St. Mark Lutheran and St. George’s Episcopal Churches have enjoyed a close relationship since May 1981 when St. George’s offered the Lutheran congregation use of their parish hall for office space, classrooms, and meeting rooms.
Since then the relationship has grown and our two congregations find ourselves working together in a number of areas.
St. Mark Lutheran Church decided many years ago that its top priorities as a church would be Christian education and meeting the needs of others—not constructing a building for themselves. For St. Mark members, it is more important to provide for education, mission, and ministry.
Our two congregations enjoy other advantages because of our sharing arrangement. We find that it is much easier for us to demonstrate the unity of the Church by living together in one building.
“We believe that the Church is ‘one, holy, catholic, and apostolic’” said the Reverend Ron Neustadt (now retired), pastor of St. Mark when the churches began to worship and live together under one roof in 1982. “Too often, churches have believed the Creed by being exclusive, parochial and chauvinistic. We hope to be a sign here in Belleville of the unity of Christ’s Church.”
Together, we do much more than we ever could alone:
We operate the second-largest food pantry in St. Clair County. Find out more about our Food Pantry HERE.
We combine occasional education programs and we worship together several times each year.
Both churches treasure this partnership as a “pearl of great price,” and give thanks to God for the calling to serve
God’s people in this mutual ministry.
Present pastor Brian Robison adds, “In an era of declining church membership and with so many congregations teetering on the edge of survival, as well as a world with so much division, we lift up our arrangement here as a model of cooperation upon which other congregations may build in the future.”
“How very pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!” -Psalm 133.1