Thursday, December 1, 2016

A Letter From Pastor Mark - December

Dear Friends,
As we approach the end of the year I want to thank you for who you are as a congregation.  You provide countless hours of ministry in the name of Jesus Christ and you impact thousands of lives throughout the course of the year.  The good news of Jesus Christ is being offered to many people as you make his love real to people on a daily basis.  Again, thanks so much for your ministry and I look forward to continuing to do ministry with you in the year 2017.
I also want to draw your attention to the special Christmas Eve and Christmas services that are scheduled in the next few weeks.

Thursday, December 22 at 7:00 p.m. – Pre-Christmas Eve candlelight service.
Saturday, December 24
5:30 p.m. – Children and family service (no candlelight)
7:00 and 8:30 p.m. – Contemporary candlelight service
11:00 p.m. – Traditional candlelight service
Sunday, December 25 – Open candlelight communion from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m.  You may come anytime during the 90 minute period and partake of communion and prayer.
Sunday, January 1 – One service at 10:00 a.m. (Thursday service on December 29 will be at 6:00 p.m. as usual.)

There are plenty of opportunities to celebrate the birth of Christ in a worship service.   I invite you to participate in the services of your choice.
In Christ’s Abundant Love,
Pastor Mark


We are starting a Bible Club at Homecroft!  The Bible Club is supported by Christ Youth Bible Club (CYBC,  Christ Youth Bible Club is deeply passionate about connecting the heart of a child to the heart of God through the truth of His Word and the love and compassion of Jesus followers.  CYBC desires that every child “…grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.”

Southport UMC is becoming a supporting church and we are very excited about this new opportunity to show the love and grace of Jesus to Homecroft children, families and staff.

The Bible Club will start meeting on Tuesday morning (7:45 – 8:30 a.m.) at Homecroft  Elementary in January.

If you are interested in more information and possibly serving in this ministry, you can contact the church office.  There will also be an informational meeting for parents as well as those interested in serving Wednesday, December 7, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. in the Gathering Place here in the church building.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


The Final Countdown to Jubilee Christmas Day on December 10…
After weeks of planning with a wonderful combined effort between the Homecroft Elementary school staff, the Jubilee Ministry Team, SUMC Hosts, and each of You we are ready to express more of Jesus’ love and grace with 60 children and youth and their families.
Gifts, toys, personal care items, clothing, and a holiday dinner are made possible because of your generosity. When you give to the Faith Promise Fund, expenses for many of the above needs are covered. Tags that were selected from the Jubilee boards will fulfill a child’s need or Christmas wish. 
What steps are left before Jubilee Day?
Please return all tag item purchases to church by Sunday, December 4
Shop at Burlington with Jubilee parents and SUMC hosts December 3 at 7:30 a.m. for the children’s clothing (cost covered by Faith Promise)
Help the Jubilee Team with set up Friday, December 9 at 9:30 a.m.
Bake cookies for the Jubilee refreshment table and bring them to church Friday, December 9 marked for Jubilee
Arrive at church Jubilee Day, December 10 at 9:45 a.m. to help with final preparations, greet guests, serve refreshments, wrap gifts, or stay for clean up


….the church has bins in the back parking lot to recycle paper items and everyone can  contribute. 

….if you register your Kroger Plus Card under Community Rewards and select Southport   United Methodist Church as the recipient, each time you grocery shop the church will get a percent donated back to us.  This does not affect your perks in any way! 

….if you order from Amazon go to and earn cash for SUMC.  Enter your account and choose SUMC as your organization to earn cash.  Then shop at just like you normally would at

….you may share your financial resources by giving to the church online either through your church account or by using a smartphone and scanning this code.  

….you can support Hunger Inc., a Perry Township Food Pantry by bringing donations to church the first weekend of each month. Requested food items are listed in the monthly     newsletter and in the Weekly section of the bulletin.

….the church office has a small food pantry for area residents who may need a one day emergency supply.

….if you benefit from BOGO (buy one get one) sales and don’t always need the free item, you can donate it to the church pantry or bring it on Hunger Inc. collection days.



