The photo of Saint Mark in the background of our Affirmation
was taken by Saint Mark disciple, Debbie Barton.
Current Safety Guidelines 5/20/21
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 NOTE: Although the CDC has lifted the restrictions for wearing masks for those who have been vaccinated, we plan to require masks in worship a while longer out of an abundance of caution. We will notify you when that policy changes.
Also, refreshments will be allowed beginning on Sunday, June 20. We will be encouraging pre-packaged food/snacks. Watch for details.
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.
Pentecost Sunday 2021
This Sunday, May 23, is the celebration of Pentecost - an important day in the life of the Church. Click below to learn more from "Chuck Knows Church." Watch, learn and enjoy!
Join Us for Pentecost Sunday!
As in previous years, we invite you to wear red for Pentecost worship. The color red is a visible reminder of the presence of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, resting on the heads of the apostles as “tongues of fire," empowering them and others to proclaim the good news of Christ's resurrection in many languages (Acts 2:3) . . . inaugurating the birth of the Church of Jesus Christ.
We hope you will help us celebrate the presence and the work of the Holy Spirit this Sunday.
Saying "Farewell" to Natalie Womack
If you don't recognize Natalie, it is because she has worked behind the scenes for months as we have spent much time, effort and funds working toward getting high quality live stream worship out to your home each Sunday morning. Natalie has been faithfully working behind the camera for almost a year, from the very beginning of our live-streaming. She helped to set up Vimeo, and was first to learn the technology of our cameras, bringing all of the components of worship into your home.
Natalie will be leaving us to continue to pursue her degree in nursing from Clemson. We are so grateful to have had Natalie on our tech team. and we wish Natalie God's blessings as her life unfolds. We expect great things from her! Thank you, Natalie!
You will have the opportunity to thank Natalie in person as you leave worship this Sunday.
Celebrating Our Seniors!
We are proud to show off this year's graduating high school seniors. They were honored and blessed during worship this past Sunday, May 16. They are:
The service included a video that we want to share with you. Special thanks to the parents who paid tribute to their youth.
Because of copyright laws, we are not able to include the music that was played behind the video, so if you want the full effect, you can play the song, "The Words I Would Say"
by Sidewalk Prophets in the background. Click here
to play the song.
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 has begun chemo treatments. Please pray for her and her husband, Joe as they go through these difficult times.
Roz Sammeth Bolding- Roz, daughter of Saint Mark founding members Russell and Lil Sammeth, has been diagnosed with cancer.
Sarah Boylston – Had outpatient back surgery on Thursday, April 29, 2021, and is now recovering at home and doing well.
Mayne Collins – Mayne is a long time member of Saint Mark's Susanna Wesley Circle and has fallen and is now in rehab and appreciates our prayers as she heals.
Jane Donovan - Aunt of SMUMC disciple, Jane Harlin - Began chemo today for advanced lung cancer. She lives in Ohio.
Mary Beth Dorn – Mary Beth, sister of Diana Lowe, is undergoing cancer treatment in Texas.
Betty Jane Fourspring – At daughter Kimberly’s home recovering from pneumonia.
Lou Hansen – Lou had outpatient surgery to remove his gallbladder on May 11th, and is recovering at home.
Chris Hanzel – 59 year old stepson of Florence Hanzel, who lives in Akron, OH – Is in stage four heart failure and possible hospitalization this week if meds do not help.
Judy Hopp - Having cryoablation on heart in Atlanta on today, May 20, to correct afib and aflutter.
Melvina Melton –Sister of Lura Wyatt – Has been diagnosed with rectal cancer and is starting treatment at John Hopkins. Please pray for her that things go well and they will be able to do the surgery.
Sonia Phillips – Fell and broke large bone in upper arm. Facing 12 weeks of recovery.
Karen Suarez - Recovering from knee surgery.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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.
Will You Participate?
THIS Saturday, May 22
8 am - noon
We have a team of 8 Saint Mark disciples signed up to help out on this community-wide clean-up day in the Utica Mill Village, where there is no regular garbage collection yet. Can we add your name?
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. Residents who help on clean-up day are eligible to sign up for free garbage collection for a year, as long as they continue to keep their properties clean. This is going to be a great day for the Utica Mill Village, and we are excited to be included!
