Current Safety Guidelines
As COVID cases decline and because many more of our Saint Mark disciples are fully vaccinated, or in the process, we have relaxed some of our guidelines for keeping our church family safe. We have removed the following precautions from the list:
- We relaxed the requirement for 6’ distancing
- We relaxed the requirement to refrain from hugging and shaking hands
We modified the mask requirement, requesting that masks still be worn in worship and in large groups, but small groups (Sunday School Classes, UMW circles, ministry teams and committees, etc.) can decide whether or not they will require masks when they are meeting.
Please read the guidelines carefully. Keeping our church family safe is our number one priority. Thanks for understanding.
We will notify you of changes as time goes on.
In-Person and Live Stream Worship
Farewell Sermon - Victoria Arnold
THIS Sunday, April 25
Many of you have commented on how much you have enjoyed and appreciated having Victoria Arnold with us over the past year as our ministerial student intern. She has proved, beyond a doubt, that she has the gift for leading worship and bringing the Sunday morning message. Her final Sunday with us will be THIS Sunday, April 25, when she will be preaching for us one last time.
After worship that on Sunday, you will have the opportunity to express your love and appreciation to her as you leave.
If you miss your chance to express your appreciation on Sunday, Victoria will be spending the summer at Asbury Hills. Her contact information will be:
150 Asbury Drive
Cleveland, SC 29635
Important Update about Worship
at Saint Mark UMC
Saint Mark’s Ministry Staff and Worship leaders have been carefully monitoring worship attendance to help us discern the best time for starting an additional worship service at Saint Mark. As disciples are feeling safer in returning to in-person worship on Sundays, our worship attendance continues to increase.
Pastor Todd, Pastor Shawna, Contemporary Worship Praise Team Leader – John Glenn, Sally Boggs – Worship Ministry Team Chairperson, and Jeff Weicksel – Council of Stewards Chairperson met on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 to begin the process of moving forward with starting a contemporary style worship service in our Saint Mark Center on Sundays.
There are many factors to consider as we move forward – including service start date, worship time, volunteers needed, sound and computer upgrades, restructuring of staff, restart of children and youth Sunday schools, and more. For this reason, a called meeting of the Saint Mark Worship Team will be held on Monday, May 17, 2021. This important meeting will determine a timeline for beginning an additional worship service.
We are listening to your feedback and working to make this a reality, but have much to consider. We hope that this is exciting news for our church family, and we thank you for your prayers as we make decisions that will help to form the faith of disciples of Saint Mark, and honor our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Personal Prayer Notes:
Coronavirus – those with virus, those unable to work, healthcare workers, containment, those who are working to distribute and administer vaccines.
Winifred Abercrombie – Fell recently and received hip replacement. Recovering at son’s home.
Kay Abercrombie – Daughter in law of Winifred Abercrombie – Heart blockage and received stent on 4/20/21.
Jan Abercrombie – Granddaughter of Winifred Abercrombie – Problems swallowing and having to have throat stretched.
Ginny Argue - Recovering at home from surgery on broken hip on 3/25/21.
Jane Donovan - Aunt of Jane Harlin - heart surgery has been postponed due to the discovery of multiple advanced cancers; pray for discernment for a path forward.
Charlie Fox – Recent accident caused pelvis to break in two places. 4-8 weeks to heal. Thanks for prayers for recovery.
Patch Hailey - Young relative of Woody and Lura Wyatt. Patch's blood cells were low so he had to have transfusion. His doctors were concerned that his bone marrow was taking to long to recover so they did a biopsy of bone marrow and
there was no evidence of recurring Neuroblastoma. Thank you for all of your prayers and continued prayers. God has been wonderful and hopefully Patch is on the road to recovery. He still needs to have immunotherapy.
Chris Hanzel – 49 year old stepson of Florence Hanzel, who lives in Akron, OH – Having heart issues and wearing heart monitor so doctors can discern path forward.
Taylor Rae Lindsey - Friend of Faith Holley, recovering at home after being hospitalized following a head-on collision on 4/19/21. She was hit by a drunk driver, resulting in multiple small bleeds on the brain, as well as a knee injury.
Melvina Melton - Lura Wyatt's sister. She has been diagnosed with rectal cancer. She will be going next week to John Hopkins for a second opinion on treatment plans. Please keep her in your prayers.
Freida Phipps - Hospitalized at Oconee Memorial Hospital with pneumonia.
Rena Walden – Scheduled for hip replacement on 4/22/21 at Oconee Hospital. Hopes to go home on Friday for recovery if all goes well.
