Published Thursday, February 14, 2018
  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.
"Where the Heart Is" 2018 Stewardship & Capital Giving   
Saturday, February 24th, 7:30am at St. Mark's
Bloomington Area UMC Churches Lenten Men's Prayer Breakfast
Men, make your plans to join with men from other local United Methodist churches for a Lenten Prayer Breakfast on Saturday, February 24 at St. Mark's UMC. Coffee will be served at 7:30am, and breakfast will be served at 8:00am. Many of you will remember that George Rusnak was a leader who faithfully sought to have these breakfasts every year. At the breakfast on February 24th, we will seek to honor George and his faithful commitment to the UMC men of the Bloomington area.
This Week at St. Mark's UMC
9:00am (Garton Hall) 
Thank you to the Operation Friendship Team who will be preparing breakfast! Donations are appreciated to support the youth who will be traveling this summer.
9:15am Nomads (Room 10) 
9:15am Pilgrims (Room 13)  
9:30am  Bible Banter (Room 11)
Infants through Three-year-olds 
9:30am-11:30am (Rooms 24 & 25)
9:30am in Garton Hall
Preschool in Room 27
Kindergarten-1st Grade in Room 28
2nd-3rd Grade in Room 4 
4th-5th Grade in Room 9 
6th-12th Grade in Room 3
Reverend Mary Beth Morgan, preaching 
Genesis 13:14-18, Romans 4:13-25
Sermon Title
Family Matters: Nurturing our Sacred Connection
Click Image Below to Read
February 2018 & early March)
"Where the Heart Is"  An Update & Thank You From The Stewardship Team
As of February 20, 123 pledge cards had been returned for the 2018 Stewardship Campaign: Where the Heart Is, totaling $467,020. Also, 101 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). This total is now $206,220.
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 finalize a budget for this year. We recognize that some of you may need more time for discernment regarding pledges, and are grateful for pledges received. 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!
This Sunday, February 25th, 10:30am
Sanctuary Worship
Some of you may know the song with the lyrics “Father Abraham had many kids. Many kids had father Abraham. I am one of them, and so are you. So let’s all praise the Lord” (nuanced a bit here to make it a tad more inclusive). Abraham’s “kids” include those of us from Christian denominations, as well as our Jewish and Muslim sisters and brothers. 

On this second Sunday of Lent, we explore Family Matters: Nurturing our Sacred Connection. Sadly, our shared history, ancient and modern, has included accusatory and hateful language and actions against our brothers and sisters of other faith traditions. In this season as we are focusing on embracing spiritual practices that can lead to spiritual transformation. How might we honor what is unique in our beliefs and faith stories, and nurture our sacred connections as we all seek to live God’s love in the world? We will be guided by two scriptures that connect us to Abraham: Genesis 13:14-18 (from the Hebrew Bible) and Romans 4:13-25 (from the New Testament).

Embracing the spirit of the day, we begin with breakfast at 9:30am hosted by Operation Friendship. Please welcome the Confirmation Class from St. Paul Catholic, and their families, who are joining us on Sunday. Trina Mescher will share a few words about Noah’s Ark. Children and youth will be part of worship leadership. Also, we welcome New Members to the St. Mark’s community. The Chancel Choir, under the direction of Gerry Sousa and accompanied by Pam Freeman, will sing. We will be joined by guest violinist, Sofia Kim. Nicolas Narducci will share a piano piece, and Aaron Comforty will lead us in singing “Father Abraham.” We hope to see you on Sunday morning!

 Sunday, February 25th 10:30am
Sanctuary Worship
Children and Youth in Worship Leadership
Children and Youth are welcome to be part of worship leadership any Sunday. They are especially invited, this month, on Sunday, February 25th. Children and youth are invited to serve by greeting/handing out bulletins, lighting candles (acolyte), drawing a picture for the bulletin cover, reading scripture, leading a prayer, sharing a musical or artistic talent, helping the ushers, etc. Please contact Mary Beth Morgan if your child(ren)/youth would like to participate in worship leadership and which role(s) are of interest. Thank you!

Now Through Monday, March 12th
Order Easter Flowers to Decorate the Sanctuary
It is time to PLACE orders for Easter flowers. With Spring Break occurring soon and Easter on April 1st, order forms are available now. Please note the ordering deadline of Monday, March 12th. The flowers you order will decorate the Sanctuary for Easter morning, and you can take them home with you after worship. The bulbs can be planted around your home in the fall and provide colorful blossoms next spring.

