Update for the week of January 10 - 16, 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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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.
January 13, 2019
 9:00 am 
  Sunday School
9:55 am
Fellowship Time in the Atrium
10:15 am
Celebration Worship
Saint Mark Center
10:15 am
Traditional Worship
11:30 am
Lunch and Panel Discussion  
Human Relations Sunday
4:00 pm 
TREK for Children  
4:00 pm   
Wings for the Lord 
5:30 pm
In His Eyes

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  
A Prayer of Compassion
by Mother Teresa
Lord, open our eyes that we may see You in our brothers and sisters.
Lord, open our ears
that we may hear the cries of the hungry,
the cold, the frightened, the oppressed.
Lord, open our hearts
that we may love each other as You love us.
Renew in us Your spirit.
Lord, free us and make us one.

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.
Join us for a Special Time of Worship this Sunday!
January 13, 2019
Celebration Worship
10:15 am
Saint Mark Center 
Traditional Worship
10:15 am
Bringing the message at both services
Rev. Deb Richardson-Moore
Pastor, Triune Mercy Center
"Seeing Navy"

Following worship, join us in the Commons Room to continue the conversation with our three special guests, Rev. Deb Richardson-Moore, Jody Usher and Billy Martin.  They will address God's call to the Church of Jesus Christ to reach into the margins of society to extend the love and compassion of Christ.
 Rev. Deb Richardson-Moore 
Jody Usher 
Billy Martin 
Rev. Deb Richardson-Moore serves as pastor of Triune Mercy Center in Greenville, South Carolina, where she works to make homeless parishioners feel respected, loved and empowered to seek jobs and housing. She is a Greenville native and a graduate of Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, NC) and Erskine Theological Seminary (Due West, SC).
Jody Usher serves as the senior lay leader of Peace Church, UCC in Clemson.  She earned her doctorate degree in cognitive psychology at Emory University.  She is a social activist with a passion for ending racism.
Billy Martin is a resident of Seneca and a faithful member of the Ebenezer Baptist Church.  He served two years as president of the local NAACP.  He retired from ATT after 38 years.
At 11:30 am, before the panel discussion begins, a light lunch of soup, cornbread and dessert will be served.  There will be a donation basket available if you would like to help defray the cost of the meal. 

Advent Giving Boxes
Deadline is THIS Sunday 
If you were not able to bring your box on Christmas Eve, you may bring it to the Commons Rooms this Sunday, January 13.
The sorting party will be on Monday, January 14 at 7:00 pm in the Commons Room.  Everyone is welcome to join us to sort and prepare the boxes for distribution.

For more information, click here to contact Pastor Shawna.

CDC Parents' Night Out
Friday, January 18
5:30 - 9:30 pm

Our Saint Mark Child Development Center is once again offering childcare service for parents, grandparents or guardians who want an evening out without the children.  Click here to contact Becca Williams for more information - or to make your reservation. 

Enjoy a Cold Winter Evening with
Your Friends at Saint Mark!

On Friday, January 18, let's gather in our beautiful atrium for a magical evening of winter fun, food and fellowship.  The evening will feature a covered dish supper. Because it is winter, we invite you to bring your favorite "comfort food" to share with the group.  Chicken tenders will be provided. In addition to the meal, our evening will include a hot chocolate bar with a variety of toppings, and a fire pit to roast marshmallows so that you can cap your meal off with s'mores.  There will also be some fun activities for your winter enjoyment.

Invite your friends and neighbors to join you. Click here to make your reservation(s) by no later than Monday, January 14.

