St. Mark's United Methodist Church of Bloomington, Indiana
is an inclusive community bringing Christ-like love, healing and hope to all.

We embrace the United Methodist ideal of Open Hearts, Open Minds and Open Doors
by welcoming those of all races, cultures, faith traditions, sexual orientations, and gender identities.
St. Mark's Building Will Be Closed on the Following Days for the Holidays
In observance of the New Year's holiday, the St. Mark's building will be closed as follows:
Friday, December 29th-closed
Monday, January 1st-closed
There will be no staff members in the building and there will be no events planned at the church. In case of a pastoral emergency, please call 812-325-9406 or 812-219-8377.
THIS WEEK AT ST. MARK'S
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   SUNDAY, DECEMBER 31st     
 FIRST SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS    
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BREAKFAST 
9:00am (Garton Hall) 
Thank you to those  
who will be preparing breakfast.  
     
ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL 
9:30am   Bible Banter (Room 11)
Nomads and Pilgrims classes  
will NOT meet this Sunday.  
Normal schedules will resume January 7th. 
 
INFANT & TODDLER NURSERY CARE 
Infants through Three-year-olds  
beginning at 10:15am  
(Rooms 24 & 25)
 
 
CHILDREN & YOUTH SUNDAY SCHOOL
WILL NOT MEET THIS SUNDAY 
 
SANCTUARY WORSHIP SERVICE 
10:30am
Reverend Jimmy Moore, preaching 
Scripture - Luke 2:22-40
Sermon Title:
Holding the Future in our Arms 
 
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Get to know one another;  
wear a name tag, please. 
Need a name tag? Click here! 
 
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 Click Image Above to Read
Upcoming@St. Mark's in December.
For more information, read the article below. 
This Sunday, December 31st, 10:30am
Sanctuary Worship
It was Eleanor Roosevelt who once said, "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." As we stand on the cusp of 2018, with 2017 fading into the rear view mirror, what hopes and dreams do you carry into the new year? For many reasons, many of us have found 2017 to be a challenging year, and find dreaming, or at least believing in their beauty, pretty difficult. We have real questions about the role that our faith will play as we move ahead. Miroslav Volf says that what we need are not stories of optimism, which is confidence based on our experience of the past and present, but stories of hope, which arise from a belief in a God who will work to set things right in our world, whatever our experience.

At St. Mark's this Sunday, we'll chat about this "hope" thing, as we look at the biblical story of Simeon and Anna, faithful souls who were present when the infant Jesus was presented at the temple when he was eight days old. Simeon held the infant, and blessed him and his parents, and spoke of God's adventurous future. Through faith, we are allowed to embrace the future with hope and love. The sermon at this Sunday's 10:30 service is titled "Holding the Future in Our Arms", arising from Luke 2:22-40. The Chancel Choir will sing accompanied by Pam Freeman on organ and directed by Gerry Sousa, Director of Music Ministry. We would love to see you in this year ending service.

Year-End Contributions
If you plan to bring contributions towards your annual giving (or pledge) to St. Mark's, please make sure that is clearly noted on your check or envelope. 
 
IMPORTANT!
So that your giving can be recorded as a charitable contribution for the 2017 tax year,  we must have all year-end contributions in the church office or placed in the offering plate by Sunday, December 31, 2017 (if mailed, the envelope must be postmarked by Saturday, December 30, 2017). Thank you. 
 

Questions Regarding the New Tax Bill Passed by Congress
While there are many questions regarding the new tax legislation, we are only responding to one:
 
A number of people have asked,
 
"Can contributions towards my 2018 pledge be given now and be recorded as charitable contributions for the 2017 tax year?"  
 
The answer is "yes."  
 
If you elect to follow that strategy, please   clearly note on your check or envelope that this contribution is for your "2018 pledge   ."
 

Tax Advantages for Giving to Charitable Organizations
A Note From The Endowment And Stewardship Committees:
Several people have asked for information about the methods and tax advantages for giving to charitable organizations.  This following key information, provided by Hurlow Wealth Management, the company that manages the church's endowment fund,  includes methods for donating both appreciated stock and your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD).  
    • Donating appreciated stock:  If you were to gift appreciated stock directly to St. Mark's,  you could avoid the capital gains tax and take an additional tax deduction for the donation.
    • Donating your RMD (Required Minimum Distribution):  Did you know that instead of taking your yearly (RMD) from your IRA and paying tax on it, you could give it directly from your IRA to the church or other charities and gain tax advantages? 


