St. Mark's United Methodist Church of Bloomington, Indiana
is an inclusive community bringing Christ-like love, healing and hope to all.

We embrace the United Methodist ideal of Open Hearts, Open Minds and Open Doors
by welcoming those of all races, cultures, faith traditions, sexual orientations, and gender identities.
This Saturday, December 2nd (8am-12pm) and Sunday, December 3rd (9:30am-12pm)
United Methodist Women Cookie Shoppe!
Can't You Just Smell the Cookie Shoppe? Sales of cookies and candy will be on December 2nd, 8:00am-12:00pm and on December 3rd, 9:30am-12:00pm. These times are the correct up-to-date times for Cookie Shoppe. For best selection, variety, and quantity, plan to shop on Saturday morning. Cookies and candies are sold by weight at $10 per pound. Free gift boxes & ribbon are provided. All proceeds go to support women's and children's local and global missions. 
This Saturday, December 2nd, 10:00am-12:00pm, Garton Hall
Getting Ready For Christmas & Other Winter Holidays
Join us for a morning of arts and craft activities hosted by St. Mark's Children's Ministries and St. Mark's Nursery School and Kindergarten. With a focus on re-using and re-purposing materials, the crafts are geared toward preschool and primary-age-children.  
The crafts include make-and-take holiday decorations and gifts that can be given to parents, grandparents and other special people in children's lives. This free event is open to all, regardless of your faith and home culture, so please invite your friends and family. 
9:00am (Garton Hall) 
Thank you to those who  
will be preparing breakfast.  
Donations will support  
St. Mark's Missions Giving. 
9:15am    Pilgrims (Room 13) 
9:15am    Nomads (Room 10)
9:30am   Bible Banter (Room 11)
Infants through Three-year-olds  
(Rooms 24 & 25)
Children, Friends & Family
9:30am (Garton Hall)

Preschool - Room27
Kindergarten & 1st Grade - Room 28
2nd & 3rd Grade - Room 4
4th & 5th Grade - Garton Hall 
6th-12th Grade - Room 3 
Reverend Jimmy Moore, preaching 
Matthew 13:24-37
Sermon Title:
Advent Shalom, Advent Peace:  
On What to Remember  
When Awakening

Get to know one another;  
wear a name tag, please. 
Need a name tag? Click here! 
This Sunday, December 3rd, 10:30am
Sanctuary Worship
Just as many animals are preparing to enter the deep sleep of hibernation for the winter months, the church is called to a time of awakening and awareness. We call that time, "Advent." When Jesus told the parable of the return of the household master, metaphor for the moment of redemptive possibility, he urged his followers to "Be awake". And it is only when we begin to awaken that we realize how deeply asleep we have been. Perhaps we have been asleep and therefore unaware of our own contribution to the world's distance from grace. Or maybe we have slept through moments of potential peace and reconciliation. So, Advent sets the alarm clock for a definite early rising, and when we groggily awaken, urges us not to press the snooze button. We at St. Mark's will reflect on this as we enter our Advent Season, with the season long theme, "Advent Peace, Advent Shalom," seeking to be a part of making "peace on earth" a reality in our lives and community. The sermon in our 10:30am service this Sunday is titled "Advent Shalom, Advent Peace: On What to Remember When Awakening," arising from Mark 13:24-37. The Chancel Choir, led by Gerry Sousa and accompanied by Pam Freeman, will sing, we will light the Advent Candle, and we will celebrate Holy Communion. During each Sunday of Advent, those attending will receive a list of suggestions of activities of reflection, service and advocacy to help bring peace to our world. We hope you join us.
Advent Peace, Advent Shalom
This season of Advent, which marks the start of the Christian year, begins on Sunday, December 3rd. It is a time of expectant waiting and watching as we prepare for the celebration of the birth of Jesus. As we move through the four week Advent sojourn toward Christmas, we anticipate songs of angels which proclaim "peace on earth." During this Advent Season, St. Mark's United Methodist Church will be asking what are ways we might embrace peace and Shalom. Advent Candle lighting readings, songs and scriptures will highlight this theme. In every Sunday morning bulletin during Advent, there will be an insert with actionable suggestions as to how we may seek peace and Shalom in our lives and community. And on Monday evening, December 11th at 7:00pm, there will be a "Blue Christmas" Service which will seek to bring comfort and peace to those who are having a hard time during the holidays. We hope you join us for our Advent adventure.