Nancy Wilson - Friend of Elaine Swanson - Has been diagnosed with lung cancer and is undergoing treatments.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
We suspect that there are other needs that we aren't aware of at this time. Thank you for your patience as we get through this time of recovery and social distancing. We are trying to stay on top of the needs as we become aware of them. Click here to send your prayer requests to Pastor Todd.
Saint Mark Sponsors Blood Drives
You may remember that Saint Mark sponsored a Blood Drive with the Blood Connection back on March 17. Look closely at this face (Cara Davis, Pastor Todd's wife). She is quick to admit that she hates needles so much, it is a real challenge for her to step outside her comfort zone, and give blood. She reports, "I truly get so anxious about it. Nobody hates needles like me, but giving blood is not about me. My blood type is O negative, which means my blood can be used for anyone who needs blood, so it is very important for me to give when I can.”
Now, take a look at this face as Cara is almost done donating (Everything went well!) Cara said, “I am thankful that God gave me my blood type so that I can donate, and bless others in need.”
We want to especially thank everyone who has donated blood at our last two blood drives. Truly, when you donate blood, you are being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ our Lord!
Your next opportunity to give will be on Sunday, May 2, at our Saint Mark Festival. The blood mobile will be parked out front on Quincy Drive. Let’s celebrate how Saint Mark's faithfulness is making an impact on the world for Jesus Christ by having record donations.
For more information, look at the article below.
Give the Gift of Life!!
In conjunction with our Saint Mark Festival on Sunday, May 2, there will be Saint Mark's second quarterly Blood Drive, this time with The American Red Cross. Donors who have already received the COVID-19 vaccine, whether the first shot or both, are still able to donate. You just need to know which vaccine you have received (Pfizer, Moderna, etc.)
For more information click here
to contact Saint Mark disciple, Sarah Weaver.
Introducing . . .
Saint Mark’s New
Director of Media and Communications
Kristine (Kris) Montgomery
In case you didn't hear the news, we now have a Director of Media and Communications who came on board this past Tuesday, April 20. We are so excited that she decided to join our staff team!
Kristine is eager to learn all she can about Saint Mark and get busy growing our presence in the community and among our members. For the time being, her office will be in the Youth Center so don’t hesitate to stop by and get to know her. She is extremely creative and talented, and we know with her guidance and direction, we will be able to reach many more people in a variety of ways! Welcome Kristine!
Please make her feel welcome!
Update on Our Search for a
Minister of Family Outreach
A job description was finalized for our new Minister of Family Outreach position more than 2 months ago. We posted the position with numerous seminaries but have had no responses. Pastor Shawna reached out to a number of people who are serving in similar positions around the Southeast and found that many of them had a common denominator in how they came to be in their current positions. They were recruited by a Search Firm, Ministry Architects (MA).
We reached out to MA in mid-March and the Search Committee held a Zoom conference with their representative. We were very impressed with their tried and proven methods and asked them to submit a proposal for Saint Mark.
The SPRC feels that finding the right person to serve as our minister of children, youth and family ministries is KEY to the future growth of our church. We want the largest pool of candidates we can possibly get in order to find the very best fit for our church family. After much deliberation within the Search Committee and SPRC, I met with the Council of Stewards and asked for permission to hire MA to conduct our job search for this most important position. We received the approval of COS and have signed the contract to proceed with MA.
We are so excited to work with this 25+ year-old firm to find our next great staff member. We will keep you informed along the way of our progress. MA tells us most searches take 4 to 6 months, so thank you for your patience as we discern what God is doing through this process. MA will conduct a thorough assessment of our current situation with children’s and youth ministries and will design a plan focused on sustainability and results. Then they will work to find candidates who they believe will be best suited to carry out Saint Mark’s customized plan. It will be an exciting process for Saint Mark and one that we feel is an excellent investment in the future of our church and our youngest disciples. Stay tuned for more details and pray that we will find the right person as soon as possible.
Debbie DuBose, Chair
Staff Parish Relations Committee
Someone We Know
Is Having a Birthday Tomorrow!
, our Saint Mark Administrative Assistant (among many
other gifts and talents) is celebrating his birthday tomorrow, April 23
. AND Administrative Assistants Day was yesterday, April 21.
Let Jens know how much you appreciate all he does behind the scenes for Saint Mark by sending him a special greeting. Click here
Jens, have a wonderful, love-filled day!!
The UMW Annual Spiritual Retreat
Will be Online!
