Benevolence – Benevolence is a term for the money that our church sends beyond our walls to our missional and denominational partners to accomplish things in the name of Jesus that we couldn’t do on our own.

Confirmation or Affirmation of Baptism – Confirmation is an opportunity Saint Mark provides for baptized persons (typically 9th -graders) to publicly “confirm” their faith in Jesus Christ, affirming the promises that they or their parents made at their baptism. At Saint Mark, the Confirmation class is an intergenerational class for those currently going through confirmation (typically grades 6-9) and those who want to learn more about the faith.

Council – An elected board of leaders of the Church. Our council members are men and women elected to three-year terms from a list of nominations submitted by worshippers and a nominating team. Council members must be believers of solid character, including commitment to worship, prayerfulness, discernment, discretion, and vision.

Lectern – The Lectern is located to the right of the altar and is where the Scripture is read by the lay readers.

Liturgy – The Liturgy is the part of many churches’ worship services where people say, sing, or do similar things week after week. In reality, even supposedly non-liturgical churches tend to do similar things every week: opening worship songs, announcements, teaching message and dismissal for example. At some level, most of us are creatures of habit, and the predictability of certain parts of worship allows the structure to fade into the background so that the God we worship doesn’t! It also allows all of us to participate confidently in worship, since we know what’s coming. In fact, leiturgia means work of the people in Greek. Our worship follows a pattern, but we try hard not to get into a rut, and it often varies from season to season. As you will see, many are involved in the Liturgy.

Narthex – The Narthex is the gathering space right outside the main, front sanctuary doors. In an office building you might call it a “lobby.”

Pulpit – The Pulpit is located to the left of the altar and is where the Gospel is read.

Sacristy – A sacristy is a room in a church where a pastor prepares for a service and where vestments and other things used in worship are kept. We have a working sacristy and a pastor’s sacristy.

Sanctuary – The Sanctuary is the large room set apart for worship. Our Sanctuary is shaped like a cross. At the end of the nave (seating area), on the south wall, is the chancel (elevated space up front) where the altar/communion table is located. In our sanctuary there are four focal points: the pulpit where the Gospel is read, the lectern where Scripture is read, the Baptismal font, and the communion table with the cross that reminds us that it is the life of Christ which we receive in our sacred meal.

Synod – Synod is the name of the regional church judicatories within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). It comes from the Greek words for “with” and “road”- syn & odos--meaning traveling companions (on the journey of faith). The term has rich meaning in our church body, because congregations voluntarily choose to belong to the Synod. Saint Mark Lutheran Church “travels with” the ELCA in the Lower Susquehanna Synod.