Update for the week of February 28 - March 6, 2019
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Our Mission Statement

To Be and Make Disciples of  
Jesus Christ 

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Contact Us?
Saint Mark UMC
616 Quincy Road
Seneca, SC  29678

Call us:
9 am - 5 pm (M-Th)
(864) 882-2603
Pastoral Care
Emergencies or after regular office hours

call or text
(864) 888-7072  

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send an email
Saint Mark 2019 Ministry Guidebook 
Click here to view the entire Saint Mark 2019 Ministry Guidebook with information about church structure, leadership, ministries and our 2019 budget. 
Check Out Our Entire Church
 Calendar of Events
Click here to see what is going on at Saint Mark this week and the weeks to come.
March 3, 2019
 9:00 am 
  Sunday School
A Disciple's Path Study 
All Classes 
9:55 am
Fellowship Time in the Atrium
10:15 am
11:30 am
Wings for the Lord Lunch Theater Fundraiser 

4:00 pm 
TREK for Children 

Quick, easy and available HERE 
Listen to Last Week's Sermon Today 
If you were not able to attend worship on any given Sunday, you can still listen to the sermon.   Click here to select and listen to sermons that you may have missed.
Got Good News To Share With Your Saint Mark Family?   
Good news lifts our spirits. Share your good news with us. We will publish your good news in our "People 'Neath Our Steeple" feature. Your news will be sent out as an email. Click here to share your good news (achievements, births, awards, etc.). Include pictures if you have them. 
Interested in LGBTQ+ Inclusion?

Click here for more information. 
Prayer Focus for This Week  
Pray for all teenagers.
Pray for our Wings for the Lord Youth Choir who will be performing this coming Sunday, March 3 to raise funds for their summer tour.  Pray for the formation of their faith as they participate in our youth ministry at Saint Mark.
Pray for teens who do not have a faith community to help them navigate the difficulties of life.  Pray that there will be those who will invite them to become part of a vital faith community.
Pray for teens who live in difficult home environments - who struggle to cope with abusive and addicted parents/guardians.
Pray for teens who struggle with school, who have chosen to drop out, who have gotten pregnant, who have gotten involved in drugs.  Pray that they will receive intervention.
Pray for teens who are susceptible to the pressure of peers.  Pray for strength to resist temptation.
Pray for teens who have given up hope and are contemplating suicide because of rejection or bullying.
Pray for the adults who have answered God's call to mentor and encourage teens who are at risk.
Pray that parents and guardians will provide nurturing homes for their teenagers so that they can grow up, living into their potential.  
Pray for teens who feel God's call to enter into ministry.  Pray for persons who will lovingly mentor and guide them along the way.  
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.

Worship With Us!
A Disciple's Path Sermon Series
with Holy Communion
THIS Sunday, March 3
10:15 am
"Disciple's Path - Witness" 
bringing the message
Rev. Todd Davis
Alms Offering This Sunday 
The alms offering this Sunday, February 24, will primarily support the work of the Rosa Clark Medical Clinic in Seneca, which provides a variety of primary care and preventive and specialty medical services to those in our community who are uninsured or under-insured. The professionals who work there are committed to providing quality comprehensive health care with kindness and respect to those who otherwise would not have access to health care for themselves or their families.
Thank you for your generous support.
Thanks to all of you who have purchased tickets to support our Wings for the Lord Youth Choir!  We hope you will enjoy this performance!!!
Memory Cafe
(an Elderberries Ministry)
Monday, March 4
1 - 3 pm
Commons Room

This ministry is for persons with mild to moderate dementia and their family care givers.  This month, participants will enjoy tie dying t-shirts.  For more information, click here to contact Bonnie Holmes.
The Seven Last Words of Jesus
Sermon Series

Week One
Wednesday, March 6 at 12 noon
Trinity Baptist Church
bringing the message
Rev. Shawna Darnall
"Father Forgive Them"
A free lunch will be served in the fellowship hall  
following the service.
Breakfast for Supper!!

Join us for a time of food and fellowship in preparation for entering the holy season of Lent.  This evening meal will be in lieu of the regular Gathering meal that would normally be the following week (March 13).