THIS Saturday, April 24
Speaker: Rev. Wendy Hudson-Jacoby
Pastor of Two Rivers UMC in the Charleston District
Miriam sang the refrain back to the women: "Sing to the Lord for this overflowing victory." Exodus 15:21
Ladies, click here
to register. Or contact Toni Love at (704) 560-2853.
For more information, click here
to contact Bob Graves.
Two Adult Classes Will Resume
In-Person Sunday School
On Sunday, May 2, at 9 am, the Acts and the Faith in Action Sunday School Classes will resume meeting in person. The Acts Class meets in Room A204 and the Faith in Action Class meets in Room A206, both on the second floor of the atrium. Are you looking for a class to attend? Check them out!
Celebrate the Mission and Ministry
of Saint Mark UMC
Sunday, May 2
This year's Saint Mark Festival will be celebrated on Sunday, May 2, 2021. Worship will begin in the Sanctuary at 10:15 am, and we will be celebrating Saint Mark's faithfulness in making an impact on the world for Jesus Christ.
One special way Saint Mark's faithfulness will be highlighted is through our guest preacher for worship, the Rev. Paige Matthews Wolfe.
Rev. Paige Matthews Wolfe
Rev. Wolfe is a native of Seneca, where she grew up attending Saint Mark UMC. She is the daughter of Susan and Jim Matthews. Paige is a graduate of Wofford College and Emory's Candler School of Theology. She is an ordained deacon in the South Carolina Conference and currently serves as the Minister of Christian Education at Central UMC in Spartanburg. Paige and her husband the Rev. Andrew Wolfe are the proud parents of three lively children.
In addition, our worship will be enhanced with leadership from our Chancel Choir, Gospel Choir, and the Furman Brass Quintet. A Celebration of Holy Communion will be included in our time together.
We will be celebrating the work of our Council of Stewards who have created an "Affirmation of Life Together" - a congregational covenant which highlights our hopes and expectations of living out our faith, and changing lives together as Christ's church in this place. We will also be dedicating a new beautiful quilt highlighting the symbols of our faith made by Saint Mark disciple, Jane Harlin. We have plans for the quilt to be displayed in the church.
FYI, there will be no seating restrictions during worship. The tape and signs will be removed from the pews in the sanctuary. We expect a good crowd, so we ask that you continue to wear your masks, as a precaution.
Let's Celebrate Together!!!
Following worship on Sunday, May 2, everyone is invited to join together on the front lawn for a "Mortgage Burning," celebrating Saint Mark paying off our mortgage debt in February 2021. Our children's choir will sing for this celebration, and all present will have an opportunity to symbolically light a copy of the mortgage pay-off notice.
The mortgage burning will be followed by a pizza party! You don't want to miss this great Sunday in the life of our great church!
We invite you to bring your lawn chairs for our outside activities following worship.
GOD AND THE PANDEMIC
After a year of unprecedented trauma, isolation and disruption, the temptation is to try to forget, to move on, to “get back to normal.” But, for persons of faith it’s crucial to reflect, to acknowledge together the reality of loss, to share lessons that emerge from the struggle and to explore a hopeful way forward.
Beginning on Sunday, May 9, Saint Mark disciples will have opportunities to engage in that process of renewal. Our Faith Formation Team is offering several settings in which to study and discuss a pivotal book by N.T. Wright - God and the Pandemic: A Christian Reflection on the Coronavirus and Its Aftermath. This five-week study will seek insight into questions like these:
- What should be the Christian response?
- How should we think about God?
- How do we live in the present?
- What can we learn about ourselves?
- How do we recover?
Two groups will incorporate this topic into their 9:00 am Sunday School hour: the Table Talk Class (Room A201), led by Don Taylor; and the Acts Class (Room A204), led by Bob Stillwell. All interested persons are welcome to either setting.
Also, we may schedule another study/discussion group if there is expressed need (either in person or via Zoom). PLEASE E-MAIL PAT REYNOLDS (firstname.lastname@example.org
) TO INDICATE YOUR DESIRE TO JOIN A MID-WEEK GROUP.
Transform a Child's Future
Epworth Children's Home
Mother's Day Offering
Sunday, May 9
Each year, Epworth Children’s Home provides care to children in our own communities who have experienced abuse, neglect, and loss. Epworth’s care breaks the destructive cycle and encourages children to aim higher in life. The physical, emotional, academic, and spiritual care they receive transforms their lives.
On Sunday, May 9th, 2021, our congregation will support Epworth by collecting the Annual Epworth Mother’s Day Offering. We invite you to give generously to the children who call Epworth home.