The Countdown to A Disciple's Path
Beginning on Sunday, January 20 A Disciple's Path will shape much of what we do at Saint Mark, helping us to go deeper in our own discipleship and giving us methods for making new disciples. This six-week study will explore what a life connected to God and connected to others is all about, and the hope remains that EVERYONE will participate at some level.
The design of A Disciple's Path is a workbook, so that we can learn and grow while practicing; we can develop new and deepen existing practices that should guide our faith journeys our whole lives. The workbooks will be distributed in worship on Sunday, January 20, or can be picked up in the church office anytime if you cannot be present that morning. The cost is only $5 per book. 
While the timing may not be right for everyone, I pray you consider participating through individual study throughout the week, Sunday morning worship, as well as in a Sunday school class or small group.
I am overjoyed that almost all of our Sunday School classes are embarking on this journey together! If you are not already part of a small group, I want to be sure you're aware of the groups newly forming for this study. If you are interested in becoming a part of one of these groups, please email the leader for more information.
Wednesday 5:30 pm - 7 pm led by Rev. Bob Stillwell
         Co-Ed group meeting at Saint Mark UMC
         Email: restillwell@umcsc.org
Thursday 10 am - 11:30 am led by Rev. Todd Davis
         Co-Ed group meeting at Saint Mark UMC
         Email: tdavis@smumcsc.org
Sunday 12 pm - 1:30 pm led by David Wilcox
Men's group meeting at local restaurant  
Email:  dwilcox@smumcsc.org  
Ongoing midweek small groups welcome you to join them for this study.
         Tuesday 9:30 am - 11 am led by Debbie Barton
                  Women's group meeting in homes
          Email: mamadebbieb@gmail.com
Thursday 10 am - 11:30 am led by Sandy James
         Women's group meeting at Saint Mark UMC
         Email: s4e4j4@bellsouth.net

For more information, click here to contact Pastor Shawna.
Are You 50+?
Join Us For Our Monthly Lunch Bunch

January's Lunch Bunch will feature a potato bar with Baked Idaho and Sweet Potatoes with a variety of toppings.  Salad will be also be included. 

For dessert, you will get to make your own Ice Cream Sundae

Stay after lunch and enjoy a special surprise activity!!
Click here to make your reservation(s). 
Saint Mark Youth Will Attend  
Revolution 2019
Sponsored by the South Carolina Conference
of the United Methodist Church

For more information, click here to contact Donna Poston.
Sign Up to Attend This Important Series   
Please join the members of the Saint Mark Church and Society Team for a special 5-part program called Racism and Its Impacts: A Self-Discovery Series.
During this program you will become aware of personal behaviors that may be perceived as racist, explore concepts like white privilege and unconscious bias and discuss obstacles to better race relations and what you can do to be a part of the solution. Our goal is to create a movement of Saint Mark disciples who contribute to positive race relations within the church and our community-at-large.
Session 1
Self-Reflections and Racism Defined
Sunday, January 27    
Session 2
Historical and Social Impacts  
(Panel Discussion)   
Sunday, February 24
Session 3
Connecting with the Other: Our Stories
Sunday, March 24
Session 4
Saying and Doing the Right Thing
Sunday, April 28
Session 5
Continuing the Dialogue
Sunday, May 26
All sessions will take place from 11:30 am - 2:00 pm and include a light lunch and door prizes! There is no registration fee. All sessions will take place in the Saint Mark Commons Room.
Attending all sessions is not required but highly recommended due to the sequential nature of the content.                         
We look forward to sharing this special experience with you.
To sign-up for the 5-part series, click here to register online, or visit the sign-up table in the atrium after worship on January 13 and 20.  

Contact Stacy Keelor at (914) 217-8092 with any questions about the program.
Memory Cafe - February Event
Trip to Kilwins Chocolate Company
220 N. Main Street Greenville, SC 29601
Saturday, February 2
2:15 - 3:30 pm
Bus will leave at 1:00 pm at the church
Memory Cafe, our outreach group for persons with dementia and their family caregivers, will be going to Kilwins Chocolate Company in Greenville on February 2. Participants will watch how chocolate candies are made, have a snack of ice cream as part of their trip, and be able to purchase chocolate candies of their choice, if they desire.
Transportation is available upon request. Please contact Bonnie Holmes at (864) 916-9204.  For more information, click here to contact Bonnie. 
Sponsored by our Saint Mark Youth
Click here to contact Donna Poston 
Comedian Henry Cho Is Coming to Walhalla!!

