The photo of Saint Mark in the background of our Affirmation
was taken by Saint Mark disciple, Debbie Barton.
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.
Rev. Bob Stillwell
Will Be in the Pulpit This Sunday
It is always a good Sunday when we get a chance to hear Rev. Bob Stillwell bring the message.
Transform a Child's Future
Epworth Children's Home
Mother's Day Offering
THIS 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
this Sunday during worship for you to
insert your Mother's Day offering.
We Extend Our Sincere Sympathies and Prayers to:
Saint Mark disciple Herb Reed on the death of Herb’s wife, Anita Virginia Gamble Reed on Sunday, May 2, 2021 at Cottingham Hospice House in Seneca. A celebration of Anita’s life and faith will be planned for a later date.
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. 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 had her throat stretched.
Sandra Bailey – Sister-in-law of Florence Hanzel -Dealing with pre-pneumonia. Trying to stay home, but may have to go into the hospital as lungs are not quite doing the job.
Sarah Boylston –Had outpatient back surgery on Thursday, April 29, 2021. Recovering at home and doing well.
Chris Hanzel – 59 year old stepson of Florence Hanzel, who lives in Akron, OH – Having heart issues. He was to have a cardio-version but unable to do procedure due to blood clot. Receiving medication to dissolve it.
Freida Phipps – At Lila Doyle recovering from pneumonia.
Rena Walden – Hip replacement on 4/22/21. Home and doing well.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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.
We are grateful for our moms and for all the women in our lives who have served as mother figures - for those who gave us birth and for those who helped to birth our faith - for those who challenged us and for those who encouraged us.
Let us give thanks to God . . .
Have a wonderful Mother's Day Celebration!!
Pastor Todd's Vacation Schedule
Pastor Todd will be on vacation beginning tomorrow, May 7 and continuing through May 15. 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 (email@example.com
) TO INDICATE YOUR DESIRE TO JOIN A MID-WEEK GROUP.
For more information, click here
to contact Bob Graves.
Sunday, May 16 is a very special Sunday in the life of our Saint Mark family. It is an annual tradition. We will recognize and celebrate our graduating high school seniors during worship.
Join us to bless their journey into the next chapter of their lives.
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!
Saint Mark Festival 2021
Historic Mortgage Burning Celebration
On Sunday, May 5, our Saint Mark Festival Celebration included the historic and highly anticipated burning of the paid-in-full church mortgage that symbolized that we can now put the mortgage debt behind us!
In the photo above, Bob Dobson, the DREAM campaign coordinator (to pay down the mortgage), places a copy of the mortgage into the fire. Stewardship Chair, Peter Salis and the Chair of the Building Committee, Richard Cottingham, along with Pastor Todd and Shawna look on, ready to add their copies of the mortgage to the fire.
Our Saint Mark children lifted our spirits during the Mortgage Burning celebration by singing and doing the motions to, "I Will Love You Lord With All My Heart." It was wonderful to see so many of our little ones present.
The Saint Mark Festival celebration ended with lots of water fun for the children and the youth who assisted. The Seneca Fire Department brought their fire engine that pumps water. The children enjoyed running through the chilly spray of water. As you can see from the photo above, they also enjoyed shooting water blasters and throwing water balloons. You can bet, they all got wet!
The grand finale of the Saint Mark Festival was a bouncy water slide! Wheeeee! A grand time was had by all, including the children.
Join us next year for Saint Mark Festival 2022.
Welcome to New Saint Mark Disciples,
Pat and Diana Palmer
Pat and Diana made it official on Sunday, May 2. They come to us, transferring their membership from Memorial Park Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Allison, Pennsylvania where they were both very active in the life of that faith community. We look forward to getting to know them better and helping them plug into the ministries of Saint Mark.
When you see them, please extend a warm Saint Mark welcome!
Someone is Turning 90 Tomorrow!
Florence Hanzel, one of our faithful Saint Mark disciples, is turning 90 years young tomorrow, Friday, May 7
. Her family will be gathering later to celebrate with her, so click here
to flood her email inbox with lots of love and birthday blessings.
Florence, have the best birthday ever!!
Did you enjoy the
Furman Brass Quintet on Sunday?
Guest musicians can add so much to our worship services, and inviting them to play at Saint Mark also gives them an opportunity to glorify God with their talents. Funding for these musicians has typically come from offerings taken at special concerts throughout the year. Due to the pandemic and no concerts for the last year, this fund is running low.
If you would like to make a donation toward the funding of more guest musicians, you may click here to contact Laura Ritter, or simply make your donation and designate it for "Designated Music Events."
A Final Resting Place at Saint Mark
The Memorial Garden Committee of Saint Mark is making plans to build a new columbarium in the Memorial Garden located in the turn-around area on the south side of the sanctuary. This beautiful garden is home to the cremains of many of our beloved Saint Mark disciples.
Construction will start in the next several weeks. We wanted the congregation to be aware and to also know of a pre-sale that is being offered. The cost of securing a niche for the final resting place of a Saint Mark member’s cremains in the columbarium is $1,000. For a limited time, the cost of $900 is being offered.
You are welcome to contact any member of the Memorial Garden Committee for more information. Sally Boggs, Chairperson, Barbara Head, Charles Fox, and Dale Gobel.
Flowers Will Return to the Sanctuary
Flower arrangements will once again beautify the sanctuary beginning Sunday, August 8.