We will meet in the Ann Hope UMC parking lot between 7:30 and 8:00 am, and you invited to wear your Saint Mark t-shirts, if you want to.
Ann Hope UMC
702 Goddard Ave
Seneca, SC 29678
Please click here to contact Jane Harlin for more information or to sign up to be on the Saint Mark team. Breakfast biscuits will be served before we get to work!
This is part of a long-term effort to restore the Utica Mill Village to the safe, healthy neighborhood it used to be.
For more information, click here
to contact Bob Graves.
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!
Memory Cafe Will Resume in June
We are pleased to announce that Bonnie Holmes is going to resume Memory Café, starting Tuesday, June 15, 2021.
Memory Cafe is a place where you and your loved one with memory loss can get together monthly in a safe, supportive, and engaging environment. It is a place where you can interact, laugh, cry, find support, share concerns, celebrate, and encourage friendship and acceptance. There is no cost. All meetings are free.
The first gathering is on Tuesday, June 15th at 2:00 pm.
Saint Luke United Methodist Church Office Building
607 E Main Street
Walhalla, South Carolina 29691
When you enter the office building, you will come into the Family Activity Room. That is where the group will meet each month.
For more information and to make your reservation, call Bonnie Holmes at (864) 973-8066.
Saint Mark Library Is Having a
August 1 - 8
Many of you have inquired about donating some of your books to our church library, and we are so grateful! Because of your book donations, our library shelves are filling up. In fact, for that reason, we are limiting donations to the library to 10 of your very best and most current books.
We do not want to see really good books go to waste, so the Library Planning Team has decided to host a Faith and Values Book Sale the first week in August.
During the month of July, we will begin receiving your donated books that we will sort and price so that others in our church family can shop for "new" used books to read.
We will have plastic bins placed in front of what used to be the Children's Ministry office in the atrium - right before the hallway that goes to the Youth Center. You can drop off your books beginning on Sunday, July 4. We will receive your books for three weeks, through Sunday, July 25.
We are looking for books/DVD's that emphasize both faith and values such as:
Books about the Bible
Guides for dealing with issues (addiction, grief, etc.)
. . . to name a few . . .
Please make sure that the books you donate are in fairly good condition - no pages missing, and minimal to no markings (underlining, writing in the margins, or highlighting) on the inside.
We are giving you plenty of time to start sorting through your books. Watch for more details as we get closer.
Saint Mark Family, For Your Information
An Opportunity to Make a Difference
Have you wondered how students who have fallen behind during the pandemic will ever catch up? There is an opportunity for them this summer, and you can help!
Retired educators, Helen Rosemond and Earnestine Williams will be leading a five-week summer school session for those students at Blue Ridge Community Center this summer. The session will be from July 12 to August 6.
There is a need for quality children's books, as many from the former Code Library are now at other schools. The Church and Society team from Saint Mark is sponsoring a new or gently used book collection for the students' use this summer. The books should be in good condition and appropriate for grades K-5. We will collect the books between Sunday, June 6 through the following Sunday, June 13. On both Sundays, you may drop off your books in plastic bins located in the Narthex. During the week, you may drop off your books in the wooden bins in the Ben Hilda atrium entrance.
Thank you in advance for your response to this need in our community.
Our Saint Mark Child Development Center
Has An Immediate Need
Our Saint Mark Child Development Center is in need of two small appliances - a small refrigerator and a microwave
. Do you have one or both that you would be willing to donate? If so, click here
to contact Becca Williams, Director of our CDC. Thanks!
Come Out and Help Robert Price Get His Habitat Home!!
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 already under construction. Robert, himself, has 150 hours of labor, of which he has already completed about 16 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 sites with landscaping, painting, clean-up, etc. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday or after 11:30 am. Adults can join in with the “Habitat” work crews from 7:30 to 11:30 am, and any other time that is convenient. 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.
Location of construction site is on hillside above and right behind West Union Ingles. Go up Hwy 28 toward West Union. Turn right onto the last paved road BEFORE you get to the ramp that goes to Hwy 11 N. 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 T's with Anderson Street. Turn left on Anderson Street and right on East Pointe. There are about 12 to 14 Habitat homes under construction on either side of the road.
WHAT A GREAT WAY to show Christian love, get some fresh air, and have a GREAT TIME !!!
Wondering About Kairos Prison Ministry During COVID 19?
