Thursday, March 30, 2017

A Letter from Pastor Mark - April

Dear Friends,
We are fast approaching Holy Week and the celebration of Easter.  I want to encourage you to attend all of the special services from Palm Sunday to Easter.  If you have never attended these services I believe it will add immensely to your Easter celebration.  Participation in these services presents the entire picture of the salvation that Jesus provided for each of us.

I want to remind you of the worship opportunities that are a part of the Easter season. 
· We start with remembering Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.  April 6 & 9 is when we focus on this event.  We will finish the Discipleship Handbook series this week and we will have a special emphasis on the original events of Palm Sunday.  Palm Sunday services are on Thursday, April 6 at 6 pm and Sunday, April 9 at 8:30, 10:00 and 11:15 a.m.
· On April 13 at 6 p.m. we will have our first service of Easter.  The weekly Thursday      evening worship will focus on celebrating Christ’s resurrection.  The message that day will center on how Christ’s death and resurrection provided for our salvation.
· On Maundy Thursday, April 13 at 7:30 pm we will commemorate Jesus’ last meal with his disciples.  We will remember what transpired in the Upper Room that evening and we will participate in the sacrament of Holy Communion.  We will also take time to reflect on  Jesus’ ordeal in the Garden of Gethsemane.
· On Good Friday, April 14 at 7:00p.m. we will reflect on the suffering of Jesus through his crucifixion.  We will follow Jesus passion and crucifixion through scripture, meditation, music and video.  This service sets the stage for the wonderful miracle of the resurrection.
· On Sunday, April 16 we will have the three remaining services of Easter.  At 8:30 we will have the traditional Easter service, at 10:00 and 11:15 we will celebrate the resurrection in the two contemporary services.  The music and the various components of all the services will focus on Christ’s victory over sin and death.  The message will help us to remember that Christ’s death and resurrection resulted in our salvation.
I want to also encourage you to extend invitations to family, friends and neighbors to attend these services.  Let’s make Holy Week and Easter 2016 the most meaningful ever.

In Christ’s Abundant Love,
Pastor Mark


Over 60 people participated in the “How to Study the Bible” class held in March.  Terrific!

If you were not able to attend or want a refresher, you can find all of the material (including the audio from each session) here:

Starting April 3rd, we will start reading the Bible through an intentional reading plan.  We will be reading the New Testament chronologically with some additional Old Testament references included so that we can see how the Old and New Testaments relate.  Commit to reading,   studying and obeying God's Word as we read the New Testament together over the next 4 months.

Also, to help us all stay on track in our discipleship, we are starting Life Transformation Groups.  An informational meeting will be held on Wednesday April 5th at 7:00 pm.  Please plan on attending.  If you have not signed up yet, you can sign up on the worship registration card, at Guest Services, by contacting the church office or through the “small group” page on our website (

We are all on a discipleship journey.  Let's journey together!

Fletcher Place Food Drive Is About Over

The 2017 Fletcher Place Food Drive is about over for Southport United Methodist Church.  Have you gotten to participate???

There is still some time to get your food donations in for delivery to the Fletcher Community Food Pantry.  Our Food Drive is over on April 9th with the last food delivery going to Fletcher Community Center on April 11th. 

Be3 sure to write a card of encouragement that will be included with the food bags going out from the Fletcher Place pantry.

In Indianapolis, 1 in 5 children go hungry on a daily basis.  In the Fletcher Place neighborhood, the number is closer to 4 out of 5 children experience hunger every day.  Therefore, the need to support Fletcher Place with our Food Drive is critical.  Fletcher Place is a center that services the South side of Indianapolis. The center is located in the Fountain Square area. 

Our collection site at Southport will be in the space between the restroom doors in the  Gathering Place.  Watch for the Food Drive sign, lists, and bags in that area.
Be sure to write your name down on the notebook provided so we can again celebrate our participation.

