Friday, May 26, 2017

Imagination Station

Is currently seeking a part-time individual to teach preschool in a Pre-K 4 day a week class for the 2017/2018 school year.  Experience preferred. Please contact Allyson at 317-780-4624 or

Southport Flag Retirement Ceremony

June 14 (Flag Day)
7:30 p.m.
Southport Park
6901 Derbyshire Road

· Participate in a 40 minute ceremony
· Hundreds of flags will be “retired”
· Color Guard entrance
· Armed Forces Medley
· Playing of “Taps” at conclusion
· Spotlight of Honorees
· Refreshments provided

Flags to be retired can be taken between 10:00 a.m. & 3:00 p.m. to
 Southport Government Center
6901 Derbyshire Rd.
Southport, IN 46227
Flags to be retired can also be brought to the ceremony.

New flags can be purchased at the ceremony.
Please Bring your lawn chair.

A Letter from Pastor Derek - June

Hello, Southport UMC!
I am writing to you from San Antonio, Texas, where I am attending the Festival of Homiletics.  This event has been my all time favorite continuing education event for about fifteen years.  At the Festival we hear from preachers and teachers of preaching morning, noon, and night for four full days.  On this, the evening before the last day, I have heard nine sermons and nine  lectures about preaching, and there’s more tomorrow!  I tell you all this to let you know I am a geek about this preaching thing.  It defines me, shapes me, excites me, and inspires me.  But best of all, it’s not just me and my job, it is our job.  The job of the body of Christ.  All of us.  All the time.
OK, I’m getting ahead of myself.  My name is Derek.  I am coming to be the pastor at  Southport UMC very soon.  I’ve met your staff and I am thrilled to be working with them.  They strike me as people who care, not just people who do a job.  And more than that, they tell me you are the same, that this is a congregation who cares.  I can’t think of a better description of the church than that.  And you’ve taken it even further to claim that you’re all preachers.  Or rather, you’re all in this business of making disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.  Heavy stuff, don’t you think?  Yet, what could be more needed in this increasingly crazy world in which we live?  What could better show that we care than the desire to share Jesus?  There are some communities who think that Jesus is a secret to be kept only for the   insiders, the approved members.  How does that show caring to the world, keeping our greatest treasure only for ourselves?

We have been blessed by so much.  It feels good to share who we are with one another.  I am coming to learn from you, who you are and what drives you, to hear your stories and walk with you for a time.  I am honored to follow in the strong footprints of your retiring pastor, Mark Fisher.  I will gladly stand on his shoulders as we continue to realize the vision he helped to cast. But I’ll need to hear it from you as well.  Tell me what drives you, what drives Southport UMC.  I really want to know.
In the meantime, we are getting ready to come and be a part of the wider community.  We have almost closed on a house in the area and will be making it our home in the next few weeks.  Coming with me, is my wife, La Donna, the reason I have gotten as far as I have.  Also, joining us is my son Rhys (pronounced Reese).  He will be attending IUPUI for a Master’s in Library Science, so he will live at home saving him buckets of money.  My daughter, Maddie, graduated from college this month and is already in Boston starting her new life as a fund-raiser.  But I hope we’ll see her sometime before too long.  Maybe we’ll use her new skills, when she has them.
I am honored and humbled to come and work among you.  I’ve been praying for you and your staff daily since the appointment was made.  I look forward to getting past the awkward getting to know you stage and into real ministry with you.  It’ll be before you know it, I’m sure.



2017 Spring MEIJER SIMPLY GIVE CAMPAIGN - May 14 to June 18

The Southport Meijer Store has chosen Hunger Inc. to be the recipient of the money raised through the 2017 Spring Meijer Simply Give Campaign. At Guest Services we have donation cards with a special bar code that helps Meijer track and identify our food pantry partner. If you know of anyone that is going to donate to the Meijer Simply Give Campaign to help Hunger Inc., please provide them with one of these cards.

Meijer will match every dollar donated. If someone donates $10, Meijer will match that $10 for a total donation of $20. DOUBLE MATCH DAYS are June 2 and June 3. During these 2 days Meijer will double match every customer’s $10 Simply Give donation so that for every $10  donation card, Meijer will give $20 to the program, resulting in a total donation of $30.

Please let everyone know of this giving opportunity. Without this campaign the Hunger Inc. mission to help those who are hungry would be much more difficult.
Support Hunger Inc. Food Pantry in June Newsletter

Food Donations for Hunger Inc. will take place at the church on Thursday, June 1, and Sunday, June 4.  The items we will be collecting are spaghetti and spaghetti sauce. Again remember to sign your name and place your donations in the purple tub.

Last month we had so much food that the workers did not have time to weigh it at the time of delivery. Thanks for being servants to the hungry.

United Methodist Women

The Southport Street Fair bake sale was a success for us, even though there wasn’t much of a crowd.  We will be able to donate to the Sumner’s garden program and the new garden at the Church by the Southport Rd. playground. Thanks to all the great bakers at Southport!

This Summer, UMW sponsors a Mission U activity at DePauw University on July 22. All are welcome to attend this very informative sampler day from 8:00 a.m. –1:00 p.m.
Session Topics are:

Spritual Growth: Living as a Covenant Community
Issue Study: Climate Justice: A Call to Hope in Action
Geographic Study: Missionary Conferences of the United Methodist Church in the United States

For more information go to www.inumcorg/sampler17 or contact the church office.

This summer we will be collecting items for Christmas Shoeboxes for Red Bird Mission.  An informative flyer with a list of items will be available at the Guest Services desk the beginning of June.  The boxes will be delivered to the Mission U Sampler Day on July 22, all items are due July 16.

