Sunday, October 20, 2019

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Do you have a favorite “prayer” scene in a movie? Perhaps you’ve giggled as you watched “Meet the Parents” at the prayer that Greg offers at the dinner table of his prospective parents-in-law, weaving in the prayer from “Godspell”, “O, Dear Lord, three things we pray.” Or perhaps you’ve watched as Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof” laments the fact that his horse has developed a bad leg, suggests that God has done this during a fit of divine boredom, saying “'Let's see, what kind of mischief can I play on my friend, Tevye.” Or maybe you have been moved as George Bailey, having come to his better self in “It’s a Wonderful Life”, exclaims, “I want to live again. I want to live again.” All of these tease us to ask the questions, “What is prayer? What does prayer invite of us?”

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Rev. Jimmy Moore, preaching
Jeremiah 29:1-7

Have you ever been in a place in life where you never thought you would be, an exile from all that was familiar. If you have, and if you know those who have, perhaps you can resonate with the words of Frederick Buechner, who writes, "We carry inside us a vision of wholeness that we sense is our true home that beckons us." He adds, "…woe to us if we forget the homeless ones who have no vote, no power, nobody to lobby for them, who might as well have no faces.” He also says, “Woe to us if we forget our own homelessness.” Many in our world know true exile and homelessness, either because of extreme poverty or because their home lands have become unsafe. And many more live with what Walter Brueggemann calls a sense of dislocation, a sense that we are not “home”. And how we respond to all of this is a vital spiritual issue.

October Events

Youth pumpkin party

Saturday, October 5

Youth trip to the Fowler Pumpkin Patch: 4:00-6:00 pm
Pumpkin decorating and pizza at St. Mark’s 6:30-8:00 pm

Pumpkins, hayrides, corn mazes, a petting zoo, and more are at Fowler Pumpkin Patch (4932 N Greene County Line Rd Bloomington, IN)! All youth grades 7-12 are invited to meet at Fowler’s and enjoy all that the pumpkin patch has to offer on Saturday, October 5th from 4:00 PM-6:00 pm. After we attend the pumpkin patch, we will car pool back to SMUMC with our pumpkins from 6:30-8:00 for pizza and pumpkin carving/decorating. Friends are welcome, but must have a liability form on file with SMUMC. Please RSVP to Rodney Long (rodneylong@smumc.church), Director of Youth Ministries.

Sundays, October 6 and 13

Vote for your favorite decorated pumpkin! Bring your spare change for our youth fundraiser!

After worship on Sunday, October 6th, and before and after worship on Sunday, October 13th, the decorated pumpkins will be on display in Garton Hall. Stop by and take a peak! We are inviting the congregation to vote on their favorite pumpkin as they are able and willing by placing spare change in the container next to the pumpkin(s) of their choosing. All money collected will be donated to a single charitable cause as determined by the youth of SMUMC.

Backpack Buddies Food Collection

October 6

On the first Sunday of every month 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. 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.); dried fruit

  • Instant oatmeal (individual portions)

  • Macaroni & Cheese

  • Small boxes of cereal; Granola/fruit/cereal bars

  • Easy-to-prepare food items (instant mashed potatoes, dried soups, beans, meal helpers, rice or pasta meals, etc.)

  • Canned or pouch chicken or tuna

  • Small bread mixes (cornbread, muffin, biscuit, etc.)

Retirement celebration for Dennis Morgan

Sunday, October 13

Since 1983, Head Custodian Dennis Morgan has been a faithful and reliable presence on the St. Mark’s Staff. Each morning he is a friendly face greeting nursery school children and families. He has supervised our custodial staff and works to keep our building and grounds safe, clean and welcoming. And he has partnered with our trustees on many capital projects of improvement.

Dennis will be retiring from St. Mark’s on October 13. Plan to come to the service that morning during which we will recognize Dennis, and stay for a reception following. We look forward this time of honoring Dennis for his thirty six years of service to St. Mark’s. There will be a basket for cards and notes for Dennis.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Sunday, October 6, 2019

That Wanted Horizon

World Communion Sunday
Phil Amerson, preaching
Lamentations 3: 19-26 and II Timothy 1: 4-7; 14

Phil Amerson writes:

My grandfather had a way of inviting neighbors to visit. He would say, 'The latch string is on the outside', meaning 'You are always welcome at our table.' Those who heard his words knew they were wanted. We live in a season of lamentation — of fear, exclusion, tears, and a widely held experience of unwantedness. As a friend recently shared with me, 'I have difficulty finding a sense of hope, a sense of direction.' Where might we find a home, a place of wantedness?

Alayna Gray officially named Director of Children's Ministries

We are pleased to share that the Pastor-Staff Parish Committee has approved naming Alayna Gray as St. Mark’s Director of Children’s Ministries. Alayna has been serving for many months as the part-time Interim Coordinator of Children’s Ministries.

