MAY 22, 2020

Dear St. Mark’s Family,

On Friday afternoon May 22, President Trump made a public statement urging state governors to allow churches across the country to open this weekend.

We write to reassure and remind you of two important things:

  • Christ’s Church has never been closed. It is impossible to “close” church because the church is not a building. We are the church. God’s people are the church.
  • St. Mark’s building has been and will remain closed. Our community of faith seeks to follow Jesus’ command to love God by loving our neighbors. We will not jeopardize the health and safety of our neighbors – nor of our members – by opening our building until medical and public health officials assure us that it is safe to do so.

Our staff, Church Council, and Pastors have been in prayer, conversation, and planning over the past several weeks as the COVID-19 crisis continues. Please keep an eye out for a much fuller letter from us soon, outlining next steps and plans for our life together.

In the meantime, keep being the church out there in the world, Saints. We’ll “see” you for worship this Sunday– online at 10:00!

Living in joyful hope,

Pastor Charisse

Pastor Patrick



There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Creator of all, who is above all and through all and in all.

Ephesians 4:4-6

Beloved Saints,

We continue to monitor the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and St. Mark’s leadership is consulting with experts on how best to keep our community safe. With that in mind, we have made the decision to suspend church programming, outside events, and worship services until at least April 1.

By making the difficult decision to suspend worship and programming, St. Mark’s is showing our love for our neighbor, caring for the most vulnerable, and standing in solidarity with our community. We choose abundant life. That’s what this temporary hiatus is: choosing to put our in-person community life on hold for a time in order to protect life.

We acknowledge that we are living in times of uncertainty, and in such times, it helps to focus on the things we can do:

Worship with us from wherever you are.

  • Join our Sunday live-stream worship service. Each Sunday that we are not together in person, you can join us live on Facebook at 10 a.m.
  • If you are not on Facebook, you can watch the video on our website, stmarksaurora.net.
  • If you know of someone who does not have a computer and internet, please let them know that we are setting up a system so people can call in by phone and hear the service. We’ll let you know the details and ask you to help share this information.
  • We will make available (from our website) a downloadable order of worship so you can worship where you are.
  • Please watch your email for more details on how to connect, or later watch a recording of the Sunday’s Worship.
  • We will also be posting inspirational verses, hymns, poems, and readings to keep you connected to our larger community and uphold you at this time.

Please continue your regular giving.

We do not yet know the affect this situation will have on our community, but we as a ministry team are committed to respond. Your continued gifts will ensure we have resources for those who need us. You can give electronically through the church website (StMarksAurora.net/GIVE), set up automated giving through your bank (call Beth Benson, 630-234-6529), or simply mail your offering to the church.

Please consider a special gift to the Pastors' Discretionary Fund to help offset an anticipated increase of members in need (Click to make a gift to the Pastors' Discretionary Fund).

We are convening a Community Care Team to brainstorm ways we can support the needs of our congregation and community. If you are interested in participating in this group, please contact Pastor Patrick (pfish@stmarksaurora.net or 630-272-5211). We will work to gather the group in a responsible way.

This situation presents many challenges, but it also gives us the opportunity to practice “church” as a verb: by looking out for each other, anticipating how we can help our broader community, and exploring innovative ways to connect with one another.

Care for one another.

  • Check on neighbors and friends, especially those in high-risk groups. Go grocery shopping for those who are safer staying at home. Share your supplies with neighbors.
  • Make phone calls and send notes to those who feel particularly isolated during this time, especially those who live alone and those who live in care centers that have restricted visiting privileges.
  • Continue your financial support to local businesses and non-profits. As you are able, buy gift certificates from local retailers, order food from local restaurants for pickup, and keep up your usual financial commitments to service providers, even if they suspend their services for a time.

Our dedicated staff promises to live out our mission to be church, providing peace, love, and hope in an anxious world. We look forward to gathering again in person when it becomes safe to do so. As Easter approaches, we know for certain that death will not win the day; all praise and thanks to Jesus, for life and love will prevail.

Know that your church leaders continue to pray for you and for our congregation.

If particular needs do emerge for you during this time, please reach out.

All our love,

Pastor Charisse & Pastor Patrick

St. Mark’s Lutheran Church Council


FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2020

Effective immediately, all St. Mark's services and church-sponsored events are suspended through March 22nd.

Because of the information released by the Illinois governor cancelling schools and limiting public gatherings, and the declaration of a national emergency, the St. Mark’s staff has met to rethink our plans.

Out of an abundance of caution, we are cancelling all worship services and church-sponsored events beginning this Saturday, March 14th, continuing through the week and the following weekend of March 21st and 22nd. The church staff will keep limited office hours during the week.

Please share this news.

Further communications will be coming. Check our "SAFETY" web page for ongoing updates and information.

Thank you for understanding. Take care. Be safe.

The St. Mark's Staff