The Gathering Master List applies.  Or click here to make your reservation(s). 
Dedication of Photographs  
Taken by Will Parker
Wednesday, March 6
6:15 pm
Staff Wing/Hallway
We are so blessed to have disciples within our faith community with such amazing talent. One of our many gifted disciples is Will Parker, whose gift of taking incredible photographs is second to none!  Will and the Evatt/Parker families have donated the entire collection of photographs, taken around the campus of Saint Mark, that are now displayed, primarily down the length of the staff hallway, and one outside the kitchen doorway.  These photos will be treasured for many years to come! 
Between our Ash Wednesday Evening Breakfast Buffet in the Saint Mark Center and the Ash Wednesday Service in the sanctuary on March 6, gather with us in the staff hallway to dedicate Will's gallery of photos.  
Again, thank you, Will and the Evatt/Parker families! You have blessed us beyond measure! 
Click here to view more of Will's photography.

Housewarming Celebration  
for Donna Jaynes 
Sunday, March 10 
9:45 - 10:15 am 
Please join us as we show our love for Donna Jaynes, and celebrate with her the purchase of her first home. The celebration will be in the Atrium on Sunday, March 10 during the fellowship time between Sunday School and worship. During this time, you will have the opportunity to congratulate Donna, and share cake and special refreshments with her. There will be baskets available for a love offering, gift cards like Lowes or Home Depot (since Donna wants to make some improvements), and congratulatory notes and cards for her to enjoy.  
Donna Jaynes does so much for Saint Mark.  Let's give back! Help her turn her house into a home!!
An Elderberries Event
Anderson Senior Follies
"A Class Act"

The seed for the Anderson Senior Follies was planted in 1989, and each show since then has been a huge success!  Click here to learn more about this annual event. 

Since we will be attending the Anderson Senior Follies a few days before St. Patrick's Day, before the show we plan to enjoy supper at McGee's Irish Pub located in Anderson.

We have reserved 20 tickets for the show and there are only 7 tickets leftClick here to make your reservation(s) online, or call Marla Fuller at the church office (864) 882-2603.  Please indicate whether or not you plan to dine with us at McGee's Irish Pub.

Transportation is available for this event. The bus is half full, so there is still room to ride.  If you plan to ride the bus, the cost will be $5 per person.  
Let's Help Alleviate Hunger!
Our 7th Annual Rise Against Hunger packaging event will be held on Saturday, March 23 in the Saint Mark Center from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm. Our goal again this year is to package 50,000 meals to be distributed in the developing world and at world disaster sites. Brochures and donation envelopes will be available again on Sunday.

Saint Mark and our partner church, Trinity Baptist, must pay for the food, materials and shipping for the meals we package at an increased cost this year of $0.33/meal. After 3 weeks of fundraising, Saint Mark still needs to raise $4065 to cover the food and shipping costs for 50,000 meals. So, please be generous and donate this Sunday, or send a check made out to Saint Mark UMC.

Sign up this Sunday in the Narthex or atrium to work at this meal packaging event, or click here to sign up online.  We need volunteers from ages 5 through 90+ to help. Both sit down and stand up jobs are available. We have invited other student, community and faith groups to join Saint Mark and Trinity folks at the event. Let's welcome our guests and enjoy a fun morning of mission work and community fellowship!

For more information, click here to see the brochure.

The next session in this five-part series is:   
"Our Stories (aka Our Truth) Matter"  
Sunday, March 24
11:30 am - 2 pm
Commons Room 
To learn about
...what racism is
...how racism has evolved
...what white privilege is
...behaviors that contribute to racism
...how to be a disciple of racial justice
There will be a light lunch and door prizes!  
It's not too late to register.  Click here.  
Contact Stacy Keelor at (914) 217-8092 with any questions about the series.
Are You 50+?
Lunch Bunch

Fraud against older Americans is a serious problem affecting thousands every year. Don't be one of them! 

