Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A Letter from Pastor Mark - September

Dear Friends,
Over the fifteen years of being the pastor at Southport United Methodist Church, I have never shared any personal projects in which I am involved.  I am going to make an exception to that in my September pastoral letter. 
I am presently training to participate in a 10 K race.  For those of you who regularly participate in half or full marathons you might wonder why a 10 K race takes any preparation.  Just let it suffice to say that if I didn’t train for this race I am sure I wouldn’t make it.  However, the race itself is not really the point.  I am participating in this race to raise money for the organization Autism Speaks.  Autism Speaks is one of the main organizations that promotes research regarding the condition of autism.  This organization also actively funds the quest for a cure and provides support for individuals and families who are dealing with the issue of autism.
Many of you probably know that my wife has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis for the past twelve years.  You might wonder why I am not participating in an activity that benefits victims of MS.  Susan and I have both decided that we do not want her malady to become our one focus.  We want to participate in projects that help people who suffer from other medical problems.
Additionally, I have personally witnessed individuals and families who have been affected by autism.  I know this presents incredible challenges, and I never cease to be amazed by the  courage and perseverance displayed by individuals and families who are dealing with autism.  Since I have witnessed the need, I have become personally compelled to do what I can to help.

So, on Friday, January 6, I will participate in a 10 K race to benefit Autism Speaks.  I have set a goal of raising $1500 for this organization.  I want to invite each of you to support my efforts on behalf of this organization.  If you would be willing to pledge a contribution toward my goal, you can fill out the form below or you can sign up on a pledge list at the church.  If you want to e-mail me (mark@sumc.org) with the amount you want to pledge that is fine as well.  When I receive your pledges I will contact you and let you know how you can remit your pledge to Autism Speaks.
Thanks so much for your support.
In Christ’s Abundant Love,
Pastor Mark

I will pledge $________________ toward Pastor Mark’s running of a 10 K race on January 6 2017.
This pledge will go toward support of the Autism Speaks organization.
Please return to Pastor Mark and he will share how you can remit your pledge to the Autism Speaks organization.


 Hunger Inc. Food Collection

WOW!!!  Our August food collection of cereal was amazing!!  Cereal is not really heavy, but you helped collect 116 pounds of cereal!  That was an impressive amount of food.  Someone described it as a “Wall of Cereal.”  The Hunger Inc. pantry was almost bare and the cereal was warmly welcomed.   The variety of cereal was well received since Corn Flakes was the only type of cereal left on the shelf.  We even had several participants helping to unload all that cereal.    Thank you so much for your willingness to help others.  You are working for Jesus!!!

Collections for the rest of the year are the following:
   September 8 – 11 Soups
   September 29 - October 2 Pork and Beans
   November 3 - 6  Beans for Soup and Crackers
   December 1 - 4 Canned Pasta Meals

We will also support Hunger Inc. with the Fall Meijer Simply Give Campaign. Last year we helped raise a record amount of money (some $53,000), and we believe we can surpass that amount  this year. 

The information below explains the Campaign.  Please note that September 1-3 are double match dates. Donation cards will be at the Guest Services Desk until we run out. Thank you to all who can help. 



The Southport Meijer Store has chosen Hunger Inc. to be the recipient of money raised through the 2016 Fall Meijer Simply Give Campaign. For every dollar donated Meijer will match this. If you donate $10, Meijer will match that $10 for a total donation of $20.
Donation cards at church have a bar code that helps Meijer track and identify that Hunger Inc. is an exemplary food pantry partner. The more of these cards we use, the stronger our relationship will be with the Meijer Simply Give Campaigns. 

There are also cards at the Southport Meijer Store with a different bar code and identify as being purchased at the store. Donations with these cards are divided between Hunger Inc. and other food pantries.

The campaign offers the much appreciated double match days September 1 through September 3. During these days Meijer will double match every customer’s $10 Simply Give donation and for every $10 donation card purchased, Meijer will give $20 to the program, resulting in a total donation of $30. 

Please invite others to join you in supporting Hunger Inc.’s mission to help those who are hungry. Thank you! 

Upper Sand Mountain Ministry Team News

The 2016 mission trip to Upper Sand Mountain in Alabama offered many opportunities to be involved in the lives of the area residents.  When our team arrives we are given a list of jobs and needs to address while we are there for the week.  However, things happen and trees fall and a new immediate need arises.  The flexibility of participants is one reason this mission trip is so well attended and so appreciated by the people of Upper Sand. What a joy to hear all the good things that happened this year!  Ask a team member, adult or youth to share their stories with you.  

At their recent evaluation session, the ministry team leaders highlighted a few items that  require some changes and would like to share this information that applies to the 2017 trip next June. 

Through Faith Promise contributions, the USM trip is funded covering the participant fee to USM of $175 for each person.  The fees cover the supplies and resources needed for the team to do their work. As long as we have sufficient Faith Promise contributions, these fees are   covered in support of the team making their individual cost of $80 each to cover food and gas.  