A new Flower Calendar is posted on the wall in the hallway to the left of the sanctuary facing the choir loft.
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.
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.
Elderberries are ramping up for the remainder of 2021:
Return of the Elderberries - a free light meal, probably on Sunday, June 27. We will celebrate our coming back together again after over a year of being apart. Watch for more details.
We are looking into a free performance of Mama Mia at Carolina Wren Park, sponsored by Market Theater and the City of Anderson the week of July 20 - 25. Again, watch for details
- We have been invited to the home of Mike and Jane Harlin for lunch on Saturday, August 21. We will be taking reservations later.
- Our annual covered dish luncheon at Biggerstaff Christian Retreat Center on Friday, September 24. Watch for details and the chance to make your reservation.
We have reserved 30 tickets for 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 FABULOUS!! The total cost per ticket will be $27, which includes the cost of the ticket and facility fee. Tickets will go on sale this summer.
We have two or three other events in the works for later in the year.
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 . . .
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!!
Will You Volunteer?
Volunteer "substitute" grocery pick-up drivers are needed by Golden Corner Food Pantry for occasional food pick-up at local Seneca and Clemson grocery stores.
- Approximately 8:00 am to 11:00 am
- Use your own vehicle
- Must be capable of lifting up to 50 pounds
Please call or text Diane Caster - 910-599-2512 or click here to send her an email.
Please note this complete list of upcoming events and meetings.
Church and Society Team Meeting
Monday, May 10
Susanna Wesley Circle
Monday, May 10
Library Team Meeting
Tuesday, May 11
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
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
Sunday, June 6
Sunday, June 6
Worship Team Meeting
Tuesday, June 8
Saint Mark Center
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.
Soapstone Baptist Church Fish Fry
Saturday, May 15
You are invited to an outdoor picnic (BYO chair or blanket) prepared by Soapstone Baptist Church on Saturday May 15, 2021. The cost is $14 per person, and you can pay at the door with either a check payable to "Soapstone Baptist Church" or use cash.
These third Saturday of the month fish fries support this historic black church, school and cemetery. The food is excellent and the views are spectacular. Meet at Soapstone Baptist Church 296 Liberia Road, Pickens SC 29671 at 12 noon. Simply show up and enjoy the food and friendships.
Consider supporting this historic landmark and house of worship by attending and enjoying a wonderful meal. FYI, members of “Let’s Talk Race, Clemson” plan to attend this event.
for details of the fish fry. Click here
to learn some of the history of the congregation and community.
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 9, 2021
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 Mothers in Every Form
God of Provision and Unconditional Love,
On Sunday, when we acknowledge the importance of motherhood among us, we first give thanks that you are a loving parent to us all. From your Being all life was born, and in your bosom all creation is nurtured. You have formed us in your image as your children, and gathered us together as a brood under your wing. You have united us as kindred members of one human family, and we are grateful to be your offspring together. We celebrate your divine love, reflected in human expressions of motherhood.
We give you thanks for the mothers among us, and ask that you strengthen them in their daily tasks. Grant them wisdom in the lessons they teach, patience in the discipline they foster, and persistence in their promotion of decency and compassion, both by word and example. May they be given the honor and thanks they deserve but often do not receive.
We thank you for all motherly figures: grandmothers, aunts, sisters, wives, step-mothers, foster mothers, guardians, babysitters, teachers, health care providers, neighbors, friends, loved ones, and many others, who practice self-sacrifice and embody compassion to all who are privileged to be in their influence. Grant them vigor to carry on their work, and the satisfaction that the holy privilege of their task affords.
We acknowledge to you, O God, that even amid our grateful celebration, many of us come with restless spirits, reluctant to name the difficulties of this day.
For some, this day brings the sorrowful awareness of their own inability to conceive biological children. Draw your tender spirit near their feelings of self-betrayal, impotence, and grief, and remind them that those who struggle with infertility have always shared a special place in your heart.
We pray for those who have suffered miscarriages, those fatigued by fertility treatments, and those struggling through the process of adoption. May they remember that in your power and through your church, they can still leave a lasting legacy beyond themselves.
For some, this day is marked by loneliness and grief, as they spend this first Mother’s Day as a widower, an orphan, or a parent who has lost a child. To those who today live in the wake of the death of a loved one, grant glimpses of the resurrection. Bring to them a steady restoration of their broken hearts, allow them to live into their future with hope, and empower them to carry out the legacy of lessons instilled within them.
For some, this is a day that surfaces ongoing tensions that exist within our personal relationships and family dynamics. We ask for healing from the wounds of our past, a path of forgiveness for wrongs both experienced and committed, and the rebuilding of trust forged in honesty, authenticity, and love.
We give you thanks for the wide spectrum of motherhood: new mothers and young mothers whose children are in their most tender years; mothers of grown children who transition into empty nests and a new chapter of self-discovery; mothers and grandmothers of advanced years, whose twilight of life is marked by frailty of body but a potency of spirit. Theirs is a cumulative reminder that though our lives are marked by transition and change, your nurture and affection for all your children remains the same.
Therefore, remind us to live with a child-like faith, curious to every wondrous mystery, attentive to your every instruction, obedient to your every command, and willing to share with every one of your children. We give you thanks, O God, who is a loving Mother and Father to us all, and in whose name we pray,
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.