ABOUT US


The United Church of Christ (UCC) is a distinct and diverse community of Christians that come together as one church to join faith and action.  With over 5,000 churches and nearly one million members across the U.S., the UCC serves God in the co-creation of a just and sustainable world.  The UCC is a church of firsts, a church of extravagant welcome, and a church where "…they may all be one" (John 17:21).

1.

The Church of Firsts. Since 1957, the United Church of Christ has been the church of firsts, weaving God’s message of hope and extravagant welcome with action for justice and peace. Together, we live out our faith in ways that effect change in our communities.  The UCC's many "firsts" mean that we have inherited a tradition of acting upon the demands of our faith.  When we read in Galatians: "There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus"—a demand is made upon us. And so we were the first historically white denomination to ordain an African-American, the first to ordain a woman, the first to ordain an openly gay man, and the first Christian church to affirm the right of same-gender couples to marry. We were in the forefront of the anti-slavery movement and the Civil Rights movement.  Our response to the demands of our faith is woven into the history of our country.

2.

A Church of Extravagant Welcome - Today, we continue to change lives throughout the world. We work alongside more than 200 mission partners. We labor ceaselessly to fight injustice, in the United States and abroad. We instill our vision into our youth and young adults, forging leaders who will imagine new dreams. And we sustain and develop church leaders, pastors, and our local churches to live their faith in exciting new ways.  We believe in a God that is still speaking, a God that is all-loving and inclusive.  We are a church that welcomes and accepts everyone as they are, where your mind is nourished as much as your soul.

We are a church where Jesus the healer meets Jesus the revolutionary, and where together, we grow a just and peaceful world.


HISTORY OF ST. MARK'S

1876

          + Founding of St. Mark's Church with services held in Grace Church close to the intersection of Wilder and Cherry Streets in Cressona

1882-1886

          + Church chartered  as St. Mark's Reformed Church

          + Construction of present building on Pottsville Street with services held on the first floor of the building until completion of a second-story sanctuary

          + Completion and dedication of the second-floor sanctuary (1886)

1886-1909

          + Placement and dedication of the current bell in the belfry

          + Construction of a parsonage next to the church building

          + Celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the chartering of St. Mark's (1907)

1910-1917

          + Installation of a pipe organ and construction of a choir loft in the sanctuary

          + Replacement of gas lights with electric lights

          + Discontinuance of German services as a result of American involvement in World War I

1918-1923

          + Renovations to the sanctuary including new pews, carpet and hardwood floors

          + Excavation of the basement area for a kitchen and social room

          + Beginning of Daily Vacation Bible School

 

1923-1943

          + Purchase of the adjoining property to the east of the church building for use by the church school

          + Installation of rolling partitions in the main church school room (currently Hock Hall)

 

1943-1950

          + Publication of a quarterly newsletter, the forerunner of the current PARISH NEWS

          + Formation of ther Women's Guild (1943)

          + Organization of the Churchmen's Brotherhood (1944)

          + Remodeling of the church school annex, the creastion of a church office in the annex, and the redecoration of the sanctuary

 

1950-1958

          + Refacing of the exterior of the church building with a brick veneer

          + Installation of the stained glass window "Christ Blessing the Children" above and in back of the altar

1959-1965

          + Legal name of the church changed to St. Mark's United Church of Christ

          + Extensive renovations to the sanctuary including the church vestibule, sacristy, narthex, nave and chancel areas of the sanctuary as well as the relocation of the choir loft and organ, new furnishings (altar, lectern, pulpit, baptismal font, choir and balcony pews; new light fixtures, and the replastering of the walls and ceiling of the sanctuary

 

1966-1972

          + Demolition of the old annex building and construction on a one-story Christian Education Building with classrooms, a church office, and a pastor's study

 

1972-1979

          + Writing of a new constitution, preparation of a budget for the local church, and the establishment of a library in the Christian Education Building

          + Installation of the first sound system in the sanctuary

          + Creation of worship facilities in the main church school room for those unable to use the steps to the second-floor sanctuary

          + Razing of the old parsonage and development of parking spaces to the west of the church building

          + Repairs to the stained glass windows

          + Celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the founding of St. Mark's and the Bicentennial Celebration of the United States (1976)

 

1979-1984

          + Installation of the first carillon (1983)

1985-2006

          + Replacement of the wooden steeple with an all-weather steeple in the belfry (1986)

          + Capital Campaign (1990-1994) with the restoration of the pipe organ, building upgrades (a passenger elevator) to make the church building handicap accessible, the installation of a new heating system in the main church building, the repainting of the sanctuary, the installation of new carpet in the sanctuary, and the installation of new sidewalks

          + Renovations to the kitchen and Fellowship Hall in the basement (1996)

          + Celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the founding of St. Mark's (2001)

  •  

2008-2016

          + Major upgrades to the pipe organ including the replacement of ther control system with a state-of-the-art electronic system, the combining of the many seprarate chests into one unfied chest, and the installation of an additional rank of pipes (2012-2015)

          + Installation of a new state-of-the-art carillon

          + Purchase of handbells and handchimes for the newly formed Family Bell Choir and the Chancel Bell

          + Phase 1 of 4 My Church Capital Campaign (2014-2016) with the repainting of the sanctuary and the narthex, upgrades to the electrical and lighting systems in the sanctuary making the systems more energy efficient, and the installation of a new audio-visual system in the sanctuary featuring an up-to-date sound system, projector and screen


2016 - Present

          + Replacement of all the existing flooring with new carpet throughout the Christian Education Building, the choir room, the youth room and Hock Hall

          + Repainting of the Christian Education Building hallway, the church office, the pastor's study, and the sacristy


OUR DEDICATED STAFF

Kevin Fruchtl

Settled Pastor

Pastor Fruchtl was born in Lancaster, PA and graduated from Lancaster Theological Seminary.  God has blessed him with the opportunity to serve congregations in Stroudsburg, Hellertown, and New Tripoli.  He now looks forward with promise and hope as God has brought our journeys together. 