Fletcher Place Food Pantry List
(Items in BOLD are in desperate need)

                                 Beans and Rice                                 Pasta and Spaghetti Sauce
                                 Peanut Butter and Jelly                     Old Fashioned Oats
                                15 bean soup bag                                Fresh apples
                                Fresh Potatoes & Onions                    Fresh Carrots
                                Canned Tuna                                      Mac & Cheese
                               Toilet Paper

                               Variety of canned fruit  (in own juice or no added sugar)
                               Variety of canned veggies (in own juice or no added salt)
                               Canned tomatoes  (diced, sauce, stewed, etc.  No salt added)

Thank you in advance for your donation!  This is a short list yet it is the quality staples the clients really appreciate.  The families that come to the food pantry are in extreme need and  especially appreciate the new fresh items now included.


The United Methodist Women's groups at Southport UMC are offering all  the following informational opportunities: 

April 17, 2017, 9:30  am - 11:30 am  (Monday)
     Spring Forum
     Christ United Methodist Church, 8540 US Hwy 31 S, Indianapolis, IN 46227
     Program:  Rita Gaither-Gant and Mollette Hall..."Kindling New Fires of  Relationships"
     An Offering will be taken for Girls, Inc.,  Camp Scholarships 

April 29, 2017,  9:00 am - 3:00 pm (Saturday)
A "Hearts In Service" program is being held at Southport United Methodist Church....1947 E Southport Road, 46227
"Hearts in Service" program is titled, " A Fearless A.M. With A Fruitful P.M." The ladies from the "HIS" group will present a program in the morning based on Isaiah 43:1-4 (Fearless) and in the afternoon on Galatians 5:22-23 (Fruits of the Spirit).  The program will start at 9 with a continental breakfast.  At lunch, there will be a salad buffet provided.  Anyone wanting to     attend will need to contact the church and reserve a spot (317-784-9508). Indicate if you are in need of child care at that time.

May 5, 2017  11 am - 1 pm  (Friday)
May Friendship Day
Phillips Temple CME, 210 E 34th St, Indianapolis, IN 46208
Least Coin offering will be dedicated
Program: " Kindling New Fires of Love"
Young Church Women are honored.  Nominations need to be submitted  immediately to      Elizabeth Harmon, or  call     317 888-5442
$7 lunch reservation sent to Phyllis Tyler, 1436 W 31st St, Indianapolis IN 46208 by Friday, April 28, 2017 

Also the UMW Circles at Southport are open to all women to attend.  The following dates are when the circles of women meet:
Rebekah Circle meets at 1 pm at the church in the Gathering Area on Tuesday, April 11
Anna Circle will not meet this month
Leah Circle will meet at 6:30 to clean the Kitchen on Tuesday, April 18

All circles are supporting Fletcher Place with cereal, Lebanon Children's Home with supplies for their store,  and Lucille Raines with personal supplies.

 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”
Come check us out

Mark Your Calendar

through April 9
Our annual food drive to benefit the Fletcher Place community near downtown ends April 9. Lists of needed food items are at the Food Drive table in the Gathering Place.

Three men from Southport will be serving April 6 – 9 at Plainfield Correctional Facility.  Please remember to pray that weekend for all: those who will be sharing Jesus’ love and forgiveness with others and those who are incarcerated and desire to receive this blessing. 

BLOOD DRIVE – Sunday, April 23
It’s time to encourage friends, family members, co-workers and neighbors to join you in giving the gift of life. This is our second Blood Drive for 2017 and the Blood Center requested April 23 so that the appropriate number of days in order to give will be met.  You may schedule a time to give on the Blood Drive form at Guest Services or note your participation on the worship registration cards. Our next Drive will be August 6.

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 following Jesus and living your life as He lived His. Please plan to attend the next “UNITING WITH THE CHURCH” session Monday, April 24 at 7:00 pm.