Join us on Tuesday March 26 at Ye Olde Sandwich Shoppe for lunch and a discussion about how you, as a senior adult, can take steps to avoid being scammed.
Deputy Mandy Tinsley from Oconee County Sheriff's Office will come to share a presentation on this important topic.    
Come, eat and learn!
Click here to make your lunch reservation by no later than Thursday, March 21.
It's That Time Again!!

Our Wings for the Lord youth choir is gearing up for their summer tour in July.  One of their biggest fundraisers is their annual ginormous garage sale. But they need lots of items to sell.  Chances are that you have stuff you don't want or need any more.  Start putting these items aside for the sale. Watch for more details.   
We are NOW collecting jewelry for the Wings Garage Sale. A drop box is located in the Church Office.  
We will start receiving all other items starting Sunday March 24 from 9 am to 12 pm and the week of March 25 - 28 from 9 am to 2 pm.
Volunteers are needed to help price and organize Garage Sale items. Just show up and we will get you plugged in Monday March 25 through Thursday, March 28 from 9 am to 2 pm.  
For more information, click here to contact Cara Davis or click here to contact Donna Poston.
Save the Date! 
First Annual Spring Auction for Missions
Sunday, April 7 
From now on, our biggest fundraiser in support of the mission and outreach work of Saint Mark United Methodist Church will be held in the springtime, and we are so excited about the auction coming up on April 7! You will be hearing more details very soon, but for now, please mark your calendars and plan to bid early and often on some great items . . . and get ready for some fun new surprises, too.  
For more information, click here to contact Rachel Smith.
Mark the Date On Your Calendar!
Let's gather together at the front of our church property for a celebration of spring!  Our entire community is invited to attend so we will need lots of help to make this outreach event a huge success!  Watch for details to come.
LENT 2019 
Our annual Community Lenten services provide weekly opportunities to gather together as the larger Body of Christ for midweek observances of Lent.  This year, the messages each Wednesday will be based on the seven last words of Jesus from the cross.   
These midweek services will begin on Ash Wednesday, March 6 and continue each week through Wednesday, April 17. Following each service, the host church will provide a free lunch to those who can stay.  We hope you will plan to attend.
Gallery of Crosses Lenten Project

During the six weeks of Lent the Aesthetics Committee will be collecting crosses for the Ministry Wall in Saint Mark's Gallery of Crosses. This wall is dedicated to ministries that Saint Mark has supported since the beginning. Last year over 39 missions were recognized and are represented with small wooden crosses surrounding the large cross in the gallery. Hopefully, you have been impacted by one or more of the missions and would consider honoring the mission with a cross.

Personally, the small group study, Companions in Christ, made a real difference in my life, and I plan to place a cross on the wall to commemorate that mission. Our goal is to commemorate as many missions as possible during Lent. After Easter the Aesthetic Committee will place the crosses on the wall and prepare a book with all the special memories of the ministries that Saint Mark has supported through the years.

In addition, the Aesthetic Committee is continuing to collect crosses for the other cross walls in the Saint Mark Gallery of Crosses. We invite you to contribute crosses for the other two walls. These will be hung after Easter when the crosses for the Ministries are hung.

Joyce Carney
Aesthetics Team Leader

Which Ministries Have Impacted Your Life?

Feeding Ministries
     Ann Hope, Feeding the
     Homeless, Food Box
United Methodist Women
Wesley Service Guild
Caring Ministry
Marvin's Kids
Child Development Center
Special Friends
Missions with Eleuthera
Salkehatchie Summer Service
Senior Ministry
     METS, Elderberries
Men for Christ
United Methodist Men
Wings for the Lord
In His Eyes
MYF - Methodist Youth Fellowship
SMURF - Saint Mark United Repair Force
Adult Music Ministries
     Chancel Choir, Bell
Gospel Choir,
     Celebration Worship
Vacation Bible School
Wednesday Night Programs
     Church Family Night,
     Church Fellowship Night,
     Recharge, Renew, and
     the Gathering
Scouting Ministries
Bible Studies
Covenant Groups
Local Outreach Ministries
     Golden Corner Food
     Pantry, Our Daily Rest,
     Our Daily Bread,
     Wilderness Way Girls'
     Camp, Habitat for
     Humanity, Presbyterian
     Fund, Rosa Clark Clinic
Stephen Ministry
Quilters for Christ
Wednesday Morning Prayer
Sunday School for All Ages
Confirmation for Youth
Saint Mark Library
Rise Against Hunger
MAD Camp (Music, Art, Drama)
KITS - Keep in Touch Support
KITES - Keep in Touch Every Student
National and International Relief Ministries
     Katrina, Red Bird,
Prison Ministry - KAIROS
Military and Veteran Mission - Honor Flight
UMCOR - United Methodist Commission on Relief
Epworth Children's Home