Circle News:
Rebekah Circle: is on summer vacation and will meet again on September 12 at 1:00 p.m. in the Gathering Place. There will be a get together  July 11. Information on time and place will be available through the church office.

Anna Circle: the next meeting will be Monday, June 19, 1:00 p.m. at Rosegate.

Leah Circle: Their June Picnic pitch-in will be June 27 at 6:00 p.m.  This will be held at the Southport Park on Derbyshire Road at the shelter house.  All are welcome to attend, bring a yummy dish and come join us.   We will take a break for the summer and meet again on August 15 for our first sit & sew activity. All hands are welcome to help make Christmas stockings for Fletcher Place.


Southport has a wealth of garden-loving people.  If you are one or know of neighbors or family members who are, consider this opportunity to bless others.  “Grow a Row for Fletcher Place.”

One in five families in Indianapolis lacks reliable access to nutritious affordable food. Our neighbors in the Fletcher Place community are in a food desert. This means that they have no fresh, affordable produce within a mile distance.  

Please consider growing a row in your garden that is specifically designated to Fletcher Place individuals, families, and children. OR if you find your garden overflowing with an abundance of freshness, pack up the extras and take them to Fletcher Place Community Center, 1637    Prospect Street. Any donations of produce can be dropped off on Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and will be distributed the next morning, on Saturday for free.

Share the blessing with friends and family, combine efforts, and take turns driving to the Center with your gifts of fresh produce.


Five women from church will be joining many others from Kairos Prison Ministry serving at the Indianapolis Women’s Prison this first weekend of June. Please pray for all women involved, servants and those who are incarcerated asking that Jesus’ grace and love be communicated so lives can be transformed. 

For three mornings beginning Tuesday, June 13, the church will become a campout where   children experience how Jesus’ life demonstrates God’s love for us..  Visit the VBS Next Steps table in the Gathering Place Thursday and Sunday, June 1 and 4, and discover how you can  participate. You may also register children to attend VBS or select an item from the colorful tag boards to donate and support the ministry.

Our mission team leaves for Alabama on June 18, serving for a week with the Upper Sand community and returning June 24. The trip is made possible by your donations to the Faith Promise fund at church.  Please pray for the team members, the community of people at USM, and the work that will be accomplished through our combined efforts. We ask God’s blessings on relationships that will be made and the many ways we can share Jesus’ grace and love.

The Jubilee Christmas Ministry will be offering an opportunity to support the children and  families from Homecroft Elementary School during Christmas in July.  Visit the ministry table on Thursdays and Sundays in July and discover some of the ways we can provide essentials for the children as they start back to school. If you enjoy hands-on experiences, there will be information about serving at the school in a variety of ways. We are blessed to be in partnership with the Homecroft community and God continues to open new doors in order to share His love with others.

July 6 and 9 – Welcome Reception for Pastor Derek Weber and Family
July 6/9, 13/16, 20/23 – Christmas in July and Homecroft Opportunities
August 6 – Blood Drive

Friday, April 28, 2017

A Letter from Pastor Mark - May

Dear Friends,
I am using the May newsletter to write my farewell greetings.  I will officially continue in my duties at Southport UMC until June 30.  However, I would like to make this space available to Pastor Derek Weber for the June newsletter so that he will have the opportunity to introduce himself to the congregation before he arrives on July 1.
First of all, let me say that it has been a true privilege to serve as the pastor of SUMC for the past fifteen years and six months.  Not many pastors get the opportunity to serve a congregation for that period of time.  For the time we have had together I am deeply grateful.
There have been ups and downs in the life of SUMC over those many years but I am confident that the overall trajectory of the church and the members of the congregation has been to move closer and closer to Jesus.  That should always be the goal of discipleship.  As we grow closer to Jesus we reflect more and more of his nature.  I continually see Jesus being reflected through the way you live life.
I believe that we should celebrate the fact that we have also become a congregation that thinks more about others than it does itself.  We realize that the one task that Jesus has given the church is to take his good news to others and to make disciples.  I believe that many people are making it a priority to reach out in love to others outside of our congregation.  
These two things, moving closer to Jesus and sharing Jesus with others are the two most important things at SUMC.  That is the way it should be.  If those two things being the focus of the church are all that we have accomplished over the past 15.5 years I am satisfied.  I am    satisfied because that is what the church should be about.

I also want to take this opportunity to share a little about my retirement plans.  As most of you know Susan and I will be relocating to Florida.  We have a home in the Kissimmee, FL area.  Our home is located in one of the villages of Poinciana.  We are far enough from the congested tourist areas to not have to deal with the traffic on a daily basis but close enough to easily take advantage of all the fun opportunities in the area.
I am planning to get a part-time job.  I don’t see myself sitting around in retirement.  I have been asked if I will serve a small church.  The answer to that question is an emphatic “no.”  The reason why is that I want a job outside of a church setting so that I will have more contact with unchurched people.  I want to use my job as a means of developing relationships with people whom I can potentially help disciple  into a relationship with Jesus.  I have nothing against serving a church but I want to use my retirement as an opportunity to reach people in a different manner.
I am looking forward to continue ministry in a different format and I am looking forward to having some additional free-time to spend with Susan and other family.
You are more than welcome to come and visit us in Florida.  Our address is:
Mark & Susan Fisher
534 Anise Court
Kissimmee, FL 34759
We would be delighted to have you drop by.

In Christ’s Abundant Love,
Pastor Mark