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.

9:00am (Garton Hall) 
Thank you to the Reconciling Task Force who will prepare breakfast. 
Donations will be appreciated. 
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 Room 27
Kindergarten & 1st Grade Room 28
2nd & 3rd Grade Room 9
4th & 5th Grade Room 4
6th-12th Grade Room 3
Reverend Mary Beth Morgan, preaching 
Matthew 25:14-30
Sermon Title:
The Gift of Possibility

Get to know one another;  
wear a name tag, please. 
Need a name tag? Click here! 
This Sunday, November 19th, 10:30am Sanctuary Worship
With Music, Word & Community, We Embrace the Gift of Possibility
What are our images of God, and God's relationship with us? How do we embrace the treasures of our faith and of life? How to we value time when we are waiting? In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus shares "Parable of the Talents," which opens up these questions and others for us to explore together.
As we enter Thanksgiving week, we are grateful for all those sharing their gifts of music. Roby Park and Pam Freeman will offer piano/organ duets. A Strings Ensemble of six high school & college students will lead us in music with cellos, violins, viola and bass. The Chancel Ringers will play bells, and the Chancel Choir, under the direction of Gerry Sousa, will sing. Mary Beth Morgan's sermon is titled, "The Gift of Possibility" arising from Matthew 25:14-30. Children and Youth are participating in worship leadership. Come join in this celebration of abundance this Sunday!
NOW! through November 19th
Thanksgiving Basket Sharing
Thanksgiving Basket Sharing is an important ministry at SMUMC. As you probably know, we are collecting money to provide a full traditional Thanksgiving meal for 65 families which will be delivered this Sunday, November 19.
We need your help in three ways.
First, you may still consider signing up to deliver baskets to the recipient families this Sunday, November 19th. Call the church office at 812-332-5788, or email ( to indicate your willingness to deliver this Sunday after worship. Boy Scouts from the St. Mark's troop have once again agreed to help take the baskets to the cars to be delivered.
Second, there will also be a work session, in Garton Hall, this Saturday morning, November 18th, at 10:00am to load the baskets and arrange them to be delivered on Sunday Morning. Come join us.
Finally, you may still donate to this cause. Fifty dollars will provide one full basket, twenty-five dollars a half basket, and twenty dollars will pay for a turkey. If you donate by cash, please put the money in an envelope and write the word "Baskets" on the envelope. Checks should be written to "St. Mark's" with the word "Baskets" on the memo line.
Sixty-five (65) baskets is our largest goal yet, but the need is great. At Fairview, for instance, there are 270 children who are enrolled in the Backpack Buddies program, and many of those families will be on our list this year. Thank you for generously sharing holiday blessings.
This Sunday, November 19th, 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, November 19th. 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 on November 19th, and which role(s) are of interest. Thank you!
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. Look for an order form at the Garton Hall Welcome Desk, or you can find an insert in the worship bulletin on November 19th. Orders will be taken through Sunday, December 10th. The cost for each poinsettia plant is $10. You can print an order form here or order online at this link. Please call the church office with any questions or to place an order.
Jail Bingo, A Ministry of New Leaf, New Life   
Donations Supporting Jail Bingo, In Honor of Wain Martin 
Jail BINGO has begun again this fall. Jail BINGO was started by Wain Martin several years ago as a way of reaching out to inmates in the Monroe County Jail. Over the years, many from St. Mark's have participated in this ministry.
You can support Jail Bingo in a number of ways:
* Bring items such as full size candy bars, bars of soap, and deodorant to the Jail Bingo basket in Garton Hall. These items will be used as BINGO prizes.
* Participate in Jail Bingo team as BINGO caller, awarder of prizes, etc. at the jail. (Those who wish to participate need to contact Carle Crawford, 812-336-2277,
NOW! through the Month of November 
Help Church Women United Collect Winter Items for Shalom Community Center    
Church Women United (CWU) is collecting winter items during November to donate to Shalom Community Center. Contact Lisa Miller Maidi (, 812-325-3154), St. Mark's' representative to CWU, with questions. Items will be collected in a labelled box in Garton Hall. Needed items, mostly for men:
  • Gently used coats and blankets
  • new underwear, socks, long johns, white t-shirts
  • deodorant, shavers
"Where the Heart Is" 
An Update & Thank You From The Stewardship Team
As of November 13th, 102 pledge cards had been returned for the 2018 Stewardship Campaign: Where the Heart Is, totaling $395,789. Also, as of November 7th, 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 16 new pledges (as of November 7th) for a two-year total (2017-18) of 99 pledges and a current total of $202,260. 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 Room 27
Kindergarten & 1st Grade Room 28
2nd & 3rd Grade Room 9
4th & 5th Grade Room 4
6th-12th Grade Room 3
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).
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 will close out our community in song as we end in a communal "Great Amen" before heading to the Sanctuary for worship.
Faith Development Missions Service Projects  
On the 4th Sunday of each month, our K-5th Grade Faith Development (aka Sunday School) Classes are completing a Missions rotation, wherein they consider how they might use their own lives in service to the world.  On October 22nd, the K-3rd Graders began a new Missions project: collecting donations for Monroe County United Ministries (MCUM).  These donations will be accepted through November 19th.  In particular, MCUM is in need of the following: canned tuna, dry beans, canned fruit, pudding, and baby dolls.  Donation bins can be found throughout the church and in classrooms.   
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 #8-Sunday, November 19th  
"Creation Myths and Sacred Stories" 
Sacred stories or myths are foundational components in all religions. Prof. Kimball states that "Myth" and "Sacred Story" are used interchangeably in the comparative study of religion. In contrast to its popular usage, "myth" in comparative religion studies does not mean something that is patently false or untrue. Myths or sacred stories are profoundly true for those who embrace them. The story does not have to be historically or literally true in order to convey profound meaning to religious adherents. 
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

Each Wednesday, 1:00pm-3:00pm
St. Mark's Quilters & Crafters
Bring your quilting or crafts to Room 10 and spend time with others who enjoy these activities. All skill levels are welcome and encouraged to attend.
Each Thursday, 11:30am-1:00pm 
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.
Each Friday, 12:30pm, at Bell Trace
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 every Friday at 12:30pm in the private dining room, at the basement level on the west side of the main building of Bell Trace. Visitors are always welcome.
Tuesday, November 21st, 1:30pm, St. Mark's Room 8
Susanna Wesley UMW Circle
Program: World Thank Offering; Bring: World Thank Offering & Least Coin.
Tuesday, November 21st, 7:00pm
Interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration
St. Mark's is joining with other local faith communities for a wonderful Thanksgiving Celebration. This year, Congregation Beth Shalom is hosting this service. All are welcome. An offering collected that evening will be given to the Bloomington Refugee Support Network. For more information, contact Mary Beth Morgan.
Thursday and Friday, November 23rd & 24th 
St. Mark's Building Thanksgiving Hours
In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, the St. Mark's building will be closed on Thursday, November 23rd and Friday, November 24th. There will be no staff members in the building and there will be no events planned at the church. The building will re-open on Saturday, November 25th for regularly-scheduled events. In the event of a pastoral emergency, please call 812-325-9406 or 812-219-8377.  
Sunday, November 26th, 5:00-7:00pm
Advent Night And Hanging Of The Greens
This is a wonderful evening for all ages as we enter the Advent season. We begin by sharing a simple (turkey free) meal, and then gather in the sanctuary to sing some favorite Christmas songs. Individuals and families can then choose to decorate the church, go to the craft and activity room, or meet with Aaron in the music room. Children and youth can also come to the Youth Room to choose a costume for the Christmas Eve Pageant. Young ones should bring a parent (or other adult) with them. Bring friends or visiting relatives. All are welcome!
Monday, November 27th, 7:30pm
Story Church
St. Mark's is pleased to welcome Story Church this month. Story Church is a unique, inclusive Christian worship experience that meets monthly and brings people together through the sharing of personal stories and songs. Story Church meets monthly in various locations throughout the city. During Story Church gatherings, music is presented by Susan Anderson and friends, (some well-known, some brand new). Come hear personal faith stories on Monday, November 27th at 7:30pm. Holy Communion is offered for those interested. Tasty goodies are offered in a time of meet and greet. 
Thursday, November 30th 
United Methodist Women Cookie Shoppe: Let's Bake!
Here's how to be part of this wonderful event. 
On December 2nd and 3rd, beautiful tables of cookies and candy will be available for purchase at the United Methodist Women's Cookie Shoppe in room 8, off Garton Hall. This only happens because women, men, and teens bake cookies or make candy weeks before and the day before the Cookie Shoppe. Bake at home and freeze or join the merriment Thursday, November 30th, 9:00am-1:00pm in the church kitchen. Bakers and candy makers do NOT have to be members of UMW to contribute to this project. Set-up for Cookie Shoppe will be Friday, December 1st, 9:00am-1:00pm, and all cookies and candy MUST be delivered on Friday, December 1st by 12:00pm. Funds UMW receives from the annual Cookie Shoppe support women's and children's global and local missions.   
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. 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 local and global missions. 
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 Ministry 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. 
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.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.  

St. Mark's United Methodist Church, 100 North State Road 46 Bypass, Bloomington, IN 47408
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