Saint Mark disciples have been dedicated supporters of the Kairos Ministry, baking thousands of cookies, writing cards, and making and decorating placemats for Kairos weekends at McCormick over the years.
Although it was not as evident to us, Kairos has continued to minister to the needs of the incarcerated and their families through Kairos Outside (a program based on the Kairos model for families of inmates) and Kairos Torch (programs for juvenile offenders). Additionally, donations allowed Kairos to provide hygiene, PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and cleaning supplies to inmates during the pandemic.
This week, the leadership of Saint Mark’s United Methodist Women voted unanimously to support The Kairos Ministry with a $500 donation until we can once again support the Kairos weekends by baking cookies, writing cards, etc.
If you are interested in donating to the ministry, you may do so online at www.kairossc.org
or by sending your donation to:
Kairos Donor Coordinator
McCormick Correctional Institution
Kairos South Carolina
PO Box 394
Easley, SC 29641
From the Kairos ministry, “During this time of COVID 19, your thoughtfulness and prayers touch broken hearts and renew their understanding that God loves them and wants them to walk a different path.”
A Note of Thanks from Jimmy
Saint Mark custodian, Jimmy Hornsby, would like to express his heartfelt for the birthday greetings and gifts he received from his Saint Mark family last week. It really surprised and touched him!
Thank You, Saint Mark
Child Development Center Staff!
The CDC staff was treated to an “appreciation” luncheon on Wednesday. Bagged lunches were provided by the CDC Steering Committee, along with this cute poem, borrowed from Pinterest.
“Teachers have such busy lives,
Working hard at school. They SANDWICH lots in every day.
We think they’re super cool!
When students act like TURKEYs or HAM it up in class,
They exercise such patience and handle all the sass.
They never put off til TOMATO what they could do today.
LETTUCE appreciate their efforts and help them along the way.
When they’re in a PICKLE, they help each other out.
Teachers are smart COOKIES, of this we have no doubt.
When the CHIPS are down, teachers still pull through.
We want to thank you very much for all the things you do!”
The CDC Staff, under the guidance of Becca Williams, has done a great job managing this Saint Mark outreach ministry during the pandemic. Things are beginning to “normalize” as the pandemic abates. There is a waiting list of 13 infants and plans are being formalized for an active Summer Program.
We all appreciate their tireless efforts of service to our children and their and families!
Church Bus Drivers Needed
To Transport Elderberries
Some of our 50+ disciples are no longer driving and rely on our church bus to get to some of our Elderberries activities. We are looking for persons who would be willing to be trained to drive our 15-passenger church bus. You don't need a special commercial license, but you must be younger than 70 OR, if you are 70+, you will need to give a doctor's statement to Karen Holcombe that you are able to drive.
Elderberries will cover any entrance tickets you may need to events or activities.
If you are willing to help us out, please click here
to contact Marla Fuller.
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. 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!!
Donate your car to Ride To Work and help someone local keep their job
Ride to Work Ministry Nonprofit Inc. provides temporary low-cost rides to/from work for Oconee County residents who want to work but lack transportation. Donated cars would be provided to clients who have worked steadily, met their ‘self-sufficiency success plan’ and saved enough to title, insure, and maintain the car.
If you have a reliable used car you no longer need, please consider donating it to Ride To Work (they will provide an IRS tax receipt). Click here to contact Ride To Work Ministry, or call (864) 882-8777 and tell them you’d like to donate a car (please specify the donation would go to Ride To Work).
Please note this complete list of upcoming events and meetings.
Parents’ Night Out
Friday, May 21
5:30 - 9 pm
Sunday, May 23
Hospitality Team Meeting
Sunday, May 23
Saint Mark Center
Council of Stewards
Monday, May 24
6 - 8 pm
Church Work Day
Tuesday, May 25
10 am - 12 noon
Evangelism Team Meeting
Tuesday, May 25
Friday, June 4
Saint Mark Center
Children’s (New and Gently Used) Book Drive
Grades K - 5
For Blue Ridge Summer Program
Sunday, June 6 - Sunday, June 13
Service/Mission Team Meeting
Sunday, June 6
Sunday, June 6
Worship Team Meeting
Tuesday, June 8
Saint Mark Center
CDC Steering Committee
Tuesday, June 8
Church and Society Team Meeting
Monday, June 14
Library Team Meeting
Tuesday, June 15
Celebration of Life - Anita Reed
Saturday, June 19
Saint Mark UMC
Elderberries Planning Meeting
Monday, June 21
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.