The $80 per person can be paid in one payment prior to the trip or by donating to your personal church account when possible.  You would make your check out to SUMC, or contribute electronically, and note Upper Sand Mountain Fund.

We have been blessed to have many youth participants each year.  The benefits are numerous. The youth learn new skills, are valuable members of the mission team, and interact with USM residents showing Jesus’ love and compassion.  Originally the USM trip was a family activity and over time it has grown with as many youth attending as adults.  For liability and safety issues it is essential to have a parent/guardian on job sites with each youth age 12 and under. 

Start planning your vacation time and join the mission trip team for June 2017.  We are always in need of additional drivers for the trip and workers when we arrive. All adults, youth, and  parents are asked to attend the orientation session in the spring. This will be our first opportunity to meet as a team, receive valuable information, and address questions.
The USM Leadership Team
Jim Smith
Sandy Tilton
Suzy Heilman


Jubilee Christmas Day is December 10…
Thanks to the Homecroft social workers we have over 20 families from our community who will be invited to experience Jubilee Day with us.
Our next step is to secure a SUMC host for each school family who will work together in providing a “Jubilee Christmas.”
A Jubilee Host (individual, couple, or family) is matched with a recommended school family and the relationship begins. Opportunities as a Host include:
Attend Orientation session 
Make the initial contact by phone with your Jubilee family, introducing yourself and ask them to be part of Jubilee Christmas
Invite the family to join you for a social gathering where you will meet for the first time, and enjoy refreshments with other families and their hosts 
Obtain the children’s clothing sizes and suggestions for gifts
Shop with a family adult and select clothing for their children (we do this as a group, hosts and Jubilee families, and the Jubilee Ministry Team, on a Saturday morning with expenses covered through the Faith Promise fund)
Remind your Jubilee family of upcoming important dates (shopping day, Jubilee Day, etc.)
Join your Jubilee family adults on December 10 at church, with other hosts and families for  refreshments, to wrap gifts, and celebrate your Jubilee experience
Each host will have a mentor from the Jubilee Ministry Team who is available to answer    questions and address concerns as needed. 
Would you like to make a difference in a family’s life this year?  Be a Jubilee Host! 
Share your interest with sherry@sumc.org


FINANCIAL PEACE REGISTRATION – Continues through September 11
Plan to be part of a church-wide opportunity and learn ways to manage debt, save for the future, and Celebrate all God has done for you. Additional information is available from the church office and in the Gathering Place.  Sessions begin the week of September 12.

UNITING WITH THE CHURCH – Wednesday, September 21
Would you like to make Southport your church home? Pastor Mark shares the mission and    vision of Southport United Methodist Church, and the difference between being a “member” and being a “Disciple.” Please plan to attend the next “UNITING WITH THE CHURCH”     session on Wednesday, September 21, at 7 p.m.  Child care will be provided by calling the church office, 784-9508, or when you indicate your desire to attend on your worship registration card. 

October 30 to November 13 - Families from Interfaith Hospitality Network will be our guests
November 20 - Blood Drive


….the church has a bin in the back parking lot to recycle paper items and everyone can  contribute. The church receives a reimbursement for what is collected.

….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 Smile.Amazon.com and earn cash for SUMC.  Enter your account and choose SUMC as your organization to earn cash.  Then shop at smile.amazon.com just like you normally would at amazon.com.

….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.

….on Monday mornings from 9:30 to 11:15, Roof Crashers, a group of women with a variety of ages, gather for sharing, prayer time, study, and support, Child care is provided and all  women are invited.


….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

Check at Guest Services for additional information on



The United Methodist Women’s Circles are gearing up for the start of a new year.  We are inviting all women to come join a circle and see all the great things that are going on.

We have 3 circles  that meet on the following schedules:
Anna Circle:  Meets the 3rd Monday at 1 p.m. at Rosegate.
Leah Circle:  Meets on the 3rd Tuesday at SUMC at 6:30 p.m.
Rebekah Circle: Meets on the 2nd Tuesday at SUMC at 7 p.m.

UMW Board Meeting:  Meets the 1st Wednesday of each month and all are welcome to attend.  Meetings are at 6:30 p.m.

“We invite all women who find meaning in her church and are drawn to its fellowship, who who need a supportive community to affirm her own sense of purpose, and commitment to God.”

For more information, contact the church office 317-784-9508.

Update Membership Information

It is time for us to update our database with any changes, addition, or deletions that may have occurred in your family over the past year.

If you have not already informed the church office about changes to your record, please let us know now so that the information in the Guide Book & Directory is correct.  You may contact the church office at 784-9508.

Kairos Men’s Weekend

Five men from SUMC, will participate in the Kairos weekend #19 at the Plainfield         Correctional Facility October 20-23.  Anyone interested in attending the closing session the afternoon of October 23 will need to sign up in advance to be placed on the gate release. Contact the church office for more information 317-784-9508.