Epworth does not receive apportionments from the United Methodist Conference. This offering is our opportunity to support this vital ministry. There are several ways to give.
- Special envelopes will be handed out during service.
You can give an online donation by clicking on this link: https://www.epworthchildrenshome.org/give/ (select Designation: Other - then type in Mother’s Day offering)
- Checks can be mailed to Epworth Children’s Home, PO Box 50466, Columbia, SC 29250. Please write on the check memo line, or enclose a note, that the contribution is for the "Saint Mark UMC Mother’s Day offering."
Festival of Wisdom and Grace
A CONFERENCE FOR FINDING PURPOSE AND RENEWAL
IN THE SECOND HALF OF LIFE
August 2-5, 2021
at beautiful Lake Junaluska
Theme: Living Abundantly
in the Second Half of Life
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
– John 10:10
Our Favorite Photographer
You have probably noticed a number of beautiful photographs displayed around the church building. Will Parker has taken all of these photos, and they are truly remarkable! They have been on loan to Saint Mark for several years, and we are so grateful to have enjoyed them for so long. Many of them have returned to their gifted owner, but the ones on the staff hallway still remain. They are photos taken around the Saint Mark campus and building.
If you haven't had a chance to see them in person, we have put those photos in a photo gallery on our church website for everyone to enjoy. Click here
to enter the gallery. The photo gallery is dedicated in memory of Will's maternal grandparents, Rhett and Gaynell Evatt
, who were faithful Saint Mark disciples for many years. Will is the son of Mike and Lee Ann Parker
. We hope you enjoy the photos.
An Opportunity to Serve
And Help One of Our Disciples
Saint Mark disciple, Robert Price, has been approved for a Habitat house! As part of Robert’s obligation we, as a church and broader community, need to provide 100 hours of labor on Habitat houses under construction or on his house. Robert, himself, must complete 150 hours of sweat equity, of which he has already completed about 16 hours. His house will be started after he has done 100 of his hours.
Habitat requires that its actual working hours be restricted to Monday, Thursday, and Saturday between 7:30 am until 11:30 am. Children under the age of 18 are not allowed on site during these hours, but can work on site with landscaping, painting, clean-up, etc. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday or after 11:30 am on the work days. Adults can join in with the Habitat work crews from 7:30 to 11:30 am and any other time that is convenient.
Friends and volunteers can start now on other houses, working toward the 100 hours that his friends can donate. If you work, you must check in with the site supervisor upon arrival and receive a ”job” to do. The supervisor will orient you and your group. You must register with the superintendent in order for Robert to receive credit. Houses currently under construction that you can work on are on East Pointe Dr. in West Union
Location of the construction site is on the hillside above and right behind West Union Ingles. Go up Hwy 28 toward West Union. Turn right onto Travelers Rd BEFORE you get to the shopping center. This road is between McDonald’s and the Ford dealership. You should be passing on the right side and above Ingles. Go straight until this road tees with Anderson St. Turn left on Anderson St. and right on East Pointe. There are about 12 to 14 Habitat homes under way on either side of the road
WHAT A GREAT WAY to show Christian Love, get some fresh air, and have a GREAT TIME !!!
For more information, click here
to contact Joe James.
Are You 50+?
It has been over a year since our group of active seniors, the Elderberries, has gathered for fun, food and fellowship. We have missed getting together! Well, that is about to end!
Many of you have already been fully vaccinated and feel safe/comfortable getting out and being active again. Provided that there isn't another surge of COVID, or its variants, in the next couple of months, we are putting together a schedule of events, all the way through December. Watch for a calendar in the near future.
We will always err on the side of caution, so just be aware that anything we schedule could be revised if there is concern about your safety. Thanks for understanding . . .
We Are Expanding Our
Beautiful and Meaningful
Gallery of Crosses
The Aesthetics Committee will be collecting crosses for the Gallery of Crosses, located in the hallway behind the sanctuary. Crosses may be donated in memory or honor of any family member and/or friend. The crosses received prior to May 1 will be hung for the Saint Mark Festival on May 2.
Crosses received after May 1 will be hung as soon as possible.
If you have any questions, please click here
to contact Joyce Carney, or call her at (864) 882-4256
Funding the Mission and Ministries
of Saint Mark
During a Season of Uncertainty
First, thank you, thank you for your generous tithes and gifts during this unprecedented time of uncertainty. We wouldn't be able to support the mission and ministry of Saint Mark without your one-time or regular giving.