This Sunday, December 3rd
Backpack Buddies Food Collection
This Sunday at the 10:30am worship service, you are invited to bring food items for the Community Kitchen Backpack Buddies program. Through this program, each Friday, approximately 400 children in need from local elementary schools are sent home with a backpack of food. Children are also provided food during Summer Break. These backpacks help meet basic weekend food needs of their families. A list of items requested is below. Please place the Backpack Buddies offering on the altar in worship on the first Sunday of every month, or you may leave your items during the week in the collection box in Garton Hall.  
Backpack Buddies Food List
  • Individual fruit cups (applesauce, tropical fruit, pears, etc.)
  • Instant Oatmeal (individual portions)
  • Macaroni & Cheese
  • Small boxes of cereal
  • Easy-to-prepare food items (instant mashed potatoes, dried soups, beans, meal helpers, rice or pasta meals, etc.)
  • Granola/fruit/cereal bars
  • Dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, cherries, tropical fruit, etc.)
  • Canned or pouch chicken or tuna
  • Small bread mixes (cornbread, muffin, biscuit, etc.)
Sunday, December 3rd, 3:00pm, St. Mark's Sanctuary 
Bloomington Chamber Singers to present  
Feast on Bach! Feast 1: Christmas
The Bloomington Chamber Singers will open its 2017-2018 season with a performance of five Bach cantatas composed for the Christmas season. Conducted by BCS Music Director Gerald Sousa, "Feast on Bach 1: Christmas" will take place on December 3rd, 2017 at 3pm at St. Mark's United Methodist Church, 100 N. State Rd. 46, and is the first of a three-part series of concerts that explores the cantatas Bach wrote for the major feast days of the liturgical year.
A preconcert lecture on Bach and his cantatas will be presented at 2:00pm by IU Professor of Musicology and Bach scholar Dr. Daniel R. Melamed. Tickets are $20 General Admission; $10 Students, available at the door or in advance at our website,
NOW! through December 10th
Poinsettia Orders for Advent and Christmas
Ordering of poinsettias to decorate the Sanctuary and Garton Hall during Advent and Christmas has begun. Orders will be taken through Sunday, December 10th. The cost for each poinsettia plant is $10. You can find an order form in at the Welcome Desk in Garton Hall, print an order form here, or order online at this link. Poinsettias may be dedicated in honor of or in memory of loved ones or friends. You may also call the church office to place an order or with any questions.
Beginning Sunday, December 3rd through Christmas
Christmas Trains Are Returning to St. Mark's!
Rev. Robert Sharp and the Bloomington Model Railroad group have again agreed to set up a Christmas Village complete with an ON 30 operating Christmas train! The train will be set up early in Advent up and in operation in Room 12 beginning on December 3rd before and after worship.
The village will be a traditional 1950 vintage town with a winter theme. The layout will be open and running before and after church on Sunday mornings in December. Other viewing times can be arranged by appointment. For more information, contact Robert Sharp or Charlie Matson ( or 812-331-0413), or you can call or email the church office.
"Where the Heart Is" 
An Update & Thank You From The Stewardship Team
As of November 27th, 107 pledge cards had been returned for the 2018 Stewardship Campaign: Where the Heart Is, totaling $412,385. Also, as of November 27th, new and additional pledge cards had been returned for the capital campaign Project St. Mark's: The Sequel (which includes the recent repaving of the parking lot).*
We deeply appreciate your commitment and pledges to both campaigns. If you have already returned your pledge cards, or are doing so soon, thank you! This will help church leadership determine an estimated budget for next year. We recognize that some of you may need more time for discernment regarding pledges, and are grateful for pledges received through the fall and beyond. Stewardship packets are available in Garton Hall and in the church office. These can be returned anytime in the offering plate, to the church office, or can be filled out online via the link on the church website ( Thank you for your generosity in supporting the ministries and missions of St. Mark's!
* Project St. Mark's: The Sequel is a two-year capital campaign, which began last year. We have added 17 new pledges (as of November 27th) for a two-year total (2017-18) of 100 pledges and a current total of $206,260. The goal is $275,000.
Tax Advantages for Giving to Charitable Organizations
A Note From The Endowment And Stewardship Committees 
Below is information about methods and tax advantages for giving to charitable organizations.  It's includes methods for donating appreciated stock and Required Minimum Distribution (RMD).  This information was provided by Hurlow Wealth Management who manages the church's endowment fund.
  1. Giving appreciated stock -  If you were to gift appreciated stock directly to St. Mark's, you could avoid the capital gain tax and an additional tax deduction for the donation.
  2.  Donating you RMD.  Did you know that instead of taking your yearly (RMD) from your IRA and paying tax on it, you could give it directly from your IRA to the church or other charities and gain tax advantages? 
For more information about these charitable giving options, click here. 
9:15am-10:15am in Room 13
9:15am-10:15am in Room 10
9:30am-10:15am in Room 11
Infant through Three-year-olds  
(Rooms 24 & 25)