….we have four blood drives a year

….we have several Sunday morning Coffee Ministry serve options

….after a funeral we provide a meal for families who are experiencing the recent death of a loved one

….twice a month on Sunday afternoon we worship, sing, and interact with the residents at the Madison Avenue Nursing Home

….we serve dinner twice a month, one at the Ronald McDonald House and one at RMH in    Riley Hospital

….on the 3rd Thursday of the month breakfast and conversation is how we serve Fletcher Place Community Center neighbors

For additional information please contact the church office, 317 784-9508 or


JUBILEE CHRISTMAS – Saturday, December 10

UNITING WITH THE CHURCH – Monday, December 12
Would you like to make Southport your church home? Join Pastor Mark as he shares the mission and vision of Southport United Methodist Church and the importance of not just following Jesus but living your life as He lived His. Please plan to attend the next “UNITING WITH THE CHURCH” session on Monday, December 12 at 7:00 pm.  Child care will be     provided by calling the church office, 317 784-9508 or when noted on your worship             registration card. 

Thursday, December 22 at 7:00 p.m. (candlelight)
Saturday, December 24
5:00 p.m. Children and Family Service
7:00 and 8:30 p.m. Contemporary Services (candlelight)
11:00 p.m. Traditional Service (candlelight)

CHRISTMAS DAY – Sunday, December 25
Open Communion available from 9:30-11:00 a.m.

Sunday, January 1 – 10:00 a.m. Worship, Children’s Church, Student Worship
Sunday, January 15 – Communion and Community Meal


Merry Christmas to all.  The UMW  have been busy the month of November.  We collect items for Fletcher Place Community Center's Christmas give away and decorated 60 Christmas Stockings to be given away.  We also collected 206  personal hygiene items to be donated to Lucille Raines Residence Hall for their Christmas Grab Bag.   WOW!!!  that was a lot of love being sent out for others. So in December, two of the UMW Circles are having their Christmas Pitch-In dinners.  ALL ARE WELCOME to attend these dinners. 

Schedule of Meetings:
Rebekah Circle Meeting is the first Tuesday, December 6.  It will be held at the church in the Gathering Place at 6:00 p.m.  This Dinner and meeting is a Pitch-In Christmas Celebration.  So bring a dish and join in the fun.

Leah Circle Meeting is the third Tuesday, December 20.  It will be held at Donna Dougherty's home at 6:00 p.m.  The Dinner/Meeting is also a Pitch-In Christmas Celebration.  So bring a dish, wear a Christmas hat, and bring a White Elephant Gift ($5 items from home or store) to give away.  You may call the church for directions to Donna's.  All are welcome to celebrate with us.  This will be the circle's last meeting until March.

Anna Circle
will be taking December off
Also, plans are in the beginning stages for a "Human Trafficking" Presentation in the month of February.  So be on the look out for more information in the January Newsletter. 

  UMW's purpose remains the same. 
                     To Know God
                     To Experience Freedom as Whole Persons through Jesus Christ
                     To Develop a Creative, Supportive Fellowship
                     To Expand Concepts of Mission through Participation in the Global  Ministries of  the church.             

         Our Goal is to "LIVE our PURPOSE


In December the dates have been changed for the food collection.  Our theme is  "We come to church to be fed and we feed others".  So, the Food will be collected on Thursday,  December 8 and Sunday, December 11. since those are the dates of communion and the community meal on Sunday.  The items we are collecting are canned pasta meals. 

The Food Drive Committee wants to thank you for your year of helping be the hands and feet on Earth for Jesus.  We are working for Jesus to help make a difference in the lives of so many people that need our help.  We hope next year is just as wonderful for the world and our country because of what you do locally. 

Last month (November), we delivered 160 pounds of beans and crackers to the Hunger, Inc Food Pantry.  Way to go!!  You are so giving and your giving puts smiles on the faces of so many in need.  Thank you again for how great  the effort is of Southport United Methodist Church in helping families locally.