Place orders at the "Order Easter Flowers" link at left and order forms are at the Welcome Desk in Garton Hall. Please make checks payable to St. Mark's UMC and write "Easter flowers" in the memo line. You may mail or bring your order and payment to the church office or place them in the offering basket by March 12th.

Sunday February 25th, 7:00pm- 8:30pm
Movie Night: “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power”
Join the Creation Care Team of St. Mark’s, in Room 8, for another film on the dramatic impacts of climate change and the global efforts to reduce them. The film focuses on what has changed in the last ten years since the release of An Inconvenient Truth. In this sequel the camera follows Al Gore as he inspects glaciers falling apart, Miami Beach flooding at high tide, and Philippine cities becoming ruble. It also highlights the growing number of volunteers and nations moving toward reductions in global warming emissions. For
your viewing comfort the Creation Care Team will move padded chairs into Room 8. Also, they will again be serving hot cider & fresh popcorn. For more information, contact Charlie Matson at (812) 331-0413 or .

A Lenten Journey: Growing in the Practices of Faith
Jesus said, “If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.” (John 13:17) The worship services during the season of Lent will guide us toward reflection on how we grow deeper and stronger in faith through some basic Christian practices. Following themes suggested in the book, Practicing our Faith, edited by Dorothy C. Bass, we will consider the practices of Singing Our Lives, Nurturing Sacred Connections, Living with Generosity and Conviviality, Keeping Sabbath and Enacting Holy Conversation. Consider using these themes to model your journey through the season of Lent.

The Season of Lent has begun with the Ash Wednesday and will continue until Easter on April 1st. In the early history of Christianity, it was a time of preparation for those who were to be baptized on Easter Sunday. Many contemporary Christians consider it a time to “give up” some habit to make room for spiritual growth. We are asking you to consider adopting or enhancing some spiritual practice that will enhance growth in faith. We look forward to sharing this season together.
Beginning Tuesday February 27th, 7:00pm- 8:00pm
Lenten Bible Classes
Again this year, St. Mark’s will be holding a Lenten series of adult education classes on stories, lessons and themes from the Bible. Jimmy Moore will open the first of five sessions on February 27th with “The Healing of a Convulsing Child,” a different way to see Mark 9:14-29. Sarah Gettie McNeill will take the second session on Tuesday, March 6th, with discussions on the touch by and the healing of the hemorrhaging woman. The classes that follow for the next three weeks in March will be led by another set of the talented retired pastors who worship with us: Robert Epps, Randy Brady, and Robert Sharp. Watch for more details in the weekly church communications. We will meet in Room 8.
Sunday School
9:15am-10:15am in Room 13
9:15am-10:15am in Room 10
9:30am-10:15am in Room 11

Infant through 3-year-olds 
(Rooms 24 & 25)

9:30am in Garton Hall
Preschool in Room 27
Kindergarten-1st Grade in Room 28
2nd-3rd Grade in Room 4 
4th-5th Grade in Room 9 
6th-12th Grade in Room 3
Sunday School Registration Renewal Complete registration forms here.
If you have not yet registered your child for Sunday School, 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).
Teach with the 2nd - 3rd or 4th - 5th Grade Faith Development Classes!
Spend one Sunday a month with a group of inquisitive children encountering Bible stories through science experiments, art, mission activities, games, or by making yummy treats! Engage the world through the eyes of a pre-teen learning to navigate relationships and deepening faith as they experience the Bible stories in a more mature way (they also make crafts and love to cook and play games!). With either group, you'll join an excellent team of teachers and get to know some of our church's awesome children and families. A curriculum is provided, along with a brief orientation to volunteering in Faith Development at St. Mark's. For more information, please contact Sarah Gettie McNeill, Director of Children and Family Ministries.
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. 
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
Sunday, February 25th - Lecture #19: The Goals of Religious Life
All religions identify intermediate and ultimate goals and once again we find numerous parallels and similarities between and within the religions. One key connecting point is discerned in the shared understanding that ultimate meaning must be found beyond physical existence with religions providing a framework for meaning in existence that can enable devotees to let go of the physical.
All are welcome at any point in the lecture series. Come join us for the presentation and resulting discussion.
Small Groups, Education, and Fellowship
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 SAVING JESUS FROM THE CHURCH by Robin Meyers. 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 at Bell Trace
Conversations on Life Men's Group
Conversations on Life men's group meets on Fridays to share in conversation about topics of interest often based on literature selected by the group. 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.   