150th Birthday of UMW
Sunday, March 24
Contact: Becky Hazelwood  
Racism and Its Impact (Session #3)
"Our Stories (aka Our Truth) Matter" 
Sunday, March 24
11:30 am
Commons Room
Contact: Stacy Keeler 
Mental Health Conference
"There Is No Health Without Mental Health: 
The Role of the Church  
in Addressing Mental Illness"
Presented by  
Anderson United Methodist Conference
District Connectional Ministries
Saturday, March 30
9 am - 2:30 pm
Bethesda UMC 
516 Piedmont Rd. 
Easley, SC 29642
For more information, click here.    
Palm Sunday Worship 
Sunday, April 14
Contact: Todd Davis   
Maundy Thursday Service
Clemson and Saint Mark UMC Choirs 
Thursday, April 18 
7:00 pm 
Clemson United Methodist Church 
Contact: David Wilcox  

Good Friday Tenebrae Service
Clemson and Saint Mark UMC Choirs
Friday, April 19
7:00 pm
Saint Mark United Methodist Church
Contact: David Wilcox

Easter Celebration of the Resurrection
Sunday, April 21
Contact: Todd Davis


ARE YOU 50+?
Here are some
Elderberries Events
that might interest you.  Save the date(s) on your calendar. 
Dinner at McGee's Irish Pub
Thursday, March 14
5:30 pm
followed by  
Anderson Senior Follies
Thursday, March 14
7:00 pm
Anderson University
Paramount Theater
Cost: $20 per ticket 
Lunch Bunch
with a guest speaker 
"Avoid Getting Scammed!"
with Mandy Tinsley  
from the Oconee County Sheriff's Office  
Tuesday, March 26
12 noon
Ye Olde Sandwich Shoppe  
Memory Cafe
Monday, April 1
1 - 3 pm
Participants will plant flowers to take home
Lunch Bunch (last one until fall)
Lunch at Lighthouse
Tuesday, April 23 
For more information about our Elderberries ministry or any of these events, click here to contact Marla Fuller. 
Another Adventure for Older Adults
"Springtime By The Sea"
Island Hopping to Sapelo, Amelia
and Cumberland Islands
May 20-23 OR June 10-13
Epworth By The Sea

Explore Sapelo Island, learn fascinating history at Fort Clinch on Amelia Island and cruise by Cumberland Island. Spend the day touring the Gullah Geechee community on Sapelo and have a home cooked buffet lunch at a resident's home in Hog Hammock.  A costumed garrison guide will give a private tour of Fort Clinch State Park and share its strategic importance during the Civil War. Board a private charter for a peaceful cruise up Beach Creek for a close up look of the natural habitat of Cumberland Island National Seashore.  
Details: www.epworthbythesea.org or call (912) 638-8688.

From the Council of Bishops Following the Special Session of the General Conference

February 26, 2019
General Conference maintains language on ordination of LGBTQI persons, same-gender marriages in The United Methodist Church

ST. LOUIS - The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church would like to thank the delegates to the Special Session of the General Conference for their diligent work during the 2019 conference, which ended today in St. Louis, in the United States.

The General Conference is the highest legislative body in the church and the only group who can decide church law and speak officially for the global denomination. 
The 864 delegates (half lay, half clergy) from all over the world met from Feb. 24-26 to discuss and act on the report of the Commission on a Way Forward over the issue of human sexuality.  The delegates also considered petitions other than the report from the Commission.
The decision of the General Conference was to offer a majority support for the Traditional Plan.  The vote was 438 to 384. The delegates then voted to ask the Judicial Council, the highest court in the denomination, to review the constitutionality of the approved legislation.