Are You 50+?
Check Out Our List of Confirmed
"Return of the Elderberries"
Light Lunch and a Time of Fellowship
Sunday, June 27
Saint Mark Atrium
We will begin taking reservations in June.
Biggerstaff Christian Retreat Center
Annual Covered Dish Luncheon
Friday, September 24
Watch for details and the chance to make your reservation
Henry Cho, the Clean Comedian
Dinner at Puerto Nuevo Mexican and Seafood Restaurant
Saturday, October 9
Supper - 5:30 pm
Show - 7:30 pm
Walhalla Performing Arts Center
We have 30 tickets.
Tickets will go on sale in June for $27
Tour of Mushroom Mountain
Thursday, November 4
Cost will be $15 per person.
There will be seats available for those who wish to sit down.
The group will then meet for lunch following the tour.
Watch for details about making reservations.
Keep coming back to see what else we add to our calendar. We also have tentative plans for July, August and December.
Hate Crimes Against Asian Americans Are On the Rise And It Has To Stop!
May is Asian American Pacific Island Heritage Month, a time to reflect, honor, and celebrate the contributions people of Asian and Pacific Island descent have made to the United States. Asian Americans can trace their roots to at least 19 countries in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Indian subcontinent and this diversity of cultures, nationalities, and experiences is reflected in the rich diversity of God’s tapestry of humanity.
While we take this moment to celebrate the diversity and ways AAPI persons have enriched our churches and communities, we must pause to reflect on the sobering reality of the ongoing acts of violence and hatred towards people of Asian descent in the U.S.
6,603 incident reports have been filed from March 19, 2020 to March 31, 2021.
Types of Discrimination
- Verbal harassment (65.2%) and shunning (18.1%) — i.e., the deliberate avoidance of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders — continue to make up the two largest proportions of the total incidents reported.
- Physical assault (12.6%) comprises the third largest category of total reported incidents.
- Civil rights violations — e.g., workplace discrimination, refusal of service and being barred from transportation — account for 10.3% of the total incidents.
- Online harassment makes up 7.3% of total incidents.
- A large percentage of incidents take place in public streets and parks (37.8% of incidents) and in businesses (32.2% of incidents).
- Gender, language, and religion are cited as motivating factors for discrimination in 21.7% of incidents.
- Hate incidents reported by women make up 64.8% of all reports.
- Youth (0 to 17 years old) report 11.0% of incidents and seniors (60 years old and older) report 6.6% of the total incidents.
- Chinese individuals have reported more hate incidents (43.7%) than other race or ethnic groups, followed by Koreans (16.6%), Filipinx (8.8%) and Vietnamese (8.3%).
The National Federation of Asian American United Methodists wrote, “These acts of hate are neither sporadic nor haphazard. They reflect a larger systemic trend of anti-Asian American animosity brought on during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Many people of Asian descent are understandably afraid to leave their homes, not as much because of the pandemic, but because they are being blamed for the pandemic.
We are grateful that the House of Representatives has passed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act. All that remains is President Biden's signature.
As followers of Jesus, we are called to stand against the mistreatment of our Asian siblings. Together, we can bring about a more just and peaceful world where all of God’s children are valued, safe, and loved.
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 23, 2021
Destiny Christian Center Worship
Live Stream Worship
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 Pentecost
Come, Holy Spirit
Ever living and ever loving Spirit of God,
We praise You for Your loving presence with us.
Come, Holy Spirit,
take and transform our societies —
that broken people find healing;
that lonely people find love;
that bitter people find peace;
that fearful people find hope.
Come, Holy Spirit,
take our world’s leaders and governments and bring renewal —
that communication can be open;
that relationships between hostile people and hostile nations will evaporate;
that a hunger for justice addresses the hunger for food felt by so many.
Come, Holy Spirit,
fill Your church —
that our worship will be ever more pleasing to You;
that prayers will change our minds instead of trying to get You to change yours;
that our lives will make a real difference to real people in the real world.
Come, Holy Spirit,
fill our lives with Your presence—
so that more and more every day, all that we do and say and hope will be an act of worship to You and an expression of love to others,
to the glory of your name.
~from the Baptist Union of Great Britain
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.