Thursday, January 17, 2019

Meet Julie Eshleman, Director of Christian Education

On January 2nd, I joined the St. Mark staff as the Director of Christian Education. I am so excited to be here, taking on this new role in the life of the church.

I grew up here in Rockford, and returned after graduating from Valparaiso University. My husband Dan - another Valpo alum - and I were married at Tabor Lutheran, my childhood church, and we both served on the congregational council there for a few years in the mid-2000s. We came to St. Mark in October of 2009, because we were looking for a congregation with other young families, a strong children’s ministry, and a music program I could participate in. We found all of those things here, and soon convinced my mom, Vickie Pfeilschifter, to join us as well. Both Ben and Oliver were baptized here.

Over the past nine years, I’ve sung in the choir, taught Sunday School, rung handbells, played the oboe, and chaired the Call Committee as we searched for a new Associate Pastor in 2015. I’ve worked and worshiped with so many of you, and have felt welcome since the very beginning.

As Director of Christian Education, my primary focus will be on teaching the children of St. Mark about God’s love for them. We’ll study scripture, hear stories of God’s work in history and in the world today, worship and sing together, and act as God’s hands in the world through service to our community. The excellent team of Sunday School teachers are dedicated to this task and to the children, and I am so grateful to them.

Through programs like VBS, I’ll help bring the Good News of the Gospel to children who do not belong to a church community. For some of them, this will be their first experience with Christ’s life and love in the world, and I take that responsibility very seriously. I will work to ensure that our programs are accessible and welcoming to all, and meet everyone where they are, to the best of my ability.

I will be supporting the continued learning of the adults of St. Mark as well, though less directly. Small Group Bible Studies are a place for adults to read, discuss, and learn together, and can be organized around a particular text or topic. Advent and Lenten devotional booklets are a way for adults to bring focused study into their home lives during the Church’s seasons of preparation. I hope that those who use these resources find them helpful to their spiritual growth.


Thank you so much for welcoming and encouraging me. I am so grateful for this congregation, and for the opportunity to share in the work of teaching God’s Word to the world.

Feel free to contact me at julie@stmarklc.com or 815-398-3557 ext. 21.

Blessings,
Julie Eschleman

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