"Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these, you did it to me."
We see this parable from Jesus as a call to care for those in need. United Methodists seek to improve the quality of life and opportunities for all God’s people. We work to eradicate injustice and poverty by partnering with and empowering those in need.
Hands-on service to others is a primary way we can help our community. We also believe that it helps us as individuals on our personal journeys of growth and faith. Everyone is invited to join St. Mark’s volunteers at any of these ongoing opportunities.
Mission Guatemala is a faith-based non-profit organization with a mission to help meet the basic needs and improve the quality of life of under-served and impoverished Guatemalan peoples through health, education and nutrition initiatives and missionary service.
Tom Heaton, who had served as a pastor at St. Mark’s, started Mission Guatemala in 2009. Mission Guatemala is a United Methodist related ministry that operates a clinic and a preschool feeding program in San Andrés Semetabaj, Guatemala. Mission Guatemala is currently trying to discern new projects it can start in the San Andrés area to help improve the quality of life for the indigenous people of Guatemala. Guatemala is one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere ranking fourth in the world for child malnutrition.
St. Mark’s has participated in two trips to Mission Guatemala, whose main headquarters and lodging is located in the town of Panajachel near beautiful Lake Atitlán. We hope to take other trips. If you are interested in a mission trip, or if you want to help support Mission Guatemala, contact the church office.
Operation Friendship Youth Exchange Program
Operation Friendship is a travel exchange program for youth that St. Mark's has participated in for generations. Operation Friendship youth and families experience these life changing opportunities in hosting guests from overseas and traveling to other countries. For more information, please contact the church office.
Appalachia Service Project (ASP)
ASP is a Christian ministry, open to all people, that fosters human development by addressing the housing needs of Central Appalachia. Each summer a team from St. Mark's UMC joins other volunteers to repair homes for low-income families in rural areas of Central Appalachia. Their goal is to make homes warmer, safer and drier for families in need, while offering transformational experiences for families, volunteers and staff alike. Contact the church office to learn more.
ASP strongly believes in the power of transformational volunteer opportunities for adults and youth. More than 15,000 volunteers from around the country served with ASP in rural Central Appalachia in 2018, repairing homes for low-income families. But ASP is more than just a building program, working also to inspire those volunteers to come to do this valuable work and meet the families who live in this underserved region of the US. Learn more at www.asphome.org.
Hoosier Hills Food Bank Meal Share Food Pack
Each month, St. Mark’s volunteers go to Hoosier Hills Food Bank to re-pack donated food for agencies that provide food for families.
Creation Care Team
At St. Mark’s, we take seriously the Divine call to be good stewards of all of creation, which means we pay attention to matters of sustainability and environmental justice and holiness. This group pays attention to ways to encourage sustainability in our church facilities, to education the congregation about ways to live in an environmentally friendly way in our homes, and seeks to advocate for global sustainability. We invite you to join us in this venture that is both critical to our world and essential to our lives.
St. Mark’s Missions Giving provides support to the following international nonprofit agencies and organizations.
Africa University is a United Methodist university training faith-based leaders for the African continent and the world. Training areas include education, business, science, and theology. Most students come from impoverished families and represent the brightest of Africa. Contact: Pat Shidler, 812-333-2574
A long-standing project of Indiana United Methodists, in partnership with the Liberia and Sierra Leone annual conferences, Operation Classroom’s primary mission is to assist Christian-based education and healthcare. Contact: Robert Sharp, 812-876-6869
United Methodist Mission Guatemala Sponsorship
St. Mark’s sponsors Rev. Tom Heaton, director of Mission Guatemala. The mission operates a clinic, preschool, and free food program in San Andrés Semetabaj, Guatemala, while planning new projects to help improve the quality of life for the indigenous people of Guatemala.