The giving of your tithes and offerings continues to be as important now as ever. There are multiple ways for you to practice the discipline of stewardship, and experience the joy of generosity. It’s your generosity that supports the many ministries of Saint Mark which are making a difference in the lives of many in our church and community each day.
To keep your giving up-to-date, you may use one of the following ways to make sure your pledge remains up-to-date:
You can place your donations in the baskets at worship.
You can mail your checks to Karen Holcombe at the church office -616 Quincy Road, Seneca, SC 29678.
You can set up bank draft by contacting Karen at the church office (864) 882-2603.
You may also give your tithes and offerings online. It is quick and easy. Click here to give safely and securely. or by putting the required info into this link, on line credit and debit card, etc. PLEASE NOTE: You may now contribute your alms through the online giving app. It is one of the giving options on the drop-down menu.
Again, thank you!!
Please note this complete list of upcoming events and meetings.
The UMW Annual Spiritual Retreat
Saturday, April 24
Stewardship Committee Meeting
Sunday, April 25
Dee Eaton Celebration of Life
Saturday, May 1
Red Cross Blood Mobile
Sunday, May 2
8:30 am - 1 pm
Acts Sunday School Class
Resumes Meeting In Person
Sunday, May 2
Faith in Action Sunday School Class
Resumes Meeting In Person
Sunday, May 2
Saint Mark Festival Worship and Pizza Party
Burning of the Mortgage
Sunday, May 2
Worship - 10:15 am
Burning of the Mortgage - After worship
followed by a Pizza Party
Monday, May 3
Monday, May 3
Monday, May 3
Tuesday, May 4
Thursday, May 6
In Keowee Key
Church and Society Team Meeting
Monday, May 10
Susanna Wesley Circle
Monday, May 10
Elderberries Planning Meeting
Monday, May 17
Worship Team Meeting
Monday, May 17
Finance Committee Meeting
Tuesday, May 18
Saint Mark Center
Sunday, May 23
Council of Stewards
Monday, May 24
6 - 8 pm
If the information above about your class, group or meeting is not correct, please click here
to contact Marla Fuller
Although we have lifted some of our restrictions regarding meeting in-person, Zoom meetings are still an option. If you would like to schedule a Zoom meeting for your class, group or team, click here
to contact Marla Fuller
If your class, group or team plans to return to meeting in person, please click here
to notify Donna Jaynes
so that she can make sure the room is available and so that she can add it to the building usage calendar. Thanks for your help!
For more dates and details, click here
to view our church calendar on the Saint Mark website.
Make EVERY DAY Earth Day!
Saint Mark UMC
616 Quincy Road
Seneca, SC 29678
9 am - 5 pm (M-Th)
Emergencies or after regular office hours
call or text
send an email
Have you moved, changed your phone number or email address? Let us know!
Click here to let us know of changes in your contact information.
Check Out Our Entire Church
Calendar of Events
Click here to see what is going on at Saint Mark this week and in the weeks to come.
April 25, 2021
Live Stream Worship
Stewardship Committee Meeting
Visit our Saint Mark website! Click here
. Check out our "Business of the Church"
Do You Need to Reserve a Room or Space at Saint Mark?
Quick, easy and available HERE
Watch Last Sunday's Service of Worship Today
If you were not able to attend worship on any given Sunday, you can still watch and enjoy the entire service of worship by clicking here.
A Prayer of Gratitude and Commitment
Our loving Father in heaven, we praise You for Your majesty as Lord of the universe.
We remember with awe, Lord, how You spoke the heavens into being, and how You shaped the formless universe by the breath of your brooding Spirit.
Yet, mighty God that You are, You choose, with affectionate tenderness, to know each person by name.
You come, with intimate nearness, to give power to the faint. You take us into Your arms; You bend down to nourish us. We reach up to receive Your love. We truly find our desires satisfied in You.
Give us a holy discontent with our spiritual apathy and our sometimes ritualistic faith. Anoint us anew with Your living Spirit, O risen Christ.
Come, Lord Jesus, to bring about Your kingdom of peace. Move us to be part of the building of that kingdom.
Lord Jesus, sow your peace in our hearts, and bring about reconciliation among all of your beloved children.
In the name and the Spirit of Christ we pray, Amen
Submit Your Prayer Requests
Saint Mark is pleased to receive your prayer requests . . . for yourself or for friends or loved ones. Click here to submit your request to Pastor Todd Davis.
Saint Mark 2021 Ministry Guidebook
Click here to view the entire Saint Mark 2021 Ministry Guidebook with information about church structure, leadership and ministries.