Henry Cho is a regular on television and film. His clean comedy is so versatile that he can headline Vegas and then tour with Michael W. Smith in the same month.  Henry Cho's TV credits include appearances on NBC's "The Tonight Show," CBS' "The Late, Late, Show," and NBC's "Young Comedians Special." Henry was co-creator, co-producer, and co-writer of "The Henry Cho Show" on GAC. Henry's one hour clean Comedy Central Special, "What's That Clickin' Noise?" is currently airing as well as being available on Netflix. He can be heard daily on Sirrus, XM, Blue Collar Radio, and Pandora. He is also a regular performer at the Grand Ole Opry.  
24 tickets are now available to purchase. Click here to make your reservation(s).  Pay for and pick up your ticket(s) from Marla Fuller at the church office.  
It's That Time Again!!

Our Wings for the Lord youth choir is gearing up for their summer tour in June.  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.  For more information, click here to contact Cara Davis or click here to contact Donna Poston.

Council of Stewards Meeting 
Monday, January 28 
6:00 pm 
Commons Room

Special Friends Valentine's Day Party
Sunday, February 10
5:30 pm
Contact: Donna Poston
The Gathering
Valentine's Dinner and Dance
Wednesday, February 13
5:30 pm
Contact:  David Wilcox 

Wings for the Lord Lunch Theater
"WING-FM Variety Show" 
Sunday, March 3
11:30 am
Saint Mark Center
(Tickets go on sale for $10 on Sunday, February 10) 
Contact: Donna Poston
Ash Wednesday
Wednesday, March 6  
Gathering Meal
5:30 pm
Saint Mark Center 
Ash Wednesday Service
6:30 pm  
Contact: Todd Davis   
Annual Rise Against Hunger  
Meal Packaging Event
Saturday, March 23
Contact: Jody Gaulin 


ARE YOU 50+?
Here are some
Elderberries Events
that might interest you.  Save the date(s) on your calendar. 

Winter Fun Night
Covered Dish Supper and LOTS of Fun!! 
Friday, January 18, 2019 
6:30 pm
At Saint Mark 
Lunch Bunch
Potato Bar (Regular and Sweet), Salad  
and Make-Your-Own Ice Cream Sundae Bar 
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
12 noon
Commons Room
Memory Cafe
Trip to Kilwin's Chocolate Factory in Greenville
Saturday, February 2
2:15 - 3:30 pm
Bus will leave the church at 1 pm and return by 4:30 pm 

Henry Cho Show  
"Clean Comedian" 
Saturday, February 15
7:30 pm 
Walhalla Center for the Performing Arts
Lunch Bunch
at Blue Marble Deli 
Tuesday, February 26
12 noon
Memory Cafe
Tie-dying Activity
Monday, March 6
1 - 3 pm 
Lunch Bunch
Spaghetti and a Speaker 
"Avoid Getting Scammed!"
with Mandy Tinsley  
from the Oconee County Sheriff's Office  
Tuesday, March 26
12 noon
Commons Room
For more information about our Elderberries ministry or any of these events, click here to contact Marla Fuller    

The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.
It is also necessary in both public and private life to refrain consistently and empathically from inflicting pain. To act or speak violently out of spite, chauvinism, or self-interest, to impoverish, exploit or deny basic rights to anybody, and to incite hatred by denigrating others-even our enemies-is a denial of our common humanity. We acknowledge that we have failed to live compassionately and that some have even increased the sum of human misery in the name of religion.
We therefore call upon all men and women to restore compassion to the center of morality and religion ~ to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate ~ to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures ~ to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity ~ to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings-even those regarded as enemies.
We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensable to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.

