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.
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.
Saint Mark Festival 2021
In-Person and Live Stream Worship
with Holy Communion
Celebrate the Mission and Ministry
of Saint Mark UMC
THIS Sunday, May 2
This year's Saint Mark Festival will be celebrated THIS 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
We are so pleased to welcome the Furman University Brass Quintet that will add so much to our service of worship, along with the Saint Mark Chancel and Gospel Choirs.
Those who will be attending in person will share in Holy Communion, while those worshiping online will observe a special Love Feast, prepared for this special occasion.
PLEASE NOTE: Beginning this Sunday, we are removing the blue tape that signified social distancing from all of the pews. We are expecting a larger than usual attendance for this special event and want to make sure everyone has a seat. That means that all pews will be open. If you are uncomfortable with this change, we hope you will join us instead for live-stream worship.
Then, if you watch worship from home, come out and join us outside (in front of the sanctuary) at about 11:45 am for the mortgage burning, pizza party and activities for children (see below)
It Is Holy Communion Sunday
We Invite You To Bring Your Alms Offering
Almsgiving is the practice of giving money sacrificially. The alms offering this Sunday will primarily support Ripple of One, a local organization that helps families move from poverty to financial independence.
From their website: “We empower families to move beyond public assistance and into their full God-given potential.”
Parents and children in the program have mentors, attend classes, and are rewarded for meeting various goals along their path to self-sufficiency. Ripple has a great record of success, and they appreciate our generous support.
If you will not be worshiping in person, you may give your alms online by clicking here.
Let's Celebrate Together!!!
We invite you to bring your lawn chairs for our outside activities following worship.
Following our Saint Mark Festival service of worship this 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.
Following the mortgage burning, we will celebrate together by enjoying a pizza party!
Special Fun for the Children
At the end of our Saint Mark Festival festivities, our children will enjoy playing on a bouncy slide and having some water fun provided by our local fire department. Bathing suits are perfectly fine!
What a wonderful day it will be!
Please don't miss any part of our
Saint Mark Festival Celebration!!!
Personal Prayer Notes:
Coronavirus – those with virus, those unable to work, healthcare workers, containment, those who are working to distribute and administer vaccines.
Arlene – Sister of Bob Graves - Arlene was recently diagnosed with cancer of the kidney. She will be meeting with her oncologist next week to determine course of treatment. Please pray for her and her husband, Joe as they go through these difficult times.
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.
Sarah Boylston – Having outpatient back surgery on Thursday, April 29, 2021.
Ginny Argue - Recovering at home from surgery on broken hip on 3/25/21.
Charlie Fox – Recent accident caused pelvis to break in two places. 4-8 weeks to heal. Thanks for prayers for recovery.
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.
Freida Phipps - undergoing rehab at Lila Doyle for two weeks.
Rena Walden – Hip replacement on 4/22/21. Home and doing 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.
Two Adult Classes Will Resume
In-Person Sunday School
THIS 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.
- Faith in Action Class meets in Room A206.
Both classrooms are on the second floor of the atrium. Are you looking for a class to attend? Check them out!
For more information, click here
to contact Bob Graves.
Pastor Todd's Vacation Schedule
Pastor Todd will be on vacation May 7 - 15, 2021. If you need pastoral care during this time, please contact Pastor Shawna through the church office at (864) 882-2603. After hours, please leave message at ext. 104.
Thank you for this time away to rest and renew.
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. (While the book is not essential, reading week by week will enhance the learning experience. It is available on Amazon. Click here to order your copy.)
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:
- Table Talk Class (Room A201), led by Don Taylor
- 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
NEXT 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 9, 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."
Special envelopes will be available on May 9 for you to insert your special offering.
Will You Participate?
Saturday, May 22
8 am - noon
We would love to have a Saint Mark team help out on this Community-wide clean-up day in the Utica Mill Village, where there is no regular garbage collection yet. There are plans underway to add more streetlights in the Utica area, to demolish dangerous abandoned homes and to bring a regular weekly garbage collection program to the area as well.
On this clean-up day, local residents will be bagging up their own garbage, and volunteers will be helping move the bags of garbage to city-provided dumpsters. More details will follow, but please click here to contact Jane Harlin for more information or to sign up to be on the Saint Mark team.