The collection items for the year 2017 are as follows:  (Dates to be announced)
             January--------Peanut Butter/Jelly
             February------Canned Fruit
             March---------Canned Tuna
             April-----------Fletcher Place Food Drive
             May-----------Canned Vegetables
             July  -----------Pancake Mix/Syrup
             October--------Pork and Beans/  CROP WALK
             November-----Beans for soup/Crackers
             December ----Canned Pasta Meals


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

A Letter from Pastor Mark - November

Dear Friends,
It’s the beginning of November.  What does that mean?  It means that we will soon be celebrating Thanksgiving, and then we will be in the midst of the Christmas season.
Again this year we will be participating in Operation Christmas Transformation.  What is this?  This is an attempt to help the families of the church transform Christmas from just being about us to also include an emphasis on Jesus.  After all, Christmas is Jesus’ birthday.
Operation Christmas Transformation gives you the opportunity to give Jesus a gift.  Here is how you can do it.  You can purchase, through an envelope in the weekly church bulletin, a picture poinsettia instead of a live poinsettia.  This picture poinsettia can be in memory or in honor of someone.  The cost is $10 per picture poinsettia.  You can also just make a contribution to Operation Christmas Transformation. 
The contributions that are received during Operation Christmas Transformation will be divided equally between two funds.  The first fund is Pastor’s Benevolent.  This money helps us to be able to respond to needy families in our community.  Recently, instead of just giving out money we have begun a process of giving some micro-loans.  
 Micro-loans are small loans to help people with their specific needs.  They are given the money interest free and then pay it back over a period of time.  This helps maintain the individual’s personal responsibility and dignity.  We still help in the traditional ways, but we are using the micro-loan approach as well.  When you participate in Operation Christmas Transformation, you are assisting in the effort of helping those in need.
The second fund that Operation Christmas Transformation benefits is the Pastor’s Ministry Fund.  This fund enables the church staff and servant leadership to take advantage of ministry opportunities that arise suddenly.  There are many opportunities that we would not be able to take advantage of because there is no money built into the church budget for those purposes.  Some examples from the past that this fund has been used for are some of the ministries that we have started with Homecroft Elementary.  This fund helps us to do ministry that we would not be able to do otherwise.
Susan and I plan to participate in Operation Christmas Transformation again this year.  We plan to spend less on Christmas for our families, and we will give that money to Operation Christmas Transformation.  We are going to do that because we want to give beyond ourselves, and this is a way we can give a Christmas gift to the causes that we know that Jesus would  support.  It is our way of giving Jesus a birthday gift. 
I want to invite each of you to participate in Operation Christmas Transformation.  Look for envelopes that will be in the weekly bulletins.
In Christ’s Abundant Love,
Pastor Mark


Jubilee Christmas Day is December 10…

Thanks to the Homecroft social workers we have 20 families from our community who will be invited to experience Jubilee Day with us.
We are grateful for the individuals and families from church who are hosting a Homecroft  family and working together to provide a “Jubilee Christmas.” 


We share the joy of the season because we share the experience of the preparations.  Gifts, toys, personal care items, clothing, and a holiday dinner are made possible because of your generosity. When you give to the Faith Promise Fund, expenses for much of the above needs are covered. When you take a tag from the Jubilee boards starting November 10 and return the specified item, you have fulfilled a child’s need or Christmas wish.  We all share the expense and address the needs for families who otherwise would not have the joy of this part of the  holiday.

If you are also a hands-on person, consider yourself invited to serve in one of the following ways and share your desire to help at the Jubilee next steps table beginning November 10:

Come to shopping day at Burlington’s on December 3 and help hosts and Jubilee parents find clothing items for their children (cost covered by Faith Promise).
When clothes shopping is finished, come by church and assist the Jubilee Team in dividing gifts in preparation for Jubilee Day.

Join the Jubilee Team on Friday, December 9, to prepare and set up the Gathering Place for Jubilee Day.

Bake cookies and goodies for the Jubilee refreshment table.
Be a willing helper on Jubilee Day, December 10, with final preparations, greeting guests, serving refreshments, wrapping gifts, or cleaning up.

With any and each activity you are involved in, be prepared to GIVE. Give your best smile, your warmest greeting, your willing hands, and our Jubilee families will experience Jesus’ loves in so many ways.