4K Screening Registration
School District of Oconee County 
Do you have a child, or know of a child, who will be 4 years old on or before September 1, 2019?  If so, he/she may be eligible for 4K (Pre-K) services.
Please schedule a screening appointment for your child by calling (864) 886-4503 or (864) 886-4469.
Screening dates are February 15, 19, 20, 21, April 26 and 27, 2019.  Screenings will be held at Oconee Academy at 177 Razorback Lane, Walhalla, SC 29691.
When you come in for your screening appointment, you will need to bring your child, along with the following:
  • Child's state issued LONG FORM Birth Certificate
  • Child's Social Security Card
  • Child's Immunization Form or Religious Exemption Certificate
  • Driver's license or identification of the parents(s)/guardian(s)
  • Child's Medicaid Card OR Proof of Income for both parents/guardians (This includes step-parents if they assume responsibility.  Preferred proof of income is the 2017 W2 form. Pay stubs may be used)
  • Proof of Residency (a utility bill with parent(s)/guardian(s) name and home address OR a lease/rental agreement)
  • Legal documentation as it pertains to the child (such as custody, court, safety plans, etc.), if applicable
Due to the district's limited number of programs, screening does not ensure a child's placement in a 4K (Pre-K) program.  However, a child cannot be placed in a 4K (Pre-K) program unless he/she is screened. 

A Special Thank You!
Recently, SMUMC disciple Jens Holley was awarded Certified Lay Speaker in the United Methodist Church. Jens also serves as Saint Mark's administrative assistant. On Sunday, December 30, Jens led worship and preached so that Pastor Shawna and Pastor Todd could have some much needed rest following the Advent and Christmas seasons. Click here to hear his message - "Darkness and Light." 
Please take a moment next time you see Jens, and express your appreciation for his faithful discipleship to Saint Mark. 
Saint Mark, You Are the BEST! 
One of the unique and defining factors of the United Methodist Church is that we are "connectional." We aren't an isolated body of believers, but rather, a world-wide denomination. One way we participate in this important connection is through apportioned giving.  

Apportioned giving is a term that describes how a percentage of the money you give to Saint Mark each week is separated out and distributed throughout the United Methodist Church. Because of your generous support through your gifts and tithes, we are able to participate in the ministry and mission of the United Methodist Church both locally and around the world.
At the end of 2018, we reported that we were concerned that we would not be able to meet our obligation to pay our apportionments to our Annual Conference. Thanks to your generosity, Saint Mark, we were able to close out 2018 in good fashion and met all of our financial obligations, including apportionments.  
Faith Promise Update
Now that we have entered the new year, it is time to celebrate the results of our stewardship campaign - here are the numbers, but first a GIANT THANK YOU for your faith promises that have put us where we are:
  • Total pledges received - 216 versus 228 in 2018
  • Total pledge amounts to date- $884,835.88 versus $855,432.52 for 2018 (that's $29,403.36 more!!)
  • Average pledge - $4,096.46 versus  $3,751.90 for 2018 (that's  $344.56 MORE!!)
The 216 Pledges are broken down as follows:
82 - No Change
19 - Decreased
91 - Increased (that's 42.6% of you that did so!)
24 - New
The Finance committee will meet on Tuesday, January 15 to finalize a 2019 budget, so if you have not yet turned in a pledge, PLEASE do so - it's as easy as calling Karen at 882-2603!  And THANK YOU again for your commitments to support the ministries of Saint Mark! 

Church Flower Calendar
There is an urgent need for sanctuary flowers to be provided on three Sundays in January and three Sundays in February.  This coming Sunday, January 6, please stop by the Flower Calendar located in the church entrance that leads to the music suite (on the left as you face the front of the sanctuary) and volunteer to provide flowers for worship in honor or in memory of a loved one, or to celebrate an event or milestone.  For more information, click here to contact Sandra Stricker, or call her at (864) 882-8641  

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