Garton Hall 

Preschool - Room27
Kindergarten & 1st Grade - Room 28
2nd & 3rd Grade - Room 4
4th & 5th Grade - Garton Hall
6th-12th Grade - Room 3  
Each Sunday
Sign In & Name Tags for Sunday School & Childcare 
Children attending childcare or Sunday School must be signed in and have a name tag from the table in Garton Hall. Please sign in before worship. 
Each Sunday, 9:30am
Children, Friends & Family of all Ages 
CELEBRATION! takes place in Garton Hall, near the piano.  People of all ages are invited to reflect on the theme for the day and to take part in the hands-on experiences available at the tables near the piano.  Also, on Sundays when he's available, Aaron Comforty will close out our community in song as we end in a communal "Great Amen" before heading to the Sanctuary for worship.  
Sunday School Registration Renewal
Complete registration forms here.
If you have not yet registered your child for Sunday School this year, please do so today. If needed, forms are available at the Sunday School table in Garton Hall. This form is an annual requirement for each child (multiple children can be entered on one form).
Adult Sunday School, 9:30am
Bible Banter

The Bible Banter class meets in Room 11 each Sunday from 9:30-10:15am. The Scripture text for the morning's sermon is used as a discussion-starter.

We look at the passage in its larger context, and we sometimes explore a bit of Bible-writing history. We offer some thoughts on what the morning's sermon might look like, based on the Scripture the pastor has selected. We leave time to discuss implications of the Scripture for our own lives, and we often even delve into topics far afield of the morning's original topic. You are invited to bring some breakfast from Garton Hall into Room 11 and join the conversation.

Adult Sunday School, 9:15am
The Nomads class is a generally progressive group which meets each Sunday at 9:15am in Room 10 for fellowship and discussion of selected readings on issues related to faith, spirituality, or social justice. Nomads will discuss The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully by Joan Chittister. All are welcome with no preparation required.

Adult Sunday School, 9:15am 
Pilgrims' Sunday Morning Class is studying how the five major religions - Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism - address the same core issues. We will be using a video lecture series titled Comparative Religion by Professor Charles Kimball, Professor and Director of the Religious Studies Program at the University of Oklahoma.
All are welcome at any point in the lecture series. Come join us for the presentation and resulting discussion.

Lecture #10-Sunday, December 3rd  
"Sacred Texts: The Bible and the Qur'an" 
Sacred scriptures are central components of many religious traditions. The first of two lectures on sacred texts focuses on the scriptures connected with the Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. As essential components of the ancient Near Eastern religions tracing themselves to Abraham, their common patriarch, the processes by which the Bible and the Qur'an became finalized were both distinctive and interconnected. Although there is a great deal of interplay and overlap within the religions tracing themselves to Abraham, the Bible cannot be equated casually with the Quar'an.
Stephen Ministry  
St. Mark's is looking to revitalize its Stephen Ministry program. A Stephen Minister is a lay member (not a pastor) who is trained to offer one-to-one Christian care to people going through tough times. If you are interested in continuing as a Stephen Minister, or in learning more about the program, please contact Dan Hughes at . If you have been trained and would like to continue serving the congregation, please contact Dan as soon as possible.
How To Help Those In Need Following Recent Natural Disasters   
The impact of recent hurricanes and other disasters, both nationally and internationally, has been devastating. The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is responding to the destruction and overwhelming needs from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria; Earthquakes in Mexico; Mudslides in Sierra Leone and West Coast Forest Fires. Pray for those who are in great need, as well as the early response teams, including countless volunteers.
It will take a long and sustained effort for all of these areas to fully recover. The most immediate way we can help is through financial assistance. If you can donate, checks can be made out to "St. Mark's" and put in the offering plate or sent to the church office. Please write "Disaster Relief-U.S." on your check's memo line for your assistance to aid U.S. states and territories, OR write "Disaster Relief- International." One hundred percent (100%) of all money donated will go directly to the children, women and men most in need. To get continuing updates of the work of UMCOR, and ways to give on-line, go to