This is part of a long-term effort to restore the Utica Mill Village to the safe, healthy neighborhood it used to be.
Church Work Day
Tuesday, May 25
Please join us for a lot of fellowship and a little hard work on Tuesday, May 25 at 10 am at Saint Mark. We will be working around the area of the Scout Hut trimming, clearing weeds and spreading pine straw as well as other areas in the back of the church. Please bring rakes, hoes, hedge clippers and gloves.
We will gather in the parking spaces on Doug Berry Dr. near the Hut. Our rain date will be Thursday, May 27 at 10 am.
Please call Dal Poston at (704) 641-9521 with any questions. We hope to see you there!
Flowers Will Return to the Sanctuary
Flower arrangements will once again beautify the sanctuary beginning Sunday, August 8.
A new Flower Calendar will be posted on the wall in the hallway to the left of the sanctuary facing the choir loft beginning this Sunday, May 2.
The process is the same:
- Choose a Sunday for your arrangement to be placed in the sanctuary.
Fill in your Name and Phone Number so Diane Taylor can give you a reminder call the Sunday before.
- Call Jens Holley at the church office (864) 882-2603 on the Monday before your chosen date to let him know who the flowers are in honor/memory of. He will include your dedication in the church bulletin.
Call the florist* to order** the flowers that same Monday. The florist will deliver the flowers to the church.
*The church uses: Glinda's Florist, (864) 882-2678, 1975 Sandifer Blvd., Seneca, SC (At the present time, Heartwarmers is currently closed until further notice).
**When ordering flowers, please do not add ribbons, bows, flags, etc. in the arrangement. Just the flowers only. Thank you!
For more information, click here to contact Diane Taylor.
COVID-19 Vaccines Are Available NOW
Are you (or someone you know) still in need of a COVID-19 vaccine? Church members (and pharmacists) Brock Sparks and Laura Wagner have an abundant supply of both Moderna and Janssen (Johnson and Johnson) vaccines at Patrick Square Pharmacy in Clemson. Call (864) 999-2900 to schedule your first dose of Moderna, or the one time only J & J vaccine. There is no cost.
Help protect yourself and those around you.
To all the Saint Mark disciples and friends who send me birthday wishes, thank you so much for thinking of me. I was overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and thanks that are far more than my simple service is worth. I appreciate your thoughts and prayers, and am grateful to be able to share in the life of Saint Mark. Thank you for all you do for me.
With God’s Blessings,
Welcome Baby Girls!!!
Hastings Caroline Nodine (pictured below) was born on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 to Erin (Garland) and Sonny Nodine. Grandparents are Saint Mark disciples, Tony and Sandi Garland.
Amelia Blake Gause (pictured below) was born on on Friday, April 23, 2021. “Millie” is the newborn daughter of Anna (DuBose) and John Gause. Saint Mark disciples, Bob and Debbie Dubose, are the grandparents.
We Celebrate our May Birthdays!
Some of you were born in the merry month of May! Click here
to see who is celebrating a May birthday! If you were born in May and your name isn't on our list, click here
to contact Jens Holley, who will add your name so that we can celebrate your birthday next year.
How To Contact Victoria Arnold,
our Ministry Intern
Several of you have asked how to reach Victoria Arnold to express your appreciation for her ministry at Saint Mark. Victoria will be spending the summer at Asbury Hills. Her contact information will be:
150 Asbury Drive
Cleveland, SC 29635
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.
Two events that we hope to finalize soon are:
- Our annual covered dish luncheon at Biggerstaff Christian Retreat Center on Friday, September 24. Watch for details.
Henry Cho, the clean comedian on the evening of Saturday, October 9 at the Walhalla Performing Arts Center. We went to his show a couple of years ago and it was GREAT!! We plan to reserve 30 tickets. Tickets will be $26 (minus 10% group rate). Watch for when the tickets go on sale.
Watch for a calendar of other events 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 Still Looking . . .
