peace Lutheran Church in Steeleville, but is a joint service of all congregations in and around the area.