Meets Each Wednesday, 1:00pm 
St. Mark's Quilters & Crafters
Bring your quilting or crafts to Room 10 and spend time with others who enjoy these activities. Quilters & Crafters meets each Wednesday. All skill levels are welcome and encouraged to attend.  
Meets Each Thursday, 11:30am 
Women of Wonder and Faith
A group of faithful, journeying women meeting weekly to read and discuss books on various topics of faith. We are reading John Shelby Spong's book Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy through December 14th. Please join us as we move along our faith journey, collectively and individually, as well as build valuable friendships to support each other through life's many challenges and joys. Contact the facilitator, Maria Schmidt, with questions and to let her know you are coming.
Meets Each Friday, 12:30pm
Conversations on Life Men's Group
Conversations on Life men's group will discuss the last sections of Richard J. Foster's book Streams of Living Water.   In particular, the group will cover two of Foster's essays at the end of the book: "Critical Turning Points in Church History" and  "Notable Figures & Significant Movements in Church History".  The group meets in the private dining room, at the basement level on the west side of the main building of Bell Trace. Visitors are always welcome.
Wednesday, December 7th, 4:00pm to closing
Dine and Donate at Bucceto's
Benefits St. Mark's Nursery School & Kindergarten
When you dine in or carry out from either Bloomington Bucceto's between 4pm and closing, mention St. Mark's Nursery School and Kindergarten and 20% of the total you spend will be donated to the Nursery School and Kindergarten! Can't make it on December 7th? No problem. This "Dine and Donate" opportunity occurs the first Wednesday of each month.
Saturday, December 9th, Carpool from St. Mark's at 7:15am  
Oldenburg- Mindfulness Meditation Practices
Join the group from St. Mark's which is making another road trip to the convent at Oldenburg,IN, for workshop led by
Sister Olga Wittekind , PhD & Claire Sherman, PhD.  Drawing from the insights of Rumi (a 13th century Sufi Mystic & Poet) & Richard Rohr (a Franciscan Friar whose daily meditations are read online by tens of thousands), the class will explore how mindfulness can reduce the stressful chatter that clutters our minds - and how meditation can then place our minds & hearts into quiet currents headed toward spiritual growth. Register for the class at The $45 fee includes lunch at the convent. The workshop will run from 9:30am to 2:30pm.  
Our group will carpool, leaving the south parking lot of St. Mark's at 7:15am and making a quick stop for coffee and breakfast snacks at Nashville. After the workshop some of our group will head immediately back to Bloomington. Another carload will stay for a tour of the the convent, followed by holiday window-shopping in the quaint village of Oldenburg and an early dinner at their locally famous fried chicken restaurant. For more information call Charlie Matson at 812-331-0413.
Saturday, December 9th, 9:30am
St. Mark's Women's Christmas Breakfast
Please join us for the Annual Women's Christmas Brunch. Enjoy breakfast, the Christmas story, and Christmas carols in Garton Hall Please RSVP by Tuesday, December 5th to Nina Taylor (823-322-9242) or Linda Crawford (812-336-2277). We don't want anyone to go hungry!
Monday, December 11th, 7:00pm
Blue Christmas Service
The holiday season, a joyful time for so many, can be very challenging for others. In this time of joy, many of us are poignantly reminded of times of sadness and loss. You are invited to join us for a Blue Christmas service of Comfort and Healing in the sanctuary, sponsored by the Care Ministries of St. Mark's United Methodist Church. Blue Christmas is a contemplative service with carols, readings, reflections, and candle lighting. Everyone is welcome; we hope to see you.
Upcoming@St. Mark's is published once each month as an information resource and guide to the activities and events within and around the St. Mark's church community. Copies are distributed the first Sunday of each month along with the Sunday worship bulletin, and thereafter are available at the Welcome Center Desk, at the main entrances to the building, or by contacting the church office.
All ministry areas, church committees, and interest groups are encouraged to submit articles for the next edition of UPCOMING@ ST. MARK'S. The December edition will be available Sunday, December 3rd. Please submit information for the January Upcoming by Wednesday, December 13th. For more information and to submit articles for publication, please contact the church office.
Rev. Jimmy Moore, Pastor
Rev. Mary Beth Morgan, Pastor
Gerry Sousa, Director of Music Ministries

Rev. Sarah Gettie McNeill, Director of Children's Ministries
Please contact Sarah Gettie McNeill for Youth Ministries.
Natalie LeBeau, Finance Director
Aaron Comforty, Children and Youth Music Leader
Sierra Roussos,
Director of St. Mark's Nursery School & Kindergarten

Amy Jones,
Coordinator of Childcare
Claire Schaffer, Administrative Assistant

Dennis Morgan, Head Custodian

100 N. State Road 46 Bypass, Bloomington, IN 47408
Phone: 812-332-5788     Fax: 812-333-5544
Click for a map to our location: Directions to St. Mark's UMC
Click for St. Mark's Nursery School & Kindergarten website:
100 N. State Road 46 Bypass, Bloomington, IN 47408
School Office Phone: 812-333-4007
St. Mark's UMC Newsletter Sign Up
St. Mark's United Methodist Church on Facebook
Like our Facebook page, St. Mark's United Methodist Church.
St. Mark's Parenting Facebook Group
Looking for ways to connect with other St. Mark's families in the church?  Join the St. Mark's Parenting Facebook page.  Direct questions to Sarah Gettie McNeill. 
Pets of St. Mark's UMC Community on Facebook  
Buddies of St. Francis, a small group at St. Mark's, celebrates our pets and supports the love and care of animals.