WHAT IS UPCOMING@ST. MARK'S ?
UPCOMING@ST. MARK'S is published once each month as an information resource and guide to the activities and events within and around the St. Mark's church community. Copies are distributed the first Sunday of each month along with the Sunday worship bulletin, and thereafter are available at the Welcome Center Desk, at the main entrances to the building, or by contacting the church office.
TO SUBMIT ARTICLES FOR FUTURE PUBLICATIONS
All ministry areas, church committees, and interest groups are encouraged to submit articles for the next edition of UPCOMING@ ST. MARK'S. For more information and to submit articles for publication, please contact the church office.
SUNDAY SCHOOL
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ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL  
PILGRIMS
will not meet this Sunday
NOMADS
will not meet this Sunday

BIBLE BANTER
9:30am-10:15am in Room 11
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CHILDREN AND YOUTH
NURSERY CARE
10:15am-11:30am
Infant through Three-year-olds  
(Rooms 24 & 25)

     
CHILDREN & YOUTH SUNDAY SCHOOL  
will not meet this Sunday 
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Each Sunday
Sign In & Name Tags for Sunday School & Childcare 
Children attending childcare or Sunday School must be signed in and have a name tag from the table in Garton Hall. Please sign in before worship. 
   
Sunday, December 31st
Children's Ministries Holiday Schedule Changes
There will be no Celebration! or Sunday School classes this Sunday. Nursery care will be provided for both mornings, starting at 10:15am. Older children are encouraged to stay in the sanctuary for worship, and Busy Bags will be available with Christmas-themed activities to keep busy hands and minds engaged, even as they absorb the worship around them. If you have any questions, please contact Sarah Gettie McNeill, Director of Children's
Ministries.
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QUESTIONS ABOUT
CHILDREN OR YOUTH MINISTRIES?
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Sunday School Registration Renewal
Complete registration forms here.
If you have not yet registered your child for Sunday School, please do so today. If needed, forms are available at the Sunday School table in Garton Hall. This form is an annual requirement for each child (multiple children can be entered on one form).
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Adult Sunday School, 9:30am
Bible Banter

The Bible Banter class meets in Room 11 each Sunday from 9:30-10:15am. The Scripture text for the morning's sermon is used as a discussion-starter.

We look at the passage in its larger context, and we sometimes explore a bit of Bible-writing history. We offer some thoughts on what the morning's sermon might look like, based on the Scripture the pastor has selected. We leave time to discuss implications of the Scripture for our own lives, and we often even delve into topics far afield of the morning's original topic. You are invited to bring some breakfast from Garton Hall into Room 11 and join the conversation.

Adult Sunday School, 9:15am
Nomads
Will meet again on Sunday, January 7th.

Adult Sunday School, 9:15am 
Pilgrims
Will meet again on Sunday, January 7th.  
Stephen Ministry  
St. Mark's is looking to revitalize its Stephen Ministry program. A Stephen Minister is a lay member (not a pastor) who is trained to offer one-to-one Christian care to people going through tough times. If you are interested in continuing as a Stephen Minister, or in learning more about the program, please contact Dan Hughes at drhughes719@att.net. If you have been trained and would like to continue serving the congregation, please contact Dan as soon as possible.
How To Help Those In Need Following Recent Natural Disasters   
The impact of recent hurricanes and other disasters, both nationally and internationally, has been devastating. The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is responding to the destruction and overwhelming needs from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria; Earthquakes in Mexico; Mudslides in Sierra Leone and West Coast Forest Fires. Pray for those who are in great need, as well as the early response teams, including countless volunteers.
 
It will take a long and sustained effort for all of these areas to fully recover. The most immediate way we can help is through financial assistance. If you can donate, checks can be made out to "St. Mark's" and put in the offering plate or sent to the church office. Please write "Disaster Relief-U.S." on your check's memo line for your assistance to aid U.S. states and territories, OR write "Disaster Relief- International." One hundred percent (100%) of all money donated will go directly to the children, women and men most in need. To get continuing updates of the work of UMCOR, and ways to give on-line, go to www.umcor.org.