What is the Traditional Plan?

The Traditional Plan keeps the current language around sexuality and increases accountability by streamlining the processes to enforce penalties for violations of  The Book of Discipline  related to marriage and ordination of LGBTQI persons.  Some parts of the Traditional Plan were ruled unconstitutional, and it will take some time to clarify which parts will become part of our church law and which parts will not.  

"We continue to teach and believe that all persons are welcomed in the church, all persons are persons of sacred worth and we welcome all to receive the ministry of Jesus.  Human sexuality is a topic on which people of faith have differing views," said Bishop Ken Carter, president of the Council of Bishops, after the conference ended. "Despite our differences, we will continue to work together to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world and share God's love with all people."

What is the next step for the UMC?

Since the legislation is not the official church law until January 1, 2020, the bishops are urging all United Methodists to stay focused on the mission that glorifies God and reaches new people with the gospel.  Bishops will be holding meetings with clergy and laity in their annual conferences on how details will be handled in each area.
If: Oconee
Saturday, March 16
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Foothills Church 
505 Bountyland Rd
Seneca, SC 29678
Women, are you looking for a way to deepen your faith and form friendships with other women throughout Oconee County? I urge you to consider attending this one day event. I have had the privilege of being in on-going conversation with the planning team, and feel confident it will be a day of encouragement and renewal! For more information and/or to sign-up, click here.  
                                                 -Pastor Shawna  
Baby Read Needs You!
Did you know that a child's brain grows more between 1 and 18 months than between 18 months and 18 years? Reading to babies from birth stimulates a child's developing brain, teaches about communication, introduces numbers, letters, colors, and shapes in a fun way, and builds listening, memory, and vocabulary skills. Many new parents in Oconee do not know about good practices of daily reading to their children, or lack age appropriate books in the home.
Baby Read is an Oconee County based organization whose mission is to teach good reading practices to parents, using "Family Readers" who spend two hour-long sessions with the family each month at an Oconee County or school library. The family receives a new, free book to take home at each session, provided by Baby Read.
Baby Read needs volunteers to become Family Readers. Do you love children, have patience, and want to help promote academic success with early reading to a new baby and his/her mom? What a gift a few hours of your time each month would be to a young family! If you are interested and want to know more, click here to contact Baby Read by email, or click here to visit their website. You may also contact the Director of Baby Read, Caren von Hippel, at (864) 944-7881.
Ride To Work Ministry

Ride to Work Ministry Nonprofit Inc. is focused on helping people achieve the dignity of work on their path to self-sufficiency as part of God's plan. People fulfill their calling of glorifying God by working and supporting themselves and their families with the fruit of that work. As a driver participating in this program, you are helping people move closer to what God created them to be! Ride To Work is a transitional service. We expect riders to save money and find their own way to work as soon as possible so that they no longer need our service.
Ride to Work occasionally receives donated cars and has a set of rigorous criteria before one is provided to client.  They also put a lien on the car for about 6 months. If you have a car or know of a car to donate, Ride to Work Ministry has recently partnered with another local non profit ( Ripple of One - rippleofone.org) to receive cars and help people get to work and off of government assistance. Call (864) 882-8777. 

Also, please click here to check out the Ride to Work Ministry website in the "News and Success Stories" section for the latest information, and how you can designate Ride To Work as your Amazon (amazon.smile) charity so that 1/2% of everything you buy through Amazon will be donated to Ride To Work!