Sound, Projection, and Live Stream Volunteers Needed
for Worship Services
Volunteers are needed for the control booth to help our worship services run smoothly. Behind the scenes jobs for camera, projection, sound, and lights are needed immediately. Each worship service requires one person for each of these volunteer positions. That is four volunteers for each worship service every Sunday. The plan is to utilize volunteers on a rotating schedule, so you wouldn't work every week.
If we can get enough volunteers to help we may be able to resume the contemporary service sooner rather than later. No experience is required and training will be provided in order to step right into one of the four operating positions.
If you are interested, please call Jens Holley at the church office at (864) 882-2603 and volunteer your services at your earliest convenience.
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.
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
Sunday, May 16
Elderberries Planning Meeting
Monday, May 17
Worship Team Meeting
Monday, May 17
UMW Leadership Team Meeting
Tuesday, May 18
3 - 4:30 pm
Finance Committee Meeting
Tuesday, May 18
Saint Mark Center
Parents’ Night Out
Friday, May 21
5:30 - 9 pm
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.
of The United Methodist Church
Commit to Net-Zero Emissions by 2050
First of its kind commitment
fosters collaborative action to drive change
In the first net-zero commitment of its kind, a group of agencies of The United Methodist Church (UMC) today released a joint statement on Thursday, April 22, “Our Climate Commitment to Net-Zero Emissions.” The collaborative, multi-institution statement pledges to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the organizations’ ministries, facilities, operations and investments by 2050. “Net-zero” describes the process by which human-caused greenhouse gas emissions can be balanced, or “netted out,” by removing emissions from the atmosphere.
The statement acknowledges that the UMC “has long affirmed our individual and collective responsibility to address the unfolding climate crisis.” In light of these values, the group said it was “called by our faith, informed by science, and led by our relationships with impacted communities” to respond urgently.
Today’s commitment supports collective climate action – in partnership with the UMC, the broader faith-based community and all others with net-zero ambitions. Agencies will explore these climate efforts with a focus on supporting an equitable transition and “new ways of ministry that better embody God’s vision of justice for God’s people and God’s planet.”
The statement is endorsed by 11 General Secretaries and agencies:
Additional UMC agencies are also actively considering endorsing the statement.
The commitment comes at a time of growing climate action around the globe. Following the U.S.’ decision to reenter the Paris Climate Agreement, nine of the world’s 10 largest economies have stated ambitions to become carbon neutral. Meanwhile, corporate commitments to achieve net-zero have tripled in the last year.
Thursday's announcement coincided with Earth Day, an international celebration of the planet, as well as the Administration’s virtual “Leaders Summit on Climate” – a meeting of world leaders focused on climate action leading up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) this November.
Agencies will work together in the coming months to solidify actions and strategies associated with the statement.
Stay tuned . . .
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.
May 2, 2021
8:30 am - 1 pm
Red Cross Blood Drive
Live Stream Worship
Mortgage Burning Celebration
a Pizza Party and Water Fun
for the Kiddos
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 for the Church
Spirit of promise, Spirit of unity, we thank You that You are also the Spirit of renewal. Renew in the whole Church that passionate desire for the coming of Your kingdom which will unite all Christians in one mission to the world.
May we all grow up together into Him who is our head, the Savior of the world. Amen
– Olive Wyon, England, The Book of Worship #503
O Creator and mighty God, You have promised strength for the weak, rest of the laborers, light for the way, grace for the trials, help from above, unfailing sympathy, undying love. O Creator and mighty God, help us to continue in Your promise. Amen.
-Traditional Prayer, Pakistan, UM Book of Worship #524
Give us, O Lord, steadfast hearts, which no unworthy thought can drag downward, unconquered hearts, which no tribulation can wear out, upright hearts, which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside. Bestow upon us also, O Lord our God, understanding to know You, diligence to seek you, wisdom to find You, and faithfulness that may finally embrace You; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
- A Prayer of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Italy, 13th century, UM Book of Worship #530
O gracious God, we pray for Your holy Church universal, that You would be pleased to fill it with all truth, in all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in anything it is amiss, reform it; where it is right, establish it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of Him who died and rose again, and ever lives to make intercession for us, Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen.
– The Book of Common Prayer, UM Book of Worship #501
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.