IHe is blessed daily by his wife Eileen.  Eileen is a Nursing Instructor at Cedar Crest College in Allentown.  They have been married for 27 years and are graced by two sons—Jacob and Benjamin.  Throw in Peppy the Aussiedoodle and Crackers the parrot and you have a sense of the chaotic beauty that is the Fruchtl household.

When not at the church or out in the community, you will find him working on the yard, cooking, playing with the dog, going to concerts or community events, or just loving this magnificent creation that God has given to us.

He can’t wait for the opportunity to share God’s Word of hope and promise in the church and with the wider community.

Lee Ferrier

Director of Music

Lee  has served as St. Mark's Director of Music since 1986.  During his time as director of music the church has made major upgrades to its pipe organ and has added handbell choirs (Chancel Bells and Family Bells) and a dance ministry to further enrich the music program.  In addition, Lee provides much valuable input to the planning of our worship services, oversees the decorating of the exterior of the church during the Christmas season, and works behind the scenes in helping to make St. Mark's a meaningful, pleasant place to worship.  Lee, a confirmed member of St. Mark's, is a member of the Reading Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

Jean Maffeo

Administrative Assistant

Jean has been with us since 1996. Initially she was known as the Office Coordinator but is now known as the Administrative Assistant. She has overseen the modernization of our church office with the purchase of new equipment for the publishing and printing of bulletins and newsletters.  Jean maintains the official records of the church; is responsible for producing the bulletin for our worship services and coordinates the publication of the Parish News, the church's monthly newsletter; and takes on many other responsibilities and tasks.  Jean is a confirmed member of St. Mark's.

Les and Georgine Shoener

Church Sextons

Les and Georgine have been our church sextons since December 2019.  You will see them around the church cleaning and preparing the classrooms, the sanctuary and other facilities for use during the week and on Sunday and other special occasions.  Les is also a jack-of-all-trades and can be seen around the church helping to make repairs and improvements to the church property.  Georgine helps to coordinate St. Mark's Prayer Shawl Ministry and is a confirmed member of the church.

Linda Angstadt

Financial Secretary

Linda has been financial secretary since 2011. As financial secretary, she collects the receipts after all services, counts and deposits them at a local bank. She oversees the distribution of offering envelopes to members and prepares member's contribution statements at mid-year and at the end of the year, Recently the church began use of a new membership program, and Linda played an important role in its selection.

Bob Hepler

Treasurer

Bob has been treasurer of St. Mark's since 1979 except for a period of about 4 1/2 years.  As treasurer, he maintains up-to-date practices in dealing with the church finances; sees that all bills are paid; prepares the church payroll.; completes and files all tax materials with local, state, and national entities; and prepares a variety of financial reports for the consistory, the financial management committee, and the annual congregational meeting,.  The church's annual spending plan is developed with his input.  Bob is a confirmed member of St. Mark's.



THE CONSISTORY


The Consistory, consisting of elders and deacons, carries out and administrates the work of St. Mark's.  Members are elected by the congregation at the annual congregational meeting in November.  Elders and deacons are elected to a three-year term and may be re-elected to a second term but cannot serve more than two consecutive terms at a time.  The officers of the consistory include the president, the vice-president, and the secretary.

ELDERS

(L to R) Dan Bubeck, Beverly Beck, Sandy Flanigan, Jodi Kaiser.

CONSISTORY OFFICERS

(L to R) Beverly Beck, Secretary; Sandy Flanigan, President; Jodi Kaiser, Vice President.

DEACONS

(L to R) FRONT ROW: Michael Fisher, Barb Readinger, Bill Roberts;

BACK ROW: Kathy Butz,  Paul Laubenstine, Cindy Keeley....


NEW HERE?


SERVICE TIMES

Sundays

Regular Schedule 

9:15 AM  Sunday School

10:30 AM Worship Service

Summer Schedule

9:15 AM Worship Service

Please check our calendar for exact date when summer and regular schedule begin.

OFFICE HOURS

Drop in and see us:

Mon-Fri 9:30AM-3:00PM

30 Pottsville Street

Cressona, PA  17929

MINISTRIES

We offer multiple ministries so that you can find one that you feel most comfortable in. Please check out the ministries on a separate page on this website  and feel free to come join us!

CONTACT US

stmarkscressona@verizon.net

570-385-0242

30 Pottsville Street

Cressona, PA  17929


OUR IN-HOUSE MINISTRIES


EDUCATION

MINISTRY

MUSIC

MINISTRY

WORSHIP

MINISTRY