AT ST. MARK'S UMC
Meets Each Wednesday, 1:00pm 
St. Mark's Quilters & Crafters
Bring your quilting or crafts to Room 10 and spend time with others who enjoy these activities. Quilters & Crafters meets each Wednesday. All skill levels are welcome and encouraged to attend.  
 
Will NOT Meet Until Thursday, January 11th, 11:30am 
Women of Wonder and Faith
A group of faithful, journeying women meeting weekly to read and discuss books on various topics of faith. Women of Wonder and Faith will not meet December 21st, 28th, and January 4th. The next meeting will be January 11th. Beginning in January we will read SAVING JESUS FROM THE CHURCH by Robin Meyers.  Please join us as we move along our faith journey, collectively and individually, as well as build valuable friendships to support each other through life's many challenges and joys. Contact the facilitator, Maria Schmidt marschmi@indiana.edu, with questions and to let her know you are coming.
 
Will NOT Meet Until Friday, January 5th, 12:30pm
Conversations on Life Men's Group
Conversations on Life men's group meets on Fridays to share in conversation about topics of interest often based on literature selected by the group. The next meeting will be January 5th. The group meets in the private dining room, at the basement level on the west side of the main building of Bell Trace. Visitors are always welcome.   
 
Wednesday, January 3rd, 4:00pm-closing
Dine and Donate at Bucceto's  
in Support of St. Mark's Nursery School & Kindergarten
Let Bucceto's do the cooking for you, and 20% of your check will be donated to St. Mark's Nursery and Kindergarten. This offer is good and both east and west stores, for take out or eat in. Make sure to let your server know that you wish to support St. Mark's Nursery School & Kindergarten.  
 
Sunday, January 7th, 4:00pm
Interfaith Martin Luther King Service
First Christian Church,205 E Kirkwood Ave,Bloomington, IN 47408
Bloomington's annual Interfaith Martin Luther King Commemoration and Celebration service will be held on Sunday, January 7th, at First Christian Church, at 4:00 pm. Several of Bloomington's faith communities will be coming together to remember Dr. King's vision for equality, and to share our visions for equality in Bloomington. We hope to see you there.
 
Monday, January 15th, 8:30am - 11:00am
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
Remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through acts of service with others. St. Mark's invites all ages to participate in our day of service opportunities in collaboration with other faith communities and nonprofits. The day begins with a light breakfast at St. Mark's followed by two hours of volunteer opportunities. Participants can choose volunteer options in the community or at St. Mark's. More information and volunteer options will be available in early January. If you can help organize this great day, please contact Mary Beth Morgan. 
ST. MARK'S UNITED METHODIST CHURCH STAFF E-MAIL
Rev. Jimmy Moore, Pastor
jimmymoore@smumc.church
Rev. Mary Beth Morgan, Pastor
marybethmorgan@smumc.church
Gerry Sousa, Director of Music Ministries
gerrysousa@smumc.church

Rev. Sarah Gettie McNeill, Director of Children's Ministries
sarahgettiemcneill@smumc.church
Please contact Sarah Gettie McNeill for Youth Ministries.
Natalie LeBeau, Finance Director
financeoffice@smumc.church
Aaron Comforty, Children and Youth Music Leader  aaroncomforty@smumc.church
Sierra Roussos,
Director of St. Mark's Nursery School & Kindergarten director@smnurseryschool.org

Amy Jones,
Coordinator of Childcare
childcare@smumc.church
Claire Schaffer, Administrative Assistant
office@smumc.church

Dennis Morgan, Head Custodian
dennismorgan@smumc.church

100 N. State Road 46 Bypass, Bloomington, IN 47408
Phone: 812-332-5788     Fax: 812-333-5544
Click for a map to our location: Directions to St. Mark's UMC
Click for St. Mark's Nursery School & Kindergarten website:
100 N. State Road 46 Bypass, Bloomington, IN 47408
School Office Phone: 812-333-4007
St. Mark's UMC Newsletter Sign Up
ST. MARK'S UMC ON FACEBOOK
St. Mark's United Methodist Church on Facebook
Like our Facebook page, St. Mark's United Methodist Church.
St. Mark's Parenting Facebook Group
Looking for ways to connect with other St. Mark's families in the church?  Join the St. Mark's Parenting Facebook page.  Direct questions to Sarah Gettie McNeill. 
Pets of St. Mark's UMC Community on Facebook  
Buddies of St. Francis, a small group at St. Mark's, celebrates our pets and supports the love and care of animals.