Friday, February 23rd, 1:30pm—3:00pm
Daytime Parents Group
The Daytime Parents of Young Children Group meets every 2nd and 4th Friday of the month in Room 24 to support one another through the intense joys and challenges of raising young humans. There is minimal homework, and it’s never required. Currently, we are reading the very brief chapters in The Parent’s Tao Te Ching: A New Interpretation by William Martin, and reflecting on the spiritual wisdom of both this text and Christian scriptures as it relates to parenting. Bring the kids! There are toys to entertain them while parents discuss. Invite friends, and if it is your first time, contact Sarah Gettie McNeill at sarahgettiemcneill@ to learn the chapter for the coming meeting.

Wednesday, February 28th, 5:30pm
eXtra Years of Zest (XYZ) Dinner & Program
Sean Murphy, “Working with Families in Rural Virginia”
All are invited to a shared supper at 5:30pm in Garton Hall. (Please bring a dish and your own table service.) The program, with Sean Murphy, will begin at approximately 6:20pm in Room 8. Sean Murphy, son of Jacobs School of Music faculty members Heidi Grant and Kevin Murphy, went last summer to Grundy, Virginia, to serve in an ecumenical program in one of Appalachia’s most poverty-stricken and isolated counties. A devout Roman Catholic, Sean brought together a small marginalized Roman Catholic mission congregation with two Presbyterian congregations. There he learned that even in the midst of poverty, the Christian faith can thrive, and churches can work together to serve human needs. He encountered communities in neighboring West Virginia that were devastated by drug addiction as well as the economic downturn caused by the severe decline in the coal industry. Sean also discovered his voice, as well as a renewed Christian calling and commitment to Christians working together in difficult times. He is now a student in Religious Studies at IU.

Friday, March 1st, 11:00am
World Day of Prayer: Sanctuary Service and Luncheon
World Day of Prayer is a worldwide ecumenical movement of Christian
women of many traditions who come together to observe a common day of
prayer and action each year on the first Friday in March. The theme this year is
“All God’s Creation is Very Good,” and highlights women of faith in the diverse
country of Suriname. Church Women United of Monroe County will co-host
this celebration with the United Methodist Women of St. Mark’s. The service
will be in the Sanctuary at 11:00am with a 12:00pm Luncheon in Room 8.
Reservations are not necessary! Contact Lisa Miller Maidi ( emillerm@comcast.
net ) to help provide Surinamese food or decorations.
St. Mark's UMC
Vacation Bible School 2018
"DIG IT! Caring for Creation"
June 4-7, 9:30am-12:00 noon
Come ready to get messy! We are going to dig up stories of God’s love and the beauty of Creation while exploring themes of environmental stewardship. We will be planting native flowers in Prairie Pockets on the grounds at St. Mark’s – good for the earth, the bees and Monarch butterflies, as well as the spirits of all who share our space! Each day, children will explore these themes through story, song, art, and play. 4 th -6 th graders will have their own special activities. All activities will be age-appropriate and fun! The week will culminate in a special VBS worship service Sunday morning, June 10th, at 10:30am.
Youth are welcome to volunteer as leaders. Adult volunteers are needed to provide this program free of charge for all children. Participant registration and volunteer forms are available outside Sarah Gettie McNeill’s office in Garton Hall. For more information, contact Sarah Gettie McNeill at or call her at 812-332-5788.
St. Mark's Staff Email
Rev. Jimmy Moore, Pastor

Rev. Sarah Gettie McNeill, Director of Children's Ministries

Rodney Long, Director of Youth Ministries

Aaron Comforty,
Children & Youth Music Leader

Dennis Morgan, Head Custodian

Sierra Roussos, Director of St. Mark's Nursery School & Kindergarten
R ev. Mary Beth Morgan, Pastor

Gerry Sousa,
Director of Music Ministries

Natalie LeBeau, Finance Director

Coordinator of Childcare
Contact Sarah Gettie McNeill

Claire Schaffer, Administrative Assistant

Amy Weger, Office Manager of St. Mark's Nursery School & Kindergarten
100 N. State Road 46 Bypass, Bloomington, IN 47408
Phone: 812-332-5788    Fax: 812-333-5544
100 N. State Road 46 Bypass, Bloomington, IN 47408
School Office Phone: 812-333-4007
St. Mark's United Methodist Church |