From Pastor Joel’s Desk

It’s summer! Now that the weather has finally caught up to the season, I pray you and your loved ones are enjoying God’s beautiful creation and being outside as much as possible. I’m also soliciting your prayers during this fun, but busy season. 

Pray for our Church - St. Mark. This Sunday, we’re grateful to be welcoming Randolph and Leslie Hastings with their son, Steven, as members of St. Mark. The Hastings recently moved to Carlsbad and have joyfully found a home in our midst. Pray that they and all who visit St. Mark continue to feel the love of Christ and mature in their relationship with Him through the ministry and life God has given us together. And introduce yourselves to them on Sunday! 

Pray for our Church Body - The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.
Not only is our Synod meeting to vote in convention on July 20th, but the week before, from the 11th through the 15th, almost 25,000 Lutheran high schoolers will be descending on Minneapolis, Minnesota for the LCMS National Youth Gathering. My wife, Kristen, has been a Gathering Planner for more than 10 years, and this will be my third time speaking at a breakout session. Pray for the leaders, the hearts of the kids to be blessed by the gospel of Jesus, for Kristen and her leadership, and for my presentation on Star Wars Spirituality: How Jesus is our “only hope”. 

Pray for our Country - The United States of America. With as much discord and strife presented in the media, it can be easy to take for granted and to give thanks to God for our country and the freedom that we have to worship our Creator and Savior. Today, on the fourth of July, take a moment to place our country, its leaders, and our own neighbors in God’s hands and ask Him not only to bless us with peace and prosperity but to give us believers the power to speak the Truth in love in all things. 
Have a blessed holiday weekend, and I’ll see you on Sunday! 
Pastor Joel 

Kids Summer Movie Nights
Friday Nights - July 5th, July 19th, and August 2nd
6 pm to 8 pm

To build anticipation for ROAR VBS, we are inviting families to join us for summer movie nights! Each movie will be an African-animal themed favorite. Bring a friend! Suggested donation $5-10/family to cover the cost of snacks, with any extra being donated to VBS. RSVP to or sign up on Sunday.
Love Letters
Sunday, July 7th after Church

Once a month, we write "Love Letters" to a member of the congregation or someone in need. Please join us after the service to write a word of encouragement. Contact Crystal Dirks for information at

Beach Nights @ Moonlight Beach 
Wednesday, July 10th and Wednesday, August 14th

Join us on the second Wednesday in July and August from 6 to 8 pm at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas. We will provide hot dogs, brats, a campfire, and s’mores! Bring a side to share, your beach chair and you! This is a casual event focused on fellowship and getting to know each other even better. RSVP to Crystal Dirks at 619.750.6848 or so we provide enough hot dogs/brats.

July Mission of the Month
Feed My Starving Children

On August 9-10 at Faith Lutheran Church in Vista, St. Mark is partnering with other local Lutheran churches to put on a Feed My Starving Children food packaging event. Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) is a Christian non-profit organization committed to feeding God’s starving children hungry in body and spirit. During the month of July, we will be raising funds to be able to put on this event. Together with other churches, we need to raise $24,000 and provide 500 volunteers! It will be an amazing undertaking to create over 100,000 meals to send around the world. Please consider helping us meet our goal by donating at  For more information about the event, to sign up to volunteer and to track progress, visit:

St. Mark Men's Group
Saturday, July 13th @ 7 am

Our next Men's group will take place on Saturday, July 13th at St. Tropez (947 S. Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA) at 7 am. Our goal is to meet at least bi-weekly to encourage one another in our walk with Christ, and to talk about what it means to be a husband, a father, and a man in our congregation and our community. Both members and their friends are welcome! To learn more, contact Dustin Dirks at
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St. Mark Lutheran Church · 552 S. El Camino Real · Encinitas, CA 92024 · USA

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