Alayna and her family (husband, Walt, and children, Bryce and Macy) have been part of the St. Mark's community for a number of years. Alayna has deep roots at St. Mark’s, as this was her family’s church when she was growing up. Her professional experiences include being a teacher, principal, coordinator of early childhood religious education, and more recently teaching in the IU School of Education, and supervising student teachers.

We are grateful to Alayna for accepting this more full-time role, and for the gifts she will continue to share with our children, families and the St. Mark’s community!

Retirement Celebration for Dennis Morgan

Save the date! October 13, 2019

Since 1983, Head Custodian Dennis Morgan has been a faithful and reliable presence on the St. Mark’s Staff. Each morning he is a friendly face greeting nursery school children and families. He has supervised our custodial staff and works to keep our building and grounds safe, clean and welcoming. And he has partnered with our trustees on many capital projects of improvement.

Dennis will be retiring from St. Mark’s on October 13. Plan to come to the service that morning during which we will recognize Dennis, and stay for a reception following. We look forward this time of honoring Dennis for his thirty six years of service to St. Mark’s.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Sunday, September 29, 2019

“My, how time flies.” “The clock is not moving” We say both…how can both be true? I remember a time when my daughter was very young that she had a series of ear infections. They kept her so uncomfortable that she could barely sleep. We spent more than a few nights with a pillow and a blanket on the floor hoping that the pain would stop. It seemed as thought the clock just stopped moving; it seemed as though those nights would never end. But when, years later, sitting in a large assembly when she graduated from high school, it was as though we had gotten there in a flash. How can both things, a clock that won’t move and moments that speed by, be true. What is time, and how can we be good stewards of it?

Embracing Our Mission and Our Future

2019 Stewardship Season

We have entered the Stewardship Season at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church. Thanks to all who attended, as well as all who helped with the worship service and kickoff lunch last Sunday. Pat Harbison and friends provided some great jazz, and the newly launched Care Choir, under the direction of Heather Narducci offered a glimpse of the prospects for this ministry. Thanks especially to Operation Friendship for providing dessert for the lunch, as well as Martha Phileon and Bloomingfoods for helping supply the meal. The Stewardship Team is very grateful for the many ways so many of you offer time and talent to the ministry of St. Mark’s.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Sunday, September 22, 2019

What are your most powerful stories? We tell stories every day, and whether we realize it or not, those stories don't just describe us. They empower us, or weaken us, for the tasks at hand. We tell stories about how our families are doing, about how we came to live where we live and do the jobs we currently hold, about how our country is doing. In the stories we tell, we explain how we got ourselves into the pickles in which we find ourselves, and in our stories, we reveal whether or not we see that there is a way through those challenges. And in our faith, we tell stories about who we believe God is, and what God is up to in the world.

Schedule your Directory photo session

It’s time to schedule your photo session for the Church Directory! All in the St. Mark’s community are welcome.

In order to develop an up-to-date church directory, St. Mark's will offer professional photo opportunities in October. You do not need to be a member of the church to be in the directory. All who are part of the St. Mark's community are welcome. Please contact Claire in the church office to help with this project or to ask questions.

Photo Dates

Wednesday, October 9, 2pm-8pm
Thursday, October 10, 2pm-8pm
Thursday, October 24, 2pm-8pm
Friday, October 25, 2pm-8pm
Saturday, October 26, 10am-4pm

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Last Sunday, I was fortunate to spend time in our Youth Sunday School Class. When I arrived, the group was engaged in a lively conversation about ecosystems, which appeared to connect with a scripture passage that our youth director, Rodney, introduced about community. I was inspired by the insights our youth shared about the interconnectedness of all living things, current threats to our ecosystems, and things they (and we) need to be doing now to care for creation and limit the effects of climate change for current and future generations.

New Member Classes: September, 2019

New Member Classes: September, 2019

We will be hosting New Member Classes on Sundays, September 15 and 22, at 9:30 am, in Room 15. Whether you’re interested in becoming a new member, or just want to explore the idea of membership a bit more, all are welcome. Please contact the church office if you need childcare for the classes. We will spend time getting to know one another, learning more about the church and our membership process, exploring questions, and talking with others about the many ways to get involved in the life and ministry of St. Mark’s.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Have you ever asked anyone to do anything really challenging ... perhaps to change behavior or to consider a different course of action? How did that go? Has anyone asked you to something that just was not easy? How did you respond? As people of faith, as parents, as friends, as leaders, we often find ourselves longing to be impactful and persuasive. We want to help children, friends, parents and even strangers consider how they are to behave. How can we help influence the life of an acquaintance of the life of a community when changing minds is so difficult to accomplish?