April 6 to 9 – Men serve at the Plainfield Correctional Facility
April 23 – Blood Drive 9:00am to 1:00pm
April 24 – Uniting with the Church
May 7 to 21 – Interfaith Hospitality Families are guests
June 13, 14, 15 – Vacation Bible School
June 18 to 24 – Mission Trip to Upper Sand Mountain Alabama

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A Letter from Pastor Mark - March

Dear Friends,
There are several things that will begin in the month of March that I want to lift up for you.  You are receiving this newsletter on the first day of March and this is also the day of our Ash Wednesday service.  Ash Wednesday is the beginning of the 40 day observance of Lent.  Lent is a time of repentance and preparation for the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday.  Easter is April 16 this year.  I am looking forward to the special opportunity that Lent and Easter gives each of us to grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ.  I am hoping that you are looking forward to those opportunities as well.
During Lent I will be teaching a mini-study that is focused on how to read and study the Bible.  The study will be two sessions and each session will last 90 minutes.  The classes will be on two Wednesdays, March 8 & 15.  The class will give lots of tips and direction for how to read the Bible and stay with it.
During the season of Lent I will be preaching a sermon series that will take us through the    entire book of 2 Peter.  The series is entitled “The Discipleship Handbook” and it will focus on gleaning as many truths as possible to help us live out our discipleship in Jesus Christ.  We are also focusing on a book of the Bible for Lent because one of the themes for Lent is to begin the process of reading and studying the Bible.

In keeping with the theme of reading the Bible, soon after the course that teaches on how to read and study the Bible we will be forming Life Transformation Groups that will focus on reading and discussing the Bible.  These are small groups that will have as their objective life transformation through learning and living the truth of the Bible.  There will be a Bible reading plan given to all the groups and the hope is that each group will follow the plan and use the readings for each week as the basis for the group discussion.  I hope you will consider joining one of these groups.
These groups and the Bible reading plan will take the place of the weekly prayer journals.  The last prayer journal will be issued on Sunday, February 26.
My prayer is that many of you will take advantage of at least one of these ways that you can grow your relationship with Jesus Christ during the season of Lent and Easter.

In Christ’s Abundant Love,
Pastor Mark


The Upper Sand Mountain Mission Trip to Alabama is June 18 -24, 2017.  It is time to meet and discuss your interest in attending this trip.  In order to ensure you receive necessary and  accurate trip information, we invite all involved adults, youth and their parents to attend an  orientation session March 7, 2017.   This will also give us the opportunity to meet as a team and to address questions with answers everyone will want to hear.  Join us at 7:00 p.m. in the Gathering Place at church.

All are welcome to attend the mission trip.  Skills like painting, plumbing, hammering,    sweeping, replacing flooring, sorting items for the food pantry and clothing store,  and moving paint cans are a few of the jobs we have done in the past.  All skill levels are needed and youth and those who are new to the trip will be mentored by other adult leaders.

The $175 fee per participant is paid by the church’s Faith Promise contributions.  We encourage everyone to continue giving to Faith Promise so that not only the mission trip but all of our outreach and mission ministries are funded.   This opportunity for second mile giving is open to everyone.

Also, for those planning to attend in 2017, you can start now by donating to your personal account at the church towards your fee of $100 which covers food and gas costs.  This could be a monthly or weekly donation in an amount that will add up to the trip cost by the June 4 due date.  It is an easy process.   First, notify Brandon Collins our church treasurer that you plan to do this. Then make your check out to SUMC or contribute electronically, and note Upper Sand Mountain Fund.

Information regarding youth participants:  It is essential to have a parent/guardian on job sites with each youth age 12 and under.  Their well-being is of upmost importance and we will    continue to address safety and liability issues. Originally the Upper Sand trip was a family activity and over time it has grown with many youth attending and occasionally without a parent.  In all cases youth must have a parent or another adult on the trip who agrees to be responsible for that youth. We are excited to have youth with a passion for mission. 

USM Leadership Team
Jim Smith
Sandy Tilton
Suzy Heilman