Thanks for all your support! 
Steve Finger 
Gifted to Serve
Where Will You Use Your Gifts? 
If you are participating in the Disciple's Path study, week 5 was all about our service to God - i n our pledge of membership (discipleship!) to the United Methodist Church, we promise to be faithful stewards of our church by supporting it with our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service and our witness. This involves more than just giving financially - it also means that we are faithful in offering our time and talent in service to God as well.  
Click here to find a spiritual gifts assessment offered through the Saint Mark UMC website (or you can use the results of the survey referenced in the Disciple's Path Study) to offer your services in the areas of your gifts and your passion through the link to service opportunities sheet that is on the same page of the Saint Mark website (Where Will You Plug In?).  Try it!  Then offer your services to Saint Mark! 
Let's Help Karen Out 
We are fortunate to have Karen Holcombe at Saint Mark as our Operations Manager, but she is also the power of one that makes up our Accounting Department.
As the committee that supports the staff and helps the congregation understand more clearly the job responsibilities for each staff, the SPRC (Staff Parish Relation Committee), would like to ask that all but emergency needs be deferred until Karen's afternoon office hours.  This will allow her to be more efficient in her morning time when she is responsible for counting our generosity, attending staff meetings, writing payroll checks for church and Child Development Center (CDC), clearing staff and CDC hires for background checks, and paying bills for church and CDC.  Your sensitivity to this change in policy would be greatly appreciated.  
On behalf of the SPRC,   
Lynn Dobson, Chair
Book of Exceptional Stewards 
In the story of the "Poor Widow," Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins. Jesus called his disciples to him and said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on."
Jesus singled out this widow's offering to God. Why? Because her generosity was sacrificial. Giving intentionally, regularly, generously, proportionally, cheerfully and yes, sacrificially is the cornerstone of biblical stewardship. With the support of the Stewardship Ministry Team, Pastor Todd would like to recognize and give thanks to those disciples who have demonstrated a significant level of growth in giving, or who routinely exhibit the biblical principles of sacrificial stewardship.
The names of these disciples will appear in the
Book of Exceptional Stewards held discreetly and securely by Pastor Todd. The Book of Exceptional Stewards will be seen ONLY by Pastor Todd. Names will be added by the disciples themselves by filling out a simple form. There is NO verification process. This is between you and The Lord. You provide the information, and you control whether or not your name is included in the book. It is entirely voluntary. Just as Jesus preached openly and called openly, we ask that you prayerfully consider adding your name to the Book of Exceptional Stewards.
NO NAMES OR CATEGORY OF GIVING WILL BE SHARED WITH THE CONGREGATION OR ANYONE ELSE. However, Pastor Todd does expect to celebrate with the congregation the number of disciples in our family of faith who are growing toward, and are committed to, generous and sacrificial stewardship. Just as Jesus celebrated the sacrificial generosity of the poor widow, Pastor Todd wants to celebrate your faithful stewardship of God's blessings.  
If you are able, please consider being a disciple listed in the Book of Exceptional Stewards by filling out the form at the link below, and submitting it in a sealed envelope addressed to Pastor Todd. You may drop it in the offering plate or mail it to the church office.
Click here to find the form.  Print it out, fill it out and return it to the church office.
Visit Prison with Your Prayers During Lent 
This past Advent, 250 incarcerated Christians in South Carolina served as Pilgrim Seminary prayer missionaries. Each prayer missionary prayed for three United Methodist pastors and churches every day from the beginning of Advent through Epiphany.   Mr. Rodney Williams was the prayer missionary who prayed for Saint Mark UMC.
During Lent (March 6 - April 20), United Methodist congregations across South Carolina will be reciprocating by praying for some of the 20,000 men and women who are currently incarcerated in South Carolina prisons, as well as the prison chaplains and staff. The goal is that every person living in a South Carolina prison (believers and believers-yet-to-be) will be prayed for by a United Methodist during Sunday worship services throughout the Lenten season.
In worship at Saint Mark each Sunday of Lent, during the Pastoral Prayer, you will have the opportunity to pray for those prisoners listed in your bulletin.  You will also be encouraged to take your bulletin home and pray for them during the week. Hopefully you are aware of the Biblical mandate to remember and visit those in prison. Visiting Prison with Your Prayers might be a good first step that could open future opportunities for ministry and service.  
Thanks for your support, Pastor Todd

Click here to discover the many ways to serve at Saint Mark. Fill out the form and return it to Marla Fuller in the church office. We will get you plugged in!    

Saint Mark United Methodist Church

616 Quincy Road
Seneca, South Carolina 29678-3820

Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors