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THE ST. MARKER FEBRUARY 2014 St. Mark United Methodist Church 413 Geddes Avenue, Charleston, SC 29407 Church Office Phone: 843-766-5239 Email:

Rev. Jonathan Holston, Resident Bishop Rev. Patty Parrish, District Superintendent Rev. Scarlett Hester, Pastor Ms. Michele Russell, Director of Music Mrs. Libby Massalon, Administrative Assistant Mr. Rich Sweazy, Director of Children and Youth

SUNDAY Worship services 9:00 & 11:00 Sunday School 10:00 UMYF 5:30 MISSION STATEMENT St. Mark United Methodist church seeks to live as a witness to the Kingdom of God through worship, teaching and evangelism. Our purpose is to make disciples for Jesus Christ by reaching up to God in worship, prayer and spiritual disciplines, reaching down into the scriptures and the Christian faith in study and obedience and reaching out to each other and our world in service, witness and friendship. We rely on the guidance, gifts and power of the Holy Spirit as we carry out the mission of this congregation. *********************************************

Our sympathy and prayers are expressed to: the family of Shirley Kaiser on her death January 16.

IN OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS Home: George & Thelma Muckenfuss. Virginia Swintz, Rhonda & Newell Cummings, Tim & Nancy Strickland, Nancy’s daughter, Jack & Barbara Shaw, Ronnie & Betty Knight, Ron Buchheitt, Harold McMillan, Jacque Donoho, Roy Baker, Leila Shealy, Bill Smith, Kenneth Gough, Lib Way, Randy & Neva Atkinson, Alva Mims, Nelda Gaines, Amy Hobbs, Ann Willis, Buddy & Deloris Elsey & family, David Chandler, Dean & Lora James, Bernell & Margie Shuler, Susan Porter, Miles & Savannah, Juanita Maranville, Jae, Susan Watson & family, Rocky & Jackie Brinson, Pat & Rex Connor, Norma Oliver, Barbara Chandler, Georgia Odom, Blake Connor, Davidson family

Ashley Park – 1451 Tobias Gadsden, C’ston 29407: Dot Connor(Apt. 111), Tommy & Margaret Johnson; Virginia Swintz (Apt. 345) Heartland – Thelma Muckenfuss Life Care: Dot Caulder (2600 Elms Plantation Blvd. North Charleston, SC 29406) Mt. Pleasant Manor - Robert and Mary Jane Scaffe Summit Place, Beaufort – Ann Smith Presbyterian Home – Margaret Skinner


Military & their families - Master Sgt. Jay Piersol, SFC Mark Elsey, Sgt. Maj Chris Barnard & Susan Barnard, LT Edward Dawson, LCDR Spencer Baker, Romello Leach NEW ADDRESS FOR ROY BAKER Roy Baker has moved to be near his daughter in Rock Hill. He is at Emeritus at Chandler Place. His address is 745 Dilworth Lane, Apt. 218, Rock Hill, SC 29732. His telephone number is 803-981-9073. He would gladly welcome any calls, cards or visits.

Children’s Chapel February 2 February 9 February 16 February 23

Acolyte/Crucifer Schedule February 2 February 9 February 16 February 23

Ronnie Knight K.L. Smith, IV Charlene DuPruis Heather McCoy Robert Wilcox Cynthia Sunde Callie Ann Auerbach Eli Motley Amanda Russell Sally Duncan Susan Porter David Altman Douglas Williams Sadie Weiss Bryan Rusch Ron Buchheit Ricky Linker, Jr. Jackie Brinson Gloria Maxey Dean Bays Mia Galllagher



Newell & Rhonda Cummings

MAY GOD BLESS YOU WITH MANY MORE Note: If you have a birthday or anniversary and we omitted it, please let us know so that we can correct our records.

VOLUNTEERS Children’s Sermon February 9 February 16 February 23

Amy Alexander Jacki Ratledge Kevin Shealy

Hayley O’Toole/Emily O’Toole Molly McCabe/Lydia Capps Abigail Brown/Logan Leprettre Sophie Weiss/Sadie Weiss

Scripture Readers

FEBRUARY BIRTHDAYS 2 3 5 5 6 8 8 9 10 12 13 16 16 18 19 20 21 25 25 25 27

Lisa Richberg Linda Curry Abbie O’Toole Kerri Weiss

February 2 February 9 February 16 February 23

9:00 Bert Motley Norman Knight Mike Gooch Elaine Gooch

11:00 Jacki Ratledge Jim Ratledge Patty Barfield Jack Barfield

FROM OUR PASTOR On Saturday, January 11, many of the leaders of St. Mark met to consider who we are and who God is calling us to be. Drawing from our reading in Start This, Stop That, we began with a comparison…. Are we more like a cruise ship or a battle ship? Cruise ships are fun, expensive, and all about you, we said. Battleships are about protection, team work, and have a mission. Battleships require commitment and dedication. As a church, we need to be more like a battleship: mission oriented, prepared to make disciples. Our disciple-making mission is stated as the purpose and mission of the United Methodist Church: “Make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the word.” How we live into that mission is the vision for a particular church in its unique place and circumstance. Here at St. Mark, our values and prayers point us to a vision: to serve God with our hearts and hands and to prepare tomorrow’s disciples. We talked about all the things we do here now, and how we have been witnesses to the Spirit of God. And we talked about what we can do. We recognized our heart for missions, and a desire to serve in local missions. Many have a desire to serve God in hands on missions, but cannot travel or take the time off to participate in week long mission trips. We discussed the importance of hospitality and of inviting our own neighborhood. 2

FROM OUR PASTOR – CONT. Out of our conversations, people began to volunteer. Rhonda Cummings became our volunteer coordinator. Susie Seel and Dot Pace are taking on the attendance registration. Barbara Shaw is interested in coordinating story time volunteers for the Day School. Summer Massey is to maintain our church calendar on line and organize a spotlight on missions. We talked of many things, including the need to listen to each other. Over the next few weeks, you will begin to see the fruit of these conversations in our newsletter, bulletin and other places. Some details are being worked out. The conversation will continue at the Church Council meeting on Tuesday, January 28 at 7:00. At that meeting, we will begin taking attendance as a measurable sign of our commitment. We also hope to spend less time looking back and more time looking ahead. To that end, we are asking people to send their reports to Libby by Thursday of this week, so that she can e mail them out to be reviewed ahead of time. One last thing: it was suggested that the Evangelism/ Missions committee explore whether or not it was time to separate. At the meeting this past Tuesday night, we discussed that they are two sides of the same coin: Evangelism is to “invite”, and there is an emphasis on hospitality and on nurturing new disciples into relationships with Christ and other Christians. Missions is to be “sent forth” to spread the good news of Jesus Christ by word and deed into the world. We felt that we had been doing a great deal on missions, but needed to focus more on evangelism. So the committee will remain together and renew its work on the evangelism side while continuing and maybe expanding its work on the missions side. One immediate action brought up both Saturday and Tuesday was to consider using a curriculum called Table Talk during Wonderful Wednesdays. Much more to come! One more “last thing”: Starting soon, St. Mark events and happenings will be shown on our ONLINE CALENDAR! If you are scheduling a meeting or an event, now you may look to see times/ dates etc. at the St. Mark website Items may be included in the calendar by emailing them to Summer Massey at Many thanks to Summer Massey for this blessing! - Scarlett


Registration for the 2014 – 2015 year has begun and we are off to a good start. Please share the word with anyone who you think might be interested. We are also taking resumes for teachers, teacher’s aides and substitute teachers. (teachers must have a minimum of three years’ experience in a preschool setting) Please send resume to the school office.

Tuition 2 Year Old Class 3 Year Old Class 4 Year Old Class

$250.00 per month $280.00 per month $280.00 per month

Registration Fee There is a registration fee of $125.00 for one child. For each additional child within the family there is an additional $25.00 fee per child.

Supply Fee 2 Year Old supply fee is $50.00 3 Year Old supply fee is $75.00 4 Year Old supply fee is $75.00 REGISTRATION FEE IS NON-REFUNDABLE *****

2014 FLOWER CALENDAR The flower Calendar for 2014 is on the table in the Narthex. If you would like to give flowers in honor or memory of loved ones, please sign up. The cost is $58.00.

OFFERING ENVELOPES STATEMENTS OF GIVING Offering envelopes and Statements of Giving are in the Narthex. Please pick up yours and perhaps family members not present. If you did not receive yours, please call the church office.


NEED A LITTLE HELP? Do you have a project you need a little help with and don’t know where to turn? Many of us hesitate to admit we need help (I won’t name names, but a certain husband I know is very much like this). But the truth is at some point we all do. AND THAT IS O.K.!!! Rhonda Cummings has volunteered to be our “GO TO” person, also known as a Volunteer Coordinator. She will help you find people to help with whatever project you may have. She is already busy, having compiled a list of folks available to drive to the doctor, church, etc. Please contact Rhonda at 345-4230 if you need something. Hey! For those of you who don’t usually need someone, how about calling Rhonda and telling her what service you would be willing to provide for others.

KINGDOM OF GOD MINISTRY A little story ... I have become woefully aware of how inadequate I am. The more I pray for others, the more I realize how vital it is to completely rely on God. I am nothing. I am nothing apart from God. I can do nothing. I can do nothing apart from God. But because Jesus gave his life for me, I know how much God loves me. And only because of that, am I worthy. I have a short story to share. It was a great reminder to myself that our God is a very personal God. He knows me by name and indeed has the hairs on my head counted! On Sunday I stepped in dog poo. Was I mad? No, I rejoiced! If you recall, Sunday (January 12, 2014) was a beautiful day. The sun was shining – not a cloud in the sky. I went out for a walk with my little puppy. We were walking slow, as I was reading my phone and sending an email when Kapi gave a tug. I looked down and she had just pooped. Now I had a poopy bag to pick up the poo, but she pooped on a yard where nobody lived, the house had been rented in the past, but currently vacant. Nobody was around to see the dog poo and me busy with typing my email and thinking – it’s just a tiny poo – the rain will wash it away tomorrow… I walked away. It took me almost 2 hours to complete my 3 mile walk. I usually complete this walk in about an hour, but with such a beautiful day, I had lots of people to chat with and visit… As I was coming home a little chihuahua was walking toward me – Doby. Doby doesn’t like other dogs and started growling and snarling. So Kapi and I stepped off the side walk and let them pass…

As I took my first step back on the sidewalk I realized I stepped in dog poo… yup, the same dog poo that I left just 2 hours before. Now what are the chances of me stepping off the sidewalk at that exact spot? I have been praying that God would make me a woman of integrity – that means doing the right thing all the time, not just when people are watching, but in all things –great and small. I was reminded that my Heavenly Father is always watching. And he loves me enough to let me know when I’ve screwed up. So instead of being mad at myself, or just plan mad, I looked up to heaven, thanked God and rejoiced in the fact that I am one of his chosen. And that God truly has a sense of humor. After this experience you can bet that I will always clean up after my dog, and will not forget that Jesus is with me always! Hoping God will bless you in abundance today! - Susan Caulder Kingdom of God Ministry - if you are interested in joining this prayer ministry - please contact Susan Caulder at 819-8727 OR you may speak to Nancy Strickland, Linda Shealy or Amy Alexander.

****** UMYF NEWS DATES TO REMEMBER: February 2 - No MYF February 9 – 5:30 February 14-16 - REVOLUTION!! February 16 - No MYF February 23 - 5:30 REVOLUTION - By this time the trip should all be paid for and we'll be set to go. MYF will leave St. Mark by 5pm Friday. BE EARLY!!!! We will be staying in the Homewood Suites in Columbia. Parents, your “MYFer” will be treated to so many bands, acts, and worship that they will sleeping in on Monday! Congregation, please pray for a safe trip for your MYF!

REVOLUTION 2013! Don’t miss it in 2014!! 4

HANDS AND FEET WEEKEND Coming Soon!! WHERE: Asbury Hills WHEN: March 7-9 COST: Cost: $35 DUE BY: ASAP For this little mission the youth will be helping fix the camp’s many paths and roads by adding supports and dirt and gravel, We are asked to bring shovels and picks and gloves. This will be an awesome opportunity for the youth to be introduced to the camp, and to see the many things they offer in their summer programs.

SALKEHATCHIE SUMMER SERVICE It’s time to register for Salkehatchie Summer service! If you are 14 years old or older you are eligible to attend this wonderful mission opportunity. St. Mark will be going to the Fairfield Camp July 12 – 19. You can register online by going to Please call Harold McMillan (607-4888) if you have any questions. Register early to secure your space!

EVANGELISM, OUTREACH & MISSIONS St. Mark will again be participating in the Water Missions Walk for Water on March 22. Please prayerfully consider participating this year by joining our walk team and by supporting the team with your gifts. If you have never participated in the walk before, it is a 3 1/2 mile walk from Cannon Park on Rutledge Ave., past Colonial Lake to the Battery and back to Cannon Park. Information on signing up on line or donating on line will be in the bulletin and on the St. Mark website and Facebook pages in the near future. During Lent, we will be collecting materials for flood buckets to help people in areas ravaged by flooding and storms. There will be a sign up poster in the Narthex prior to Ash Wednesday and during Lent. Individuals or groups (Sunday School classes, Circles, UMM, Choir, etc.) can donate items. This will be our Lenten Mission offering. - Edie Kent

SPIRIT SINGERS AUDITION SUMMER CAMPS FOR ALL Oh how I love Camp! I just received the camp booklet from Asbury Hills and I am most excited to share it with everyone. Come see me and I will hook you up. Or, if you like, go to

If you want to "up" your spirituality , take yourself away from the everyday grind and immerse yourself in God’s country(a.k.a. Asbury Hills). Camp is THE place to go! There are different opportunities for all ages 2nd grade and up as well as family camps. Camp is a great place to grow closer to God and to learn new things about your faith. I know it will be a blessing. -Rich

The Spirit Singers is an auditioned group of teens (ages 13 – 17) from across South Carolina who love spreading the Gospel through song. This is a ministry of song, fellowship, leadership and worship that glorifies and praises God. Youth who become Spirit Singers commit themselves to the whole schedule which includes Summer Camp & Mini Tour (June 17 – 25) and several Saturday-Sunday performances during the year. Auditions are open to youth who want to share their God-given talents with others. Charleston auditions are on March 22. Deadline for applications is February 1!!!! Application forms are available at Or ask Rich for an application form. DO IT TODAY!!!

2013-2014 Spirit Singers with Christian Leprettre.

ALSO FROM RICH – Education and Nurture/VBS will meet Feb 2nd. (right after the Chili luncheon) 5

BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE: TO A WONDERFUL FRIEND By Michele Russell In my years at St. Mark, I have been blessed to know so many wonderful people here at this church. Recently I felt inspired to express my thoughts in words to honor one person in particular on the occasion of her birthday: I first knew her dear sweet mother who sang in the choir. Then I got to know her when we were planning the music for her wedding. We looked forward with excited anticipation to the big day. About a year later, we looked forward with excited anticipation once again, to another big day, the birth of her daughter. The years passed and she and I had many parallels in our lives as we each experienced some bumps in the road. The men in our lives were no longer around, but we each had our precious daughters to raise. She always stuck by me as true a friend as anyone could ever have. With all of her personal struggles, her faith in God never waivered and she never lost her sense of humor. I have seen her grow in grace in her faith journey. God created us for good works and she truly exemplifies that in all of her endeavors, whether it was planning big events such as the Halloween Carnival or Vacation Bible School in years past or more recently the Chili Cook-Off, Relay for Life and decorating the church for Christmas. All of this involved setting up, building, creating, decorating, coordinating, recruiting volunteers, and all that goes along with it. Whatever she sets her mind to do, she does well. A while back, my puppy had torn up the screens in my screened-in porch. I thought it was destroyed. , but she came over and helped me salvage it with her know-how. Within a few hours, with some screening, nails, screws, paint, a staple gun, lattice and a drill, she had it looking better than it did in the first place. Another fond memory each year is our annual caroling at Christmas time, where we get to visit some of our elderly population in the community. By now, you have probably guessed I am talking about Cynthia Sunde. A few words I would use to describe Cynthia would be: fun-loving, a heart of gold and a heart for God, kind, caring, creative, hardworking, talented, loyal, and the list could go on. This is my tribute to my wonderful friend Cynthia, submitted with love and admiration. Happy Birthday, Cynthia! YOU’RE THE BEST!

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT As Pastor Scarlett mentioned earlier in this newsletter our gathering on January 11 started many of us thinking about how we “do church.” But it also made us think about the vows we took when we became members of the church. For many of us this was years and years ago, but each time we have someone join the church I hope we all take the words seriously when we say “we renew our covenant faithfully to participate in the ministries of the church by our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service and our witness that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.” (page 38 in the UMC Hymnal). My dictionary defines covenant as a binding agreement. During the course of our lifetime we may sign many agreements. When we buy a house and sign a mortgage we promise to pay regularly on the loan. Even when we initially signed up for Facebook, we checked a box agreeing to the stipulations of that social media. How seriously do we take those agreements? Even more important, how seriously do we take our vows of membership in The United Methodist Church? During this month I ask you to think about this. How do you show your support of the church with your: PRAYERS. Do you pray daily for the church, our pastor, our paid staff as well as our lay leadership team, the youth and their leaders, our Sunday School teachers, our shut-ins and those in our pews? Perhaps you could also pray for the vision and the ministry of the church – that it would be one that truly seeks to glorify the Lord and make disciples for the transformation of the world. PRESENCE. Do you make an effort to be at church on Sunday? Corporate worship is an important part of Christian life, but sometimes we simply cannot be in worship. When you can’t be there, do you seek to keep abreast of what is happening? And when you are here, are you an active participant, or do you put in your hour and leave as soon as possible? GIFTS. Gifts are more than the check that we write for the budget. It also includes the God-given talents we have. Have you a beautiful voice that could help our choir or the ability to teach or cook or decorate and design? Do you give the Lord our first and your best or do you give Him what is left over? SERVICE. There are many, many opportunities to serve the Lord here at St. Mark. What have you done in the last month to serve? If you need some help finding your “nitch”, talk to Scarlett or Rhonda and I am sure there is something that will fit you to a tee. 6

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT – cont. WITNESS. This has not always been a part of the vows we take, but it is an important one. I’m not suggesting you go out on the corner and yell at everyone passing by about their final destiny. People used to do that in Beaufort when I lived there. I doubt they brought many people to Jesus Christ. But ask yourself, “Do people see the face of Jesus when they look and talk to me?” If not, perhaps there something you can do to change that? Speaking of witnessing to Christ, the following story is just such an example by a nine year old. Anyway, hope this gives you some food for thought about what we can all do to further God’s kingdom here on earth. I know as I have written this, I can see the need to adjust a few things in my life. And in all things we will give Him the glory! Blessings to you all, Jacki A STORY ABOUT WITNESSING I received this story on my email and wanted to share it with you. No one is too young to share the Gospel! Jacki FROG HAT - By Tina Blessitt, a freelance writer, lives with her husband and four children in Kentucky. Last fall my 9-year-old son, Austin, had his tonsils removed. Before the surgery, Austin 's anesthesiologist came to start an IV. He was wearing a cool surgical cap covered in colorful frogs. Austin loved that "frog hat." The doctor explained that he had two choices. He could either try to start the IV, or he could wait until Austin was up in the operating room. In the OR the doctor would give Austin some "goofy" gas, and start the IV when he was more relaxed. "So, Austin ," he asked, "which do you want?" Austin replied, "I'll take the gas." But when the doctor started to leave, Austin called, "Hey, wait." The doctor turned. “Yeah, buddy, what do you need?" "Do you go to church?" "No," the doctor admitted. "I know I probably should, but I don't. " Well, are you saved?" Austin then asked. Chuckling nervously, the doctor said, "Nope. But after talking to you, maybe it's something I should consider." Pleased with his response, Austin answered, "Well, you should, 'cause Jesus is great!"

"I'm sure He is, little guy," the doctor said, and quickly made his exit. After that a nurse took me to the waiting room. Someone would come and get me when Austin 's surgery was done. After about 45 minutes, the anesthesiologist came into the waiting room. He told me the surgery went well and then said, "Mrs. Blessitt, I don't usually come down and talk to the parents after a surgery, but I just had to tell you what your son did." Oh boy, I thought. What did that little rascal do now? The doctor explained that he'd just put the mask on Austin when my son signaled that he needed to say something. When the doctor removed the mask, Austin blurted, "Wait a minute, we have to pray!" The doctor told him to go ahead, and Austin prayed, "Dear Lord, please let all the doctors and nurses have a good day. And Jesus, please let the doctor with the frog hat get saved and start going to church. Amen." The doctor admitted this touched him. "I was so sure he would pray that his surgery went well," he explained. "He didn't even mention his surgery. He prayed for me! Mrs.Blessitt, I had to come down and let you know what a great little guy you have." A few minutes later a nurse came to take me to postop. She had a big smile on her face as we walked to the elevator. "Mrs. Blessitt, I couldn't wait to tell you something exciting that your son did." With a smile, I told her that the doctor already mentioned Austin 's prayer. "But there's something you don't know," she said. "Some of the other nurses and I have been witnessing to and praying for that doctor for a long time. After your son's surgery, he tracked a few of us down to tell us about Austin 's prayer. He said, 'Well girls, you got me. If that little boy could pray for me when he was about to have surgery, then I think maybe I need his Jesus too." She then recounted how they joined the doctor as he prayed to receive Christ right there in the hospital. Wow! Austin had played a small part in something wonderful. But then, so did the nurses who prayed and witnessed. I thought about John's words in his Gospel, "One sows and the other reaps" (John 4:37 ). Austin 's experience taught me that, although we never know which role we may be called to play, in the end it doesn't matter. What's important is that we remain faithful in sharing the Gospel....



If you have not yet visited the Children’s Chapel, take a few minutes to go by. Many have contributed to its creation, and we thank you all, especially Rich Sweazy for his inspiration!

Emily Sweazy, Madison Wilcox

Parker & Lydia Capps

Summer Massey, Lydia Capps

Sydney Brown

Emily Lanter

Keenan Shine, Dana Weazy, Emily Lanter

Our youth recently attended “Black Out the Night, ” a fundraiser for the SOA vocal department. Looks like they all had a BLAST! I think it was a warm-up for REVOLUTION!












UMM Breakfast Chili After Church Education & Nurture Com.

6:30 UMW Exec. Mtg. 7:30 UMW General mtg.





Dist. Workshop – Blended Worship



10:00 Prayer Group

10:00 Staff Mtg.



Girl Scouts



10:00 Staff Mtg.

10:00 Louise Massalon Circle 7:30 Shawn Ramsey Circle


10:00 Prayer Group

10:00 Staff Mtg.

8 9:30 Connie Wieck Circle

SPRC 7:00




12:00 Good Neighbors

Girl Scouts








22 Worship Workshop – Lenten planning






10:00 Staff Mtg. 7:00 Evangelism/ Missions

Looking Ahead:

March 4 - Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, sponsored by Relay for Life Team March 5 – Ash Wednesday --- John Wesley Lenten Luncheon & Worship begins ---6:00 Worship at St. Mark

The St. Marker is published each month and is distributed primarily by email and our website ( We mail copies to our shut-ins and provide copies in the Narthex to those who do not have Internet access. To be added to the email list or to have a copy mailed to a shut-in, please contact Jacki Ratledge at . Also, if you have any concerns, information, pictures or praises to share in our newsletter, please email them to Jacki Ratledge or call her at 843-571-0054.


February 2014  
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